Happy Mother’s Day

There was no breakfast prepared by the husband or the children. No flowers were in sight. No present. No lunch.

It’s just, another Sunday.

But today, my phone kept vibrating, to inform me of new messages from WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook and they were all beautiful pictures and quotes about Mother’s Day.

How do you spend today, fellow mothers?

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I could have indulged in some self-pity. could have yearned for some fancy dress or lunch but as of now my heart is full.

Full because of Christ’s love for me and I’m overwhelmed by it. Full because He has blessed me with two beautiful children who keep asking for me. Full because I have a great companion in my soulmate, my husband. Full because….

Just yesterday night, I was in tears as the rest of the family members turned in. Because of a conversation I had with Faith, I felt the mother guilt creeping in. I felt I didn’t spend enough time with her and she was asking more of my presence, my time.

Such is motherhood, at least for me. It is full of (emotional) ups and downs. On some days, I have victories but on other days, I fail. On a few occasions, the house is spick and span but more often than not, it resembles a battlefield. But it’s all right. I’m still learning to be a parent and I don’t think I would ever graduate from this course. There’s too much to learn. What I need to do is to stay humble and work under the grace of God.

Today, on Mother’s Day, Dad went back to church for the first time in many years. There was a few adjustments to be made because we wanted to accompany dad to the Chinese service. But the kids enjoyed themselves in the Chinese Sunday School. And Mom? She thought of me as she went to the market to do some grocery and sent over stalks of big, juicy asparagus for me.

That is enough for me.

I call that simple joy.  Or contentment.

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Of all the quotes that I received, this one caught my attention.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Oh yes, perhaps I have a Mother’s Day gift after all. Remember I went to try out some of the clothing from iROO? In the end, I selected this set, a blue off-shoulder top with a pair of white pants. It’s refreshing to try something new once in a while and I must say this set of clothing gave me confidence; I thought I look good in it.

Anyway, have a great day with the family and remember (and note to myself), our children will grow up in a flash so cherish them, their noises, their pestering, their nonsense while they are still young and when they are still willing to come to you. ūüėČ

Pamper yourself with iROO this Mother’s Day

I am not a fashion blogger. I’m just a mom, the stay-at-home kind, who likes to record my children’s developments and I love to share teaching ideas or useful children’s stuff with fellow parents.

However, one fine day, I was invited to try out¬†iROO apparel and since Mother’s Day is approaching, I thought ‘why not?’. Yea, it’s time for a good ME time and to indulge in some retail therapy! It’s time to reward myself with a new set of clothes since I’m always clad in the usual. Browsed¬†iROO’s website and facebook page, like what I saw and accepted the invitation.

iROO is a Taiwanese fast fashion clothing label and each of its collection is infused with creativity to cater to the modern woman’s needs and offers exclusivity with limited stock per design. Each piece has a unique design, which adds value to the clothing and the wearer. The founder of iROO is committed to using quality materials for the clothing and stresses on providing exquisite customer service and the most comfortable shopping experience for the customers. Oh yes, this is a bit of information that you might want to know. iROO’s retail prices remain the same throughout so customers can put their utmost trust in the label. There will not be any sale or discount dished out, not even to the staff so if you own a piece or two of iROO apparel or fashion accessory, you can certainly take pride in them.

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There are five boutiques in Singapore and I went down to the one at Takashimaya Shopping Centre. I was then introduced to two style consultants, Felicia and Melody, and after getting to know a bit about me, they went through the boutique and selected pieces for me to try on. Okay, so I’m going to go out of my comfort level and try on clothes that I won’t usually pick and see how they would look on me.

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I like the dressing area. It’s so spacious and brightly lit.

Okay, so here goes, the different pieces that I tried on.

The first outfit is this red dress that looks rather refreshing on me. I’m usually in black or white so this is a good change to my wardrobe. It’s super comfortable, simple yet elegant.

I specifically told Felicia that I would like to try on some off-shoulders top and see if I could pull it off. Love the bold contrast of the top. Felicia then got me to try on this skirt. Not too bad!

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This fun-loving top was chosen by Felicia and I thought it’s adorable! The hat of the girl was knitted, mind you! I had wanted this top so that I could so some matchy-matchy with my daughter but then again, am I too old for this? Hmmm…. but I love the pair of jeans! It fits me to a tee and I really like the embroidery and the design on one of the back pockets.

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This is likened to a cheongsam which fits me really well. I would have worn this to a dinner. On a side note, I’m so happy that Felicia obliged me and took pictures of me in the different outfits so that I could choose one at the end of the session. She’s very patient, fun-loving and professional all at the same time!

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Not my usual kind of dress but it looks not bad!

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This is an outfit which I like. Love the off-shoulder bit and the design is very ME! But the style consultants felt that I should select something that I don’t normally go for yet one which I would be happy to wear it. I like their honest feedback.

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Another set of clothes which shouts out to me. Love the blue off-shoulder stripey shirt paired with a very comfortable pair of white slim-fit pants. Good for a relaxed afternoon with the girlfriends.

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Felicia got me to try on this denim skirt because it would be a change to my usual choice of clothes. Looks decent!

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Such a bright sunny-side off-shoulder top that brightens me up instantly! I don’t usually go for yellow but through this experience, I think I could pull it off!

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If you are still reading, thank you for indulging me and bearing with my poses for the different outfits. I promise that this is the last piece. I like the casual look of this set; it makes me feel young!

I wish I have money to spare because every piece is unique and I was tempted to get a few pieces. I like the workmanship and the (good) quality could be felt as you put on the various pieces. But I could only choose one. Which one do you think I would select¬†for myself as Mother’s Day gift?

I had a fun two hours at iROO, thanks to the wonderful style consultants who tended to me. They were very helpful, sincere and honest with their comments which I truly appreciated. The crowd came in after noon time and I saw the same level of professionalism being displayed. It seemed to me that many of the customers were regulars; they were so friendly and personal with them.

This Mother’s Day, treat¬†yourself to a new piece of clothing perhaps? iROO is a good choice.

For more information on iROO, do check out the following:
Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/iroosingapore
Website | http://www.iroo.sg/
Instagram |https://www.instagram.com/iroo_official/

Disclaimer: I was invited to shop at¬†iROO (via AT Marketing Consultancy) for a set of clothing for Mother’s Day in exchange for an honest review of its apparel and shopping experience. No other forms of monetary compensation were involved.¬†

 

[Thankful Thursday] The past few weeks

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These few weeks have been quite a ride. Dad was hospitalised and needed to go through an emergency operation. It came as a shock to us but thankfully the operation went well and through this experience, he realised life is not within his control and all he could do was to pray to God for mercy. Lying on the bed in ICU, he prayed and received Christ into his life. All glory to God.

It’s been more than two decades of praying for him and sharing about the faith with him. I have to be honest, that I became faithless and stopped praying regularly for both my parents. At times, there would be reminders and I started bringing both to events. Through it all, I know that even if I am faithless, Christ is the faithful one.

Each day passed by really quickly and I seem to have endless things to do. Yea, SAHMs are busy people! I survive on two cups of coffee daily and dare not consume more for fear of insomnia. I need caffeine to start my engine in the morning and when I get sluggish in the afternoon, another cup will suffice. Oh yes, this Tekika Coffee which my friend blessed me with, lifted my spirits once I tore open the packet. Truly aromatic.

And then Dan felt sick. He developed a slight cough which worsened each day. A couple of days later, he turned feverish. We took no chance and brought him to a GP and the next day, to a PD. Blood test was taken and in the end, he needed to be nebulised.

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I know this is rather common but seeing the little one go through this can be heart-breaking for the parents. Yet from this, I can be thankful because treatment was available and the hubs was all very hands-on. The sister has shown herself to be understanding and helped the mom whenever the latter needed assistance.

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A good and caring sister she is and I thank God for her. Of course, she could be cheeky and at times, challenged us but on the whole, she’s a wonderful girl!

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I’m greatly indebted to fellow mommies for their concern and encouragement. One of them, Jenn of Mylilbookworm¬†even ordered food for me and got them to be delivered to my doorstep because she figured that it would be tiring having to take care of an unwell child so sending food to me¬†would be practical. Am really grateful for that kind gesture.

I guess that’s much to be thankful about even though the circumstances might not look positive. God knows it all and will enable and provide.

[Review + Giveaway] EZPZ Happy Mat

Meal times should be relaxed, fun and with joy as the family comes together to have conversations about the food on the table and of the activities that they have had for that day. Perhaps, for many of you, such is the case. However, that does not happen to us, at least for now. Because we have a toddler who is Mr Tamchiak (one who likes to eat) and insists on feeding himself.

Self-feeding is good, isn’t it? Not until you see the mess that is created!

Daniel decided that he needed to have ownership of the spoon when he turned 15 months old; he snatched the spoon from me when I tried to feed him. From then on, the mother would watch him like a hawk and try to prevent any accidents – tipping of the bowl, flying food items, etc – from occurring.

Meal times are stressful times…for me. And I always have my equipment – newspaper at the bottom of the highchair, tissue paper and wet wipes – ready.

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But meal times can be made a little less stressful with EZPZ Happy Mat. It is an all-in-one placemat with a plate that captures the mess created by the little one. This mat (15″ x 10″ x 1″) suctions directly to the table and it is near impossible for the plate to be tipped over.

Of course, I’m not suggesting that meal times will instantly turn pleasurable with the use of EZPZ Happy Mat because there is still mess but the mess is contained within the mat…

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…in this manner. So you will find me scooping the food back onto the plate instead of wasting it. Obviously eating rice on the plate will require more skill and effort on the part of the toddler and I thought the Happy Bowl (below) will make a better choice if you are having rice or soup (duh).

Images taken from MumsPick

As you can imagine, it’s much easier to clear the mess once the boy is done with his meal. I just need to remove the mat and head straight to the sink . Some of the food still drops to the floor but the amount of wastage has reduced.

I personally thought the EZPZ Happy Mat is a good investment especially if you are starting the kid through Baby-Led Weaning (BLW). Daniel was fed puree because the mom couldn’t stand the mess BLW would create. Moreover, she wasn’t informed of the existence of the EZPZ Happy Mat so…

A few things you might want to know about the product:

:: Made from 100% food-grade silicone that is BPA, BPS, PVC, latex and phthalate free

:: Dishwasher, microwave and oven safe (up to 175C)

:: Promotes self-feeding and develops fine motor skills

:: Easy to store

:: Built to last (silicon is bendable and flexible and doesn’t fade, corrode or deteriorate)

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EZPZ Happy Mat is available at MumsPick who is the exclusive distributor of EZPZ in Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines and Malaysia. Do make sure your Happy Mat has the ezpz brand name on it when you purchase one. Without the brand name, the product is sourced from another manufacturer who may not be compliant with regulatory requirements.

