I can't breathe!

HELP! I'm Drowning in an avalanche of work!!!!

Ok it's December, everybody's busy period.

For me, i have a report to do for Paris Boss arriving in 2 weeks, then i have a list of business renewals expiring End of Dec to generate and this list is exceptionally long because companies like to start their insurance at the beginning of the year, right?

On top of that, I had deliveries coming in, guests who needed coffee, 2 new colleagues starting Monday, new confirmed businesses and renewals as well as new enquiries for Quotations to be recorded - the paperwork i tell you! No of course there's no paperword to make coffee lah. LOL

And then as if that's not enough, Boss sprang a surprise on me to make a renewal report for a client with whom he has a meeting with at lunch time today and its 10am!

No time to even THINK about chat. And i already closed my NewPaper website. and closing this blogger window soon.

Ok ok... i better get going now.

Looks like i hafta come in Sat / Sun. (I simply dont have energy to stay till late on weekday.)

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Would You Go & Get This Free Exp Meal?

X'mas is looming and the company is organising a Xmas cum welcoming 2 new colleagues on board cum Paris bosses dept Lunch.

The only problem is, its organised at some fancy French Rest, not halal of course, and i guess with lotsa wine in their food.

I searched the web for an official website for this restaurant at Keong Saik Road but to no avail. I've found reviews tho to give me a hint of the menu. Lotsa meat, even the seafood is accompanied by some meat. And too exotic seafood i don't consume. But get this, people spend min SGD60++ per person! And that's regular period ie not Xmas lunch.

I find myself wanting to go because i have such fun colleagues now to chat around with so i definitely won't feel awkward. But even if i go, i won't enjoy / be satisfied with the food, so what's the point? I dont mind missing out on this expensive free meal. I'd rather have the office to myself to snooze or something. HAHA

The sad thing is, my first ever Xmas with this company, they brought us to Straits Kitchen considering our (mine and the then Master Mariner's) dietary limitation. 2nd yr, they thought i was gonna be away from Spore so didnt consider any halal place. Now that im the only muslim out of 12 pax and with the Paris bosses here, of course even Carousel to them is lowly. Tsk tsk tsk.

While one of my colleagues say it'd be "sian" or maybe a waste not to go.... im not really keen. Should i tell my office mgr in adv not to incl me? Will she think i'm an anti-social?

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S'pore Flyer Date Turned Into....

It's Tuesday again and we got to go out~! Hoorayyy

The plan was to go to Singapore Flyer because i got 15% discount coupon from AIA for upcoming Bday (i know, lame) as well as an upgrade to express boarding. Thought that 6.45 would be just nice to board for 30min...

When i met Zubair at Esplanade and asked to look at the coupon, he put on a straight face and said, "I didnt bring." He was always teasing me like that that i thought he was kidding about it too this time. Alas, he really didnt bring it!

Ok so we decided we were not fated to board the flyer that day and went to the library instead and borrowed 5 DVDs.

Zubair had an idea to go have dinner at Clarke Quay... but i had to turn down the idea cos my feet cldn't take it anymore and suggested Marina Square foodcourt instead. Thankfully he was happy with the idea cos the Indian stall makes nice chappati. Yayyy Win Win situation.

After that we really just hung out... looking at wallets, shoes, and stuffs. It's a miracle that i know how to window shop now. And then my feet started screaming again to sit down. So we took the opportunity to indulge in some ....

ICE CREAM!!!!!!!!!

Tembamness!!!! (Chubbiness!!)
OMG, what is it with me and ice cream??? Simply can't get enough of them. Hafta punctuate meals with them. Tsk tsk tsk *shake head*

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High Tea @ Tiffany's

Halal Hotel International Buffet

Venue: Furama Hotel

High Tea only available on Weekends and PH from 12 - 5pm.

Cost: $33+ per adult

Discounts: 10% Citibank, 20% DBS and something else i can't remember.

For reservations, call 65315366.


It was Sunday 12nn, Zubair just left for work when my sis came into my room and said, "Hey let's go out and do something!" Perfect! i thought. I was just about to go crazy having been couped up in my room all week. Ergh

Then mummy came in and said, "So where are we going? We don't have the car today though. Ayah suggested Straits Kitchen."

