Category Archives: Daily

5.75 years on

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Nostalgia. I took a walk down memory lane last night and this evening, trawling through the highlights of my life as a mother, looking at photos that I posted on social media.

Most of the photos on Donald and myself were on Facebook. I was on Friendster back in 2004, and only go on the bandwagon for Facebook in 2005. I finally got on Instagram in 2012, because of Oliver.

Now my albums are mostly about the kids, and the kids & myself.

And they sure as hell brought back some memories. The amazement and wonder as we welcomed Oliver into our lives; the fear as he got hospitalised for UTI; the joy of him getting discharged from UTI; the excitement as we got pregnant with Quentin; the worry as I continued getting contractions at 34 weeks despite medication to stop it; the inability to bond with Quentin cos he was in SCN; the guilt as he got UTI as well (FML); the concern that he still wasn’t speaking at 15mo; to more fear that there were issues with his kidney and potentially ultrasounds for many years to come; to shock of expecting Sarah (a girl!!); and back to the fear of the possibility of her going through what her brothers went through.

I remembered the emotions that I felt in every photo. The joy. The happiness. The sadness. The fear. The guilt. The tears.

At the end of the day, they are still my pride, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything else.

But as my social media feeds show my life as a mom with 3 kids, a lot goes behind the scenes with a man called Donald aka Daddy Ting.

A silent pillar of support that sometimes I take for granted for. Living together overseas had made the move back to Singapore a lot easier. We didn’t need the transitional period that most newly married couples would probably need when they first moved in together. But parenthood was a different matter altogether.

We started the journey with ideals and expectations. There were certain things that were a major no-no we decided. But as we all know, reality was a whole different matter. The SAHM who craved adult interaction vs the husband who wondered what the wife could be doing at home the whole day. Those were the early days. As we worked that hurdle out, of course there were new hurdles to clear.

Self-care. When we get too busy looking after everyone that we forgot to look after ourselves. I broke down then at the realisation. It even took me awhile to figure out what the issue was. Because I was too busy feeling guilty that I wasn’t meeting up to expectations. My self-imposed expectations.

Expectations to manage the household, to remember vaccination appointments, to remember school schedule, to remember to do the chores, that everyone had clothes to wear, that the house is clean, to buy groceries, that the kids are engaged, that I come up with activities for the kids to do.

These days I berate myself when I forget to cook Sarah’s meals. OMG. Bad mom! It is just putting the rice into the food jar and pouring hot water in. How difficult can it be?? How can you forget about it?? But why did I forget? I forgot because I was busy decluttering a cabinet that was so messy it made it difficult for me to access some of the materials/toys for the kids. I was busy thinking what I could do whilst Sarah took a nap when the boys are at school. I was busy thinking what I needed to drop off at the shop later in the day.

It helped a lot more when Donald took over some of my mental load, giving me more time to take care of myself and when he started taking care of me as well. Sometimes, in the midst of the mayhem, and focusing on the kids, it is so easy to forget that the other half needs the attention too. It should remain the same, not lesser. We then made it a point to allocate some time to regroup together as a couple. It helped. It really reminded us that we were once a couple and not just parents.

Ah the early days. So much turmoil and drama. Just felt that with Sarah turning 1 soon..these little hiccups will be experiences that make us feel that this parenting game isn’t too bad.

As Sarah took her first few steps, Donald put one arm around me and said, whilst looking at her

my turn liao. Now that she walks, I will take over. You can retire’

Yar, he takes over the life skills, whilst I handle the emotional bits. How bittersweet when he said that. I also felt a huge load got lifted off my shoulders for some reason. Like I almost got through the first year; she’s hit a lot of her firsts and soon will be hitting her first year too.

It was also the time I felt that I wanted to give myself a lot of other firsts too. Having a decent photoshoot for her birthday with a nice dress and make up on (argh still sitting on the fence about this one). Cos I didn’t have stuff like maternity shoot (not that I wanted one..but yar). Cos I dun get a chance to dress up and feel all pretty. Cos I haven’t felt pretty for the longest time.

I struggled with the make up bit, wanting to be real, like this is how I look like on a daily basis..to wah lao, wear wedding dress and dun put make up abit cui right. #firstworldproblems meh. And is not as though the kids are bothered about their mom being made up. But the boys know enough to compliment when I actually make the effort to dress up.

Wow, mummy, you look so pretty.’ Eh, this kind of compliments are rare. So it must mean something to them when I do dress up right?? WTH I think I just answered my own question. I will have the make up done up! hahaha.

