Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year

I ought to write a blog post. 29th December 2009, the day is Tuesday, two days away from the 1st day of 2010. This will be my last post for the year, my best year. Not because I am richer, (I never will be, because I remain a pauper despite my vow to expand my bank acct same time last year, the year before, and the year before and before), nor is it because I finally gain an extra kilogram since I last weigh myself, but simply because I have led a fulfilling journey as a father for the year of 2009. It has been extremely and undeniably awesome!

The little one is the reason that kept my spirit alive when lights go dim, she is the first person I want to see in the morning when I wake up, and the person I definitely have to smooch before I doze off to dreamland every night. She is simply, everything to me.

Nevermind the screwed up economic climate that carried through the year of 2009, nevermind the bitching demands from my clients, nevermind my car broke down for the tenth time, nevermind all the woes that hogged some of my worst days throughout the entire year, there is always a healing ritual every day when I head home from work. Although the particular ritual at times involved the inhaling of human poo and occasional physical abuse (she scratched my handsome face once that left a faint scar on my face), her cheeky chuckle and sweetie pie demeanour is enough to melt me like an iceberg in a tropical climate.

And beat this: “PAPA, PAPA bao bao” she would ratter on while extending her open arms as she laughed when I reached home daily from work. Her expression is one that tells a story about a baby who has waited for an entire day for her dad to scoop her up from her feet, to play with her throughout the entire evening, to bathe and sing her lullabies, and smooch her to sleep. NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING comes close to this! This is Nirvana, this is what I breathed and lived on, this is what makes me weak, and the reason and meaning to life.

Alright, I am intoxicated. It is the missus’s theory. I am mad. The sweet little one has gotten me poisoned in my brain. Because I repeatedly pronounce my daughter the cutest baby in the world when in fact I must have been in the sea of poisoned parents who claimed the same, their baby is the cutest. ...Nah... this of course is not true, because mine is. Alright... I admit that am beyond medical help.

But seriously, I never thought I would be so deep in this. I will like to think I am the macho, heck care, cool headed type, and definitely no weakling to a sweetie daughter. But I am, because despite the crazy hours of midnight waking up to baby wails, the anti-social lifestyle without partying, movies, and booze, this is still unmistakenly, the best year of my life, the best year, the BEST!

I want to shout out A Very Happy New Year to all of you out there! Whether 2009 had been a tough act or a breeze for you, I am sure as with my case, there must be surely something, or a special someone in your heart, or perhaps a special occasion that must have made it a great, great, great year for you people.

HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY NEW YEAR, and a great welcome to an even better year come 2010!! (yeah... the casinos are opening in Singapore in 2010, this time round I am sure I will strike it rich)

*Angel is 14 months old now and she is walking, and I am chasing, mostly in circles...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Your Highness

I finally heave up my lazy ass to type this sentence.

I have been a bad father.

3 nights ago I experienced a phenomenal that shattered my heart crushing every artery that made up the pumping organ. My adored daughter for the first time in her life shoved me away while I attempted to pat her on her back. It was 4.30 am in the morning. I had just finished a shower and dying to crawl into bed after a torturing OT in the office. The past weeks had been rather unforgiving as I pushed myself to work on projects, designing, illustrating, meetings, and all those crap that will make any chap think otherwise on becoming his own boss. In other words, I was a freaking bee that couldn’t spare a second for my daughter. I was an OT maniac, unwillingly though.

The little princess woke up in the middle of the night, and reiterated in protest. She clung on to her mother like she had just seen a complete asshole for the first time in her life. I turned to meet her in her face only to be rewarded with an annoyed look from her while she turned away from me to the other direction. That heart smashing process apparently repeated ten folds until I gave up. Not only did she not want to look me in the eye, she aggravated my heart crushing moment by crying and pushing me away.

I resented eventually, wavering the white flag.

Normally she is like the koala from down under that stubbornly hugged on to you even if an earthquake is shaking the ground at 100 Richter scale. Be it in a restaurant if I have to leave for a moment to pay for a meal, or walking away from her to wash my hands, or any scenario that warrant a two metre proximity detachment, she never wanted to leave me, protesting in wails and tears will fix a 2 month drought.

What exactly happened 3 nights ago?

It was as if she knew. That I was working too much to be bothered with her, leaving her with the poor mum to coax her to sleep every night, that I have been a bloody asshole shoving her aside every morning heading to work, that I neglected her blog updates without even a single pic of her 1 year old birthday.

I deserved to be spanked!

And decapitated, and be ignored by the great, great, great grand princess.

The aftermath? I spent a good weekend with the highness by showering her with all my love and care. Lights, Christmas trees in Orchard road, extra long baths for the kiddo and lots of smooches. So much so the missus had been teasing my sorry ass for the making up effort. I was a pathetic dog and servant to the greatest of greatest, highest of highness, and prettiest of princess in the whole wide world.

So have you forgiven me yet, my darling Angel?

Sorry daddy’s been a prick.

It’s 1.52 am in the morning. I better check on you before the day draws a close for me. And double cross my fingers that history does not repeat itself within a 3 day time frame...

Hang in there dowager, here I come.

*To fellow bloggers, sorry for not being able to visit your blogs lately, lets catch up again soon. S O R R Y.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Walk In The Park

We survived the challenge on Monday. When I suggested the outing, I had my own skeptic mindset and obstacle to wrestle over. A day in the Singapore Zoo could have been better, or the Night Safari and the Underwater world which we had both conquered triumphantly lugging our gears of baby ration and pampers mercenary.

But we went ahead anyway. However I was still skeptical behind the wheel driving towards the Singapore Botanic Gardens. It would have been so much more interesting catching rabbits and chasing tigers at the zoo with all the animal shows and gigantic elephant poo, but a day in the garden?

I imagine myself rattling to our baby daughter, “Wow Angel, look, its a green leafy tree with barks and brunches”, “Wow baby, another green leafy tree, and this one's got a darker shade of green”, “Hey over here, another tree, wow, also green in color, wow, isn't that cute darling? Wow”.

She may be a baby with a little brain but she's no push over. You show her the same trick twice she'll make an effort to feign interest. You conjure a similar trick one more time and her face will suggest you are insulting her intelligence. And believe me, it makes you look really stupid.

The way it turned out for the three of us, it was a walk in the park, and literally too. It was a splendid day at the biggest park in Singapore. Angel enjoyed herself tremendously although we were sweating like 3 fat pigs in this outdoor event. Spanning across 32 hectares of land, the garden had its root back in early 1822 when it was established as a “Botanical and Experimental Garden” at the Fort Canning Park. But it was only in 1859 that the piece of 32 hectare landscape granted its birth as the Singapore Botanic Garden. Today it is a prized tourist attraction in our tiny island of Singapore.

I hope I had the history correct because I am too lazy to google its proper origin. But you guys get the idea lah, it is a park, a solid great park, made up of er... lots of green stuff. Ok, now that we get that introduction part over let's move on to the pictorial segment of this post.

I wanted this post to be of a photography kind of post, with lots of well taken angled pics sprawling everywhere, but apparently my photography skills never improved since my NAFA days when I had to borrow fellow classmates' shoots to hand up for assignment. Also, armed with an idiot camera and pressing on the “auto” mode at every shot, I guess as much no photography awards will be given. So I ended up with much color tweaking in the Photoshop software which hopefully disguised my lack in photography shoots. But since I had already spilled the beans that I sucked in photography, I do hope everyone will still enjoy with us on our little journey in the garden of ...er... lots of green leafy trees.



Angel's absolutely cute smile!



Angel's cutie pose.



Angel's mummy pulling off a smooch.



Daddy time, hooray!!



Against the backdrop of the Bandstand, known as the “Gazebo”.



Angel in her pram by the Symphony Lake.



Mummy and Angel.



Angel's on the park bench.



Nothing, I put this in to show that the park is not all packed with green leafs.



Daddy time again! Woohoo!!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Pain

The pain is more than I can bear for the past 4 days. What started out as a normal day last Thursday turn out to be a hellish trip of fucking lower back pain all through the bloody weekend. I could hardly walk. I am surprise at my own threshold, I beared it all through Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and now I am at the fucking point of breaking.

3.40 am in the morning, Monday today. The pain is overpowering, I woke up in the middle of the night feeling sorry for myself. And I haven’t felt this sorry for years. I always thought only wimps feel sorry for themselves, apparently I have recruited myself in the army of sorry sods. I sighed and resigned to the fate of 2 slipped discs bowing low to human structural degeneration.

I have done all I could to keep myself healthy and fit. At least 4 times a week I would waddle in the swimming pool and once a week visit to the neighbourhood stadium. I also make regular visits to my physiotherapy centre and ensured that I keep myself mobile all the time, less idling and more activity is what I need according to every damn doctor and therapists I have consulted.

