Melbourne | Chesterfield Farm

Melbourne 2016
1st day | Chesterfield Farm

Our flight was at 1.20am. Not a very ideal timing I must say. I was worried that the girl would be cranky with lack of sleep. Thankfully she slept a few hours before we headed to the airport and slept on the plane for a good few hours. As anticipated, she got bored along the way and I had to take out the Usborne sticker book and get her to work on it. The book is on airport and I chose it so that she could connect her experience with the task at hand.

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We cleared the custom at Melbourne airport rather quickly and by the time we settled some stuff, it was past noon. Chesterfield Farm was on my itinerary and we only realised that it closes at 3pm then. We wasted no time and Pauline, my host, sent me to the farm. This farm was recommended by Jenn and boy, was I glad that I chose to visit it.

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This is the sight that greeted us when we arrived and to be honest, I wasn’t impressed. However, once you go in through the cafe cum ticketing counter, you will realise that the farm is big!

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There is a list of things to do on the farm -tractor rides, shearing of sheep, milking of cow, feeding of the animals, etc – and one could devote a few hours visiting it. There are specific timings of course so it would be good to read up a little on its website. Faith and I had only one hour in the farm but we were really thrilled by the farm animals.

img_1019Pigs and piglets

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Cows

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Camel!!!

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Goats

The girl was truly fascinated by the kangaroo. The mom too!

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This space is truly big, quite different from Collingwood Children’s Farm and it has a bigger range of farm animals, much to our delight. Because we had only one hour before the farm closed for the day, we had to literally race through the various sections. We didn’t even purchase any feed for the animals; I thought it would be a good experience for the kiddo. I think one could possibly spend a good 2 to 3 hours on the farm.

It was a wonderful experience for both of us and we love the close encounter that we could have with the animals. Worth a visit!

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Faith has often read about farm animals and that day, the animals came alive and you should have seen her excitement and fascination with them.

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We had a wonderful mother-and-daughter bonding time too as we talked about the farm animals and taking turns to take pictures of them. It pays to bring along a good camera to capture all those beautiful memories and I’m glad to be equipped with Canon’s EOS M10 during this trip.

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Next stop, Puffing Billy & the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie!

It’s been a tough week

Faith @ 33 MO

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 儿歌 (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

3rd year as a Dad

How has it been being a father for three years? I certainly hope that you are enjoying the journey. image I just want to tell you that you are an awesome dad…image Happy Father’s Day!

Surviving as a SAHM for a 1st time mum

Faith turns 18 months old recently and that means I have been a Stay-At-Home-Mum for that same period of time. Woohoo! It’s quite unbelievable that I could stay sane for so long knowing how much resistance I had for this role in the past. And, to be really honest, I am enjoying what I am doing now. 😉

Here’s sharing with you my 10 survival tips!

1. Take a morning walk

I started bringing Faith out for morning walks since she was a few months old. It can prove to be a refreshing start for the day as we breathe in the fresh air and appreciate all that nature has to offer. In addition, there’s vitamin D from the sunlight too! It really makes me feel good to be in the outdoors.

2. Playground fun

When Faith was beginning to walk, I started to make it a habit to bring her to the nearby playground(s) so that she could expend her energy, interact with other kids and gain confidence through working on the obstacles. It is also a good opportunity to have some interaction with the other parents (we need some adult conversation, no?). After each session, the kiddo will normally get tired and nap rather quickly. That means I have time to do other stuff! Yay!

3. Don’t be paiseh (shy) to accept help

I used to think that being a SAHM, I need to be responsible for all domestic affairs, big or small, during the day when the hubs is at work. I took it upon myself to carry them out until I realised it is near impossible to do every single stuff  well when there is a kiddo who needs you most of the time, especially during the first year of her life. That’s when my parents and father-in-law come into the scene. Initially, I felt really terrible to have them help out since they are rather old but I realised that they actually want to spend time with the little one who brightens their day. My father-in-law, for example, is one awesome man. He would travel to my place without any complaints when we need him, play with Faith and then iron the clothes that are piled up like a mountain. On some days, he even helps to mop the floor! Do I feel bad? Absolutely! But the hubs has convinced me that this is his way of showing love to us and I would have to accept his kind gesture. So, there you go, if your folks or friends volunteer to take care of your little one, just take it up!