GIVEAWAY!

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I’m excited to share that MumsPick is offering one reader a Limited Edition Happy Mat in Berry worth S$52. Yay!

All you need to do is to

  1. Follow MumsPick on their FB Page to get updated information on their products. They have good stuff for the kids!
  2. Tag a friend, like and comment on RaisingFaith FB post¬†on why you wanted to win this Happy Mat. I’m just curious, you see?
  3. Do follow RaisingFaith as I will announce the winner on that platform.

The giveaway is open to all residing in Singapore and will end on 6 April 2017. I will announce the winner on RaisingFaith FB page on 7 April. All the best!

Please note: Winner will have to pick item up from the Eastern side of Singapore, or top up for mail/courier.

Discount Code

MumsPick is also offering readers a 10% discount on their products. Use the code “RFEZPZ” during checkout! This code expires on 13 April 2017.

Patience needed


It was a fine evening. The weather was great and the children yearned to go outdoors.

We did that and got the girl to bring her bicycle along so that she could practise riding it.

The hubs and I took turns but I ended up getting frustrated.

Frustrated that her feet kept slipping off from the pedals. Frustrated that she kept looking down while trying to balance instead of looking straight ahead.

Less-than-encouraging words departed from my tongue and attacked her. In exasperation, she stopped in her tracks and screamed.

I have hurt her.

Oh, what an impatient mom I am. That was only her second time learning to ride the bicycle. What was I expecting? That she could get it in two attempts?

It’s time to do a bit of self-reflection.

A Day in A Life (of a mom of two)

The last time I participated in the DIAL blog train, I was a mom of one. Then I could plan and carry out a lot of homelearning activities for Faith. Fast forward one and a half years and I became a mom of two. Attention is divided between the kids but I am thankful that I could count on the older girl to take care of her brother when household chores call out to me.

On average, my day begins at 6am. On good days, the boy would wake up later, like 6.30am but more often than not, he wakes up before 6am. The hubs would have gone to work before 6am and thus my duty commences then. When the boy wakes up, so does the sister. Yawn!

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Breakfast is usually bread and I absolutely need my coffee to stay calm and loving. When I’m more hardworking, I would prepare a more decent meal but most of the time, not. Once the kids have had their fill, they would go off to play on their own while I have my five minutes of coffee break. Most of the time, Faith would play pretend and imagine herself to be a teacher. Occasionally, she would do some work. Dan, meanwhile, would seek to disturb his sister. Thereafter it’s a rush to get everyone ready¬†before we set off for Faith’s kindy at 7.50am.

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Faith’s in school! It’s time with Dan! Before the boy turned one year old, I spent most of the morning at home because he needed to nap. These days, I try to go out with him more often. I would use one day for grocery shopping, either in the wet market or supermarket. It’s a good way to let him know about this world he’s living in and the things he sees as we shop. Two of the mornings are for exercising. I would put Dan in the stroller and do a slow run or brisk walk. 90% of the time, he would fall asleep in the stroller. If I could get help with childcare, I would go for my Minus Calories session.

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Once a week, I would also visit the library with him. I would love to bring both my children along but I know I will go mad with them going in different directions and in the end, I wouldn’t be able to pick out good reads for them.

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Faith has her lunch in school and this frees me up from having to prepare her lunch. Normally I would just grab anything to fill my stomach. Dan’s food is easy to prepare – just steam and puree. Yea, he still needs to eat pureed food.

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We would pick up Faith at around noon time. Dan would have a little playtime at the school compound. Faith would also spend some time playing with her schoolmates before we head for home. While she plays, I chat with fellow moms. Oh! First adult conversation for the day!

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By the time we reach home, it is 1pm. Faith takes a quick shower before spending some time with her brother. Once in a while, I allow screen time but more often than not, I don’t because the boy would find his way to the screen and stare at it. Not good!

Nap time is 2pm. Faith could nap on her own while I need to babywear Dan. It’s a bad habit, I know but he takes a really long time to fall asleep and if I am to get him to nap on his mattress, he would disturb the sister. I’m not sure when I can stop babywearing him; I hope I could see the light at the end of the tunnel soon.

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Faith normally wakes up earlier than the brother and since I’m still carrying Dan, she would have to work on her own. I wish I have more time to coach Faith but it’s been tough. I have to steal whatever pockets of time that I have to teach her. Thankfully, she is rather independent and would get to complete the task that I have set out for her to do. These days, I tend to focus more on her recognition of English sight words rather than the Chinese characters.

Most of the time, Dan would have gotten up at around 4pm and it’s ‘Big Muscles’ time after some snacks¬†(which mostly consists of fruits). I believe in outdoor play for children and it’s also a good breather for me. If I can find fellow moms to chat, that would be my second adult conversation for the day. Sigh!

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Once a week, I send the kids to swim at their cousin’s and when I’m in the mood, I would bring them out for waterplay. Other times, it would just be playground time.

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5pm. It’s time to prepare dinner. It’s always a challenge with Daniel around. More often than not, he would crawl into the kitchen and want my attention. I can’t move that freely too because he is hanging on to my leg for his dear life. That’s when I get the sister to ‘entertain’ him. Most of the time it works. Those times when it doesn’t, I roar!

Dinner is mainly one-pot dish. I wish I could cook more dishes but I have to be practical and settle for easy-to-prepare meals although at times when I have the mood, I would prepare dishes. I’m bored with the same old stuff that I prepare and suspect that¬†my girl is getting sick of¬†the menu¬†too. That day will come when I will try out other dishes…when Dan is a bit older and more independent and you will be sure that I will post pics of them on my instagram account.

The hubs comes back home around 6.30pm and I can finally have some real help. He has dinner while I clear the dishes and after he’s done with the meal, he would help to bathe the boy and sometimes the girl if she requests for it. I would have my time alone without the kids when I’m in the shower but at times, they will still look for me. Grrr…

By the time the hubs is done with shower, it is 8pm and it’s time for Dan to turn in for the day. He would have his last feed and we have our family prayer time. Then the hubs turn in together with Dan while I spend the next 30 minutes with the girl.

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We usually read storybooks or work on the world map (Geography) before her bedtime. Sometimes when she feels tired, she would inform me that she wants to sleep and she retires for the day. From 8.30pm onwards, I could have peace and no more calling of ‘mama, mama’.

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What do I do after they have gone to bed? Meal preparation, reading the Bible, reading up on early childhood education, reading and replying emails and more recently, doing up teaching and learning resources for the kids. I love the free resources from these two websites – this Reading mama¬†and the measured mom¬†– and as you can see from the picture, I’m working real hard on the materials.

I normally turn in latest by 11pm. I could have slept earlier but I really do cherish the time alone to do my own stuff. ūüėČ

This post was written as part of the Day in a Life (DIAL) blog train that is being hosted by Mum in the Making. Do click on the button above to read more DIAL posts. It’s been so interesting to take a peek into the lives of fellow mums!

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Next up on the blog train is¬†Dawn, the voice behind Daprayer.com. She’s a modern mama who seeks to live life beautifully, while #LearningParenting and #LearningGrace along the way. Through her blog posts and hand lettering artworks, she hopes to¬†offer some inspiration and encouragement to mamas out there to create beautiful memories, build beautiful relationships, and be the most beautiful versions of themselves, inside and out.

Wordless Wednesday | Birthday preparation


I will be busy this week. We have decided to celebrate Dan’s birthday this weekend. Since I have some party decor which I have bought in Melbourne, I’ve decided to do up a mini dessert table and to invite my family over for dinner.

The hubs and I are not huge on birthday party. I mean, after all, will the 1YO know anything? However, I am reminded that we should make effort to create memories for them so even if the children might not remember much about the event, at least there will be photos which they could refer to in the future?

All right then. This lazy mom had better buck up and do something about birthdays.

An invitation to you

Hello, dear readers, mummies friends, friends,

If you have been following this blog for a while, you will know that I am one of the ambassadors for Active Hive. I would like to invite you to a cozy session in which we could just chat about life as a mom/ woman, our kids and leading a healthy lifestyle. I would be baking some sweet treats ( it’s ok to indulge once in a while!) to serve you!

Besides the desserts, you will be treated to a complimentary body composition analysis and to try out the Minus Calories workout which really helps me in my exercise regime. The timing states from 2pm to 6pm but that is to accommodate the trying out of the Minus Calories workout. I understand many of us are pressed for time so I thought I should make this clear. ūüėČ

If you are free, do join me! ME time!!

RSVP here.

 

 

Jogging with Hauck Viper Pushchair

If you have been following this blog for a while, you would know that I like jogging a fair bit. In fact, it used to be my favourite past time before I had kids. I would jog five days a week, ranging from 5 to 10km per session, depending on how much time I had.

After I had my first kid, exercising was drastically minimised. In order to jog, it’s either I get someone to look after the kid or I could jog with her in the stroller. We didn’t have a jogger stroller but we have a sturdy standard-sized one that could do the job all right. Jogging with that stroller was fine but not great.

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Credits: hauck Singapore

On Mother’s Day, I was gifted a hauck Viper Pushchair which is a three-wheeled buggy for sporting parents. After jogging with it for the first time, I realised the great difference it makes to jogging (the run is so much smoother) and would recommend parents who like running (especially) or want to exercise with the baby to consider buying a jogger stroller.

And you might want to consider the hauck Viper Pushchair.

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Since receiving the hauck Viper Pushchair, I have been using it to jog with Daniel on different terrains like the gravel, sand, track and road. I find that it is easy to steer and the ride is smooth. I can definitely feel the bouncy benefits of the rear-wheel suspension, especially when pushing it across grass or gravel paths. It is definitely a great contrast to the previous stroller and if you look at the wheels of the hauck Viper Pushchair, they are big and that means less effort to push when you are jogging.  The result is a more enjoyable jog for me.  I find myself more motivated to exercise with the cool hauck Viper Pushchair. It definitely looks and feels more right to work out with this jogger stroller! #notmakingthisup

Let’s talk about the specifications.

The hauck Viper Pushchair weighs 9.5kg which is considered lightweight in the category of jogger strollers. But to be honest, it did seem heavy to me when I first handled it because I was used to my 7kg standard stroller all these while. After using the hauck Viper Pushchair for a few times, it does get easier to handle so it’s not a big problem.

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The hauck Viper Pushchair requires a 2-hand flat fold to collapse and comes with a neat folding mechanism that tucks the front wheel underneath. When folded, it stays compact and is easily kept in the car boot. Personally, I find opening of this stroller easier than folding it. I just need to hold the bar handle and use my leg to push the metal bar at the bottom which acts as the lock for the stroller. Oh yes, the front swivel wheel is lockable which is helpful if you are travelling on rough ground.