I really have done my best. But I walked like a waddling duck with a 10kg dumbell tied to its feet for the past 4 days and felt like an apologic dog whenever my daughter cried for me. This is the worst weekend for me, and the only days of my life that I hadn’t make my daughter very happy. I cannot carry her like I always did, and it is breaking my heart. I am serious, my walking speed made me a member of the snail community due to the extruded discs pressing on my nerves sending pain signals to my brain. I felt like shit.

It doesn’t help either that I am currently limping with my right arthritic knee that is equally pissing me off like a pregnant woman feeling the need to visit the toilet every 10 freaking minutes. This weekend had been nothing but shit, elephant pile stacks of shit that comes in tonnes! DAMN!! Chee Bye!!! Nah Beh!!

Ok, I think I am done. I am done complaining and whining in the true essence of a qualified wimp. Let me try to get myself some sleep. Apologies to those of you who have read until the final words of this post, an unconstructive post made up of complains and swear of a pain ridden ordinary chap.

Damn, I am feeling sorry for myself again.

Sorry guys. At least I made it to 2 post entries this month.

hmmmm...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Riding Out The Challenge With My Wife.



I am facing a blank screen trying to type sense of things lately.
Good, now that I had typed the first sentence and currently on my second, I’ll try keeping it going. You see, truth is, I haven’t got much I really want to express on my blog lately. Life is gel of baby sitting, work, meals with dad and mum, in-laws, my routine runs and laps in the pool, and that’s it. My social life pretty sucked these days, so you won’t see any wild party pics in this blog anytime soon. Plus, with my age catching up, I kinda feel like I am out of the social circle made up of young people in their skinny jeans and hip hairdo (I know, not wise to mention anything about hairstyle especially after my ‘Rooster Tale’ post), and I am beginning to feel a little bit of an ‘uncle’ myself. By that I mean feeling a little old, but not old age walking stick clutching old, just... matured old. If you know what I mean.

The problem is, I don’t totally feel comfortable heading into that direction at times. The thought of my screaming kids running wild along shopping aisles while the missus prowl ed the shelves of yet another ‘Toys R us’ or ‘Kiddy Palace’ store is enough to further lengthen another wrinkle across my forehead, and at some point in time the scenario will present itself. There are no two ways about it, kids are still kids, they will misbehave no matter how well taught they are.

The challenge has already begun.

Because Angel is ten months old and a little over, she has a bigger brain now I presume. And that little brain has started to extend it’s capability beyond feeding her information to demand milk and the things that little babies do. That little brain demands that she must grab one of those yellow Paddington bears hanging down from the ceiling of the ‘Guardian Pharmacy’ store. Failing which will trigger a signal that would entail a loud wail from her mouth or something on the line of breaking the weak dad’s heart.

With a sigh, I enlisted the help of a patient service staff who duly took down one of the stuffed bears. The crying and complaining stop, just like magic. I am sure if you ask David Copperfield or Chris Angel to teleport the Statue of Liberty or float in the air they would perform the act like eating cake. But they won’t stand a chance against good old Paddinton bear when it comes to making babies stop crying. This is the sort of thing that is hard, parenting, it’s deep knowledge. Because I have to decide against swiping my credit card or simply putting the bear back to where it belonged. I almost chose the former, but the missus had the good foresight to put the toy back.

She was right and I was wrong, I supposed. If my little girl start to cry and demand her way through all the time, my future would no doubt be the aforementioned, screaming kids along ‘Toys R Us’ alleys and overlapped wrinkles that would shame my neighbour’s bulldog. The curve is steeper than I imagine. Logic vs emotion, which would you choose? When it comes to soap opera Korean dvd serials, the missus wins hands down in the emotion department, you need to slay a tree or present a carton of soft tissue papers to pacify her. But when the real situation such as the abovementioned presents upon itself, trust the missus to play the logic card. Amazing split personality she has. She could be the perfect subject for any psychotherapist.

But seriously, she’s the perfect mum. When it comes to situations like this, she’s the better decision maker. I have no doubt she would also be the better discipline master as well. I, on the other hand gets bullied by my little princess more often than not. Picture this, the feel of warm and tiny palms running down your cheeks, your daughter looks intimately godly at you as she was stroking your cheeks, soooooo sweet... and while you are still savoring the loveliness, you heard a sudden smack, before you knew it the little bugger had drop a slap on your face. By the time you had come to, she’s already facing the opposite direction in her own high, smiling and chuckling away. She does have a knack for pulling off stunts like this.

That would be my little Angel for you currently. A big baby who has started to develope her own opinions, and already picking up her first few steps (with assistance of course). Despite her growth developments, she’s still a tiny baby at heart who is ever so glued to her weak dad. Walk away from her without carrying her when I returned home from work and I am asking for trouble, for she would cry and break my wretched heart. I am cursed for life, willingly.

There is an irony here. The future is coming and I have to embrace it, the aniticipation of learning more things in life and seeing your children grow up is exciting. But at the same time, it also meant I am leaving a lot of things behind, such as my carefree frame of mind which I tremendously enjoy when I was a younger me. Instead, I have to learn to grow up faster than my daughter would, and guide her well in her own path of bright future.

But my first course of action is to go up the mountain and learn from the great master. The one that is emotionally more logical than her husband.

Thank you May, my wife and a great mother, I can’t do this without you.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Angel

A lot had happened over the past few weeks. My Birthday celebration, Angel was sick again, I caught up with a friend from Switzerland, attended my hairstylist’s new pub’s opening (I didn’t put rat poison in his cocktail in case you wondered, and I have finally trimmed off my parrot tail yesterday), my car broke down and was repaired subsequently (horrible nightmare this one, perhaps will talk about it on another occasion), done a good deed helping an Indian guy who collapsed out of sudden at the IRAS revenue house (poor guy had nobody to help him while he lay flat face down motionless, those fuckwit security guards were all standing from afar whispering “Mati ar? Mati ar? JUST my luck to have walked passed, couldn’t possibly do nothing, luckily a doctor came by to offer instructional advice otherwise I would have to perform the CPR and possibly ended with some curry lingering in my mouth), also flew to KL to help out a friend’s wedding, and so much more.

But what I want to talk about on this post is simply, my daughter. My Angel. My joy. She is the most beautiful thing that had happened to my wife and me for the past nine months. Every night my eyes met her while she’s engrossing in her zzzzzzzz’s, I told myself life without her will be a total meaningless affair. And I know deep down inside my pathethic soul, she will be my biggest bully for the rest of my life. Her demands will always be reasonable, her requests will always be met, and her future boyfriend will be sure to get a bloody horrific hard time from me.

My first trip away from home last month for my friend’s wedding proved too much for me to bear apparently. The entire trip was merely a grueling test for a poor dad, to see how much my endurance measured up, how long I can survive not seeing my daughter, and to track how many times I have to flip through the photos of my daughter on my Iphone before the poor gadget self destruct in protest.

I slept at 3 am on the first night in the hotel. I woke up at 4am, went to pee. 5am, pee again. 6am, pee. 7am, tried to pee. And finally got dressed up. No matter how much eye serum I rubbed underneath my eyes I still ended up a big panda eyed man over the entire 2 day trip. I couldn't sleep without my daughter by the side. I was almost over it when my friend GZ had to bring his 2 daughters to the table at the wedding dinner. (You bloody insensitive prick) That was when I started to flip photos on the Iphone again before receiving a reprimand from another friend, Steve. I then handed the phone to my wife (with Angel's pic still on the screen) and told her, “Take care of my daughter. I am going to pee.”

Life had so much changed over the past nine months. From a carefree chap who only cared about the next season of line up fashion and what next to mod my car, I had become an uncle with his supply of milk powder and a weak heart for my daughter. I am screwed, in a beautiful kind of way of course.

She’s 2 weeks past her ninth month now. Her figure of speech extended beyond gibberish to “papa” and “mama”, her new tricks included rocking her body up and downwards in response to our command of “dancing”. She has also learned the famed flying kiss, the bye bye wave, and the extreme kissing of smooching whichever stuff toy she fancy.

How time flies. Soon she’ll no longer be a baby. She’ll learn to take her first steps in a few month’s time, and she’s going to weigh a tonne judging by her appetite. That means more business for my physiotherapist.

Before that, let’s revisit her early moments as a new born baby with the below collage of photographs, all taken within her 1st week of her life.



Next up, her happy moments captured.



And finally, her greatest moments with a silly dad and a great mum.



Thank you everyone for following us on this blog til date.

Have a pleasant and enjoyable week ahead.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Rooster's Tale

When viewed from the side, it looks like a cross between a parrot, a hedgehog, and a rooster. Meet it head-on frontal, its a swoosh of broom swipe trimmed to resemble a gigantic paint brush. The back facade is fine art at its best, it is an installation art form made up of an entangled load of farm hay. It is designed to make parents nag and propel hair clay companies to another year of indecent profit. Yes, this is my new haircut and the reason to my sore arms and neck. Arms because I have to spend five minutes every fucking morning pushing those damn strands up so that it will not be mistaken as unkept grass from Lim Chu Kang Cemetery. Neck because laying on a head rest is now history as doing so will result in forfeiting all the morning efforts in styling the hair. Vanity has its price.

