Monday, December 29, 2008

The Turnips Survived Christmas (But There's Still New Year's to Come)!

The Turnip present table. Jordy's present from us is the largest box at the bottom. As you can see, it's half-open cos we had to rip into it as the silly thing (a Leapfrog music table) accidentally turned itself on!

Okaaay, so we well and truly survived Christmas! Had a wonderful time surrounded by friends and family, and our life as a family of three seems to just get better and more err, eventful!

Dinner spread at the family Christmas eve party!

Jordy did very well too - even managing to sleep peacefully in his grandma's arms amidst the growing shrieks of his excited cousins as they played pass the parcel! And he's now slowly taking the bottle which is a relief - I'm no longer the primary food source and I guess this means we can possibly start leaving him for longer periods with his mama and kong kong! If we can bear to be apart for him for more than a few hours that is!

"Thank you Mama, for allowing me such a peaceful Christmas eve!"

Christmas morning was truly the most fun we've had as a family so far! Jordy knew that the morning was slightly different from any other. Possibly cos for once, his dad sounded as chipmunky and excited as his mum!

Jordy appraises the Turnip Christmas haul

He loved the musical table he got, as well as all the fantastic, thoughtful gifts from all who loved him. He sat very contented in the good vibes bestowed on him from all corners of the world. He even quietly appreciated his Santa stocking gifts (a dental hygiene set and a medicine dispenser kit for the first aid box!).

Playing the banjo on the Leapfrog music table

Then on Boxing Day, it was off to the pool with Mama and Kong Kong! Mama brought an inflatable seat for the pool, which Jordy just loved. He enjoyed splashing around, staying in for almost 20 minutes! The longest he's been in so far!

Trickle, trickle, splash, splash

In a great show of dexterity, we even managed to bath him without a bathtub! A guerilla operation requiring two adaptable parents, one chilled-out kid, and many giggles and laughs!

"What?!?! You forgot to bring the bathtub?!"

In between all the festivities, we even managed to reorganise the house, now that our new built-in wardrobe has been installed in the study. Jordy's room is starting to look more like a kid's room, and is just begging for some splashes of colour. That's our plan for this coming week!

"Err, yes, I think I quite like the air of quiet contemplation in this new study"

Then today was a day of international relations! Off to meet friends who were en route from Wellington to India, and then a quick drop in to the Borders Cafe to say a big HELLO to Aunty Porcs and her Frenchman who were in town and on the way to a villa in Bali (BLAGH! So jealous!). And Jordy couldn't keep his eyes of Uncle Dean's choco-berry cake.

Gosh I love Christmas!

One of these kids is ready for solids, can you tell me just which one? (Hint: Uncle Dean loves his nasi padang and has been enjoying said nasi padang for some time already)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Best Christmas Baubles Ever!

These must be the best Christmas baubles ever! Sent all the way from Dunedin, New Zealand with love from Mama Maree. They're big, festive, and just simply cuddly! My favourite is the kiwi in his surf shorts, with his jandals, and scoop of hokey pokey ice cream!

We couldn't wait for Jordy to awaken to hang them on the tree, so you'll have to wait till tomorrow to find out which one he likes best! With his build, the All Blacks Santa might just be the thing! Though I dare say if he's anything like his mum, then he's got beach bum written all over his destiny!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I've been so wrapped up in chronicling the life and times of Jordy that I realise it's been far too long since I did a post on books!

Anyway, here goes. In between honing my skills as the Vaudeville act that is Jordy's mom, and resident cook and organiser of all-things-Christmas, I have actually managed to read a bit. Nope, I'm still in the middle of Great Expectations, but have actually finished a few lighter things.

I was rather disappointed with Linda Grant's 2008 Man Booker shortlisted The Clothes on their Backs. I've been eyeing this book for a long time mainly cos I loved the cover, but in the end, the promise was greater than what was delivered.

The simple storyline was promising: a young girl of Hungarian Jewish (refugee) stock grows up in the tumultous '70s in London. How her quiet life is turned on its head with the discovery of a notorious uncle - what are his secrets? why the discord between her parents and the glamorous Uncle Sandor? how did he get the scars on his back, etc etc.

However, I felt the novel couldn't quite decide what it wanted to be. Was it an insight into the horrors of life in the labour camps during the war in Hungary? Or a tale that centred around the growing pains and moral awakening of an opaque narrator? An extended metaphor for how one's clothes and identity are inextricably linked?

The novel jumped around between any of these strands rather jarringly. Is it me or is the quality of the Man Booker list slowly eroding? What we really need is a new Kasuo Ishiguro or a Peter Carey ala My Life as a Fake. Or something as original as The Life of Pi.

