Thursday, 23 March 2017

LittleLimLookbook #9 : Sail Away With Me

It's been such a long time since LittleLim and I did a LittleLimLookbook photoshoot / styling, but everything in the planet aligned one lovely afternoon in Perth. By everything I literally mean everything. From the unplanned visit to the Wannanup Marina which gave the perfect setting for her little boat jacquard dress to shine, the beautiful not too hot summer weather with the perfect lighting and the best mood a sick toddler can have. I couldn't ask for more, got down on my knees armed with only my iPhone and snapped away while LittleLim ran around happily exploring the docks playing among boats and waving to the lovely people enjoying the sun in their boats sipping on their champagne enjoying the summer sun and air. The life I wish for one day (work hard Hubbycat! lol). 

My favourite memory of this was how the best things in life doesn't always happen planned. And how beautiful childhood looks like unbounded. The bravery that come from not knowing the dangers of the world. How the sea is a scary place, how people aren't always friendly, how dogs don't always give you slobbery kisses... for now, I want LittleLim to live like this and let her mommy and daddy worry for her. For now I just want her to be free. 


LittleLimOOTD #9
Boat print Jacquard Dress: Zara Kids
Tan Leather Sandals: Zara Kids

Saturday, 11 March 2017

The Rainbow Of My Motherhood

I tried describing my motherhood journey with colours, and this is what it looks like.


Red reminds me of intensity. That would be the moment I brought LittleLim into the world. The rawest moment in my life would be at that moment of childbirth when everything in the world no longer mattered except being there. Engulfed in the intense pain of each contraction, the intense mix of emotions with each push and later the intense feeling of overwhelming love. Unconditional love. The moment she was placed on my chest and I felt myself die and I knew from my core that I would give and dedicate my life and purpose to her, that nothing is more perfect other than her and that I would protect her with my life. 


Orange reminds me of warmth. A pleasant hum, not bright enough to burn yet not dull enough to be forgotten. Orange reminds me of warm hugs and bed time snuggles. It reminds me of the moments LittleLim shows me affection or when she holds my hand to sleep. It's the warmth of her body as she inches closer to me in the middle of the night seeking me. It's the energy she carries with her as she runs towards me with arms wide open and hugs me tight. 


Yellow is bright and sunny. It's the genuine laughs LittleLim gives when something brings her joy, the best sound in the world. It's the way she sees the world with such innocence and the way she lives so freely untainted by the world. The way she finds happiness over the simplest of things or how a raspberry kiss sends her into a fit of giggles. It's the tiny babbles and conversations I have with her. It's the way she goes "weee!" when we're driving or the way her eyes light up when she sees food. It's the way she goes around unburdened by the problems of the world with a glint in her eye and hope in her heart. She is my sun. She is yellow. 


Green reminds me of growth. Like a sprout bursting from the seed. It gives me a promise of a future and for me motherhood is that. Personal growth for me and building LittleLim's future. Making sure I always find a balance for myself and a constant learning curve. To be the best I can so I can help her be reach her potential. Giving her the right nutrients, love and proper foundation to grow up right. To make a brighter future for herself, to set her on the right path so that she can be a positive contribution to society and to carry on our legacy. Green reminds me of youth and how she is my little seedling. To prepare and equip her to weather the storms and environmental influences that will come her way. I am put responsible for her growth and her future.


Blue is all the hard and difficult moments of motherhood. Sacrifices have to be made and hard decisions are many. It's a long and arduous journey. Sometimes it's lonely and some days it feels like no one understands. Mommy guilt and insecurities hit when things go bad. Like a storm cloud it comes and messes with you. Days when being a mother is the last thing you want to do. Stormy days where the kid is not being cooperative. It's for days when you feel like you're in constant disagreement with everything and nothing is going right in your world and feeling overwhelming hopelessness. It's days of blue when it feels like the end of the world, all you want is to hide in bed or the shower and have a good cry.


Indigo is the quiet moments after periods of blue. Times of stillness and seriousness. It's when I'm contemplating life and this journey of motherhood. It's when I am reminded I am a person and that I cannot do this alone. These are moment of resilience and perseverance as I regain my strength and composure. I turn to God, Hubbycat and my family for strength and guidance because I cannot do this alone. It's where I reconnect with my spirituality, purpose and heart. It's where I tell myself to get up and keep going. 

