Sunday, May 30, 2010

Goodbye to my trusted Maxima

We have had a very good relationship for the past 1 year and 2 months. You brought me everywhere I needed to go and I know I could trust you to bring me to places safely.

You taught me to drive and gave me the confidence to do many things. I could overtake cars effortlessly and filter out onto highways without much worries. You had everything I needed and more and everything I needed in you were within reach.

You kept my butt (and all 3 other passengers') warm when it was cold, gave me light when it was dark and ventilation without needing to wind the windows down (i dun think I'll ever get to have another car with a sun/moon roof), sunshades that go up and down at a button, storage spaces that do not usually come in a saloon car (where I can keep extra clothings and snacks for AN), power to go as fast as we needed you to (whenever necessary), oh, and you warm my hands when we go out during winter.

You were so quiet when we were on the move, and so very agile. AN could fall asleep in you and ever so soundly. You had a map with you all the time and even though I no longer trust your directions (after you brought me into dead ends and construction sites), I could still see ahead with your map.

You were with us from the start of AN's journey to and from Gymboree all the way till her last. You were with us when AN and I first travelled alone, when AN would kick up a big fuss whenever I strapped her to her carseat, till today when the carseat is just another seat to her.

You brought me to visit friends, something I would have never been able to do without you in Mr Liow's absence. You were as kind to Mr Liow as you were to me: changing seat/mirror positioning was as easy as depressing a button.

I will never be able to find another car like you. You have served us well.

My dear Maxima, I am already missing you. Know that you will never be forgotten and no matter how many other cars I get to drive or ride in my lifetime, you will always be on my mind.

May your next owner be a kind driver and continue to be the good and faithful transportation that you have been with us.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

My Turn at Packing

Mr Liow had been the only person packing before today. AN is super sticky, and demanding. I now understand what others mean when they tell me that AN will be a sticky baby when I get pregnant with number 2. She is unreasonably demanding and stubborn now. Oh. My. Goodness. She can be punished (be it time out or physical) for more than an hour and still refuse to obey.

Anyway, even when she is not demanding, most of the time I have is spent on food preparation and cooking, then feeding and washing, then putting the three year old to bed for a nap and then preparing to make dinner again. There is basically no time for me to pack. Mr Liow asked me to leave packing completely to him and has already done quite a bit by now. But there are some items that I want to account for by myself (mainly my MU, the furkids' and human kids' stuff) and he's left those alone for me to pack at my leisure, which sadly doesn't exist.

So, with my MIL and ah girl and TPF here now, Mr Liow took them out shopping and AN wanted to follow them. All the better!!

I've finally packed my cosmetics into my MU traincase, packed baby boy's stuff into a box according to kind, threw away unncessary stuff, sealed and labelled some boxes that have been left unsealed to squeeze in any last min small items. I've repacked some handbags and kept those that I shall not be using in the next month or two according to their sizes too.

And being very forgetful, I had to go up and down the steps over 20 times in the 4plus hrs of packing to bring things up to be packed.

Finally at this point, I'm feeling what Mr Liow had been telling me: "We're almost done."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Last Day of Gymboree and near end of our journey

This marks the end of our relationship with Gymboree. AN seems to be growing out of the classes anyway, so it was not hard breaking the news to her. In fact, most times now when I tell her about classes after breakfast, she would go: "I don't want to go."

She was the same this morning but I told her this would be the last and that she would have to say goodbye to Christian and Emma for the last time. She then willingly dressed up.

She made a dinosaur out of playdoh for the 2 kids. The usual AN at year 3 will make nothing for anyone. But on this day, she announced to me: "I'm making a dinosaur for my friends."

At the end of the class, Emma and AN even hugged.

The first time we attended a trial session in Gymboree, AN was only 19months. She loved the games and would get me to play with her. It was "ring around the rosies" at that time.

Then we started to meet the same families in classes and got to know them better. Emma was only 18mths when I first noticed her! She appeared smarter than 18months then. She was already speaking in proper sentences and very responsive. Very adorable and stood out in class. When I heard she was 18months, I got worried and wondered if AN was a slow kid. AN didn't like attention and remained very silent in classes and even though she is 5months older, they seem to be on the same level.

