Category Archives: Daily

Day 76: choices

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the tings, sans Alex

today, the boys talked about getting married. I was telling Donald about a friend and his girlfriend.

Oliver: eeee girlfriend!
Quentin: hey! Don’t say eee girlfriend!
Me: Yes, you’re right, Quentin, there is nothing wrong about saying girlfriend. I was daddy’s girlfriend before getting married, and Daddy was my boyfriend.
Oliver: what!

And we got into a discussion about what getting married was about. I asked them what they thought getting married was about.

Oliver: kiss and get a ring!
Me: well, getting married is more than just about a kiss and rings. When we get married, we do have same rings, but getting married is more than that. It is about a promise between two people. I promised to take care of Daddy, love him and be with him for as long as possible. Daddy has promised to protect me, love me and be with me for as long as possible too!
Oliver: when did you become daddy’s girlfriend?
Me: I became his girlfriend in 2005.

The realisation that 14 years has gone by. And that we don’t really feel any different from when we were 23 and 25. And now..we are 37 and 39. Age is just a number. It really is. But how quickly 14 years have gone by, and we barely realised it. How many 14 years would we have together?

I recently made a decision about our family. The business would have to take a backseat. With Alex turning 4 months and being more awake for longer periods and more aware of the people around her, I wanted to focus more and be there for the kids. A few events with the kids had made me realised that I wanted to remember more about that.

Quentin was growing up and proudly taking his role as an older brother to this two sisters. He is awesome. I can always count on him to emotionally care for his sisters, to not them be upset or distressed.

Oliver is in primary school. His time with us has been reduced significantly, and as his interactions with his siblings. On the other hand, he was getting some one on one time with his father on the way to school. Donald’s time has come in to be the role model to his son. I would still pick him from school, and one day, he asked if I could pick him up without his siblings. I had the rare few occasions of picking him alone when my dad would come over in the afternoons so that the other two kids did not need to tag along.

My heart ached for him. Ollie asks the most questions about everything, about life, about concepts, about principals. He thirsts for knowledge, any kind of knowledge as he thinks about it. And I try my best to answer it as much as possible. I love talking to him as we go through life. And he tries his best to understand the way a 7yo can. I have resorted to hiding notes for him in his school bag so that he is reminded that we are there for him, and he is not forgotten.

One other reason why I wanted to focus more on the kids was…the trust they placed in us. Yesterday, I was upset with the boys, who had promised to keep their Lego sets before I released the new sets to them, only to have them break their promise when they were completed with it. It had happened so many times. I reminded Oliver that the trust had been broken time and again, and I was so done with it. I told him that I was disappointed in him. And he knew that I rarely severely discipline him.

Donald stepped him to talk to Ollie, and made him aware of his emotions. There was anger at not being able to play Lego anymore, and there was sadness, as I was disappointed in him.

And there was reconciliation, something that I didn’t have as I went through a very tumultuous relationship with my mother. I made sure that there was reconciliation after every scolding, and trust was built again, and there was love. I reminded Oliver that I may be angry with him, but it doesn’t mean I don’t love him. Reconciliation is when he voluntarily gives me a hug and kiss, walks away and comes back for another hug and kiss after saying good night. He goes to bed reassured and secure, and we start again the next day.

This is us with our kids. We are not perfect, but we move on and try again the next day, and we talk.

Earlier last week, I dreaded the school holidays, about breaking routine and catering to all four kids. Would we have cabin fever?

Then I had fun at our outing yesterday at East Coast Park. Sure I had my mom watching a napping Alex in the tent, whilst I spent time with the kids. It made a diff. But it also reminded me that the school hols should be a time to remind ourselves of the flexibility we had before Ollie went to primary school and that all the more, we should head out and spend time together. So I started looking around at things to do for the school hols.

As it is, I am typing this and prepping cookie dough so that the kids could cut the cookies out tomorrow as an activity. And Oliver has requested to learn about temperatures and the earth-moon-sun rotation tomorrow. WTH. My brain is gonna hurt reading about it. We borrowed books from the library too, so we will be reading some books together.

Donald told me something, when I told him I wanted to focus more on the kids. I was feeling guilty as we were financially tight, and every cent from the business does help us to go along.