The hauck Viper Pushchair has a very roomy basket which is truly awesome because I could put a baby carrier and my handbag in it and there’s still room for more stuff. This is a plus point for the auntie in me since I use it to do grocery after the morning exercise. The purchases go in there!

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As with most strollers, the hauck Viper Pushchair comes with the multi-recline function (you adjust it at the rear using a toggle) and the hood is on the generous side which provides a decent amount of shade for the baby. It seeks to offer maximum safety with its 5-point harness and provides a spacious and comfy seating ( lying area is 85 cm with its seat width as 33cm). It is well padded and the foot rest is easily adjustable. However, I do find it a bit fiddly to adjust the 5-point harness so after I have done it properly, I left it as that until it needs to be readjusted again.

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Sadly, the seat of the hauck Viper Puhchair is forward facing only and if you want your child to look at you as you jog, this is not quite possible. However, it doesn’t seem like a real need as Dan was mostly asleep when I jogged with him in the stroller. Maybe he’s too comfortable in the stroller? In fact, there was only once when he cried for me to pick him up and that was the second time that I used the stroller. After that, he was mostly quiet as I pushed him.

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So far, I am really happy with the hauck Viper Pushchair but if there is one thing that really gets to me, it is the possibility that I would get the foam-covered single bar handle dirty when I rest it this way (see pic above). There was once when I placed it on a puddle of water (blur me!) and it got wet. I suppose I could wrap it with a cloth or some wrap.

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Apart from this, I find that the viewing window at the back of the canopy to be a bit on the smaller size and at times I couldn’t tell how the kiddo is doing unless I stoop down to see him. Besides these, I see no major problem with the design of this jogger stroller. More importantly, it has been a smooth ride for us!

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Jogging with the hauck Viper Pushchair has been truly enjoyable and knowing that there are not many pieces of it on the streets (yet) makes it even more special. Hah! You see, hauck strollers have just reached Singapore shores a few months ago even though it has been making quality products for babies and young children since 1927! Originating from Sonnefield, Upper Franconia in Germany, hauck is a family business that started from handcrafted basket bassinets in 1923. Christening robes were added to their collection and strollers and cots were added in the 1970s. Now hauck products have been offered on all continents in over 86 countries. It remains a family business till today and the family has passed its experience and knowledge from generation to generation.

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All of hauck products were tested by renowned national and international testing institutes, such as TÜV, SGS, LNE etc., and comply with international safety standards. Their products are awarded with a TÜV sign from certified testing institutes when the safety of the device has been tested according to the respective standards.

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So, yea, it sure feels good to know that I’m owning a quality and exclusive jogger stroller!

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And it’s really quite a darling, you know?

I’m posting this video of the hauck Viper Pushchair to help you understand the features a tad more. If you are looking into buying a jogging stroller, do consider this as one of your choices? The purchase of every hauck Stroller or car seat comes with the hauck Customer Care Program. It entails:

::  1 year warranty for factory defects
:: 4 complimentary hauck Servicing Sessions
:: Complimentary beverage during your servicing session
:: Exclusive invites to events and promotion
:: Advance preview of new arrivals

So yea, when you purchase a hauck product, you actually buy it with a peace of mind. You will be assured of quality products and excellent customer care. I like!

This particular model comes in caviar grey now and more colours and new models would be coming in. So do get yourselves updated via hauck Singapore’s Facebook Page.

Alternatively, view hauck products (they have really beautiful strollers!) at the following places:

1.Showroom
65 Ubi Road 1 #02-88 Oxley Bizhub Singapore 408729
Tel: 63842758
Mobile: 92364678
Mon to Fri ‚Äď 10am to 8pm
Sat and Sun ‚Äď 10am to 6pm
Public Holidays ‚Äď Close
(BY APPOINTMENT ONLY)

2. Online store: http://activehive.com.sg/product-category/hauck/

3. BHG departmental stores

4.  www.littlebaby.com.sg

Every hauck customer will get to receive an exclusive hauck ‚ÄėGift of Love‚Äô ¬†delivered to them when they register their new hauck purchase and this will commence from 7 July 2016.ūüėČ

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Where shall we go next?

Do follow us on Facebook and¬†Instagram¬†as I continue to go places with the kids using the hauck Viper Pushchair. I will continue to give honest review of the jogger stroller (because I like to read trustworthy review myself) and you can be updated on the running routes available in this city in the garden.ūüėČ

Disclaimer: We are gifted the hauck Viper Pushchair by AT Marketing Consultancy on behalf of hauck Singapore in exchange for a user experience review. No other forms of monetary compensation is given and all opinions are given in true honesty. Should you have any questions about the stroller, do feel free to email me and I would be more than happy to share my experience with you. 

Dumpling making session

Friends. A few good ones are sufficient. They are your family when your kin is not around and because they are genuinely sincere in this friendship, they are willing to go through the ups and downs of life with you.

A true friend is your cheerleader when you meet with success and she can also be brutally honest in highlighting your wrongdoing so that you can improve and be a better person.

I’m blessed to have such friends and there are different ones at various stages of my life. At this current moment, I’m thankful to have a few SAHMs whom I can share my joy and struggles with.

The first week of May had been exhausting. I was battling with lack of sleep (and I think things will only get better in 5 months’ time), a baby who is teething and a threenager, on top of household chores and home learning preparation and activities. My friend who probably sensed that I was at a low point, invited me over to her place to have a chat and on another occasion, to have a dumpling making session. The chat did wonders because we women need to talk, and the dumpling making session satisfied our souls and stomachs completely.

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The dumpling skin was made from scratch too.


While we were watching T perform some magic, the children were in the playroom enjoying themselves. Awesome!
Homecooked food and wonderful friends. A terrific combination indeed.

What are some of the things that you do with your friends?

The first six months as a mother of 2

[Reflections]

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Dan recently had his 6-month’s checkup and that means that I have been a mother of two for half a year! Hooray! You may think that it’s no big deal but to me, it is. Life has changed so much. With just one kid, life is a breeze. Two?

Before the boy popped out, I had many friends who asked me if I would be getting a helper to cope with household chores and looking after the kids. It’s a definite NO for me because I treasure my personal space and since we don’t live in a big place, I reckoned I could manage, somehow. Also, I think managing one more being causes too much of a stress to me so hiring a helper is out of the question.

This time round, getting the folks to help out has been reduced drastically as compared to the time when I had Faith only. Dad couldn’t help because he was just too weak; he couldn’t even carry Dan for more than five minutes. My FIL is getting old too so just two hours with an active preschooler wears him out. That leaves me with two kids, on my own.

The first two months

It WAS terrible. You may have seen wonderful pictures of us having fun and our faces beaming with delight but behind the scene, it was a lot of pain and tears – for Faith and me. I thought I had prepared Faith for the reality of a brother through talking to her about him constantly and reading her¬†related books. I thought she was mature enough to handle the new arrival because she had told me that she was looking forward to the baby and she had been a good girl all along. The reality is, she wasn’t ready and she needed my attention at the same time when the baby needed it. I was without any help and I snapped, ALL THE TIME (ok, maybe MOST OF THE TIME).

But the beautiful thing is ‘THINGS WILL GET BETTER’. This message is consistently related to me by many¬†mothers who have gone before me and I held on tightly to that promise like gospel truth and things did get better. Perhaps, Faith finally realised that the baby brother was here to stay or perhaps, I was more chilled about things and learnt that being present with the kids is more important that getting things/chores done.

But I still need to warn you, especially for those who are expecting the second one, that life will be rough, for the initial months and I kid you not. So, brace yourselves for the challenges to come.

On homecooked food

I am an advocate for homecooked food because I want the best for my family in terms of their health. But I know managing two kids and household chores can be demanding and I thought of the following options in terms of food:

  1. Order Tingkat (good ones)
  2. Buy a thermomix in the hope that cooking can be easier
  3. Humbly ask auntie-in-law to prepare dinner for us and pray that she would agree
  4. Eat out every other day

In the end, none materialised.

Ordering tingkat from good caterers is a very feasible option but no matter how good they can be, they will not give you the best that you want, IMHO. Will they give you a good cut of the meat? Will they use good oil? I may be wrong about them but they are, after all, running a business and until I can find one who is really interested in the welfare of their customers and are reasonably priced (remember we are surviving on one income?), I have to stick to cooking.

Thermomix? According to my friend who owns one, she finds it a real time-saver. I was almost tempted to buy except that I want my children to know that cooking is not about pressing some function keys and viola, you have food*! These days, there are indeed many efficient machines that makes life more convenient for us but I belong to the old-school group of people (please don’t judge me). I want my children to know their food source, how food can be prepared and understand the effort in churning out meals. This is how I was brought up and I’m thankful to my mom that she had insisted that my siblings and I go to the market with her to do grocery and that we help out in the kitchen. There are a lot to be learnt from these activities and I’m still learning.

*Comment is given based on my very limited knowledge of the product

Options #3 and #4 are actually not good options so they are discarded almost immediately.

So, I cook every meal except during the weekends. I may not be able to prepare many dishes and we mostly survive on one-pot meal but that is good enough. These days, I buy enough ingredients for a week on one trip, prepare them in small portions and freeze them until I need to use them. Specific ingredients for the next day are prepared and marinated the night before. And I find that thermal cookers are the best invention because the food can be prepared in advance and still is piping hot when we want to consume it. I absolutely love mine. BTW, a 1.5l is good enough for daily use.

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I consider homecooked food to be the best for my family. I cook so that my children can see me in action and learn the skills as they grow older. Obviously, they have to be involved at one point or another and they are often more than happy to help, at least for now.

Household chores

No helper? It’s okay! Just lower your expectation about cleanliness and change your mindset about household chores. Attempting these chores is a form of exercise, no? In fact, it’s the ONLY exercise I do these days though I hope to carve out time for some proper workout. My stamina has dropped! Boo hoo!

Be humble and accept help

There are many who, upon knowing that I do not have a helper, asked me how I cope. Somehow, I just have to cope? I mean, there are MANY parents out there who do not have a helper like us and they do just fine. Having said that, I am immensely thankful to friends who lend a helping hand to me whenever I need it. I have dear friends who cook extra food for me to bring home after Faith’s playdate, give me wonderful snacks for me to munch on, and more recently, a parent of Faith’s schoolmate who will always invite us over to have lunch so that I don’t have to cook.

And my FIL? He comes every weekend to iron our clothes and mop the floor. It’s his way of showing love to us so we don’t bother to protest.

