A New Littlest!

The past month was one of the most difficult months in recent memory. At work, it felt as if my work tripled at the same time my meetings tripled as well, leaving me with much more things to do, and very few hours at work to do them in. Some days, I literally drop my bag at my desk, haul my laptop and water bottle and then run from meetings to meetings until the end of the day.

Which would have been fine, any other time, because I’ll continue with a second shift at night — except, I’m expecting! And there are two consequences of that. First, the first trimester is always the most exhausting and it’s nothing but sheer willpower that gets me through the sleepy afternoons and to pull myself up to continue working after putting Isaac to bed in a dark, cool room. On the bright side, I’ve had very little morning sickness so far — I get a shade queasy after lunch and dinner but I’m mostly fine. So that helps in getting through the days. Still, there’s another four weeks before the end of the first trimester so hoping I won’t be struck by more serious bouts of morning sickness.

The second consequence is that Isaac is so so so much more sticky after I learnt that I was expecting. It’s very sweet. He calls for me all the time, lights up when he sees me (even if I’ve only been away for five minutes in the other room!) and snuggles and kisses me. I don’t think I have ever felt so loved or needed! But it’s also tiring when he only wants me and Daddy wouldn’t so. It also makes the long hours at work hard, knowing that Isaac is missing and calling for me through the days.

So I was feeling quite bummed over the past week — I don’t feel as efficient as I can be at work, and also not quite as good as mother as I should be.

But! It struck me yesterday that I really should not be despairing. Instead, this is the time to challenge myself to raise my own productivity and find ways to do things more efficiently and effectively, and achieve a better balance!

So! I shall examine and rethink my own processes and see how I can change the way I work to achieve the same, or better outcomes in less time (see, all the productivity talk is getting to me). If every industry in Singapore can achieve it, so can I!

I suppose some of it is really about planning, understanding and managing my own energy levels, and also redefining my role so I’m focused on creating value at the right level. I’m not sure I can achieve a 20% productivity improvement but I shall try! (And at the very least it amuses me that I’m giving myself this same pep talk on productivity and trying out the same strategies we’ve been selling to industries!)

It is actually quite amazing to have two major things happening in my life at once — a new baby on the way and a new role at work. I shall
make the best of it. Fortitude and tenacity YX!


Isaac learnt a new word today!

Actually, we are sometimes amused by the random words in Isaac’s very limited vocabulary. For instance, he can identify almost all colors down to the shade (he shakes his head when we say brown — he wants us to say dark brown or light brown!) but he can only say ‘green’ and ‘purple’. He can’t say simple words like ‘baby’ or ‘blue’ but says ‘scarecrow’, ‘joker’ and ‘uncle’. (He recognizes scarecrows by their straw hands!)

And, his word of the day is… magnet! It was quite fascinating. My dad was showing Isaac a photo they took together at Underworld World sometime back that had a magnet at the back. Somehow, Isaac recognized that it was a magnet and asked for the other photo (also with a magnet on the back) so he could stick them together! We then taught him the word ‘magnet’, which he happily repeated. (We can never quite guess which words he chooses to learn).

Anyway, I was telling Ning that it’ll be interesting if he learns the word magnet based on its properties of being magnetic, rather than by how it looks. It happened that my little brother had a set of zen magnets at home which basically comprise many little metal balls. In other words, they look nothing like the photos with the usual black magnet at the back (see here http://zenmagnets.com/). Amazingly, after we showed him how the zen magnets work, and let him play with them to feel the repulsive and attractive forces, Isaac could correctly identify them as magnets!

And we have begun to realize that Isaac actually prefers figuring out things in the real world, than play with toys. The other night, Ning and I were working in the study and Isaac was fiddling around with his fan. At some point, I noticed that he went to the main power point. I didn’t think much of it, but then he later went to where the extension cord was, and started trying to fit a wire into the fan. Later on, we realized that his fan was out of battery and he figured that he had to charge it! So he was trying to plug the charging wire into the fan. More amazingly, we discovered that he had actually switched on the main power point where the extension cord was drawing power from! We always switch it off for safety and never let Isaac into the room without us. We have never explicitly explained how you had to switch the main power point on either. Somehow, he figured it all out by observing us!

So I suppose my conclusion at this point is that as much as I would have liked Isaac to be a little poet or musician, he really seems to be an engineer in the making like his daddy!