Friday, December 7, 2018

POST PREGNANCY PARADOXES

The ugly truth of post-natal blues and more.

Not sure about you, but where I come from, the culture is for new mothers to "tank" it all. Tank being a slang word for taking the hardship upon oneself and not talking about the difficulties. Ask anyone how they are from my side of the world, and they almost always tell you they are fine even if they are dying inside.

But having gone through two newborns, I see infinitely more value in talking about these tough times and putting it out there helps us get through it together.

Solidarity is stronger than suffering in silence.

Here are some of my struggles post-pregnancy, if you would like to read -


Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Christmas Crafts

If you have been following our stories since Singlet arrived, you would know how immensely blessed we have been. An endless stream of groceries, hand-me-downs, facial products and more.

So this Christmas we have decided to give back by hosting a series of giveaways on via my instagram profile this December. If you are a mum, know of friends with young kids, have a pregnant or stay-home mum friend, hop on over to join these giveaways specially curated for them!



On the home front, Humblet has been super excited about Christmas this year (I think its the prospect of presents). Even though we only allowed her to buy the tiniest of Christmas trees from Ikea, she was over the moon to be able to decorate her very own tree.

Here is a short list of all the Christmas Crafts Humblet has done thus far, I am sure there will be more to come -


Thursday, November 8, 2018

SPARE OR SPANK?


How do you discipline your children?





Recently a fellow stay-home mum friend asked me the question, “how do you discipline your children?” I realised I had no ready answer.

How do I discipline my children?

This is nearly two weeks after our little talk and I’ve put some of my answers into a list below for those who are interested –

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

THE NEW SIBLING




How did you prepare your older child for the arrival of your next child?

In this post, we share openly and honestly what were some of the things we did. Both the good and the not-so-good.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

RICHER THAN POOR



Recently, I purchased a few pre-loved dresses via Carousell (an online platform for people to sell mainly used items in Singapore) for Humblet since she was outgrowing most of her three-year-old clothing. When the package came, I could tell immediately that the dresses were worn and I was worried that Humblet would be upset mummy bought her "old clothing". But instead, my beautiful little girl hugged me tightly in gratitude and started to twirl and pose as she tried on the pieces. Exclaiming while she danced, "these are so pretty mummy!" The fact that she is my daughter makes me feel like I own the whole world and so much more.


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

NOT MY SUFFERING

Hello son!


Morning sickness, dizzy spells and a labour that went on for more than twenty hours could not prepare me for what the doctor told us on the third day after Singlet was born. “Your son has a murmur in his heart”. Its loud enough such that you could hear it if you put your ear against his back. A dull thump, an extra beat akin to someone clapping off rhythm during a song.

Heart murmurs were common enough, apparently I had one as an infant and mine closed naturally. So naturally I don’t even recall ever having one, my parents tell me it barely affected me at all. But the cardiologist who did an ultrasound on Singlet’s heart measured the gap to be 4.98mm, a staggering size for a child who was only 3.5kg and 53cm in length. What could this imply? Well several things.

The potential of an overworked heart meant it could become enlarged over time. A swollen lung, because of the leakage of de-oxygenated blood into the lung chamber. In the worst-case scenario, he would require open heart surgery. Were there any alternative types of surgery? Not in his case, no. The position of the hole, right under the septal flap meant it needed direct intervention.

Getting over the shock of the news was one thing, dealing with symptoms was a whole other tricky situation. He has been on medication since he turned three-weeks-old. He takes two doses a day, the medication is meant to alleviate breathlessness by removing excess fluid built up in his swollen lung. This translates into more thirst and therefore more feeds. Additionally, this extra effort required while breathing makes drinking milk tiring and so he often has to take breaks every few minutes else he might choke and at times he just falls asleep panting mid-feed. Post-feed sees him breathless, panting, as if he as run a 100m sprint. This too means more feeds a day, we are talking about 10 to 12 feeds where the average infant does 5 to 8.

Sure, its tough having to feed that many times a day. But honestly, watching him struggle to catch his breath is worst. Seeing him throw up after putting in all that effort to drink is all the more painful. The real suffering is not parenting, not sleepless night, not constant fatigue. The real suffering lies in the fact that the suffering is not mine, but his and that I cannot bear it for him.

Moving forward?

