A mother’s heart

Elliott’s current favourite game is a cross between hide and seek and peekaboo. He will hide (usually behind my back) and I’d go: “Uh oh, where’s Elliott? Mummy can’t see Elliott. Where’s Ellllllliottttt? Where did he go?” I’d then pretend to look high and low while he giggles behind my back. Very very cute.

Last evening, I was over at the in-laws to pick him up as per our usual weekday routine. While waiting for the MIL to set out dinner, I was playing our usual peekaboo/hide-and-seek game with him except that this time, he was crawling about at high speed on the inflatable play island that we got for a steal from Early Learning Centre. He was hiding inside the inflatable tunnel and crawling in and out of it, giggling loudly as he hid from me.

IMG_2213

I had a fleeting thought in my head (is this what you call mother’s instincts?!) that at the speed he’s going, there might be a chance that he may slip (the plastic sheet is a little slippery). He was also wearing long pants which doesn’t help. Photo above was taken a few weeks ago.

Before I could tell him to stop/calm down, it happened.

He slipped while crawling out of the tunnel, landing on his chin (butt in the air). I quickly picked him up and to my horror, there was blood on his lower lip. He screamed, probably in shock and pain. I held him close to comfort him. He was inconsolable for a good 30 seconds or so. Think big fat tears streaming down his face.

And in that short 30 seconds or so, my heart broke for a bit.

IMG_2478 (1)

And yes, his injury left a blood stain on my work dress. But that was the least of my worries.

I quickly checked that he hasn’t broken any tooth (none, thankfully) and amazingly, after about a minute or so of hysterical crying, he calmed down, smiled and said: Bor! (ball)

Oh my silly little bubu. It may have only been a small superficial wound but my heart, it broke a little to see you hurt.

I know that injuries are part and parcel of growing up, especially for very active boys, and I can only hope that my heart is not put through too many of such instances.

miss ene goes cycling

Three years ago, the boy gifted me with a bicycle. The poor bike had been languishing in a corner since I got pregnant (cannot cycle) and after Elliott was born, caring for him left me with even less time for leisure cycling. We live near a park connector and the boy decided that he will cycle to work as it is probably easier than waiting for the (crowded) bus. Also, it will enable us to cycle as a family again, this time with Elliott in tow.

We did a bit of research and the boy decided that a child seat that is mounted in front is better than one at the back. We thought that it would be good that we can point out the sights to Elliott as we cycled as opposed to him staring into his Daddy’s back.

IMG_2059

We decided on the Yepp Mini and eventually bought it (with a new Merida bicycle for the boy) from Cycle Craft along East Coast Road. They were were the ones who carried the Yepp child seat.

Since we got the bike situation sorted out, we have been cycling to check out our neighbourhood. One weekend, we cycled to East Coast Park. It was so so hot! Check out Elliott’s face. Before you report us to Child Services, please know that he simply refused to put on his sun hat, nor his sunglasses. Pfffft. I did slap on loads of sunblock for him though but forgot to put on any for myself so I got quite sunburnt. Doh.

IMG_2139-001

The boy would take Elliott in the Yepp seat while Moon goes into the basket with me. We only let her run alongside our bicycles when the ground is shaded.

IMG_2144-001

We had brunch at Killiney Kopitiam (it shares a space with Cheers convenience store) which is located right at the edge of Parkland Green. We almost settled for Starbucks Cafe as most of the eateries weren’t open but I was glad for a local-style breakfast.

On our ride back, Elliott started to get fussy but before long, he fell asleep. The constant movement of the bike with the wind in his face must have been lulling.

cycling

As you can see, the poor husband had to cycle with one hand with the other supporting his napping son. When we got home, we were stuck with a dilemma:

To remove him from the child seat so that he is more comfortable, but risk waking him? Or to let him remain in it until he wakes himself up?

IMG_2152-001

Well, the choice was clear – we did not want to wake a sleeping baby. Hehe. For the record, he did not last very long in this position and was awake in about 20 minutes.