Violet (Purple)

Violet, the color of royalty. A reminder that I am royalty- as a mother, a wife but most of all a woman. A woman of integrity, power and nobility. A woman that I want to be proud of for the principles and beliefs I hold and live by. A woman who holds herself and her family in high esteem and respect because she is to be respected. It's respecting myself first and foremost and knowing how valuable I am. It's respecting my heart, mind and body and giving it the proper treatment it deserves so that I can be the best version of myself to me, my husband, my child and the people around me. It's raising up children who knows their royal value and worth. Children who are secure and confident because of me. 


White is the sacredness of the role I have been given. The responsibility to steward and raise children who will be confident and brave to live. To equip them with the values, beliefs and characters that will show their true nature and purpose in life. It's the purity and innocence of the lives that have been bestowed to me and how I add colour on to it.


Black are the days where I feel everything. Every colour, every emotion, relive every moment. It's when motherhood is a mix of the good and bad. It's for the ups and downs and in betweens. It's knowing that I am a woman, wife and mother and I'm left feeling so humble, so in awe and so touched by something so wonderful, miraculous and beautiful. 


Saturday, 4 March 2017

What I Say My Kids Won't Do But Has Already Done

Mommies (and daddies) I know you know what I'm talking about.

You know, those moments pre-kid you would shake your head disapprovingly when you see a kid misbehave or do something unacceptable and you "tsk tsk" under bated breath and tell your makan kakis or think to yourself that your kid would never be allowed to do that when your turn comes. How your kid will be the most well behaved, well parented, well rounded kid to walk the planet?

Oh yes. I know you know because I've done it so many times. If only I could go back in time, I would slap judging pre-mommy Ally and tell her to "Wait till you become a mommy to your own kids! Then only you talk!"

Here's a list of some of the things I said I'll never let my kids do but have already done.

"My Kid Will Never Scream / Cry in Public"

Scenario : 
You're in a restaurant and suddenly the quietness is broken by a scream that resembles a dying kitten. You look around and find the culprit. A toddler who just doesn't know how to control himself. You give the parents your best "death stare"  for not controlling their kid / teaching them right. You tell yourself that your kid would never scream like that because if they do, you'll knock the scream out of them!

Mommy Ally:
Oh the naivety of pre-motherhood. hahahhaha! If only we could all figure out a way to control our infants / toddlers / kids. If only smacking the living daylights work all the time. Life would be so easy eh? Unfortunately, these tiny human beings come with built in excitement switches that goes off without warning or reason. 

Water in cup = Excitement.
Food = Excitement.
Poo ALSO Excitment. How?!

And the crying! Omg, crocodile tears, real tears who can tell anymore. Ish!

Till today I'm still trying to teach LittleLim that screaming  isn't necessary and that there are other ways to show excitement. I'm also teaching crying won't get her what she wants all the time. But let's just say, today I've let her do both at restaurants, cinemas, planes and even government offices. Of course I try to control it or take her out if it gets out of hand. Otherwise, I just turn a blind eye (and ear) and carry on. Pshtt. They'll learn eventually, right?

"My Kid Will Never Use The iPad"

Scenario : 
*head shakes* *tsk tsk* Look at that parent giving their kid the iPad during dinner! Don't they know how bad it is for the kid? My kid will never be allowed to use the iPad until they're 25! I'm going to find other ways to entertain them or at least get them to join in the conversation.

Mommy Ally :
WTF hahahahahah!

Seriously, don't bash it until you've tried it. I salute parents who stuck to their guns on the "no ipad" rule but unfortunately this mama has no patience nor the creativity to come up with different activities for mealtimes. And sometimes this mama just need some space to breathe and not worry her child is planning to head dive off the sofa.

By the time LittleLim was 11 months iNanny was my bff. Lol! 15minutes uninterrupted meal time / me time? YES PLEASE! Also, LittleLim has learnt ABCs, 123s, colours, toys, etc. from the iNanny so whatevs. I'm keeping it!

"My Kid Will Never Make A Mess!"

Scenario : 
You visit a family house and you see toys strewn everywhere. *Ouch!* Did you just sit on a Duplo minifig?! You think to yourself, my kid will never leave a mess! Or at least it will be a contained mess. 

