Thursday, January 22, 2009

High Chair Antics!

I'm exhausted after an early morning (Jordy woke up at 515am and didn't go back to sleep after!) and a subsequent "NO NAP" day! Agh. In between being grumpy and guzzling various pureed veges, Jordy hangs out in his high chair. He loves it most of the time (save at the end of his feed, where he goes from jolly and content baby to shrieky banshee crying to be picked up in 10 seconds flat!).

Anyway, just thought I'd post some pics of him from his new lofty status!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Happy Belated 5th Month Birthday Jordy (or, a Week of Mayhem in the Cot and Splatters on the Floor!)

96 degrees in the shade...

Since the last post, a kind of mad, happy mayhem now rules in the Turnip household! What used to be peaceful day time naps and deep night time sleeps in the cot have been taken over by chaos and crying! The reason? Jordy learnt to roll over one fine evening (7 January to be exact, 3 days shy of his 5th month birthday)!

D and I went through our regular bedtime ritual with the poor mite, starting first with a nice bath, then a massage (which makes me yearn for one myself!), then what I term "mummy and Jordy time" which is basically a lot of singing, funny faces and tummy tickling, then usually Daddy returns home halfway through mummy and Jordy time, in time for "daddy spectacle time" (no, does not involve D in a Cecil B. DeMille epic) but more Jordy repeatedly grabbing D's glasses from his face and chuckling, then we read a few books, always ending with Goodnight Moon (which I can recite by heart now). Then we put Jordy in his cot, and he usually settles himself after a little cry and a pat from mum or dad (a bit heartbreaking at first, but we both agree that learning how to fall asleep is something we do want Jordy to learn).

Anyway, on this evening of evenings, we put Jordy in his cot, and then there was the usual cry, and then... S I L E N C E. This had happened before, where he settled in literally two minutes, but this time, something felt different. Sure enough, when David went in to check on the little one, he was on his tummy, looking around his cot like he was in Disneyland! Anyway, I could go on forever but will spare you. To summise, Jordy in his cot = mayhem. Well at least until he learns to roll back on to his back! So from peace before, things now look like this...

Jordy inspects all four corners of his cot

In between all this mayhem, I've managed to find the energy to go on walks everyday this week with Jordy. Needed a bit of a kickstart in the old system, but it was certainly worth it. Fresh air I've come to realise, is a panacea for a tired body and mind! And I mean for Jordy too! All this rolling over business has certainly impacted the amount of shuteye he gets as well! Not just ours, poor thing!

Labrador Park has provided much welcome respite. It's been incredibly windy recently which makes the usual humid walk rather bracing. Wonderful actually. Reminds me of all the Wellington walks we used to do. Can't wait to show Jordy Butterfly Creek one day!

Had a rather blissed out moment while Jordy was napping with the wind flapping all around him, I sat on a bench facing the ocean and drank a can of root beer very slowly. My reverie was cut short though by the heavy rain which came very suddenly. Like 10 seconds after this shot was taken!

Weekends are of course also filled with walks (thanks to D, who always has the energy to go for a walk regardless of mood or weather!). We saw the most lovely sight recently on the Henderson Waves bridge on the Southern Ridges walk. A mother and son monkey duo preening for the more than 20 people excitedly crowding around them! I tell ya, it must be the maternal instinct kicking in as I had a little tear in my eye as I saw them in their little urban idyll!

And at the risk of sounding absolutely corny, "mummy and Jordy times" have thrown up many songs buried deep in the recesses of my brain. From fantastic ditties my dad taught me growing up ( who can forget the old favourites Down by the Sea, Where the Watermelons Grow and "Green Grow the Rushes, O") to sappy songs from my youth (Like You Were There by the Southern Sons)! And then this evening, hanging out with Jordy, something kinda special happened, I sang all four or five verses from Perhaps Love, a song I used to rewind and listen to over and over on my walkman, and Jordy stared at me with smiling eyes the whole time! It was magic I say!

