Friday 26 May 2006

Enter Sandman

You know in your mind having a newborn is going to be challenging, you really just can’t fathom it until its smacks you in the face. It’s amazing the joy that one, well two can get from seeing their baby sleep, OK picture this still awake 5:30am thinking that I should be getting up for work in two hours, then six o’clock rolls around and sweet little Isabella is no longer screaming, but sleeping contently, and has been for more than fifteen minutes, 6:01am and both parents are asleep, its about 8:50 and she is awake, Woohoo almost 3 hours sleep. Mmmm and I’m going to be late to work, that’s life. Little Miss likes to fight sleep, thankfully she gives in once in a while. Like last night she slept for five hours, had a quick feed & change and slept for another three hours.

I’ve found a new trick for getting her to sleep. I take her for an elevator ride to ground floor and one walking lap around the pool and she’s out for the count, I figure the traffic and other outside noises lulls her to sleep. I usually take a second trek around the pools to make sure she’s deep in conversation with the Sandman. We are three for three with this trick, hopefully it keeps working for our sanity.

Again we must thank our guests; I use the term guests lightly, as they are work hard for their board. I can’t image how we would have survived without their assistance. I think ‘No Doze’ would have been in high demand.

For all you shopping freaks, you know who you are! Today marked the start of the ‘Great Singapore Sale’, this is the sale they say is worth waiting for (guess who’s been reading the marketing paraphernalia?). The sale officially runs for eight weeks with different specials all the time. Guess what, I went shopping today, yes I braved the crowds at lunch time, purchases include work pants for me and some baby stuff, I broke down and purchased this cute little baby suit. Baby stuff can be damn expensive, and it’s so dang small, go figure. However my baby suit was a relative bargain at about four dollars Aussie. We are planning on hitting the shops tomorrow too, Mum, Dad, Baby and Aunty. Should be fun, yes I do need my head examined, I’m blaming it on lack of sleep!

Monday 22 May 2006

Long Live the Dummy (They Call Them Pacifiers These Days)

Sleep deprivation has hampered our ability to update our blog, our little angel has continued on her plight to fight sleep, last night she had one good sleep of about three hours, the rest of her sleeps ranged between five & fifteen minutes. So our day started rather early, about 3am, so getting to work early was on the books, surprisingly enough I have been able to function at work and have already completed my goals for the day. Now I have to wait for others to reply before I progress onto the next stage. So blog updating time it is.

At lunch today I purchased bottle sterilising equipment, new born formula and two pacifiers (actually they were part of the ‘Free Gift with Purchase’ for the steriliser). I wasn’t keen to give our baby a pacifier, didn’t want her or our dependence to start. However after a few days of a relentless crying child we gave in and lo and behold she was quiet and Marika just told me she been sleeping for three hours, but starting to stir now. Woohoo we might get some sleep tonight! We’re going to hold off using the formula, it’s our emergency blanket in case we need it at 4 in the morning. Marika’s one tuff cookie, but I fear the sleep deprivation may impede her ability to stay awake enough to feed our always hungry little girl.

I think the last few days have been tiring for our guests / helper. Thankfully Marika’s mum & sister have been there to help out; it’s nice when somebody else cooks for you. Especially when you consider how I like to cook, you use cinnamon & mixed spice when making spaghetti, right? The two second rule still applies in this sterilized world we live in, correct?

P.S. Did you know when you’re really tired walls jump out and hit you and all my comments above make sense, including the cooking tips, you should give them a try!