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4. Go and have ME time 

If you have heard fellow mums who told you that ME time is important and that you need to have some time away from the kiddo, do heed their advice. There are times when both Faith and I have enough of each other. She’s bored of me and I’m frustrated with her. That is when I know I need to chill and be away from her. So, #3 comes in very handy. I will call my dad for help who’s always so willing to see her grand-daughter while I go for a coffee break, to the library or just window shopping. These short moments of being away from her can be rather magical because I feel restored and rested and both of us are happy to see each other again!

5. Have a hobby!

I don’t believe that we have to centre our lives around our children as SAHMs. Yes, we have our responsibilities but we are also unique individuals with passions in life and they don’t have to stop when we become SAHMs. Start a hobby. Continue to do what you love. It could be craftwork, baking, sewing, blogging, etc (these can all be done at home!). I take my hobby – baking and cake decorating – further by going for courses. In this way, I could interact with like-minded adults and make more friends (being a SAHM can be rather lonely at times). Do I miss Faith when I’m away from her? Yes! And you bet I would always be the first one to fly home so that I can see her again.

6. The kitchen as a learning lab

I spend a great amount of time in the kitchen. Besides preparing meals, I bake quite often as well. We do not 20140501_120308have any playpen in our home and Faith is free to roam. However, she would much prefer to stay with me in the kitchen. So, I allow her to play in my territory and that includes a lot of drawer opening and playing with the baking stuff. I realised that the kitchen is a great learning lab for her. For example, she is often told not to go near the oven when I am baking and there was once that she disobeyed and touched it. She definitely learnt a lesson then and from then on, she would stay clear of the furnace when she knows that I’m baking. She helps me throw rubbish in the bin and puts bottles back into the refrigerator after I’m done with them. Recently, she gets curious with vegetables as I was washing them and tasted them raw.You should have seen her facial expression! But in the end, she was okay with the coriander leaves.

20140521_172329-MIXObviously, she does a good job in messing up the kitchen but it’s really manageable. I’ll clean up the things that she plays with but hey, I get to complete the cooking or baking! That’s a good deal, me thinks!

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7. One dish meal is still a good meal

Gone were the days that I could be bothered with trying out new dishes. Now, the meals that work for me would be those that could be whipped up in a pan, pot or cooker, much like throwing everything in a pot of stock and we have a decent meal! Thankfully, the hubs is not particular about what goes into his stomach.

8. TV programmes for Faith? Hi-5!

The hubs and I don’t really like Faith to be glued to the box and we do not allow her to play on the phone (not now). In fact, we seldom watch TV programmes. However, recently, we have access to Disney channels and we allow her to watch Hi-5 which turns out to be really helpful. Faith loves the show – the songs and dancing – and she could sit on the sofa quietly and watch the show by herself. Imagine how much chores I could complete in that 30 minutes! Awesome! I love Hi-5!

9. Be connected with other mums

I don’t think anyone can survive on their own. Parenthood is a tough journey and we would need all the support that we can have from like-minded friends. SAHMs have it tough in the sense that we do not have much adult interaction which can be really depressing. I find being connected with other mums helps a lot. My spirit is often uplifted after those meetups or gatherings because I know that I am not alone in this journey. Having more experienced moms in the group is crucial to me since I can learn from them as well. After all, I am a first-time mom and still a green-horn. 😉

10. Have fun

I say this with all sincerity. Have fun. I started out this journey with bitterness and discontentment, often thinking about how life would be like if I had not agreed to be a SAHM. But hey, now I don’t have deadlines to meet and I can learn together with the kiddo and have fun with her. Being a SAHM doesn’t mean you have to stay at home all the time. In fact, I find myself going out more often, bringing Faith out to play and explore. It’s like reliving my childhood too! There are definitely many downs but I have learnt that if I take a light-hearted approach to situations, I can stay happy and contented. Remember this: A happy mum = A happy child = A happy husband = A happy family! Does this make sense? Hmm…

I guess things would be a tad different if I have more than one child. Perhaps, having one is still manageable, eh?

The next mum to share is Angeline! She has been a stay-home mom for almost 6 years now. This beautiful lady is mom to two lovely children who have given her new insights to life as she now finds herself on a journey of re-discovery of the world through their little eyes. She shares her SAHM survival guide tomorrow on her blog, Simply Mommie.

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This post is part of a blog train hosted by Gingerbreadmum where 31 stay-at-home mums share their survival tips. We hope that you’ll find our tips useful and remember that you’re not alone!