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:: Life :: Bump

I seem to have hit a disequilibrium of late.

Maybe it’s all that daily rushing around; feed baby, pump milk, get dressed for work, get C ready, drop the kids off, get into work for a role that’s somewhat foreign to me, pump milk, get back home to see the kids, feed them dinner, eat (more like shove it down in 5 minutes flat), put them to bed, and lights out for me.

Or the season; short days and frigid temperatures DO NOT sit well with a Singaporean (snowy winter is lovely and all if I get to stay indoors with hot cocoa and no kids).

Perhaps the lack of me time; ALL THAT NOISE from C, from A and from Mr. P ALL THE TIME. It makes me want to give it all up and run away.

I am losing sight of what I’m fighting for, working toward. I am tired, so very tired.

Four months!

Four months!

What a month it has been for our littlest!

Ava started daycare 3 days after turning 3 months, 2.5 weeks before my return to work. True to her easy nature, she took to the new environment and faces without much fuss.

One of the first days in school

One of the first days in school

:: Eating ::

This month Ava had to drink from the bottle at daycare; surprisingly without much protest (thank God). She had major gas issues the first week mostly because she was hardly bottle fed (babies take in less air when nursing). We had the teachers give her gas drops with each feed; she became better with expelling the air after a week and a half.

These days she nurses twice a day (morning and before bedtime) and drinks around 5oz, four times a day in school.

:: Sleeping ::
I hope I don’t jinx it by writing this down: early this month, Ava pretty much started sleeping through the night. She goes down around 7pm for 11-12 hours!

She takes 3-4 naps a day and when we are lucky one of those would be a glorious 2-hour long one. When the stars are aligned, that long nap coincides with Clover’s which means family siesta!

:: Physical Development / Notes ::
Ava is still not flipping. I guess it’s not a big deal given that Clover never bothered with this skill either. She can hold her head steadily and her back is getting stronger. We are sitting her up (with support) a lot more. She sometimes kamikazes forward with excitement, which is awfully cute and funny!

She also seems to be teething; we could see a touch of white at the bottom front of Ava’s gums. Oh the drool! And all that finger chewing, you would think we were starving her. I really don’t remember Clover being such a drool monster; then again she got her first tooth only at 11 months.

Unfortunately this month she caught a stomach bug from school; she diarrhea for the last 3 weeks! It had just about cleared up when she was down with a proper cough and cold in the week between Christmas and New Year.

Good news is she’s just about fully recovered. I pray that she will stay healthy through winter and beyond!

In a too small onesie

In a too small onesie

All smiles for mama

All smiles for mama

Clover and Ava (who is devouring her fingers)

Clover and Ava (who is devouring her fingers)

Love her smiles

Love her smile

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It’s a brand new year and I am starting it on the right foot by booking a holiday to St. Lucia. It makes me very happy given the lack of travel in the last 6 months!

The Irmingers in September 2014

The Irmingers in September 2014

If I have to describe 2014 in one word it would be FAMILY. It was a good year for us and our family; we saw a whole lot of one another. It was also bittersweet knowing that we couldn’t have them near ALL THE TIME.

It was the most amount of time I had spent in one place with my mother and sister in almost 10 years. March would mark 10 years living abroad of what was meant to be a 2-3 year stint, crazy huh? I am thankful for 16 weeks of paid maternity leave provided by the company that gave me the luxury of time with my family. (Singaporeans should really be grateful and stop complaining because paid maternity isn’t the norm in many countries; countries with more generous maternity leave policy also have way higher taxes.)

2014 was a big year for all of us with the arrival of a new baby. Before we could even stop to enjoy our lovely, newly remodeled bathrooms, we found out we were pregnant. Clover took to the news very well (she couldn’t wait for the baby to “come out of mummy’s tummy”) and we couldn’t have asked for a better big sister. She loves her sister so much. We had to cut back on our travel because of the pregnancy; the symptoms though not as severe as experienced by some friends meant I had less energy and less mobile.