Christian was 16months then. The Christian now knows his colours and animals and is vocal in class as well.

As I took trash out just now, I couldn't help thinking about 2 years ago. Everything here was unfamiliar and I couldn't wait to go back to Singapore. I walked slowly around our block while AN was asleep (ah girl is around so AN wasn't alone). The air is dry, weather is cool (had been for the past few evenings), lots of bushes and trees but no proper walkway for people to walk on.

I see that mountain we wake up to every morning and images of it during the change of seasons appeared in my mind: how it was snow-peaked during winter and dry at other times. The tree in our patio that I kept talking about is now covered in pink flowers. It was brown and dull just months back. And when it was fall, Mr Liow would often complain about our never-clean patio. He sweeps our patio regularly but it would never be clean for long enough when those leaves fall.

The clouds of different shapes, the different coloured skies and the many colours that appear at the same time, even plants change colours and animals of all types... There is so much to miss.

I'm going to miss stepping out for a walk without the need to wait for the lift. I'm going to miss not having to walk far far away to get our car and if we forget to lock the car, we can do it from inside the house. I can do my grocery shopping with AN and take my time to bring those bags of foodstuff into the house while AN takes her own shoes off.

Once back, I will have to walk a distance holding those bags of food and make sure AN and the younger one do not run away from me. Even if I do drive, I'll have to walk a long distance to get home.

I am reminded of the high humidity in Singapore, time and again. One feels sticky ALL THE TIME.

Can't say enough of the same thing: Time flies..

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hurting my baby

I fell onto AN who had only stopped crying awhile ago and I think I hit her pee area and she started crying all over again (that was when "what is wrong with you??" came into the picture). I am also wondering what is wrong with me. Clumsy, stupid, can not tell colours apart (can't differentiate blue from grey), always forgetting and losing things (obviously I'm not the only one but who am I to speak up?), does not like to talk to customer service over the phone, does not agree with what was supposed to be right and accurate, frequently appearing to have wierd thoughts on issues. Simply put, plain useless and wierd. Anyway, this 'forever in existence' issue is not the point here.

I was worried I might have permanently damaged something beyond the surface (I din know how hard I kicked her). I am worried I may affect her ability to conceive in future, afraid she may have difficulty peeing tomorrow, afraid I broke her pelvic bone, lots of fears.

My heart aches now as I recall her grabbing her front and crying. Why didn't I fall further away from her??

Really, how more useless can I get? What good am I?

Just Because I Do Not Agree

Isn't everyone entitled to having an opinion if their own? Not agreeing with something doesn't mean I think the other person is wrong. It just means I see things from a different view.

"u always think I'm wrong."

This accusation sounds ever so familiar. It's something that has never and will never be resolved bEcaus unless I have no real opinion of my own, unless I am not supposed to voice out a disagreeing thought, this will always be an existing problem.

So AN is an angel most times. So she does turn into something scary and stubborn when cranky. Real stubborn. When alone, I have to deal with her by hook or by crook. Now I am supposed to end her tanthrums by entertaining her demands because no one else can end it.

And I thought parents were supposed to sing the same tune.

No I am wrong. I do not think anyone else is wrong. I am wrong. No one deserves to stand staring at a screaming child and feel helpless. No. I am supposed to stop all these nonsense.

All those disciplining were supposed to all go to waste becaus baby won't budge. Someone has to end it. It has to be me.

I will bring AN to the hospital with me when I give birth bcause AN will not let anyone else bring her to the toilet, brush her teeth, tuck her in bed, put her shoes on, bath her, change her. No, I was wrong to think that we should start making her realise that I will not do everything for her. No, not unless everyone else is facing a happy and Willing child. Leave the occassionsl devil to me.

"what's wrong with you?"

"you always think I'm wrong."

u know, these words are like switches. They put an end to all discussions and kills all possibly existing tolerance. They punctuate an arguement. The first person who says these words, wins.

Before u ask these me all these questions, ask yourself what you think is wrong with the other person and if you have never thought the other person was in the wrong.