Creative people can sometimes snap. Inspirations come and the sense of adventure clouds practicability. I am talking about my hairstylist, not me, who coincidently shares the same name as I do, Ken. (I will like to be seen as the victim here) I know I can be adventurous when it comes to personal style of grooming. Like the time when I had my hair touching down on my shoulders that resulted in an SIA air stewardess mistakening me as a "miss" instead of "mr", and the auntie who offered me to co-seat with her on the bus and then frozed dumbfolded when I turn to meet her eye to eye. She probably had at that moment met the "ugliest female" on the planet. I have done so many different hair styles all these years but never this rooster head. This is on par with the punk level. This positioned me alongside the "Ah Beng" demographic. Hang a gold chain on my stiffened neck and pop a cigarette in between my lips and I can start collecting protection money.

It was so bad my adored daughter could not recognise me when I first came home after the snipe. She had her mouth wide opened with an unsure look for a good ten seconds or so and then turned towards her mum for confirmation whether the punkster would be her father. That repeatedly happened for a few times before she finally got settled down and resigned to the fact that her vain dad is a hopeless case of a 35 year old man trying to look a punky 25 years in age, and obviously one who sucked at it.

"You look like a Lao (old) Ah Beng!" - My mum's comment.

"What kind of hairstyle is that wearing on your son's head?" - My dad's comment towards my mum.

"This hairstyle is ok. On it's own." - My wife's comment.

"And certainly not the kinda hairstyle for a man of your age." - My wife added.

"Siao Kia (crazy punk). One of those crazy idiots on Harley Davidson bikes." My wife further added.

There were other hurls of unkindly comments which i shan't continue to elaborate. They were all under the same category of insults and verbal abuse anyway. Truth is, to a certain degree I have to admit these accusations sounded all so true. I am no
longer in my freakin teens to slice stares in a parrot hairdo, and my wrinkles definitely doesn't match the wavy spikes. My "chao bin" (smelly face in hokkien) escalate the "Beng" factor even further. So, am I doom??

Nah. More than a week had passed since the Ah Beng invasion to the household. The world had finally resumed it's norm. Because my mum had apparently been hoaxed. (I told her a lie, that I would trim the parrot off my crown). As for my dad, comment no. 2 never left my mum's ear but it has been turned into a deaf ear anyway. My wife? She's liking the hairdo now. All woman fancy a little bad ass attitude in a man anyway right. And that is the reason why girls fall for bad boys right. Well, yes, of course... except that I look like an over aged 'Beng' instead of a suave 'Bad Boy' in his masculine persona. I merely said that to humor my own pathetic self. So don't you all go puke in the toilet bowl.

My nonsensical analogy aside, matter of factly, it is a simple case of getting used to. Over time, hype and shock spins away with the rotating hour and minute hand eventually. So, the moral of the story? It doesn't matter what the heck you did to your hair, skin it, dye it pinkish with a dash of electric blue, or model it after a porcupine and garnish it with a rooster's tail, all verbal insults will die away over time. Instead, go with NIKE's gungho attitude, "Just fuckin' Do It!"

And this is just what I am going to do next up, the porcupine head! Join me anyone?

Sorry about the 'F's. Eh hello! You are talking about "Ah Beng" here leh!!


*I wrote this on a bullshitting myself context. I ain't gonna do another funk head. I am just venting my insecurities away. I have to give credit to the missus who had been a kind support so far on this issue although a little too shocking for her to handle initially. I am also beginning to like this hairstyle of mine. Did I mentioned I will be coloring it at the salon tomorrow? Just pray that the outcome isn't a chin cheong gold!! So I guess the true moral of the story is, ultimately I am still a vain bastard!! HAHAHA!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Side Tracked Father's Day Post

A couple of weeks ago, I was patronizing the Starbucks Cafe near my house. The Starbucks at Civic Centre would be my regular haunt whenever I needed some caffeinated aromatic therapy. The baristas spinning blended coffees and the long list of high class kopi blends knew me by my ang moh name "Ken". Forget "regular", you can say I am almost a "day-gular".

A specky barista had her jaw wide opened when I ordered my Ice Caramel Macchiato lugging baby Angel with one hand and attempting to pull out a fifty dollar note from my wallet using my other hand.

"BABY??" she asked, almost stunned.

"Yeah. She's my daughter, isn't she cute. Say 'Hi' Angel," I replied proudly.

"I thought you are still single!" she exclaimed.

Oh, that startled me a little. Oh yes, I had my coffee breaks after lunch during workdays, I had my 2nd cuppa in the evenings some nights, I had ice grande mochas after my swim, I had the 'croque monsier' on the go for breakfast before heading to the office, but was never seen with baby Angel tugged under my arm, not to mention the missus and my 10 year old niece who tagged along.

"You are a father...", her braces beaming under the chic yellowish interior lighting, the green leafy veggie stucked in her braces was beginning to bother me a little.

"Yeah... well... yah..." (I didn't know what to say)

"So... father of... TWO...??" she asked, pointing her finger at my overweight 10 year old niece.

That triggered a laugh from me. I almost choked on my saliva, but luckily I grabbed Angel tight with my arm.

"Hahahaha. NO!! One lah!", I replied. And then both of us blurted loud laughters. I had no idea why she laughed, but I laughed because the idea of fathering another 10 year old daughter mused me. She probably might had snapped her braces should I proclaim my other daughter a ten year old primary 5 kid. How possibly is that? I know my wrinkles cut like MRT tracks but surely I don't look that old?

I realized I am used to acknowledging myself as a dad, but not used to someone seeing me as a father. It was the same when I just got married. The word "husband" rather than "boyfriend" needs getting used to.

But "Father" is a big word. Father means responsibility, means bringing rice to the table and more. If "husband" is a rank higher than "boyfriend", I suppose "father" outrank "husband". My self denial on being older each year and my remaining youth slipping away might have done some tricks on me, I am not sure. But this only apply when I am being seen as a father by outsiders. When spending time alone with my daughter and wife, I feel perfectly like a dad.

Three days ago was Father's Day. I told my wife I have yet earned my place as a father because I have only been one for less than 8 months. I don't think I deserve Father's Day. My dad deserved it, he had been a father for 35 years. He had slogged and tolled all his life for us. My wife then explained it doesn't work like that, if you are a dad, you are. I had a pleasant surprise when she got me an Armani Exchange black Polo Tee for Father's Day. So I guess she meant what she said, and definitely no excuses for not feeding my daughter in the middle of the night.

So I'll take her word for it. I have got to fit this role better. Drive carefully with my baby in the car, spend money wisely, be less vain and dress like an uncle, buy John Little's oversized checkered short sleeves at $15 each instead of that DKNY's spring summer $289 trendy city-print shirt (BULLSHIT of course, everyone knows I am a vain bastard, but well, but I'll spend less) , forget parties and bars, stop being nonsensical, quit being silly, swear less (I can't possibly not swear, I drive in Singapore), alright... it may get gloomier and doomier as I typed... but I guess seeing Angel's peaceful face while she is engrossing in dreamland is more than worth it (I am sitting with her, typing, while she sleeps in front of me on the bed right now).

8 months 1 day old today. Never less demanding since day 1, but more adorable each day. My personal favourite though a little cruel is that she will laugh, kick in the air, and clap her hands whenever she see me coming, but cry if I stop a few metres away without carrying her. That is how much she is attached to me and wifey. She has also grown up to be a jovial gal. She laughs, every single day. She scream with excitement when played rough. A very interesting act worth mentioning is how she engaged in a coughing competition with my wife. Angel coughs (she's faking it
so that we would carry her), then wifey coughs, then Angel coughs again, then wifey, then Angel, then she chuckles out loud. Then all three of us have a good laugh. I wonder why she finds it amusing and fun, but as long as she is happy, we'll play this game with her, over and over again.

I actually wanted this post to be about Father's Day, but obviously I have side tracked a little. I could probably carry on rattering and rattering about the 3 of us, about our little baby, but I should stop now, its getting lengthy. Besides, it is about time for a father's job, feeding time.

Happy Father's Day, belated, well... I am such an expired blogger, waddoya expect? Hee.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Simple Moments in Life

The couple of weeks haven't been too taxing for me. My designers in the office slogged day and night currently though (it was their turn after mine hahaha I am the evil boss from hell lah), I had a much more paced out working schedule. In light of that, I found myself slowing down to enjoy some very simple happenings lately.

1) The Physiotherapist

Peter is about twice my shoulder width, add another 2 heads above mine, and factor in that biceps that could probably cover my face, you get one menacing trainer from Finland. Peter is my physiotherapist. My slipped discs brought me to him. 2 unhealthy discs from the spine and an arthritic knee plus a 8 kg daughter is too much for me to bear. So I undergo a back strengthening program.

