Friday, March 26, 2010

Life Imitates Art (Or, Jordy's First Art Exhibition)

Painting on the left, artist at work on the right.

Jackson Pollock said every good painter paints what he is.

If that holds true, then Jordy is a warm home, framed in a wonderful swirl of greens and blues. He is also a gardener, one hand in the earth, watching the fruits of his labour bloom in pinks and blues.

Jordy's is the green hand on red. His name is written in traditional Chinese in the upper left hand corner.

As D and I were feeling better after a day of (semi) rest at home (D worked mostly in the study, I cooked a batch of Jordy food to freeze), we were both able to pick Jordy up from childcare and head to the Children's Exhibition at Carpe Diem Kidz' new Russels Rd premises. Extremely impressive, and you could see the heart shining through the teachers' and children's work.

I didn't realise the toddler class would be included in the exhibition so was so surprised to see Jordy's efforts on display. He was pretty unfazed by the enthusiasm emanating from us, and just gave us small Jordy smiles as we clapped and whooped in appreciation.

Family shot at the Exhibition!

Halfway through the Exhibition, I was suddenly struck with wonder that the very Jordy who had produced a handprint artwork was once a cell. I know I'm not the first parent to be struck by wonder at that, but if that doesn't constitute a miracle then I don't know what does.

And Family Shot #2, this time with a clearer depiction of the artist's face!

I'm just so pleased we found a good childcare provider for Jordy, and that he seems to genuinely be having a good time there. I can see myself getting right into the whole parent-teacher thing, and the after-school volunteer programmes etc. Right up my alley man!

We didn't stay too long at the exhibition, and left before it officially started (as we were still not 100% and didn't want to risk being there when all the other children's families arrived), so then headed to IKEA for dinner (where Jordy fed himself half the kid's portion of pasta - some landed on the floor and some remained in the bowl!). At dinner, we unveiled his new favourite book - a present from his Mama Maree that had just been received in the post that day! A digger book with monster wheels!

Jordy and his book go shopping at IKEA.

Back home now, D's putting Jordy to bed while I type this, then it's Glee! And tomorrow, I turn 34. Oh. My. God. I will restate that for posterity. 34. Years. Old. I figure it's gauche to be all precious about revealng one's age. Call a spade a spade I say.

So yes, on my last evening of my 33rd year, I'm sitting here on my couch up in the air in my apartment facing the jungle in a tropical island just north of the Equator, my wonderful husband and much-blogged-about son just a few feet away, my health looking good (temporary ailments aside, touch wood), my sense of self, like my teeth, intact, and I'm thinking, Jackson Pollock said, Every good painter paints what (s)he is.

Well if I were a good painter, I'd paint a pretty big sun with a smiley face in it. 'Cos that kinda sums up how I'm feeling at this moment.

Out, Out Damned Spot (of Bad Fat)!

At home today down with a throad infection. D came down with it in Abu Dhabi then I started feeling pretty awful on Wednesday night, and the fever and body aches came yesterday. We suspect we got it from little Jordy, as D's now developed the awful hacking cough that's plagued Jordy for more than two weeks now!

Sigh. But thank God for the wonders of anti-biotics. Can't remember the last time I had to take them, but whatever it is, it's working!

The really, really cool news is that I got my latest cholesterol results back, and... everything is looking rather good! So the new diet and exercise regime is working. And the best thing of all? My Cholesterol/HDL ratio of 3.8 is now in the better-than-average range! Whee!

DATE 29-Aug-09 2-Nov-09 23-Mar-10
Total Cholesterol 319 214 202
HDL Cholesterol 61 44 53
LDL Cholesterol 234 143 135
Cholesterol/HDL Ratio 5.2 4.9 3.8

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Don't you know, we're talkin' 'bout a revolution

Wow, the gaps in my posts are getting huger and huger. The funny thing is, it's not really the working mother juggling act that is keeping me from posting regularly, but more the potent combination of Amazing Race-American Idol-Glee-So You Think You Can Dance + Our new StarHub recordable set-top box.

Which means a) I'll never have to miss anything that coincides with Jordy's bedtime again; b) I can record ANYTHING on the channels we pay for, like say, random episodes of Whose Line Is It Anyway; and c) TV Is just so... distracting! Anyway, bad excuses I know...

So. A ton of things have been going on but probably the coolest has been Jordy's sudden decision to TALK! Yes, as in clear words, not just "geh" or "kah". It's been a l-o-o-o-n-g time coming but it's so fascinating to watch!

So here's a look at the words Jordy is saying at 19months:

1. Daddy
2. Mama
3. Uh-oh (usually after he deliberately sets his water bottle on its side, or overturns something)
4. Baby
5. Bubble
6. Ah-poo (for apple)
7. Air-pane (for airplane)
8. Car-car (for cars)
9. Kou-kou (we think he's referring to gong gong, his granddad, but we're not 100% sure yet)
10. Per-per/Per-ler (for the propellers on his airplane!)
11. Tar (for star)

And just today he said,
12. Two (for the number two!)