Let the blameless cast the first stone.


Cogburn Ostrich Farm

Took the girls (Ah girl, TPF and AN) to Cogburn Ostrich Farm 2 weekends back. Blogger is not allowing me to upload pictures, somehow. Here's the link to Mr Liow's Facebook Album.!/album.php?aid=174482&id=564867140&ref=mf

It was nice feeding the animals. Does Singapore Zoological Gardens have a petting area??

Friday, May 14, 2010

Chou Maen

I was having one of those sleepless nights and had been awake from 3.48am till about 5am. Then I got woken up by one licking canine at 5.45am -_________-"

The furkids must have gotten out of the kitchen by themselves since who-knows-when. And Maen had to break into our room to say good morning. Baileys was wagging outside the room. It's 6.12am now and I'm sleepless again.

Chou Maen....

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Enjoying the kicks

I'm enjoying the little boy's kicks. It's getting stronger by the day but not enough to hurt me yet.

And Mr Liow felt him bump me on my tummy from inside last night. That was his first encounter with his boy (human). Previously, the little boy was not strong (or maybe big enough) to kick beyond the surface.

He's moving a lot more than I remember AN used to. And AN was gentle. This one at 20th week is already moving so much and is 'rougher' than his elder sister. I hope these little movements that I am enjoying now will not evolve into rough karate or Yong Chun chops in the next few months.

I'm feeling better by the day. No more queasiness, only occassional tiredness (not as bad as it was from weeks back), less quick-temperedness, better appetite (but still not constantly hungry yet). There are still backaches many times a day and they can ache so bad if I do not sit properly or if I put too much weight on one side of my body when I stand. Still manageable with some help though.

They said the tummy looks round when pregnant with girls and 'sharp' when with boys. I don't exactly know how 'round' or 'sharp' should be but I could feel a different tummy shape from last time. AN was higher up the tummy and her movements were mostly in the middle section nearer to the gastric. This boy is always at the bottom, nearer to my pelvic and his movements can tickle me between my legs when I sleep curling up sometimes.

It's like this tummy is drooping while with AN, the tummy was 'pushed up'.

It's my 20th week now. Very fast right? One more month and that will mark the end of my second trimester.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mummy Must Eat More

AN still wants a baby girl and last night during our bedtime chat, she reminded me as-a-matter-of-factly: "Mummy, you have to eat more because you need to make a little sister for me."


Time and again, she would be asking the same thing of me: "Mummy, I want 2 boys and 2 girls."

My baby thinks I'm a baby making machine.

4 more weekends

We have officially 4 more weekends before we leave Tucson for good.

I've not realised time really passed THIS fast!! 4 weeks!?

It will be hard leaving this place :( I'm going to miss the scorching Summer, the still very hot Fall and not very cold Winter. I'll miss the space, the mountains, the friendly strangers we meet on the street and friends we've made here. I'm going to miss the slow moving lifestyle here. When we go back, I'm expecting mad rush everywhere: to work, to catch a bus, to get AN enrolled in a school and I do not even know at which level she belongs to at this point....

Not to mention the very busy drivers on the road who have low tolerance for other drivers (mainly the less courageous drivers like me who will signal and wait forever to cut into another lane...I think I will have to keep exiting somewhere to get to where I need to get or do lots of u-turning one will give way to me like people in Tucson does..)

And no more looking up to see clouds of all different shapes. AN loves to look out and imagine seeing some animals in the sky. That is how I love that this place allows her to imagine. Back in Singapore, she'll only see lego blocks of HDB flats wherever we go...No pink and blue or yellow and brown skies in the evening...

With all my complains, if I am to choose again, I will return. For the friends, for the culture, for the many things that my kids will see and learn from that our little island will never be able to offer no matter how materially rich we may become one day.

I am thankful for the opportunity to be here, for the opportunity that AN got to learn so much from this place, to physically see, to be as creative and imaginative as she was made to be. I pray that we will not be limited to the city lifestyle, that AN will not lose what she has become for the 2 years she has been here.

Thank you Lord for these 2 years.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

One of each: IT IS A BOY!

