Sometimes, I really hate the Internetz.
As much as I have a PHD in Googling and I love to consult Dr Google at every opportunity I can get, the Internetz can make me feel like an inadequate mother.
We recently celebrated Aidan’s second birthday and invited our families over for a little gathering. I was deciding where to order a cake for him and thought that I’d check out those super cool tiered cakes that are all the rage these days at kiddy parties. The little man loves his train and hey, wouldn’t having a train cake be really awesome?
That was before I saw the price tags and blanched. The most inexpensive one that I could find (and still have decent reviews on its taste) would have cost us around $300. Erm, for a cake?
Domestic Mama Goddess Wannabe here decided to bake her own. After all, how hard can it be, right? RIGHT??
A quick check with Dr Google tells me that it’s easy peasy. Way too easy. Heck, there are even no-bake recipes (using store-bought cakes, duh) available. But since I had made the decision to bake all my kids’ cakes last year, there was no way I was going to use a Sara Lee pound cake.
Two days before the big day, I baked a large loaf and two smaller loaves of lemon pound cake. I also practised and perfected a swiss buttercream frosting, that did not require the usual three cups of icing sugar. I showed the “train cake recipe” search results to husband, who enthusiastically agreed to be the cake engineer. He designed a really cute train carriage – based on Thomas the Train – and we thought we were going to create an amazing cake.
Coco (2.5 years) wasn’t one of those infant speech prodigies who started talking before they could barely walk.
I’ve shared in my blog on MaybeBaby about our efforts to get her talking. The speech explosion came shortly after she turned 2.
Now, not a day goes by without Coco sprouting some original lines, many of them hilarious.
Here’s a sampling of those that tickled my funny bone.
Making full use of this newfound ability – while it’s still an advantage over her younger sister (for now)
On a jaunt to the petrol station to feed our Family Bus, the husband rewards Coco with a snack for good behaviour throughout the day.
Husband: See, Coco, daddy let you choose a snack from the shop because you were such a good girl today.
Coco (immediately piping up): Claire not good girl!
Husband: Why isn’t Claire a good girl?
Coco (most dramatically): Claire follow me!
Husband: Claire follows you around because she loves you and wants to be with you.
Coco (aggrieved tone): Claire bang my toe. Claire not good girl.
Me: Coco! You must wait for me to make sure that the water isn’t hot before you touch it OK? Mummy doesn’t want the hot water to burn Coco!
Coco (nodding thoughtfully): Mmmmm. Only Claire.
Me (visibly HORRIFED): WHAT?! NO! Mummy doesn’t want the water to burn Coco OR Claire! OK?!?!?
Tall Ambition. Or Not.
Me: An astronaut can fly up to the moon in a rocket! Coco, do you want to be an astronaut and go high up into the sky and stand on the moon?
Coco (thoughtful): Mmmmm. No, thank you.
Me: Why not?
Coco: I’m scared.
Me: What are you scared of?
Coco: I fall off moon.
Guess it’s not a bad thing to want to stay grounded.
Coco: Carry me!
Me: You have to let me get up from the floor first. I can’t carry you and stand up – you’re too heavy.
Coco (cheers enthusiastically): You can do it! You can do it! YOU CAN DO IT!
Me (groaning): Woahhhhh… there we go….
Coco (gleefully applauds and pats me on the back): Yaaaaaaaay! You did it! YOU DID IT! Good mummy! Well done, mummy!
Me (pretending to be ill): Ohhhhh… I feel sick! I’m sick!
Coco (hurrying over with her doctor’s kit): Don’t worry, mummy! I’m here! I’m doctor!
Me (really enjoying my turn to whine – for once): Ohhhhh… my head hurts!
Coco (bossily): Lie down, mummy. Don’t worry, I fix you.
Me (gladly sprawls on the floor. Bliss): Ohhhh…..
Coco: Eat your medicine. Mmmmmm! Nice! Good mummy!
Me: Yum, yum…
Coco (generously dishes out hugs and kisses): You OK now, mummy? See, I fix you!
….. Mummy! Say ‘thank you’!!!
Questions Only A Toddler Can Ask
(Do not attempt this if you are older than 3)
“Gong Gong, do you have a penis?”
My husband LOVES animals. Me not so much.
Both of us grew up without pets in the house. What amazes me is that he takes to all sorts of creatures (ok discounting insects/rats/mice/etc) and it’s adorable. Me? I get squimish around hamsters, guinea pigs are ok, I love bunnies and doggies and some cats. But their poop? Not so much. He, on the other hand, loves them wholeheartedly, poop and all.
I am SO happy that Sophie takes after her father in this aspect. She has no concept of fear when it comes to animals and she’s always wanting to go touch them. Rocky doesn’t know his luck yet!
Just the other day at dinner, we met this gorgeous Alaskan Malamute. Such a friendly, intelligent and gentle giant. Sophie went right up to him to pet him and wanted to follow him home! All through dinner she kept wanting to go see the pretty doggie and every time she would go up to him and squat/sit next to him.
I’m not sure if the love for animals is nature/nurture but I do see the benefits of growing up with one.
I’ve written a few entries on bubsicles on Coco but little has been said about my younger daughter, Claire.
So this one’s for her.
We conceived Claire through our second fresh IVF cycle in July last year. Counting 40 weeks from that point on, Claire’s estimated due date (EDD) was 19 April 2013.
Like most expectant parents, we spent hours musing over whether she would arrive earlier, as subsequent babies are known to do. We exchanged views on what would be a the perfect date for Claire’s arrival.
While our friends welcomed their babies on dates with clever permutations like 30.03.13 and 31.3.13, Dannie (being the funny man that he is) wished for an April Fool’s baby.
Thankfully, Claire thought otherwise and refused to come out on 1st April.
At this point of the entry, I have to mention two very special people in my life – my aunt and uncle, who are both very dear to me. They helped to care for me when I was young.
33 years on, Coco now spends every weekday afternoon at their place where they bathe, feed, nap and play with her until we pick her up in the evening after work.
Watching them with Coco, it has become painfully clear how much they have aged over the years. My aunt is 67 and my uncle, 74. While they are still in the pink of health and strong and spritely for their age (they still work part-time and my uncle carries all 9.6kg of Coco with one arm), knowing that their time with us is slowly ticking away makes my heart ache.
While I have always remembered my aunt’s birthday – 3rd October, just 5 days before mine, I have never been able to do the same for my uncle. His birthday somehow always escapes my memory. Every year, it would suddenly dawn on me to send a frantic message to my cousin to check. Every year, I would be too late – his birthday would have passed.
On 10th April, Claire made her entrance into the world.
On that very same day, my uncle turned 74.
It was as if Claire knew that she had a mission to accomplish by arriving on 10th April – to commemorate my uncle’s birthday and seal it into my memory forever.
I no longer have reason to forget my uncle’s birthday and I hope that he will have many, many more wonderful birthdays to celebrate together with Claire and us.
Grand Aunt, Grand Uncle & Grand Niece
Claire turned 3 months old on 10th July.
Gazing at my tiny baby in her snug white onesie, I was reminded of the song ‘Edelweiss’ and how it was so apt for Claire, given the meaning of her name.
Seeing how much she has grown since birth, and yet, how tiny and vulnerable she still is, made me a little teary.
She is pure, pure, sweetness.
Small and white; Clean and bright
Every morning you greet me.
Small and white, clean and bright,
You look happy to meet me.
Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow,
Bloom and grow forever.
Bless my home(land) for ever