Category Archives: Special

how do you (I) do it?

being recently minted mother of three, I still get the question from some friends and associates.

how do you do it?’ how do I whaa..? How do I…

run a few businesses,maintain a blog, handle 3 kids, do the household chores, do the grocery shopping, cook meals and still look like I am in one piece?

Truth be told, I don’t. As much as I look like I hold it pretty well together, I don’t sometimes. Social media can be deceiving. We post happy and funny stuff cos we want to remember the good stuff. Of course, it can be embarassing to show that things are not good in the background, and who wants to air their dirty laundry in the public? We skip those and deal with it privately.

But yeah, I don’t do it. The correct answer to that should be “we do..” Behind tings.sg, behind my Facebook profile, there are family who help me out so that I can cope better on the days I post on social media.

Family ..

…who help take Oliver to school because there is a HFMD case in his class and the teachers were worried about exposing Sarah to potential germs (yes, Oliver does have really awesome kindy teachers!);

…who help look after the boys so that I can attend the rare meetings;

…who come along with me so that I get speak with the doctor easily without getting interrupted 100x and forget what exactly the doctor told me 5 minutes ago;

…who come over to entertain the kids so that I could whip up a slightly special dinner for everyone. Case in point, homemade fish fingers for the boys two nights ago cos, well, special request from them. For every stack of waffles or pancakes served at breakfast, Daddy Ting is busy making sure the boys do not spill their cup of milk, nor make a mess with the pool of maple syrup on their plates so that I can put everything together quickly and get those waffles out.

I get a break from the boys over the weekend. It is wonderful to give my ears a decent break from their yelling, their out of tune singing (trust me, it is horrible when I am musically inclined), the incessant ‘mummy, mummy, mummy!’ . I regroup over the weekend, spend some time with my husband, catch up on some work, catch up on some sleep. It is a wonderful break. I am fortunate. The grandparents get their dose of the grandkids. We get our dose of peace. Sweet deal isn’t it?

It is a double edged sword though. Simmering beneath is the guilt of enjoying this peace. Guilt that says we should be spending the weekend doing things together as a family and not be catching up with work.

Before I got pregnant with Sarah, we would go cycling with the kids. It started off with one bike and a Yepp mini for Donald & Oliver. Then Quentin came along, and Donald scoured for a second-hand seat, and he also got me a bike. It was tiring, but it was fun. Some weekdays, I would even take both kids on the bike and we’d head to the rooftop waterpark nearby.

We would have picnics at Marina Barrage or the East Coast Park too. The boys love picnics. I love it too. I have fond memories of my parents taking me to picnics together with our extended family. They were one of the best bits of my life.

Then we got the boys balance bikes and skate-scooters. There is a mini scooter graveyard in the back of my kitchen. Despite me being a SAHM, the boys don’t get to scoot around much. Yet at the back of my mind, I have memories of my dad taking us to the nearby stadium for a run in the evenings when he comes back from work. Now, he takes his grandkids to the nearby reservoir on Sunday mornings to run around at the playground, and have a go on the balance bike.

I do get jealous. They will have awesome memories of having their grandparents guiding them on scooters and balance bikes. And I’m not in them cos I am busy playing catch up. But we are changing that soon. We used to have a weekend to ourselves as a family, then we got really busy. We will be taking a weekend back to ourselves again. The boys would love it.

I advocate gentle and attachment parenting. I preach it a fair bit to my friends, toeing between line of overstepping my boundaries. For everything I stand for with gentle parenting, there would be days where I question it. The days where I snap and lash out at the kids. The days where the yelling matches between Oliver and I get bad enough for me to breakdown and cry together with him, because I went against what I promised him in the first place, which was no hitting/smacking. It is easy to say that I’m only human and I have my limits. But as an adult, I should know better and manage it better. Yet I felt the need to want to lord over a 4 year old. Just because he was being obnoxious.

Fortunately, these occurrences are rare and few. I am thankful that Oliver is capable of understanding what is communicated to him. I am thankful for a husband who supports my beliefs in parenting and will co-parent with me in the same direction. It does make parenting a lot easier.

And the chores. As much as I want to do heaps of activities with the boys every day, there are days where the chores sorta pile up. Laundry, mopping the grimy floor, washing the bathroom. Wiping poop. OMG. I have to deal with poo in my face with 3 days, multiple poos from Sarah. Cooking lunch & dinner. I have to admit that some days, the chores are my escape.The boys sorta get it that they are not to bother me when cooking is involved. They are constantly hungry and they now know better than to annoy the cook.

No waffles, no pancakes, no scrambled eggs, no bacon! But these are the very things that earn me the title of ‘the bestest cook in the whole wide world’ from Oliver. How leh?

Planning activities use up A LOT of brain capacity. When you are running on 256MB RAM as a result of interrupted sleep, engaging a child in an activity is the last thing that I want to do. At that moment, the television is my best friend. And whilst I stone with them in front of the television, that same guilt hits. That tiny voice at the back of my head goes ‘aren’t we supposed to be limiting screen time?

