Friday, May 25, 2018

Impromptu Family Photo Shoot Session

While we were at the Capella in Singapore, we managed to get some pictures together while playing with Lola on the bed.  I would have liked for the pictures to be shot in landscape instead of portrait (which to me just seems like common sense) and for Lola to be wearing a much cuter outfit rather than the plain Gap romper, but given that I'm the only person in this family who is willing to take pictures, I can't really be choosy when I finally have the chance to be included in some.

I love Lola's facial expressions in all of these.  She's so mischievous and her face is so expressive!
 Are you getting the feeling she doesn't like to be kissed?
 She is always a jumble of movement and activity.
She has a lot of enthusiasm and likes to emit these high pitched squawks like a little bird.
 This one might be my favorite - she seems to be thinking, "ugh, sandwiched on both sides - get me out of here!"
 Here she really wanted her dad's watch (shiny, delicious object) and is on the verge of throwing a little fit.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

A Fancy Date Night at Whitegrass

Picking up where I left off nearly a week ago, it was Michael's first time in Singapore, and we decided to make Saturday night into a date night.   I was all about going to hawker stalls (and in fact had quite a short list from my foodie friend) but the Golden Mile Food Center and the Chinatown Food Hall didn't have quite the romantic ambience that we were seeking.
 So I decided to splash out on one of Singapore's Michelin-starred restaurants.  Last minute reservations were hard to secure, but luckily the Capella pulled through for us.  Ultimately I decided on Whitegrass, serving Australian-Asian fusion cuisine that had garnered very high praise from lots of patrons on Tripadvisor and food blogs.  It was located next to the Caldwell House in the Chijmes complex.

We even dressed up.

It isn't impossible for us to go out on date nights, but they happen very infrequently now such that, sitting at the nice table and facing our menu choices, we opted for the 8 course (8!!!) discovery menu plus a bottle of wine.  It's probably such a new parent move - oh my gosh, it's so hard to get out, let's go crazy!

I can't even remember what we ate (every dish came with an exposition that was at least a minute long) but I dutifully captured pictures of everything.  You could tell that they had put a lot of thought into putting the many ingredients together.  I wouldn't say it was the best meal I've ever had (plus, how do you even decide that!), but it scores high marks across the board.


30 Victoria Street
Chijmes, Singapore 187996
+65 6837 0402

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

A Last Minute Stay at the Capella Singapore

We went on a super last minute trip this weekend/week!  Because I had my first business trip in Singapore and the meetings fell on this Monday and Tuesday, and things weren't finalized until last Wednesday, Michael and I decided in the spur of the moment to make a family trip out of it.  Plus, if we hadn't done that, I would have had to leave for the airport alone on the evening of my first ever Mother's Day (much less spend the night without her), and I didn't think I could handled that heartbreak. 
This little one!!
Lola has now visited three countries and been on six flights.  Not too shabby!  Too bad she won't remember any of this when she's older.  But we will have lots of cute pictures of her, like this one, to show her how travel-ready she was:
On the flight, she was situated in a cushy bassinet with a little pillow in the bulkhead seat.  During landing, Lola got a special treat - screen time buckled in on my lap!  She was mesmerized by the TV.  We were watching Lady Bird, for the record.
 In retrospect, I have to say, there were times when organizing and packing for this trip that I thought we were absolutely nuts for trying to do this - and I think if I were in the middle of a deal, I wouldn't have brought everyone along.  We needed four (albeit not huge) checked in pieces of luggage, a stroller and four carry on bags and I was still certain we were forgetting something.  However, even though we barely left the resort (seriously) -  it was still really fun to hang out with Lola in a beautiful villa in such lush surroundings.

We stayed at the Capella on Sentosa, which is a popular staycation place for families in Singapore and now, having stayed there, I see why.  The grounds are very relaxing and beautiful and private, especially if you stay in one of their villas with plunge pool.  Plus they have peacocks on their grounds!  I mean, that's pretty amazing. 
There are actually three infinity pools built into the hillside, stacked on top of each other, with the beach and Singapore Strait beyond, but I couldn't be bothered to climb high up enough to get the full bird's eye shot.
 They had a nice library where snacks and drinks were served, and a business center where Michael did some work.
We didn't see the botanical gardens or zoo, or sample the hawker stalls out at the Golden Mile Food Center, or reach out to or get to see any of our friends - because we attempted an overambitious trip to the aquarium at Resort World and it was a bit of a disaster so we decided to take things more slowly after that.  We have to remind ourselves that Lola, for all that she is such a champion traveler, is still a really young baby who can't handle too much stimulation or a killer pace.