Mommy Ally : 
*Scoff* *Chokes* *Snort* *Eye roll*

I tried. I honestly tried to enforce this. But I've just given up. My OCD is going crazy at this moment as my living room is in chaos. I cringe everytime I see that plastic lettuce under my coffee table. Didn't I just ask her to put it away?! Sigh... I'm now just too exhausted to be bothered. It'll only end up back there when she wakes up anyway. As for the mess... it has a mind of it's own! It cannot be contained. I tried... and now it's migrating into my dining room. I. GIVE. UP!

Now I see messy houses and nod empathetically. I get it mumma! Mine is exactly the same way. My kids are exactly the same. No amount of nagging will make them STOP making their mess. But to be honest, I don't really want them to stop. Mess means play. Play is good. Play is welcomed. Play is growth. Play is love. 

So power on LittleLim and make your mess. Do try to help mummy clean it up. Otherwise I'll just leave it there until you sleep... or clean up for once and for all when you turn 13. 

"My Kid Will Eat What Is Given To Them!"

Scenario :
Poor mother trying to bribe her child to eat. And the kid is just shaking her head / throwing food off her plate! My kid will not have that luxury of choice. It's eat or don't eat for them!

Mommy Ally :
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahha *catches breath* hahahahahahahahahhahaha! What a joke. Seriously.

As I type this, I just had to bribe LittleLim with Ribena Pastilles just so she will finish her cheese and crackers. On any normal day, LittleLim dictates what I cook. And everytime I feel like I'm gambling with her. Some days she eats it like it's her favourite food. Other days it's like the most vile thing in existence and I'm scrambling to find an alternative. I could let her starve as I said I would... but my mommy conscience and guilt won't let me.

So here I am being that poor mom who is bribing her kids to eat or giving in to chocolate and ice cream. Hey, at least she's eating!

"My Kids Won't Have Junk Food Until They're Teenagers!"

Scenario : 
You stumble on an article on child obesity and how fast food is the number one cause. You shake your head and wonder what these parents are thinking! When I have kids, they'll only eat organic food, fruits and vegetables and definitely non of this Maccas stuff. 

Mommy Ally : 
*Head bangs* *face palm* Damn I'm seriously one uptight pre-mommy. 

So... LittleLim had her first taste of Maccas when she turned 12months. The moment I realised my daughter is not allergic to anything I've already given her nuggets... and fries. In fact, nuggets and fries are most definitely winners in her books. Everytime she refuses to eat anything I whip up nuggets and fries. And then there's the processed food of sausages and fishballs and chocolates.... Clearly #notmomoftheyear! 

Again, this is the case of better fed than not. But that being said, everything in moderation! We do get her the best food available as well like expensive fresh ingredients, organic eggs etc. I mean I'm okay with going the junk food route but I also don't want to jeopardise her health. 

But as to the no junk food rule... thrown out the window! 

"My Kids Won't Co-Sleep With Us"

Scenario : 
When I have kids, they're going to be sleeping on their own crib and at 6 months, their own room! There's no way am I going to sleep with them on the same bed! 

Mommy Ally :
Teehee. LittleLim is 2 and she still sleeps with us on the bed >.< Yes, she has her own big girl bed which she does sleep in.... occassionally. I was so naive to think that babies could sleep anywhere at anytime. So so naive! LittleLim fed on demand and at 3am, I was too arsed to get out of bed, feed her and tuck her back in. Screw it, dream fed it was and dream fed I did. 

As for moving her to her own room.... my mommy heart is weak. The idea of her screaming and clawing at the door breaks me. And then hubbycat reminds me that she'll only be this small for a short while. So whatever, mommy cuddles! All day everyday! Even in the middle of the night at 3am. I mean they won't be in bed with you at 25 right?! 

"My Kids Won't Break Routine!"

Scenario : 
Oh dear! That child sleeps at what time?! There's no naps?! Eats ALL THE TIME?! What! Where's the routine! Where!!! My Kid will have a routine and they will not break it!"

Mommy Ally :
*roll on the floor laughing my ass off* 

I know of moms who are brilliant sargents! Their kids have routines and stick to it. They sleep without a fight, eat without a fight, study without a fight. They're like the Rory of Gilmore Girls... and then there's my kid. Thankfully my kid isn't too bad and is pretty good with timing... except bed time. And then meal times. Or any other time when I have something on and suddenly whatever routine we've set goes out the window. I tried being a disciplined mom, but I realised that if I did that I'll never be able to do things I want to do. And the selfish me is whatever! Screw routines! As long as you eat, sleep, poo I'm good baby.