We are praying the hole closes spontaneously and that he will be spared surgery. But we are also doing all we can to gear him up should the need for surgery become a reality. He now weighs nearly 5kg and is going into his sixth week. We are beyond happy that he decided to join our little threesome and our family is now more complete than ever with us four. And we savour each and every day with one another because everyday is a miracle.

Thank you for journeying with us, asking us for updates and sending us so much love and encouragement. Parenting a newborn is no easy task, but each day's struggles translates into another day of growth and another day of hope.

Grateful,
Amy

Monday, August 20, 2018

Friday, July 20, 2018

WHY I AM STILL IN LOVE

"Its because I'm Asian."

That's my go to reason whenever people tell me I'm terrible at expressing my affection. Well that might be true, another reason (excuse) I have is that perhaps I just express my affection very differently from every one else. The people I love get punches, kicks, sarcasm and eye-rolling ALL the time, they know how much I love them. Right?

We are FIVE!


This fifth wedding anniversary, I'm taking a bold leap into the realm of public display of affection. The horrors. Please stop reading here if you like.


Monday, July 16, 2018

WHY DO THEY CALL TODDLER SCHOOL PRE-SCHOOL?

Humblet's first swim class


Humblet currently goes to school about three to four times a week depending on our school / work schedule. She enjoys school very much and we know this because she re-enacts her day's event with her stuffed animal community before bed time nearly every night. With her play-acting as the teacher of course. Just last night, her Craftholic Rabbit family was forced to do a bunch of really awkward looking stretching exercises before she launched into a crazy dance time sans music.

Recently, she has even begun to put on her own uniform without having to be cajoled. We are baffled but very comforted by her eagerness for school.

Needless to say, like every other school, hers has a whole line up of enrichment classes for the children. Ranging from ballet, Chinese drama, clay crafts and so on. Here is our take on enrichment for pre-schoolers if you'd like to know -


Monday, June 25, 2018

BOY INCOMING

Received this beautiful gift from a beautiful friend~


With the not-so-littlest one weighing a whooping two kilograms, doctor tells us to be ready to receive him earlier than expected. We are only in week thirty-three so that's a pretty scary thought. With the nursery currently barren from the recent mould extermination, its time to furnish the little man's room before he decides to make his grand entrance.

Cot - check
Mattress - check
Clothes - check
Diapers - check

Oh, I guess we're ready.

Initially, we had plans to buy a new shelving unit, install more drawers and all. Since, you know, two kids multiplies your stuff by ten some how. But instead, we decided to KonMari our home from head to toe. Viciously culling books, clothing, toys and even kitchen ware. Donating only the things we felt others could use again and recycling others that could not. Have a peek at my Carousell account and see if you'd like anything listed there!

In the end, we discovered we have more than enough storage and space for Singlet. If we manage to sell some of our extra storage, we'll have even more space! How wonderfully liberating it is to have a lot less. Humblet was very excited to see a lot less toys in her two-tiered shelf, I think its only because she could see all her toys at once. To think I was worried she'd discover her missing items. Not at all, she now spends a lot more time with one toy at a time simply because she has a lot less to distract her. Its great!

People tell me you're usually a lot more chill with your second child. I guess that's true. Even more true though is that J.G. and I are so chill, the folk around us get nervous on our behalf. Do you need clothing for Singlet? Do you need us to buy anything for baby? Does Singlet need a brand new music mobile? Could we buy you a baby monitor?

It is wonderful that Singlet is so well loved even before he is born. This beautiful Solly Baby Wrap of a gift is more wonderful than I would have expected! I can't wait to use it. We have received so many gorgeous brand new gifts as well, including clothing, blankets and swaddles. Clearly, Singlet will not have to survive of Humblet's hand-me-downs judging by the extravagance he himself is receiving.

 Humblet has already put aside a whole box of stuff for her baby brother she says. It includes her old toys, teething things, cloth books and a random assortment of I don't know what which she claims are for baby. Its great to have a child who loves babies, when you are not particularly fond of them yourself.

So here we go, its the last month (or six weeks we hope) fingers crossed.


Super excited and teeny bit scared,
Amy


Thursday, May 31, 2018

JUST THE TWO OF US



On the last week of school for this semester, it dawned upon us that baby #2 was already in the last trimester and so we very spontaneously decided to take off somewhere for a short getaway.



It was easy to decide where to go because we had these three main criteria -

1. Beach please


It had to be a beach. Doesn't matter if the water was green, blue or purple. For us, a true getaway is being able to stare at the endless horizon for hours and run around on sand! So that was the first.


