elliott · family · lil' things that make me happy · moments · thoughts

The little yellow ball

A few days back, Elliott received a small yellow rubber ball as part of his classmate’s birthday gift pack. He has been playing with it and this evening, he asked if I can play ball with him. It was time for bed and I was a little hesitant but what the heck, let’s play ball for a while.

He sat on the bed, rolled the ball towards me, and I’d roll it back to him. Sometimes, the ball rolled off the bed and he’d get excited because he was afraid that it’d roll under the bed and he can’t get it out.

Throughout our ball throwing/rolling session, he kept squealing with excitement and broke out in fits of giggles. One time, I hit his head with my throw (what are the chances, right?) and we both shrieked with laughter. I found myself wondering: Roll ball also so happy ah?

It reminded me once again that a child finds joy in the simplest of things, and it made me happy that I was part of that joyful experience. 🎈

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elliott · lil' things that make me happy · moments · note to elliott · thoughts

And you are 3.

Dear Elliott,

I have been a bad mummy. A very very bad mummy.

I was supposed to be writing you a note every month since you were born but I fell off the wagon after the 32nd note. I meant to write you notes until you turn 36 months so that you’d have 36 notes to read, but I fell short of…4 months. And this eats me up because your mother here is obsessed concerned about keeping to my words, deadlines and the such.

However, as the months whizz by, I stopped beating myself up. I may be taking a lot less photos and videos of you now as compared to your first year (have you seen how many photos you have?!) but I tell myself that it is ok. Motherhood does take up a lot of energy and time, and typing on a laptop is really the last thing I want to do at the end of each work day.

Yesterday, you turned 3 years old. That’s 36 months of you. It’s cliche but one moment you were a tiny ball of cuteness in our arms and suddenly, you’re an individual with your own (chatty) personality and quirks.

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These days, I find it hard to remember the newborn days. I think this is what people call ‘mumnesia‘ where we block out the crazy newborn days from our minds like those crazy moments didn’t happen. It is hard to remember because these days, you are truly a toddler with a mind of your own. Let me count the ways (as much as my hazy brain can remember).

You say the most hilarious things. Like that day when we stopped at the lights beside an ambulance with its lights on but no siren.

“Ambulance! Mummy look ambulance!”
“Yes that’s an ambulance! See the flashing lights?”
“Yes! But why no sound? Who take out the batteries, mummy?

You left me speechless with that question, my dear son. And I laughed. I laughed out loud as the lights turned green and we continued on our journey home. At this age, you say the funniest things (without meaning to, I’m sure) and I wish I can record every single funny quip because they are oh so fleeting.

At this age, you have a strong idea of what you want. Or don’t want. Like how you have decided that you only want to wear t-shirts (not shirts) and ‘soft’ shorts (not pants or proper ‘going out’ shorts). You also get obsessed about shirt labels and will insist that ‘Mummy cut’ if you spy the offending pieces of tags on your clothes. You also tell us that specifically that ‘you don’t want this green thing‘ (vegetables) or ‘no chicken, mummy. Only noodles‘.

Speaking of noodles, you have been in a noodles phrase. Before each meal, I get hopeful and ask: Elliot, would you like RICE (emphasised for effect) or noodles for dinner? You pretend to think for a bit and then say with conviction: Hmm, NOODLES! I am just glad that you are not too fussed about the type of noodles we give you – pasta, bee hoon, kway teow, mee tai mak, mee sua, yellow noodles, udon. You are good with all of them. You love them with soup and will always ask for more soup.

We have also, in recent weeks, switched you to full-day childcare. Your Ah Ma worries constantly about whether you are getting enough sleep and food as she thinks that you are such a “poor thing” to be in school for the entire day. The thing is, the majority of your classmates are there for the entire day. I’d admit that for the first week or so, you were constantly on my mind as I was also concerned if you were adapting well to the change in routine.

As it turns out, I am proud to say that you are adapting better than us adults. Other than the first few days of taking a while to fall asleep on your own at nap times, you have managed to fall nicely into your new routine without much drama. Oh, your teachers tell us that you do ask them wistfully if mummy is coming (my heart!) when your friends are picked up earlier but you do understand when they tell you that mummy is coming. And yes, my sweetie. Mummy will always be there to pick you up from school. It is always the highlight of my workday and I drive and walk a little faster just to get to you.