This shoot was also more like..time for me to have someone take photos of me with the kids kinda rationale. I have shitloads of photos of the kids, some loads of photos of me and the kids (mostly in selfie mode), very few photos of Daddy Ting with the kids (which is like damn sad). So I do genuinely think we need some decent family photos, which allows us to fully engage with the kids and yet have the moments frozen in time.

Else all the photos we have comes with parents’ faces with mild annoyance, and reluctant smiles on the kids’ faces hahaha. damn fail.

But it was nice to be able to consider a few firsts for myself when Sarah turns one. It is a milestone for both of us. There is another milestone in 2 years time when she goes to pre-nursery haha. I promised myself a short trip without the kids and husband! We’ll see how that one goes. =P

Category: Daily, Special

missing out

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glam sleeping

last night, Daddy Ting walked into our room and then walked back into the study where we were doing some work.

Do you know that Oliver is sleeping on our bed?’ Huh?

Oliver hasn’t slept in our room for the past 2 years or so. As a first time mom, I was determined to not have any kids in our bed. Obviously it didn’t happen. Hahahaha. You just throw every bit of logic and sense out of the window when all you want is to sleep. We had been co-sleeping with the kids for 3.5 years before I kicked the boys & Daddy Ting out of our room cos I was pregnant with Sarah and 4.5 people on a queen sized bed meant only I wasn’t getting any sleep.

I probably missed them for…2 nights? Hahahaha. But for the first time in a looooong loong time, I slept through the night.

mummy milestone met.

Wah..never looked back since. Okay, granted I enjoyed it for like another half a year before Sarah came along. I’ll take what I can get! And yes, we are co-sleeping again..kua kua. At least from 3am onwards only.

But yes, we were surprised he wandered in on his own, settled himself down at the base of our bed and continued sleeping. I realised that I haven’t watched him sleep or be asleep for the longest time. You know how kids look different when they are asleep? Maybe it’s cause they don’t struggle when you try to get a good look haha.

He looked a little longer, more matured and peaceful. And he definitely looked different.

Was it because I saw him all the time at home that’s why I miss out on the differences? It does feel that way.

He is in K1 now. There has been a bit more homework for him after the June holidays. Simple spelling tests, writing of Chinese characters and Show & Tell. We don’t have a proper area for the kids to ‘study’ per say. Our living room has been taken over by them but the layout is all over the place cos of Sarah’s play yard. They do their writing/homework on the floor, either lying down, or crouched over.

So we did some rearranging this morning. Sarah has been wandering around the house like she owns it, refusing to be confined in the play yard, so I figured it’s time to pack up the playmat and play yard, and open up the living room a lot more for the boys.

On a side note, seriously.

With Oliver, we only packed up the play yard when he was almost 2 years old.
With Quentin, we packed it up when he was 15 mths old.
With Sarah, I just packed it up today, when she is 10 mths old.

But hey, my living room never looked more spacious!! So the shifting began. Lego area in one corner, two red rectangular Mammut tables, bookshelves shifted, so Sarah has access to her board books. Oliver calls it the ‘new place’ now. Quentin loves that he has a space of his own. And Sarah..couldn’t care less about not having a space of her own cos the whole living room is her space and anywhere that her brothers’ are is also her territory.

eskew me!

Case in point.

I’m sorta gradually transitioning myself to get ready for Oliver attending primary school with all the recent primary school registration talk going on my feed. Not fun. So much things about the system that I am annoyed about. Urgh.

Quentin. He wakes up and he comes into my bed for morning cuddles. Something that Oliver did when Quentin was Sarah’s age. First point of connection in the day, and they are happy to lie quietly for a while before deciding that breakfast is the next call of order. I do enjoy it. One day, I told Oliver that I enjoy hugging him, and that I’d better hug him before he doesn’t like to hug me anymore. He gave me the most bewildered look ever, like how can that be even possible?? hahahahaha. Oh boys, one day, you’ll find another to hug.

balance biking

I’m thankful for school. Being at home squashed between two siblings..makes it hard for this one to shine. Being at school means he is on his own, and he has his own voice. And it shows. He didn’t have any issues going to school, cos he is familiar with the environment and the teachers, thanks to picking Oliver up. But it took him about half a year before he stepped out of his shell and became more interactive in class.

The way his eyes lit up when he identifies his friends and they respond back (Oliver sometimes ignores him when he calls out to him). It is so so so cute.