In the 7 years since Mr. P and I got together, it’s been one hell of a non-stop adventure.

2007 – we met and moved in together within 3 months

2008 – year of travel

2009 – we decided to get married; planned and executed a Singapore wedding from HK in 3 months

2010 – left our CWB apartment and found out we were pregnant and had a babymoon in the Maldives (heaven on earth!)

2011 – Clover was born and I took an extended maternity leave

2012 – I fulfiled a lifelong dream when we moved to NYC (be careful what you wish for haha)

2013 – we bought our own place

2014 – Ava was born and we became a family of four (Clover wants another baby and got a hell-no from me)

Last year was not without trials and challenges, since we are in 2015, I choose to see them in a positive light; those made me stronger as in individual and us as a family. In 2015, I strive to be present and enjoy what we have (and stop thinking about the have-nots).

Here’s what I would like to share on the first day of 2015: Dalai Lama’s 18 Rules for Living (the ones in bold are what I would like to focus on this year):

  1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
  2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
  3. Follow the three Rs:
    • Respect for self
    • Respect for others
    • Responsibility for all your actions.
  4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
  5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
  6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
  7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
  8. Spend some time alone every day.
  9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
  10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
  11. Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
  12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
  13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
  14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
  15. Be gentle with the earth.
  16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
  17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
  18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

I live in the city that gave the world Cronuts. I have always wondered about the fuss but I’m not one who would get up at the crack of dawn to queue for TWO cronuts (that’s the walk-in limit per person) at Dominique Ansel Bakery.

Guess what? There’s now a preorder site; nothing fancy, has crap bandwidth and is only live once a week on Monday at 11am until the allotted quantity sells out.

One of the last thing I did before the end of my maternity leave was stalking the site on a rainy Monday while the kids were in school. I managed to purchase six (limit per person per preorder) for pick up today (Dec 28). Almost a full 3 weeks after paying $5 plus tax per cronut!

Mr. P, who doesn’t really do sweet pastry, said, “At that price they had better be sensational!”

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My verdict:
It was very good; fluffy, airy layers and not sickeningly sweet like most donuts. Unfortunately December’s flavour was Valrhona dark chocolate and raspberry (I’m not a fan of raspberry). How I wished it was March’s milk and honey.

I had to queue for 30 minutes even with the preorder because of how the bakery splits up the lines – one for walk-in cronut orders and another for preorder and other pastries. There was only one cashier per line. The cashier handling the preorder and other pastries line was so darn slow. She was not helped by the tourists who couldn’t make up their mind after missing out on cronuts.

While I understand that the cronuts are meant to be enjoyed fresh and shouldn’t be packed up too far ahead of time, the preorder time slots are hourly it would be so much more efficient for them to ready the orders for pick up maybe just an hour in advance. Alternatively have those who preordered cronuts AND no other purchases step right up for collection.

In any case I won’t be making a return trip anytime soon. Well unless I can successfully make another online preorder (they were sold out by 11.30am the last time) and have someone else do the pick up hah!

:: Weekends :: Tree Shopping

This Christmas marks our third in the U.S.; time has really flown by. Clover loves Christmas and surprisingly it’s not because of presents (she gets two presents tops). To her, Christmas involves of picking out a tree, decorating it as a family and of course Santa and his reindeer. Perhaps it’s because I hardly take Clover out shopping as an activity, she doesn’t have a tendency to ask for gifts. Right scraped that, she was watching Peppa Pig and asked for a “bunk bed when I am 5 years old so I can sleep on the top bunk and Ava can sleep on the bottom.” (She really really loves her sister.)

This year, when we asked what will she request from Santa, it came right out, “A train set.” And she did not change her mind; not even once.

