Friday, September 25, 2009

Godpa James Pays a Visit!

Taken just before Godpa tried to give Diet Coke to godson. Harumph.

Godpa James came to visit over the long weekend just passed. We had a lovely time (and hope James did too! heh heh) in spite of Jordy being crankier than usual due to the emergence of his eighth tooth!

Jordy's mama very kindly Jordysat on Saturday evening so the three of us went for a rather spectacular dinner at the new NUS Guildhouse at the Cluny Road campus. We each had a four-course meal, and I think I did rather well choosing a cholesterol-friendly option. From recollection I had

- Salmon carpaccio with mesculun salad
- Lobster and lemongrass broth
- Steamed sea bass on this yummy cabbage thingy with some kind of mashed sweet potato (the menu made it sound much nicer than my attempt here)
- Chocolate cake with morello cherries and vanilla gelato (my one major LDL splurge for the evening)

Healthy (but yummy) main course

The men both had ultra fatty-looking lamb shanks, yeeesh! I'm thankful I went with the sea bass! It was also an exceptionally cool night, so much so that we turned off the outdoor air-conditioner pointed right at us. Was also very nostalgic dining in a campus. I think we all wanted to go off somewhere to do another degree. The short walk back to the car made me realise how much I miss academic life! Though I could do without the rich kids (law students most likely) parading around in their strange clothes and sports cars. God, I sound so old just typing that! Ah well.

Like old times

We returned home to find mama finishing up the Keira Knightley-version of Pride and Prejudice, so sat down and watched the last 10 minutes (the best part in my opinion) with her. Despite the teething crankiness, Jordy slept through but woke up bright and early on Sunday.

Before heading out to town.

We braved town on a weekend and went to ION, had a pretty great lunch at Marmalade Pantry (except the coffee sucked according to the men). Then Jordy threw his first humungous mall tantrum (after I repeatedly refused to let him go near the escalator, which we wanted to touch and walk on) - he arched his back, then curled himself up when I tried to pick him up. In the end, I scooped him up somehow and walked as quickly as I could into nearest store with distractions, which serendipitously turned out to be a cuckoo clock shop of all things! Of course he loved it, and started smiling again. This episode made me freak out a little at this new phase of Jordiness, especially since he is NOT A SMALL CHILD and is a challenge to contain. Will take each day as it comes and say OM repeatedly.

(Aside: After talking to Sandy yesterday, we agree that our kids at least, are not mall kids. They'd much rather hang out in the park, walking around and looking at leaves, than sitting in a stroller looking at purchasable items and people milling around. I don't blame them, shopping doesn't become much fun until you have the means to buy whatever you want!)

The next morning we left bright and early for Sentosa, where D took Jordy for a swim in the sea, I got completely soaked trying to take a picture of them (idiotic splashy tourist next to me) and James had a kaya waffle. Haha! We then went for a l-o-n-g walk (Palawan to Tanjong Beach and back, about an hour) in the hopes of settling Jordy for his morning nap. He went to sleep only 55minutes in the walk, but that left us with some time to get drinks from Coffee Bean after.

Couple of Baywatch extras

We zoomed home after Sentosa to change and meet Dean for lunch at Samy's curry. Delicious, I threw cholesterol caution to the wind and tucked into briyani rice, chicken tikka, bagadil, fried fish, pappadoms, dhal, and veges. I figure the occasional anomaly in my new low-bad-fat/high-good-fat diet is only human, and humane.

Jordy had his lunch too, then wanted to walk repeatedly up and down the garden path. No metaphorical puns intended. That's literally all he wanted to do. Oh, and to squat down and scrutinise the occasional leaf or cigarette butt. One thing this new phase is teaching me is patience. Patience, and to put myself into Jordy's (small) shoes and realise that every day is a new discovery. Even the metal grates that cover drains are of interest to him, along with tiny caterpillars on leaves, and to my squeamishness today, a not-that-well-concealed grasshopper!