My face lighted up at the idea! YAYYYY a feast!! But ASh wasn't in the mood for local cuisine, wanted a mix of western and local.

Me, being the family's spokesperson and researcher (haha), called up Carousel first to ask if the menu is the same as the previous day's cos my parents just went there the day before. The answer is No BUT they were already fully booked.

Straits Kitchen's lunch is only served till 3:30pm and first slot available is 2pm. We just booked while thinking of other alternatives.

Sakura International only serves till 2:30pm. Altho the nearest one is about 8min by cab (excl waiting time), we felt it would be such a waste.

Suddenly, i remembered a schmate going to TIFFANY's for break fast some time ago. It was difficult getting their phone no via google cos apparently they don't have an official website. Not that i have found yet anyways.

The place matched our requirements ie mix of int'l as well as local food, opens till 5:30pm and has a table for the 4 of us. Since ayah is treating us, Ash and i forked out for cab rides.

When we arrived, I was pleased to see the ambience. Very elegant although the exterior looked old. Didn't have time to take photo though cos we were all famished not to mention 5min late for the reserved table. However, it was not full to the brim, unlike what you would find at Carousel and Straits Kitchen. I would have still preferred to sit on the outer side near the desserts tho, looks nicer.

Only 2 pictures of the spread:

Sashimis (?) which i totally didn't touch.

Cold dish seafood. Hmmm I took 4pcs of prawns but the squid is.... beyond my capability. LOL

Sweet drinks were available: Soya Bean, Bandung and Ice Lemon Tea.

Then there's Texas chicken wings (tasted like KFC) yummy! Mee siam!?!? Chicken POrridge, Briyani Dam, Fried Wanton, Some duck thing, some lamb chop, seafood spaghetti, a POrtugese vege tart, prata, siew mai and assorted dumplings, seafood chowder.

Hmmm not a lot of variety for a choosy eater like me. I dont eat duck nor lamb chops, neither would i have taken the everyday mee siam, porridge and prata. But i tried a lil of everything else.

I'm not a big fan of desserts but Ash was disappointed which the selections of items for the choc fondue : Marshmellow, dried fruits and stuffs. There were assorted cheesecakes, mango pudding and some fruit tarts. So funny, Ash said to me, "Are you sure you can eat those pretty lil things on spoons and small cups or are they just for decorations?" LOL

Conclusion: This is how chubby i've become.

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Ok bear with me.

Friday was my poly check up. After registration, had to do blood test and GLUCOSE TEST!!!

I had NO CLUE whatsoever how it'd be so i was kinda surprised to be given an Orange flavoured dextrose 250ml bottle. The first few sips were even nice. But after that, i gotta know that i had to finish it within 5 short minutes and i could only take AT MOST a cup of water with that. Furthermore i had to continue my fast for another 2 hours, take 2nd blood test @ 12:50pm and THEN can go have my lunch.

The last few drops made me slightly woozy and nauseous. Thankfully, i declined the straw as i thought gulping it down straight from the bottle would be faster. Fortunately also, there were no other patients at the moment, so the nurses cheered me on.

At the nurse's room, i found out i gained 3kg from last visit!!! not good not good. You are only supposed to gain 2kg a month. At this rate, I'm sure to cross the 70kg boundary very soon. Yikes! The nurse asked if ive been taking a lot of sweet things. I told her yes i've been eating a lot of ice cream and chocolates even tho i dont fancy them much before but that 1 McD's Sundae can last me 2 days. But even at that she sounded appalled! I should only be having sweet treats like just twice a week =( Luckily its not that fierce malay elderly nurse. But this is a young chinese nurse who is about 8 months pregnant herself! So i take it all in with a smile.

I complained that i can't squat now with the pain at the ball of my feet. The doctor took a look and confirmed its slightly swollen. Oh My.

After that is listening to heartbeat. Doc commented that tummy size is good. SURPRISED i was. I tot my tummy was tooo small! And baby has moved up slightly above belly button now.