Saturday 20 May 2006

The Getting Bigger Rant and Other Stuff

It was a big day for Isabella; we picked up her citizenship certificate. It reads ‘Rip Snorter, you’re now a true blue Aussie, fair suck of the sauce bottle’ well maybe it doesn’t but if it did that would make for interesting reading for people taking up Australian citizenship. We applied for her Passport, mmmm, which created a little running around for all. The passport people didn’t like our first picture, something about fuzzy around the edges and the didn’t fit their head positioning standards, to which I remarked, she is a little fuzzy around the edges, it’s only fine baby hair, as for the positioning, well her head is a little bent so it not going to fit into your oval shaped template until her head recovers from being squished in the womb. Anyhow I was given my marching order to go to a particular photo developing place up the road and they would take a new photo to suit the Australian standard. Time is against us so we wander on down to this photo place, do you know how hard it is to wake up a deeply sleeping baby without upsetting them, if so please share this knowledge with me. Anyhow she's now awake after only about an hours sleep, eyes open (as required), mouth open (as required for screaming), it was a struggle to get this dang photo, square on showing both ears, shoulders & neck, eyes open, mouth closed. I think the eyes open and mouth closed at the same time was the hardest task. The picture looks very much like my original photo except the eyes are stunned mullet open and the lips tightly closed, Isabella recovered OK from the whole experience.

More big news for the day, her umbilical cord came off this morning and all looks good. It was suggested we should keep the crusty bit of shrivelled dried out human skin pipe thing, not sure why, maybe I should Google it.

The best news for today comes from our doctors visit, little Bella has gained half a kilogram; she was just under 3kg when leaving hospital and approximately 3.5kg today. So she is eating well and growing, just what we wanted to hear, the doctor thought her foot, head and neck were getting better, it just takes time to sort itself out.

As for my working day, well there wasn’t much of it. I worked hard while I was there (thought I better add that in just in case the boss is the other person that reads my blog). I was talking to one of my colleagues and she wasn’t in a happy mood, so my usual rather incessant sporadic erratic conversations I have with fellow workers was driving her up the wall and she decided to vent how bad her mornings usually are starting with the fact that she has to get up at 5am to get her boy ready for school etc. OK maybe it’s the fact that sleep is not scheduled in my calendar for this week, but I retorted, 5am! I didn’t get to bed until 5:30am and I still managed to beat you into work by half an hour. Needless to say the topic was put to rest and work started again. I’m a people person; I have a special way with them. I think it’s called the sledgehammer personality with a twist of sad humour. Who noticed the oxymoron in this paragraph; mmmm or maybe it’s just the moron writing this long rant.

Good night, I hope you recover well from reading this blog, any psychologists invoices can be sent to Santa Clause, care of the North Pole for payment.

Friday 19 May 2006

Isabella’s a True Blue Aussie

Our little Princess really doesn’t like to go to sleep, when she is asleep she wiggles and waves her arms and makes all sorts of noises, from both ends. I would hate to think what she would be like if Marika was eating baked beans & eggs. I don’t know if babies know how to smile, but Bella spends a lot of time smiling, frowning, serious, ‘What you talking ‘bout Willis’ looks and so many more. A gal of a thousand faces. If Isabella was to be deported she now has a country to be deported to, she is now a true blue Aussie citizen. Tomorrow I’ll pick up the citizenship paper and file her passport application. Tomorrow she’ll also have her first trip outside the home to go and visit the doctor to make sure she is growing well, fingers crossed all is good. It looks like her umbilical cord is read to fall off, it was pointing the other way when I cleaned it tonight, I resisted the urge to crank it off. Bath times are still a challenge, a mix of crying and contentment, much more crying though. We are still bathing her in the bathroom hand basin, maybe we’ll look at getting a baby bath tomorrow on our big trip out. Anyhow sleep is calling; Isabella will be awake in an hour or so.

Thursday 18 May 2006

Minutes to Midnight, Still Awake Again

Well its getting towards midnight and I really need sleep, however the little Miss is upset and will not sleep, so here I am rocking in my office chair and typing this blog one-handed, we’ve tried the usual, feeding, changing, rubbing & rocking. Rocking has settled her, but she will not give into sleep. She slept well last night, 11 to 2:30 & 4 to 7:30. Marika said she didn’t sleep much during the day. She’s looking up at me at the moment; you can’t help but love a little face like hers. At this moment I would love it even more if her eyes were closed and she was sleeping. I might log off just in case it’s my one-handed typing keeping her awake.