‘well, do it. You became a SAHM to be with the kids, not build a business.’ And I am very very thankful for his support and very fortunate to be able to do so. The assurance and peace to be with the family. Today, I am reminded again that I probably have another 5-6 years before I have even lesser time with Ollie as he grows and makes more friends.

If not now, then when?

Both Donald and I have had to make some decisions, regarding work and family. It has always been a no brainer for us, to have as much time as possible with the kids is top priority. Almost everything else can wait. Well, except money for insurance. No insurance and 4 kids is a disaster hahaha.

Adulting sucks but ah well, we’ve got the 4 monsters to look after, it’ll all be cool.

Category: Daily

one of those days

‘mummmmmy’ I heard a whine from outside my door, and a tiny little person wanders in.

mummmmmy.’ Sarah comes over to the side of my bed. I lift her up whilst lying down and place her on me. She quiets and just lies on me. I look at my phone, it is 5.22am. I sigh inwardly, my morning is starting very early today. By 6am, she whines for some breakfast, and I follow her out of my room before she launches into a loud wail and wake the rest of the household up.

I spread some chocolate hazelnut spread on a slice of bread, give her a container of expressed breastmilk and watch her eat. Just two of us. And my thoughts wander, at the things I planned to do for the 2.5 hours I get each morning.

Debating if I should..

head to the market to get some eggs because I would need them for waffles;

mop the floor cos it has been a few days since the last mop and there were foot/hand prints around;

change the dehumidifiers which I didn’t manage to do yesterday;

do work;

or head back to sleep.

And then I thought about the events that happened yesterday, where I got frustrated with the kids over laundry folding, over keeping the toys, and over the newly minted 5-yo who decided to spit veggies into a prepared bath tub of water for Alex’s bath.

I snapped. I was dealing with a cranky toddler who was sleepy and wanted dinner; dealing with the 5yo who wasn’t eating and being selective about the food he wanted to eat; dealing with a baby who wanted my attention. And my 5yo decided that I wasn’t handling enough and decided to spit veggies into the tub. I yelled at him and I was so upset that I cried.

I told him that I really didn’t like him at the moment, and he could just go do whatever he wanted to do. And he burst into tears. I didn’t feel bad about it then. I was that upset. I was tired. And tired of attending to my needs last again. Dammit, I bought my favourite yusheng from Din Tai Fung yesterday so that I could just share it with Daddy Ting and not eat scraps. WORTH EVERY SINGLE CENT.

Last to eat and food is all cold cos I had to feed the baby/put baby to bed;
first to be awake so the other two kids can sleep in longer whilst I prepped Oliver for primary school, last to sleep cos I had to catch up on some work;
I couldn’t even enjoy CNY cos I was too tired.

6 weeks into the year, and I am still slowly figuring out a routine that would work for me and work for the kids. I find I barely have enough time for anything else, a very thin line between wanting to take a quick break and catching up on work/chores. A slight change/delay in routine basically means having my sanity tested at 5pm onwards. I run a very tight schedule from 11am onwards.

My social life has been digitised – I depend on Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp to catch up with my friends. Self-care, is officially a luxury. Haha.

I wondered about some of the decisions I make and made.

When Quentin had UTI and we decided against some of the tests and medication as we did for Oliver, and later we found out that there were some issues with Quentin’s kidney, I wondered if we had made the right choice and those issues with his kidney were the result of the choice we made.

When I decided that I was tired of being pregnant and wanted Alex out once we hit 37 weeks, got her induced.

When we decided that changing primary schools was a good idea cos it was nearer to us and we would be saving heaps on transportation fees but the younger kids ‘suffer’ cos they get lugged around for school pick ups.

How do you even know if you were making the right decisions there and then?

And when you make decisions because you think they are the right ones, or you want to do it, but when you get bogged down and get comments like ‘nobody ask you to do it.’, like damn sian right? *roll eyes*

(Backstory: Okay, I was deciding if I wanted to make waffles at 6am in the morning cos Oliver had requested for it yesterday and it was a flat out no cos it meant I had to wake up extra early to make them. But since I was already up early, so I thought I could make some right..I realised we were short of 1 egg, so I was deciding if I wanted to make the effort to half all the ingredients…before deciding to just scrap the idea.)

