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Thursday, 30 June 2011

Cup o' Beans?

I recently stumbled across this post about a so-called 'sensory box' and how every toddler should have one. (See: http://www.modernparentsmessykids.com/2001/01/entertain-your-kids-and-get-stuff-done.html)  It looked messy fascinating to me so I thought I should give it a try. As a trial run, we just started with the biggest tuperware in the cupboard, and filled it with dried black and kidney beans and a few colorful rocks. Then we added a few smaller bowls, funnels, spoons, etc and whala! We have a sensory box. Admittedly, our isn't nearly as cute as the one posted above, although I would love to find trucks like those in the picture since Adrienne loves all things planes, trains, and automobiles.   

Adrienne did seem to think the whole thing was intriguing. She spent a good 45 minutes pouring beans from bowl to bowl and making little bean piles around the room. We also enjoyed an evening Cup o' Beans together, so at least our imagination is working.  I am happy that she is entertained by the whole thing, but not fully convinced yet that it will be worth the mess of finding 'presents' all around the house. I was trying to restrict the sensory box to the yellow rug, but you can tell how well that was working from the pictures. I am imagining beans in my shoes, my purse, under my pillow.... Actually, on second thought, I'm sure she can come up with WAY more creative places than these.  I'll let you know.         

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Say Cheese!

In recent days, I have been perusing old pictures and am reminded of an annoying a unique trait of my husbands.  If my husband has a superpower, I guess this is it because I am sure that mere mortals are unable to slow time in this way.  However, as far as superpowers go, this one seems particularly futile, unless the goal is to drive your spouse crazy. My husband can, consistently, slow time in front of a camera lens to allow himself to close his eyes in all his pictures.  I say he slows time because I know he has his eyes open BEFORE the picture and again AFTER the picture...So what the hell happened during that camera click??

Also, I would just like to state for the record if ever in the past you have not received a Christmas card from us or if you do not receive a Christmas card from us in the future, THIS is probably the reason why.  Also, I admit I HAVE been tempted to send them out anyway, just because I look good in the photo. 

Being a scientist, I do not expect for you to believe me about this without some form of evidence.  So as proof, I present to you the following:

Inca Trail, Honeymoon 2005

Halloween 2006 
Friend's Wedding 2007
Cambodia 2008

Hong Kong 2009

5-yr Anniversary Dinner, 2010

Berlin, 2011

And finally, I pose a terrifying question for you....
Do you think this might be a genetic trait??

Langkawi, Malaysia 2011

Monday, 27 June 2011

It's all good!

Yesterday we went in to the clinic for our 3-D ultrasound.  In my opinion, this is a big milestone in one's pregnancy because 1. It represents the half-way mark (woo hoo!) and 2. Its ~30 minutes sneak peak at the little miracle, with finger and toe counting and all.  We had a particularly nice technician working with us yesterday.  Instead of staring stoically at the screen and taking necessary measurements for 20 minutes (which, I can tell you from experience, is just enough time to nearly drive you into a complete meltdown because you are sure that your baby has 7 arms and no legs or something worse), this technician showed us the entire scan while simultaneously exclaiming "Ah, beautiful!" or "Perfect".  This, in contrast to the other method, preserves the mommy's sanity and allows her to enjoy the full scan.  

Upon sticking the wand on my swelling belly, she quickly turns to us and asks if we want to know the baby's gender.  Luckily we do, because even with the bare minimum experience of looking at ultrasound pictures, I can tell the sex of this baby.  As my husband so eloquently put it, he was "clearly showing his junk".  Of course, we were given 70% odds that the baby was a boy at my previous appointment, but the confirmation was nice (especially since we have been telling everyone--friends, family, co-workers, random strangers trapped in the elevator with us--that this baby is a boy).   

The technician then asked if we had other children, and we told her we already have a daughter.  She said, "Oh, this is good.  In Chinese, the word for good is made up of 'a girl' and 'a boy'".  This was something I had never heard before, so I did what any good investigator would do and typed it into google. Here is what I found on The Oxford Chinese Dictionary:

Learning Chinese characters can also give some insights into Chinese culture and popular thinking. For example, the Chinese character for ‘good’ is 好 (Pinyin: hǎo).  好 is comprised of the radical 女, meaning ‘female’ or ‘daughter’ and 子, meaning ‘child’ or ‘son’. In this particular context, 女 means daughter and 子 means son. In Chinese popular thinking, it is considered a blessing to have two children, a boy and a girl. As such, a daughter and a son makes for good.

Whether this is your definition of good or not, I'll leave that for you to decide.  But I can tell you that we are certainly feeling good and blessed on this end. 