Be humble and keep learning

I don’t want to kid you, that there are many times that I want to quit being a SAHM, or a mother because it’s so tough. My ‘before-the-children-came-along’ life was so much more exciting and when the going gets tough, I find myself yearning to go back to that life. Yet, and it’s true that “Children are a heritage from the Lord,¬†offspring a reward from him” (Psalm 127: 3-5) and when I sit down to ponder the Word of God and the many fond memories that He has blessed our family with, truly I can say, “I’m contented.”

Many times, I feel that God gives us children so that we can better ourselves. I realised I am so ugly and imperfect but my children will always extend their grace to me. They (specifically Faith) will bounce back after each scolding session and flash me their innocent smiles. When I’m down and out, I hear a concerned, “Are you okay, mom?” There’s much to learn from the children themselves in certain aspects, if only we maintain a humble heart.

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Motherhood/Parenthood has to be a calling, at least to me. Little lives are in our hands and I’d better make sure that I do a good job in it. There are obviously things that we (the hubs and I) have to give up and we find ourselves having to die to ourselves daily. The last question above, “Are you willing to postpone your dreams to cultivate your children’s hearts now?” poked at my heart recently and I find myself having to reply…

Yes, I’m willing, Lord.

7f18fb92f0da51cb0164c120ea817335.jpgOh, so true!

I have survived the first 6 months (yipee!) but how will the next half a year be?

 

Dan on solids! 

The boy is 2 weeks shy of turning 6 months old but I think it’s time that I start him on solids.

He has been showing interest in our food when we are at our dining table and could sit up well on the high chair. These are signs that he could be ready.


Yesterday I introduced him to porridge and I guess the experience was not too bad!

With Faith, our journey was a smooth one, thanks to Petit Bowl. I do recommend new parents to pay them a visit and attend their group sampling session and learn a thing or two about preparing solids for your little ones. Personally I was enriched.

This time round, I would make my own batch if time allows. Failing which I could still turn to Petit Bowl or commercial ones (note: I’m highly selective about this) for help! Alternatively, there are a good number of Youtube videos which could help you in this adventure. The most important thing is to have fun in the kitchen! I love this one from Farm to Table Baby Mama. Hope it will be of help to you!

The journey continues…

The baby eczema episode

Since the beginning of 2016, the son has been scratching himself like a monkey and yours truly thought that it was a natural thing for the baby to do. “He’s discovering his fingers,” so I thought. That action persisted and it got me worried because discomfort was shown all over his face. That’s when I realised that I had better do something about it lest it got worse.

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Dan at 6.5kg and 60cm (4th month)

The condition did get worse and on Dan’s 4-month’s visit to the PD, the latter diagnosed him as having baby eczema. My heart sank. Why would he have eczema when the rest of the family members do not suffer from this condition? What would I have to do?¬†I guess the panic button was activated because I knew little about this condition. Thankfully, the doc assured me that in most cases, the baby would outgrow baby eczema as he gets older. However, he did ask me to watch my diet and cut down on my consumption of eggs and dairy intake. I was perplexed because I don’t take in large quantities of eggs and dairy products? Very little. So what could be the cause?

“…No one knows for sure what causes it, but the tendency to have eczema is often inherited. So your child is more likely to have it if you or a close family member has had eczema,asthma, or allergies.

Eczema is not an allergic reaction to a substance, but allergens or irritants in the environment (such as pollen or cigarette smoke) can trigger it. Less frequently, it can be triggered by allergens in your child’s diet ‚Äď or in your diet if your child is breastfeeding.

The rash can also be aggravated by heat, irritants that come in contact with the skin (like wool or the chemicals in some soaps, fragrances, lotions, and detergents), changes in temperature, and dry skin. Stress can also trigger a flare-up of eczema…”

Source: http://www.babycenter.com/0_eczema-in-babies_10872.bc

I soon realised that I am not alone and found out that there are actually many who have this condition. The mummies’ community in Dayre is awesome and many of them offered their advice and shared their experiences. The PD had prescribed Zaricort cream (steriod) and Ceradan but after much consideration, we decided not to use steriod on Dan.

The days following the PD visit had been exasperating. Each day, I witnessed the scratching and even after applying the cream, his condition didn’t improve. Okay, I must confess that I was impatient and expect miracles to happen, like, you know, I expect the redness to disappear within a day. Obviously, that was not the case. Fellow moms have recommended products that have been effective and this exasperated mom just went out and buy and amassed a good collection of cream and oil.

The above work on different folks and I have learnt to be realistic and let each cream perform its magic on Dan and be PATIENT. Dan has very dry skin from the beginning but I have¬†not been diligent in applying moisturiser on him, thinking that he could rough it out since he’s a boy. WHAT WAS I THINKING?!!! He’s still, after all, a baby! This second-time mother needs to be scolded!

Apart from finding out which moisturising cream works on him, I have been experimenting¬†with different brands of baby wash on him since that could be a factor that triggers his condition. And yes, I have to watch my own diet since I’m currently his only food source. ūüėČ

Some of the brands that are recommended (for my own reference):
:: Four Cow Farm
:: Jo Lauren (I personally like the miracle balm. It does work miracles)
:: Emu oil
:: Moo Goo (another highly recommended brand)

A month has passed and his condition has improved. The cool weather during the Chinese New Year period has been immensely helpful.Dan scratched less often and his wounds in his scalp have healed. The rashes around his neck, hands and body still exist but at least, it is not as bad as before.

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The journey continues…

Since I’m lazy to write another post on his development, I will just record his 18 weeks progress in this post.

:: Loves to shriek non-stop
:: Doesn’t like to be cradled
:: Loves to turn and turn. Time to use the cot bumper.
:: Loves to use his fingers to explore all things that he sets his eyes on
:: Observant
:: Drools a lot, a lot!
:: Nap pattern in the morning has changed as a result
:: Feed on demand
:: Loves to be read to and chuckles in response
:: Loves it that people talk to him and he will flash his most charming smile in return

Be present

I’ve been quiet on this space. Fact is, I have been busy…with the kids.

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It started off with this cake, the first cake I made on the first Friday of January. I was mighty pleased with it but it did take a bit longer to make as compared to the other cakes, just because I couldn’t fully concentrate on working on it since I have two other human beings to take care of.

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I love making figurines and these took me two nights to complete after the family has retired for the day. I spent another afternoon baking the cake and working on the Italian Meringue Buttercream before assembling it. It was fun but I have to admit that it was rather stressful as well. I couldn’t give my full attention to the kids and the cake. As a result, the older girl became difficult to manage and needless to say, frustration gripped me.

The cake was delivered but the heart was unsettled. I enjoy making cakes and appreciate the extra ‘pocket money’ that comes with it. Till now, having no income still needs to get a little used to. ¬†Baking cakes for others gives me a certain amount of self-worth. Of course, I know my identity is in Christ and not in these cakes but …

I know that being a SAHM is a calling and boy, it is so difficult and challenging. I was handling a lot of things at one time and that got me short-tempered and exhausted. I was always in a hurry and when Faith does things slowly, it got to me. Some of the common phrases she would hear from me are “Hurry up!”, “Wait,” “I’m busy. Can you be patient?”

Then I came across this article which spoke to me. It couldn’t be more timely. It’s a wake-up call for me to “be present”. I may physically be in the same room as the kids but my mind is elsewhere. Most times, it would be in the kitchen. Other times, it could be found tangled up in the to-do list. ¬†The kids are smart beings and could catch that no matter how interested I may act.

The day I decided to “be present”, things started to turn for the better. I became more relaxed and started to play (I mean, really, I play) with Faith. She must have sensed that change in me and her usual sweet demeanor returned. We could work on a lot of homelearning stuff together because¬†there is no need to spend time on disciplining her. It’s that wonderful.

I really ought to reflect on myself when I see changes in the kids’ behaviour. More often than not, it is a result of our own attitude and behaviour towards them. If they feel loved and secure, I’m sure they will bloom.

Because of my decision to “be present”, Faith’s emotional tank was filled and she could leave me to cook in the kitchen in peace while she busied herself with her own work. I didn’t have to tell her to do that. Sometimes, she even helped to entertain Dan!

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Then a most wonderful thing happened. I’ve decided to be bold and get the girl to take off her diaper when she goes to school. Her school teachers had told me that she was ready to be potty-trained some time back but I didn’t have faith in her ability to do that. All these while, she would wet her pants at home and I would fly into a rage, thereby frustrating her in the process. This time round, I was all cool and the amazing thing was there had been no “accident” at all except on one occasion when she was too engrossed in play when we were attending a workshop. You have no idea how elated I am and I’m praying that she could continue to keep this up. Perhaps by being relaxed, I have indirectly helped to potty-train her?

These past two weeks have been great. Faith gained back her confidence and was joyful all the time. Even the teachers and principal have given me positive feedback. It’s true to a great extent that the children are a reflection of how the parents treat, nurture and develop them. At least, it’s true in my case. I’m a happier mom and wife now and this also translates into a happy family.

I have had victories but I am very aware that there are still challenges ahead and I need to guard myself lest I fall prey to tiredness, frustration, worldly desires and bad thoughts planted in my mind. Pray…and pray unceasingly.

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[via]

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:2

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4: 8

Great start!

How’s your first week of 2016?

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For us (at least for me), it has been progressing well. The girl went back to school and she was so happy! There wasn’t any problem for her to get up each morning because she was so looking forward to meeting her friends and teachers. We started exercising as a family on the first Saturday of 2016 and hopefully, we could make this a regular activity. On the weekdays, Dan and I worked out too! After dropping F off at school, I would return home to work on #bbg or go to the park for a 30 minute brisk walk with Dan. He would then be on his tummy for some muscle strengthening! Our exercise plan seems to be working well. We are definitely taking baby steps!

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Since school started, F has been acting more independently though at times, she still whines and wants someone to play with her. These days, she picks up materials that she wants to work on thus releasing me to do my own stuff or to take care of Dan. There are even times that she helps look after the brother while I busy myself in the kitchen. She’s slowly becoming my good helper and Dan’s companion!

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I’m also getting better at food preparation, all thanks to the thermal cooker (this warrants another post). Faith gets really hungry after school and on the way back, she would ask me if the food is cooked. Thankfully, I have it all prepared and the food is ready once we reach home.

It’s been a good week overall and hopefully, the second week will continue to be one that is bright and cheery!

Hope your week’s been a good one too!

How’s your 2015?

It’s the last day of 2015 and I’m not sure what to think of it. What have I achieved this year?

I was just telling the hubs the other day that I felt I have done nothing much and 2015 seemed like a very plain year and he exclaimed, “You gave birth to a baby!”

Oh yes, I forgot about that.

I guess that day was one of the many bad days I have had in December.