Wednesday 17 May 2006

Work for One, Bonding for Two

It was back to work for me today, however sleep deprivation and wanting to be with my girls hampered my working ability, fortunately I don’t use heavy equipment as that could have been rather dangerous for myself and everybody around me. As it was I almost walked into the wall a few times. I did manage to walk into some fool who was under the delusion that I would climb over the handrail so he walk beside his friend. My size and the fact I was carrying a bag of heavy groceries was a helpful force in showing him the correct side of the pathway, with a little thud. Sharing the walkway and allowing people of exit elevators & trains is just not the done thing here. The worse offenders are usually teens and twenty something’s, my mistake I keep forgetting the world owes them for all their sacrifices, mmmm there is something wrong with this statement, maybe my grumpy old fartness is kicking in again.

On to more interesting matters, our little Miss was up to her usual tricks in fighting sleep and keeping us awake most of the night. Night & morning she’s not keen on sleep, but afternoon & evening you can’t wake her. I guess we need to move eight hours west so that she sleeps the night. Yia yia & Theia Andrea helped look after her today and started their bonding time. Anyhow our little girl has just fallen asleep in my arms so I should sign off and put her to bed.

PS My spell and grammar checker is back online, past entries will be reviewed later when Isabella allows her.

Monday 15 May 2006

Bella Welcomes Yia Yia & Theia

Little Miss Bella had a busy day, starting early about midnight and keeping us active till about 3:30am then we all managed about 4 hours sleep, let me say Woohoo! Then Bella decided that she would fight sleeping after her 7:30 breakfast until around 10:30, aarh then glorious sleep took over for the next 4 hours. Time for some house cleaning in readiness for our inbound guests, yes Isabella gets to meet her Yia Yia (Grandma Socratous) and Theia (Aunty Andrea) for the first time. I tried to explain their arrival to her, however we are not currently on the same communication page, but we are working on it, usually in the wee early hours of the morning when mum & dad want to sleep and she wants for something else unknown to us. Hopefully little Miss will want to sleep more tonight, as one of us has to go back to work in the morning.

Sunday 14 May 2006

4:09pm, 5 Full Days Old

I’ve just sat down at the computer and noticed the time is 4:09pm, little Isabella has just turned five days old. The time has flown by and at the same time it seems we have known her so much longer. I said this to somebody earlier today and they responded, ‘it’s like you’ve known them since birth’ to which I responded, ‘I have, I was there and saw it all’, but I won’t go into details about that! Our first night at home as a family of three was an eye opener, that is, we didn’t get much sleep. Isabella decided to cluster feed from about 11pm until 3:30am, so sleep wasn’t an option. The good news is she slept from 3:30 until about 7:30, but then it was all hands on deck for the next few hours. I’m assuming you get use to lack of sleep, well I hope so! Going back to work will be difficult on 4 hours sleep a night. Sounds like Marika and Isabella are just about finished browsing the dairy section making it Daddy burping time, Belch! Oops sorry sometimes I get mixed up about who should be burping.

Saturday 13 May 2006

Isabella's Home for the First Time

The good news is my girls came home today, little Isabella’s first time out of the hospital and I think she likes her new abode. She tested out her bed, provided me with a dirty nappy, then she provided me with another dirty nappy as I was finishing the first nappy change, aarh the endless cycle of life! Now its time for a feed and maybe a nap, Isabella might do the same!

Another Day with the Five Fingered Funny

Home early today, well about ten. I figured I should leave so Marika would try and sleep, but I was wrong, she just called as Isabella is back for food. We didn’t get much baby squeezing time today as our little yellow jaundice one was getting some blue light treatment, she was looking better tonight at her nine o’clock feeding. If all goes well with her treatment my girls will be coming home tomorrow (knock on wood, cross fingers / toes and all that other superstition good luck stuff). I have a few more pictures, hope you like our little yellow five fingered funny. Please ignore any spelling / grammatical error as I’m too tired to bother and my spell checker is not working, actually the spell checker is a she, and she is in hospital on maternity leave. Well its time to make Isabella's bed in readiness and for me to go to bed (woohoo an earily night).

