CNY 2017

CNY on any other year is already hectic and tiring on its own. This year was a blockbuster CNY for us, we had a special little someone tagging along.

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It was a fresh new experience for all of us, new routines, and schedules with Sam. New homes, environments, and people for Sam. It was being outside for more than 4 hours since hatch day; for this we brought along a truckload of supplies just to be sure.

We did notice a few things as we went visiting.

It seems everyone, already born, got promoted this year. From brothers to uncles, aunties, to grand aunties, from grand parents to great grand parents. All figuring out their new titles (e.g. 太婆,太公,姨婆).

Great grand parents are particularly proud of this 4th gen offspring.

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Most wanted to know:

Who Sam looks more like – We actually have no idea, but it seems Daryl has the majority vote.

Whether he’s breast fed – Sam’s been drinking the good stuff bottled for freshness (also see post titled: “Milk”)

Whether he sleeps through the night – Sam’s been a good boy only waking at specific times to replenish his blood sugar levels. 

Who is taking care of him – Everyone is keeping a keen eye out for his wellbeing (for that we are thankful). Our Parents (Sam’s Goong Goong, Ye Ye, Por Por, Ma Ma) are the main caregivers when we need a break. 

This CNY, the Wongfoks are thankful for all the stories shared, the advice given, and the love showered upon Sam, in this, his first year of life. We pray that he’ll continue to thrive in this wholesome, loving community.

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新年快乐, 万事如意  everyone!

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Marathon

I have to keep reminding myself that growing a baby is a marathon not a sprint. Currently it’s 7 weeks into his life here on earth. We are starting to feel stretched. With the late nights and the house work all adding up.

It’s the little bits that get you. A little washing here, some laundry there.

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(Meme Credit: Emelyne yiyi)

But there are times when you feel really proud that you’ve done it well. For instance, burping him…

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or surviving a trip out of the house!

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We’ve realised that he is growing up a bit too quickly. We’ve had to chuck a few cool rompers that don’t fit anymore, and introduce new ones. Like this one taken with his cousin. Sam’s pants don’t fit anymore 😦

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I know this is a little early, but I’m also stocking up on some dad jokes, compiled for future groans and eye rolls.

  • When the children want pets next time: “Pets are animals that humans did not find delicious”
  • Animal sounds: “to neigh or not to neigh, that’s equestrian”
  • At a Japanese Restaurant: “Japanese chef always have something to shoyu”
  • At the ZOO!: “I went to a zoo once, that only had a dog in it. It was a shitsu.”
  • Teachable moment about friends: “Friendship is like wetting yourself. Everyone can see it, but only you can feel its warmth.”
  • Lessons from punishments: “if you are asked to stand outside, it means you are always outstanding.”
  • Indigestion from eating too much? “if you eat too much wanton mee, you will be too heavy.”
  • Good to throw this in when discussing body issues: “Why have abs when you can have kebabs?”

Night Safari

It’s been hard to put Sam to sleep recently. Some nights we struggle to put him to bed from dinner time at 7, till close to midnight. Our routine goes something like: cry, pick up, rock till sleepy, put down, cry, repeat. some cycles are interspersed with milk bottle, and / or a diaper refreshment exercise.

On really rare occasions (i write this in hope), it may involve a full body wipe down or bath (details have been left out to protect our younger readers).

Most nights, our house becomes the night safari. This is where we, the exhibits, perform musicals, lion dance routines, and some rhythmic gymnastics (floor exercises to be exact) in the dark.

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but still…the wide eyed creature keeps staring at you in the dark, complete with dilated pupils and untiring eyelids.

We’d like to believe that we have developed enhanced low light visual acuity, to see where we are going in a completely dark environment. Actually we found something that helps when moving from a bright living room to a dark bedroom: using red light (much like how red light is used in submarines or air traffic control rooms at night). It helps our eyes adjust quicker to the low light conditions, and allows us to read the manual that comes with the baby (hah!). More on the Purkinje Effect here!

 

 

 

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, a little cough or the closing of doors startles him awake.

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Sam the Caterpillar

This is a story about Sam, the 6 week old caterpillar.

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Sam has been growing well and has put on more than 1 whole kilo since he hatched. Some might call him a fatter-pillar. He recently went through a metamorphosis of sorts, from a quiet little bug, to a loud, shouty kind of bug.

The parental bugs have had much trouble settling him into bed. You see, Sam the caterpillar has learnt a new skill, one that makes strategic use of his hands. While being rocked to the point of drowsiness, Sam will sneakily grab onto parental bugs’ outer wear (also known as clothing) and not let go.

And when it comes time to lay Sam’s sleepy head down onto the bed, he wakes up when he loses his grip of the parental bugs’ outerwear.

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Oh, poor parental bugs, they have to put Sam the caterpillar back to sleep (to the point of drowsiness) again.

Most other times, Sam the caterpillar has aspirations to become a butterfly, often staring at bright lights on the ceiling. He has also been observed squirming out of his exo-skeleton to free his… hands!

One day, when Sam the caterpillar becomes an independent butterfly, these stories will follow him (and his wife). But that’s another story for another day.

Lessons from a Bottle

I was washing bottles (the 9649792863 bottles needed to keep Sam alive) the other day when i came to the realisation that my hands were getting rougher and more seasoned. Perhaps it was because i hardly had to help with the dishes all these years, mostly done by my parents.

It is one thing to know (in your head) that parents sacrifice (not just doing the dishes) so much for their children, but totally another to experience and internalise this in your proverbial heart.

Standing there, i think i experienced a ‘Circle of Life’ moment.

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Some part of me felt proud of that I / We will be able to provide for this child. While another part of me felt grateful for our parents that taught us enough to provide for this child.

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We may not be the lions or the wildebeests in the Serengeti running in circles, but for us the circle of washing, cleaning, packing, folding, cooking, feeding, teaching, nurturing… goes on.

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1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant
5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. – 1 Corinthians 13:1-8

Pro Tips for Contented Adults

Have you ever felt gassy?
Had some indigestion perhaps?
Need to burp or fart, but don’t know how?

Follow these steps to find the secret to calm and confident adulting:

Step 1: Pick up baby (any baby within arms reach, really)

Step 2: Prop baby up with one hand, and cup the other imagining yourself as a 5 year old being an escavator.

Step 3: Hit the baby, gently, with your cupped hand, using consistent repeated motions.

Note: it is at this point where you will find relief from your symptoms. You will either burp, belch or fart.

Note 2: baby will need another 30mins to achieve what you have done.

Step 4: Repeat as necessary.

Picture below shows alternative methods of pacifying a baby. Example shows how the ‘suck on the nose technique’ is applied.

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Sam’s Social Debut

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Sam made his official social  debut yesterday at the full month / first month / baby shower party – The cumulation (and continuation) of sleepless nights, painful ear drums, and human excrement… everywhere. We do feel a overwhelming sense of pride from all that, somehow?

yet somehow we survived the full month, and look forward with great anticipation (why?) to louder screaming, temper tantrums, and bolder aromas that accompany diaper changes – strange how things work really.

[afternote: He slept through his party, waking after everything was over. We, on the other hand, slept only the morning after – party hangover much].

On this day, we celebrated with our family and friends the pride and joy that the begotten one hath brought. We are truly thankful for the love and support that has been showered upon us as a family. We, as a family, enjoyed the day throughly. Your (everyone who came) presence and laughter were key ingredients in welcoming Sam to the outside world.

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(Verb of the day: Peer)

Although, I’m not sure if he will actually remember what happened (i.e., no, he will not remember anything: Infantile Amnesia). But he will feel the love, care and affection from the enduring stories and photos that you share. Of course, please share (age) appropriate stories, and photos with him when he’s older (not something like: ‘oh sam, i tossed you around like a rugby ball at your first month party, when you were soooo *complete with hand gestures* little’).

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* note the rugby ball hold

Dear Sam, as you grow:

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. – Proverbs 3:5-6