Faith was down with cough since the beginning of this month¬†and I was exhausted by the experience. We tried both the western and eastern medication and it caused much stress for me. To add to that, she was difficult to deal with and I found myself having to discipline her EVERY SINGLE DAY. It’s really a tough battle. I know it’s not easy for her, she having to deal with the cough and then rashes and to have to share her parents with her brother. I wish I could empathize with her but only Mr Anger showed up.

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Non-stop coughing

This Christmas, I couldn’t feel the cheer at all and let it pass by silently.

Since today is the last day of 2015 and things have gotten better this week, I thought I should pen down some thoughts and reflections.

The beginning of this year saw Faith entering school for the first time and I was relieved and thankful that throughout this year, she has expressed joy in attending school and loves her principal, teachers and friends. This holiday, she has asked me (countless times) when school will reopen. Soon, my dear, soon! During the last Parent-Teacher-Meeting, her report was stellar and it’s really a joy to see her grow in all aspects.

Because I had three and eventually four hours to myself while the girl was in school, I could accept more cake orders. I started taking orders from strangers and the experience had been enriching and satisfying.

Obviously, the highlight for this year is the birth of Daniel. I’m thankful for an uneventful pregnancy and that I could experience a natural birth for him. And you thought that things would be all right for me since I have experience with the firstborn but this time round, I was completely caught off-guard.

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It isn’t that Daniel was a difficult baby. On the contrary, he’s easy to take care of. It’s Faith. I wrote about this in an earlier post¬†and things got so bad that I started disliking her.¬†How is this possible? It happened to me. I was overwhelmed with having to deal with all things related to the home and a baby and the last thing I want is her tantrums. I found myself shouting at her which I wouldn’t need to in the past (she was really a very cooperative and obedient child).¬†All of a sudden, I feel that I’m a terrible mom which resulted in me having a depressing December.

Things got better this week. Perhaps, I just need to get the hang of things and have a routine of sorts. I have chosen not to engage any external form of help with the household chores and I have to learn to work more smartly around the house. With just a child, it’s easy. Now with a toddler and a baby, it calls for swift work and at times, a compromise on cleanliness. I can’t go for perfection anymore. I have also learnt to give more personal time to Faith which isn’t easy since my priority would be for the baby.

Three months. I learnt these in three months and I fully expect that there’re lots more to learn in the coming months… and years.

I hope things will be more positive when Faith goes back to school. I guess there will always be challenges along the way and that’s how we grow as parents. It’s really a tough job. Brace up, fellow parents!

Christmas at the Queks, 2015

Christmas cheer for the kids

It started off with a simple plan of getting a few kids to learn baking since a friend’s daughter wanted to learn how to bake a cupcake. I didn’t want to mess up my own kitchen and asked her to book a function room in her condo. Then we thought we should just extend the invitation to the rest of the kids in our CG and in the end, from three girls, we had 12 children and 2 babies.

It’s highly ambitious to get the children to do hands-on baking and in the end, I decided that I should just do the demonstration and get them to decorate the cupcakes themselves, with the help of their mothers. The cupcakes were baked and the Italian Meringue Buttercream made the night before. I probably could use the cupcakes baked on the spot but since I have not tested the oven, I decided not to risk and bring along the cupcakes as a form of a back-up plan.

For this post, I will list some of the things to look out for when planning such a programme for the children.

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:: If possible, check that the oven is in working condition and get familiarised with it before the actual day.

:: Choose a recipe that is straight-forward and easy to follow, for the sake of the kids.

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:: Randomly pick the kids¬†to help in the various stages, especially the ones who look bored. Since they can’t do the hands-on themselves, just getting them to help a bit here and there would sustain their interest.

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Before the kids decorated their cupcakes, I did a demo with one cupcake so that they would know exactly what was expected of them.

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:: If it helps in classroom management, rearrange the kids in their seating positions. Familiarity with each other (for the kids) may not be good for the facilitator. Get the older kid to sit with the younger one so that the former could render assistance.

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So pleased with their work!

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I had wanted to go on with decorating the gingerbread cookies which I had baked the day before but in the end, I abandoned that idea. I was getting tired! In the end, I just hand out the cookies to them so that they could bring home and eat. And yes, they devoured the cupcakes on the spot.

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We went on to get the children to work on craft using styrofoam cones and pipe cleaners and pom pom balls, all sponsored by a fellow mom.

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You would have thought that the children were tired after the cupcake decorating session but nope, they were more energetic than ever. Thankfully, this backup plan worked! Look at how motivated they were in completing their Christmas trees.

:: Always plan backup activities apart from the main one.

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What an expression! This girl doesn’t like to be posing in front of the camera anymore!

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After the craft, our lunch had not arrived yet. The kids were getting restless and thankfully, I had a book with me and fished it out and read to the kids. It’s the nativity story.

:: Always bring along a book for it will always come to be of good use. Reading is fun!

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Lunch came just as I finished reading the book. Thank God! The kids went for a short waterplay session at the kids’ pool outside after lunch and then headed home after that.

I felt so refreshed after hosting this gathering with my CG-mate. In a way, I want to return the favour to all the mothers present because they have blessed me in one form or another.

It is really more blessed to give than to receive.

 

Faith turns 3

Dear Faith
You turn 3 years old today and Mama is blessed to have you as my daughter. You are truly a gift from God.

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You have grown to be more independent as the days passed, preferring to do things yourself instead of having us help you. You have an inquisitive mind and love exploring and asking questions to the point of irritating me. I remember I was once fearful that you were the quiet sort or that you had speech delay and before I knew it, you were chatting non-stop. During the recent Parent Teacher Meeting, all your teachers sang praises of you, commenting that you are independent, sociable, learns fast and are well-liked by all and I’m comforted that you truly love learning.

However, you do know that I had a difficult time with you recently, eh? You have always been my little companion and I like doing things with you. But nowadays, I would have to spend some time with your brother since he’s still quite helpless in a lot of ways and would need me. I thought you knew that before he came out of my womb. For the first two weeks since he was born, you were really sweet and I thought you would have no problem in adjusting to your new role but apparently, I was wrong. You began to throw tantrums, big ones, and cry for no good reasons. Mama was completely caught off-guard. “What on earth is happening to you?”

You didn’t listen to us and went ahead to do what you wanted which really upset both Papa and me. When you couldn’t get your way, you cried out really loudly and hysterically, kicking your legs to show your frustration. You really tested my patience. I am human after all and there is only so much I can handle. Taking care of both you and Dan is a challenge when there is no help. The last thing I want from you is your tantrums. I find myself scolding you so much to the point that I just want to stay away from you. And when I did that, I could see the sense of abandonment in your eyes and my heart broke when you cried out helplessly to me, “Mama!”

To be honest with you, I feel resentment slowly welling up in my heart. I was exhausted and it didn’t help that you were not cooperative. I felt like a total failure at times because I didn’t know how to handle you all of a sudden. Where is the Faith that I knew all along? The sweet and caring girl, the one who came rushing up to me when I puked and asked,”Are you ok, Mama?” when I was carrying Dan during the first trimester. Where, oh, where has she been?

Faith, I love you. You should know that. You don’t have to act up to get my attention. You definitely don’t have to take the cue from Dan and cry so that I would tend to you. In fact, the more you throw your tantrums, the more I want to get away from you. I know you feel insecure right now but your fear is unfounded.

I’m sorry that I hit you out of anger that day. I know it’s wrong and that’s why I want to stay away from you lest I respond in anger again.

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Despite all these, I’m immensely thankful that you have been treating Dan with great care and I can totally sense that you are proud to be a big sister to him. Whenever we go out, you would proudly announce to my friends or even strangers that he is your baby (anyway, you should say’brother’ instead). You help me take care of him when I’m busy in the kitchen and even read him stories. That’s so sweet of you!

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Dear Faith, as you turn 3 years old, my prayer for you is that you will grow in wisdom and maturity and continue to be a good sister to your brother. I’m praying constantly that this difficult phase be over and that we could have fun like before.

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I love you. Do not doubt me.

Lovingly,
Your mama.

img1448026637057We celebrated her birthday with our cell group as requested by her and of course, a ‘Let it go’ chocolate cake specially made for her.

Dan is 1 month old!

The boy is 1 month old today! Oh, what joy!

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It has been a busy day as we delivered the full month’s boxes of goodies to our relatives. This time round, instead of western desserts like cakes and tarts, we decided on something traditional like nonya kuehs.

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From Lek Lim Nonya Cake Confectionery

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But this was not before the hubs and I had a slow breakfast discussing Faith’s recent change in habits and attitudes. The last two weeks hadn’t been all blissful.¬†Of all times, Faith had to fall sick during the third week of the confinement period and she was all cranky and whiny. She cried at the slightest thing and sometimes we had absolutely no clue as to what caused her sudden change in attitude. Just a few days before, she was this excited and caring sister to Dan and then she morphed into one who was disobedient to her parents and always up to mischief.

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I was frustrated, no doubt. Added to this was the fact that my breast was engorged and I had very sore left nipple, thanks to Dan’s poor latching. When would all these pain end?

Thankfully, the confinement lady (CL) was all understanding and told me to be patient towards the girl who was obviously having a hard time transiting to her new role and having to share her parents with her brother. “Get her to help you more. She will appreciate it.”

And one evening, after cleaning Dan, the CL placed Dan on Faith’s lap. The little girl was pleasantly surprised.¬†At last, someone trusted her enough!¬†You see, I had not allowed Faith to get close to Dan because she was coughing and many times, she forgot to cover her mouth or to turn away. I wouldn’t want Dan to catch the bug and thus forbade her to get too close to her brother.

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Since that incident, Faith started to care for her brother more but her whines and cries continued until I had enough and asked her where she learnt it from. “From baby…”

She must have come to the conclusion that we would tend to her and give her attention if she cries, just like her brother. Poor girl. I admit, that in grappling with the changes, I had forgotten to pause and laugh at her silly acts (which she purposely did so to make me happy). I had, more often than not, asked her to wait and wait and wait while I tend to her brother. I had also ignored her desire to want to be more involved with Dan, together with her mother, and not to be left alone to do her own thing. Oh, the damage that I have done to her.

And then the mother’s guilt!

So, I’ve decided to intentionally set aside some time to spend with her (let’s call it mother-daughter bonding time) and sneaked out on one of the confinement days to do what women love – shop and eat! Boy, was she happy and we were both recharged!

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So, has life gotten better now?

Nope.

In fact, ever since the CL left (which was 2 days ago), I have been trying to ‘work things out’. Having two kids is definitely different and more challenging as compared to having just one. Different nap times, trying to prepare meals in time and finding time to spend with the toddler are some of the more urgent concerns. And I’m not even adding my own personal rest time (huh? what’s that?) into the list. Many moms have assured me that this is only a phrase and it would soon pass so I’m taking their word for it.