Peter is a nice guy. Because he jokes with you.

“Okay, you do 3 minutes. Pull forward and let go, lengthen your spine as you bring your back down” He said in his Finnish English accent and then pressed the 3 min timer button.

“Huh? I just finished 10 of those,” I protested.

“That was a warm up”, he grinned.

I could have cursed but it made me laughed. It was a short moment, but it was a light hearted moment. It took the tension out of me. Of course there were many jokes he would cracked. Because this was the first one when I met him, I thought it made an impression.


2) The “Sian Tao Uncle”

I was reading a book, “Dark Alchemy”. The title suggest a dark tale adventure with intense battles and wizardry. It is a fantasy book. I was immersed, almost.

“All succshessfoo women hadth the soopport ofth a man behindth her”

Where did that come from? My eavesdropping ear searching for a soundwave direction.

“Why?” returned a female voice.

“Becoth I amth behindth you mah...”

Then some giggles...

I turned around and saw an uncle holding his swollen jaw with his left hand, and with his right hand, supporting a woman, the woman was leaning on his body. They looked past 45 years of age.

And then more giggles...

I almost dropped my book. All of us were patients in the dental clinic waiting for our turn. It was a mild joke, but it was funny one to me. The uneasiness heightened by the fact that the sweet talk came from an elderly uncle. Even at his age, he was clearly a sweet talker. The women, whom I am not sure would it be his wife or mistress, glued to him like chewing gum.

Wah lao eh, I was almost electrified after hearing that. He is one big “Sian Tao” lor! (Sweet Talker in hokkien)


3) The Daily Jogger

Despite my screwed up back and knee, I still jog regularly. I jogged much lesser now though, but added swimming to my routine to make up for it. My evening runs around the sport stadium a stone's throw away from my house exposed me to some very unique characters. There was this uncle, whom I deem almost 70 years of age or perhaps more, who would be running at the stadium whenever I was there. That concluded to me he ran everyday.

But he is no fit uncle. The way he walked, twisting his neck and limping on every step as his roamed every 400m around the stadium suggested I would be the future him, a old skinny man with a crushed knee and back. My prospective future looked bleak. But on a positive note, he still manages to keep up with his activity despite his physical shortfall. It was most commendable. Regulars in the stadium knew him, waving at him whenever they see him. So you can say he was never alone, although he came alone.

I bumped onto him again after an evening swim. On my way back to the car my eyes met him in a distance. He was twisting his neck and swaying his arms back and forth walking with a limp. He became my instant idol. I would have left myself to rot in a condition like his. But none of those deterred him, he was walking towards the stadium for his regular jog.

It warmed me, and naturally I smiled at him, giving him an assured nod in the event of it.

His returned smile made my day. It was fantastic and I realized I had forgotten to smile in recent years. I had re-explored the magic of smiling, it brings people closer, it is so simple yet it is magic.

I guess I'll see him again on the tracks on the next running session, perhaps a chat to top it off.

These are the simple things in life that had made some days seem a breeze through.

Dear friends, as the weekend draws near, relax, unwind, and smile.

With Smiles,
Ken & Family

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Nightmare, Fret not, Some Lovely Pics to Light the Day

This is an account of what I dreamed last night. It felt so real:

I was cruising on a stretch of road. Behind in the back row, my wife and daughter were enjoying the serenity of trees and palms zooming past as I stepped on the accelerator. It was a most relaxing car ride scenario.

Our serene moment was then disturbed by a sudden jerk! Although it happened too quickly but I could feel my car swaying to the side of the road and eventually coming to a full halt. I could not recall what exactly had happened but my baby daughter seemed to have been flung out of the car, or not, but either how I was sure I had lost trace of her after the bumpy hit. And wifey seemed to have disappeared in a flash. The shock within me far out-matched the impact of the car knock. My immediate instinct was to pick myself up and raced towards the direction where I thought I saw baby Angel was heading.

I floored the gas petal and drove like a demon. I do not seem to give a fuck about any other thing except to speed off in the direction where I deem suppose to be.

Another knock.

My car came to a full halt once more on the side of the road. Everything was silent, I hear no screeching tires nor the bang of metals against metals, or perhaps metals against concrete, I do not care. It was most odd. I only recalled I recovered quickly on this one and fucking pissed. I stepped out of the car to see a man dressed in blue walking towards me shouting and demanding something from me.

It appeared I had been stopped by some sort of policeman (peculiarly, a mustached one) who claimed I had exceeded the speed limit. I fucked him and told the "George Lam" lookalike that I don't have time to explain this as I have to catch up with my missing daughter. The bastard wouldn't let it go and so instinctively I gave him a hard kick to the ground and hop right back into the car.

I floored the gas pedal again and sped off.

I think I witnessed lights, red & blue sirens from the rear view mirror. But I do not give a shit, I need to find my family.

I sped, I sped and sped.

A very obstructing cut scene later. I was among people in a recreational park environment. Parents were playing with their kids in the park and there were some see saws parked around. I was already weeping, uncontrollably. There was anguish, sadness, fear and panic all swelling inside of me. I was hunting for baby Angel among the crowd. I do not recall why Angel's mum was with me out of sudden, but there she was, following me wherever I go, searching high and low, low and high. Where was baby Angel? I had not stopped weeping, tears kept streaming down my cheeks, I kept on weeping as I searched.

I felt like shit.

After much combing from area to area, at last to my relief I spotted our baby daughter rolling on top of other toddlers in a far distance! And she's sucking her thumb for comfort, she appeared to have been a little soiled and bruised. I ran like a leopard could and pounced on her before she rolled out of the stack of babies. I caught her with my very own hands, and I wept again. This time, one loud but relief wail...!

By this time, I am absolutely sure I am a fucking big sissy because I woke up with tears still in my eyes!! And a patch of tears still lingered on my pillow. I turned around and find baby Angel sleeping by my side and eyes wide opening, she kicked and opened up her arms flapping them, and then rolled close to me and gave me that angelic smile that still melt me a like warm chocolate.

THANK GOD. It had only been a freaking horrible nightmare.

Yet it felt so realistic that I actually cried in my sleep. It was really scary, more scary than any horror show screened on any cinemas. Plus it dented my macho-ism. I WEPT, LIKE A WIMP!!

I'll end my post with some jovial pics of my 7 and half months old daughter who had already started to grow her first set of teeth. She had become so active now hopping and kicking her legs whenever I carried her. Then the rolling... she's been rolling herself over and over when placed lying on the bed. So much so that I have to place 2 pillows on both the far left and right of the bed to prevent her from tumbling on the floor.

I wonder if that's what triggered the horrific dream...

Enjoy the pics:



Mummy's Gem.


Daddy's Little Girl.


Forever...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

An Extraodinary Movie Outing

When my wife mentioned she badly wanted to catch a show I realised it had been roughly 20 full moons ago since we caught one. How is one going to manage a baby, a pram, 1 milk bottle and a bag full of baby toiletries in a theatre? I would like to point out Adiddas’s current marketing tagline, “Impossible is Nothing” is a total BS (bullshit) in this context. No one can manage a new born baby in a cinema.

Years ago, the forum section under the local newspaper sparked a big debate. Some idiots actually brought their babies to the theatre complete with prams parked alongside the seat aisles. Fellow Singaporeans have been accusing these parents as inconsiderate, selfish and dumb sods. Being the carefree much younger designer without parenting responsibilities, I couldn’t care less. All I cared was where to hang out on a Friday night and how to hang a crying baby when I am watching X-Men. Heck, I even almost agree to the insensitive comments hurled at those parents.

Now I can empathise with the accused.

I too, badly wanted to bag a heap of popcorn in a cinema watching the latest blockbuster. But with a baby daughter lugging around during our every available off days, this can only be happen in dreamland. Yes, even a simple leisure such as catching a show is merely a talk in the air these days. Parenting does come with many things, joy, excitement, fun, and of course sacrifices.

So you can imagine the ‘shiokness’ when my wife and I were slumped onto the seats of Cathay Cinema yesterday during an office afternoon hour (We decided to screw work and just go for it). A lover’s combo means a bag of popcorn and 2 soft drinks, and that was just what we had... but alas it was not for long.

Barely 20 minutes into the show, Ben Stiller was just trying to budge into the archive levels of the museum (We were watching Night at The Museum 2), and then everyone sitting in the theatre were asked to move our ass out of the cinema promptly.

