Tag Archives: reflections

David is 3 Months Old!

David 3 months

My littlest one, you are 3 months old today! It’s been a tiring 3 months for me. You need to be fed every 2 hours, even at night! Only very recently, you decided that you would sleep 4 hours at a stretch at night. Thank God for that. But your daytime sleeping has gotten worse! You take ages to fall asleep then wake up soon after. On certain days, I barely have time to do anything productive.

You sleep slightly better when we are on the go, so I use that as an excuse to gallivant everywhere with you in the baby carrier. But you only sleep if I’m walking around so you tend to fuss and cry when we’re on the bus. As a result, we get quite a few people offering unsolicited advice on how to stop your crying!

Even though you are only 3 months old, you have already been to Ho Chi Minh City and Taipei, and will be heading to Penang soon. You won’t remember anything about these trips but where I go, you go too. You’re basically glued to me until I return to work.

Your siblings adore you and want to plaster you with little kisses whenever they can. Your sister prefers you to her other brother, but I think it’s because you don’t fight with her over toys. Your brother seems to think you are some sort of adorable pet and doesn’t understand why I need to be taking care of you when he wants my attention.

You tend to look quite serious most of the time with your brows constantly knitted in concentration. But you have been a lot more smiley recently and you have the most adorable smile! My heart melts whenever you flash me a toothless grin and I forget how tired and frustrated I am. You are also very talkative and like to coo and gurgle and make random talking noises. I’m quite sure I heard you say ‘hello’ to a lady in the lift today and it freaked me out!

I only have 2.5 months before I return to work and I won’t be able to spend 24/7 with your awesome baby squishiness anymore. So for now, it’s just you and me most of the time and I really want to cherish the moments! Love you, my little sweetheart!

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Goodbye, King Albert Park!

In a few minutes’ time, McDonald’s at King Albert Park will be no more and the Cold Storage there will be closed forever as well. That place is so special to me. I started going there in primary school with my friends and spent a lot of time there pretending to study studying for the exams throughout the years. I remember the train that moved around on the track suspended from the ceiling and how we got one of our friends to point at it and shout “The train, the train!!” during a session of Truth or Dare. I remember the playground and the party rooms. We even had a little party there for Xin before she went to the US to study. We were almost 20 then.

I remember the florist/ gift shop that we used to pop in and out of when we got bored of ‘studying’ and how we used to splurge on an extravagant bouquet when it was someone’s birthday. In more recent years, Adrian and I would buy ex-rental DVDs from Video Ezy, and after that unit became Island Creamery, we would go there for some ice-cream after dinner on Sunday nights. I remember buying lapis sagu from Bengawan Solo downstairs every now and then and when that became Chinta Manis, we would go there for breakfast once in a while and Anya would have her favourite chee cheong fun.

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been eating at that McDonald’s since I was 12. We used to ask for tartar sauce on the side when we ordered fries and sometimes preferred to dip our fries into a hot fudge sundae instead. I still went to that McDonald’s all through JC, university and even after we got married. Often we were too lazy to park and eat so we just went through the drive-thru. I remember having breakfast there once when it was just Anya and the boys hadn’t come along yet. For some reason, she decided that the hot cakes should be on her head instead of her mouth.

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When we were in secondary school, we liked to visit Cold Storage to walk around and buy random little things like sushi, fruits, snacks, etc. There was a courtesy phone inside that we would use to make some nonsensical calls. Over the years, it became one of the places Adrian and I would go to with the kids to get our groceries. Since it was open 24 hours a day, Adrian would make a quick dash there to get some essential items like diapers and milk powder when we ran out of them unexpectedly.

So many memories; I could go on and on. I will miss KAP very much. Some people think it’s silly to get emotional over a building, that there are dozens of other Mcdonalds and Cold Storages in Singapore. But KAP is more than just a building and it has accompanied me all these years as I grew from child to teenager to adult to wife & mother. I wanted to dig up some old photos taken there but didn’t have the time. I went with Adrian and the kids to take some photos there on Thursday, and then with Juan and Von on Friday. It’s so hard to say goodbye.

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Thankful That Somebody Needs Me

Thankful that I'm needed

Thankful that I’m needed by these three

Someone shared this “Mommy, Somebody Needs You” article on Facebook the other day and it was so timely for me. It’s been crazy around here with 3 kids under the age of 5 and most days I feel like I’m barely surviving. I haven’t been able to blog as much as I would like, the house is a mess and I feel completely overwhelmed.

Baby D is the most difficult baby of the three; he doesn’t sleep well, has lots of gas, wants to be carried all the time, and needs to be fed frequently. Adam is still such a Mummy’s boy, so if he wakes up during the night, he only wants me to attend to him. I don’t get much sleep, I’m exhausted all the time and there’s just so much waiting to be done during the day. I’m dead on my feet and my eyebags have eyebags.

