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Definition of a toddler

What is a toddler? From Wikipedia a toddler is a child between the ages of one and three and the toddler years are a time of great cognitive, emotional and social development. Well that is very true, toddler years are the most amazing and life changing period of a child’s and parent’s life. So what is my definition of a toddler? Here’s my top 10 definition!

10. A compact sized little being, aged one to three.

9. Able to make sounds reaching almost 3,000 decibels without even twitching an eyebrow.

8. Has the ability to ensure that at all meal times food will always land on the floor and none in the stomach or any where close to the mouth area

7. Has an energy level equivalent to 3,000 energizer batteries and able sing, dance, jump, hop, clap and eat all at the same time and all day long even minutes before going to bed. (see who is the real master at multi-tasking)

6. Wakes up at 4am in the morning to play or demand breakfast (usually milk) and repeats this routine at least 67973057 times before calling it quits (yes I am still battling with the 4 am night feed and I am going to win this battle, we have 58493878 times to go. Boy JJ you are real stubborn on this.)

5. Has the ability and the urge to pee and defecate on any possible surface and under any situations. (JJ defecated on a 1 day old car seat and the contents leaked out of his diapers and all over the new car seat. We had to make an emergency stop at a nearby mall to clean him and the car seat . Back home, while he was taking his nap, I had to dismantle the car seat and thoroughly clean the contents stuck inside.)

4. Giggles at the simplest things in life (when I say STARS with a smile and emphasis, JJ finds it amusing and gives us heaps of giggles)

3. Able to entice people (and of course pretty ladies in the case of JJ) to give hugs, kisses, winks and love freely to him

2. Plays pee-ka-poo with mummy before bed time. And will cuddle up to mummy and wink or smile at mummy moments before falling asleep. (cuddling is also common at 4am in the morning, not really the best time for cuddles, but I still love the warmth and love from JJ)

1. Able to do all of the above mentioned and repeating it 365 (or maybe more) times a year for the next 2 years.

I love number 2, 3 and 4 in particular about my toddler but it is the rest of the less glamorous, frustrating and angry moments that makes my toddler so special. Sometimes when I look back at the things that JJ had done, it is really funny and amazing in some ways (like point number 5) and it’s moments like these that I will miss most. Let’s see what the next 2 years has installed for both of us and probably this top 10 definitions will change by then.

My toddler JJ

My toddler JJ

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Our trip to Singapore Zoo and River Safari

My sister and me came up with a family tradition where any of our kids turn one we will bring the whole brood to Singapore Zoo. We did that once when my niece turned one in 2011 and now again when JJ just turned one in 2013.

Zoo tickets

Zoo tickets

The last time when we went to the zoo in 2011, they were still building the River Safari hence our main focus was activities in the Zoo then. But this time round, the River Safari has opened its doors and our main focus of this visit are the Pandas, where they are housed. As the name says it River Safari, meant that we are expected to see all kinds of different marine animals and to be exact, mainly FISHES. JJ had seen so much of them in the first half of the River Safari trail (and maybe I mentioned the word FISH like 300 times), such that when we came to a tank filled with small colourful fishes, JJ actually mimicked me and said the word FISH.

Long mouthed fish

Long mouthed fish

Next up the pandas. Wonder why the pandas are placed in the River Safari, that is because they are closely associated with the Yangtze River. Basically, River Safari features all the different rivers in the world and showcased marine animals that resided in these rivers. We only managed to snap pictures of one of the pandas as the other one was a little camera shy.

A sleeping panda

A sleeping panda

Then we went to the giant aquarium for to view the marine animals being fed by the zoo keepers. By then JJ was already dead beat and was sleeping in the pram at 11 am which is not his usual nap time. Maybe all the fish viewing made him really tired. My niece was still pretty energetic and insisted on seeing the pandas again but we managed to cajole her that watching sea cows being fed was much better than looking at panda’s sleeping. Sea cows are actually mermaid-seal like looking marine animals and they are huge weighing at least 1.1 tons.

Sea cows

Sea cows

Well after spending about 2 hours in River Safari, we went to the Zoo for lunch at the Ah Meng Restaurant. By the time we were done with lunch, the sun was scorching hot so we decided to take the tram ride to look at the animals which was more comfortable than walking the Zoo with the kids. We only stopped at the kids play area for the carousel ride (which the kids loved it) and viewed the white tiger before heading home at 3pm.

Carousel ride

Carousel ride

Yes it was a short visit for us at the Zoo compared to the previous time. This time we did not manage to watch any animal shows unlike the last time where we watched like 3 shows. Well, with a 3 year old toddler and a newly turned 1 year old screaming toddler in tow it is virtually impossible to sit down in peace to just watch the giraffes for just 2 minutes needless to say a 20 minutes animal show. Still it is a tradition we try to up keep and definitely we will be back in the future when the brood grows. Wish us luck on the next visit then.

Sis and the brood

Sis and the brood

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Jayson’s 1 year old party (Cars theme)

I read it from a parenting blog and it said something very true about children growing up. “When it comes to watching children grow, the days are long but the years are short”. Indeed, time flies and JJ is 1 year old on 26 June, a day I will always remember. The past year went by like a blur to me. Mainly because I was so caught up with work, taking care of JJ, shuttling to and fro between my in laws’ and parents’ place and thinking of what new activities to introduce to JJ.