I have removed some photos and added then to Isabella's website
The Little Yellow One

Friday 12 May 2006

Day 3, Yellow Baby, To be Aussie

Another exciting and long day at the office, well at the hospital with my lovely girls. Marika is doing well, feeling the pain now the good drugs have worn off, but she is up and about, attachments and plugs gone. Isabella was cluster feed earlier today but finished the day out with a couple of good feeds. She has been sounding a little congested and is jaundice, as you can see by our yellow baby photos. They were to come home tomorrow, but the jaundice might make her hospital stay a little longer. On a different note, I ventured onto Aussie soil for the first time in about 6 months, well I visited the Aussie High Commission, thankfully their security was efficient, the line up at the US Embassy was down around the corner. One and a half hour later the ball was rolling to make little Isabella a certified Aussie. Currently she is without nationality, hopefully is will change within the next 10 to 15 days so I’m informed. Then we have to get her a passport, her Singapore visa and then book flights to Sydney to meet her extended family and our friends. The washing about to finish then I can go to bed, woohoo before midnight, I might even get seven hours sleep tonight. Alias midnight came and I was still up.
I have removed the photo and added then to Isabella's website

Thursday 11 May 2006

Day 2 Baby Photo's

Well it’s after midnight, and for the second night running I’ve just arrived home getting ready to upload some new picture, maybe not, sleep is calling, so I’ll just add a few to this blog entry. Isabella had a good day, she showed us how strong her lungs were, proved that she can make her whole body go red when she cries, showed up the local baby wrap expert by freeing her arms in about 2 seconds. She loves to move her arms; she’ll turn her head and sleep on her hands. I was ‘lucky’ enough to have 3 poo filled nappies to change, mmmm what and odd colour but let not good there! Feeding the natural way is proving not to be so natural. Have you ever wondered what a lactation specialist dose, well DON’T! Good news on the new mum front, Marika is recovering very well from the caesarean or as I like to call it the Julius Caesar-ean. She is now fully unplugged but still has one needle thing in her wrist, let call it a port for better living through chemistry, which she was very happy to hear would be removed at 6am, (about 5 hours away now sweetie). She was very happy to get out of the lovely Hospital Blue butt revealing gown and into something a little less revealing. Anyhow 1AM is quickly approaching so I should wrap this up for now.
I have removed the photos and added then to Isabella's website

Wednesday 10 May 2006

Should I Sleep or Should I Go - Go Win's!

I woke up a little before 7 this morning thinking, I could get up now and go see my girls. Then it dawned on me, I haven’t even in bed for 6 hours, what am I doing, I should be making the most of my home alone time and sleep-in. I guess once Isabella’s home sleep will be at a premium. Twenty minutes later and can’t sleep, too much on my mind so now I’m up and I’m ready to go see my girls. Then the geek factor kicked in, check my email and write a short blog. Now I’m off to see them, See Ya.

It's a Girl - Isabella Maki Bywater

Jason & Marika would like to announce the arrival of their first child, a baby girl named Isabella Maki Bywater. She was born on the 9th May 2005 at 4:09pm Singapore time with a length of 50cm and a weight of 3.25kg (7lbs something). Mother and baby are both well, Dad’s doing great too! (Thanks for asking). Isabella has a proud Bywater – Socratous nose, dark hair, dark gray eyes (I’m told they will most likely change colour over the next few months), a great smile (I don’t think it’s gas just yet) and she has a knack for making funny noises with her months (I’m thinking it ‘feed me Seymour’ noises)
Isabella Maki Bywater (A Few Hours Old)