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I’m taking a step at a time now and allowing the Lord to teach me more about motherhood and myself. It can only get better.

P.S. If this post sounds incoherent, that’s due to a lack of sleep …and caffeine.

Relearning the basics – week 2

The confinement lady would not be here forever and I should take every opportunity between rest time to learn from her.

You would have thought that taking care of the newborn would come natural for me since I have had some experience with my firstborn. Alas, my memory is so finite that it took me a while to get used to taking care of a newborn.

For instance, I have to be mindful of the neck when carrying the baby and not lift him from the armpits, a habit that I’m so used to by now. I have also long forgotten how to clean a newborn and had to ask the confinement lady to demonstrate it for me. The other day, I was trying to change the diaper and got a bit lost because the genital organs of the boy differ from Faith’s. I was so afraid of hurting him but my confinement lady assured me that it is easier to care for a boy than for a girl since the parts are, well, external. ūüė≥

Changing the clothes of a newborn can be rather daunting because I’m not so sure if the force I apply is too much. Oh, that fragile being! So I find vest-like romper to be the best choice of clothing when dressing a newborn since it’s much easier to slip the hands through the sleeves as compared to a onesie.

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When it comes to baby clothes, I certainly appreciate materials that are friendly on the skin just like this piece from Simply Life, a new homegrown brand. The material is¬†made of superior bamboo fibres, which are more hypoallergenic, antibacterial and anti-fungal. Not only is it breathable and thermo regulating, the all-natural bamboo material is also highly absorbent and moisture-wicking. This romper went through a first wash and it remained as soft as when it was first delivered to my home. My confinement lady, upon seeing and feeling the material, instantly exclaimed (in Mandarin), “Whoah, this is quality stuff!”

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Indeed it is. I have always loved bamboo apparel and its feel on my own skin. In fact, many of my maternity clothing are made of bamboo fibres and I’m sure baby Daniel would appreciate such a material too.

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Let’s not forget the girl who also gets to enjoy¬†the softness of the bamboo towel. Life is fair. ūüėČ

So, I’m at the halfway mark of the confinement period. Disrupted sleep, 2 to 3-hourly feed and the need to divide my time between the two siblings are part of the whole package. I’m not sure how life will be like when the confinement lady departs. Busier? Most definitely. Would I get to take some time off for self-care? I don’t know. I will only know when that time comes.

Meanwhile, I need to learn and relearn some of the skills in dealing with an infant.

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Thank you, Simply Life for sending the baby products over. I was won over.

Simply Life is a brand founded under Creative Moms Pte Ltd. Built on the belief that our journey through life should be a joyous and uplifting one, Simply Life designs and produces products ranging from baby care and children’s wear to homeware and other lifestyle essentials, all with safe and top quality materials and come with encouraging messages. Their¬†products are available at major departmental stores, children specialty stores and via their online shop simplylife.com.sg. Do check them out!

The little boy is presented with Simply Life’s newborn bamboo apparel¬†for review purposes. No other forms of monetary compensation is given. All opinions are mine.

[Thankful Tuesday] Being a second time mom – the 1st week

Has it been a week since Dan was born?

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I’m having a thankful spirit as I pen down these thoughts. Being a second time mom is… much pleasurable than the first. One may say it’s because I’m more experienced but I would like to attribute it to ‘letting go’.

As a mom, you want the best for your child and when Faith was born, I told myself that I would never get her to drink formula milk. She could only be breastfed. My mind was made up before she came into the world but oh, that put an immense amount of stress on me during that first week.

My milk supply didn’t come in until a few days later but clearly Faith was dehydrated because she couldn’t latch on well and that means she wasn’t really taking in the colostrum that was given to her. Her jaundice level was high and she underwent photo therapy at home which added to the stress. I nearly got into depression but thankfully, we engaged a lactation consultant who showed me the ropes to get the baby to latch on properly.

This time round for Dan, I have no issue with giving him formula milk. Because there is no ideal anymore, there is also no pressure. The milk supply came in very soon and Dan was able to latch on well. The can of formula milk has been left untouched just after a couple of scoops (anyone wants to take over?).

We have an experienced confinement nanny and I leave most of the tasks to her. Previously, I did what the nanny was supposed to do (except cooking) because it just didn’t make sense to me to leave the job of a mother to someone else.¬†How irresponsible is that?¬†What I didn’t realise then was the need for the mom to rest, especially after she had carried the child for 9.5 months, gone through physiological changes and then a traumatic experience at the hospital with wounds and all.

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It isn’t selfish to take care of yourself first. How else would you be able to take care of the kids if you are not rested?

I’m thankful to have a confinement lady who keeps asking me to rest and a husband who has been so willing to help out in whatever capacity he has been called to. And Faith? She has shown herself to be ready to take on the role of a big sister. She understands that I have to feed the brother most of the time and will stay off the newborn when told to. She must have realised that the little brother isn’t really a lot of fun after all and does her own stuff or pesters us to play with her. I guess it’s not easy for her too that she has to handle such a major change in her life and to have to share her parents with her brother. I am told that she became emotional in school today and burst out crying, “I want my mummy…”

Poor girl.

But she will survive.

So, I’ve learnt. That if I don’t try to be a perfectionist but learn to let go, life will not be so difficult after all. There are indeed many things in life that we cannot control and since that is the case, why do I need to be so dogmatic and insist on one method to doing things? Learn to commit it to the Lord and all will be well.

Hope your Tuesday’s been good!

The birth story of Daniel

Every pregnancy is different.

This time round with Daniel (he’s our second child), I had mild nauseous during my first trimester but apart from that, there was no swollen feet or cramps of the legs during bedtime unlike the first pregnancy. There was little craving (or next to none) and life was business as usual.

However, this time round, I was more anxious than the first during the last stage because the baby kept turning his position while in the womb. He was in the downward position in week 36 and 37 but turned breech and horizontal during the last 2 weeks.

He was too active.

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On Monday, 5 October, I had my last checkup and it seemed that he had moved head-down again and we decided to induce him the following morning. I have wanted a vaginal birth as opposed to a C-sect as much as possible and thus this decision.

It was however, a decision that was not without much struggle. At the back of our minds, K and I were asking ourselves if we were playing God by going ahead with induction. In His time. .. In His time… but were we intervening when we agreed to induce?

Of course, there is always the possibility that Daniel will flip again and this was really beyond my control. That afternoon, a BSF-mate called and prayed for me from which I got the peace to go ahead with the plan.

That night, I didn’t sleep well. I was sitting on the armchair hoping that gravity will help in stabilising Daniel’s position and that means ‘bye bye’ to sleep. Obviously, this is not proven and I should be gathering as much rest as possible but as long as he’s in a downward position, I could do with little sleep.

We checked in at 8.15am after sending F to school. The reception counter was busy and we had to wait a while. Dr Poon had quite a busy day ahead and I was panicking.

Anyway, on instruction, the nurse gave me the liquid thing and I did the big poo (sry, can’t remember the term for it).

Dr Poon came and did the scan. Ok great, Daniel’s head was still down and I was 2cm dilated. He broke my water bag and I was put on drip immediately. That was 9.40am.

The pain was all bearable until about 11am. I was 4cm dilated and there was a drop in the Daniel’s heartbeat. The nurse reported this to Dr Poon and he instructed her to stop my drip. I was given oxygen due to that and from then on, contractions started to kick in.

Daniel’s head, however, was too high up.

My instruction to the nurse was to have the laughing gas and the jab on the thigh. At 11.30am, I asked for laughing gas because the pain has increased.

At about 1 plus pm, Dr Poon came and told me that it would still take about 3 to 4 hours before I became fully dilated. I nearly fainted upon hearing that. The pain was increasing in leaps and bounds and I told the nurse that I needed the jab. I rejected epidural and minutes later, I regretted.

After about 30 minutes, the pain was unbearable.

I was gripping on to the sides of the bed and the pain intensified. I suddenly felt the urge to push but was told earlier that I could not lest the cervix area rupture. But then the urge to push was automatic and I cried out. The nurses came in, checked my dilation and said it’s fully open!

Thankfully Dr Poon was still around and I heard him put on the gown and more nurses came in. They got me in a ready position and asked me to push.

I think I pushed a total of 5 times before Daniel came out.

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It was crazy, the pain.

I think I must have forgotten how painful it was the previous time. After Daniel came out, Dr Poon took out the placenta and stored the blood cord for us. He showed me the placenta but I was like ‘ok, whatever ‘ and drifted back to drowsy state.

Too much pain.

Daniel weighed 3.154kg and measured 51cm long at birth.

IMG_20151007_0705540.9837929173298327Skin-to-skin contact but I was semi conscious. Was too tired by the whole episode.

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This is joy… when I held him at a more conscious state.

I’m thankful that the Lord allows me to deliver him naturally and without epidural. During that last stage, I was mentally scolding myself for not using it. But I really don’t want to suffer the side-effects too (it’s a personal preference). Sigh… but all is well now.

Sleepless nights ahead. For now, I’m just thankful that he’s out safely.

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Holding my finger tightly with his, while being breastfed.

PD examined the boy and all was well. But we will only know his jaundice level the next day and if he could be discharged.

The boy didn’t pee and it was advised that we give him formula milk. I would be dead against it for my firstborn but now my reply is, “Ok loh”.

Poor second child.

I have gained a total of 11kg for this pregnancy and hopefully I could go back to my pre-pregnancy weight in time to come. For now, I would have to rest (not sure if I could) and eat well so that the milk could come in.

IMG_20151007_2044130.7896567479734887Faith was excited about his brother and wanted to touch and ‘sayang’ him all the time. Of course, we were afraid that the force that she exerts would be wrong and kept reminding her to be gentle. Think she was frustrated by our concern!

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Presenting you our family of four!

Thankful Tuesday: The eve

What an exciting September.

This month saw us trying to get everything in place and ready for Quekling II. A lot had happened and I’m glad things are winding down and ready for his arrival. It’s all in good timing and we truly thank God for that.

To combat the heat, we scouted for ceiling fans and got them installed before mid-September. That means a cooler environment for breastfeeding. Yay!

We also decided that we should trade in our old car for a new one because each day when I was in the driver’s seat, I feared that it would break down. It would be tremendously stressful for me with two young children and thus as a family, we decided that we could buy a peace of mind with a new vehicle. It’s a definite liability but would prove to be extremely convenient when you have young children. Thankfully, we received the car a week ago which gave us ample time to get used to it and gain sufficient [hopefully] experience with it.

