Nuffnang

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Watching You Grow Up Is Scary


It's 9.11am. Hubbycat just left to sent LittleLim to Pre-school. She starts in her new class today and I felt so emotional watching her go out the door. "Bye! Bye Mommy!" she shouts from the corridor as she gets smaller and smaller as Hubbycat walks away into the elevators. She's growing up. Where did all that time go?

Being a mother the first time was something I was not prepared for. For the first many months I struggled my way around it, I struggled to find myself in my new identity, I struggled to get my confidence back and I struggled to look after a tiny human being praying she stays alive under my care. Mother instincts unfortunately did not come naturally for me. It was a lot of trial and error and a lot of wishing that time would pass faster so that I could escape this dreaded newborn phase and skip to the part where all of it felt natural. 

One day everything clicked and then time just flew. Suddenly my tiny newborn is two and I'm pregnant again. Fast forward 6 months and she's in school. She talks, demands, questions and reasons so well now. She can laugh, cry, get angry, feel sad, get jealous and feel a whole wide range of emotions. She is independent, strong-willed, brave and relentless. I have watched her grow up from a helpless tiny newborn to an independent two year old. 

They say growing up is scary. For the longest time I believed it but now, as a mother, I can say that watching your child grow up is even scarier. Not because of how scary the world they live in is getting or how things are getting harder. No, none of that is truly as frightful as the thought that one day they will outgrow you. One day you will have to let them go out on their own and find their own path. One day you have to trust them chase their own dreams and find their own identities. One that is separate from yours. One day they will grow into their own person. It's scary and when I think of LittleLim growing up.

One day she won't be the little girl who would want to follow me out grocery shopping and excitedly pointing to each vegetable, naming them - "brocly" "mayto" "kar-rot" "tayto" "eh-ple juice"- and then beaming in pride when I clap and say "well done!". One day she won't be the little girl who holds my hand and gently strokes it when we're sitting in the car or doing work side by side. One day she won't be the little girl who needs mommy to stroke her hair and hum "Beautiful Dreamer" to sleep. One day she won't be the little girl who comes up to me with the most cutest confused look ever and ask me "wat's this?" and waits for me to explain to you what it is. One day she won't be the little girl who looks at me the way she does now- full of trust, of hope, of expectation- as if I know everything. One day she won't be the little girl who wants mommy to send her to school. One day she won't look at me like I'm the only one who matters in her world. One day she won't be my little girl and all I'll be left are these fond memories. You have no idea how scary that is and how heartbreaking it is for a mommy unless you are a parent yourself.

As much as I love that she's growing up to be a fine young toddler, the idea of her growing up scares me. And each day when I put her to bed, I pray that I never waste even a second with her. Because time with her becomes so precious when you realise how limited it is. I remember mom always telling us, "the days are long but the years are short". I never really fully understood until I became a mother.

LittleLim, the days are long but the years are short. Sometimes when I watch you having so much fun, laughing without a care in the world, calling me to "come!" because you want me to play with you - these moments I wish time would stop and you stay like that forever. Ah, sentimental mommy.

-Ally

Saturday, 15 July 2017

He's Here!


38 weeks 4 days. Just like his elder sister. I guess impatience runs in the family... although I think that this time it was my body that wanted him out and not him. This being the second time, I knew what to expect but at the same time didn't. What I did know was where this baby was coming out from, what is going to happen and what to expect after. That was enough for now and that definitely calmed my nerves.

I like surprising my gynea. It happened the first time and it happened again this time round. I walked into her office with contractions. Told to do a CTG scan before she saw me and was told by the nurse that my contractions were "weak". I told Hubbycat "perhaps not today". Saw my doctor who did an internal exam and surprise! I was already 3cm dilated. But contractions aren't strong which means I still have time. Time for breakfast, I was hungry! So breakfast we went before I headed home to get my hospital bag. Got admitted at 1 PM and the nurses did the necessary delivery procedures. 

Overall, His birth was slower than LittleLim's from the start to the end, clearly he was too comfortable and didn't want to be evicted. But hey, we're doing this whether you like it or not little man. But stubbornness runs in the family too because my contractions actually slowed down after 4 hours of active labor at 6cm dilation and I had to have my waterbag burst and given Oxytocin to speed things up. 

