Friday, August 21, 2009

Jordy Loves the Cold!

This bodes well for our upcoming trip to New Zealand. I'm trying to get Jordy used to the idea of cold, you see, and he is apparently rather tickled by my lovely cold cup of bubble tea.

We're bringing him to the doctor on Monday for his pneumoccocal booster jab, and I can't wait to see what he will weigh in at. My guess is he is over 11kg. Height is another issue altogether. It is frustratingly difficult to get a proper measurement, but my efforts have always yielded a figure around the 76cm mark. Ah well, we shall see!

In other Jordy-related news,

* NO, he is still not walking, though he is very, very fast when he is behind his push-toy walker thingy. We brought him to the airport on Sunday and he pushed himself around for about half an hour!

* YES, he is just about there when it comes to self-feeding. Hands, and not spoon of course. He usually does best at lunch, preferring still to be fed at dinner time (probably because that's when he has less energy and patience I suppose). Today, he fed himself one wedge of a tomato-zucchini frittata, one slice of wholemeal bread, 3/4 of a golden kiwi and 12 grapes (cut in halves). Everything has to be chopped up into Jordy-palm-sized pieces, and amazingly, he will feed himself the whole lot, thus freeing me up to have my own lunch alongside him. Very nice and civilised turn of events I must say.

* NO, he is still not saying many words. He now uses "CAR" to encapsulate everything good in his life. "Car" can mean anything from car, truck, bus, cold, cow, food. But he reserves "Bye" for motorcycles and bicycles. "Mum" means me or "Feed me mum, I'm in desperate need of nourishment."

* YES, he loves his new trike, and can hang out in it (when he's not too tired) for a good 45 minutes while I wheel him around the neighbourhood. He particularly loves it when I go up to a few of his neighbourhood doggie friends for an up-close-and-personal canine experience. Of special interest are the noses and ears of dogs.

Oops, huge thunderstorm happening right now, and Jordy isn't settling for his afternoon nap! Gotta go hang out with the boy and his favourite little sheepie. Later!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday Jordy! We Made It!

Dear Jordy,

Happy Birthday to you, our wonderful not-so-little man. I'm on one hand amazed and excited, and on the other ever-so-slightly wistful, that we're all of us here, at this milestone in your life.

Looking at the modest little movie* Daddy and I made to honour this day, the photos and videos do capture some of the tiny, miraculous moments that have come to pass this first year of your being. But what they don't capture is how so subtly, our lives have acquired that much more resonance. As if you've come along and made what was once a perfectly adequate flower bed into a Van Gogh sunflower field. Yes, all the mad swirls of paint included!

Before you came along, I wondered how we would fare as parents, or more precisely, how I would fare as a mum. Your dad I knew, was MEANT to be a dad. If anyone was more suited to dadhood, well, I just hadn't met or heard of them I guess. But your ol' mum here? Well, that's a different matter, heh.

Where your dad has the patience and forebearance of a saint (nay, an aunty out to redeem her coupons: think here of an aunty who will wait serenely for hours to redeem a $2 item with 20 coupons and you get where I am coming from), your mum is err, let's just say a little more hot-headed and temperamental. I am quick to anger but quick to forgive!

Well, I was more than slightly worried about how I'd deal with things when you fussed or cried, and true enough, the first couple of weeks of your life did test me (though now in hindsight, as far as babies go, we pretty much struck jackpot! You never had colic, fussed occassionally in the evenings the first few weeks of your life, and first slept through at three months... but I didn't know then what I know now!). And your dad and I, well we worked as a team, and that team then grew to include you.

Well, if one thing I have learnt from your first year, is that, you, Jordy the Lordy of the House, have taught me how to be a mum; and I think you were a pretty good teacher at that. You taught me that one bad night does not a bad week make, that a child's laugh can heal most anything, that there is magic in sitting at a bus stop and looking at traffic go by, that success is family life writ large, and most importantly, that spaghetti sauce is just spaghetti sauce AND WILL WASH OUT OF MY HAIR SO GET OVER IT.

You, my friend, have taught me to let go of certain things and value what is important. And for that, I am ever grateful.

Well, there is still cake to be had and toys to be played with on this day, so I will end off this special birthday missive with a little blessing that your gong gong sent to the family to commemmorate your birth a year ago.

May each word hold true in your life.

Your Mum xxoo

Irish Blessing

I wish you not a path devoid of clouds,
Nor a life on a bed of roses,
Not that you might never need regret,
Nor that you should never feel pain.

No, that is not my wish for you.

My wish for you is:
That you might be brave in times of trial,
When others lay crosses upon your shoulders,
When mountains must be climbed,
And chasms are to be crossed;
When hope scarce can shine through.

That every gift God gave you might grow along with you,
And let you give the gift of joy to all that care for you.