Last week, during the routine checkup, we learnt that Quekling II was in the horizontal/ transverse position and that means a c-section would be needed. I was disappointed. I have, after all, thought and decided emotionally that I would be giving birth to him naturally which is my preferred method. It’s better for both mother and child. So, I wasn’t prepared when I heard the news. But the immediate verse that came to me was,

“Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1¬†Thessalonians 5:18)

We rallied our brothers and sisters to pray for us and yesterday, during the checkup, Quekling II’s head has turned downwards! Praise the Lord!

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We decided to induce him soon to prevent him from changing his position as there is such a possibility. Also, this will work well for the whole family in terms of logistical arrangement. To be honest, I’m not sure if this is the best for Quekling II but we just have to trust in Him for a healthy and normal baby and a smooth delivery ahead.

Mom’s weight: 59.2kg
Quekling II: 2.8kg

A lot have happened within this month and looking back, I just want to thank God for His perfect timing in bringing everything in place. We are thankful to our family who rendered so much help to us and without them, we would definitely be busier and more frustrated. The hubs and I grew closer too as we prepared for THE DAY to come.

Preparing Faith for a new baby

I have been talking to Faith about her brother for months because I know it would be a period of great adjustment for her {and us as well}. I do not know what will really happen but I know for sure if I do not prepare her for his arrival, there would be very tough times ahead. I have heard stories from friends that the older sibling could get jealous and behave undesirably which add to the stress of the parents and I hope it would not happen to Faith! Nonetheless, I have prepared myself mentally for that but as much as possible, I wouldn’t want to disrupt her routine, so it would be business as usual for her.

I find reading really helpful in getting her to understand certain concepts of babies. Faith kept asking me if the baby could play with her or if he could stand, sit or read together with her. These are opportunities to tell her more about the differences between a big girl and a baby.

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The following are some of the things that I have done to prepare her for her baby brother’s arrival.

:: Talk about changes

Since knowing that I was pregnant, we have told Faith that I could not carry her and that she has to get onto the car seat or chair herself. Initially, she couldn’t understand why but with repeated explanation, she kind of get the idea. Now, the only person who could carry her is her father and she doesn’t expect me to do that even though at times, she fell asleep during our ride back. She would have to walk back to the apartment herself, holding my hands and with her eyes closed.

As my tummy gets bigger, I become more lethargic and there are many times that I told Faith that I am tired and couldn’t play with her. She could understand and leave me to play by herself. Perhaps, it’s down to the maturity of the child? Overall, I do think that talking about the pregnancy and the impending changes helps a lot.

:: Tell her the real things about a baby

That a baby cannot play with her yet and all he does is cry, drink milk and sleep. It’s always good to manage expectations and it’s rather common to have little ones think that a baby exists to be a companion to them. While that might be true, it is definitely a different story, at least for the first few months or even first year of his life.

:: Show her a real tiny baby

Nothing beats seeing the real thing. Thankfully, I have a friend who has recently given birth and F had her first-hand encounter with the baby. The baby obviously couldn’t play with her

:: Show her pictures of when she was a baby

Talk about how she was like when she was a baby, that she only drank milk and was breastfed and needed to be carried since she couldn’t walk yet!

:: Involve her in baby preparation

The baby will be bunking in her room and part of the room has to be allocated to her brother. We got her to give up part of her drawer space and placed the baby’s clothes in it. She also willingly parted with her pillows so that her brother could have them. When we were out shopping for a cot and mattress, she tagged along and we explained that they are for her brother.

:: Make them feel important

I have often asked Faith to be on standby and to render help to me when the baby arrives. She agreed and is waiting in anticipation for the arrival of her brother. She’s a big sister now! Let’s just see how she will really react when that day comes!

: Read books about being a big sister

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Reading is a very good way to get Faith to understand what is going to happen when the baby brother arrives. Thankfully, our local libraries stock these books.

The following are for my own reference when the baby arrives:

:: Set aside time just for the older child. Carving out even 10 minutes a day when you and your daughter could have quality time together can make all the difference. It also shows her how important she is to you and that you also cherish that special one-to-one time. ¬†Be attentive to her in the presence of the baby so she feels that she is an important member of the family. Reassure her that your love for her hasn’t change.

:: Let her know that it’s natural for a big sister to feel proud and loving and yet at the same time, jealous and angry. Help her express her feelings but communicate clearly that it’s not okay to act on negative feelings. Praise her for good behaviour and be specific about it.

:: Invite the big sister to help and include her in your conversations and activities. In that way, she will be more eager to join in with the new baby and she will feel happy, valued and loved.

:: Try to keep as many of your old routines as possible. While there are many changes with the arrival of the newborn, the big sister needs some consistency in order to feel safe and at home.

Experience mothers out there, do you have other tips to share?

It’s been a tough week

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Baby @ 33 weeks

This week was tough.

Faith was evidently more rebellious these days and on several occasions, refused to obey what we had asked her to do. The worst part? Disobeying seems to be a fun thing to her and even when we had put her at the quiet corner and used other disciplinary measures, she came back, unrepented.

It got really exhausting to have to face such a situation. At many junctures, I questioned why I gave up my job to be a SAHM, to have my own flesh and blood drive me up the wall. If I was still working, at least I could have a break from her nonsense. And at the very least, I could have a few minutes of silence, to reconnect with myself. Being home with her, I was posed with endless questions and to have to engage her with conversations. The little one doesn’t like silence; she loves to chat with her Mom.

It’s exhausting.

At the same time, I questioned my self-worth and cannot help but feel that I have lost touch with the society. When I saw fellow moms having a good time at work and looking splendid in their dressing, envy started to well up. Don’t judge me please. I know I shouldn’t compare and that I should fix my eyes on things above but….

All these emotions (hormones as well) overwhelmed me and it got to a point that I broke down and wept uncontrollably, in front of the kiddo. She was confused, obviously, and cried. Why did Mama cry?

I shudder to think of the challenges ahead, of having to deal with two young children. How do you moms do it? I’m not sure if I could still stay calm and patiently explain things to them. I anticipate losing my temper more and that the volume of my voice will increase by a¬†few decibels.

I need to surrender this to the Lord, the fear of the uphill tasks ahead. Surely God is faithful and He will bring me through. At the same time, I must remember that the tasks that have been given to me are not just ‘any’ tasks but are important ones. What I’m doing now will impact my children’s lives and many others who have contact with them. What I am doing IS important.

And I have to be fair, because there are indeed MORE sweet moments than bad ones.

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Say, for instance, meal times. There are more occasions in which she enjoys her food and gobbles whatever I have prepared for her. Her chopsticks’ skills have improved and there are significantly less mess on the floor now.

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Eating out with her can sometimes be a torture but 70% of the time, she behaves herself and is polite and courteous to the servers.. Just don’t bring her out when she is tired and cranky…

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She {still} loves school and each day, she would tell me that she enjoys herself in school, BSF or Sunday School. It gives me great joy to know that she is adapting well and likes to learn.

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At one stage, i was worried that she would just communicate in English. Alas, over the last few weeks, she spoke more in Mandarin with me (as long as I speak to her in that language) and could recite the¬†ŚĄŅś≠Ć (songs) she has learnt in school and from listening to the CDs at home. Sometimes, she even speaks with a certain Chinese accent. I wonder who she caught that from.¬†

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She remains a bubbly and cheerful girl and would find ways to make us laugh.

I guess as long as I don’t focus on the difficult situations in parenting, they won’t look like giants that cannot be overcome. In fact, such challenges are opportunities to exercise faith and to experience God at a higher level. Amen?

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I’m also thankful for the opportunity to bake 100 cookies for a sweet baby girl (gift packs)because it makes me happy just to be able to do that. Maybe I should make my own gift packs for the newborn’s full month eh?

How has your week been? Hopefully, it has been good!

Update:

The baby in the womb is 1.8kg and is still in breech position. I’m not looking forward to C-section so I’m going to pray against that. He seems to be a skinnier baby as compared to Faith. I guess I must eat better from now on so that he could get all the necessary nutrients.

Wt of mom: 57.7kg

BP: 119/58

ME -Time for Mommies!

ME-time is a concept that I have learnt to appreciate when I became a mom. I mean, before that, I had so much pockets of time to myself whether I was a single or as a wife that it didn’t seem like a great deal. After being a mom, I realised that it is crucial for me to have some time off to myself because it can be so easy to be sucked into the demands of being a mom and a wife.

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It wasn’t easy in the beginning. If you are a new mom, you would have felt the same guilt that I had of leaving your baby behind just so that you could have some peace and sanity. I was reluctant to do so but the hubs insisted that I go out and take a breather.

So I started with an hour or two to myself and normally, I would visit a {nearby} cafe to have a cup of latte and a book on hand. On other days, I would go for a slow jog, just to regain my stamina.

As the little girl grew older and was more manageable, I’ve learnt to let go and placed her in the care of my parents or in-laws while I attended some courses. I needed interaction with adults and if you are a SAHM, you would realise how much your language and vocabulary can deteriorate (or does this only happen to me??).

These days, however, I prefer to stay at home and do the things that will perk me up.

You see, Faith is at the stage when she can talk non-stop. She loves to ask questions and engage me in a conversation. As much as I rejoice over the fact that she is talking more, it does get to me (most of the time). In the end, I just want some quietness and peace in the house.

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Now that she is in school for a few hours, I prefer to come back home and chill. Playing some soothing music in the background, I would normally spend some time reading the Bible and allow the Word of God to speak to me and recharge me or experimenting with some cake recipes and designs.

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You would probably find me at the park jogging or cycling if I wasn’t pregnant for those are the activities that I love in the past. Now, I just need to learn to slow down and develop my other interests which always lift me up.

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It’s therapeutic doing these things without a child calling out to you ALL THE TIME. No, the cakes don’t always taste delish but that’s all right. What’s more important is that I feel recharged and refreshed after that.

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I cannot stress enough the importance of taking time off to nourish your soul because you return to your responsibilities with renewed strength and much cheer. Everyone in the family will benefit from a happy mom and wife, no? ¬†And ME-time is not about running errands! It’s really doing something that will uplift you. ūüėČ

So, what do you do during your ME-time?

Mummy's 'Me-Time'
This post is part of a blog train initiated by Danessa of Prayerfull Mum where a group of mommy bloggers share their thoughts on ME-time.
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feliciaNext up on the blog train is Felicia Tan.¬†A homeschooling mama of two, ¬†she aspires to nourish the heart, mind, body and soul of her family. ‚ÄúThe world is our school‚ÄĚ is her mantra so be it a stroll to the market nearby or a vacation to Europe, she encourages curiosity and inquiry from her children. Her passion for cooking and healthy living drives her to churn out nutritious but easy-to-prepare meals so you can expect to see some healthy recipes on her blog. She also shares her parenting thoughts and learning activities as she goes about her journey and discovery as a homeschooling mama of Princess and The Rock.. Click on the link to her blog to read her take on mommy me-time!