The silver lining is I'm teaching my kid to be flexible right?! haha

"My Kids Will Never Steal My Identity!"

Scenario : 
"My kids are..." "There's this new school..." "You know pregnancy is weird..." OMG! Why is she only talking about pregnancy and kids?! Is there anything else going on in her life?! Damn, when I have kids my kids will never be the center of my universe! I am so going to be keeping my identity, my hobbies, me-time!

Mommy Ally : 
*wheezes* *chokes* *tears* 
Oh you poor naive kid. Hahahahahahah! 

Seriously, kids are time consuming. Unless you're lucky enough to have babysitters / maids / helpers on hand to take your kid off your hands for a few hours AND kids who aren't clinging on to your for dear life... don't even THINK of being able to find time to do other things. I know because I have experienced both. I salute any moms who are able to find a balance without any help but for me, pre-help mommy Ally was all baby baby baby baby. Eat also baby. Sleep also baby. Baby got poop? Baby got reflux? Play also baby. Everywhere I went baby went too. So naturally my topics became baby related topics. Gone were the hobbies, the book reading, the movie watching... except if it's The Wiggles, Thomas The Tank Engine or Peppa Pig. For the first year of motherhood, my baby was my identity. My whole world revolved around her. It was weird and amazing! I loved every minute I spent with her, I loved talking about her, I loved it all and wouldn't trade it for anything! (I'm sorry if I have become that annoying mom to my non-mommy friends..)

And while I have a bit more time on my hands now and have slowly started doing me-things again, I do miss my kids. My kids are my identity. They're my life. They're my everything! Given the choice, I'll happily let them take my identity again and again and again.


Seriously! How judgy was pre-motherhood Ally?!!! Now that I'm a mom, I am so amazed at how I and my kids have broken so many rules. So mummies, share some of yours! Let's laugh at our pre-mummy self and roll our eyes at them. 

As for the non-parents, before you make any judgement JUST WAIT TILL IT'S YOUR TURN. 


Thursday, 2 March 2017

The Story Of Number Two

"A mother of two." It still feels heavy on my tongue and a whole lot foreign. Growing up, this wasn't the reality I had envisioned for myself. I was never a kid person and I never trusted myself to be a mother. The only thing I could "mother" were my cat babies. That was the closest I've ever been to being a mother. So when LittleLim came, I was amazed at how motherhood came so naturally for me. I call myself blessed to have been given stewardship and responsibility over children on my own. I love being a mother and cannot imagine not ever being one now. 

I always knew after LittleLim, we would definitely have more children. I always loved big families and how everyone comes together during festivities and I always wanted to have a house full of noise and fun. And we did say that once my body was ready, we would go and try for number two. The time came and I am still amazed at how my body was so ready. We fell pregnant so fast that it shook me a bit. I know we were planning for this and it was in no way surprising, but just at the speed of everything. I expected it to take time just like when we were trying to conceive LittleLim. Clearly God and my body had a different agenda. 

The speed of everything coupled with a difficult first trimester made me go into survival mode. On top of that, I still had to LittleLim to take care of and it was such a busy period that I didn't have much time to process and reflect on being pregnant again. To be honest, I'm still trying to process it and it's already week 23 weeks into this second pregnancy. It's also why there hasn't been much posts on my second pregnancy. 

But I'm ready to write because I just went for my detailed anatomy scan for second baby and the reality of this happening has sunk in. It's going to be A LOT of words... 23 weeks of words. So feel free to TL;DR this okay. It's more for me to remember these moments later on.


Friday, 24 February 2017

Maybe I Should Throw A Tantrum

She used to look so baby-like! She has changed so much since this picture.
But one thing sure hasn't changed, her hatred for sleep -.-
If anything it's getting worse *curls fists*

Everything is going well. She's playing at her little table with her little make believe kitchen set. All's good. Then it's bed time. Oh the time I dread the most because for the past month, bedtimes has been filled with plenty of tears , screams, wide mouth "waaaahhhhh" crying I thought was only possible in animes and a lot of frustration. I have never met anyone who hated sleep so much until I had this child of mine. And they say kids sleep alot. Clearly not this kid *rolls eyes*. 