10 Fingers!

10 Toes!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Big Blue Slide

I took Adrienne to a nearby park this morning.  We hadn't been to this particular park for a few months because it is a bit of a trek to get there, but it was a beautiful morning and we were both feeling adventurous.  The last time that we went to this park, Adrienne and I had a blast going down the twin red slides (which I hope you can appreciate in the picture, are one easy flight of stairs up the jungle gym area).  Adrienne particularly likes the slides in this park because they are made of some type of plastic that reduces friction even in the Singapore heat and humidity.  So unlike other slides that stick to your sweaty skin and you practically have to scoot your way down them, you gain momentum on these and can truly appreciate the rush of the drop.  

Today I found out that the red slides were SO two months ago. Adrienne climbed up the first flight of stairs, only to look briefly and disdainfully at the red slides and continue up the stairs to the top of the blue slides.  Now, its still fresh in my mind about riding the red slides two months ago and how, as Adrienne gained momentum, her little tiny body flew straight off the end of the slide and she landed, luckily, on her bum in her padded washable diaper in the semi-soft sand.  Face-plant disaster diverted.  But this is a whole new ball game.  The blue slides are not only twice as long, but the angle of the slide is definitely at a more vertical angle.  Which, by my rough calculations, must mean that the momentum will not be doubled but quadrupled!  (OK, I do biochemistry, not physics, so don't ask about the equations).

Adrienne has already arrived to the top of the blue slides and immediately sits down ready to go, fearless as she tends to be.  And I am holding her from behind, mentally trying to weigh the odds between 'letting her have a little fun on the slides' and 'whats the worse that can happen' (Hmmm, just off the top of my head: broken bones, she can bite her tongue off, crack her head open, ahhhh!).  During the seconds (minutes?) that I am holding her at the top of the slide, she turns to me with a smile and says "Bye" and pushes at my hands.

Whats a mom to do?? So I do what I'm sure I will have to do a thousand times over: I let her go.

Down she flies, building speed and sure enough is launched off the end of the slide. To my horror, this time she lands face first in the sand at the bottom.  However, with just a little bit of cheering from me and the aid of a wet-nap, she picks herself up, dusts herself off, and is ready to go again--on the BLUE slide of course.  

I conquered the blue slides!

Beauty Treatment

Adrienne likes to help me get ready in the mornings.  This day she wanted to get herself ready as well.  No matter how hard I tried to tell her that 'the natural' look is always in, and besides, that shade of blue was SO 20 years ago, she just wouldn't listen.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

My #1 Fan

Does it seem premature to be thanking my #1 fan in my first post?  I mean, how can I have a fan with no posts, you may wonder..

Well, my #1 fan and currently my ONLY follower is my hubby. Truth be told, I signed him up myself to follow me using his email address, although he was sitting right next to me at the time and didn't put up too much of a protest. He is against the idea of blogging in general.  To be fair, I don't think he actually knows what blogging is.  I mean, this anti-blogging sentiment is coming from the guy who refuses to get a Facebook page because he thinks that it is for perverts and pedophiles. (Don't ask. I don't. I find it easier on my sanity this way.). I am quite sure if it weren't for MLB.com and a handful of other sports sites, my husband would find no need for the internet all together. He only has an email address because his work requires him to have it, not to stay in touch with friends and family half a world away. Its true, you can ask his friends who haven't heard from him since 2007. A few months ago, in what I can only assume was a sleep-deprived, caffeine-induced, impulsive act completely out of character, my husband registered himself with Linked-In.  He then proceed to come home in genuine AMAZEMENT that the program had linked him to other people he knew.  He was so excited about these connections that I was surprised when he announced last night at dinner that he had "forgotten" to make contact with any of these people. As a final example of my husband's inability to grasp current technological trends (forgive my liberal use of the word 'current' here), he may also be the last person under 40 who still enjoys his news to be in print.  Yep. Black smudgy fingerprints, awkward paper folds and all.  

That being said, when I announced that I was going to start a blog, my husband became my first and most faithful supporter just like he always does if I'm interested in something. From the moment I met him, he has encouraged me to be me and pursue my dreams.  When the opportunity arose for me to take a job in Singapore, he got on board with enthusiasm, even when that meant quitting his job and becoming the 'trailing spouse'. He never complained once when, over and over, people assumed we had moved to Singapore for his job (since, gasp! who would think we would possibly move for a female's job?). Whenever things are tough for me, he is the first person to remind me that he thinks I'm fabulous--and who else's opinion matters anyway?? When our daughter arrived and my mommy-instinct of lavishing large amounts of attention and time on our offspring kicked in, my husband accepted this gracefully and without complaint. Now, when the weeks and months are flying by more quickly than I could have imagined with my daughter and the approach of baby #2 on the way, he has supported me in wanting to find balance and have time to spend with the babies while they are still babies.  But that is just the type of person my husband is.  I am lucky enough to have found him and smart enough to have married him. 

So, in answer to the above question: Nope, its not premature. Its been long over-due.  So this is my first post and attempt at blogging: a shout out to my #1 fan.