I waited for another 30min outside the doc's room to go thru my 1st blood test. My haemoglobin index is still in the red and was down by 0.3 units. However, the gynae was not too much alarmed cos its a minute change in reading that might be due to blood dilution (more blood being produced in my body) but reminded me to take the iron tablets DAILY.

The results of 2nd blood test and the Glucose test will only be available when i come next month. Erghhh too long to wait!

Paid $38.

We had lunch at KFC. =) we simply Love the KFC at Fuchun CC. Very cosy. And mostly staffed by the deaf and/or mute. Zubair was surprised when i stopped by Champion bakery and bought 3 diff buns on the way to the mrt. He said, "You can still eat?!?!" Well why not? He finished half of my popcorn chicken! :P

So this is the 2nd part of the day's exciting appointments. Now we are on the quest to go to NUH to see our darling baby for the first time!

There was supposed to be a shuttle from Buona Vista MRT. When we reached there at 3pm (appt at 3.45pm), we tot we've made good time only to find out that due to constructions surrounding the station, the shuttle is now available from Dover MRT, a station away which we had already passed earlier. To make things worse the queue was super long and the bus so small that we reckoned it'd take another 3 trips before we could board! Decided to take the cab then.

We reached the AnteNatal Diagnostic Centre on time. But there were a lot of pple there so we or rather Z drank his tea while i had another one of my buns at the nearby cafeteria. Back in there, we had been waiting for quite some time that when suddenly my name was called, i panicked!

I felt very nervous as she sprayed gel on my tummy. Oh no is it gonna hurt? I have no idea. At all. But i had not much time to dwell on it, soon we could see 2 arms and 2 legs and head of our 22 weeks old baby! The gender was very prominent. Z requested to see the face and insisted the nose is like mine! ape jer. And the lady spent a lot of time on the heart observing that all is well.

We were given two pictures.

The other one is of the face. I didnt scan that as its quite diff to make out anyways. I said to Nisa, "Even in tummy, very cute already." To that she said that im a typical mummy! hahaha ok ok i hafta admit i am lah. But but But isnt the head and the tummy just so.... cuddly?? It weighs 450gm now.

After the actual scan, it was standard procedure to see the hospital's doctor. He said everything is normal, limbs, organs, blood, as well as growth is good. Alhamdulillah. All personnels were asking if i were gonna give birth there at NUH. i said no i prefer @ KK. Doc asked why. I said cos its near my dad's office. He laughed. Nothing to do with anything. Well perhaps but i like it there. Looks new n seems to have most things related to baby and mummy. So he advised to get my poly gynae to refer me to hosp ASAP to familiarise myself w the hosp. Too right he is! I shall tell her then.

Paid $95

Zubair was sooo excited, he called Ammi right there n then at the hosp! While me smsed the family members. All of us are ecstatic and grateful to be having a......

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Am i Really Thick Skinned?

I have always considered myself to be a shy person.

I'm not really a candidate to greet strangers warmly nor make easy friends at courses and the like... I dont chat freely with bosses... Say Hi to unknown neighbours etc...

However, i DO realise that after i started work some 7 yrs ago.. i began being a bit more outspoken. For eg: i'd be the one to place the food order for the family, calling customer service to ask status on whatever, etc...

The one day i was chatting with a group of ex colleague about going to the gym or dance classes when i got a shock. One of them said, "Yeah you thick skinned what..."

I asked why she thought so. She said bcos i dared to ask pple to give up seats in the public transport for me.

Hmmm come to think of it... Yeah i suppose that's a rather bold thing to do. I ask a couple of other experienced mother most said that they'd rather die standing than die from the embarassment of asking for a seat. So noble of them. Me im just so spoilt! It's all about ME ME ME and ME.

I Like dancing so i do it. I want slimming pills, so i shamelessly ask doctor to prescribe me. I want 2 Days MC, so i simply request it from the doc.

But you won't catch me telling my boss he has chilli on his teeth or asking for pay rise nor telling off a colleague for using me or whatever.

Conclusion: I'm MODERATELY thick skinned. depending on the situation. haha

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Reported Speech

Wow. My blog has been quiet for some time.

I was on course for the past 2 days. I've been waiting to go for this one a very long time man! Minutes of Meeting @ the British Council PDC centre which happends to be just 8 floors above my office! Nice.

