Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

10 Unforgettable Moments with Baby YC - 6 months of Fatherhood

They say children grow up the fastest in their first 2 years of age.

In the wink of an eye, Baby YC has now passed the 6 months mark. For the occasion, I shall pen down some of the touching/teary moments we spent together, and which are etched deep in the heart.


1) We flew to Vietnam!

So we applied for a passport for Baby YC.

Should we? Should we not? But there is cosmic radiation on planes...

Eventually, we decided that the Mummy should take a trip back to her hometown to spend the last leg of her maternity leave. And for her extended family to see Baby YC for the first time.

"The clouds... can eat or not?"

Vietnam Airlines gave us an additional 10kg for Baby YC. Since he did not require seats, there was no additional cost to fly him. It was a packed flight and we were way back in queue. The airport staff was helpful to secure two adjacent seats for us. #ChangiAirport :)

As first-time young parent travellers, we were extremely conscious of inevitably causing disturbance to other passengers. Fortunately and unfortunately, en route to Hanoi, we were seated near a toddler that kept screaming at the top of his voice. Baby YC ended up being a much quieter boy, not even giving a frown when the plane took off and landed. The toddler's screams later made him cry. But for a first flight, we were so blessed with such a well-behaved boy!

2) Baby YC meets his Uncles, Aunties, Cousins, Grand... Great Grand... 

We thought we were visiting her Grandparents as usual. When we reached her Grandparents' place, we were greeted by her extended family members and relatives who had all gathered for the occasion.

"Yoz Cousin, how ya' doing?"

I did not have the luxury of paid leave to be in Hanoi for a month, so I returned to Singapore and subsequently flew back to Hanoi to bring my wife and Baby YC home. I thought I would have had two weeks of peaceful sleep in the nights, but I was wrong. Ended up missing them in the night :(

On my return trip to Hanoi, Baby YC burst out crying in a way that we had never witnessed, when he saw me. He wailed even louder when I tried to carry him. That was a heart wrenching moment. It is as if he was angry that his father left him for weeks. Gradually, he "forgived" me and the first smile thereafter was reassuring.

3) Baby YC goes on Hunger Strike

Baby YC went into photosynthesis mode for a month or two. Smart of him to know his way of demanding to be fed latched on. Practically did not drink any milk in bottle for the longest of times. We felt puzzled when doctors after doctors were in disbelief of our paranoia. His weight grew with each visit to the clinic, and was at the 90+th percentile as compared to infants of the same age.

Where did all the weight gain come from?

"Like a Boss"

Visit to the clinic

4) One day, he started crawling (in a way)

He turned to his side and tada~ crawl mode. He started pivoting himself and crawling... backwards.

What cha' looking at?

Sitting (albeit unstably) skill unlocked

After 6 months dominating our bed, he now sleeps on his own.

Never too tired to be on his belly ever since

And then this happened

Baby YC growing fast!

5) We go Walk Walk

Inconvenient to go outdoors with Baby YC, but it would otherwise be draining to walk the baby round and round at home.

National Gallery has some fantastic kids activity corners

Enjoying the view munching his fist

Those legs....

6) The Weekend when both of us were away

Clash of schedules resulted in both my wife and I overseas for the weekend.

"I still have my bolster!"

7) Baby YC's Parents became Masseurs

Thanks to Angeline who, as part of her infant massage course requirement, needed to teach a group of parents how to massage their babies, both me and my wife became masseurs for Baby YC.

Baby Networking session in progress

"Mum, what are you waiting for?"

8) Baby Spa

9) #nobodysleepsifidontsleep

"Who's that sleeping beauty?"

"Hehe. Papa I know you are still there."

And when he finally sleeps, we go all out to ensure the sleep is as long as it can get.

Self-invented "Butt locker" to lock the butt in optimal sleeping position

Only parents will know

10) Are we teaching him enough?

We attended some Preschool Seminar and talks to get ourselves prepared for the 6-month milestone. The guilt is strong if we know we could have taught him more but we did not. Right brain training classes looked too stressful and unreal. Music classes seem fun. We are opting for FUN.

Infantcare is of great help for working parents like us, though it also meant less time for interacting with Baby YC during weekdays. Weekends become extremely precious.

It seems like just yesterday that he was born. It was not too long ago that he discovered he had hands, and then he started grabbing everything and shoving it to his mouth. 6 months ago, he smiled, now he giggles and infects us with laughters. As he amazes us day by day with his growth, we continue to draw inspiration from our Baby YC.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Life of a Father Alone at Home on Paternity Leave with Baby - 3 months with Baby YC

What better way to celebrate your son's 3rd month than bringing him to ICA and collecting our passports (mine renewed; his new) together?

