Saturday, June 18, 2016

2 Months with Baby YC

What a growth spurt in the span of one month. The second month with my son drained both of my wife and I more than the first month, primarily because he had to waive goodbye to the confinement nanny and then his grandmother.

The send-off for his grandmother brought him to the furthest place he had ever been from home, and that was the Changi Airport. I would think that he is very fortunate to be able to set foot (not literally) at one of the world's best airport at one month plus of age.

Too bad my son is still not able to verbalise his emotions. Wonder if the farewell to the confinement nanny and then to his grandmother who would sing lovely Vietnamese songs to him late into the night, had had any impact on him.

Sending off my mother-in-law at Changi Airport

It was very helpful to us that my mother-in-law was in town to help us care for Baby YC, as my wife eased and get used to caring for him.

Being the heavier sleeper, by the time I am startled by the crying, my wife had already tended to our son's needs. The abrupt waking also made me groggy and lagging in my situational awareness. I was inclined to attribute the weariness to the fact that I had to work in the daytime, until I took a day off from work (to bring him for immunisation) and experienced how it was like to be caring for him the whole day. I would choose to be the one to work in the daytime (if comparing energy consumption), anytime.

Explaining to my son why Papa cannot be at home in the day

At one stage, we underestimated the importance of burping the Baby well. We thought some gentle pats were alright. And that led to the constant crying throughout the day and night. Thanks to my mother's intervention, we finally got the hang of it. And with each burp (which took some time to come out), we cheered and poured champagne (figuratively).

Thanks to my understanding wife, I was able to balance work commitment, grassroots volunteering and family time. I find myself chipping in for grocery shopping, watching the budget, making the meal, cleaning the dishes, hanging the clothes before heading to meetings and events. All the day's stress and tireness fade away when seeing and holding Baby YC at home.

Being oversensitive, we found ourselves visiting the clinic just to be assured that the temperature of the baby was alright after he lost his voice from crying too much. In fact, we were so anxious at the long wait time for my regular family clinic, that we checked in at a nearby clinic for medical consultation. We duly regretted when we saw the Doctor tried to use a wooden "ice-cream" stick to check our son's throat, and reprimanded us for not feeding him water (!). A simple google search shows first many pages of results telling parents not to feed water to infants below six months. After that dreadful consultation, we went back to our family Doctor, who charged us lesser and was much more experienced.


Relatives, friends and colleagues continue to be a source of support, especially with our queries in issues as interesting as how do we clear the nose, etc. 

It is comforting to see him smiling more often, although we are still unsure if that is emotionally backed. He has also started to look at us when we are talking to him. Our confinement nanny had told me that she was able to see my late Father, and that he was still around to look after the family. It may sound creepy to readers of the blog and probably could be taken as a pinch of salt, but it was of great comfort to me to know that he was still with us and celebrated Baby YC's birth. And hence, when Baby YC stares into the blank sometimes, I wonder if he was near :)

Hotter than any other car sales model

Coincidentally, it is Father's Day this Sunday. We have decided to celebrate the occasion by bringing Baby YC out to the park, something that I enjoyed with my family when I was younger.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

7D6N Tour to Taiwan (Taipei 101), Day 6 - Taipei IOI

Throwback to 18 December 2015
Day 6

Our last full-day at Taiwan! The holiday trip had thus far been relaxing. We had lots of rest through the night. Took our own sweet time to complete breakfast and having absolutely no itinerary to rush to complete. 

To complete our Taiwan experience, we went to the iconic Taipei 101 skyscraper.

Hi mascot, are you looking for your "key"?

Oh, you have a tail!


After getting immuned to the 360-degree breathtaking view of the city, we took a look at the exhibit on the building's tuned mass damper, also known as a harmonic absorber, which serves to minimise the amplitude of mechanical vibrations. Taipei 101's damper was the largest in the World.

View of the ceiling of the elevator as it brings us down from Level 101

We walked into the Taipei World Trade Center 台北世界貿易中心, which was just beside Taipei 101. Coincidentally, the main hall was hosting a baby fair. We were super tempted, but decided not to, since we would definitely not be dragging baby goods back on flight.

View of Taipei 101 from the exit of the World Trade Center

Zhongshan Hall 中山堂, the former Taipei City Hall

And our Taiwan journey comes to a happy ending :)

Monday, June 13, 2016

7D6N Tour to Taiwan (Gugong, Tamsui, Beitou), Day 5 - Hot Spring

Throwback to 17 December 2015
Day 5

Prior to the trip, some Taiwanese unionists who were in Singapore for an exchange programme highly recommended me to visit the National Palace Museum 國立故宮博物院 when they knew I had holiday plans in Taiwan.

In mask because of PM2.5 haze「紫爆」霧霾 as reported in local news

The museum required visitors to surrender their drinking bottles, so we had to take a detour and deposit our drinking bottles at the counter.

The museum had an extensive amount of artefacts. Apparently, most of the artefacts were brought over by the Kuomintang when it retreated from mainland China after the civil war.

Doodling on the interactive platforms at the museum

The museum tickets gave us complimentary access to the Zhishan Garden (至善園), where it gave us a brief respite after the intensive browsing of hundreds of displays. 

We took a bus and left for Shilin Station for lunch.

Cool Bus Driver in Santa Claus attire and handing out sweets to passengers

Steamboat Buffet Lunch

Map of Shilin 士林

After our late lunch, we headed to Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf (淡水漁人碼頭). 

Photo of the Day. Mum the awesome photographer.

Ice cream again, but not as good as the one at Shifen

Shopping time

Just by trial and error, asking around and by intuition, we managed to get by each day of our itinerary well. With absolute no knowledge (and since we had never tried) on hotspring, we went to Beitou 北投 where hotspring resorts were abundant. 

Interesting displays at Beitou Train Station

Even the train is in theme

We "cold-called" several hotels and did our own price comparison. Eventually, decided to go into a decent looking hotel - Jia Bin Ge Hotspring Resort Hotel 台北北投嘉宾阁旅馆花园温泉会馆. We were given a room to check in and a tap in the bathroom was where the hotspring water was channelled out for us.

Complimentary refreshments after our hotspring


Train ride back. Thanks to the always available seat reserved for pregnant ladies and elderly

Back to our spacious bunk