So now come the time for me to plan the first kid (rather more like an adult-get-together-party, since JJ has only 3 baby friends to being with) party in my life and I chose the Cars theme. Mainly because it is easy to get balloons, decorations, cake, goodie bags and all the paraphernalia with this theme. But I went one step further, I wanted to have a “car” shirt for JJ to wear during the party. I searched hi and low (well mayb not, I just spent 2 hours one Saturday in Paragon and realised that no one sells a presentable “car” shirt). Hence, I decided to source my own  fabric and buttons and made JJ his very own “car” shirt for the party.

JJ birthday shirt

JJ birthday shirt

Next up the cake. I wanted a race car fondant cake, hence I got Sensational Cakes to make one using Cars figurines from Disney Store. And why there is a mini cooper on top of the cake? Because A love to own the real thing but we could not afford it, hence I specially requested Sensational Cakes to mould one for him. (PS: the mini cooper is still sitting in our freezer now, hope it will last for some time)

JJ first birthday cake

JJ first birthday cake

Then next up the food. We went for a sushi theme because we wanted more of an indoor party. And thank god we chose that because of the recent haze in Singapore we have to be kept indoors. Hence having an outdoor buffet would meant that our food will be haze-stained. We got Kinsa Sushi to provide us with the sushi and making them fresh on the spot for us.

Kinsa Sushi

Kinsa Sushi

Next the decorations, which was simple as I just simply ordered a Car balloon package online and rented a helium tank to pump more balloons. As for the goodie bags for the kids, I sourced them entirely from China and shipped them to Singapore. Lastly the guests, which were the usual relatives and close friends and colleagues. Planning done, time to enjoy the party! (but it’s easier said than done because it took a lot of planning and having some idea of what you want to do).

Goodie bags and JJ pressies

Goodie bags and JJ pressies

The party ended well. JJ was happy I think because when we sang his birthday song, he clapped and giggled. JJ loves gathering and having people around him. For JJ’s 2nd birthday party, it will be different. There will be more kids (JJ’s friends), JJ will definitely give an opinion on the theme he wants, clothes he want to wear on his birthday, running round the house with his friends and JJ will truly enjoy more rather than a simply adult-get-together session. See I am starting to plan already!

JJ the birthday boy

JJ the birthday boy

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Letter to Jayson

Yes that’s right my very first blog post is a letter to my son.

Dearest JJ, you turned one on 26 June and this is for you, hope that some day when you are old enough to read this you will be able to share some of the memories I have of you.

I prayed for you and you came. 10 months later and a good 23 hours of labour pains you came to this world to meet us. It took me awhile to get used to holding and nursing you but you never once rejected me. The confinement nanny came and left when you were 6 weeks old, and I had to take care of you without much clue of how to bathe, change and feed you. The first night taking care of you alone was a lesson learnt for both of us, you cried hard for a good 30 minutes before going to bed because mummy has no idea of what to do. (PS: recently you cried hard before going to bed too because, now being older you just want to play and simply refuse to go to bed!) But hey JJ we survived that and we got a hang of each other’s temperament. We bonded for the next 3 months before I had to return to work and you are left to Gong Gong’s care. I resented that terribly because I always wanted to spend time with you and watch you grow. Also, leaving you at Gong Gong’s place meant that I would see less of you since Mummy and Daddy stays at Grandpa’s place.

JJ at 2 weeks old

JJ at 2 weeks old

Hence I tried to make best of the little time I have with you by making sure that when I am with you I am the only one feeding, changing, bathing and playing with you so that we get maximum mummy and JJ time. But still to me that’s not enough.

Then came when you were 5 months old. You had UTI and that scared the wits out of a new mummy. I cried hard when sending you to the hospital as you could not even open your eyes. I cried hard when I saw the nurses bandaged your hands and placed a drip on you. Those 3 nights in the hospital were tough for you and me, but you were a brave and smiley baby and hardly fussed over the medications, the-every-two-hourly temperature checks and the constant diarrhoea due to the antibiotics. Boy am I so glad that you are well and laughing again.

JJ waiting for doctor at Thomson Medical Center

JJ waiting for doctor at Thomson Medical Center

You quickly put that ordeal behind you and went on to learn new things. You started to roll, flip, flip very quickly, sit up wobbly, sit up well, get up on all fours, crawl, stand up on your feet and finally now crawling at really fast pace that we had to run after you. You learned to giggle and wink at me. And doing those when I am trying to put you to bed after a long day of work. You will be in my arms smiling, giggling and enjoying every mummy moment before going to bed. I too glad that you gave me a chance to do that and I savour every minute of it.

JJ at 8 months old

JJ at 8 months old

We brought you to Europe at 11 months old, and to everyone’s surprise you adapted really well during the 2 weeks. You hardly cry on the airplane rides and allowed most people to carry (maybe because those who carried you were pretty air stewardesses). You loved the snow and cold winds in Switzerland and did not mind sleeping in the pram for 2 hours while being pushed on cobbled walkways in Italy. In many ways you amazed me and you are a lot more than I thought at 11 months.

JJ on train to Top of Europe

JJ on train to Top of Europe

And you turned one last week. I think you had a blast like I did as you simply refused to take any naps throughout the day and wanted to play. This is something out of ordinary for you. To mummy it had been a wonderful one year with you watching you grow from a newborn to a toddler. I do miss some of your baby moments (when you were 6 to 10 months) and sometimes I secretly hope that you wont grow out of it so that I can enjoy more of your babyness. I never thought that I am able to raise, give unconditional love, be patient, cry so much, get frustrated and worry/fuss so much (especially when you are having fever or teething) over someone until you came along.

Collage of JJ since birth till 12 months old

Collage of JJ since birth till 12 months old

Though the time we spent may not be long, but mummy will make the best out of each minute with you as you approach your terrible twos year. May you grow up healthy and happy JJ.

Love, Mummy.