After such a lunch, it was a unanimous decision to head somewhere for a chilled dessert. Sped round the corner to Island Creamery, where I had a scoop of their excellent Blackforest and Jordy tried to take over Dean's nutella ice cream. This was only his second ice cream experience, the first being on the day of his birthday. He experienced a full-body shiver, and was the dictionary definition of happy. He even delighted in biting on the disposable ice cream spatula. Then it was back home to see Godpa James off!

Not great lighting, but hey, at least we're all facing the same way!

Well, hope Godpa James comes back to visit soon! In anycase, will be seeing him in November when I take off on my first Jordy-less weekend ever, with the three other yummy mummies, for a weekend of everything and anything in Bangkok. Thanks to our amazing husbands for affording us this opportunity, and of course to our wonderful bubs who teach us each day what is important in life (e.g. an all-mum weekend away to recharge, heh heh!).

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Walk This Way (Talk This Way)

I think it's quite official. Jordy's walking!

And by walking, I mean he's gone from shuffling one or two steps unassisted, to today's whopper of an effort walking from the ipod to the piano. For those of you who have never been to our apartment, that's about 15 Jordy steps!

Most times, he still prefers to hold on to one of our hands, and, like so, can walk around rather confidently for a good 10 minutes.

To honour his new found feet, I brought him to Clarks for his first proper shoe fitting. He is a 5G. I got him a sturdy pair of cruising shoes, which looked breathable enough for Singapore weather as well as our year-end trip to New Zealand.

It really is lots of fun walking around with him. Think this ushers in a WHOLE new era Jordy-wise, not to mention metabolism-wise!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Happy 13th Month Birthday, Jordy!

Extremely tickled by bubbles

Dear Jordy,

Happy, Happy 13th Month Birthday! We had a lovely day today despite the crazy heat. Had a relatively quiet morning playing with your toys at home, then going for a walk around the neighbourhood before lunch. After your second nap, we met up with BFF Olive, who just got back from the UK! We were so happy to see that she is back to her perky self and you two had a low-key afternoon hanging out at West Coast Park.

Mum holds the dinkiest automatic "xiao ding dang" bubble blowing machine while you chuckle in glee

The past month has really zoomed by, and I suspect this will be the way of things moving forward. Here's a tiny snapshot of you at 13 months:

* You love waving at everyone, and clapping your hands when you are happy.

* Your favourite body part at the moment is your bellybutton, which you can point to when we ask you "Where's Jordy's bellybutton?". You come over to me and pull my top up and poke at my navel when I ask "Where's mummy's bellybutton?" You can also point out mummy's hair, nose and ears when asked, as well as your own toes!

* You love putting on shoes, as well as matching shoes together on the shoe rack.

* You can now semi-read along to one of your favourite books "Moo, Baa, La La La". At certain pages, you will make the matching sound, like "Bow wow wow" for dog and you're especially cute when you try to say the title.

* You walked holding on only to my right hand, for almost 10 minutes in the park today. You have taken six independent steps so far!

* Just today, you started doing the Red Indian (sorry I know this is a horrible term, but Native American just seemed too patronising) war cry motion like on the cartoons of old, covering your mouth with your hand going "wa wa wa". Quite cute really.

* I can't think of anything else at the moment, but I will just end off this sundry list by saying that you are very surprising company right now. We never know what new "skill" you will acquire when, and it's all so exciting, watching your individuality unfold.

With BFF Olive at McCafe. Don't worry, Jordy had organic crunchy snacky things, Olive ate half a corn cob, and only the mums had evil things. And even then, I only had a lemon tea because of recent high cholesterol scare. Sigh.

Can't wait for you to toddle alongside Daddy in the weekend. I must admit that's s the image I had in my mind when I first learnt you were going to be a Jordan and not an, err, Jane. My two men walking on the water's edge.

Well, Dad's just emerged from your bedroom, and given me the thumbs-up sign, which must mean you are in dreamland. Have wonderful Birthday dreams Jordy. We love you very much.