One of the things we did with while my sister was in town was to go buy a Christmas tree. Boy, was Clover excited all through breakfast and our grocery run that morning. This year because of the added baby paraphernalia, Mr. P was allowed only a 3-foot tree (we’ve always had 5-6 foot trees). Clover also helped pick out a wreath for the front door.

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Amongst the midget trees as Mr. P calls them

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“Is this it Clover?” asked Yiyi

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Here’s our tree

Dada the hero

Dada the hero

Getting ready to top the tree

Getting ready to top the tree

A red star!

A red star!

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“Dada go get the baubles!”

On Sunday we headed out to the NY Hall of Science in Queens for the festive Gingerbread Lane exhibit. Being on the road bright and earl meant not having to deal with cross town traffic in Manhattan. And guess what? Since we arrived before 11am, entry AND parking were free.

The outside of the building were marked by 2 rockets donated by NASA for the Rocket Park. Next to it was a mini golf area. Despite a blue-sky-sunny-day, it was way too chilly for C to explore either.

Rockets outside the NY Hall of Science

Rockets outside the NY Hall of Science

 

Honestly, the Gingerbread Lane was kind of meh; it was a lot smaller than I expected. It took us all of 10 minutes to walk around it. The rest of the museum was fortunately a lot more interesting. It being a science museum meant interactive exhibits which are great for kids and the young at heart.

We had to leave early to take C swimming, but we will definitely be back in Spring / Summer to properly enjoy all its offerings.

Gingerbread Houses

Gingerbread Houses

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No one is looking at Mummy #photofail

This is better

This is better

Someone ate the candy off the roof!

Someone ate the candy off the roof!

Having fun with the wind machine

Having fun with the wind machine

Crazy hair

Crazy hair

 

We have hit the 2 year mark in the States and settled into a home we own. There are currently no plans to relocate or move anywhere and so I really want to take time to finally enjoy the holiday offerings of New York City. Plus with the sister here while I am on the last weeks of my maternity, there is no better time to play tourist.

1. Disney on Ice presents Frozen

Mr. P took Clover for the 11am show on Thanksgiving while I hung out with my Sister (and baby A). Clover enjoyed the show very much and we are now proud owners of the movie soundtrack courtesy of Mr. P. Which means I now have to listen to ALL THE SONGS DURING THE SCHOOL RUNS!

Oh.Joy.

At Disney on Ice presents Frozen

At Disney on Ice presents Frozen

2. Santaland @ Macy’s Herald Square + Build-a-Bear pop up

As a treat, we pulled Clover out of school on Tuesday and took her to Santaland at Macy’s Herald Square. I registered for the fastpass; I am not sure Clover would have the patience to go through the entire North Pole Village. She got to sit on Santa’s lap and asked for a train set for Christmas.

The ladies and Santa at Santaland

The ladies and Santa at Santaland

My sister, who has to fly back before Christmas, then took her to Build-a-Bear Workshop for Clover to choose her Christmas present. Guess what? There was a Frozen themed Elsa bear which, according to the sales assistant, came out about a month ago. I cannot believe how popular Frozen still is, more than a year after it came out.

With Elsa bear and her loving aunt

With Elsa bear and her loving aunt

Here are some of the other activities I plan on doing this or next weekend with the kids and Mr. P.

3. Gingerbread Lane at the New York Hall of Science (likely this Sunday)

4. Holiday Train Show at The New York Botanical Gardens (possibly the last weekend before Christmas)

Since Mr. P took Clover to Frozen on Ice, he suggested I take her for a Mummy & Clover afternoon at The Grinch Who Stole Christmas Musical. Thanks to the Cyber Monday sale, I purchase tickets using a BOGO offer. We will be watching the Dec 14th show, the day after her ballet Winter Recital.

And when the sister and BIL gets back from their week in Boston and D.C., we are heading to the Food Hall at Plaza Hotel,  more Christmas markets (we did the Bryant Park one on Monday) and more holiday window displays (along 5th and Madison Avenues).

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