So as I was saying, you turned 3 yesterday and what a well-loved boy you are. You had 3 birthday cakes (THREE!) and received so many presents, I lost count. The day before your actual birthday, we celebrated it with your friends at school for the very first time. I was worried that you’d freeze up or cry when you see us but instead, you did very well! For the record, you told me repeatedly that you want a “chocolate cake with blue car” so we got your school cake from Prima Deli and topped it with a vehicle set from Toys R Us.

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You were a little stunned to see us but realised soon after that we were there to celebrate your birthday with your friends. It was wonderful to see you interact with your friends as it is not something we see everyday. I have a video clip where you are telling your friends excitedly “See? Car, truck, helicopter…“. Aiyo, everyone was so darn cute. I cannot.

The same evening, we headed over to Ah Ma and Ah Gong’s house for your 2nd birthday celebration. I am not sure who was more excited, you or them 🙂 And yes, you got a Paw Patrol cake (Bengawan Solo) and 2 fat ang baos from your doting grandparents.

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You asked to go to the zoo on your birthday and so we did. We’ve done so for the past 2 birthdays so it is a bit of a birthday ritual now. We also became Friends of the Zoo so hopefully, we’d be making many trips to the zoo this year. We only managed 2 exhibits (the sea otters and the Zoo-Rassic Park) before the rain came down in sheets. Pfffft. Never mind. Another time then.

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Plan B was to head to Future World exhibition at the Art Science Musuem but 2 of the exhibits were closed for renovations so we were done pretty quickly as well.

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In the evening, Yiyi and Popo came over for your last celebration at home. You were really thrilled to see them. I ordered a bunch of Paw Patrol balloons but you took one cursory look at them and erm, that’s about it. Tsk. Never mind. They made for a nice photo backdrop.

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This year, you sang your own birthday song with gusto, insisted that we all sit beside you for a photo and gave everyone big hugs. You also ripped your presents apart on your own. 3 seems like a terrific age to be and we can’t wait to see what the year has in store.

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Happy 3, dear Elliott. May you always  be joyful and healthy. We love you very much!

Love,
Mummy xoxo

lil' things that make me happy · me myself and i · us

miss ene checks out: Calla Spa (Suntec City)

On the morning of our 7th wedding anniversary, the boy informed me that he booked me a massage session at Calla Spa located at Suntec City. It was his anniversary present to me. Awww. I remarked that Elliott has his gym class but he said that he will take him there on his own and we can meet up once I’m done with my session.

He made the appointment for 10am and was informed by the receptionist that I can turn up at 9.45am to fill up the forms and to use the Mineral Hot Pool and sauna.

I noted from their address that it is located Suntec Tower 2 and having worked at Suntec Tower 1 previously, I thought I was familiar with the place. Unfortunately (for me), Suntec has undergone quite a transformation and the mall has changed quite a bit.

I found myself at this entrance and realised, upon closer inspection, that this is the back entrance.

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There were no signs to lead me to the main entrance so I found myself wandering about aimlessly for a bit. Made my way out of the building and ah, there it was.

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When I made my way in, there was no one at the reception area except for an elderly “aunty” who looked like she was one of the cleaning crew. She invited me to sit at the waiting area to fill in the form and so I did.

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I found it a bit strange that no receptionist was on duty but as I later found out, the spa only opens at 10am which means that no one has reported for work yet (except for the technical and cleaning crew).

Tip: Arrive after 10am if you’d like the full service experience or you’d end up feeling a bit lost like me!

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As you can see from the pictures, the surroundings, i.e. hardwear, was lovely. Very zen and peaceful environment. However, for a spa that calls itself a ‘prestigious lifestyle and wellness’ spa, I found the lack of a proper welcome when I stepped in a little wanting. In fact, in their email confirmation, it specifically states:

Please do come 30 mins earlier before the treatment time, to allows us to give you a Sap Tour and Register you as our Calla Customer.

Hmm. There was no spa tour provided but never mind.

Anyway, after I was done with the form, I was asked to make my way to the ladies’ changing area. A female bathroom attendant (is that what they’re called?) passed me a locker key that came in the form of a bangle that I can wear around my wrist.

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I also found it fascinating that there was no key. Instead, it was a metal button thingy that you slot into the corresponding locker and voila, your locker is open. Very high-tech!

I was the only customer around so I took the chance to look around the huge changing area.

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Across the neatly folded white towels is a vanity table with hair-dryer, all sorts of lotions, large mirror, etc so that you can get yourself ready again to face the world after your spa session. That area at the end with the curtain is the changing cubicle where you change out of your clothes and into a cotton robe and put on their provided footwear.