Taking Baby YC's passport photo was vastly challenging, and it is not just because I no longer have white walls (passport photos require a white background) at home. He had became a sinister to our phones. When the phone was on our hands, it meant reduced time on him, and he was definite that this is a zero-sum game.

Fortunately, we found a cupboard which was white. My wife held him to his upright sitting position, leaning on the cupboard, and used her hands to support his pendulating body. 

Lesson #1: Never use a lagging Samsung phone with limited storage space when your wife has an iPhone. But which I did. With each lag after each shot taken, it was frustrating. Lucky for me, out of the spam shots, there was a few to choose from.

Baby YC looked very stunned on one, and had a smirk on the other. We chose the latter. And that printed photo on the passport never failed to make my family laugh each time we look at it. The ICA Officer was also smiling when she checked out Baby YC's face with the passport photo.

Here's the contented YK Junior trying to beat my travel records. I am sure he will.

Baby YC has a passport!
Don't ask me where's the missing sock

In days leading to the 3rd month milestone, my wife had to return to work from her maternity leave for 3 weeks due to a major work event. My mother and I took turns to take leave to be home to tend to the little one. That is what Paternity Leave is for.

Taking the same bus to work together after a long long time

Spending an entire day with the little one exhausts me to the last bit of my battery. It also gave me a chance to experience for myself how my wife had to manage caring for our son single-handedly when the confinement nanny left.

The typical day usually starts on an exceptionally high note. Baby YC wakes up gleefully, giving us his best smiles and laughters almost every morning. It is like he had received his full dose of charging and he is ready for the day.

Sunbathing. Showering. Feeding. Nap.

And the window opens for me to clear as much work as possible on my laptop. If I am lucky, I have 1.5 hours to settle some of the urgent matters. If not, I will be pacing around the entire home with Baby YC in my arms until he falls into sleep. If I succeed in transferring him to the bed, hurray. Most of the time, Walk. Sleep. Repeat. Because my arm beats a Dunlopillo.

In fact, I think my walkabout had probably worn off a nanometre of flooring. And my right biceps are probably thicker than the left.

Give me my drumsticks! Nom nom nom...

If only milk bottles came in the form of a baby's fist. At first, Baby YC struggled to place his fist on his mouth. The fist would fly up, go one big round, and might miss the mouth. After a while, he mastered the skill. And there goes snacking on his favourite "drumsticks" (as my Mother coins them). The cutest thing is he also likes to share and feed his Father with these "drumsticks" when I'm near.

One day, few days after Baby YC turned 2 months of age, he started to pay attention and connect eyes-to-eyes with us. It is an amazing thing. He would look deep into us and send love straight into our souls.

The afternoon programme features Mozart music, storyreading, and talking. Baby YC has started to experiment his vocals, though I have given up after repeating "Papa" to him for the umpteenth time. He makes the sound that resembled "Uncle" (more like Angkor) and "Al Gore" (does he even know this is Election Year 2016?). He enjoys being talked to and reciprocates with blabbers (speeches). Children's books are getting more sophisticated. Some left me deep in reflection after reading them out to Baby YC. 

In this month, several unbearable news of bad things happening to other 3-month-old and 2-year-old bothered me, and I believe many parents. Shan't share the negativity. Thankfully, such news were balanced by postings shared in the U Circle of Dads Facebook group and other pages that were useful to pass time and for me to gather some inspiration and energy to sustain the day.

Baby YC dreads being ignored. Attempts to leave him in the bouncer so that I can read some emails failed when he realised someone is around but not talking to him. When I flashed out my phone for a quick check, he would be casting his pitiful eyes on the device. 

He dreads being placed on the mattress, but is surprisingly reasonable and accommodating if I were to rest beside him. He would keep kicking me, while staying peaceful, while I doze off for a while.

The maternal grandfather finally met Baby YC alongside his official visit to Singapore with his delegation. My sister-in-law had also just delivered to a second son. Excited to bring Baby YC to Vietnam to meet his cousins.

Although I often tell friends and colleagues, even my wife, that I so look forward to returning to work, some part of me want to be part of my son's growing up, every day and every moment. I was reminded, when I was lamenting the tireness to someone, that my son will be growing up very fast and this will be a phase of his growth that I will come to miss in due time. 

And indeed. It had been 3 months since I first saw my son.

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 :)