Clearly that did not sit well with the little man. Poor guy got stressed and his heartbeat dropped a bit but I'm not going to spend extra money on an emergency C-section, so by hook or by crook this boy is going to come out NOW. Thankfully my body reacted well to the Oxytocin. By then my contractions were stronger and coming in more frequently which definitely sped up the process. By now, I'm thankful for the epidural, a successful epidural unlike the first time. This is what a "no pain" birth feels like. It was heavenly. I was so zen and calm. The whole birthing room was zen and calm. Nurses were smiling. I was smiling and laughing. I was talking. I was sleeping. A far cry from my first birth experience. 

In no time, I was 10cm dilated and it was time for the pushing. Out he came into the world at 7.08 PM, screaming and healthy. A wave of feelings washed over me as I stared at our son for the first time. Awe, thankfulness, amazement and love. I watched him stop crying as soon as he heard my voice, basked in the warmth of skin to skin and smiled as I watched he drifted back to sleep. Such a calm and peaceful boy he is.

"Welcome to the family son. I love you. We love you. We can't wait to get to know you. -Mommy"

-Ally

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Dear Second Child Of Ours


Hi Son. 

Right now you're punching me (or kicking, I seriously can never tell the difference) and reminding me that you're no longer itty bitty because each jab is full force and powerful. It moves my belly with tiny tremors and sometimes you make everything look out of shape. Then again I expect nothing less now that you're heavier than your elder sister was at week 38. Did I just say week 38? Yes, yes I did! I still find it extremely hard to accept that you are at the same gestational age your as when your sister decided to make her grand appearance. Where did all the time go! The question now is, are you going to be just as impatient as your sister or are you going to make mommy and daddy wait? 

Whenever you or mommy's body decide that you do make your grand appearance, know that we are ready for you. I'm so sorry that you have to share my attention and that even before you even arrive, you have been smacked, sat on, kicked and rolled on already by your big sister. But you're a champ. You're definitely so much calmer and more relaxed. We did have a rocky start but I'm so glad you fought on and that we got there eventually.

Sometimes I do wonder if we're being fair to bring you into this world because on rough days when I get really emotional I wonder if my heart will be able to love you just as much as I do with your sister. I wonder about how your sister has stolen all the first moments and how it will be so hard to not compare the both of you. There were times where mommy had to cut our bonding sessions short because your elder sister needed me and I wonder with guilt if this will be your fate.

I just want to say that these moments are short and as if you know my heart, you will nudge me as if to remind me that you're different. You have showed me that I do love you and that you already have a place in my heart. I would never give you up and I would never let anyone harm you. You are already mine and even before I realised, my heart has already expanded for you. My love has already grown for you. I really enjoy the moments you kick my hand when you feel my touch or respond to my voice when I sing. It's been so amazing knowing that the past 38weeks has given me you and while sometimes I may forget about you (especially the second trimester) know that you are and will always be my miracle. 

I look forward to meeting you and getting to know you. I'm excited for this new journey we'll be embarking together and making many memories. 

Love, Mommy.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

To My First Born on Her First Day Of Pre-School



Dear LittleLim,

Today on the 16th of May 2017, you embarked on a new journey and in the process unlocked another milestone achievement. One of many you've already done, dusted and accomplished and one of many more you will soon be doing and hitting. Today is the first day of preschool for you and to be honest, I am a little unappreciative of how you're a little oblivious to how major this is. But at 28 months I get that having all your gummies and getting all your "toiis" (toys) are a more important task than going to school. 

I'll be excited for the both of us. As I laid your outfit out and pack your bag (one too many times because I feel like I'm forgetting something) yesterday, my heart is going so fast I'm sure your little brother felt it. I'm all nerves, excitement, happiness and sadness that today has finally come. No preparation would fully prepare me for this day, but I know it must happen. My firstborn starting her education journey.

Mommy and Daddy are so proud of how well you handled your first day. As you walked in with me to your new environment, you were cautious but warmed up so easily. You looked like you were about to cry when I told you I had to go but soon forgotten about tears as you saw your new friends. You even made one of your classmates who was crying feel better by offering a "hi5" to him.

After that mummy had to say goodbye to you and trust your teachers to take over. As I walked out to join your daddy who had been watching outside this whole time, my heart got heavier. This is it, your first official step into the world of learning. We cannot be any more happier with the school you are attending and we are sure it will be the beacon of your education journey. We know that this school will provide you with space to explore, learn, play and grow and we are so happy to know that you like your teacher.

As I bid you goodbye, I say a silent prayer that you will always enjoy learning. You will always have that sense of wonder and excitement just as you stepped into your school for the first time. That you will love gaining knowledge and that you will discover yourself while unlocking your potentials.

