Saturday, March 24, 2007


Hooray! The test is finally over, and E is now a free man!

Just want to thank everyone for keeping us in your prayers this week. It's been a great week by all accounts.

E's finally done with the test that he's prepared so long for today. We woke up really early this morning, poor Dylan was still groggy and all sleepy-headed, and we bathed him and got off to a really early start towards RELC at 7.30am.

I received Harvard's confirmation of my place, and what's better is how God has brought fellow Singaporeans currently in Cambridge, MA, in touch with me, to give advice on housing, and what furniture they can pass us.

Not to mention I also got my PB, plus news of New Singapore Shares - a real bonus considering that I'll be on no-pay leave in April.

Truly, Jehovah Jireh! God provides when we least expect him to. And He always does so beyond all measures we can imagine.

In two days, our Dylan will also officially turn three months old!

Let's count his achievements - He's now able to:

  1. Support his head on his arms when he's on his tummy.

  2. Whoaraahr
  3. Smile spontaneously (especially if you make funny faces and call him by his name!)14 March 2007
  4. Sit up while propped against cushions
  5. Sitting up 2
  6. Use his hands to hit objects that are interesting to him

  7. Make funny faces with sounds like "ah -goo". "murm- mah" (precursor to "mama"?), "ah -boo", "eurgh", "brph".

Yo - this is my mom

Some things don't change, though. He still:

  1. Cries when he gets into the car seat
  2. Cries when he's left alone for too long
  3. Cries when he's over at grandma's and mama and papa are gone too long.

Oh well.

We count our blessings one, by one.

Just as E crosses one hurdle, we now look forward to the next hurdle, when the results of the test come out and he starts applying for admission.

In bed with mom & dad

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Looking forward

Am taking a short break from uploading new photos and new entries for a while. This week and next week will see E preparing for the BIG test on 24 March 2007.

Some friends will know what this test is all about, and how much it means to E, and by extension the family too. We covet your prayers!

A little more on what to pray for: the test will stretch all the way from Saturday morning at 9am till evening at 5pm. A gruelling test of intellect, knowledge, and thought, pitted against some 3,000 or so candidates all over the world competing for a few hundred places altogether.

We need prayer for health, as E seems to have come down with a persistent cough. The medication is making him drowsy - not ideal if you want to cram for an exam!

Your prayers are also desired for a sense of peace as we submit our plans to God. This is the third year running, and I think the fact does not escape E's notice - all the more reason to feel anxious, to want to give it all and expect the best. But at the end of all human effort, is God's will for him - his career - as us, as a family unit. And we have to simply submit to that.

As the wife, I'm just trying my best to lend support to my husband in this last leg of the preparation without putting too much pressure on him.

This means cooking more nutritious food (not just to heighten the nutritional value of my milk for DM!). And keeping DM out of his way as much as possible, although as the Dad this may not necessarily be what he wants.

(Dylan's been crying and fussing a bit more these few days - his voice is quite hoarse now.

E thinks I'm spoiling him because what he really needs most of the time is someone to carry him and rock him to sleep.

As mom, of course this pains me, and to be quite honest it does stress me out a bit, when peace and quiet is really what is needed at home right now.)


This is so surreal, this situation we're in right now. Having both of us at home, out of work.

I want to treasure this feeling. These moments - waking up with husband on my left, and baby on his mattress on my right. Not having to rush to work, both of us.

Being woken up at 8.30 in the morning for breakfast in bed - 2 eggs soft-boiled to perfection.

I tell myself that all the more reason to spend my days wisely. To make sure the time we spend is quality time, so precious it is.

At the same time, I worry about how this will all end when I return to a work at a new place in May.

So many adjustments to be made. When I'm still adjusting even right now.


Just something else.

Got the email from Harvard today confirming my place in September this year. This means I need to get everything else in order now - sending over the sponsorship form, sorting out visa and travel arrangements, applying for housing at affordable prices.

Somehow, I'm not as elated as I ought to be.

Perhaps it is just that our lives are in such a flux right now - not knowing if E. can stay the year with me and baby, or if I'll need to send my mom over to babysit.

Of course, it will be great for E if he has to go away come Jan/Feb 2008.

But the uncertainty unsettles me, and while I go about making arrangements all I can do is, once again, to lift my prayers to heaven.

And trust that He walks beside us in all ways.

Remembering that -

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lid down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
(Psalm 23: 1 - 3)


Just a final thought.

I think what a baby does do to a marriage is that it forces man and wife to confront theory with reality. I remember sharing with the girls about how easy it is to, in theory, tell ourselves that in God's order of the household, the marriage comes before the children.