A fire had broken out. The whole mall had to be evacuated. Sluggish and annoyed cinema goers thronged out of the multiplex to be greeted with a smoke-filled shopping centre. And suddenly everyone wasn’t so sluggish anymore. Everyone was becoming excited! How often do you get to be trapped in a fire broke out mall on a Friday afternoon? Especially when you haven’t been to a cinema in eon years and you finally decided to skip work to catch your favourite movie only to be kicked out of the theatre seats you barely warmed (pointing the finger at myself of course). And imagine if you were doing your mani and pedicure and you had to be ushered out of the shop dripping nail polish. What about those in the salon having their hair colored mid way? Hordes of them would be scrambling out of the shop in multi-colored procession. How totally awesome is that?

In the midst of evacuation, I saw kay pohs snapping photos everywhere with their cam phones, I saw excited aunties excavated from hair salons still combing their wet hair as they sashayed down the escalators, and I witnessed SCDF fire fighters with their water hoses combing the top floors of the mall as my wife and I descended from the topmost cinema level among the crowd. I only had one thought in my mind then, “I don’t want to die.” And the imagery of my daughter’s face hogged my entire vision. I kept thinking “I don’t want to die...”

Perhaps to kill off the dramatic scenario, what I saw when we climbed down from the higher floors to the lower basements was business still going about. It was quite clear smoke had reached these areas but most shoppers maintain indifference. Wow, this is the true Singapore spirit I thought to myself. Never mind the chokiness I can manage, but take away my shopping and I will die. Instead, let me die shopping. All right folks, you can continue to hunt for your bargain blue ray DVDs; I still want to be alive to see my daughter.

Both the missus and I scrambled out of the mall and drove out of the car park like a pro racer. In the process of it, I renacted Vin Diesel in the movie “Fast and Furious” pulling off a car park stunt because a fellow driver was stuck at one of the exit gantries with a undervalued cashcard. I had to swerve out of the queue and cut into another gantry lane like a GTR racer. Yes, a rather selfish act it seems, but returning home to Baby Angel with a full intact body was my priority, besides I did it with a skill act that could have put Vin Diesel to shame, ahem, because I did it without obstructing any fellow motorists. (Alright, I suppose any lame excuse counts when one is scrambling for his life)

Outside, we saw 2 fire engines and the excavated crowd. Interestingly, we saw some more cars trying to drive into the mall. Yeah, long live the Singaporean shopping spirit, my deepest salute to fellow countrymen with such steely determination with regards to credit card abuse.

Finally, we arrived home safely with a cup of ‘Zapple’ still in hand. And more than happy to greet our baby Angel with opened arms. This is indeed one extraordinary Friday afternoon for us. We might really have a higher chance striking the 4D, like I said how often do you encounter a fire while catching a show. Speaking of which, the missus is still sore over the incomplete movie outing. But that's gonna be another excuse for another slack afternoon...

Probably “Angels & Demons”?

Yeah, it’s gonna be Vin Diesel meets Tom Hanks. (guffawed laugh) Well, I can sense the mockery coming from you guys already...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Now & Then

My wife walked into my office while I was looking intently into my 19 inch LCD monitor. Not that she was going to “tarik” and walk away even as I appear seemingly serious and focused onto something very, very important.

I should have known the missus, without a hoot she marched right towards my desk and looked into my monitor screen.

“Wah lao, you slacker!” she said.

Well, I was not onto something work related, instead I was casually surfing the blog sites of fellow bloggers. All the more I had to put on a “I am busy so call on me later” face, I had to act like I am busy even though I am the boss. I shamelessly told her I needed time to relax as I had been so cooped up with work for the past weeks. I guessed my lame excuse didn't stop her from pulling in a discussion on project schedules and concepts needed for a forth coming meeting.

Yes, I was slacking, but that means I finally can get my hands off on some work as my work load eased off a little. I finally have some decent time for simple leisures, and that includes updating this very expired blog.

Angel soaked off much of our energies for being ill for almost 3 weeks the past month. A flu virus was passing around the house and eventually everyone living under the roof caught it. The recent swine flu thingy also sparked some precautionary measures and we avoided going near anywhere crowded. All is well now and everyone had recovered since. But something caught me rather off-handed.

My little girl is now very long. I mention long and not tall because she doesn't yet stand on her feet. And If you place her lying on the bed now, she is rather long. I realized what everyone told me was true, they grow up faster than I can imagine.

A few days ago, I was organizing some files on my new laptop for a coming presentation and chanced upon the digital photos snapped from since Baby Angel was born till now. She was so tiny when she was brought home. Her reactions then were so much different from now. Then, she was just like a little cat mewing softly all the time, now she chuckles and shrill occasionally. Then, she doesn't have a clue who I was yet, now she recognizes me as her dad whom she will gladly open her arms wide indicating she demands a carry whenever I walk pass her. Then, she was just drinking 30ml of milk from the bottle, now she consumes organic porridge and drowns 160ml of milk at the same time. Then, carrying her was a breeze as I could sweep her off in a scoop and carry her with a single arm, now I have been thinking of picking up Yoga to correct my twisted back. There are so many 'thens' and 'nows' that I could probably draft out a list that could crawl the great wall of China over and over again. Alright, I do have the tendency of exaggerating things but you get the point.

The 6 and half months of living with this new joy of mine, our baby Angel, have been one of the most enjoyable rides of my humble life. I realize I cannot live without her anymore. It is like falling in love for the first time all over again. I know this is freakingly mushy, and if none of you can bear to read on, I do not blame you. Call me a wimp, sissy, weak, or anything you like. But these feelings are true and I shamelessly want to document it down :P

I am also glad Baby Angel's face is still silky smooth despite the pool of saliva I had smacked on her after all the kissing and smooching all these while (including the extras from Anton). I only pray she will grow up with beautiful white facial skin like her mum and not my crinkly skin texture that have once been described as a tangerine or orange skin peel. (This is true, which is why one fine day the missus brought forth a slew of Biotherm products for me and smacked them on my face. I am glad she did that, otherwise I would have resembled my neighbor's bulldog by now.)

Angel's mum walked into my office again 5 minutes ago while I finished typing the above liner. I was greeted with a slap on my arm and and reprimanded “Want to die ar you, writing blog here in the office.” But she was smiling and cringing like a sneaky thief as she spoke. Oh I love her expression, and I am sure my daughter will one day be as animated as her.

Alright, this mushy cushy stuff is really suffocating everyone. I better call it off and let the pictures do the talking. As of today, Angel is 6 months and 19 days old. And she is waiting for me as I prepare to go home from work.

You didn't think I was really going to stop this mushy conversation did you...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mr Lee Revisit & A Long Break

Something is very wrong with me. I woke up in the morning, fed my daughter, took a shower and assess my stress factor.

Cannot be what... I am healthy, exercise regularly, not psychotic, and I look like the Japanese heart throb Takeshi Kaneshiro. Alright, the latter is a sick joke, I resemble nothing near him. The only reason why I mentioned Kaneshiro is because I have been using the skin product he so dearly endorsed.

But why do I keep dreaming of our MM Lee (Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew). He revisits, in my dream after a 2 month long hiatus. The last time he appeared in my dream he was doing his “meet the people session” at my house. This time he chatted with my mum! I was dumb-folded and rightfully so, and I was still as nervous as a misbehaved kid waiting to be spanked.

The fact that my mum doesn't speak English doesn't bother him either. They had a great chat, although I couldn't make up whether they were conversing in any sign language of sort. But Mr Lee is in a great health of younger days about the age of 60 (similar of my previous dream). And my mum? Weird, she looked much younger in her early days too!! Even while sleeping I am concious I was dreaming. And dreams are not supposed to be logical, so I am sure my mum does not know him on a personal level…

And this time round in dreamland, no wailing from Baby Angel, no bodyguards, I gleefully presented something for him to sign on it. I glanced around the superficial room that never existed in real life for an item to have his signature scribbled on, I only managed to grab hold of a bright red T-shirt I designed for my company a couple of years back. The print on the T shirt with a devil-like creature read “Jian Gui Le” in mandarin (translated in English as: Seen a Ghost).

Now, how hospitable is that… He revisits my house and I present him with a “Seen a Ghost” pictorial for him to sign. Still, like a under-aged ignorant kid, I handled the T shirt to him with shaky hands. The great man had never for once smiled when he appeared in my dream, but he nevertheless signed on the T shirt even as he was wearing his signature stern expression.

Surprise surprise!! I finally got his priceless signature! And that was not the end. I also managed to have him signed on my ‘Lee Kuan Yew Memoirs’!! This is like lottery! No, this has to be a lottery. The morning I woke up from the absurdness of this dream, I dived into another absurd conclusion. I am going to strike “Beh Piou” (4D in hokkien). So I jotted down all the dates related to Mr Lee and marched fiercely to the Singapore Pools.

Of course none of the numbers came out. What was I thinking. I concluded I was just a regular stressed up chap in a Government aided economic buyout environment.

I am sure the common man on the ground must have their own fair share of absurdity on certain days, such as dreaming about dating a film star or something. But mine has gone a fair bit far fetched…

That happened more than 3 weeks ago.