Your Mum

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Return of the Turnips (Or, Weekend at Rasa Sentosa)

Jordy slept through the self-guided tour of the beautiful grounds where his parents got married

Just came back from an amazing long weekend at Rasa Sentosa.

The last time we were there was for our Singapore-leg of the wedding, almost exactly four years ago! We lived it up in the honeymoon suite (that had a huge balcony which could comfortably fit more than 20 people) and received the most wonderful service. Now, four years later, baby in tow, we returned and quietly marvelled at how our lives have changed since. No more nightlife, for one!

We had three rooms in total, The Turnips in one, gong gong and mama in one, and the Three Musketeer cousins (and parents of course!) in the other. The rooms overlooked the sea, and it was magical watching the merry lights from the ships and boats sparkle on the horizon at night.

Jordy was a major champ, sleeping soundly in the hotel playpen (first time in a bed with mesh walls. He was a bit perplexed at first but adapted quickly), feasting like a hobbit on a mix of home-brought fruit, jarred baby food and to my happiness, some fishball noodles from the foodcourt the first dinner, and most of the chicken and vegetable broth we ordered from room service for lunch the next day. It was quite a milestone (for mummy at least) watching him eat "outside" food for the first time.

The only down side was the early morning waking we had - he woke at 5ish (!) on both mornings much to our dismay. Needless to say, we were one of the first guests at the breakfast buffet each day, haha. Oh yes, and Jordy very much liked the pancakes, waffles, blueberry sauce and fruits from the breakfast line.

In-room dining Turnip style

We made full use of Rasa's great facilities, swimming every day, playing basketball in the games arcade, and Jordy just loved the toddler's playroom. He climbed up the slide and swooshed down, hung out in a police car, and practiced his walking by pushing said police car all over the place. In between that, he loved playing with his toys in our room, and pushing his walker all through the corridors! He amazed us by pushing his walker into a lift filled with guests, standing patiently while the lift descended, then casually pushing his walker out when the lift reached his floor. What can I say, this kid is made for resort living.

"Is there a problem?" Constable Jordy asked.

The other major thing from the weekend was how he's coping better and better when eating out. He hangs out in his high chair for much longer stretches of time now (plied with entertainment of course. Things that work include: favourite books of a vehicular nature, containers and lids, toys that move and make noise like toy phones, plastic animals etc, utensils, teething rings, Cheerios and Gerber Puffs, his Tolo man, and little cars).

He's also sleeping a little later these days, around 7.45 to 8pm as opposed to the 7pm lights out of the previous year! So it was such a novel thing to have dinner with the whole family, and not be thinking something was amiss because we'd missed Jordy's bedtime. Definitely taken a year for me to vaguely relax a bit about the whole sleeping thing, and even then, I still get antsy when he takes a long time to settle (like tonight, about 40 minutes), but the good nights definitely outnumber the not-so-good nights.

Dinner with the whanau

Anyway, had a really restful time at Rasa, and finished reading Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book there as well. Full review to come, but in a nutshell, my favourite Neil Gaiman novel to date! Enjoyed it even more than American Gods! Now I'm back to reading my first "local" fiction in a long time, Suchen Christine Lim's The Lies that Build a Marriage. Fairly excellent so far, thanks heaps to Phil and Sandy for giving it to me. Ok it's 9.36pm and I'm sleepy. Off to bed!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Last Weekend

Jordy contemplates the flicker of a flame in his gorgeous kimono onesie from Aunty Janice all the way from Kyoto - what you cannot see though, are the unbuttoned buttons near his thigh due to err, severe poppage from his Incredible-Hulk-Thighs

I can't believe it's September already! I've never been more conscious of the passing of time. I think it's because I've spent the last couple of nights going through photos from the past year, and trying to fill in postdated entries into Jordy's baby book - I know, I know, I have been remiss in my duties as chief chronicler of milestones reached - but you know, there are trikes to be ridden, and many grapes to peel!