You know those videos of babies and toddlers falling asleep while halfway eating or singing or playing... well I'm still waiting for my turn. This kid here never sleeps... willingly anyway. It's always a lot of negotiating, pleading and when everything fails I turn to my most trusted method of counting down and walking out. The screams are horrendous and it makes me look like such a bad cop but it works. Usually by then she would be so exhausted by all the crying she'll just sleep. Not my favourite method but I'm desperate. 

The other day as she was crying and refusing to sleep, throwing the mother of all tantrums I wondered, what would happen if I threw the tantrum. What a sight that would be but for that split second of irrationality I wanted to throw a mega tantrum. I was frustrated, tired, annoyed, irritated and just had enough of all this. Whatever this is. 

Honestly there's no real point to this post. I just thought I'd write it down and share with you a bit of what I go through on a daily basis. So yes, what's new with this mommy? Oh, you know, just more crises that needs solving / managing / figuring out. Never a dull moment. It's just that this mama is weak and right now I'm praying for this phase to end. Hopefully soon because one of these days the husband is going to find me throwing the tantrum. 

In the meantime, anyone has any tips to share about getting stubborn two year olds to sleep willingly? Or is it normal for two year olds to NOT want to sleep -.-


Thursday, 16 February 2017

Dear Husband, Today I Saw You

Dear Husband, 

Today I saw you. 

I saw you sleeping at 10.30PM because you were more tired than usual. I won't lie, I was a bit disappointed because we had great plans tonight after the little one went to bed. We were supposed to stay up, eat supper and watch an episode of Gotham. Instead, I was lying in bed because our daughter has gotten extra clingy with me this week with you snoring beside me. I wanted to be upset but then I saw you. I saw you and I felt horrible. What a selfish wife you have. 

I saw you. Today I saw you sleeping and realised you look older. I saw the frown lines between your brows that our daughter has inherited, it has grown deeper. I saw how your skin isn't as bright as it used to be. I saw the signs of tiredness that I have missed during the day. That's when I realised that you have it tough. And then I feel like the luckiest woman in the world. 

I feel like the luckiest woman because all this while you are quietly making big sacrifices so that I can have a good life. And you do it so selflessly, without complaining, without whining, without expecting anything in return. You shield me from all the worries in life so that I can be me. You protect me from all the toughness of the world so that I can live freely. You give everything and make the hard sacrifices so that I don't have to think so hard, work so hard, worry so hard. You go the extra mile so that I can have a good life, a great life, an undeserving life. You put in so much and yet you demand so little. 

Today I saw you. I saw all the times you were quietly working in the background. Putting in extra effort at work and then coming home and being 100% available to our daughter and I. You come home with a big smile even if you had a bad day. It doesn't matter how busy you are at work, you still go the extra mile to remind me how much I'm loved with surprises and love. No matter how tired you are, you still spend time with us, listen to us and entertain us. 

Dear Husband, 

Today I saw you. 

And I'm so thankful for you. I'm so thankful for everything you've given us. I'm so thankful that you make an effort to be a great husband and an even greater daddy. I'm so thankful for all the small and big sacrifices you have made to give us the life we have today. I am so thankful for your friendship, your company, your time, your love - you. I am so thankful that you always want to be present in our lives, you want to know everything and you want to be involved. I am so thankful that you always want to spoil your "queen" and "princess". I'm so thankful that you still believe in and go all out for grand romantic gestures even after SEVEN years of being together. I am so thankful that you never hold a grudge against my mistakes, never compare and take count of things, never expect anything in return, and most of all, still want and choose to be with me even with all my flaws and failures. 

Today I saw you and I realised that while on the outside you have changed, your love for me hasn't. You have always shown me how treasured I am, how valued I am and how loved I am.
Husbands and daddies definitely don't get enough credit and I want you and the world to know that you're an amazing husband and daddy. I am so blessed to be your wife. 

I love you so much. 
Today I saw you and I fell in love with you all over again.
Tomorrow ask me for anything ;) 

Your Wife.

Monday, 13 February 2017

An End Of A Journey, A Start Of A New

I knew it was time. We have been training for this day. The frequency was getting lesser as each day passed. The need and desire lessened as each passing day. The clock ticked unassumingly, time passed routinely as it should but everything was changing. It was time. Time to stop breastfeeding.