Which means I haven’t been free of work load since, and I haven’t had the time to post and ratter complaints on Blogosphere like a true Singaporean. But I will be back. Because Baby Angel is now 6 months and 2 weeks old. She has made tremendous progress since the last update. And I feel imperative to document my daughter’s growing up moments before she start to walk and become less of a baby but more of a toddler.

Meanwhile I am stitching up a collage of Angel’s recent and past photos, including the missus’s birthday pic at Verve restaurant. Til the masterpiece is done, take care all, on this Vesak Weekend.

Be blessed.

PS: And if anyone can interpret my silly dream please let me know, preferably with a more accurate set of numbers…

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Shopping Trip & A Great Birthday

Baby Angel was still running a block nose and the awful cough, and I wasn't sure if I should bring her along for my niece's birthday dinner. Well, we went ahead anyways, we simply cannot skip this wonderful celebration. My brother's daughter celebrated her 1 year old birthday last Sunday. Much preparation was administered, and it was a fantastic family dinner. Our friend and colleague Paul, was robed in as the official photographer for the highly anticipated event. Everything was prepared thoughtfully. I even survived “Giddy Palace” shopping for our lovely niece Xinyue's birthday present.

I am sorry the correct moniker should be “Kiddy Palace” instead , but in my dictionary of meager vocabulary it must be referred to as “Giddy Palace”. Giddy Palace you see, is a massive super chain store for everything baby and children. Need a flirtatious Barbie doll in hideous pink mini skirt, go to Giddy Palace. Need a gayish look alike male companion for Barbie the doll, go to Giddy Palace. Need an overrated dinosaur in purple suit, hop to Giddy Palace. Need a VCD that plays Barney's version of American Idol, sing your way to Giddy Palace. Need a baby cot, milk bottle, lullaby CDs, baby jumper, sleeping suit, toy gun, wrapping paper, stroller, pampers, and the oversize maternity wear, head over to GIDDY PALACE.

If you haven't already had a spinning head digesting the products listed above, try surviving and breathing inside the superstore physically. I had a better chance surviving the current credit crisis. On the left alley you spot a crying toddler, on the right intersection you see a defiant toddler screaming at the top of her voice. Behind you a crying baby wailed, and above you (ironically) the store music plays a happy song with an Elmo vocal that sounded like a 40 year old man faking orgasm.

I know I am being ruthlessly crude here. And I apologize for offending anyone out there if I ever did. I never meant any harm. I just never fancied an excursion up the king of toddler superstore. Which is why whenever the missus suggested popping over, I needed a construction type pull up crane to heave up my inverted smile.

By the time I stepped over 3 spoiled toddlers, wrestled with Hello Kitty, flip over baby strollers with 5 year olds still sitting in them, pushed away selfish parents, and probably stabbed Barney with a Swiss army knife over and over again we finally arrived at the sales counter with the item in hand. The gay music continued to play above, but the mood isn't particularly gay or rather, happy for the sales staff behind the counter. I have been to the place a couple of times but I have never encountered a smiley sales attendant. Their facial expression suggested they were forced to watch Barney VCDs every morning as part of the norm before they kick start their work day. For Barney fans out there I am sorry if purple is your cup of tea, I just cannot agree wearing that color on a dancing dinosaur, and I am from the creative industry. Creativity must be encouraged but it cannot be absurd. But interestingly the kids love the big cuddly dinosaur. I guess that is the reason why adults can never quite comprehend the imaginative world of children.

No prizes given out for what I did not buy for my niece as her birthday gift. Yes, no Barneys. Just a useful Fisher Price brand shopping trolley designed to aid her in learning to walk. The useful product has an extended handle for the girl to hold on and then walk as she pushes it. Interestingly, those folks at Fisher Price does possess a children's perspective when designing products meant for the kids.

Happy with the purchase, we had the gift wrapped up in teddy bear wrapping paper. We also bought a Polo Ralph Lauren dress for the one year old queen a few days earlier. As a known branded 'xiao' to my friends and family, there is absolutely no way I will pass off shopping for a designer apparel for my niece. The end result had been more than rewarding. Seeing the joy on Xinyue's face meant she was more than delighted with the propositions. The gift unwrapping ritual must be the most exciting highlight for any Birthday kid. The chuckles and excited body language from your child will definitely make any parent feel rewarded. I can see that in my brother's eye. A long anticipated 1st Birthday for your kid is perhaps the joyous occasion of the year. It was such a fantastic Birthday, not only for Xinyue, but for everyone, including my mum and dad who held on tightly to their 2 granddaughters, Xinyue and of course our little Angel.

With one great Birthday over, another one arrives in another 6 months time. And I am already wondering what to buy for our little Angel when it is her turn for her birthday. How about a chic Armani Kid dress complete with the signature eagle logo? Top it off with sparkling crystals sewn over the logo. That would be perfect.

But I can already hear the missus ratter in my head now, “Please don't make your daughter into a spoiled brat! You vain bastard!!”

I am itching all over now...


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Culprit



I am wearing a mask... and I am writing a diary.

No, I am not renacting the scenes of the comic character 'Rorchac' in the film “Watchmen”. Although with the mask down I look perverted and sick enough at times. At least the missus thought so. My habit of mimicking a film character after every inspired movie is a near push factor for a divorce paper from my wife. There were many examples to quote. But probably the most irritating one was when Brad Pit played an insane character in the film “Twelve Monkeys”. I was so inspired that I wore that idiotic expression for an entire week. The missus should have dumped me for a real Brad Pit lookalike, but the woman had an amazingly steep threshold. Places switched, I would have lost the will to live (it was that bad). However, it was not easy to spot a potential Brad Pit. So she stood by me all these years.

We are both wearing masks now, surgical masks to be exact. With the masks on and a syringe pumped up with medicine, we looked very much like the doctors in “Prison Break”. Our subject now though is not the famed Michael Scoffield (the lead hero in the show). We are working on our Baby Angel instead. And I am the culprit for this operation.

Yes, baby Angel had fallen sick for the first time in her human life. And I am to be blamed. Viruses from my gastric flu had probably invaded her weak immune system, or the lack of it. Born with a hole in her heart, she has a tendency to be weaker than her peers because her lungs have to work harder due to the presence of the tiny hole in her heart. And that means she is more prone to viruses.

Our subject wailed and kicked while doctor daddy is holding her close to thy chest. Playing nurse, the missus had to speedily squeezed out the drug from the syringe into baby Angel's mouth, and then we wait for more kicking and wailing. This is breaking my heart out while she is desperately plucking out the hair underneath my armpit for comfort... Yeah, as if coming back at me with a vengeance, baby Angel is resisting all her might to thwart the doses of bitter drugs. And in the event of this saga, it looked like I might have lost a few strand of body hair. But surely this is nothing compared to the discomfort baby Angel is experiencing being sick for the first time in her life.

I felt really bad for this. To make it up, I am teaming up with my wife to give our little gal the best attentive care we can give in exchange for her speedy recovery. And in the event of this, I am willing to let go of some of my bodily hair while the little one is being coerced to down the few ml of those nasty drugs.

The pediatrician advises against stepping out of the house the entire week for baby Angel, a welcome suggestion in the view of her grandpa, who until today continue to threaten grounding his son inside the kitchen. I guess parents will be parents despite how old you are. And it is only now that I am a parent myself I can somehow relate my dad's irrational actions.

I once mentioned this to Angel's mum. “When she grow up I am not sending her for overseas studies.”

“Why?” mused the missus.

“I just can't bear to do so.” I said.

“Don't be silly. By habouring such thoughts you are not helping to nurture an independent child. You are not doing good for Angel.” The missus was right.

Protecting your child does not mean fielding her from everything. Your children need to experience the necessities of life. Life is never meant to be a bed of roses. I grew up under the roof of overly protective and strict parents. I used to dread my father for calling me up at the age of 25 when I was still hanging out with friends in the night. My dad was so strict and protective that made me, once a immature lad, into a rebellious kid. No, I wasn't a gangster, mischievous as I was, I still adhered to the good values that my parents impresses upon me. But I could be rather ill-tempered during those days. Mostly because I wanted to break free the norm that my parents wanted me to be in. I am not blaming my parents for this, they meant me well, looking back I was just an immature lad. It was just food for thought, because whatever actions handed out by me to Angel will definitely trigger a reaction. And I would like those reactions to be positive actions.

But in the heart of doting and anxious parents, how do we measure the balance? How much to let go and how much to reel in. I have no idea, and it is a profound knowledge every parent have to seek, in our very own ways, because we tend to be the culprit of our children's actions, and it is a course we need to tread carefully.

The future may be full of learning curves for me, I am guessing steep ones mostly. And I have to learn to let go of our little girl when the time calls for appropriate actions. But right now one thing is very clear, Angel should not step out of the house as advised by the pediatrician. My old dad is right in this case.