We are having a boy!

So my slight hunch was right and I was slightly disappointed initially. Both Mr Liow and I. AN was VERY disappointed. hehe.

It was thorough scanning to make sure the baby's heart, lungs and skeletal structure is growing well. And then we counted its fingers, and toes, its legs (thighs and lower leg), arms, eyes, nose, lips (and we were assured number 2 has no cleft lips).

And the umbilical cord is there attached to its 'future belly button', as the doctor's assistant calls it.

The baby has a hand waving "hi" to us (to which AN actually said "hi" back!! So cute. hehe) and another hand trying to cover its bottom. But it was without much effort before we were shown which human category it belongs to (male or female): We all saw something prominently sticking out from its private area (which it was trying to hide with the other hand. How more cheeky??).

It is a BOY.

The moment the doctor's assistant confirmed its gender ("And you have a boy", she said), AN expressed her panic and preference: "Nooo!!!! I want it to be a girl!!"


Frankly I was hoping for a girl, quite badly. I don't know why since I already have one, but I still want another girl. I almost teared (half expecting to see the little birdie) but the most important thing was obviously that our baby is healthy and growing well.

It is 11oz in weight today, head circumference at 16.52cm and some other details which I forgot.

So, we have to start shopping for boy clothings...and accessories...and I can't tell what else we really need yet coz I dunno for sure what boys need!! He needs to share AN's barbie bicycle, bags and erm...what-other-nots.

Here is our male descendant:

5 toes and his side view

The little 'birdie' and him waving "hi" to his sister

After the initial slight 'disappointment', I am actually feeling quite excited now. It's a totally different and new experience this time round. AN is getting used to the idea too.

Welcome to the family little one! The whole family is waiting to meet you once you are done growing inside mummy's tummy.

Praise the Lord!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Baby, see you later

We'll be going for my ultrasound in 3 hours time and I'm feeling extremely excited now.

I have not been feeling the baby's gender as strongly as how some mummies tell me they felt and how sure the baby was not the gender the doctor said it was (wrong diagnosis for this mum coz the umbilical cord was 'there' and doctor said it was a boy but the mum was sure she felt a girl). So, I've not had such strong intuition.

But if I am to guess, I think it's a boy because of the different pregnancy symptoms from my first with AN. Mr Liow is guessing AN may not be happy with the doctor's update today too.

AN has been insisting this is a little sister and seems very confident. She talks to my tummy like she's talking to a girl, asks me to "help carry baby sister" while she pretends to be busy washing milk bottle. She has been holding a pretend baby in a mess of her old baby blanket like one will carry a swaddled baby and tells me: "See my baby sister." Sometimes she tells me I speak too loud and scare 'baby sister', sometimes she sings or makes up her own songs and serenades stuffed toys like one does when putting a young baby to bed. Sometimes these stuffed toyS get to ride in her toy stroller and she informs me: "Mummy, I'm bringing baby sister outside for a walk."

Suddenly last night, she told me she wants 2 boys and 2 girls (still maintaining that this one is a girl though). Told her she can have so many kids when she's married. I don't think I can tolerate 5 children (i won't mind 5 dogs though). She got upset and insisted she wanted 2 of each gender. We were going nowhere in that discussion so we had to distract her by asking here again: "how if this is a boy?"

I had to promise her another baby if this one turns out to be a boy. Hmm...

Can't wait to find out if we will only need to stock up on little girls' clothings up to age 2 or little boys' up to who knows how long... If this is a boy, it'll be too bad for him. No Gap, Guess or Osh Kosh. It's probably only going to be Fox Baby (for being the cutest line of baby clothings at reasonable prices). And he'll have to share girly toys with AN.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Baileys and Maen on TOYS!

I've started giving both of them this capsule-shaped toy that is 2 parts screwed onto each other, that I can put treats inside.
Baileys has been playing with it but not Maen. She's only interested in hoarding at least one, if not both of them, just so that Baileys cannot play with his. She growls at him (and very softly when AN is asleep. That's interesting to note.) when he walks near to the one that she has in her possession but dares not snatch from him if he's in the process of chewing on his. Maen always goes for Baileys' capsule the moment he leaves it alone and starts licking it for a while. Baileys then goes for the other (it didn't matter which capsule to him, it seems. He really likes this toy). It will not be long before Maen gets tired of even licking it and just puts a paw over it to indicate the toys as hers.