Sometimes, I look forward to the end of my maternity leave when I won’t have Baby D stuck to me all day long and when I’ll be able to stop breastfeeding. The idea of being able to have an uninterrupted meal (with both hands!) is so appealing. And being able to sleep through the night! Wow! I’ve forgotten what that’s like!

Then I read the article and feel instantly uplifted. I see how beautiful my chaotic life is. I am reminded that the days are long, but the years are short. I’m blessed with three amazing kids (and the husband’s not too bad either!) and they are going to grow up so fast. For now, they need me and I’m incredibly thankful for that.

Of course, this doesn’t mean I’m gonna be beaming from ear to ear when David wakes up wailing at 3am demanding to be fed and changed, and Adam decides that that’s the best time for him to wake up too and scream for Mummy, waking his grouchy sister up in the process! But being thankful that I am needed by my three little ones is going to make it that much easier and make me feel so much happier.

David’s Birth Story

We were planning to have the elective C-section for David on 18 Jan but moved it forward to 15 Jan because he was putting on weight too slowly inside. Long story, but it had something to do with my placenta being resistant to delivering nutrients to the baby. Meh.

So on Tuesday night, we headed to Balestier for some bak kut teh before going to the hospital just after 11.30pm. I was supposed to stop eating by midnight so I sat in a corner wolfing down tau huay while Adrian got us registered. We were shown to the room very quickly and after checking the baby’s heartbeat and my blood pressure, etc., we settled down for the night.

one of my last pregnant photos!

one of my last pregnant photos!

I was woken up at 6.30am and prepped for the operation. Although I knew what to expect, I was really very tense and nervous. After the drip and epidural were put in, my doctor came in and Adrian appeared shortly after. I made the mistake of looking up at the reflective bits of the lights above me and briefly glimpsed my bloody insides and instantly felt like throwing up. With great effort, I managed to keep last night’s supper in my tummy. I was shivering quite a bit from the epidural though.

on the way to the OR

on the way to the OR

I wasn’t in any sort of pain but was a bit uncomfortable. But all that was forgotten when David made his appearance and was quickly cleaned up, wrapped up and deposited on my chest. Such a relief to have him out safe and sound! He was healthy and also heavier than hoped for. Thank God!

our first family photo

our first family photo

getting cleaned up

getting cleaned up

Adrian followed David out of the room and my doctor continued the operation. However, there were some complications. The scar tissue from my previous two c-sections kept on bleeding when she was trying to close me up. The area affected was also above the epidural area and I kept wincing from the discomfort, so eventually my doctor made the decision to put me under GA.

The last thing I heard her say was, “Cancel all my appointments!” and she worked on me for about 2 hours, while back at her clinic, her clinic assistants prayed for me and the bleeding stopped. Phew! She called Adrian when she was done, and because it had taken so much longer than expected, he thought she was calling to say I had died or something along those lines!

the kids came to visit

the kids came to visit

When I eventually woke up, I was feeling really groggy and out of it. Took a few more hours before I felt clear-headed. Was very happy to see the two older ones though. They were so enthusiastic about their new little brother and couldn’t get enough of him. Thank God that Baby David arrived safely and that everything turned out well! This is the start of an amazing journey. :)

A Look Back at 2013

Remarkable

The family is asleep and I’m the only one who’s still up and about so I’m spending some time in the last hour to reflect on the year that has zoomed by. It’s been a wonderful year as a family and we had so much fun together. I never thought having two kids could be so amazing. It’s all terribly tiring though so I remind myself that the days are long but the years are short.

Anya started nursery this year and along the way became enamoured of 3Ps: princesses, pink and purple. She’s really into dressing up and just wants to wear big, fluffy dresses and her tiara all the time. She has also turned into a 4-year-old teenager and can get ridiculously angsty over the smallest things. It’s not always easy to manage. She started inline skating and has become more confident in performing in school and at her piano classes. A highlight of the year for her was doing a photo shoot for Elly’s CNY collection!

Adam has developed his own personality and loves to talk non-stop. He fights a lot with his sister but has the sweetest temperament except when he needs milk. He started gym classes this year but it’s hard to imagine he’s going to start school for real soon! This year hasn’t been the best for Adam physically. He damaged his teeth in an accident and visited the hospital for bronchiolitis and for a mysterious leg injury. It’s been a lot of heartache for me because he’s such a mummy’s boy.

We traveled quite a bit this year. A few trips to Malaysia to visit Legoland, London, Edinburgh, Paris, Bangkok (without the kids), and Hong Kong. I know we are blessed to be able to bring the kids to all these exciting places and it’s not something we take for granted. We have big plans for next year and many trips lined up and I hope everything works out well.

We didn’t do any ballroom dancing but Adrian and I took part in a run together for the first (and probably last) time! I’m glad he was willing to humour me by accompanying me for the Green Corridor run. He started playing tennis again and I tried Circus Aerial Arts classes. I enjoyed myself so much but had to take a break from it because we were blessed with another baby! That’s definitely the biggest surprise of the year for us. We are looking forward to welcoming Baby No. 3 in a few weeks’ time and I’m sure it’s going to be epic trying to raise three little ones.