And being the lone culprit for Angel's misadventure, I must work towards having our daughter well again. Do whatever that is necessary. Whether it is donning that surgical mask for preventive measures or having the entire family grounded for the rest of the week, I will just have to do it. All in the well-being for baby Angel's recovery.

But on second thought, I will probably be hunting for the shaver now..


*I must thank fellow bloggers for popping by now and then seeking for Angel updates. When I started blogging, I never thought I could connect with great, warm and nice people, you people!! I merely wanted to document my simple life and a dose of my family story so that I can look back in time and reminiscence the memories in time. By now I can probably gather the familiar handful lot of you that kept popping by in anticipation of Baby Angel's progress.

I am deeply touched.

The past weeks were a mash up of hectic workload, friends and family issues for me. I was not able to keep up with more updates as much as I wanted do. One of which was Angel's special act of biting everything she fancied. I could have written a light hearted tale on this, but right now I simply have to be contented with the below photograph that somehow tells the story.



One very easy culprit to point finger to is of course my work. The economy is bad, and that means me getting my hands dirty doing some major design work in the office on top of the other daily operations.

I would like to share with you a recent project I completed last month. It is a children website for the International Friendship Day. I am not much of an illustrator, I am more of a graphic multimedia artist. This production is interesting to me because I have to draw a lot of cartoons which is so not my usual style. There is game component in this website www.ifd2009.com.sg. It is a Q&A game testing your knowledge of ASEAN countries, have a go at it and see how well you fare. It is quite interesting, I couldn't answer all questions correctly relating to Singapore myself. And feel free to comment on the production. If it sucks, just be frank. It will improve my direction in my future projects.

With that, I end my post. And I wish all of you a very pleasant week ahead!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Fabulous

Thump..Thump..THUMP! THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP Wahhhh....!!!!!

A shrill chuckle ensued as I pounced on our baby daughter who is lying on our bed, still giggling.

Hopping back a metre or so with both hands stretched out T-Rex style, I began the exercise all over again, thumping my left foot followed by my right, quickening at very step and finally pouncing on her like an over-aged Barney less the hideous purple dinosaur suit. The anticipation in her eyes coupled with a cheeky smile is absolutely too tempting to do this over and over again.

I peeped into my watch and told myself I should be leaving for work in 15 minutes time, but then again that was what I said exactly 15 minutes ago.

“You know, you love your daughter more than your wife now”, came the occasional tease from the missus.

“No lah, where got?”, I would massage her shoulders and then sped off to work, sneakily.

But its always so hard to let go after a hearty weekend together. Knowing you have to spend most of your time at work and then come home to a sleepy daughter on most weekdays. Perhaps to add oil on fire, its also because its a Monday. Yet another long wait for the weekend to spend your entire time with the family.

Don't get me wrong. I love my work. I do not have the usual Monday blues. I am one of those who like to work their sorry ass off even after the working hours are over. But I still have my Monday blues, largely felt while I am still holding baby Angel when I am supposed to be heading off to work behind the driving wheel.

Which is why weekends have been more precious than ever. Which is why the OTs on weekday nights to make room for Saturdays and Sundays. And also the reason I try to squeeze out every minute I have on these two days.

It had been a great Saturday with much activity going on. We met up with two of my friends and their lovely one and half year old son at Vivocity for Tim Sum. This meet up have long been overdue and I was looking forward to it. Their lovely son named Issac with dimples so deep you simply want to hug has grown so much taller since we saw him. Nevermind the shyness because whenever I approached him he would smile and glance away either saying “Papa there, or Mummy there” even though both of his parents might not necessary be in the direction that he is pointing.

He is just so adorably cute and so shy.

Hui and Willson have been our long time friends since our NAFA(Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts) days. Seeing their friendship blossoming into a courtship is like traveling time through a spaceship. In a snap Issac had been born, and is now a healthy toddler walking on his feet. Time flies, and its true.

Time also passes by swiftly especially when you are enjoying yourselves. We had to bid them goodbye as they had to head back home for Isaac's nap. And promised to meet up again soon.

In an effort to squeeze time dry after the meet up, we met up with another friend of us, Steve, who gamely followed us to our second mission by the order of the missus to bring baby Angel for a swim. Before you ring the “Report The Abusing Parents” helpline to MCYS, please hear me out. Its a controlled environment where you dunk your baby in a water filled tub as opposed to dumping her into the South China Sea swimming with the sharks. Although the swimming float wrapping around Angel's neck does come close to those movies whereby prisoners are dug beneath the mud with only their heads sticking out.

But still it is not a cause for concern. Because Angel's mum is more concern with hygiene issues.

“Did you bring a towel along?” ask an elegantly aged shop assistant, “Here, use this one.” and then produced a dull green color towel with mouldy prints when viewed at certain angles from afar.

“And this is clean?” ask the missus.

“Oh yes, these towels are used only once and then throw away,” came the reply.

Call me cynical, but the towels looks like it's been washed at least 50 times. It looked like it's previous life had been a bright lime green piece of soft fabric. Currently it looks like an SAF(Army) no.4 uniform.

Well, I don't really care because the swimming float around my daughter's neck looks more menacing and may I add, suffocating. Well, what the heck, its a little too late to back out now because the little one is about to dip into the pool.

There could have been a better interior designer to engage, but apparently the shop owner favors the open concept à la “Ding Tai Fung” restaurant style which people can peep through transparent glass from outside to have a kaypoh look at what you are cooking, or rather, doing. I can't help but feel like monkeys in the Zoo because there must have been like more than ten kaypoh sods outside the shop with popcorns in their hands waiting for the next matinée. And when baby Angel is plonked into the basin of water, the oohs and ahs from the crowd followed suit and they immediately rushed forward smacking their faces onto the glass panels.

From where they are standing, they can see our baby Angel's little performance of aqua aerobics. But when they realized this is hardly Michael Phelps or the exotic north polar bear somersaulting in the water ripping off fishes, they left the scene only to be replaced by a newer crowd of kaypohs.

“This is like the Singapore Zoo”, suggested my friend.

“No, its more like The Singapore Night Safari,” I said as it is almost close to 8pm in the night.

Whichever case it was, one thing was clear. Baby Angel was totally immersed in her world of water kicking and tremendously enjoying the dip. An average first time swim usually lasts about ten minutes, but she was soaked in the tub for more than twenty. It also helped that the missus kept on shouting words of encouragement such as “Well Done Angel!!”, and “Keep it Up Angel!!”, and then more “Well Done Angel!!” and “Keep it Up Angel!!”

Seeing my wife going gaga at this for a lengthy twenty minutes, my heart was beaming with warm feelings. The missus is a fully transformed mum, she doesn't care that she looked like a lunatic shouting words of encouragement while the kaypoh crowd watches on. Her mind was focused only on caring for our little girl, and showering her with the best love she can give. I almost wanted to hug her. Well almost, because the shop assistant popped over before I could.

“Some babies can go like this for one full hour.” she said.

Wow. Baby Angel could probably have no problem keeping it up for an hour after the tenth visit. But can the missus do it? Going gaga for one bloody hour? I cannot imagine further.

The last mission was to have a hearty dinner to wind down the day. Now, I must stressed that I am not a cheapskate, but to have two meals paid for in a day is still a welcome gesture under the current economic climate. Steve ended up paying for the dinner, and so did Hui and Willson on the Tim Sum meal. Thank you guys for the meal. We really should meet up more often.

The night ended on a less jovial note after the Japanese dinner. Sleeping in her pram, baby Angel started to wail out of no reason. I had to carry her out of the pram and pacify her with my fatherly skills honed in the past months. It did not worked. The most disadvantaging aspect of a loving father would probably be the fact that he cannot breastfeed. When the milk bottle does not work, and everything else fail, the missus had to be called in.

And in the breast feeding room provided by the mall, away from the crowded noise, I sat beside Angel's mum watching over them. Life had never been better. We could have married later, or learning to party hard like there is no tomorrow, or we could have a kid later. But nothing comes close to this, just the three of us enclaved in the warmth of each other.

One day down, Sunday awaits us. I still have time to treasure this.. before the Monday morning today.

And outside the baby room, a patient friend awaits. It was time to go home.

It had been a fabulous day.


*I would like to dedicate this post to my lovely wife, and all the mothers out there. The baby might have been born. But we(the fathers) have not all forgotten about you, because you are simply fabulous!!





Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Twenty Six February Two Thousand & Nine - The Curious Face of Baby Angel

26th February 2009.

Today is a historic day.

Not because Obama rolled out an audacious $3.55 trillion budget set for reform. Nor is it because I finally see a lump on my stomach after weeks of trying to gain some weight (It is not a pleasant sight, I think I prefer to be slim despite the missus's constant effort in strumming my ribcage for obvious reason).

Today is historic because baby Angel made a hamster face. Yes you hear me, a hamster face. The type of expression that suggest heaps of nuts have been deliberately stored in both cheeks, complete with gigantic innocent eyes almost exploding while she is trying to compress her upper and lower lips into one lump of a sausage.

