Tag Archives: SAHM

cooking meals

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cooking with two kids and no helper? cooking would probably be a mayhem or a wee bit hectic.

my first tip: one pot/dish everything.

it is my shortcut way of cooking. haha. hey, it makes you really creative about cooking the kind of food that could possibly fit in a one pot dish, which usually means a type of meat and veggies, accompanying carbo should be like rice, bread or pasta. so far, I have excelled at these dishes:

1) 酿豆腐 / yong tau fu with additional meat balls and veggies thrown in
2) oxtail stew (ooo tender fall apart beef)
3) beef stew (a tomato based stew)
4) beef bolognaise (from scratch thankewberry much. none of those jar thingys)
5) alfredo pasta
6) shephard’s pie (mmM..mashed potatoes, yum!)
7) a tofu with minced pork hotpot

seems like Chinese food..not a lot of one pot everything eh? Buuuuut you can steam food!

my second tip: invest in an electric steamer

my electric steamer is a hand-me-down and it is a God-send. With Ollie, I have burnt so many dishes it is not funny. You know..cook/fry halfway, monster fusses, tend to monster, forget about dish, smells something burning…uh-oh. Yup. That kind of situation.

With an electric steamer, I just pop some chicken marylands (basically chicken thighs with the drumstick and bone in) on a plate, with ginger, some 花调酒 (rice wine), some sesame oil and scatter some wolfberries on it, and we are good to go. With two tiers, I can steam chicken or eggs on one tier and have a double boiled soup on the upper tier! Major lifesaver.

my third tip: FREEZE your food.

before QT came along, I kinda starting trialling out what food would freeze well and what wouldn’t. I was already freezing meat stock that I use for cooking chicken macaroni soup. It was so handy to make litres of stock, put them in sizeable containers (usually about 2.5 containers for us) and then freeze it. It came in really handy whenever we wanted to have chicken macaroni soup, or some stock to cook 白斩鸡 for chicken rice.

It went on to freezing little packets of soup in breastmilk storage bags for Ollie. I would cook some soup for dinner and then scoop out 2-3 bags of 200mls to freeze. So whenever Donald and I preferred some curry for dinner, the soup would come in for Ollie to have it with his rice instead of curry. Toddler meals solved!

Other foods I have frozen so far (both for family meals and toddler meals):
– bolognaise sauce (with beef and carrots)
– sayur lodeh (veggies & fried beancurd)
– mushroom soup
– pumpkin soup
– miscellaneous soup packets for Ollie (老黄瓜, ABC soup)
– kimchi stew

Freezing food..saving my sanity on days that I am too lazy to cook and yet feel guilty about going out to eat unhealthy food. Haha.

Seriously, motherhood really does make one get creative to work around the kids!

Category: Daily, Food | Tags: ,

realities of a SAHM

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as glamourous as I will be with my boys.

as glamourous as I will be with my boys.

I take a look at the parenting blogs out there, and their posts are littered with gorgeous photos, and the parents look damn fashionable lah. you know, you can see the time and effort they take to look good in the photo.

me? hah. the postman will probably be lucky if I wore a bra to the door (hubby’s all “must be decent!!” and stuff). eh, having said that, I am currently nursing a 4mo baby on demand, so screw saggy boobs and bras (for now). Then again, I have very poor fashion sense, and pretty much go for what is convenient and comfortable. My closest friends will attest to that.

so, one a rainy Friday arvo, on my to the dermatologist’s (damn you, eczema!!), I walked out of the train and saw a mom pushing a stroller with a kid inside, and with another kid walking behind her. I was in awe. Younger kid in stroller, and older kid walking behind no questions asked. Wow. At that point, I envisioned the same thing happening to me…

…except it will probably not be the case. *sigh*.

You will see a mom (me) pushing the stroller really quickly with poor QT inside and chasing after a runaway toddler, yelling “Oliver! Come back here this instant!!“. Super tak glam sight. Extreme auntified. Okay, granted the kid looked older than Ollie. Maybe about 3.5yo? So I can be slightly hopeful and maybe things will be the case when Ollie turns 3.5yo next July.

I mean I did wonder what life would be like with two kids, and even going out with two kids. Establishing a fairly rigid nap routine allows me to anticipate when things may go awry. Initially, I was a little apprehensive of taking two kids out. But now, hey, we are venturing out further and for longer periods as well. I’ll review this again when QT is mobile, but for now, I’ll take it for what it’s worth!! Only downside is poor Ollie has to remain mostly seated in the stroller because this mummy doesn’t fancy running after him with a baby in the carrier. There have been a couple of times where I allowed him out of the stroller so he can walk but the condition was that he would have to hold my hand. So far so good!

My realities as a SAHM so far are that:
1) household chores really take a backseat, until I can summon my ass off the sofa to go do it. It is WAY more fun to watch cartoons with monster #1 =P

2) I learnt to cook everything in one pot. veggies & meat in one pot. and you eat that for lunch and dinner. and it has to be toddler approved.

3) how I envisioned spending my time with the kids: spelling, reading, learning new words, Mandarin, numbers, puzzles.
what is actually being done: hey Ollie, Umizoomi is starting soon! (disclaimer: he gets to watch tv up to 10am and then we either read a book, some craft or playing, or he self-entertains)

4) I subscribed to food magazines so that I can whip up awesome food for hubby and the kids; totally not happening when you have kids. special meals have been relegated to once a week. everything else is basic & simple (i.e., should not take more than 10 minutes to prepare).