Baileys is smart! After just his first time playing with the toy, he almost managed to unscrew the 2 parts to get the treats inside! We were out and I didn't manage to see how he did that. I knew he was the one who did that because he had it in his mouth to greet us with when we came back home, and he continued to chew on it after that. Maen on the other hand, had lost hers (which I found under their bed).

It's interesting to see how both of them react to their own toys. Maen likes hard bones better. She still has this hard bone since she had it as a puppy. Baileys has already outgrown that one. The only thing that's preventing her from chewing on that bone, is Adrielle. AN snatches the toy from her when she doesn't think it's 'chewing' time, and sometimes, she wants to play fetch with them with it. Only Maen will run for that and when she gets it, she starts grinding her teeth with her and does not return.

No, both Baileys and Maen do not fetch. hehe. Adrielle wanted us to get a frisbee for them to play fetch with, which we did, knowing fully well what AN is in for. She will have to throw and fetch the frisbee herself.

That's about toys, Baileys and Maen.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Random updates

I think I'm going to fall sick again. My throat feels dry, and I feel like a dry cough is approaching. Is it the pollen allergy symptom? Or flu? Sigh...I don't want to fall sick again. Even AN is showing similar symptoms like mine...uh-oh..

Oh yes, I've just gotten conditioners for AN because her hair is always tangled up at the ends. The first few times, I washed the conditioner off but thought I could try see if works better as a leave in for once (instructions said I could). The very next day, I noticed LOTS of hair on AN's rubber band as I removed it. And there were lots of her hair on the sofa, her pillow and her bed! She's already got very little hair. I've stopped leaving the conditioner in since then and her hair loss is not as bad now.

I started feeling the baby from inside me a week or 2 ago and today, I noticed I could even feel its sudden movements with a palm over my tummy! It's either starting to kick harder or is nearer to the surface now. I recalled AN was really gentle with me. She rubbed herself against the 'walls' from the inside more than she punched or kicked, so I've never had the experience of watching a palm print emerging on my tummy from the inside.

AN has quite a keen sense of smell. Like I posted some time ago when she actually knew I had chocolates because she could smell my breath as I nursed her, this afternoon, she pointed out: "Mummy, my food smells like oil." She could smell the olive oil I used to make her food! And she is not a fan of olive oil.

We'll be going for the ultrasound this coming Monday and are hoping we will be able to see the gender of this new family member. AN has to repeat herself again and again that she wants a sister. And she is very very insistent. She is very sure a brother will 'bully' her and is already pleading that I protect her if this one is not a sister. She reminded me that I have to give time out and scold the little boy when he's naughty.

It's finally weekend again. I pray AN and I remain well, that this is probably just an allergy and that we will get to enjoy this weekend with the papa.

Oh yes!! Before I forget, a word of THANKS to all who volunteered their face and hair for me to do if I could when I go back! I will update you gals again later because I also can't tell if I will be a suffering pregnant woman this time. I only know up till now, this pregnancy is not as enjoyable as my first. hehe. Sure hope I can do at least a few before baby comes.

Happy weekend to all!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

AN's First Truant

When it was time to dress up for art lesson a while ago, AN started to show signs of reluctance.

She frowned, said she did not want to go and then started rubbing her eyes telling me she felt sleepy. She did not look or behave sleepy and she woke up less than an hour before...

She has 2 more art lessons to go before we cancel her place in Gymboree to prepare for our return but she didn't seem to be bothered. She obviously prefers music to art. Guess we can forget about sending her to art classes back in Singapore since she didn't seem to have this "pre-installed" interest.

Let's see if she gets lazy tomorrow for music.

This lazy bum bum and her first truancy...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Last Few Arrivals

I had been asking if he wanted to get a DSLR from here for the past year and he kept saying yes but not do research on any. I thought he wasn't interested so I stopped asking.