She has grown up. Faster than I can imagine. She is 4 months and 5 days old today. She weighs a healthy 6.53kg and covers a length of 62.5 cm. The figures probably doesn't mean a lot except for potential 4D betting inspiration because in another week or so she will be taller and heavier, hopefully just a tad heavier because I have been having sore arms and a disproportionate back lately. But that is not the point, the point is; she is starting to pick up new learning examples and slowing moving away from the territory of a new born baby.

I am almost weeping.. she has finally grown up.

“Don't be silly, she's still a baby, its not like you are marrying your daughter off or something.” I can imagine my missus sneering at me.

But who can blame me? My silly tricks of hoaxing my daughter have not been working of late.

I will go, “Huah Wah Wah Wah Wah” with my mouth wide opened and Angel will maintain indifference.

Or:

“Angel girl girl girl girl GURL!!!” I will squeal in a melodic high pitch yet disgusting tone. The little one simply frowned and attempt to suck at her fingers instead. I can almost sense what she's thinking, “Dad please.. I am 4 months old, stop embarrassing yourself”. And then more hamster face for the whole bloody day.

I had no idea where she learned that from. But the fact is she is starting to explore new things and making faces because she is fast turning into a toddler. In another few months or so she will be crawling all over the place tearing down the house, doodling on car leather seats and probably reading pictorial books with fat hamster illustrations in them.

I braced myself ahead with mixed feelings. Here's one father who doesn't have a clue on how being a parent is like barely one year ago. He has grown accustomed to a new born daughter, living a life of sleepless nights and no longer finding human poop smelly, which is well... a cause for concern. He has also learned to communicate in baby speak but only to find the language now obsolete because baby Angel cannot grow up learning to speak gibberish. Proper pronunciation must be enforced, a conducive growing up environment must be provided and so forth and so on. The anticipation of my daughter calling me 'Dad' and standing on her feet is exciting, however her moving away from a cuddly new born will be something I will dearly missed. To be honest, when she made the hamster face for the first time today, I was totally thrilled and happy. So yes, things are going to get more and more exciting with this little girl of mine. I will have to teach her how to poop properly on a toilet bowl sometime later, and I will have to teach her manners and ABC in time to come. But the feeling of cuddling her as a new born will not go away either, it will always remain fresh in my memory and in my heart.

The first challenge currently though is to concoct new tricks to communicate with her.

Yeah... I am learning how to make that hamster face now...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Family Portrait

Today I just swallowed the most expensive steak of my life, a "Fillet Mignon single cut" set me back at SGD $79.00. The missus had a salmon with a price tag of $52.00. We skipped our Valentine's Day meal last Saturday as we were attending a friend's wedding dinner, so we thought we could celebrate on a separate day and at the same time do away with those overpriced commercial set meals.

We dined at Morton's Chicago Steakhouse this evening. They had this "impressive" method of introducing the restaurant's menu by putting forth a whole tray of raw meat and seafood in front of us as our dedicated server explained the courses (the poor sod was basically dictating a prepared script which I didn't catch on totally). And seeing the slabs of sliced up dead cow meat before ordering isn't exactly tantilising.. I half suspect I saw some chopped up crab legs moving as he spoke.. I am sure my mind was screwing with me after an entire week of OT and hectic workload. But alas I still managed to wind it down over a decent though overpriced meal with my wife and daughter.

As the week curtains down....

Alright this is a bloody boring post. I wish I have some wild escapade such as skinning a crocodile or something to brag about, which I haven't. Instead I have been cooped up with work and more work going for meetings and designing endless stuff for my clients. I did however spent some useful time on and off drawing a family portrait for our family of 3. So here goes, an illustration of the missus, baby Angel and myself attached in this post. Borrowing an art style I did for a current project, I created this pictorial. Not very polished yet as I didn't have the luxury of time to touch up more shadows, details, and possibly a background. Nonetheless its counted as completed although Angel's mum would like to see herself in a hip jeans and stylish sandals instead of an "ah soh" black skirt with horrific red color flat slip ons. I promised to work on it again some day once the client cut me some slack.



Lastly, Have Happy Weekend!

From Ken, Wife and Angel.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Angel Updates

And so the client said, "Take away this, minus that, multiply those and axe these."

"Your wish is my command.." was my reply, and I sent the ammendments over.

And then the client said, "Change this chunk and dunk those crap."

"Your wish is my command.." again I said, and sent the ammendments over again.

And then the client said, "Change again, change again another time, change again one more time, CHANGE CHANGE CHANGE!!"

"Alright you bitch, sod off."

I didn't really say that. Although I am so bloody tempted to. Well, this is just the regular life of a designer, adapt and make changes all the time.

Not complaining. Just taking a break from my work so that I can post some updates about my daughter. It relaxes me, just by blogging and talking about my daughter who is nearing her 4th month. How time flies, the day my wife's waterbag broke we were supposed to catch a movie, "Tropic Thunder", which we still have yet to watch. Today our little one has got more pattern than badminton, she pushes her milk bottle away during her feeding and attempt to drown us by crying a Singapore river. The moment the bottle tit is out of her mouth she chuckles and giggles non stop, that is until the tit is back into her mouth.

I recall a famous Mac Donalds ad on TV eons ago. Seated on a swing, the baby was laughing when she was swung forward, and then crying when swung backward. The clever editing showed in the perspective of the baby's eye, a big "M" logo appears whenever the camera heave upwards and then disappears when swinging downwards, and reappear again in another swing upwards. Our baby Angel is exactly like that, laughing and crying with the milk bottle in and out of her mouth.

Enough talk. Some photos of our three and half month old daughter uploaded here :)

Have a great week ahead.

From Ken, wife and daughter.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dream On

I had the weirdest dream last night.

I thought I must share this.

Glimpse and bits still lingering in my head now. And it was weird. I get the occasional silly dreams whenever I had too much work and too many things hovering on a 34 year old brain trying to keep his tiny multimedia house alive amidst a screwed up economy. But I never had it this surreal. Trust me. Just keep reading.

The past weeks have already been a nightmare for me doubling up as a designer, art director, human resource manager, account servicing manager, toilet cleaner, and probably a sales man prick selling some design bullshit. In times of pressing datelines and creditors knocking at your doorstep, multi-tasking can make a man go crazy sometimes, and you desperately needed some cool headed advice. You need a figurehead, a consultant, a leader to guide you through. As a small time boss of a minuscule company, I had none of the above to look up to. And then it had to happen.

My jaws slammed on the concrete dragging a total of 100 feet because someone I so god damn admire came to my rescue. MR LEE KUAN YEW!! Singapore's Minister Mentor and founding father of our country. Gasp!! arhhmmp. I was bloody choking.

Well, in my dreams, literally of course, .

"Ken Poh?" asked a suave looking Mr Lee who looks like he was still in his earlier years, as he marked a tick in a list he was holding.

A stunned and fucking blur face me still looking at him in total disbelief. Am I dreaming? Is this for real? Or is this a joke? (well, hours later I woke up and slapped myself silly. Heck, its a bloody dream alright, what am I, Barack Obama?).

And in a mutter of confusion and excitement, I can still remember what I said. "Er yes, Sir.. I erh.. I bought this book, your latest book, can you sign your name for me please?" I was so excited I was like a teenager sissy chasing the boy band "Fahrenheit" because I added, "I am a big fan of yours."

I looked at him, I looked at the hard cover book in my hand with his face on it, I looked at his bodyguard with the grim face, and I looked at my daughter sleeping in her cot. Yes, even in my dreams, my daughter cannot spare me, and she looked like she's needing some milk in a bottle.
I cannot decide whether to feed my daughter or chase after my idol. This is driving me crazy like a teenage bitch.

It was house visit. The Minister Mentor doing his round of house visits in the night. And then the bodyguard grabbed my book. Before I could say anything Mr Lee said, "I'll come back to you." And then he left, with the body guards still tagging along. And I begged please, please have the book sign and return to me, while my daughter still wailed a trail behind me. A jump cut scene later, I was looking at the overwhelming crowd in the streets on top of a building. And I was still asking for the bloody bodyguard to give me back my book with Mr Lee's signature on it.

I never got the book. And Lee Kuan Yew never spoke to me again as he promised in the dream. But it was totally mind blowing, me speaking to Lee Kuan Yew, and seeing him face to face. But alas it was a dream only okay. Sigh..

I guess the heavy workload really screwed my brain. I figured out I needed guidance from someone on top which is why I had this really crazy dream. At least I think so. I am not a dream interpreter, I don't buy books like "101 dreams Interpretation", I had to find a logical explanation to this.

But dreams are not logical aren't they, because the great Mr Lee cannot be speaking to me, a saliva dripping twat with his mouth wide opened holding a Minister's Memoirs..