Archive for September, 2013

Shenandoah National Park

September 30, 2013

We went to the national park yesterday for a hike. It’s about an hour from our place. Since we all enjoy hiking, it would be a shame not to go check it out. So first we drove to the Big Meadow where the visitor center is. The big Meadow as the name suggests is a flat meadow covered in grass and small plants. It was afternoon so we didn’t see any animals there either except for a bird or two. The grass looked invitingly soft and clean so we indulged ourselves and lay there. It certainly was one of the better grass patches I have lain on especially since the grass was so thick that my body did not touch any soil at all. We looked at the different plants and generally trudged around following the maze like trails. It was pretty windy and cold so we worked up a good appetite.

Calvin 1309 (21)

Lunch was at the restaurant near the visitor center. Calvin placed his own order ” I want hot dogs!” And gobbled up almost all the hot dog, the bun, some tomatoes, French fries and a little sip of the potato ham soup which was delicious especially after being out in the cold.

Yummy....I ordered the hot dogs myself!

Yummy….I ordered the hot dogs myself!


After lunch, we were walking past the picnic tables when Calvin decided he wanted a picnic too. Good thing I brought some mini apple crumbles that I made yesterday. He gobbled up most of that too and all satisfied we drove to a different part of the park to try out the black rock trail, just because it was close by and supposed to be easy (0.4 mile round trip).

We climbed up a rocky path up and was rewarded with a lovely view overhanging rocks. Calvin wanted to play on the rocks near the ledge but we disabused him of the notion.

Calvin and papa sitting on a rock

Calvin and papa sitting on a rock

We continued a little way down another longer trail, picking up some acorns and a stick ( Calvin’s choice) as souvenirs. I felt literally like a squirrel picking up all those acorns. Calvin was very amused when a worm dangling from a tree got stuck on papa’s glasses, and fell on Calvin’s sweater before we finally returned it to the tree.

It was late so we headed back after spending about 3 hours at the park. Since it was his quiet time, we told Calvinn he could rest in the car. “I’m not tired. I don’t need to rest. I will chit-chat with papa while mama sleeps”, declared Calvin confidently. Of course as expected, within minutes of me dozing off, so did little Calvin. :p

Strange Dreams

September 28, 2013

I’ve been having the strangest worrying dreams the past two days. Yesterday, it was about how my kids (supposedly 2) and their cousin got lost while the maid was taking care of them and I was taking a nap. Supposedly, they saw something they wants to see and went outside and somehow got lost. I spent most of that dream slang around forlornly walking around looking for them.

Then last night I had yet another bizarre dream where I think I was still working in SIA because at the end of the story I think I quit the company while doing something important and I was explaining why to my ex- Network Planning colleagues at a cafe in a hospital. Like somehow I contracted a rare blood disease when I was young and it was said I could only live until 28 and I’m now well past that age. But recently I had a fainting spell so I knew the disease is still there. The rest of the dreams are kinda fuzzy right now but still talk about bizarre!


September 27, 2013

So my son is a perfectionist. And I don’t mean it in a what-a-wonderful-thing-for-him kinda way. Not that I think it’s necessarily bad, more like it makes me worry about him when he doesn’t want to try new things that he isn’t sure the can do well. Just like drawing pictures that resemble things, riding on a tricycle, making a educated guess on puzzles etc.

When I read up on this, it seems that most first borns are perfectionists. And it’s because of the parents…. Wait, what? We don’t come come across as the perfectionist type, do we? In fact, I thought we are practically laid back…except of course when it comes to our son apparently. Well, one of the things we are going to try to do is cut back on the random praises we heap on him (like good job drinking your water?) Guilty as charged… Apparently when you praise him too much, they lose the motivation to work on things they are not immediately good at and it pressures them to keep doing things to please you just so they can get even more praise. Is there such a thing as praise addiction?

Calvin’s Word Creations

September 19, 2013

New word of the day: Inferior vs Outferior

Good/ Bad Mummies

September 14, 2013

Calvin: Bad mummies will go to time out, good mummies can follow Calvin

(I’m not sure if he meant mummy as in the Egpytian corpse wrapped in bandages or mummy as is mother. He has been watching us play Plant vs Zombie and he has been seeing and asking about Egyptian mummies)

Calvin's block zombie creation - note that the zombie legs are facing different directions

Calvin’s block zombie creation – note that the zombie legs are facing different directions

Normal Days

September 11, 2013

Recently, life has been very ‘normal’ and very peaceful. I have so much fun with Calvin playing fantastical pretend play. We play with blocks and Lego or go outside to run around and play dinotrux tag.