Speaking of numbers, he's really into them at the moment. He loves pressing the number "11" button in our elevator to go home, and singing "One, two buckle my shoe" will get him out of most grumpy moods/crying jags.

Ok, going to catch some zzzzz soon. David is on whis way to Abu Dhabi and I don't know whether Jordy's persistent cough will mean it's Sleepless in Singapore tonight so I better make hay while the sun shines (weird metaphor for sleep I know, but you get my drift!). If not it's zombie city at work tomorrow! Till next time!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Notes from an (Incredibly Overdue) Exhibition (Or, A Very Long Hiatus)

Collage #1: Dated from the morning of 6 March 2010, this nuanced piece of work shows a boy and his car as they go off on adventures in the park. Notice the subtle hints of colour linking boy and car, the green a tribute both to the naturalistic setting, as well as to the snot flowing freely from the boy who has caught yet another bug while at daycare. The splashes of red allude not just to the fiery personality of the male subject, but also to the broader context of transport - note how the boy's shoes and his car's wheels are an almost identical shade of red.

Sorry to all for the long silence on this poor neglected blog!

The weeks have passed in a whirr of work, play, and rest. Jordy is now very settled in childcare after four weeks of tears in the morning (that gradually went from distraught "what happened to mum and what on earth am I doing in this noisy, crowded place?!" cries, to half-hearted "waah i don't want mum to go, hey isn't that a cool bird in the cage, hmm I wonder what I'm going to have for breakfast" cries.)

It was amazing to watch him gradually get more comfortable and secure at childcare. And on the Monday of the fifth week, he happily marched in, let me take of his shoes, grabbed his water bottle, and WALKED STRAIGHT IN. Without looking back. On the Tuesday, he turned back and waved goodbye and SMILED! I almost fainted from shock but stood as if like a smiling pillar of salt, one hand raised in a big wave. And on Wednesday, he laughed as the teacher checked his temperature and sanitised his hands, waved and again walked in. It's been like that since and we are now into the seventh week at childcare!

I wish I could capture this precise moment in our lives, because it honestly feels like we've achieved a lovely balance. Jordy seems to be happy at his playschool, he eats and rests well there (he's known as as "third helping" boy, and settles for his two hour nap very easily, doesn't even need patting to sleep!), he's learning new things everyday (e.g. he now knows how to pump a soap bottle, take some soap in his hands and wash them!, he dances to "If you're happy and you know it stamp your feet" and "Ring a ring a roses") and settles back into homelife pretty well after school.

As for me, I'm loving being back at work. I thought I would feel some kind of disconnect, or at least experience some jarring moments here and there. But truthfully? It probably took me a day to transition back to work, I don't really feel like a fish out of water, and it's amazing how wearing nice clothes, some lip gloss and slipping on a pair of heels can transform how you feel inside. And the other thing? I'm loving getting back on the exercise bandwagon. It's gym day and swim day for now, but I may look to add a "walk up Fort Canning Hill" day to the week. But I'm easing into it.

Weekends are more precious, and I probably enjoy my time with Jordy more now, as I have time to miss him. One of the girls asked me at dinner last night if I thought about Jordy a lot at work, and again, honestly? I don't really. I think it's because I work only four hours a day and in those four hours, I feel like I'm making every minute count work-wise. It's like I'm a living PR Agency time sheet where I can account for my time for each project I'm working on! Anyway I'm only into my fifth week back at work so ask me again in a few months and you might get a different answer.

Which brings me back to how I wish I could freeze this moment 'cos it's feeling pretty sweet.

As a tribute to a recent book I read, the excellent Notes from an Exhibition by (the ridiculously good looking) Patrick Gale, I present to you, more notes from an (incredbly overdue) exhibition. All artwork created and curated only this morning!

Still Life #1: Boy and DVD player. This muted scene barely conceals the rich undertones simmering beneath the surface. The boy's eyes are raised to the artist, as if inviting admonishment. This picture paints a visual puzzle in the form of the missing DVD. Where has it gone? Who has taken it? And for what purpose? We are left wondering, even as the boy's right hand curls protectively round his water cannister. But wait, what is hidden in the boy's other hand? Could it be...

A Study in Animism: Here, the boy is shown in a rare state of spiritual reverie. Eyes downcast, he is at peace with the natural world, his energies and intent focused on the green car wrapped in his hands. He is also bowing in the direction of McCafe, which is the traditional scene of post-play replenishment and redjuvenation.

Mother and Child: Through the ages, the mother and child prove to be an enduring subject for artists. In this case, the mother points out the myriad kites gliding through the sky to her firstborn. Excited, he raises his hands and says triumphantly, the word "Geh!"

Still Life #2: Boy scanning the horizon. In this closer study of the Everyboy, he is once again clad in green, set against the backdrop of the urban/natural dichotomy - in this case, the maritime/oceanic split. Notice his resolute half-smile as he ponders what is to come, determined to tackle head on whatever comes his way.