Anyway, I've also become horribly addicted to the cheesy vampire Twilight saga. Rather embarassing but even though the writing is so bad, the plot is so strangely compelling!!! Truly a guilty pleasure. I'm on to book three of the saga and while I'm in the middle of these books, think Great Expectations will just have to wait!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Happy 4th Month Birthday, Jordy!

D talks about lack of irony in Singapore. Well, the irony of posing in front of the Ben & Jerry's Chunk Fest is not lost on me here. Yet another rare mother and baby shot. The festival sucked by the way, but the photo opp was great.

Four months on, it's amazing how Jordy has changed our lives:

1. Going out got a lot heavier - more accessories to tote along, a heavier bag, and of course, his lordship himself, all 8+kg worth!

2. Christmas just got better - it's ten times more excitement now that we have our little friend to share it with! I mean, this kid has never met Santa yet, or even tried a gingerbread man! What delights await him?

3. We've both gotten err, broader. Jordy's not the only one who has gained in girth. Sigh... I'm giving myself a year to return to pre-Jordy size! D's getting back to his regular running routine!

4. The ordinary just got extraordinary: believe the hype. And forgive your parent friends if they can't stop gushing or dwelling on what their children do. I used to sit squarely on the other side of this fence, rolling my eyes and yawning internally if someone I knew droned on about the wonders of their child. But now, it's karma back to bite me in the bum! In a big way! The thing is, it feels like a privilege to be able to witness this gradual awakening to consciousness that Jordy is experiencing, and to see the sort of human being he will become. And having taken a year out to care for him, though exhausting at times, is rewarding almost all the time. So I'm not apologising that this blog has turned into a bit of a Jordy shrine, but your kid is only a baby once, and this supernova phase of learning and discovery needs to be documented!

5. D and I are now PARENTS! We still look at each other in wonderment and wonder how we ever got here. Oh and then of course we look at Jordy and wonder how come we waited so long!

The much more common father and baby shot.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Let it snow, let it snow!

If Jordy ever cuts a rap album, this will be the cover shot for the CD. For sure.

It's freezing in Singapore today - a misty, drizzly 24 degrees. All around the city people are togged up in their sweaters and cardigans. We decide it's the perfect occasion to whip out the gorgeous hoodie/onesie Jordy got from Godpa James. To say he was content and snuggly today is an understatement!


We enjoy a wonderful family lunch at the NUS Guild House, Jordy has a snooze, and then it's off to Coffee Club for Jordy's feed. And then we head home to catch up with Aunty Anu who is in town for the marathon!

I may look cuddly but I really am tough!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Christmas Arrives at the Turnips!

Getting into the Christmas spirit Turnip-style: A Five-Step Guide

Step 1: Start with a live Christmas tree. This 6-foot beauty is fresh from the forests of Scandinavia, via our favourite store IKEA. We do as the delivery men tell us and fill the tree stand with ice to preserve the lovely fragrant needles!

Step 2: String some lights round the tree. After a heated debate, I relented and got multi-coloured lights much to D's approval. I'm more of a symmetrical all-gold or all-blue lights kind of girl, but D is all for the happy chaos of a twinkling rainbow! We get special low-heat lights for the tree. They are very light, have multi-functional displays (i.e. can twinkle in many different ways) and only cost $16.90 from that uncle's shop in Holland V!

Step 3: Dress the tree with a generous helping of baubles. Here's D helping Jordy putting on his very own 2008-Christmas edition bauble!

Step 4: Step back and admire your handiwork!

Step 5: It's time for the crowning glory! The star at the top of the tree!

Note: It is critical to put on music while dressing the tree. For us, it has to be our favourite (and only!) Christmas CD, Christmas with Nat (King Cole) and Dean (Martin)

ps: Though I'm so excited about Christmas, I'm filled with some sadness at the recent events in Mumbai, which saw the tragic loss of life of Singapore's first terror attack victim, Ms Lo Hwei Yen. It reminds me that our time on earth is finite and that we only have the time that's been given to us (in my case, I believe it's God-given time) to live and love. So for me, it's a timely reminder to treasure my very own treasures in life every day, and to recognise and give thanks for the extraordinary little miracles that make up my life.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Jordy Stars in Remake of "The Terminal"

At the Candy House, where we were given two minutes to grab as much candy as we wanted that could fill a little Thermos!

Jordy is destined to be a world traveller, methinks. Judging from his reaction to the three times we've brought him to the airport.