That you may always have a friend who is worthy of the name,
Whom you can trust, and who helps in times of sadness.
Who will defy the storms of daily life at your side.

One more wish I have for you.
That in every hour of joy and pain you feel God close to you.
This is my hope for you now and forever.
This is my wish for you and all who care for you.

* This is our first attempt at a video using Windows Movie Maker. Very simple to use, and we're kinda proud of the product. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Turnip Fourth Wedding Anniversary

Happy fourth wedding anniversary to me and D! According to tradition (British that is), the fourth anniversary is the fruit and flower anniversary. That's rather lovely isn't it? Better than paper and cotton I reckon! Four years ago this day, we had a blast on a balmy evening in Sentosa. It wasn't our first wedding though. That honour went to a small ceremony several months before which took place in Glenfalloch Gardens in Dunedin.

It was wonderful having two weddings. Two dresses, two sets of music playlists, two cakes, two bouquets (though the second time I just held a gerberra), two parties in two hemispheres!

Sadly, we're missing out on our good friend Lichelle's wedding in the Philippines this weekend. We missed her first wedding in Barcelona. We just thought it would be too much travel too soon for the little Turnip. Ah well, from us to you Lichelle and Rafa, have a beautiful day. And a beautiful life ahead! Two weddings is so the way to go!

So we'll stay back this long National Day weekend in hazy Singapore, and hang out with Jordy as he officially turns one on Monday. What an achievement Jordy!

And on the subject of achievements, Jordy had his first taste of Vegemite this morning! I spread it on a brown rice cracker and his Kiwi side certainly came out. He was shaking his legs as he wolfed it down! This clip was taken right after the Vegemite moment. He had, by then, progressed on to a few Cheerios. Notice the contentment.

Anyway, presenting: How much is that doggy in the window? (Note: I am not known for the accuracy of song lyrics when I sing.)

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Jordy's First Birthday Party, A Prologue on Cake

Wow! I'm writing this after Jordy's first birthday party (his real birthday isn't till the 10th but we thought we'd celebrate a week early as it is a long weekend next week) and we all had a truly lovely time. Birthday boy included!

I'll post more on the birthday party itself in a later post, but I just wanted to capture how much fun we had making his cake. This, despite D's and my differing cake visions (which resulted in a bit of a marital row). Now bear in mind that previous cake decoration attempts were rather harmonious. I mean, just check out our A380 cake from 2005!

I'll elaborate. I basically spent most of yesterday baking - I made three tiers of a 9" round cake, and one loaf tin. With only one round silicone baking tin, that meant baking three times. Used a recipe I gleaned from the superb Betty Crocker cookbook (the retro one that comes in a large ring binder?) - it was the first time I've used Cake Flour instead of plain or self-raising and I think it made all the difference. And the recipe used a surprisingly small amount of butter and sugar so all the more I was for it.

Anyway, baking while looking after a very active baby does have its challenges. Jordy cooperated, sleeping exactly when he was supposed to, and playing nicely while I did the mixing of ingredients. So, what did I do while spending much of the day in the kitchen by a hot oven?

I had cake visions. See, I planned a three-tier round cake, with two little boxy cars made out of rectangles cut from the loaf. Two Volvos on a road if you will, with giant piped letters "Brrm Brrm" below.

So cue this morning, when I am beside myself with excitement at the prospect of making frosting and finally decorating the cake (all bakers know this is the fun part in the whole process). And along comes D with his alternative cake vision.

What the ?#@!, you may so rightly ask. Give the poor mum/baker/coolie her time in the decorating chair! Let her do it her way! But noooo, D came along with his own vision, of shaving the chocolate cake-loaf to resemble one ginormous car that would take up the whole cake, and that just messed with my head y'know?

But guess what? Yes, like an Aesop fable, this story does have a little moral, which is this: Keep an open mind, and the (cake) universe may just fall into place.

So. After whining for a bit, I told myself to let go and voila, two cake visions culminated into one huge, wonderful cake for Jordy's first birthday party!

Presenting you, a little photo-essay entitled: Cake, The Making of.

Firm foundations: Three 9" Round Tiers and a Chocolate Loaf

D sculpting a car out of the chocolate loaf

I requested a little urban hatchback and my wish was granted!

Next, ice the car in a sunny yellow, and notice the innovative use of the better half of an oreo for wheels!

We make a road out of chocolate pebbles and wafer crumbs, and pipe in windscreens, windows and door handles.

We decide at the last minute to make eyes and a face, and I'm told by my nephews that the car turned out looking a lot like Lightning McQueen (and I never saw the movie!)

Last step: Place the ubiquitous "1" candle on cake, place birthday boy in front of cake, cue birthday song on ukelele, and a festive occasion you shall have!