So last weekend. Started bright and early when I went for a comprehensive health check-up (free with my insurance plan, yay!) and had an ECG done for the first time. Strange and full of gel. Then had a most lazy breakfast while doing annual rereading of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, specifically, The Amber Spyglass - both the breakfast and the book were first rate. I scanned the papers looking for a morning movie to catch - this I must add, was the inspired suggestion of most wonderful D, who was spending father-son guy time with Jordy. Timings were such that the only ones that I was vaguely interested in were a) District 9, b) The Proposal. Gritty, ground-breaking Sci-Fi vs harmles, rom-com fluff. I went with the fluff, and was very pleased with my decision. The Proposal was extremely easy on the eye and brain, as were Ryan Reynold's abs and Sandra Bullocks lovely clothes. I even teared at a few points in the movie! Oh, and I got to check out the brand new cinemas at Iluma, which were lovely. There was only one other person at the 1045am screening. HEAVEN.

Then, went home feeling completely refreshed, and opened the front door to be greeted by the HUGEST smile from the hugest baby. Jordy scuttled over and gave me a hug. What a moment. D looked a little tired but he said he enjoyed his morning. Let's hope so, 'cos I'm hoping to make this a monthly affair! The Time Traveller's Wife next I think! On a random note, I probably didn't choose the best analogy when I exclaimed to David how my perfect morning felt like a scene in David Lean's Brief Encounter, one of my favourite movies.

Aunty Janice came and spent the afternoon with us, which was lovely. And gave Jordy the loveliest kimono-onesie outfit from Kyoto, pictured above. We hung out at home, then all trooped out to Labrador Park (after aborted attempt at going to West Coast Park which was FULL TO THE BRIM with kite fliers and their hangers-on) for a walk. Or rather Jordy rode on his trike and looked at wind sculptures and giant radars while the adults walked.

On Sunday, we went for the loveliest family lunch at Halia Restaurant in the Botanic Gardens. It was Ah Ee Amy's 74th birthday, though she honestly does not look a year older than 65! Jordy wore his little Japanese suit, and was delightfully behaved. The food and service were impeccable. I especially loved my dessert, which was a banana custard crepe and toasted nuts with chocolate clotted cream poured over, as below. And the cake. THE CAKE! That deserves its own post. Suffice to say, we know what we are going to order for my mum's 60th now. No more namby pamby cupcakes. The cake will be gotten from Choc-a-bloc. Yessiree.

I had to quell the urge to drink the chocolate clotted cream straight from the little cup.

While the adults enjoyed our four course meal, Jordy indulged in his own degustation menu. Here you see him on course number 4.5, golden Zespri with a garnish of Midnight Beauty seedless black grapes. After he ate, he smiled at everyone and played with his toys and read his books. He's turning out rather delightfully!

"Garcon! Garcon! Zere ees a fly ein my froot. Ah never mind, I'll just eat it."

After lunch and cake, Mama Daisie managed to score a whole bag of old bread from a nearby kiosk (go Mama!) and the whole family proceeded to feed the turtles, scary catfish and koi in the pond. It was great fun, except the point where Jordy tried to eat the stale bread. Hmm!

Jordy thinks: "I don't get it, why are are we throwing away perfectly good food at those creatures who move so slowly? Shouldn't it be the fastest man/fish/turtle wins?"

After the feeding frenzy, we adjourned to Aunty Dawn's house where Jordy, though exhausted, proceeded to skip his afternoon nap, more interested instead in grabbing his poor cousin Tyan's head. Tyan was sleeping on the next mattress, perfectly minding his own business but would Jordy leave him alone? Nooo. So in the end we brought him downstairs and Dad tried to ergo him to Da Paulo to get coffee but that didn't work so he just stayed awake and played musical instruments with us.

What can I say? It's September, Jordy is almost 13 months old (and still not walking unassisted! Though a speed demon with his push toys), he's on the cusp of toddlerhood and he's definitely getting a mind of his own.

Mum says, bring it on!

Jordy says, "Car!"