Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Winter in Cambridge

The first thing that strikes you when you're walking outside and the snow is falling, is suddenly how quiet everything is.

Sunday saw about 1 foot of snowfall in Boston/Cambridge, and I walked out to meet friends who just arrived in town for yum cha. Partly because it was a Sunday, so traffic was very light, but walking out to the station I was struck by the silence that hung over the air. Footsteps and cars moving over freshly fallen snow make very little noise indeed.

Crossing a small road I was concentrating so hard on the footprints I left on the canvas below my feet that I was shocked to look up to my left and see an SUV grinding to a halt to let me pass. I didn't hear the vehicle at all! Waving an apologetic hand I quickly rushed to the safety of the other side of the road.

If you did a double-take and I thought I was carrying Dylan, I don't blame you! Here's little Caitlyn, who is just a couple of months younger than Dylan. Such a cutie! I have to confess carrying her made me miss my li'l one so.
with baby Caitlin

Winter scapes from Charles River. I am continually startled by how beautiful this river is, and am so grateful to be living so near it.

Can you tell where the river ends and the bank begins? Clue: look for the bridge!
bench 1

Scraggly trees on the sidewalk near Peabody Terrace
scraggly trees.JPG

Another view of the lonely bench against the stark background.

bench 2

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Spending time.

"bye-bye mommy!"

I've been lying low in the final two days before flying back here, to spend some quiet time enjoying my son. I also invested (thank you MOE!) in a point-and-shoot camera, an 8 megapix Olympus FE-280, so have been playing around with it.


I miss the Canon IXUS' faster shutter button response, and its continuous shooting mode. The Olympus takes 2 seconds when the shutter button is pressed to focus and snap, so it can be annoying with a frisky 1 year-old looking at the camera ever so fleetingly. For the same reason, without the continuous shutter mode it can only take the subject at every 3 second interval while I keep the finger on the shutter button. A bit slow.

The plus side: the Olympus point-and-shoot trumps the IXUS in design in almost every way: it is maroon, very slim, and comes in a neat little casing. I know, I'm a gal, so I'm a sucker for these things!
Photo 40.jpg Photo 42.jpg

Here are a few photos taken while I spent time with my precious baby in the final two days before the big fly over.

P1230001.JPG car or masak masak.JPG

With gong gong and shu shu:

Playing at home:

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Missing Daddy

Dylan's been grumpy the whole day today.

I reckon it's all because he woke up at 3am last night, moaning and groaning.

I'm not sure if he was going through a growth spurt and was just hungry, or if he had a bad dream after I sent him to sleep whispering these words:

"Little one, even though mommy and daddy won't be around you must know that we love you very very much. So be a good boy, listen and obey grandma and grandpa and don't make too much trouble for them. We'll be back really soon, and we love you very very much, ok?"

So at 3am last night, I changed his diapers (felt heavy, but not soaking), and I fed him the 7oz. that I usually prepare for his 6am feed. After he finished it, I switched off the light, thinking the feed plus a change of diapers would send him back to la-la land.

He tosses and turns for about 15 minutes and keeps still. Thinking he's now sound asleep, I lift his little body up to put him back into his cot. But he stiffens right before landing, and starts his low-pitched crying again. This was typical only when he was much younger - very unusual now that he's started sleeping through from 9to 6am.

I thought: ok, just let him moan himself back to sleep.

3 minutes of intermittent "Mmm-ai-ya-ai-ya" soon turned into 3 minutes of breathy "D--ah-eeh, Da--eeh". Is our son saying "Daddy"?

Could it possibly be that this little child is missing his father? Or that he's somehow getting that awful premonition that mommy too, will soon not be around to respond to him in the middle of the night like this?

In the morning, after a fitful night, he toddles into grandma's room, points to a family portrait, and says, "Daa- eeh".

His grandma's jaws dropped, but our little imp refuses to repeat his stunt.

So the evidence remains circumstantial, at best. But in both our hearts, we're screaming back to our li'l one: "we miss you too, son".

Friday, January 18, 2008


Dylan's name, in Old Celtic, means "ocean", or "the sea".

Ironically, he's not quite the water-baby his name might bill him to be. At least, if the way he screamed and thrashed about everytime we wanted him to sit still in the bath-tub during bath time was anything to go by.

So we decided that it was time to bring Dylan to the pool. First, we needed to get him a swimming costume - preferably the bodysuit type that would keep him warm. His grandparents already got him an inflatable swimming pool to break him into the idea of splashing around.

The price tag that came with his Arena brand bodysuit is not to be sniffed at too - $59!! - yet another reminder to us why the kiddy market is so very lucrative!

The first time we put him in the inflateable tub, he was obviously tense and took a fair bit of cajoling just to sit down, even though the water was only up to his knees.
My own swimming pool! 3

Slowly, with grandma throwing in some floatable toys, he eased into a cautious pattern of splashing a little here and there.
My own swimming pool! 4

And before you know it, he's really into the deal!
My own swimming pool! 2

So we graduated him to the big pool at Park Green to test his water legs further. Uncle Sean and Aunty Mag's gift of a mushroom float came into good use here.
Just Floatin' around...laughing at Daddy's faces
Still, at the end of the day, our baby is still quite the "land-lubber". At least now, when I bath him (which used to be Daddy's job before he flew down under), he's quite happy to sit down, and even ventures to hold the showerhead and examine how it makes the soapy water bubble up.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Power of ONE - A belated 1st birthday post.

Dylan turned one on Boxing Day three weeks ago.
happy birthday!

Weight = 9.3kg
Height = 74cm

First thing we did after getting over the jet lag from the 25 hour BOS-LON-SIN flight was call up the caterers, invite friends and family to share the celebration with us. I wanted his first birthday to be special, although E and I agreed that not all of Dylan's birthdays need to be celebrated this way.

I guess we're both driven not just by excitement that our firstborn is a whole year old, but also a panging guilt that we won't be spending a whole lot of time with him into his second year. The daddy just flew down under yesterday evening, and is starting grad medical school in a couple of weeks' time. Me, the mommy, is heading back to Boston for another gruelling 4 months to complete the programme.

So there you have it - the strangest year for poor Dylan, with Mommy and Daddy at different ends of the world, and him being taken care of by grandma and grandpa.

So this party is a special one for us. On the actual day, we had a little celebration just to 5 of us.

He loves cheese, so it's no wonder he relished every bite of his cheesecake!

yummy birthday chez cake
The birthday boy dons his party cap -
the birthday cap!

ready, set, and blow!
ready, set, blow!

the cousins want to join in the fun ...
1st Birthday with the cousins (minus Fredrik)

I love this photo because my best friends Lisa and Becky are in it (my bridesmaids), together with my niece Sophia (my flower girl). Together, the bridal party is complete!
The bridal party - me, lisa, becky, little sophia

The grandma and grandaunt took lotsa pains to do up the place beautifully. Here's the birthday boy in front of his wall of fame...

birthday boy in front of decorations