"When Breastfeeding Comes To An End"

I had been preparing for months (2 months to be exact) for me to wean LittleLim from breastfeeding. I have been sneakily dropping one feed each week without bringing it to LittleLim's attention. I chose to go about it this way because I couldn't bear stopping cold turkey, I couldn't deal with the betrayal meltdowns - I am weak that way. I chose the less painful method for the both of us. Life went on without her 11am feed, then her 2pm feed, then her 8pm feed and soon I was only feeding her when she was going to sleep - nap time, bed time and in between the night when she stirs. Soon she had stopped the midnight wakes and was sleeping through the night and I was just down to two feeds a day. And then I got pregnant. 

When I found out I was pregnant with baby2, I knew I didn't want to tandem feed. It was a decision I made selfishly. I needed a break, I needed my freedom back even if it was just for 9 months, I needed to feel like my own person again before my life revolves around being a cow again. I did it for me and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I had already been breastfeeding for more than 20months, longer than I had planned to and I will always be thankful and proud that my body is able to do this. But I needed to stop for me. 

I knew my journey was coming to an end and when we were down to two feeds a day, I cherished it. I held her a little closer, I smelt her head longer, I held her hand, I memorised the way her hand would stroke my bare chest, the way she looked - I took it all in and stored it in my memory bank. I knew that it was ending, I knew it would end and I thought I was ready but nothing prepared me for the day it did end. 

It was like any other day except that we had more things going on. She took a nap in the car seat while I drove. We had a playdate. We had dinner with daddy. We caught a movie and she fell asleep halfway. We got home, I transferred her to bed. She didn't feed at all that day. I knew the time had come. I broke down in the shower because I knew it was time to stop. 

The next day she asked and I distracted her. When it was nap time, I told her big girls don't need "bubu", that's what I call it, and she fell asleep within minutes. I repeated it again at night and again she went to bed without a fight. Soon one day became three, then a week, then a month and the next thing I knew she was two. While my heart do yearn for it sometimes especially when I feel like my little miss is growing up so fast, while I feel a bit sad that I no longer get to have that intimate mummy-daughter time - I'm so thankful for how smooth the transition was for her and for me. 

There were little tears on her part. The only time she would cry was when she needed comfort. That was an easy fix, I replaced "bubu" with "hugs". Every time she felt down, I told her "no bubu but mummy can hug hug" and that would work. She just needed her mummy and for her short life, bubu was the only thing that she knew that would let her be close to mummy. Now it was time to introduce her to the world of hugs and kisses and what they mean. For me, my body has been ready for a while. I have not felt any "fullness" for a while and I knew I had milk it just wasn't a lot. So when it stopped, I didn't go through any physical pains other than emotional one. Like I said, there were days where I missed it. I missed her. I missed the quietness. I missed how easy it was to comfort her with bubu. I missed it. But I also told myself, I will be okay. 

I don't have tips and neither am I a pro. I just chose a method that was less painful for both of us and a lot of mummy instincts. Maybe it was because I was pregnant and my milk just tasted different. Maybe she was more ready than I thought she was. Maybe the new routine worked too well. Maybe she wanted to be acknowledged as a big girl. Whatever it was, I'm happy that it went smoothly and easily. If there's one thing I learnt on my breastfeeding journey is that you do you. Do what is best for the both of you. There is no magic method, timeline or formula. You just do what you think it's best.

Now that I'm 20 weeks pregnant and my body is going through so much I really cannot imagine breastfeeding and doing the whole pregnant thing. I salute moms who stick through it but for myself, I can't. I'm happy to be myself again, to be able to regain the power over my body again, to dress the way I want to without having to worry about it being "breastfeeding friendly" - I needed this. I need this. Being pregnant is difficult as it is, I'm glad I'm able to enjoy being me even if it is for a short while. To enjoy this new journey again, to have a fresh start.

And in about 20weeks (or less) it starts all over again. 


Wednesday, 25 January 2017

LittleLim's Floral 2nd Birthday

"She is precious in every way,
The sunshine to our days, 
The joy of our souls,
And the beautiful flower of our lives." 


I've always loved throwing parties. Any reason to celebrate is my motto! My daughter is turning two and I knew I was going to be throwing her a birthday party. The only thing that I did not foresee was how pregnancy would make me so lethargic, exhausted and sick. I was so out of it that I almost cancelled the whole party idea but changed my mind. This was my first born and this was the last party where she'll get all the attention before her little brother or sister comes along and crashes the party. Also, two is a wonderful age where she's able to be part of the celebration and take everything in. 