5) when monster #1 at 4mos fusses, he is picked up almost immediately. when it comes to monster #2….ah he can wait. (okay lah..not all the time. it’s like times when you have just ONE more pole of laundry to hang out, you know??)

6) finding excuses to cut down on craft time cos of the clean up after. I mean, I have to make sure monster #2 is fully fed before I can shower monster #1 after fingerpainting. And do you know how greasy homemade play-dough is and the prints it makes on the floor..and..and greasy toddler footprints all over the floor..argh.

aye. okay, to be fair, there are days where I feel I can conquer anything (i.e., the kids are not cranky, we had a good start to the day..etc), and we do more things together, and everyone gets a treat. monster #1 gets to do fingerpainting, mummy bakes some cookies/brownies/muffins, daddy gets a better than basic & simple meal. there are good days, and I think I am getting better at getting more of those good days.

at least until the third kid comes along and throws a spanner into the works. hah. till then.

Category: Daily | Tags: ,

what is love

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…baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more.

haha okay, should not be too corny about the title. But what is love?

This was the question that popped up in my mind many times throughout the week.

I meant to write this on 11 May, then life got in the way, and I didn’t feel so angsty anymore. Funny how a week later, on the same day, there was a repeat of the same feeling. So here I am writing this.

Love meant..doing things unconditionally for someone you love, isn’t it?

It was a tiring week. More emotionally than physically. I wrote a huge chunk of stuff before deleting it all off cos it got too personal for it to be on public domain. And it was personal enough for what I think would make Donald demand immediate removal of the entry.

Let’s look at it from another POV then.

When I became a parent, and when I first laid eyes on Ollie, I knew at that moment that I wanted to protect and love this child of mine. I would hurt each time he cried in pain, each time he was in discomfort, or each time he was in distress. 2.5 years down the road, there have been trying times but it has mostly been good. My cheeky monster has brought loads of laughter and smiles to my life, and he has taught me a lot of things, one being you can never run out of love for someone, you just love them more.

monster #1

monster #1

Along with that, were a lot of plans. Ideas, principles and ways that I envisioned that I would raised my child. How the family unit would be like, and how life would be like. Donald was pretty hands off Ollie, unless necessary, until Ollie started walking, and was talking a lot more. It was a little tough to explain to a hubby who saw that he wasn’t required (not in a bad way) cos he did not have the boobs that Ollie was pretty much attached too. These days, Donald pretty much handles Ollie after he comes home from work, and during weekends.

Then there was the defining of roles and responsibilities between the parents. What does being a SAHM actually encompasses? Did it mean that I was responsible for everything that happened indoors? Somehow somewhere along the way, lines got blurred, and it did seemed that I was taking on a lot more. How was it that before Ollie came along, both of us shared the responsibilties and then somewhere down the line, I got more of the responsibilities? At least that was how it felt.

With the kids. God knows how precious uninterrupted thoughts are. I don’t even mind doing the chores, but being able to have an uninterrupted thought, or even being able to wash the dishes UNINTERRUPTED. It didn’t help that my plans for trying to go to bed by 9.30pm, became 12.30am because I could only have my uninterrupted time after 9pm, and by the time I finished the things I wanted to do and got to bed, it was already 12mdn. Sure, you could say I asked for it. I should have just gone to bed and not do anything else. Why don’t you ask me to not have a life too? Bah.

There is a lot of resentment building. About how I never get to do things I want to do. An imbalance. I need to get enough rest cause I gotta make sure the kids don’t get killed, whereas he doesn’t care if someone got killed. I need to have Quentin with me cos I have the boobs and he doesn’t. Somehow, somewhere long the line, it was a case of 因该-ness. That certain things were like this because it is a given. Or so I felt. Because you know so much more and better. It being a given. No question asked.

It is hard to not feel that I am walking alone in this journey being a SAHM at this point. The kids are great. Just…a big BUT. I wish someone would understand instead of saying it is all happening inside my head. Tiring how there is a constant need to justify why certain things need to be done this way, and that way. Because I don’t accept “Ollie’s not even going to remember this when he is older like 15.”

It also got to a point that I felt I had to do a lot of things to step away from being a mom for a day. Well, of course you can’t do that. But you know what I mean. Not having to feed a toddler, not having a baby attached to your boob, not having to deal with inane questions. And just be an adult and have adult conversation although it may revolve around the kids 75% of the time. I mean, what else can I talk about apart from poopy diapers, feeding schedules and play time? Discounts at the local supermarket for diapers? The other 25% of the time is spent bitching/complaining how the hubbies don’t do their share of the work.

monster #2

monster #2

Recent events have led me to perhaps think otherwise. I love my kids, don’t get me wrong. I love them to bits. I would do anything for them. Ollie says the craziest things that makes me burst out in laughter, and he returns my laughter with an somewhat amazed yet happy look on his face. Quentin rewards me with cooing and smiles every morning when he wakes up. My boys reward me in ways that no other can replicate. But does that mean I cannot step away for a breather for a bit?

Perhaps I need to relook at the role of being a SAHM. I have never thought of it as a job. But I would need to look at it as my life and my world revolving around them, well even more so if it not already is. Obviously things are not working out to be how I envisioned things to be. I would have to work around it eh? If I need to have a life and it means taking the kids along with me, they will come with me. If it means lesser sleep cos I need to run both my business and my home, then I’ll do it. I will take what is offered and deal with what I have. Channel all that negative emotions into more love for the kids.

You know why? Cos I am a mom and I am amazing. Sick of sitting around and waiting for things to happen. So up yours.

Category: Daily | Tags: ,