My wish for you is that you always learn to give your best in everything you do. Don't worry about perfect scores but never stop trying to achieve excellence. Always get up when you fail and never be afraid to fail. Always remember that the discovery of yourself, developing the right attitudes and character during this journey is more important. You are in a safe place, so use it to find you. We love you and are so excited to see your journey unfold.

Love you sweetheart.
-Mommy

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Mamas, It's Okay To Be Okay!


"I love motherhood. I really do but sometimes I feel guilty for loving it too much. It's like I have everything working well, healthy body, time, energy and a relatively good baby. It's like things are going too well and I feel guilty cause I'm not "suffering" like everyone else. I'm not sad, I'm not Emo, I'm not having PPD. And then I wonder if I'm not doing something right or if I'm too chilled or I'm too easy..."

Recently a friend shared that with me. She's a new mom and she was sharing with me how she loves being a mother but how that happiness makes her feel guilty. It was like she was struggling with accepting how smooth things were going for her and how she needed to "struggle" to be real. At that moment, I was so happy for her and I wish I was in her shoes because I've been very open with how difficult I found motherhood. I'd give anything to be her but it saddened me that she thought she had to be "unhappy" to be a good mom. That's when I realised that just because I found motherhood difficult and struggled with it doesn't mean that every mom should or is. 

We're in an era where people speak out without fear and I love it. I love how issues that used to stay hidden can be brought to light so no one ever needs to "suffer in silence" anymore. But more and more I feel like people want to look like the don't have it all. Like they thrive on imperfection. They look at perfection or happiness as something that is "bad" and "undesirable". Being teased, suicide, ppd, anxiety, mess, and everything under the sun is glorified. Suddenly everyone is a victim of something and if you're not a victim you're weird or sheltered or aren't doing enough.

But you know what, just because life wasn't perfect for you doesn't mean that everyone has to have it imperfect too. That is just crazy and plain rude. It's like how I hate bananas and suddenly everyone can't enjoy bananas also. And if you happen to like bananas, shame on you! But that's exactly what we're becoming and I personally don't subscribe to it.

Good for you for being vocal about your imperfections. Good for you for sharing. Good for you for being relatable to others who are in the same position as you. Good for you for sharing your story. Good for you. Really. But don't go around thinking that everyone needs to suffer with you. Don't go around forcing it down everyone's throat. Don't go around judging others who aren't imperfect. Don't go around making those who are happy feel bad just because you're not.

I told my friend this. More like telling myself also.

"Be happy. Be you. Be good at what you do. Be brave and own your happiness. You deserve to be happy. Enjoy that happiness. Embrace that happiness. Be glad that you have that happiness and DON'T EVER FEEL GUILTY about it. "



And really why do you want to be imperfect? Why do you want to struggle? I am and have always been a perfectionist. I don't get why I need to have a lower standard just to look more human? Screw that. I want to be happy, I want to have it all, I want to be good at motherhood, at being a wife and at being myself. I want to be able to juggle everything and have everything. Most of all, I want to be happy doing it all. But I know I fall short a lot of times. I struggle. But I want to get better all the time. 

Just because I am still on my way doesn't mean that I should be bitter or unhappy for those who have everything. In fact I should use them as inspiration to get to where I want to be. Instead of saying how "lucky" they are for not having it bad or making them feel less because they aren't suffering. Or making them feel bad for being able to get help so that they can do it all. 

I get that motherhood is hard. But you know what, it isn't always hard and that there are people who thrive on it. There are people who are born mothers. There are people who love it. There are people who enjoy the sleepless nights. Who recover faster. Who juggle better. Who have help and bounce back faster. Who can do it all because they're just good at it. And you know what, if you're one of those moms, good for you! Don't feel guilty. You definitely don't have to! Enjoy your motherhood experience. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy your kids and be happy.

Don't feel bad that there are other moms who are struggling while you're happy. Seriously, what kind of life will that be. If that's the case, then give up your houses and cars because there will always be homeless people on the street. At the end of the day, how you feel is how you feel. You should never be ashamed of it. If you find something worth being happy for, grab it. And I for one think a new motherhood journey is one that should invoke happiness. And if you have it yay you! 

Come, I will celebrate with you and throw you a damn party! I'm so proud and happy for you.