I write minutes for the almost weekly dept meetings. While my boss said its exactly what he's looking for.. i feel like my format and/or technique is not quite right. Is my grammar correct? Should i be noting certain points down, like is it imp or not or can it be skipped? etc...


I wrote before in this entry :

Is it correct to say "She WAS my consultant"? Whereas she is NOT dead and
still IS a consultant.

How about "She was the winner of YESTERDAY's contest." Wouldn't using a
past tense mean that she is not the winner anymore? But the contest happened
yesterday~ :S

The presenter told us that TRADITIONALLY (meaning what we learn in sch) is this way:

"Dialogue" => Reported speech

"I write minutes" => She said she wrote minutes
"I wrote minutes" => She said she had written minutes
"I am writing minutes" => She said she was writing minutes

etc etc....

BUT a group of linguists think that the first reported speech doesn't make sense if the person STILL writes the minutes. Therefore, it is ALSO acceptable if you write it this way:

She said she writes minutes.

It is IMPORTANT tho that you be consistent.

No wonder i was sooo confused. Wah and to think that i came up with the same reasoning as these linguists. Cheeebah. LOL


I wrote:

Should i say "Can i speak to _____" or "Can i speak with _______" ?

Why is it I'm not IN the office but i'm AT home? When office and home
seems to be the same kind of place you go INTO?

The lecturer said that there's no logic in the English Lang. As in there's no formula to remember which word is accompanied by which preposition or whatever. All u can do is refer to the dictionary. A good dictionary (eg: Oxford's dictionary for ADVANCED learners) would give example for each definition.

We learnt that same word with diff meaning can lead to diff sentence struction eg: "Approval"

1. Liking something / somebody. Eg: John's mother approves of his fiance
2. Agree to something. Eg: The board approves the minutes of meeting.

Something to that effect. It was CRAZY i tell you. I kept making the mistake of writing "to discuss ON the terms" when it should have just been "to discuss the terms". You only add ON before its noun ie "The discussion on the terms".

Note-taking & summarising

I also learnt 4 diff styles of minute taking in the form of a table/seat plan, mindmap or blank sheet. But the one i like most is the A4 Minute book with columns like Who, What, When.

Reminder to self: Always start a new topic / agenda on a fresh page. In case they get back to that topic, u can add it in easily.

When summarising, no need to include arguments, jokes bla bla bla... Its our duty to be impartial, leave out the unnecessary and spell out the conclusion.

How to Write them Down?

There are 3 types to write down the minutes: Narrative, REsolution and Action.

Resolution will only write the decisions made or resolved problems. Only relevant to board meetings.

Action minutes will only list down the list of actions to be taken.

Narrative, the most common, tells of who says what as well as who has to do what.

There is no hard & fast rule how the layout of the written minutes SHOULD be. But you should list down:
  1. Date & Time
  2. List of Present & Absent participants
  3. Title of meeting

You can have two column tables or numbered points with bullet subpoints. You can be concised, or you can write as much detail as you want. You can write in TRADITIONAL reported speech or the modern one (as long as you're consistent). This all depends on the CHAIR. Clarify with him/her how he'd like it to be or refer to previous style or both.

3 types of Tone Register

There are Strict, Professional and Informal tones in minutes.

Strict is for when you sit in Board Meetings - Imagine a Judge. Professional, like a management meeting. An Informal is like one between friends.

Strict / Professional / Informal

Appended / added / tacked on

Reiterate / insist / urge

Note: It is important that you keep the consistency of the register through out your minutes.

Rights & Obligations

We always have this traditional image of a minute taker. A silent lady at the corner of the room with her legs crossed and a notepad in hand.

I didnt know that its ok to:

  1. Ask Q to clarify what the presenter meant. (chances are you're doing the rest a favour too)
  2. Stop the chair from proceeding to the next point so u can finish writing

etc etc...

This is useful so that you can write ur minutes down more clearly. You know, i used to audio record the whole 1.5hr session of the meeting. I had tried listening back to the track but very diff to pause n rewind, i gave up.

It's also important that u take 5min or so to go thru ur notes in "downtime" of the meeting (eg: pple joking around) or right after the meeting so u can fill in info gaps.