That I must honour my husband and place him above my love for my own, yet below my adoration of God.

Practice, however, shows me that it is easier said than done. My 11-week old is fully dependent on me for so many things - sustenance, comfort, safety and security. My husband, on the other hand, takes care of himself, and in many ways me.

So much of my time is devoted to keeping the little one safe and out of physical harm, to show him the little things he can learn, like how to unfurl his fingers so that we can both sing "Twinkle, twinkle little star!" and "Jesus loves me this I know". And I do so happily!

Yet, the Spirit counsels me in remembering what another dear Christian colleague, divorced and hence a single parent with two boys, shared with me many years ago.

She said a Godly marriage is like a triangle - two diverse and different individuals converging towards a single point - and that is towards knowing God.

Hers is a sad tale of a marriage "unequally yoked" to an unbelieving lawyer. And as the children came, their interests and priorities diverged, rather than converged.

I remind myself to seek God always. To see His face - and remember the selfless love that teaches me how to love others.

May I learn to do so wisely.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

It takes a village

I remember using this phrase in a speech I was preparing for Minister once.

It was promptly rejected - political heads tend to avoid this somewhat trite phrase people have come to be associated with the utterance of Hillary Clinton in a speech she made in Chicago in 1996 by the same title "It takes a village to raise a child".

For us, though, the friends in our lives have come to matter a lot. And we hope they will be an enduring presence in the life of DM - nothing brings this home more than during this Lunar New Year season.

Admittedly, E. and I don't quite buy into the idea of making CNY visits special - friends are welcome in our home any time of the year, and it shouldn't take the lunar new year to remind us to remember them. All too often, we hear the honest confessions too, of how friends who are single, unmarried, or childless get tired of friendly enquiries from relatives. Ourselves, as new parents, also get no end of "friendly advice" on bringing up baby.

I suppose CNY is really a time for us to remember to temper our conversations with grace, and season them with salt (not just from the copious amounts of "bak kua" and pineapple tarts consumed this period of time!).

At the same time, I can't help but recall with gratitude all the things that our family and friends bless us with. Especially for little Dylan, who can thank them for his clothes, his milk bottles, his bottle sterilizer, the baby moses basket, his beloved baby gym, and so much more!


An aside on CNY:

My personal prayer this year is for my own grandmother and mother's side of relatives to come to know the Lord. It is a challenge for me, as a non-Teochew speaking and very junior member of the extended family. Last Sunday evening, especially, I had hoped for a chance to broach the subject with my Aunt and grandma at her place, but the house was overrun with cousins and screaming children (and baby DM), so it just didn't happen.


Anyhow, here are some photos of our friends who kindly put up with DM's crying and fussing.

Uncle Jonathan's visit last Thursday saw DM getting a cute new T-shirt:

picture with Uncle Jon:
Aunties Swee Keng, Sumei and Joanna:

What's really special to us, also, the morning picnic at the beach with Aunty Weng Khay, baby Noah, Aunty Chern Ee, Charity, Luke and Laura - though sadly we didn't take any photos with them here:

Image024 Image021

Mementoes - Past and Present

Recently, DM's grandma, E's mom, my MIL, made a present of a cute little anklet for DM.

Here it is:

What is special about this present is that E's own grandmother actually gave it to him some thirty years ago, and E. himself wore the anklet as a babe. We put it on DM for a few weeks, but got a little uncomfortable when one day we found that it includes a Taoist charm symbol with four chinese characters meaning "afraid of nothing".

Nonplussed, we thought it best to just take off the anklet altogther cos we don't wish to stumble any of our friends who may be weaker in the faith.

MIL was duly disappointed, though. Can't blame her, after all she waited 30 years to put it on her grandson. She even sent it to the jewelers to get it properly cleaned!

The happy compromise is that MIL will get the taoist charm replaced with a bell, so quite soon we should have little DM wearing his daddy's infant bracelet again!


One memento leads me to ponder over another ruckus that is being caused the very controversial documentary James Cameron - director of Titanic - is causing, purportedly of the archealogical finding of Jesus' bones in a family tomb with the remains of Mary and a son.

For those who did not read about it, here's the link:

Jesus: Tales from the Crypt

(The reactions to the article make great reading too - views from both extreme skeptics and believers, all 3745 comments together)

Thanks to one coffee too many yesterday, I admittedly lost some sleep over this. After all, the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of 2,000 years of Christian faith, our triumph against the sting of Death that sin brings.

I am rather ashamed of this though - why waver? Attacks against Christianity are neither new, nor convincing. How on earth can anyone claim to have proof that the remains are conclusively Jesus' if there is no DNA to compare against?

Doesn't take a PhD to know that.