Changi Airport is bedecked in Christmas regalia. There's a Disney theme happening, with all the shops tying in promotions to the theme. For example, spend $50 or more on Visa at any outlet and get a chance to spend two-minutes in the Candy House where you can stuff a Changi Airport thermos mug with as much candy as it can hold. But of course we didn't have to do any spending in order to get into the Candy House. The lady at the bookstore - where I had gone to buy a paper - took one look at Jordy and said, "Aiyoh so cute! OK, just for you, you get this ticket and proceed to the Candy House ok? If they ask you where your receipt is, just say it's in the lucky draw box!"

When we got to the Candy House, the young man manning the queue asked for our receipt, but I just couldn't tell a white lie and said that all I bought was a paper! But they still let us in. Talk about the joy of Christmas giving eh?

Anyway think Jordy was a bit bemused by the whole Candy House thing. He was much more attracted to the wide open spaces that present themselves wherever you turn at the airport. And he enjoyed his Sky Train rider to Terminal 2 strapped safely to Dad. He certainly enjoys facing out on the Baby Bjorn now! And holding on to Dad's fingers the entire time!

A rare shot of the three of us! D and I are half looking forward, and half dreading all the kiddy things we'll have to take Jordy to soon enough (e.g. Disney on Ice?! Yikes! But think we'll draw the line at overpriced Barney shows! )

We love the airport too in fact. Not just 'cos it brings back memories of all the great places we've been, but all the places yet to explore with Jordy in tow. We can't wait to bring him to his namesake country - and let him discover the wonders of Petra and the crusader castles! And hiking through the valley at Dana where we experienced two days of pure content :)

But think we're going to start off his wanderlust a little more modestly. A family beach holiday next June! Destination to be confirmed, most likely Bintan, but I'm still dreaming little dreams of all of us renting a villa in Phuket! Though looking at the crappy political situation, who knows what Thailand will look like next year!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Pool at the End of the Rainbow (or, Jordy's First Swim)

Introducing Guest Blogger, Daddy Turnip!

Behind the scenes of The Camel Diaries: JR's stylist makes a last minute adjustment while his mentor gives him a few encouraging words before another grueling shoot.

The air of excitement you can see from this photo was in anticipation of an historic event: today was Jordy's first swim ever. Lucky for Jordy, in his Kong Kong he has his very own professional swimming coach. You can see he is already practicing his stroke with fingers positioned for maxium aerodynamics (hydrodynamics? Hydromatic?)

The anticipation built while we waited for a thunder and lightening storm to pass. Mum, Dad and Grandparents studied the sky intensely as the storm went from little rain drops on the pool, to a thunderous deluge, and back to little drops. Being half-Kiwi, this weather waiting did not phase Jordy, but his swim team were back and fourth like weather vanes in a cross-wind. I am not exaggerating when I say that Jordy and the last drops of rain entered the pool at the same time.

And here he is in his new world of water. You can see his new yellow swim shorts (it was supposed to be his new swim-nappies but they performed one of their dual functions shortly before the swim.) You can also see his natural bouyancy. And his lovely Mum. It was a very happy occasion.

Is it just me or is this bath really, really, big? He seemed a little unsure at first, but it wasn't long before he was smiling and kicking.

He studied the water as intently as we had watched the rain. Was he thinking of all the new possibilities such a large bath opened up?

A rainbow for Jordy's first swim.

Little Cafe Boy is Growing Up!

Jordy the cafe boy. At The Coffee Connosieur with Aunty Su Yin on Thursday. Umm, Jordy the serviette is not a type of food.

Gosh has it been a week since my last post? The days just seem to slip by! Have been recovering from a mild tummy bug which has meant all my spare energy has gone to taking care of the bub. Typing this now as D is off to Botak Jones on a lunch expedition - Giant Italian Pork Sausage meal here I come! Yay!

This week marked more milestones in our new life as a family of three :)

1. I'm starting to teach Jordy how to read! He seems to be enjoying it so far - using the Glenn Doman system. Well at the very least, we're both having fun at it :)

2. Jordy is definitely sleeping through the night now. Woo hoo for the little one! And his relieved parents!

3. He's discovered how to grab on to things with a pincer-like grasp. From rattles, to edge of play mat, to the hanging monkey on his jungle gym, to bra strap (mine!), to his t-shirt, this new revelation is giving him a lot of fun now!

Jumperoo time!