Monday 8 May 2006

39 Weeks and Counting the Days

Today it’s officially the start of week 39, only a mere seven days to our due date. Considering how Junior is moving around I think s/he wants out and NOW! The way Junior was pushing at Marika belly I think s/he was planning on pushing their way out via the belly button. The kid is quite an active little wriggler. Watching the belly moving reminds me of those special scenes in the Alien movies, just before the Alien appears. I hear that having a baby is a little alien at times, however I’m sure Junior is human looking most likely with the big family nose. We’re in the final straight, top of the ninth, 1st and goal, minutes to midnight, and all those other silly last moment staying and our excitement and terror are in overload. We think we are ready for the pooing, crying, eating machine to be on the outside to bring us joy and test our sense of smell!

Sunday 7 May 2006

Damn Big Snails

We have been getting regular rain fall here over the past few weeks, oh it’s raining, it must be 4pm, my mistake it’s only 3:42pm. Anyhow the rain bring out the snails to play, and damn are they big snails! You hit one of these suckers while riding your bike and you’re toast, well maybe not but they are rather large. Cook two of these snails and a Frenchman will think Christmas has arrived early. So how big are they really, I guess you could fit one and a half in a normal sized coffee cup, mind you I would want to use the coffee cup afterwards! I wonder how big the frogs are here; maybe the spitting cobras eat the snails bypassing one food chain level!

Thursday 4 May 2006

Week 38 (Only Two To Go)

Our 11:50am appointment didn’t start until 1:15pm. I had to go on a snack run to tide us over, you know, waiting is hungry work! Anyhow all is well with mum to be and Junior, Dad to be is doing OK, not that anybody asks, sob sob. Maybe I should bring snacks for next weeks Doctor’s visit. Hopefully the wait is not as long! I’m getting excited, the closer we get the less doctors visit we have. Don’t get me wrong, the Doctor is very nice and it’s great to see Junior and know s/he is OK. I figure in the last 9 months I’ve increased my doctors visit quantity 20 fold, I guess that’s a reflection of my concept “If the limb’s still attached, the Doctors not needed”

Uncle Terry Our First Overnight Guest

We bid farewell to our first overnight guest, well over several nights actually. It was good to catch up with my uncle Terry. With Marika not very mobile at the moment I played tour guide for a day of shopping, yes don’t adjust your monitor, we boys went shopping (for electrical toys of course), and we found a bargain or three. Thanks for the fudge.

Tuesday 2 May 2006

Accessorise Your Phone Lah

I've talked about Singaporeans and their addiction to mobile phones. As part of their addiction they like to accessorise their phone. You can get the usual and unusual cases, in just about any colour, pattern, fashion, some even use rock climbing caulk bags, go figure! Some of the other accessories I've seen include various dangling flashing light thingies, teddy bears, compass (handy), little pens, keys, building & transport passes and other forgettable crap. Anyhow back to the story at hand, I was at lunch today and this group of young locals sat down near me, and the usual playing, SMSing and even talk on the phones started but no talking to each other. You know that mobile phones aren't designed for talking on these days. Try buying one;

(Sales person) "With this next generation phone you can take video, surf the net, email, send multi media messages, toast bagels, make coffee ...
(Customer) "Good battery life?"
(Sales person) "Great battery life, one month on standby" (small print, "Battery life about 2hr 37min with normal use, will need to be replace after 100 chargers")
(Customer) "Really I just want to make phone calls"
(Sales person) "I'm sorry you can't make calls on this phone, you need to upgrade to the Gadget 3000 to have voice capabilities, do you have a gold credit card?)

You get the idea, anyhow back to the story at hand, this one girl had an enormous amount of crap dangling off her phone and she liked to display this crap by dangling it over the edge of the table. Well the crap was heavier then phone and physics kicked in ... 'SMACK' went the phone onto the marble floor. Well the phone was quickly retrieved and carefully checked then placed back on the edge of the table ... physics then 'SMACK' again, retrieved & checked, tables edge ... 'SMACK' ... a little later on 'SMACK' mmmm some people just don't learn ... and they're the future!