Other than East Coast, we have also cycled (6km ONE WAY!) to Gardens By The Bay where we learnt that cycling within the parks is prohibited. You can only cycle at the fringe roads but not within the park itself.

Can’t wait for more cycling adventures!

Beauty and the Beast: The Musical

IMG_2371

Last evening, the boy and I went on a rare date night out on a weekday. Our lives pretty much revolve around the little man so it was a special evening out for just the two of us. In case anyone’s wondering, Elliott was in the good hands of the in-laws.

From the same producers of The Lion King (which we enjoyed immensely), Beauty and the Beast is based on the 1991 animated feature film, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. The musical premiered on Broadway in 1994 and ran for 13 years. It is still ranked as one of the longest-running and highest-grossing Broadway shows of all time. As part of the musical’s 20th anniversary, the original Broadway creative team reunited to take the production to over 12 countries for the first-ever international tour. Singapore is the 4th stop after UAE, Philippines and Thailand.

I was, and still am, a huge fan of Disney. I grew up watching Beauty and the Beast on videotape (ok, now I sound old) and still remember clearly the scene where the singing and dancing cutleries/dishes sang “Be Our Guest“.

7D6341

Ah, childhood memories.

The boy do not remember watching it so I gave him a quick run-down of the story which is about Belle, a young lady in a provincial town, and the Beast who is really a young prince trapped in a spell placed by an enchantress. If the Beast learns how to love and to be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self.

BB9B5205

The musical was pretty similar to the movie so if, like me, you watched it as a kid, you will recognise familiar tunes, like “Little Town” and “Something there”. Of course, I was waiting for that classic scene where Beast and Belle enjoy dinner and a dance. When it came on, I was grinning like a kid in the darkened theatre and singing along. It’s amazing how I still remember the lyrics. You can check out some scenes of the musical here.

7D5323

The title character of Belle, played by Hilary Maiberger is the splitting image of Belle (from the cartoon) and her voice is AMAZING. I was captivated everytime she sang and wished (again) that I could sing like that. Hur hur. She is also dating her co-star who plays the Beast. That’s convenient :)

BB6933

Here are some fun facts about the production:

  • The musical contains 6 songs from the film and one song that was cut from the film has been restored for the musical, joining 6 original songs written for the musical.
  • There is a hidden “Mickey” in the tavern set drop!
  • The production uses 81 wigs (phwah).
  • There are 67 LED lights on the magic mirror.
  • 36 mugs were used in Gaston’s tavern.
  • The Feather Duster’s name is Babette. In the film, it never says her name, just like the wardrobe.
  • The Wardrobe in Belle’s room (unnamed in the Disney film) is called Madame de la Grande Bouche and revealed to be a former famous opera diva.
  • A scene only briefly seen in the background in the film is expanded upon, where Belle teaches the Beast to read. Additionally, the book they read in the film is Romeo & Juliet while in the musical it is King Arthur.

7D5966

As it turns out, Disney is producing a live-action Beauty and the Beast, slated for a 2017 release. The cast is pretty spectacular with Emma Watson as Belle, Luke Evans as Gaston, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts and Sir Ian McKellen as Cogsworth! Ooh, I did think that McKellen would fit the bill perfectly as Cogsworth which was one of my favourite characters in the musical as well. Did you know that Hugh Jackman also played Gaston in 1995 version of the musical in Australia?

Tickets from $65 at SISTIC and it will close on 3 May so you have about 2 weeks to catch it!

Disclaimer: miss ene was given a pair of tickets (thank you, Base Entertainment!) to watch Beauty and the Beast. All opinions are my own.

That moment.

This morning, as per routine, I drove my sleeping baby to my in-laws. It was a quiet peaceful drive with only his lullabye tunes on the CD and the soft whirring of the car’s engine in the background. What a change from the early days, I thought to myself.

When the MIL removed him gently from the car seat, he stirred and opened his eyes. He looked a little confused before realising what was happening. I braced myself for a crying fest (which has happened on many similar occassions) but that did not happen. Instead, he allowed his Ah Ma to carry him.