The same guilt that hits when I am not in the mood to cook and we order fast food. The boys are happy obviously, but I worry about juvenile obesity if this keeps up. Ooohhh, so easy to send me packing on a guilt trip.

It took me nearly 3 years before I fully embraced motherhood. Embrace meaning I enjoy every aspect of it with minimal complaints haha. I will not say ‘no complaints’ cos that is not possible. I have become better at managing my emotions with the kids, with my husband. I am a lot more patient. But I do have my ‘off’ days. However, I don’t do it by myself. The saying ‘it takes a village to raise a kid’ is so true and I probably would not have been able to do any better if I didn’t have the help.

All these thoughts came as a result of rethinking how I wanted the direction of my blog to be. Sometimes it is so easy to get caught up with how the other bloggers are doing. It unintentionally got competitive, especially with the attention that we get from sharing our posts. Social media does have that effect on me. I read back some older posts and see how things may have changed slightly since the blog became more public. Time to regroup and get back to why I started this blog in the first place.

..

Category: Daily, Special

joyeux anniversaire 7, mon bebe

before we looked like parents

before we looked like parents

Haha..eh, not that we look bad like parents now okay. We just look fatherly and motherly (okok, which means more weight put on lar.)

The addition of Sarah into our family 5 days earlier, coupled with a few crazy dreams, and some errant hormones, has gotten me into a pensive mood for our anniversary this year. I had been wanting to write an entry about our anniversary. But wasn’t too sure how to go about it without being repetitive.

A WhatsApp chat with a friend over the weekend got me thinking about how hooking up with Donald had been a huge gamble and how it paid off.

Did you love Donald when you  dated him?”  No, I replied. But I liked him enough to think really hard about hooking up with him. We had somewhat differing views about religion, I was going back to SG whilst he remained in AUS, and we had not gotten to know each other for a really long time.

We dated for more than 6 months before I told him that  ‘I more than like you’  haha. Not so serious like love, but more serious than like.

Sarah’s arrival 4 weeks earlier than expected, has truly showed me what he is capable of as a husband to me and as a father to my children. On the morning of labour, he had just casually said, ‘I need to step up even more, for the boys and you.’ And then he started nagging me to pack my hospital bag. Hahahaha. WTH.

The evening before, I was feeling horribly sick. I couldn’t finish cooking dinner and went to lie down. It got worse when nothing would come up, and I felt bad enough to feel that I couldn’t even breathe properly. Fortunately, his major meeting had ended in the morning and I told him that he needed to be home. He finished his work as quickly as possible and came home immediately. It was the type of emotional support and assurance that he gave when I got sick. I do actually feel bad when I have to tell him to come home to take over when I get sick. It meant extra responsibilities on him, on top of work. So..gotta try not to fall sick that often lor.

So back to delivery day. He had the morning off, I had to go for a meeting. Obviously the meeting never happened cos shortly after I got off the floor from searching for my pump parts and sorting out the milk bottles….my waterbag leaked. Uh oh. And he went into kancheong mode, cos..hospital bag not packed! And I had orders for the weekend.

Great. Priorities. Complete orders (me), he will pack the bag for Sarah and will try what to pack what he can for me. He then decides the schedule for the rest of the day cos he needs to sort the boys out, collect stuff, hand the boys over to the in-laws, then come and meet me, if I was to be admitted. haha It was a HUGE if. We were joking that it was just a false alarm. I mean, waterbag leaking only leh. Time check, 9am.

By the time I left the house, it was about 10.40am. Grabbed a cab and went on my way.  We kept each other updated. One hour later, it was confirmed that I was to be admitted and to deliver Sarah the same day. Some of the mummies I got to know in a group chat thought it was crazy that I was doing all this alone at the moment. Donald joined me later at 6pm, 4 hours before the arrival of Sarah.

post delivery selfie

post delivery selfie

Was it crazy for me to be by myself most of the time? No. I would rather him be able to complete what he was doing, sort out the kids properly before coming to me with a peace of mind. And like each pregnancy, I marvel at how he knows what I want to know at each stage of the labour process. He keeps me updated with enough information to persevere through the next stage of labouring. He quickly takes a photo of baby so that I can see how she looks like whilst they clean her up (yes I am THAT kancheong!). He tells me how bad my stitches are gonna be. Hahaha. And how he rushes off after making sure I am fine after delivery, to grab my favourite curry rice from Jalan Besar.

To this man whom I’ve been together for 11 years,

– I ended up having Macs post delivery cos the curry rice shop was closed for Mid-Autumn;
– You went home to sleep on the huuuuge comfy bed that you have missed sleeping on for the past year or so, to co-sleep with the boys on a single bed so that I could rest well;
– You went back to regular parenting duties despite having slept for 5 hours and then stayed home with the boys the following night;
– You then made sure everything was prepped and ready for both Sarah and I for when we came home, including adjusting the water pressure on the bidet in the toilet just in case it would be too strong for my stitches;
– You did copious amounts of laundry just to make sure we had extras;
– You were at my beck and call for everything, you made sure you could attend to me as much as quickly as possible, cos my water retention has hit epic trotters level;
– You told me you felt bad that I was doing the cooking and you weren’t able to cook me my favourite foods but you understood why I had to do it;
– You understood my need to have this week together as a family, just the five of us; AND
 – You told your son that the best thing that ever happened to you was to marry me, and then having the kids as your children.