4. We finished watching all seven seasons of The Gilmore Girls. I am in a bit of mourning here - Lorelai and Rory, Emily and Richard, and the inhabitants of Stars Hollow became like family to me! Now what'll I do? The good news is that Jordy is taking shorter and shorter to feed which means I don't have the luxury to watch TV languidly in the day anymore! Now it's more about me becoming the entertainment (who ever thought I could do so many different voices?)! Though I must say I haven't enjoyed anything as much as The Gilmore Girls since The West Wing. D and I are also almost done watching the most excellent Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, the Aaron Sorkin series that only lasted a season (Why, oh why?!). Desperately need a new TV series to get sunk into. Recommendations very welcome! D wants to get The Sopranos but I think it makes for too stressful viewing. Need something with no violence - am seriously thinking of getting the Anne of Green Gables series! Definitely Mad Men when it finally comes out on DVD.

5. He is laughing big, hearty laughs. It's hard to capture him in motion, the picture below is the closest I've come to so far. Maybe it's because it's so much more fun being in the moment with him than trying to snap a shot of him! Heh heh.

"I'm all cheeks at the moment!"

6. And I've saved the most significant milestone for last. On Thursday evening, I went out for dinner sans Jordy for the first time since he was born on 10 August 2008 at 7pm! Phew! The occasion? My mum's farewell dinner from her colleagues (she is starting a new role as a superintendent of schools in December) - the family was invited as a surprise and my dad was the surprise element in the "guess who this is" game my mum played blindfolded! It was a lovely night and though it was odd being without both my men, it made me appreciate what I have more when I went home that evening and saw them both having a boys night in! Don't think they missed me as much as I missed them though, haha!

"What smooth hands you have!"

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Page Turner of a Weekend

Jordy and his dad just before they adjourned to the gentlemen's cigar room.

Most of our friends can tell you that when we were considering names for Jordy, should he have turned out to be a she, Paige was always lurking in the background as a contender. Paige Turner, get it?! B-A-D I know...

But true to his almost name sake, this weekend saw Jordy flipping over the page of his cloth book with his own wee hand, not once but twice! Not a fluke!

And another first this week, for the past seven blessed days, Jordy has been sleeping through the night!!! He goes down at 7pm, then we wake him around 10pm for another feed, and he sleeps through till 6ish, 7am! The other seismic shift is that we have now officially moved out of the little man's room - we're back on our Sealy posturepedic (which is heaven), and Jordy now can enjoy his own space! We suffered Jordy-withdrawal symptoms the first night but the allure of uninterrupted sleep proved to be a good antidote.

Proudly showing off his 7.25kg frame. Did I give birth to John Goodman or what?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Jordy in a Bumbo, Part Two

"Sorry Pooh, no two ways about it. My head is definitely bigger than yours!"

The weather in Singapore is perfect today! It drops to a cool 24 deg, which on this tropical isle three-degrees north of the Equator means only one thing: time to get out the winter woollies! Well, in Jordy's case, wearing long sleeves and pants at home in the day! This cute grey suit is a gift from Jordy's Godpa James, as is his new favourite thing: his Pooh fleecy blanket! He can't get enough of it :)

"Mom! Are you done with the photoshoot yet? I need to get back to Pooh! He's disputing the size of my head!"

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

The little Christmas bauble

Singapore is cranking up into Yuletide mode and I couldn't be happier! D was off work for the afternoon so we went to the Vivo City (thunder and lightning outside and we had to run errands. We're not mall rats! Truly!).

Jordy was in an ultra cranky mood as the poor soul was repeatedly woken up during his nap by the bloody drilling going on upstairs! Today they sank to a new low and drilled in all THREE bedrooms at the same time. There was no safe haven. So I scooped him up and went to the not-so-quiet sanctuary of the mall.

Anyway, the not so good news is that he cried quite a bit and as I was a bit frazzled from the stupid renovation noises, I forgot the Baby Bjorn. Which meant I had to carry him and push the stroller at the same time. Which of course meant that I couldn't go far and so sat at Coffee Bean waiting for D until he arrived.

But the good news is that I DID manage to find the perfect Christmas bauble - a ceramic Christmas truck from Lim's Arts & Crafts- for Jordy for his inaugural Christmas tree! Woo hoo! We're going to get a live Scandinavian tree from IKEA - better still is if you return the tree to the store for recycling in January, you get a $10 IKEA voucher and your tree gets turned into compost! Talk about good corporate citizen.

So as of today, we have started the great Turnip tradition of the annual special Christmas bauble for our special little boy. I love Christmas! Must be about time to bring out my Dean Martin and Nat King Cole Christmas CD. I'm the happiest Christmas tree, ho ho ho, hee hee hee.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Three-Month Birthday Jordy!

Gong xi, gong xi! (Mandarin for Congratulations!)