As they walked off, I lingered on just for a moment longer instead of rushing off to work, and watched their retreating backs.

Elliott looked up sleepily and our eyes met.

I waved at him cheerily, and silently said: See you tonight, my sweetie. Be good at Ah Ma’s.

And to my surprise, he waved back with a slight smile. There were no tears.

I’d be ok, Mummy. See you later“, his expression seemed to say.

And that was a moment that I hope I never forget.

Free vaccinations FTW!

Since Elliott was born, we have always done his vaccinations at his PD. Each visit would cost a couple of hundreds – consultation fee alone would be $100+. Throw in medication, cost of vaccine, etc. For his MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) jab to be taken after he turns 1, we had an appointment at the same PD but he fell ill with croup. When we tried to reschedule the appointment, the nurses at the PD told us that the earliest appointment was for May. Phwah.

We decided to take the polyclinic route. Friends with babies of similar ages have told us that all their vaccinations are taken at the polyclinic because the main ones are FREE for Singapore citizens. FREE! I called SingHealth to make an appointment and we were given a slot today at Geylang Polyclinic.

Let me state upfront that the last time I visited a polyclinic was yonks ago. I was a  child and my memories of the place wasn’t very good. It was dark and it smelt musky. I also remember the crazy long wait which made me sicker than I already was then. This probably explains my resistance to heading to a polyclinic for Elliott’s vaccinations.

Our appointment slot was for 3.40pm. I approached the service staff standing by the entrance and informed the Malay makcik that it was our first visit. She sounded impatient and kept asking me for “the card”. I had to repeat myself a few times to say that it was our FIRST VISIT and that I had NO CARD. I only had Elliott’s birth certificate. Would that help?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Finally another (younger) lady helped us. She issued us with an appointment card and told us to head to level 3. It was the Mother and Child area. We barely waited 3 minutes before it was our turn to see the nurse. As it was our first visit, she asked a couple of developmental questions and also took his height (74.5cm) and weight (10.1kg).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We were then directed to see the doctor on level 2 as it was our first visit. Silly us waited outside for quite a while, wondering why it was taking so long. Turns out that our number was called so quickly, we ended up on the “missed queue” list. Doh. Thankfully, I discovered this boo-boo after about 15 minutes of waiting.

The doctor, again, asked a couple of routine developmental questions and ticked off the questions in his health booklet. Once done, he sent us back to the same nurse for the vaccination.

I had to hold Elliott as he sat on my lap as the jab was given on his left arm. He looked a little curious as to what was happening but the moment the needle went in, he squirmed and cried out in shock/pain. Awww, my heart. Nurse said that I had to hold onto him and I said I did! She quipped that E is strong, hence he was able to break free from my tight grasp. She also added that this MMR vaccine is not as painful as the previous ones as it does not go into the muscle.

She also proceeded to book his next vaccination appointment (when he turns 18 months old) in the computer system and we were also told that all his vaccination records are in the central bank. Technology is awesome.

She gave us some advice about fever and to watch out for any infection on the injection site, then sent us off to the Pharmacy for payment.

We used the self-service payment kiosk and the total bill?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

$6.10. We only paid $6.10 because all recommended immunisations under the NCIP (see below) are FREE, all thanks to government subsidy. HOW AWESOME IS IT TO BE SINGAPOREAN? :)

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 5.53.30 pmYou can read more on this website.

We were in and out of the polyclinic in about an hour. Could have been shorter! The polyclinics of today are a far cry from yesteryears. For one, the entire system is computerised – from registration, to waiting time, to payment. The environment is also bright, clean and airy. Although the waiting area for the doctor had no air-conditioning, the one for Mother & Child on level 3 was air-conditioned.

IMG_2158

I have to also mention that at the PD, the jab was given by the PD while at the polyclinic, the nurse was the one who administered it. However, the motherly nurse who attended to us today looked like she does immunisation jabs on a daily basis and was very experience so if you’re not too fussed, you can take your child to the polyclinic for these jabs.

For now, we keep our fingers crossed that fever stays far far away…