The villa was pretty much the size of our apartment in Hong Kong, so if you ignore the absurdity of that for a second, you can see why we really enjoyed it.  The staff are very attentive and kind, and the personal assistants there do everything they can.  They provided us with a beautiful brand new Stokke crib for Lola, a Tommee Tippee bottle sterilizer, a baby bathtub and, the best part, a little tent for her to play in!  In addition to an adult in room dining menu, the resort also prepares fresh baby food purees, so on the last day when we ran out of our own prepared food, Lola got to enjoy her first room service experience (pumpkin, just fyi).
The tent that won me over - the peacocks were such an adorable touch! 

The highlight of the trip was having our own little personal plunge pool, which allowed us to more easily acclimate Lola to the water.  By the end, she was pretty comfortable being in the water all the way up to her chest and she was splashing the water with her hand and letting the water run through her fingers.  Progress!

Michael and I did manage to get out for one date night, and we opted to spend it sampling a decadent 8-course dinner at Whitegrass.  I'll detail the food in the next post, since I diligently snapped pictures of every dish...

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day!

It has been a busy week and hence the lack of posts - just wanted to pop on here quickly to say, Happy (happy!) Mother's Day to all the mothers out there.

My first one has been wonderful.  Lola is so cute and vivacious, and I love her so much sometimes it feels like my heart will burst.  She makes me so happy, especially when she shoots me one of her inimitable gummy grins.  It has been so much fun watching her learn and develop every day.  Every day has become a new adventure of excitement and discovery!


Saturday, May 5, 2018

Routines, Fitness and Other Happenings

It's already May!  I feel like I disappeared into a wormhole for a period of months, such that my life is very clearly divided into a segment of all the time before I had Lola, and now.  Everything in the early months of this year feels like it took place in a separate dimension, and I have to constantly remind myself that we are already nearly halfway through 2018.  It's a really weird feeling.

Work was much better this week.  I was promoted to counsel at my firm last year (the official announcement occurred while I was on maternity leave), and so, aside from a title that showcases my experience (10 years working as a lawyer now, wow!  In fact, my law school reunion is this weekend and I can't believe it's been that long) and a slight bump in pay, my role has changed to encompass more of a business and client development focus.  Or, maybe it's more fair to say that that was always a part of the job, but now it's more of an emphasis.  This week, with the frenzy of the past deal behind me, I was able to feel less stressed and put the job and role in perspective.

My return to the job was in part so stressful because I was putting a ton of pressure on myself - I felt like I needed to prove that I was good/that I deserved the title/that nothing had changed/that the promotion was not a mistake.  But when I was complimented on my work, and I realized all my anxiety and dread and stress was self-imposed and for naught, I also realized that my own mindset was the real issue here. Sure, with a new title comes more responsibility, but it also comes with more freedom and authority.   And I worked really, really hard to get here - so why should I be the one to second guess my accomplishments?  That mental pep talk helped ease a lot of my anxiety. 

Re-signing a two year gym contract has kickstarted my campaign to get back into shape.  I have started going back to the gym routinely now - so far, seven days in a row and I am hoping to continue the streak!  I'm back in my yoga and spinning classes, though I haven't ventured into any weightlifting or running yet.
Bright eyed and bushy tailed this morning -the baby that doesn't sleep!
Finally, the days continue to pass quickly with Lola gaining new quirks and skills every day.  She has moved on from peas to beetroot (poor thing, she likes fruit so much that I've decided she is only getting vegetables for now), which she was willing to tolerate (barely).  She had a grand time getting it all over her face and hands though...
The beet bandit
She still loves water best
Staining everything red!
She continues to love to read and will peruse books very patiently and intently.

Her new favorite things are going outside, and playing.

During the day, she really doesn't eat or sleep well because all she wants to do is go outside and play.  In the evening, we can't even bring her into her room because she knows that that means it's bedtime.  I've read about making sure to give your baby a routine so s/he knows it's time for bed.  Well, for my child, the routine is what clues her in to lose her mind because she doesn't want to go to sleep!

When she actually does fall asleep, inevitably it's in some weird position like this, on her side with her legs propped on her crib slats, or her arm flung over her face/eyes.  What a funny little one she is!