This huge gamble I took? It paid off big time and I am still reaping in the payoffs.

And I hope you know how much it means to have you in my life. Happy wedding anniversary, and yes, I’m very sure Sarah is the last kid. You can officially relax now.

Hahahahahah

 

Category: Love, Special

Marine Cove @ ECP

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McDonald's @ ECP circa 1983

McDonald’s @ ECP circa 1983

Daddy Ting woke up this morning, barged into our room (he co-sleeps with the boys) and then said:

‘Wake up! Come, let’s go have breakfast at ECP McDonald’s!’

Wah wah wah. Never heard him or see him so energetic so early in the morning for that long hor. A couple of days ago, I had told him that Marine Cove will be open today. He had humm and hawwed about it, cos he was worried about the crowd. But hey, he would do ANYTHING for the boys. Including waking up early to beat the crowd haha.

That area was demolished 4 years back a big scale up-haul. It holds a lot of memories for both Donald & I. I have always lived in the east, and my weekends are spent at East Coast Park. From Bedok Jetty, to Lagoon, to the chalets, to Red House Seafood, to McDonald’s, to Big Splash.

say hi to my mom!

say hi to my mom!

When I got older, there would be primary school excursions to ECP, to pick rubbish up at the beach. And then it became a meeting point for my friends and I in our teenage years.

my suave paternal grandpa & my cousin

my suave paternal grandpa & my cousin

so obviously when the area was to be demolished, I felt sad that a piece of my past was gonna be gone. Of course something new will come up again, but the old school building would be gone.

And in turn, we got this!

McDonald's on opening day

McDonald’s on opening day

I say: This was this morning at 9am. It was crowded, but not packed. I love it that the aisles are wide, probably to cater to strollers, scooters, pushbikes. I had to really hand it to the staff at McDonald’s. They had staff assigned to designated areas, so tables were quickly cleared, staff assisted in putting chairs back. So all very organised!

Daddy Ting (DT) says: There weren’t enough highchairs, which doesn’t make sense considering kid-flow was going to be crazy on weekends.

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awesome display for the range of offerings from McCafe

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the salad bar

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kids getting interactive with ‘silhouettes’

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Ollie & his Hamburglar mirroring his movements.

There is a separate dessert counter outside of McDonald’s so you don’t have to join the crazy queue indoors for just one ice-cream sundae. Yeesss! Definitely works for me!

If you think that McDonald’s is too cliche and want something more traditional, fret not. There still is kaya & kopi from Hill Street Coffee Shop and even prata from My Bryani House if you want. At the other end of the strip, you have Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf for your more ang moh tastebuds and American breakfast.

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Of course the highlight of the entire place had to be the HUGE ASS playground for the kids. It’s not only a playground. It’s like a mini obstacle course for the kids. Parents WILL have to get involved haha.

QT ECP

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Swings! Something we don’t see very often these days!

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net ECP

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I say: Love it that there is a playground that caters to all age groups. It was crowded this morning but there was still ALOT of space in between for people and kids to run around. It isn’t just a regular playground, but it has obstacles like a really steep slope with ropes for kids to pull themselves up, a netted ‘skywalk’, and ‘spiderwebs’ for older kids to climb. It does pushes the boundaries a little for the kids. Love it!

DT says: There are some danger spots, like those rollers, fingers could get pinched between them. (me: but all supposed to be played under supervision mah, so be responsible!)

Amenities

What I like is that there is a lot of pathways around the play area for strollers, scooting. There is even a sheltered pathway all to the way to the toilet, in the event of wet weather. Phew. So no need to worry about getting drenched. But downside is that if you are dining at McDonald’s..you will have to walk a fair bit to the toilet. There is a toilet for kids which includes shower cubicles for wash ups. Adult toilets also have both shower and regular facilities.

Another area that I love to highlight, is this small little area near the toilet. It only has a small maze, probably not a lot of kids gonna be interested but it is a really quiet nook for parents to take a break, for mummies to nurse or feed their little ones. Or if there is more than 2 kids, one could be fed whilst the other still play around the grass patch. No need to yell for them to be careful or have any mini heart attacks!

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BONUS: Free parking today! The gantries are not up yet, so go go go! Otherwise it will be

Mon to Fri: $2.60 per entry

Sat, Sun & PH: $2.60 for the first hour, $1.30 per subsequent hour on. There is also a 15 min grace period. The parking lots are REALLY spacious so bring them bikes down!

Looks like Marine Cove is gonna be a regular spot for us soon!

Category: Interests, Kids, Reviews, Special | Tags: