February 2009

It’s broken

Have we broken our little boy?

Why does he not like daytime napping anymore?

We’re trying everything to tempt him to sleep.

The dummy doesn’t work.

Wrapping him doesn’t work.

Putting shade cloth over the window doesn’t work.

Playing Mozart doesn’t work.

Playing white noise doesn’t work.

Holding him doesn’t work.

Patting him repeatedly and hushing him doesn’t work.

Whispering in his ear that he’s sleepy (ie. hypnotising) doesn’t work.

Leaving him alone doesn’t work.

Keeping him up longer doesn’t work.

Not keeping him up as long doesn’t work.

You name it, it doesn’t work.

Right now, he is lying up there wide-eyed and awake and has been doing so for the last hour and a half.

Is this because I used to stay up late playing Text Twist when I was pregnant? But then, the little guy seems to sleep well at night so that theory doesn’t really pan out.

Or is it because Angus is half-Asian and at the age of four months, he knows already that Asians like to deprive themselves of sleep?

Rick’s mum keeps telling me that Rick used to sleep for only twenty minutes at a time and never a minute over. Please, I beg you Angus, do not follow in your daddy’s short-napping footsteps. There is still time to turn back….

My hope is now all placed on you, oh stack of ‘how to get your baby to nap’ books from Amazon. Do not let me down.

Not yet diabetic

So I found out today that I am not diabetic. Yet. What with my father being diabetic and having had two occurrences of gestational diabetes myself, one could safely say that I’m quite likely to get it later on in life. As my endocrinologist put it, “you’re doomed”. Yay! I could of course counter the ridiculously unfavourable odds against me by becoming really thin and getting really fit. So now it’s not just my mother, my father and my husband who think I should get fit. My endocrinologist thinks so as well. I guess it’s time to start paying attention. When is this second stimulus package bonus coming out? My Wii Fit awaits.

Over the last two days, Angus suddenly lost interest in daytime napping. In fact, yesterday he decided to stay awake from 10am till 7pm at night. Needless to say, this caused a certain degree of stress on the part of mummy and daddy, especially when mummy had a deadline and daddy had a migraine that caused vision to become blurry and tingling down one side of his body. In the evening, mummy and daddy realised that little baby had a cold. How did we miss it before? Talk about feeling guilty. Luckily, the little guy slept well through the night and even managed a three hour nap today (which is about to end… yup, I can hear him stirring) so he’s getting plenty of essential rest. Kudos to daddy for being man enough and brave enough to try and suck Angus’ snot out of his nose using his mouth. What more can a woman/mummy ask for?

I blame it on Dilmah

Oh my goodness, I could not sleep last night. There I was lying in bed, listening to the pelting rain and trying desperately to drift away into that coveted state of mind: unconsciousness. I tried lying on my left side, I tried my right side and I tried my back. I tried counting sheep. I tried counting nothing. I tried not thinking at all. At one point I couldn’t stand it anymore and turned on my iPhone to see what time it was. 3.50am. Argh! And then 4.30am. 4.48am. By this time, I’d already checked my emails, updated my Twitter status and even been onto Facebook. Finally, when I heard Rick get up at about 5.30am to put Angus’ dummy back in, I think I managed a short dream. I blame it on Dilmah. Stupid Dilmah! No more tea for Ronnie after 9pm at night.

So there goes my grand plan of waking up at 7am this morning after Angus goes down for his early morning nap and being able to get three hours of work done before Angus’ second feed of the day. Nope, here I am instead typing this incoherent rant at 10.15am, having only climbed out of bed at 9.30am, not having accomplished any work whatsoever and feeling like a zonked out zombie.

My poor little Angus. We finally took him to see our family doctor on Monday about the little red bump on his forehead and it was diagnosed as a Capillary hemangioma (still can’t pronounce this), more commonly referred to as a strawberry mark. Apparently it is very common in children and can grow up to 1cm before regressing and it can be up to four or five years before it fully disappears. Most recommended treatment is not to do anything at all. Rick and I have both been feeling slightly down about this. We can’t help but wish to have it removed – I guess we’ll see what the dermatologist has to say. I can’t help but worry other little kids will tease him about it and I just don’t want that to happen to my little boy. My mother’s ever-so-helpful response was: “I told you you shouldn’t have painted whilst you were pregnant!” (Thanks mum, that’s exactly what I needed. To feel blamed for something I already feel bad about. And to be blamed on the basis of stupid Chinese superstition no less.)

Scrapbooking woes

Oh the mental torture of scrapbooking!

Given that Angus is almost four months old, I decided last week that it was high time to get into this baby scrapbooking business.

Sadly, with my physiological need to have a system for everything, I had to first devise my scrapbooking system slash plan:

Do I get that baby book or this one? Does the baby book actually cover everything i want to record? What if I think of something extra to include? What do I do then? Maybe I should use the baby journal binder I already have instead? Or maybe I should use both? Do I print photos and put them in an album or do I get a photo book printed? If the former, should I get a slip-in album or a dry mount album? What colour should I choose? If photo book, then what size should it be and what theme would look best? Soft cover or hard cover? Do I stick cards into a book or stick them in a memory box? Do I get a brag book? How many should I get? How many pages should each have? Which photos do I put in the brag book? Plus, what sort of things am I meant to keep of Angus’? Lock of hair? Hand prints and foot prints? Nail clippings (gross!)? First tooth (ditto!)? Wait, am I scrapbooking or concocting some weird potion to turn a frog into a prince?

Clearly I am nuts but this is simply how my brain is wired. And no, it is not the sleep deprivation talking.

The upside of all this scrapbooking debacle is that I have had an excuse to visit kikki K and actually purchase more than just the usual pencil. Yes, their stationery is (slightly) overpriced, but I’ve somehow managed to justify the expenditure by telling the voice in my head that I haven’t bought anything since the new year – except for a couple of iPhone apps (which don’t really count) and my disastrous haircut (which I’d written off as a sunk cost anyway).

Whoever said it’s not fun to be a mum?

I want to get (Wii) fit!

That’s it.

I have decided to get fit. I have decided to get Wii Fit.

I am tired of my flabby gut and my flabby arms.

I want a rock hard stomach and I want toned arms (preferably with biceps, even if they’re only miniature).

I want muscles, darn it. I want definition.

I despise my bad posture and the fact that I ache everywhere all the time.

I can’t even pick Angus out of his cot without straining or grimacing. I mean, come on woman!

It’s time for a new Ronnie.

I realise I will never go back to my pre-baby body (no matter what celebrities and magazines like Woman’s Weekly will have me believe), but at least I can try to be fit.

Yes, I am going to get fit! I want to get fit!

And I am going to do it with the help of Wii Fit.

Watch this space.

On holidays last week I finally learnt to relax. Instead of the billion things I usually try to accomplish while we’re on a ‘break’, this time I somehow managed to whittle my task list down to three items, namely (1) complete February budget (2) organise downloaded photos in Aperture (3) update Cameron’s website. This meant I actually had time to lie around and do nothing. It was completely unprecedented. And it was amazing. And surprisingly fun. And so utterly invigorating. Maybe next time I might even only put two things on the list. Or perhaps not have one at all? No, that would be going too far.

Anyway, because I had time to relax, it also meant I had time to read. I’d brought along Mao’s Last Dancer but when the narrator finally arrived in Beijing, I unexpectedly lost interest in the book. So Rick handed me A Year in Provence from the bookshelf. I ummed and aahed for a long time – mainly because the cover looked rather tatty – but I eventually gave in when it became clear to me that I wasn’t going to be able to sit still for more than two minutes without something decent to read. And what a refreshing read it was – it was witty, descriptive and fresh and more importantly, it transported me to a place far, far away. For an hour or more everyday, I was able to pretend I lived in Provence. It is now on my list (yes, I love lists) of Fantasy Places to Move To, along with Japan and the Greek Islands.

In addition to the much needed R&R, Angus floored us on the fourth day by laughing for the first time! Rick had brought him into our bedroom early in the morning, and as he sat on daddy’s lap looking at the both of us, he let out his very first chuckle. We were so astounded we couldn’t help but laugh in response. And as we laughed, Angus continued his own chuckling, which incidentally sounded quite deep for a little baby (Rick thought that it might even have been deeper than his own). I wanted to record the moment so badly, but I didn’t want to risk missing out on any of it by reaching for the camera. I will never forget it though. It was so precious, I almost cried.

As always, we missed Cameron. It was not our first holiday without him but it was our first with Angus and somehow it made us miss Cameron all the more. Especially when we saw that the second bedroom had two single beds. It would’ve been Cameron and Angus’ room when they were older.

I wish I was a writer

I wish I was a writer.

I would sit at my desk, tapping away at my computer and delighting in the appearance of the words onscreen as I typed.

I would drill deep into my conscience to discover all the thoughts, emotions and questions – if any – that were buried there.

I would make cups of tea every hour or so, enjoying the sound of the kettle whistling.

I would write whilst the children napped in the day and after they went to bed at night.

I would have my own desk by the window. The desk would be solid timber and wide enough for me to spread all my writing essentials – notepad, notebook, pencil-case, coffee mug, drink bottle and a few of my favourite books to draw inspiration from.

I would stare out the window at the greenery and the sky beyond, reflecting on how blessed I was to be a writer.

I would print out manuscripts of my work, noting spelling mistakes and scribbling changes the old-fashioned way.

I would write about the things that mattered to me – about God, about Rick, about Cameron, about Angus, about my parents, about my parents’ parents, about being Chinese, about being Australian, about being Christian, about the pain of the past and about my hope for the future.

I would write for my children, for my children’s children and for their children.

I would write so that they might understand that even when life seems small, it is still valuable and when life is hard, it is nonetheless precious.