There are lots more that i've learnt in those 2 days i cant simply summarise in this blog. You can msg me tho.


The training was a small one consisting only 8 pple. 7 of us clicked very very well. It is the first time i went for lunch w coursemates. Bcos i work in the same building, I am the designated tour guide and brought them to Amoy St on first day then Lau Pa Sat on the second. 3 of us lives in the north so we even went back together!

One is 6 months pregnant. When pple ask when she's due, i cldnt help but add, "Then u hafta ask me when im due also." They never fail to look surprised to know im 5 months pregnant! Im not showing just yet.

one or two of them have been complaining of how tiring this training is. A lot of Work. I cldnt disagree more. i LOVE British Council trainings. They are always interesting and Keeps you involved with lotsa hands-on practices. Granted, the lecturer is a bit rigid/strongly principled.

It's a shame that the friendship ended there. The lecturer forgot to take our emails to be circulated. Oh right.

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S/He Kicked Me!

It was 3am. My eyes were only half open. Wondering, "Are these soft nudges the baby's kicks?"

Ever since my last check up some 3 weeks ago, i started feeling something in my tummy... BUt they were either very fast rhythmical beats that i cant imagine a baby could pull or a single quick single poke that was sooo random i cldn't determine what it was actually or if it was even there.

Then i read the weekly pregnancy "growth chart" that between 20 - 22nd week the baby's bone is growing harder so that the kicks will start getting harder now.

It's 3am now. I was lying straight on my back in bed. While im pretty sure the soft nudges were the baby's kicks, i dare not declare nor proclaim it so. To avoid being disappointed if its not.

But suddenly! I involuntarily let out a big gasp. my back arched automatically forward as i did so. Oh my goodness! That was the first real real real real baby kick! Really!!

Oh boy... had trouble going back to sleep again while the baby happily kicking away though it was as hard as that first one. Funny... Seems like he knows what im thinking and trying to shout out to me that he's there! Doing the kicking. =)

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New Colleague

Our new colleague has been with us for almost 2 weeks now.

On her first day, she looked very serious and grim. She looked like a 30+ tough (as well as chunky) claims person. We had sorta expected a slim aloof lady joining us... just the sorta guy the mgr would hire. LOL

However, over the next few days I gotta know her better and she's really a funny bubbly girl... just like me! She giggles at everything~

She's also 37 and single with no intention to get married. She looks young lah! Maybe cause she laughs all the time. I think she would make a good lunch partner too.

So now i feel like i have more "friends" in this dept. *All smiles*

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Tickle Me, Baby

Just something to tickle your hearts on a boring Monday.

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First Night Out As A Free Wife

The first to a start of Going Outs at Nights without Zubair...

Me and Ash, 1st sis, went to to Orchard to enjoy a free Foot Spa trial @ TruSpa.

Actually it was supposed to be an eye treatment for me and a back massage for Zubair that he badly needed. But we kept postponing the appointment for the last 2 months cos we were too lazy to get up early or whatever silly reasons. Now that he's started working and no chance to go at all, i decided to bring the sis instead to get rid of the lady who always call to follow up.

We were required to fill in a form when we got there. And cocked up they did. They kept getting The choice of my free treatment wrong and they had scheduled me for a back massage! 1. i DONT like being massaged. 2. I'm pregnant! I dont wanna be touched by the "professional" And then they had to break a bad news to me that the eye treatment lady was on medical leave so i had no choice to do the foot Spa... Again.

Me & Zubair had tried their foot spa before and which i wrote about here. But i might as well do the same treatment so i could chat with the sis.

It turned out to be horrible hurried job. PLUS the massage function on the chair i was on didnt work anymore. ERGH

Then we were forced to put up with this newbie "spa consultant" who un-interestedly tried to get us to buy a package THERE & THEN. We tried to tell her we are waiting for our bonus in Dec (liar liar pants on fire!) then she just kept talking giving lower options bla bla bla.

She opened with a SGD 3k Free & Easy package with $4050 worth of credit that can be "shared" between 2 pple. Then she lowered to 2k plan.. and then she tried to get us to buy a $200 x 6 items of something.