Suddenly one day, few weeks before he left for his Dan Diego exercise, he said he would be getting one, especially since the new baby is coming.

That's the start of his new love, which I can totally comprehend. Hahaha!

I never knew lenses can be soooo expensive! A lens for the new D90 with the same specs that came on our Lumix digital camera costs USD$2K (and over $1k for brands other than those from leading brand names).

But to have the camera and be stuck with a lousy kit lens makes no sense too. So he got another one that's somewhere in between, and one more with higher f-number for the baby.

Hehe. See, a guy who does not spend much is just one who maybe hasn't found an interest in anything yet.

I'm happy that he's so into photography (and constantly learning more lately). He promised to help me update my portfolio when we go back. If my pregnancy doesn't get overwhelming by the time my tools reach me, I'll be on the search for willing face and hair models for the same thing. Hehe. Anyone willing to lend me your face and hair???

It was funny when his lens arrived at the same time my traincase did yesterday. He gasped when he heard mine costs $225. He thought I spent $70 on them. He then said his new lens only cost slightly over $500 and it's costly to make good camera parts with all the calibration, precision and stuff. But my traincase is not just any bag too. It's got rollers, many many compartments and even drawers. Every part has to fit, and makeup has to be easily reachable when I'm working, something a normal bag does not allow. Moreover this bag is so light even with rollers and 2 sections (top & bottom), and I just noticed I can put the rollers onto the smaller bag if I'm not required to do hair (so I can leave the bigger bag at home) It's interchangeable, every part of the top and bottom piece. Hehe.


Was telling Mr Liow that I think I found out why AN likes to play with our things: Each time UPS drops by with something, she will excitedly help open the boxes up. When it's her stuff that arrives, I'll not allow her to play with them or try them on because we are going back to $ingapore (expensive place to reside in) and have to immediately put her stuff away to prepare for packing. But when she opens up boxes that hold our stuff, we get to xplore our purchase. What else can she get excited over besides our stuff since her excitement over her own stuff is always shortlived. She was so excited over my traincase last evening that she kept wanting to show it to Mr Liow the moment he got home from work and went "ta-da!" as she slowly revealed my traincase to him.

She was excited about the lens too and kept posing for Mr Liow to take pictures. She asked to take pictures with the camera, only to be rejected by the father. Hehe. He allowed her to hold the lens cover and that was enough to make her very happy! She came over to tell me that papa's camera was too heavy for her so she could only help him hold the cover. So cute.

She will get her turn at feeling excited over her own stuff when our boxes arrive in Singapore.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Search for a Shih Tzu leading to crazy thoughts

Am online searching for registered breeders with good reviews but not for our family. Just being a kpo helping Mr Liow's colleague look out for one. It's just him, wife and a daughter, maybe 8 or 9 years old. I feel so excited for them!

I'm reminded of our own search for a furkid for the first time, how we met a few before Baileys but Mr Liow did not have eyes for them like how he bonded with Baileys almost instantaneously when he climbed onto Mr Liow as Mr Liow stretched his hand out to touch him. Even Mr Liow was surprised by that moment of 'passion' for what was just an animal to him then. The rest is history and Mr Liow still loves Baileys more than Maen, even though Maen is an obssessive attention seeker who has perfected the art of acting really really irresistably adorable.

And somehow the search led to CKCS pups after 15 mins..... Oops. Hehe.

I know its impossible. Maybe in future but definitely not during B and M's lifetime. Mr Liow said no more dogs after they pass on and he became even more sure after Baileys got hospitalized for throwing up blood and passing loose, bloody stools in 2007. He thought his Baileys wouldn't survive. Thank God for His healing and Baileys was up and about in a week. Mr Liow says he won't be able to take the blow of losing one of them after the other and repeating the same cycle again.

So, no more furkiddos to be added to the Liows for a long time to come. I guess the next time if we ever do, one will be enough. I mean, one whole farm of dogs!!! Wahahahahahah!

I go mad with happiness just imagining that possibility. Maybe I can pray and ask the Lord to store me a dog haven as my treasures in heaven!