A dress for Faith, sewn with love

My mum was a seamstress and growing up, I was surrounded by different types of sewing machines that were used to piece the various parts of a shirt. And whenever those machines were not in use, I would try my hands on them, much to the annoyance of my mom (but she gave up stopping me in the end). Thus, sewing isn’t something too daunting for me.

My mom, though an extremely busy woman herself, would find time to sew dresses for me and now as a mother, I find myself wanting to do so for my daughter too. I contemplated getting a sewing machine but was afraid that such passion is, but temporary, and eventually it would turn into a white elephant. Moreover, I’m not sure if I’m still skillful enough to do a good enough job. After all, it has been many years since I last touched a sewing machine.

Thankfully, a dear friend, Amy, approached me and offered to teach me how to sew a sundress. How timely! She conducts sewing classes herself and what I needed to do was to give her the measurement of Faith according to a size chart and choose the fabric design that I want and I’m all ready to get started!

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While Faith was in school, I went for my sewing tutorial with much excitement. Amy first introduced me to the sewing machine that I would be using and went through the fundamentals with me. The sewing machines these days are so light and portable, unlike the ones that my mom used which are the big, heavy-duty ones.

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After trying out the sewing machine for a short while, I was down to serious work. I spent the next three hours pressing the seams using the iron, pinning and sewing them. Initially, the workmanship was bad and I had to unpick some of the seams and re-sew. But it sure got better after a while.

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I find sewing therapeutic as I got the hang of it, all thanks to the patience of my dear friend. She was very encouraging and even when I made a mistake, I know it could be easily rectified.

20150701_102047 (2)Towards the end, I got a little too excited because I wanted to see the finished product. Oh, that anticipation! But I have to remind myself to go slow lest I make mistakes again!

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Last few steps: sewing the zip! I’m almost there!

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You cannot imagine how happy I was when I completed the sundress. This is my first dress for Faith and I have fulfilled a small, small wish of mine. Finally! Then I thought of my mom. I could not understand why she would bother to make dresses for me and my sis especially when she had tons to do but now I think I know. It’s really simple. It’s love. That is how she expressed her love for us, by doing what she’s¬†best at to bless us, just like how she would always ¬†prepare homecooked food for us.

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I was a proud mom the day when Faith put on this dress. Obviously, it is much easier and convenient to buy one off the rack but this one is special. It is made with love and I know there would not be many pieces out there. This particular one fits Faith to a tee and it looks great on her. I love the design of the fabric which is imported from the U.S. and overall, it’s cheaper than buying a quality dress from the shops (workmanship not included, of course. It’s made with love, after all).

I’m hooked. Shall I buy a sewing machine?:)

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Amy and her friend, Karen, conduct sewing workshops on blouses, skirts and dresses. The fees start from $80/pax for a 3-hour session which include all workshop materials and choice of premium fabrics. If you are interested, do browse their website for more information. They even hold classes for kids!

Sew into it
Website: http://www.sewintoit.com.sg/
Facebook: Please click here
IG: sewintoit_sg

A busy June hols

The month of June was a busy one for me and I’m sure it was, for many parents. It’s the one-month school holiday after all and we had to make sure that our children were potentially engaged with activities lest they got bored at home and caused more headache for us. The hubs, knowing that it would be more challenging to handle the little one daily, offered to take leave twice a week so that he could relieve me during those days. With him around, I was definitely willing to be more adventurous and go on outings together as a family.

Here’s a post to record the many things that happened in June!

jurongbirdpark@ Jurong Bird Park with her playmate

gardensbythebayLearning about nursery rhymes @ Gardens by the Bay

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Outdoor activities! We love it! Farm visits, Jurong Bird Park, Gardens by the Bay, Tanjong Pargar Railway Station, Jacob Ballas, East Coast Park, SEA Games Carnival at the Sport Hub, Hortpark¬†were some of the places we visited. With the hubs around, he could do the wild things with Faith while I rested.¬†It was fun going on trips but it could get tiring too. It came to a point when I asked the little one what she wanted to do the following day and she replied, “I don’t want to go out. I want to stay home.” So much for planning activities for her eh?

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Perhaps, the more exhausting thing is not about going out but having to answer Faith’s endless questions. She became really chatty all of a sudden and asked so many questions that she tested my patience. I couldn’t answer her with ‘ok’, ‘hmm’, or a ‘yes’ but I have to continue the conversation with her. Goodness! It is a good problem, no doubt, I really needed a break from her!

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F gifted with Chinese books and enjoying pool time!

I’m thankful too that friends asked me out for meetup during this period. It was good catching up with good old friends over meals and naturally we would talk about our children and their progress in school. For one group, Faith was the youngest among the group of children and when friends shared about the challenges they faced, the issue of the Chinese language would always be brought up. It got me a bit uptight and I wonder if I should really step up my effort in getting Faith to be more conversant in Mandarin. Oh, that’s really stressful!

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Apart from the many activities, pregnancy itself was uneventful. Friends started asking if we need baby clothes and stuff of which we would need since we have given some essential items away (didn’t really expect to have a second one initially). Thankful for these kind souls as we wouldn’t want to spend too much on these items. I went for my Pilates classes as usual and since my back was starting to ache, prenatal massage is a good temporary relief. We have just settled for confinement nanny services through the previous agency that we engaged and hopefully we could get back the same lady.

I wish I could tell you that I love spending 24/7 with Faith but I don’t. I realised I needed time to myself, to do the things that I love like baking and cooking or just taking the time off to chill with a good read. I got a little, just a little downcast having her around all the time and felt a little lost. It sounds weird, I know but I don’t know how to explain this kind of feeling. During that moment, I was encouraged by what I read from ‘Desperate: Hope for the mom who needs to breathe‘…

The God who gave you your gifts and talents is the same God who gave you souls to bring up, train, invest in, and disciple….Scripture is filled with admonitions for a mama to make her home her focus and bring up her children. A mama’s primary domain is her home. This doesn’t mean you don’t have another purpose that God wants you to fulfill while you’re breathing on this earth, but your first and main purpose is to deeply invest in the souls He’s given you, and you will struggle immensely if you do not have resolve regarding your role as a mother.

This para spoke to me and gave me strength to move on. Somehow, I was able to focus on my family and at the same time, started to pick myself up to do the things that I like and one of the most awesome stuff was to be able to learn how to make the rice dumplings from two experienced mothers. God must have known that I’m struggling and sent these angels to liven me up! Simple joy!

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So I started to busy myself in the kitchen again and baked a Japanese Cheesecake for the cell group and got Faith to work on Lavender Madeleines with me. She loves baking and I love to impart such skills to her!

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All in all, I guess June turned out well. It was definitely busy but I must say we did enjoy ourselves. How was your June holidays?
All ready for July?

TGIF and friends

As you grow older, do you find that it is so much harder to make friends?¬†I’m not referring to those whom you meet once in a¬†blue moon¬†(they are precious nonetheless); I’m talking about those who share the same struggles and situation as you and whom you can confide in and share your deepest fears without being judged.

When I was in Boston, I remember saying a prayer, asking the dear Lord to bless me with friends who could share the same interests as I and those who could encourage me in this journey of faith. He did bless me with a group of sisters and we loved to share recipes, cook, bake and even window-shopped for kitchen applicances. Though we are continents apart now, we still catch up with one another whenever possible.

Now as a SAHM, life can be lonely at times. Again, I asked God for like-minded mothers to grow together. Without fail, he granted my request. And today, I was blessed by one of them who decided to serve me and another mother to celebrate her birthday. What a meaningful thing to do!

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I must stress that this friend, Tri, is 34 weeks pregnant but because she has such passion for cooking, she doesn’t mind preparing a scrumptious brunch for us. The fact that her ktichen is filled with Le Creuset cookware and dishware is another treat for me. ūüėČ

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She even bothered to bake bread for us. So much love!

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This is our all day’s breakfast. I think if we aren’t pregnant, we can really look forward to poached eggs!

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The spread

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While the mommies were having a good brunch, the kids were eating merrily too and enjoying some play time!

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Since Tri is good in Chinese, we got her to read books to the toddlers and they got to learn some Chinese words too!

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Half a day was gone like this. Some days, I have it easy like today and got to enjoy the company of other SAHMs. Time passes very quickly as we chat and share our problems with one another. However, most days, I am just going through routines which can be boring. In any case, I’m thankful for a Friday such as today and definitely precious friends whom the Lord has blessed me with.

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SEA Games 2015 and thoughts on sports

Our nation hosted the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games this year and we came in second, bagging a total of 84 goals, a record for the country! What a joy! And obviously, we took the opportunity to participate as spectators and attended the carnival held at the Sports hub.

20150604_101120 I’m pretty sure that many families have brought their children to the carnival. There were stations for the kids to try out the various sports and activities. I was hoping Faith would enjoy the carnival but the fact is she didn’t. 20150604_103130 It was terribly hot that day we went down and she wasn’t in the mood to try out anything which was a real pity. The other kids who were with us enjoyed sweating it out and I could only envy them. 20150604_110345 In the end, she was contented with just the colouring activity. How interesting. I have always thought that she is an active child who loves running around and trying out new stuff. I would very much prefer that she likes the outdoors because her mom is one who adores being in the open. I am hoping that she would eventually develop a love for triathlon or marathon because these are sports which I was crazy about at one point in my life (now still am but I have to reserve them for later years). 20150604_125640

Just look how ‘stoned’ she was while trying out hockey. *Faint*

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I’m still trying to figure out what she is good at at this point in time. At the very least, I would try to expose her to all kinds of things, whether it be an indoor or outdoor activity. And definitely, I would allow her to follow her passion once she finds it.

Growing up, I did not have the opportunity to develop myself in other areas except in the academic domain. The only sports that my mother got me to learn is swimming because she believes that everyone must learn how to swim since we are surrounded by water. I soon got quite good at it and my coach even assured my mom that I would be able to achieve much if I continue to train. As a 7YO child, that was the highest compliment one could give me. Sadly, my mom decided that studies were more important than passion and stopped me from pursuing it. Isn’t it sad?

I hope I would not follow my mom’s footsteps. I don’t deny that academic education is important but if a child shows talents in other forms, we should allow him to shine in those areas too, no?

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That’s us supporting the waterskiiing and wakeboarding events.

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 I guess it is still too early to tell if she is a sporty kind of girl or one who loves to be indoors or both. We just need to give her the opportunity to be exposed to all sorts of activities and see if she is keen in any area.

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More importantly, it is our desire that she would pursue God first above all others. ūüėČ