Goodbye 2013! You were fabulous but I know 2014 is going to be legen..(wait for it!)..dary!

Mother’s Day: Reality Check

Reality Check

Reality Check

There are articles about Pinterest making mothers feel depressed and inadequate and Instagram portraying unrealistic rosy versions of life and I’m guilty as charged. Guilty not just of putting up picture-perfect artistically-filtered humorously-captioned photographs of my kids but guilty also of being on the receiving end, where looking at pictures of other families/ holidays/ projects on various social media sites make me feel like I need to play catch-up.

So I present a not-so-pretty glimpse into my life with the kids. It’s Mother’s Day and I’m expecting to feel special, to be showered with love and appreciation, to be given adorable handmade cards scrawled in childish handwriting, and to have beautiful photos taken with my colour-coordinated kids. Did any of that happen?

Not really. I still had to run after the kids, take care of all their usual needs and carry out all my motherly duties. At one point of time, I was the only one watching the kids as they ran and played outside, while Adrian and my in-laws were still sitting in the restaurant relaxing after lunch. Then Anya refused to smile for a family photo and made silly excuses about her arm hurting. I was fuming and I never felt so unappreciated in my life. All I wanted was a decent photo and I couldn’t even get that.

To top it off, her class teachers forgot to get the kids to make a mother’s day card in school and she only brought one home the day after Mother’s Day. By the time I got to see it in the evening, however, she had scribbled all over it with a ballpoint pen. Nice. I complained bitterly to Adrian about his children taking me for granted and he reminded me about the other card that Anya had made for me with his help. She wanted the card to be perfect and made three different cards before finally deciding that one was good enough to give to me.

My life as a mother is far from flawless and my kids are as imperfect as they come. I know sometimes I make it seem otherwise. But Mother’s Day was such a reality check for me to stop thinking about composing Kodak moments to capture and present to the rest of the world, and to really focus on living life in the moment with my family whom I love dearly and fiercely with all its imperfections.

Circus Aerial Arts Intro

candy cane

candy cane

I just completed 8 exhilarating weeks of circus aerial arts intro at Circus Swingapore. The assessment was last Monday and there was a time when I thought I might not pass. We were supposed to do a series of poses on the silks, trapeze and hoop and there were some poses that I wasn’t very good at. For example, it took me some time to figure out the candy cane pose in the picture above. I also had trouble climbing up the silks, which we were required to do as part of the assessment.

A few weeks before the assessment, I started going for practice sessions during the days between our actual classes. I developed calluses on my hands and various parts of my body were constantly aching. On the day of the assessment, I was a nervous wreck. I guess I’m very good at giving tests but not so great at taking them! Thanks to all the practice sessions I’d attended, I managed to do everything that was needed and I passed. Such happiness! I’m starting Level 1 next month and I’m so excited. Level 1 is apparently very tough and the passing rate is significantly lower than the intro level, but I’m looking forward to it.

Some learning points/ takeaways/ random thoughts:

1. It’s not the final outcome, it’s the journey leading up to it. When I first started the intro class, I couldn’t even make it up onto the hoop without someone to help me. I couldn’t make it 2 ft up the silks. In the process of attending those 8 intro sessions and the practice sessions, I’ve gotten a lot stronger and I can feel it! It’s a good feeling. I keep telling people, “Touch my arm! See how un-flabby it is!”

2. Technique is everything. There were some poses I struggled to perfect: candy cane on the silks, amazon on the hoop and trapeze. After talking myself through and trying over and over again to use the right technique for each of the poses, things fell into place. Poses that felt awkward or even impossible to execute initially became natural and easy.

3. Mind over matter. Sometimes, there’s absolutely nothing difficult about a pose but my nerves get in the way. I get self conscious, and I rush through it and screw it up. When I forced myself to relax and tried some positive thinking, I did so much better.

4. Just because I’m old/ a mother of two/ a boring teacher doesn’t mean I need to act my age/ be all mumsy/ only participate in practical activities. When something is fun, you’d naturally want to do it. This is the only class I didn’t find myself trying to find an excuse to skip now and then. Yes, it probably doesn’t have any real-life application. Maybe I could use my new, improved arm strength to climb up a tree and get away from an angry bear. The point is, if something is a drag, why bother to do it? And this is the complete opposite of being a drag; this is so much FUN.

Just a few of the poses we have to do:

birdcage

birdcage

imperfectly executed Amazon

imperfectly executed Amazon; didn’t use the right technique

doing a front arch on the top of the hoop

doing a front arch on the top of the hoop

sitting plank; this makes me think of Bride of Dracula

sitting plank; this makes me think of Bride of Dracula

my class with our lovely instructors

my class with our lovely instructors