Bam, and it is 6.30am. These thoughts and in between answering the toddler’s questions and shushing her to keep her voice down so she doesn’t wake up the rest, and keeping the dried dishes, tidying up the kitchen.

I had also decided that I will

– get the faffing eggs so we can make waffles (cue ‘you don’t need to entertain Ollie’s request for waffles what, that is not important’ vs ‘dunno buy one waffle machine put at home for what’) BECAUSE I WANT TO OKAY (f***ing mental conversations);
– screw
mopping the floor cos I am NOT going to pick up the toys;-
write this post cos I think my blog deserves some attention and a post to remind me of this period; and
– skip sleep so that I can write this post, haha.

So..how is this #humpdaywednesday happening for you?

Category: Daily

right here, right now

This is more of a reminder post to myself I guess. I have been thinking about writing a post for the past few days, and more thoughts just got added on to it. I think I better type them down now before I forgot about the moment.

ALEX

We are currently at 28 weeks with Alex. It is harder to move around, I constantly have the maternity belt on so that it provides some form of back support. I mentally wrote a letter to Alex, one that I intend to type out, and one that the other kids didn’t really have whilst they were ‘baking’ in my womb.

Dearest Alex. 

The other day, as your father and I looked at your elder sister, I told him, Sarah, would always be the first daughter in the family, as Oliver had been the first son. Firsts..are always a little different cos of the novelty. But I hope it would be the same for you as you eventually become the baby of the family. The last baby. Good grief, definitely the last baby. I honestly don’t think I can go through another pregnancy. Haha. 

This pregnancy is a lot different to the rest. See, we wanted four kids. But we then decided that we would be happy with 3. And we were sorta settled. Then you happened. At the first whimsical test, I half hoped that we were pregnant. But I was also okay if we weren’t. I mean we were ready to move on with our lives. I had spent $300 on a wardrobe overhaul. Moving on meant I no longer have to deal with breastfeeding. There was a faint line, but it was after 2 hours. We decided that it was an evap line. 

Life went on.

Then the real test. I went through an emotional rollercoaster. Afterall, we had decided that the first test was inconclusive and it wasn’t a positive. This time, it was a positive test. I went through some elation, to then being really stressed about our financial situation, and then mourning the loss of freedom. It was a bad rollercoaster ride. We also didn’t want to share it with family cos we weren’t even sure if we were going to keep you. I needed signs that you were meant to stay. 

I saw you as a disability. At a point of time in my life where my kids are very mobile. Pregnancy eczema came back with a vengence and I was losing a lot of sleep. Your daddy took care of a lot of things; he took over putting Sarah to bed so that I would get a lesser disrupted night of sleep. He had to care alot about my mental well-being. I was in a state where I felt hard to relate to anyone..cos none of my friends have four kids. Haha. I felt a lot on my own. And I had a lot of expectations to meet to try and cope. These expectations were set by myself. Expectations to make sure that everything else was status quo. It was tough, but I think we are falling into a better routine now.

It didn’t help that the day we first saw you on the ultrasound, the day your paternal great grandmother passed away. I didn’t know if I should be happy to see your heart beating, or mourn the loss of someone I cared for dearly. I wished that she could have hung on long enough to see you. Just once. It was another bad rollercoaster ride cos it took me awhile to slowly let her go and finally say goodbye. 

Your brothers are amazing and have been filling up some gaps. And I know I am blessed. And I will need to constantly remind myself that your brothers are still kids at the end of the day. There were bad days where I felt like an utter failure as a parent. The tiredness and frustration wore me down and I felt like I failed, despite all the readings I had done to prepare myself for parenthood. The term supermom was a farce. I don’t want to be a supermom. I just wanted to be a normal mom, coping as best. 

But you made you presence known. Your elder sister adores you already. She would sing to you just before her naps, she would cuddle my belly and pat it absently. Ask her what your name is and she would cheekily say ‘ABCD.’  On good days, she would reply, baby meimei or A-yek. You would get kisses from your brothers before bedtime. 

You are here to stay, despite my mental struggles. You are here to make your momma walk out of this stronger. And you are here to make our family complete. Come out strong, my baby girl. We can’t wait to meet you in 12 weeks time!

love,
your mommy. 

 

Category: Daily