At this point i stopped listening. But sis said, "Oh i think this credit system is a good idea... but i dont know if its for me cos i work in the west so its quite far for me." To our great surprise, this silly lady began lecturing us about being Sincere. If we're sincere we would commit. Just as she also lives in the far west end willing to go all the way to Tampines for her spa.

"Hold on a second, babe," I felt like telling her, "Eh Hello. We're talking about SPA treatments, not a school or job that we're responsible for. Who cares about sincerity? It's the convenience that we want. We can choose any spa that we like. And you're not doing a good job of impressing us!"

But because Sis felt obligated to stay polite, we meekly continued to listen to her useless persuasions until she decided her game was up.

I felt a bit apologetic afterwards like i had subjected my sis to a 20min lecture when all we wanted was a free foot spa which turned out mediocre at best.

Oh well... at least we were hanging out, rather than working like some people i know. *wink*

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Babies Unite @ Fara's Place

Actually there were just 2 babies at Fara's Place.. or... make that 2.5. LOL

Fara gave birth to Lil Uzair about 2 weeks ago exactly 2 yrs after Syifaa'

That's the boy i'm talking about. He was "jeling"-ing (peering?) at the Foxy Mama...

I finally met Sue & Baby! I asked her along to visit Fara & her baby and she much needed the excuse to go out.. so...

Lil SiddiQ - 2 months old

Would have been fun-ner and more kecoh (chaotic) if Nisa had been there. Alas, She had to attend a wedding.

I hafta say it was the most empowering feeling to go out on my own without Zubair. I dont need him. At all.

Anyways. We chatted for hours!! While feeding, burping and changing the babies in between.

Poor Fara had only about 15min to prepare for our arrival. I had confirmed with her if she'd be at home on Sunday but didnt say i was coming till the last minute. I intended not to burden her to prepare anything (read: food) for our impending arrivals. Then i forgot to tell her earlier on that day and i realised this could cause chaos for the host as well. The house might not be ready to receive guests. Sorry Fara. She is such a proper host kept on apologising that she didnt prepare anything for us etc etc... But she still served us the yummiest mutton something with ghee rice, which to my surprise i cleaned it up! (i was allegedly turned off by rice otherwise.)

Hearing them mamas talking about all the Dos and Donts, i felt fear. I think i'd be a very inept and unprepared mother who knows nothing. They brushed it off saying that my own mum will be there to guide me as im still staying with them.

True but still... i have no inkling for eg that...

  1. You were supposed to push in the belly button
  2. Dont let boys cry too long as they are more prone to fits
  3. No need to bind babies after 1 month.
  4. Sterilising ur baby's bottle is VERY important
  5. the pros and cons of electric / manual breast pump

I even have problem recognising babies' faces. To me all babies look the same esp if their skin colour is similar.

There was a fearful moment when the babies were first laid out on the bed and two mothers were not around then i panicked and thought, "Oh no... which is which now??"

Pakis and Malays have very different practices of baby caring as well as after delivery caring for the mothers. Traditional Malays have all sortsa spices to air out the body to prevent wind, all sortsa herbs to drink to shrink and heal and lose weight effectively... Imagine, herbal baths, therapeutic (spellcheck!) massages not to mention the layers and layers of cloth to bind the tummy so it wont protrude leaving a hideous pregger tummy.

Pakis would press the baby's head this way and that to "shape" it. It seemed torturous to our untrained eyes. and they would dress the baby hmm... heavily even in treacherous Singapore weather.

One tip i learnt tho that right from the beginning, DONT EVER let ur baby sleep between u and ur hubby nor rock him to sleep. Bcos the baby won't ever let go of u nor sleep on his own thereafter! Thank Goodness i've already convinced Z that the baby should sleep in his own cot / bed, preferably in the hallway (not much space in my room) for fear one of us might roll over and suffocate the baby!

Oh another thing about traditional Pakis is that they mostly dont wanna know the gender. At first, Zubair didnt wanna know either wanted to keep it a surprise... Its a nice thought but again i told him, "But we need to know to buy pink or blue, gown or ... whatever it is that boys wear." He said oh ok. Good.

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