I'm a bit embarassed to admit it, but I chose flowers as the theme because I was lazy. I mean you can't get anything more simpler than flowers. It was easy to obtain and flowers always make everything look good. That was how it started and how I would spend the next 2 months sourcing floral decorations from Taobao.

I guess all my flower talk must have rubbed off on LittleLim because sometime around December, LittleLim started to like flowers. She loved smelling them and whenever she saw flowers her face would light up. When she started to say "Flawaaa" I knew it was meant to be. I couldn't be happier!

Paper flowers: Taobao
Flower table cloth: Taobao
Desserts: Cherry Cake House, Wondermilk 
Cake: Wondermilk
Balloons: Balloon Wonderland, Publika

Paper cups: Taobao
Cotton Candy: Cotton Candy Kuala Lumpur

While I was taking the easy way out, Hubbycat was determined to go all out. He decided that he was going to cook for all our 50+ guests. Not just any simple meal but a full canape fine dining, Troika inspired way. I was worried because man power was something we were lacking and of course heavy duty cooking equipment but I knew that if anyone could pull it off it would be him. And boy did he pull it off in a grand fashion of 3 canapes and 1 main dish and my sister made devilled eggs. The food was amazing and most importantly, it was fit for his little princess.

I'm so thankful that everything came together so nicely thanks to Jazs, Yan and our family. This party certainly wouldn't have happened without them. They worked tirelessly behind the scenes setting up the venue, decorating, preparing food, replenishing food etc. I didn't have to think about anything other than be present and enjoy the party which I did, maybe a little bit too much because I forgot the agenda. Almost forgot about cake cutting, forgot the candles and also forgot to serve the cake to our guest. I'm lucky I get to pin it down to pregnancy brain >.< haha!

And of course the friends who came and shared this joyous occasion with us. People whom I'm blessed to call friends and to be able to do this journey with. They say it takes a kampung to raise a kid, I'm so glad I have so many experienced mommies to help me out! 

Most importantly, the birthday girl had a wonderful time. All the late nights planning, finger burns, food preparation and backaches are worth it. I still remember when she entered the hall and took everything in, her first words were "Waaa, Nie" (Waaah, nice) and then ran to the balloons. Haha! One thing is for sure, Hubbycat has said that he'll never want to cook again but we all know that if his princess asks, he will sure to say "yes". Haha! As for mommy, for now I'm saying no, but we all know you can't stop this mama from throwing a party! *wink*

Happy 2nd Birthday my darling. Mommy and Daddy are so glad you had such a good time. We loved watching you enjoy your party. You had such a lovely time running around, playing with your friends, eating all the yummy food and just having fun without a care in the world. We love you. 


Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Dear LittleLim on Your Second Birthday

Dearest LittleLim,

Darling, you turn the big two today and sometimes I find it impossibly hard to believe you are two. It feels like just yesterday you were small enough to fit into the crook of my arm, that's right one arm. How is it that you are now two? Some days I still see you as that cooing baby who gets terrible reflux and has really bad sleeping habits. It's so hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that you are no longer that baby anymore. Yet there are days where it feels like you are a forty year old stuck in a two year old body and then I realise how much alike we are. 

Strong willed, independent, determined, loud, extrovert and bossy. These traits are so apparent now and so many people say you are just like daddy and I. Apparently you have our strong, don't give a care attitude and honestly, I am a proud mommy. You have no idea how proud your daddy and I are to be your parents. You may be "naughtier" than others but you are also so wonderful and perfect. There isn't a thing we would change about you because there is nothing to change. We love everything about you. 

The way you are brave enough to try new things and explore new places. The way you know what you want and will try everything in your power to get it even at two years old. The way you have the courage to learn from experiences even if it means getting knocked down and burnt in the process, you still take that leap regardless! The way you are so independent and want to do everything on your own even when your body hasn't developed the "skill" yet, you still want to try doing it on your own before asking for help. The way you have such a gentle spirit and while you are loud, you are never brash or aggressive. The way you love and show it through your kisses and hugs - I'm so happy you're a hugger and a kisser! The way you are so sociable and friendly that it doesn't even take you two minutes to make a friend or get a stranger to completely fall in love with you. 

