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

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another happy occassion! · around the house · elliott · family · randoms

Elliott turns 2

It wasn’t too long ago when we celebrated Elliott turning 1 with a big party and his first visit to the zoo. This year, there was no big party. Instead, on the evening before his actual birthday that fell on a Thursday, his adoring fans, i.e. both sets of his grandparents, came over to our place for a little sing-song-eat-cake celebration. In fact, his adoring best-Yiyi-in-the-world came straight from the airport just to be part of the celebrations.

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As the little man is totally into his trucks, diggers and (cement) mixers, I decided to order him a cake that’s made to look like a construction site. All parties, big or small, need some balloons so I got a “dump truck balloon bouquet” from Party Wholesale Centre (which is actually part of BBQ Wholesale Centre).

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Side note: The 5-piece balloon bouquet cost me $33.90 (self-collection from their Frankel Avenue outlet) which is really reasonable. Some of these helium balloons cost $20+ on their own!

The boy – bless his heart – went to 3 separate places just to get dinner for everyone. I got home after work and went about putting up the birthday banner ($2 from Tokutokuya, a Daiso-type shop) and assembling his birthday cake.

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Yes, I assembled his cake. I cannot bake a proper cake because I’m lazy too busy. Besides, why bake when you can buy? I got the Lucas Cake from Mrs Ergül Delish Treats because her cakes are all-natural with none of the bad stuff. Also, who doesn’t like chocolate, right? I also decided that a 2-year-boy will be more interested in what’s on the cake than the actual cake itself.

Got a 5-piece set of CAT mini machines from Toys R Us ($19.95) and stuck them on the cake itself. For the sign, I simply google-ed and used Powerpoint to “design” it before printing it out using a coloured printer and sticking it on a satay stick. Candles were from a random shop.

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It was such a joy seeing Elliott’s face light up at the sight of his “digger” cake. I have a treasured video clip of him waving his hands about in glee and screeching in delight. Can’t wait to show it to him when he’s older. There’s also this other clip where he smiled shyly as we sang him the birthday song, once in English and once in Mandarin. Check out his adoring fans.

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He surprised us all by clapping at the end, and blowing out the candle one by one. He has wised up to the idea that when there’s a candle on a cake, it needs to be blown out. Truth be told, he was more interested in the CAT mini machines than the cake itself which is why I’m glad we didn’t spend too much on a fancy cake. There are many birthdays to be celebrated ahead and he can choose his own cake when he’s older.

2016 03 02 - Celebrating Elliott's 2nd birthdayHappy 2nd birthday, dear Elliott. You are so very loved!

another happy occassion! · elliott · family · the journey · thoughts

Elliott is ONE!

Oh what a celebration!

Elliott’s actual birthday falls on a weekday and because we did not have a full month celebration, I thought that it’d be nice to throw a small party to celebrate the little man turning one. I decided not to kill myself planning it and decided very early on to enlist the help of Eunice, ex-colleague-turn-good-friend and the event stylist extraordinaire behind the brand, Heaven In A Wild Flower. I simply told her the theme (Carnival) and colours (yellow, blue and grey), as well as what I don’t want (bright garish colours) and left it entirely up to her, including the birthday cake design. My only request? Please have chocolate sea salt tarts (for me) 🙂

She rocked up 3 hours before the event and went about turning the plain (boring) white-walled function room into a Carnival-like atmosphere.

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I, on the other hand, was trying to get the birthday boy to nap but failed miserably. The party was to start at 2pm and at 1.30pm, I was barely dressed to receive guests. Pffft. Thankfully, my mum and sister came round to help and I spent 10 minutes going from something the cat pulled in to a decent-looking human  being.

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Got to the function room with the birthday boy in tow and to say that Eunice did a great job is an understatement. Just look at it!

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carnival

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Everything was so so gorgeous.

Our friends were wonderful. They all came bearing presents (or two!) and ang pow packets for the birthday boy. Amidst the craziness of trying to say Hi to everyone, I was so very grateful that they took time out of their weekend to come celebrate our little boy turning one.

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We – or rather, the wonderful sister – set up a small play area with Elliott’s playmats so that the little ones can run amok. And run amok they did – just check out the mess! She also borrowed (and lugged home!) a couple of child-friendly books, and prepared colouring sheets (themed as well!) and coloured pencils/markers to keep them occupied. She also prepared personalised goodie bags for each child who attended. Most awesome Yiyi EVER!IMG_0644-001

This is the only photo I have of the area and it makes me laugh because it looks like Zac and Elliott are having a stare-off. These two. So darn hilarious together.

I barely took any photos so these pictures you see are either from my phone (I snapped them very quickly) or from friends. I was glad that we had a photographer who stayed quietly in the background and shot pictures of the celebration. Can’t wait to see them.

A girlfriend wisely advised that we should do the cake-cutting thingy early before the birthday boy gets over-tired so at about 3pm, we gathered everyone around to sing the birthday song. As we blew out the lone blue candle on the cake, I hesitated just for a tiny bit to take in the moment because wow, this child of mine, my little boy, the one we never thought we’d ever have in this lifetime, just turned one year old, surrounded by all who love him. Many of these friends who came by know about our long journey to become parents and it was only apt that they were part of the celebrations.

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That evening, as we sat opening presents (I opened them, Elliott ripped at the wrapping), I was reminded once again at how much we are loved. Elliott will probably not remember his first birthday celebration but we will or at the very least, I will. I will always remember that one year ago, we celebrated his birth day which made me a mother.

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Happy 1st birthday, my sweetie. May you be happy and healthy, always.