Jordy is now officially 3 months old! I waited until 7pm to type this post (which is exactly his bed time!) for posterity's sake! Many, many happy returns my little man! I wonder what the origin of the saying is. D thinks it's because when it's your birthday and you get presents, you can return those that you don't like! Any The Phrase Finder explains, "Since the 18th century this has been used as a salutation to offer the hope that a happy day being marked would recur many more times."

So Jordy, in the spirit of the 18th century, I pray that this very joyous day will recur many more times. Even as I think back three months ago to this exact time... you popped out on to the world stage to the sonorous sounds of Ella and Louis playing on our ipod in the delivery room - though for the life of us we can't remember exactly which song. I'm sure it wasn't A Foggy Day or Let's Call the Whole Thing Off. In my mind, the song that plays is the same one that I sang to your dad at our wedding, Our Love is Here to Stay.

Mum... since it's my birthday, can I stay up late and watch Amazing Race with you and dad? Please? (FYI: my answer was, "sorry dude". Wait about ten more years and you'll get to stay up till 9pm!)

To commemmorate the passing of this fourth trimester, D and I present Jordy with his new Rainforest Jumperoo, courtesy of the Robinson's Sale! As of today, it's the number 1 ranked baby toy on And since everything else we have is from this Fisher Price Rainforest range, it kinda bodes well!

Jordy's still a bit young for it, his toes don't touch the floor in it, but we solve that with some Kiwi ingenuity and place a board game underneath him for bouncing pleasure! He spent the first few goes just stamping his feet up and down and looking at the flashing lights on the toy bar. He hasn't even realised the seat can swivel and open up a world of other toys! I can just tell this will be a winner though, as he looks very pleased with himself everytime he gets in!

We gotta work it work it.

Dancing in the rainforest!

And Jordy's birthday weekend was just wonderful! We had lunch at the NUSS (that's the National University of Singapore Society) club which we've just joined, then went to MacRitchie reservoir for a walk around the boardwalks. And on Sunday, had the most enormous burgers at Seah St Deli followed by a very sunny walk at East Coast park!

Boardwalk at MacRitchie Reservoir

Friday, November 07, 2008

Things We Can't Do Without in the Turnip Household

Tummy time with monkey!

It's funny how we've gone from being a minimalist household to not being able to do without certain key items of furniture and accessories. And also consider our great paradigm shift: when did we start classifying baby accessories under items of furniture? Goodness!

Anyway, it's been fun assembling these various items, and even more fun seeing Jordy enjoy them so much.

First up is his rainforest playmat, which has all kinds of funky toys dangling from the criss-cross bars above. There's a monkey, hornbill, giraffe, parrot, butterflies and a big red mirror. Jordy had a long conversation with monkey and giraffe while I hung up the laundry yesterday!

Mummy can you turn up the BBC please? I can't hear the programme over the squeaky toy!

Item number two is his infant car seat and stroller combi. And additional toy bar with more dangly toys! He's happy most days in the car seat, though there are occasions when he still acts up. But nothing like in the early days!

Itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout... and went to dreamland

Number three is his itsy bitsy spider bouncy chair. He loves it and can sit for more than half an hour staring at the spiders slowly moving up and down (the toy bar isn't pictured here). Also notice the weight of the child bearing down on the chair. He's GROWING exponentially!

"Shh, no talking in the theatre mummy."

Number four is a very recent addition to the menagerie and is the wonderfully-named bumbo seat (which Aunty Sheri so kindly has lent us). Jordy loves sitting in it to play with Melville the Mouse (he can now grab Melville and bring him up to his mouth for a belly kiss) and his little teddy rattle. It's also where he sits for story time and finger puppet theatre, all courtesy of the vaudeville act that is mummy. Oh and of course his precious Baby Einstien time!

Jordy and his dad at the Esplanade

And number five is daddy's arms! Now that mine are super achey from the constant picking up, putting down, carrying around, it's wonderful when you have spare daddy arms!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Jordy in a bumbo

These are from this morning. I just couldn't resist taking more pics. Here's Jordy in his bumbo seat which Aunty Sheri has so kindly lent us (she of Hooter Hider fame). He absolutely loves it. He was cooing, and laughing, and trying out all kinds of noises this morning. We had a great old conversation! And I introduced Jordy to Melville the Mouse and he had fun rubbing Melville's belly (today's Glenn Doman flashcard word is "belly" by the way, what a coincidence!).

I think I'm going to have to guard against the couch potato syndrome though (if he's anything like his parents!). He happily watched 25 mins of Baby Einstein (Baby Beethoven) next to me this morning. Had to stop it as he would have been very happy to continue! But looking ahead, think this will be a saving grace if we have to take a long flight. Plop him in front of a mini DVD player with Baby Einstein and we'd be good to go I reckon!