Monday, January 29, 2007
It brought me back to Vietnam again, seeing the war from the other side. We've been bombarded by America's versions and feelings about the war that we don't know how the Vietnamese perceives it. To them, the Americans were the invaders and to this day, the South Vietnamese who helped the US army are looked down upon--or so we were told during our trip to the DMZ with two South Vietnamese war veterans.
Their war museum in Ho Chi Minh (HCM) certainly lack the technical wizardry and modern comfort one has come to expect in museums of the developed world. Yet it was one of the best I've ever visited, in that it's affected and taught me more than any other museums I've visited. Black and white photos are displayed in dusty sheds, relics of the war are placed on faded table cloth and covered with casing that are turning yellow with age in the corners. The setting resembled a primary school exhibit, yet everyone inside spoke in hushed tones. Expressions would range from sadness, outrage, shock to disgust. But everyone in there finally saw the war through Vietnam's eyes. And I hope Kai would have a chance to see what I saw that hot, sweaty, dusty day in HCM city too.
He fell asleep after the documentary ended.
(Picture was taken at "Queen's" beach, near the Vinh Moc tunnel. And if memory serves me right, the beach was one of the areas the VCs/North Vietnamese soldiers would depart/arrive, and receive weapons from boats. But I've surfed the web and can't find any reference to "Queen's" beach. The name was given to us by our war veteran guide.)
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Took his temperature, and it was 39.4 degree celsius. We gave him paracetamol (1.5ml), and had to sponge him down. He screamed his head off.
His fever now comes on and off. He's sleeping again.
Poor baby. Probably caught the virus from Terence.
(Picture was taken before we realised he was sick.)
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Saturday, January 13, 2007
One of the things she always said to me (and still do), is to "clear yourself of any issues". If you can't take care of yourself--whether it's your body or your feelings--it'll get passed on to the baby. Babies and children are very sensitive to negative energy. So if you're stressed, impatient or angry, they can pick it up straight away and it doesn't take a genius to figure out that this is bad for them.
I was meditating and doing yoga regularly right up to the point when Kai was born. But sadly, ever since then, I've not been going for classes so regularly and I've stopped doing my pre-work and before-bedtime meditation. I'm aware of the effects on me: I'm more impatient, get stressed easily and my bruxism (unconscious grinding of teeth at night) has come back with a vengeance.
I hope that by blogging about this, I can remind myself of the importance of meditation, and taking time off to do something for myself. If I'm not well, it will affect Kai and my relationship with Terence. I also hope that this will help others.
What exactly is meditation? I always find it hard to explain what meditation is. The intangible and spiritual concepts described in text makes it hard for the layman to understand, and even harder to describe.
I can only say that the next time you feel anger rising because your kids are fighting or get impatient towards a silly colleague or client, take deep breaths in AND out before your react or say something. (If you can remember this at the heat of the moment, make sure your breath out is longer than your breath in.)
You'll find yourself doing a simple meditation "exercise", which calms you down. It certainly isn't easy to do; who says meditation is easy! But it helps. You're less likely to say or do things you'll regret.
(For those who're interested in scientific studies related to meditation, check out the article by Time Magazine--How to get smarter, one breath at a time. It was referred to me by Erika.)
Friday, January 12, 2007
Kai has been learning how to crawl for a while now, and this video was taken when he was six months and four weeks old. Shortly after this video was taken, his crawling movements became even more coordinated. He is also able to get himself into a sitting position. And just this morning, I left him in his cot while I went back into my room to grab a jacket. Came back and saw that he's pulled himself to a standing position.
After I left him at my mother-in-law's place this morning, she called to warn me that he's able to pull himself to a standing position.
Some may remember that I was worried over what the paediatrician said when she saw how heavy he was: That heavy babies tend to develop slower in terms of motor skills? So nah nah nah nah boo boo...
Terence attributed it to swimming, and I think the fact that we made him do "exercises" even when he was just a newborn helped. (E.g. gently pull him up to sitting position, weight bearing etc.) These had both our moms screaming in protest of course.
2) To have a stomach ache while you are driving and you're 10 minutes away from home. But there's no petrol kiosk to zoom into. Whatever it is that needs to come out IS threatening to come out.
3) You're driving and a BIG lizard drops down from no where on your dashboard, threatening to run down towards your hands/lap etc.
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Kai's passport has been approved! We can now venture overseas with him!
I'm sure if I start thinking about the logistics involved, I'll get cold feet. But Terence and I are travel-deprived. We agreed that we'll tackle a country that's easy to travel in first, which would have to be Australia. It fits our criteria: easy transpo (i.e. we can drive), everyone speaks English, can get hot water easily.
I marvelled this couple I met in Burma who were travelling with their newborn son. (The guy is an American-born Chinese, and I think the lady is American. They were both working in China when they made the trip to Burma.) Met them first at Inle Lake, and then bumped into them in Mandalay.
They were so blasé about having the baby along; it's almost like they did it everyday of their lives. Now, Burma isn't exactly developed (and hot!). And like Jeanne and I, they were travellers, i.e. hunt for your own lodgings, find your own transpo etc. At that time, I thought they were truly amazing, and wanted to do the same with my kid (when I have one, that is).
I still think they are truly amazing, and i still want to do the same with Kai. But now that I'm actually a mom, I now know what this would entail--lots of guts, preparation, and a sane and calm mind.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
So here. That's how he looks like just as he's about to make a huge statement. This was taken during our second attempt at taking his passport photo; he was getting tired and needed his nap. He does look cute even when he's about to wail big time--it's all due to the pouty mouth.
Passport update: Apparantly the credit card details went through and his passport is being processed right now. I hope they approve the photo. *cross fingers*
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Two attempts have been made. His best photo from the first attempt had him looking like a convict. The best photo from the second attempt would probably be rejected too. The top of his head to his chin must measure between 25-35mm. But hey, it's very difficult to get it right ok! My mood got even darker after the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority's (ICA) passport application system hung on me RIGHT after I submitted the credit card details.
Terence said never mind. To make me feel better, he said we can just drive him to ICA and have his passport photo taken and papers processed--if we really have problems.
I'm going to call ICA tomorrow.
Best photo, first attempt
Best photo, second attempt (surely, it'll be rejected but we're crossing our fingers)
We always had problems getting him to take his nap/fall asleep when we're outside. So it came as a pleasant surprise when he actually dozed off for his morning nap, right in the snake enclosure. (Whoopee!) We hope we'll be able to get him to used to falling asleep in public places in the future. But most of the time, he gets so distracted by his surroundings that he simply refuses to. Oh well, we'll just have to wait and see...