You my dear are a surprise, a firecracker, an outlier and there is no box big enough to fit you. We are slowly but surely learning that about you. You teach us that you do things differently and teach us to parent differently. So many people has come up and told us how unique you are and how you aren't like many other children - it makes me scared sometimes that you may feel left out but at the same time, I am comforted because you are made with purpose, with reason and with intent. There is no mistake and we know that one day this will be the reason you shine bright. So if you ever do feel left out, know that one day this gift will be the reason you are you. 

The past two years has been magical. We are so thankful to be your parents and that you are here with us. So many wonderful moments we have had as a family and so many beautiful memories made. In the past two years you have learnt so many life skills and have grown wonderfully. It has been my joy to be able to walk along side you and help you along the way. There are days where I take a mental picture and remind myself to be in the moment because tomorrow you will be a little more grown up. It's a bittersweet feeling for your daddy and I when we think of you growing up. It breaks our heart a little because we always will see you as our tiny baby girl. 

A little advice for you, don't rush growing up. There are so many things you can do only as a child and I would love for you to try it all and do it all. That's why daddy and I hardly stop you from doing things because we know it's part of your growing up. There are things in life you only get to experience and do once and your childhood is one of it. So be a child while you still can because there will be a day when you have to grow up and face the world. But till that day comes, mommy and daddy only want you to have the best childhood. 

And never forget the reason for your name. You are the work of God. Always have been right from the beginning. God is never done with you and as you do life, always remember that each moment, each experience, each lesson is God's way of working on you. He's the reason you are you and the reason why you are here. In everything you do, may you bring Him glory. 

We love you darling. And if you are reading this letter as an adult, we hope you know how loved you are. So very very very much. 

Mommy & Daddy

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

This Is Motherhood

"Welcome to Motherhood"... except that I didn't know what motherhood was all about. The first night home from the hospital, when it was just us and baby - that was the moment I realised I didn't know anything about being a mother. Regardless of all that I had read online or through books, nothing had prepared me fully for the realisation that I was now a mom. I was just as helpless as that little bundle in my arms. 

There are days when I wonder if I deserved to be called "mommy". I wonder if I had mistaken myself for being able to take on this role. There are days where I honestly do not know what in the world I was doing and just had to wing it. Days when it was so impossible that running away seemed like a good idea. But it's also on those days when I'm feeling the smallest and weakest that I find out what motherhood is all about.

First let me tell you what motherhood is NOT. It's not waking up at 3am to feed a baby. It's not changing the baby because she pooped. It's not making sure the house is clean and tidy. It's not making sure there is food on the table or toilet paper in the toilet paper holders. Motherhood is not forcing your child to wear pants or sending them to school. If it was, then your job as a mother can easily be replaced by the helper. But it's not. Your child calls you mommy, not the helper. Motherhood is not being the perfect mom.

Motherhood is this - it is YOU.  It's when I'm about to give up and LittleLim comes up to me and hugs me or kisses my forehead or holds my hand that I realise she doesn't see my flaws, she sees me. Motherhood is not perfection, motherhood is you being present in the face of imperfection. Motherhood is you feeling small but still giving your child confidence. Motherhood is you feeling scared but you giving your child courage. Motherhood is you feeling tired but still giving your best to provide for your child. Motherhood is you feeling drained but still loving them through each booboo, temper tantrums and heartaches. Motherhood is you having a thousand and one things to do but still being present in your child's life. 

Motherhood isn't about having a well-kept home, clean dishes, folded laundry and clean litter boxes at home. Your child won't remember the number of times they had to eat out because you were too tired to cook or the pile of laundry that hasn't been done because you were too busy with other things. But your child will remember you. Your child will remember the times you put them to bed even though you were exhausted, they remember the times you went to their class play even though you had other errands to do, they remember the days you sat by them encouraging them when you were feeling small, they remember the moments you held them when they hurt because that was all you can do. They won't remember your motherhood "duties" but they will remember "you". 

If you feel like you aren't good enough to be a mom, you're not alone. I too feel that way. But let it not stop us from being present. Let it not stop us from being the best versions (even though a little bit flawed) of ourselves because our kids depend on us to be there for them even when we feel less than perfect. Always remember that motherhood isn't about being perfect but it's about teaching our kids to overcome weaknesses, be brave even in the midst of fear, be responsible in the face of exhaustion and to love unconditionally. 

The greatest gift a mother can give their children is themselves. That's motherhood. Keep soldiering on mama, you are good enough <3