Now we’re at the point of splitting the boys into two sessions. Argh. Headache. On one hand I feel bad for separating the boys cos it would mean they would only see each other after 2pm; on another hand, I think that splitting them now would make it easier for us to transition to the P1 schedule, and will allow Quentin to stay with his new friends for 3 years instead of moving him the year after. So half hearted on either decisions.

Whhhhhy. Oh..and of course there is the consideration if splitting them will officially screw my life up cos there will be no more 3 hour breaks for me, I’d have to cook lunch (oh wait, that is void cos I’d have to cook lunch for Sarah anyways..). Okay, I think I can live without the 3 hour break. *sigh* Must think about kids, must think about kids.

I think hor..parenting decisions are just going get a whole lot harder cos the kids will eventually want to have a say in it. Not looking forwards to tween-agers.

how are you?

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to the mummies, how are you?

Have a bit of quiet time now whilst the mooncake is napping. It’s raining so we’re not heading out. Just as well, I have a floor to mop. Urgh. Now that Sarah is crawling around, it’s saliva and sweaty prints all over the floor. It has gotten to the point of sticky. You have no idea how envious I am when I step onto clean floors. It’s like sinking into a really luxurious bed.

Err..yar, you get my analogy.

5.5 years into motherhood. Am I enjoying it? I am. It has gotten to a point where it is 75% laughter and 25% frustration. I hope I am not so uptight about things anymore. I am thankful for every moment that I get.

like getting to eat breakfast in peace

Sarah’s grown to play on her own..or annoy her brothers. I can delegate the boys to keep a watch on her. I’d occasionally yell out and ask what’s going on, whilst I sip my HOT tea. omg. What a luxury. But wth, I still have to eat my prata this way. What style you ask? I eat it rolled up cos I still don’t have the luxury to shred the prata into pieces, casually dip it into the curry and eat it.

Nope. Cos that would mean a pair of oily hands that cannot grab stuff getting pulled off the countertop. *roll eyes* One day..one day I’d be able to shred said prata and eat it. but hey, at least the tea is hot right? (at most..teh peng lor)

then there are Friday mornings. No chores morning, and the boys (or rather me I think) get a treat. They get to watch TV. Yup. Otherwise the rest of the week they don’t get to watch any. It is peace and quiet for about 2 hours.

the tv situation

They don’t get the iPad nor phone throughout the week. I think I can live with 2 hours of TV so even I get a break, catch up on social media, some work and some window shopping. TV aside, they still have to complete some tasks on time according to their timetable. We have a timetable, which is more for me than for them. Reminds me to do some activities with them instead of concentrating on the chores. It helps gives me some idea about what I can do with them.

This week, it was all about animals, thanks to our neighbourhood library for the idea!

Sarah doesn’t really give two hoots about the TV programs. She is happy crawling around, chewing on toys left around..or she’ll come over to me for cuddles. I got an almost 8kg baby cruising around, so I might as well make good use of her right?

exercise time!

Excuse the eczema scars. Haha. But helloooo leg raises and crunches. 3rd and last kid liao. No excuses. Time to fight the flab! (self impose hor..not mandatory). She gets a ‘ride’ and I get my exercise. Hahaha. Else all lopsided okay. Got the biceps but got a big fat ass. =(

All too soon (NOT), 10.45am rolls around and it’s time to get the boys to school. Sarah naps when we get home from drop off..and today’s mission of the day?

time to tone the arms

Just for the record, I am NOT so hardworking to use hand and mop every day hor. It is only if the floor is in a horrible condition then it warrants a ‘kneel-down-and-peer-at-the-floor’ kind of mopping. Can you see the prints on the floor??

HOT TIP: Please, for the love of god, if you are renovating your place, DO NOT GET GLOSSY TILES. This will be what you will have to live with. Don’t get sold by the ‘glossy tiles make your flat look more spacious!’ sales pitch. Argh.

Okay I digress. I do have a 3M Scotch Brite stick mop..which I used for 3 years..and I broke the stick cos I apply to much pressure =( 3M can you please please please make stronger poles? haha. I love your mops but I dun want to keep buying poles leh!

I have to say..hand mopping makes the floor soo much cleaner tho. Let me enjoy it for the next hour or so before the boys coming back, before Sarah wakes and makes more prints again.

*sigh* It will be nice whilst it last. So auntie hor?

Meanwhile..whilst the baby is still sleeping, time to continue tidying up the house I guess.

So how’s your morning been like?