2. Boat budget


We were working on a pretty tight budget. I won't tell you how much, but taking a flight alone would burst that budget out of proportion. So we went with boat accessible options instead. Fortunately, we live in Singapore where boat options are aplenty!

3. Brand new preferred


Since we ditched flight options, we decided we would search for a newer resort. Didn't need to be high end, luxurious or any of those things, but we have learnt over the years that hotel wise, newer is nearly always better.

With all the above being said, we narrowed down to three options and quickly decided on Harris Barelang Batam. Brand new, with the biggest room option at a very reasonable price and free shuttle service to and from the resort. We had no desire whatsoever to shop or buy local products this trip. All we really wanted was to get away from crowded, noisy Singapore and get sun burnt to our heart's content.

And so we did.




You may ask, how did we manage to travel without Humblet for three whole days?

On her end, she was super excited and had a whole long list of activities planned with her grandmother and her uncle. On our end, we decided even before having any children that we would make it a point to do at least one meal a week and one getaway a year without our kid(s).

For some of our friends, its a complete no go. You do not ever leave your kids behind. But for us, the motivation was really for each other. Its hard enough to keep a marriage together these days, much less manage one with a kid (going two kids). So we promised that we would always put each other before our kids and these short getaways give us time to remember that commitment.  For all the caregivers of Humblet, we are extremely grateful and can only pray Singlet will be just as easy with other people.

We were really so blessed that the resort was so quiet and that we could have so much pool time all to ourselves. Three days is a short time, but its really all the time we needed to relax and recharge.

Hope you will get some time off this School Holiday period~

Blessed,
Amy





Tuesday, May 1, 2018

HELLO THIRD TRIMESTER!




Is it a girl? Is it a boy? If I were to tell you, we decided to give this child the nickname Singlet does it give you a clue of the gender of our second child? 

Either way, we are in week twenty-six. Slowly making headway into the third and final trimester. With the (still) low-lying placenta, the aim to go back to our exercise routine has been slow. Humblet and I did manage an hour-long walk by the park connector the other day, that was really great. Other than that, Singlet’s kicks have come full on, so much so I can be rudely woken up in the wee hours of the night. As if I am not waking up several times to pee already.

Here is the full Baby Bumps experience if you’d like to read on –

Friday, April 6, 2018

MOTHERING MY FIRSTBORN


Being a firstborn myself, I was well aware prior to becoming a parent, of the perils one faced bringing up this child-king in the home. As the first granddaughter to both sides of the family, I was brought up extremely spoilt, as my own parents would attest to. Birthday celebrations were lavish occasions with huge custom-made cakes and full on catered meals, very rare when I was a child. It gave me much fear that my firstborn would experience the same, since she too would be the first granddaughter to both sides of our families. 



Here is my journey of mothering my firstborn thus far –

Saturday, March 17, 2018

HALFWAY YAY!



BABY BUMPS WEEK TWENTY




Unbelievable as it sounds, we are already halfway through this pregnancy. It is no understatement when others tell me, each pregnancy is different from another. With Humblet, the second trimester was a disciplined time of gaining weight, exercising and preparing the home for her arrival. Little Bashful, who has been hiding his or her gender up till now, has been a rather pleasant pregnancy thus far. Some morning sickness during the first trimester, but that’s all behind us now. Here is the full baby bumps account at week twenty –

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

A NORMAL PREGNANCY



     Now that we are in the fourth month of this second pregnancy, we have been more ready to tell others about it. The fact is, this baby bump is getting harder to hide, and so people have guessed even without us telling them.

The most common question asked - how is this pregnancy different from the first?

Well. To be honest, Humblet was a very challenging and special pregnancy. An insane amount of cramps leading up to an operation in the first trimester caused us no shortage of stress and fear. But this post is really about the second pregnancy, you can read more about the first one here.

In light of the above, I have been telling friends that this pregnancy has been a normal one. Normal in such a way I am very grateful.

Read the full story below -


Saturday, January 20, 2018

BEYOND FACE VALUE



Just this week on the train, a schoolmate tapped me excitedly on the shoulder. In the course of our conversation, we inevitably shared what we are currently doing and that's when she found out I was a mum. Out of the blue, she folded her arms with a frown of concern on her face and said, "Amy, you mustn't give up on your looks just because you are a mum, I really think you ought to wear make-up when you leave the house".

At that moment, I was so stunned I barely managed a smile in response. Here are my thoughts now -