He has been listening well and is probably in a age where he tries to please us. He helps with cleanup. He can independently dress himself/ use the potty.

He has been eating well, generally eating a good variety of vegetables and meat though he’s not a fan of rice/ noodles. At least I managed to get him to have oatmeal in the morning, enticingly dosed with various fruits.

He has been sleeping well. He falls asleep by himself at night and rarely wakes up at night.

It’s just been too perfect that I’m afraid to say it . *touch wood*

Being Appreciative

September 8, 2013

Every once in a while, as Calvin looks at the box for his remote control car, he will say “How I wish I didn’t have Monsty (was supposed to be an alligator) and I had shark fin instead” and then his lament will get more woeful and his voice starts to sound tearful. Today I couldn’t really take the ungrateful attitude anymore, especially after we tried our best to suggest helping him decorate it with a shark fin and he said it doesn’t look the same because the pretend headlights are not in the same place. Then I decided that it’s time to stop pandering to his unappreciative behaviors and start teaching him how to appreciate the toys that he has. First, I told him if he doesn’t like the way his toys look then he should try to decorate it the way he likes it. That obviously didn’t really work so I said if he really didn’t like Monsty, which we picked out because we thought he would like one looking like a monster truck, then we could give it away to a little boy who has no remote control car. Of course, he said he doesn’t want to give him away. He continued on with his whining with his dad while I escaped upstairs before I start using harsher words than I would to. Recently, he has been trying to get us to buy him random toys at the stores too. He will see something he likes and say “I’m going to get this one. I am going to bring it out of the store”. To our credit and his as well, we’ve always refused and he never fussed. I guess no one can help having wishful thinking.

I wonder if there’s a good way to teach him to appreciate the things we do buy for him. I guess maybe we’ve been giving him gifts randomly on any old day just because we couldn’t wait till his birthday and also because we’re not the type to make a big deal out of birthdays.

Calvin’s Little Friends

September 8, 2013

Somehow the older I get, the less social I seem to become. Maybe I just grow weary of the awkward small talk and how draining it is to conform to others, exchanging pleasantries as I navigate through others personal territories. It’s just too much effort and as usual I’m plagued by a sense of alienation – mostly self imposed because of my awareness that I am different from others and do not try hard enough to be similar. To put it simply, I just don’t know what to say.

While I go out of my way to avoid social situations, I was thrown into a scenario where I might be forced to interact with other parents for the sake of Calvin. We’ve been worried about whether Calvin would fit in with the other children at school. I thought he might end up playing by himself again and would not have a chance to develop his nascent social skills. I worry too that he will be unwilling to persist when rejected by others, which is something that other children does in general and not out of spite. I was wondering if I should be more proactive in seeking out companions for him and have more play dates etc, but I ended up feeling a little stressed out at the prospect of having to interact with many parents to find him a proper play mate – someone who is nice and has the same interests as him and likes to play imaginative games.

Much to my relief, he came back yesterday with tales of how he was trying to sink a pirate ship by pushing a wall. Then Tye said no. And Ezra was the pirate because she talked with a pirate voice. And then Seth was digging foot trap that only catches bad people and so Calvin could zoom across it without getting caught. And how Seth ran even faster and Calvin ran again, even faster than Seth. And he said he made friends with Liam’s dad by telling him about the poisonous holes that Ayaan dug.

That was the first time he came home and told us such detailed stories of what he did with the other children. I used to worry a lot that he rarely talks about what he does in school. I hope he will continue to have a great time there.

Little Nighttime Intruder

September 6, 2013

Last night, Calvin woke up in the middle night, picked up his pillow and started walking around me. He plonked himself down between me and his papa and then declared “I am very careful not to step on papa!”. While being so lucid, he was surprisingly able to fall back asleep quietly without any further talking.

Well, it certainly isn’t the first night he has done it. During the day, when he sees us hugging, he’ll sandwich himself in between us as well. We used to play hot dog in a bun games with him too. Him being the hot dog and us as the buns.Sometimes I wonder if he does that to join in the fun, or if he feels left out, or is he jealous of our intimacy??

Annoying Kids at School

September 5, 2013

Somehow this year too, there is/ are kid(s) who enjoy being nasty. There is an Indian boy who apparently was throwing ‘poisonous’ sand at Calvin today. If I see him doing it again tomorrow, I’m going to have a good talking to.