I was pleasantly surprised that the footwear given to me wasn’t huge (which is usually the case) and I wasn’t swimming in the cotton robe. It doesn’t seem like much but it is nice knowing that the cotton robes and footwear catered to smaller sized females instead of a one-size-fits-all attire.

In the same (huge) changing area was also the Mineral Hot Pool that I only noticed after I was done with my massage. I did not use it because I did not want to sit in it naked and then have strangers walk in.

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Doesn’t the whole set-up remind you of an old-school sword-fighting show where the hero and heroine hide in some forsaken cave to try and heal from serious wound that they sustained from fighting with the bad guys? 😉

After I was done changing, I was ushered to the massage room for my scrub and body massage. The boy booked me the $188 promotion package that includes a 45-minute body strategist scrub and 60-minute body massage. Description of each treatment is taken from Calla Spa’s website:

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The room where the massage and scrub was to take place comes with an attached bathroom so that one can simply shower to wash off the scrub granules after one is done before continuing with the massage.

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Being a relatively new entity meant that everything looked new and smelt nice and clean which was lovely. I had 2 different ladies for both treatments (both were from China).

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I had a nice chat with the lady who did the scrub treatment and it was during our conversation that I learnt that the spa only opened at 10am. I shared about my experience and she was very receptive to the feedback, saying that she will share it with management.

The second lady who did my deep tissue massage was, in a nutshell, brutal. But I mean that in a good way. She could tell that my body was extremely knotty and worked really hard to iron out the many kinks. In fact, after the massage, I felt remarkably lighter. She shared that not many customers to Calla Spa opt for these ‘hard’ massages as they prefer the soft, relaxing ones that lull them to sleep. Heh.

After I was done with both treatments, I was ushered to the dining area called Bistro. I did not realise that all customers of the spa get to enjoy a complimentary meal.

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By now, there were a few other customers and quite a few were in pairs. It was at this point that I really wished the boy was with me to enjoy the meal together!

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Everything on the menu looked good so after studying it for a bit, I decided to go for the Wild Mushroom Soup and Grilled Salmon Steak with Hollandaise Miso. To be honest, I had very very low expectations of the food quality because this is a spa afterall, right? I would expect their massages to be good but food quality? Hmm….

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To my very pleasant surprise, the food quality was pretty darn amazing! I would be happy to pay for it! The mushroom soup was thick and flavourful and that salmon steak. It was a huge chunk of steak and despite looking like it’s a small portion, I was struggling to finish towards the end of the meal (those who know me will know that I can eat).

The meal capped off the lovely scrub and massage session and I walked out feeling light-footed with a happy belly.

When I was footing the bill, the receptionist (who has since reported for work, obviously) was extremely apologetic about the miscommunication that took place in the morning. I like that a company is willing to take constructive feedback so that they can improve the customer experience.

I’d probably make a second trip back but this time, with the boy in tow. Right – who’s up for baby-sitting Mr Bubu-Pants?

family · lil' things that make me happy · moments

No-tears dropoff

This is a quick blog entry to remind me that there were no tears or sobs of “Mummyyyyy!” at school drop-off this morning.

Altogether now: Hip hip HOORAY!

So my child decided to do a big poop on the way to school this morning so I had to walk him to the school’s bathroom to wash him up. He happily showed me where he washes his hands (part of the morning routine) and after I dressed him, I was half expecting the tears to flow but instead, he marched happily towards the breakfast area on his own, leaving me slightly gobsmacked.

There was a bit of whining at the start but no tears. He also insisted to take his trucks along with him to school and I have learnt to let him be. Better than a crying fest/meltdown, I say. Besides, it was easy to hide the toys once he was suitably distracted (the school does not recommend bringing their own toys).

I wanted to do a little victory dance on the spot but instead, I smiled at his teacher and took my leave quickly. I have to admit that I peeked in at him from the outside and saw that he was taking a cautious bite into what looked like a piece of kueh.

And for the first time, I walked out of the school feeling joy in my heart.

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elliott · lil' things that make me happy · randoms

What does the moon say?

On our drive home from the in-laws one evening, I play the “What does it say?” game with Elliott.

Me: What does the cow say?
Elliott: Moo!
Me: What does the cat say?
E: Meow!
Me: What does the digger say?
E: Chug Chug!
Me: What does the ambulance say?
E: Bee-boo-bee-boo!

This goes on for a while when I decided to throw him a curveball.

Me: What does the moon say?
E: *pauses for a split second* Mooooooooooooooon!

Such silliness, such joy.