The song is by the late John Denver and Placido Domingo (of all people!), and I thought the lyrics kinda summed up the moment pretty nicely :)

Perhaps love is like a resting place
A shelter from the storm
It exists to give you comfort
It is there to keep you warm
And in those times of trouble
When you are most alone
The memory of love will bring you home

Perhaps love is like a window
Perhaps an open door
It invites you to come closer
It wants to show you more
And even if you lose yourself
And don't know what to do
The memory of love will see you through

Oh, Love to some is like a cloud
To some as strong as steel

For some a way of living
For some a way to feel

And some say love is holding on
And some say letting go
And some say love is everything
And some say they don't know

Perhaps love is like the ocean
Full of conflict, full of pain
Like a fire when it's cold outside
Thunder when it rains
If I should live forever
And all my dreams come true
My memories of love will be of you

And some say love is holding on
And some say letting go

And some say love is everything
Some say they don't know

Perhaps love is like the ocean
Full of conflict, full of pain
Like a fire when it's cold outside
Or thunder when it rains
If I should live forever
And all my dreams come true
My memories of love will be of you

ps: I haven't even started on feeding Jordy solids yet! More on that to come!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

Thanks to (Jordy's Godpa) James' recommendation, my 2009 reading habit has started on a most auspicious note.

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, by the previously unknown-to-me American writer Carson McCullers, not only has one of the most beautiful titles in all of novel-dom, it also has one of the most interesting central characters I've encountered.

Published in 1940, the novel is set in in a small Southern town, and follows the life and thoughts of five characters - a deaf mute named John Singer; Biff, the owner of a restaurant, an African American doctor called Copeland; Jake, a Communist instigator and a young girl called Mick Kelly.

The central theme is obvious from the title, but the impact and profundity of the novel lies in the character of John Singer. Each of the other characters see him as their own personal saviour, a blank canvas (or a silent room more like) whom they can freely to share their innermost thoughts and personal secrets with. Each of the characters has their own cross to bear, each is, to borrow a term from Theroux, quietly desperate in their own way. Their loneliness compels them to act, to find their own personal therapy, which in each case, turns out to be regular visitations with Singer. It helps that Singer can read lips and demonstrates an innate understanding of their demons, and the means to calm their thoughts. And this is where the gut-wrenching impact of the book lies, that though Singer is a lifeline for these troubled souls, his generosity of the soul is never reciprocated. Not because the other characters are conceited, but simply because they don't see that Singer himself is entombed in own silent loneliness.

The novel explores loneliness in all guises, the schism a coming-of-age teen feels trapped in an impoverished family, a husband who grieves for what his marriage could have been, two men who are driven to despair because of their beliefs. It also tackles issues of racism, very much remeniscent of To Kill a Mockingbird.

And the most astounding thing? Carson McCullers wrote the novel when she was just 23. To say this book oozes wisdom is not an exaggeration. It's just joined the ranks of my favourite books of all time. Can't recommend it highly enough.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Happy New Year, Jordy!

Facing the new year head on!

Six days into the new year, and I can already feel the wheels creaking into motion, chugging with the regularity and routine of life. It's a comforting feeling really, when so much of the world is in turmoil - I just thank God I'm living in a country where it's safe to bring up a kid, and is relatively bolstered (when compared to some other countries I guess) against the failing economy.

Looking back at 2008, I can't quite believe we accomplished so much, and yet found time to watch all seven seasons of The Gilmore Girls, and the first and only season of the most excellent Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. We started the new year in a vineyard in New Zealand, which also marked the first day of my morning sickness, came back to Singapore to face renovations of our new home, we completed them in just over a month (with the help of a very zealous contractor), moved in in April, D had two overseas trips back to back to Hanoi and Oslo, we traipsed (or rather I began to waddle) across Singapore in search of essentials for Jordy (oh my, he was called Zorgy then!), read a ton of pregnancy books and bookmarked a dozen pages on the babycentre website, then on 10 August our lives were turned upside down, but for the better, and here we are four and a half months later with a wonderful little boy who has been described by others as "pinchable", "focused", "intense", "adorable", "chilled out", "unflappable", "grumpy" and "gorgeous". But to us, he's plain "wonderful".

I normally wonder what the new year will bring, but this year, I find myself in a slightly different state of mind. Yes there are things still up in the air, like for example, what my work plans will be like come August/September, but all that really is just part and parcel of life with Jordy. It's amazing how having him has made me appreciate the present so much more, while of course still planning for the future.

In that spirit of the now, I'm heading off to hang out with he-who-has-just-woken-up-from-a-morning-nap, and would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone reading this the most blessed and happy new year!