I for one wished mine was happier. But it is what it is. So I hope with my second it is less tears, more joy. That's why I'm taking all the steps necessary to make sure it is. Always remember that it's okay to be okay. 

Please don't ever feel like you're less of a mother just because you aren't suffering. Seriously. 

-Ally

Friday, 5 May 2017

"Love You!" - How She Sees Me.


I've collapsed on the couch. A heap mess of tiredness, sweat and feeling like a whale at 32 weeks. If there's anything I really want is some moment of quietness. Of course, that isn't happening. Less than a minute later "pranggggg". The bowl that was holding LittleLim's oranges is on the floor the metal bowl clanging hard on the tiles. I feel my blood boil because if there's one thing I hate, it's mess. But accidents happen and I pluck myself off the couch and head over all smiles comforting her that accidents indeed do happen and that she needs to be more careful in the future. I tell her "love you" and go ahead and clean it up. 

She's sitting on her Stokke watching some iPad. I'm too busy doing the laundry and washing dishes from lunch to entertain her. Suddenly I hear her cry and poke my head out. She's on the floor and crying. Clearly climbed the chair and fell even when I told her not to over and over again. I breathe out hard, toddlers! She sees me come closer and cries harder. Instead of scolding her for disobeying me, I pick her up and told her again that this is why we sit properly on chairs. I comfort her and tell her "love you" and go back to my chores. 

She's doing some art while I'm paying our bills online. She stops drawing, she looks up at me, holds my hand and says "love you". It sounded more like "ROVE YOU" (*laughs* my daughter has her Ls and Rs mixed up for a while now) but the impact was there. Everything makes sense and the purpose of why you do what you do becomes clear.  The way they look at you with such sincerity and honesty - you cannot doubt their genuinity. No inch of malice or doubt. It's clear that they see you as whole as their everything. And like children, they desire you their parent. 

These surprise attacks remind you why you try your best to mother. Why you give your best to them. To make sure they never go a day without realising that they are loved even when things don't go right, even when they make mistakes, even when they have booboos and fall short - they never forget that they are loved. That your love for them is unconditional and that they will always be loved. 


It's when she's secure and confident that she will always be loved is when she is able to show what love is. When love begets love, I always remind myself to repeat how much I love my children. When she tells me she loves me, she's not only telling me she needs me, she's telling me she knows she is loved. And when she knows she's loved, I know I'm doing this mother thing right. 

-Ally

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Declutter

photo: generaltaygeneraltay.tumblr.com
Yesterday I was feeling so many things and couldn't find the words to describe how I was feeling. So much was going through my head that needed to come out. I wanted to write about the experiences from my travels to Perth and Seoul, share my thoughts, my second pregnancy, what's happening in my life and instead, no words could give me that satisfaction I yearned. 

I hate those moments the most when words fail me. Whether it's called writer's block or just a lack of figurative and literal inspiration - whatever it was, words couldn't be used and all I had were just emotions, feelings and thoughts that were knotted up together. I stared at my journal, blog, and social media willing for some spark of creativity, imagination, inspiration anything that would get the ball rolling only to be faced with more frustration. It was there right at the tip of my tongue, mind, fingers... instead all I saw was that blinking "I" and silence. Taunting me. Haunting me. 

"Damn" was all I can muster under my breath. Loud enough to release whatever pent up frustration buried deep. Loud just enough for my ears and my satisfaction and not for the ears of a certain two year old oblivious to what was happening to mommy. 

Well, if blocking was what was happening, then that blocking was what I am going to embrace. I was going to give it it's rightful moment and admit defeat. Maybe it's not time yet. Maybe I'm going through something. Maybe I'm transitioning. Whatever it is, I will let it take me to where it wants me to go. It wasn't as if I had nothing because I had plenty. Plenty happening, plenty to say, plenty to do. It was just that I wasn't feeling it. 

So, I gave up and went to clean my kitchen. Maybe it's my brain telling me "priorities" or my nesting hormones going into overdrive - whatever it was I cleaned. Start with the clutter I told myself. I got down to it - "expired" throw. "Haven't used in 3 months" - throw. "A layer of dust" - throw. As each throw happened I felt lighter, soon I was enjoying it way too much. 3 hours later my kitchen pantry looks spick and span, everything was back in it's rightful place and things that didn't have a place now has. I wrote a grocery list of things I needed to stock up on - only the necessities I tell myself. I made labels for everything. I felt free

Just like that this post happened. Maybe it was because I had too much in my head that I couldn't find what I was looking for. Maybe it was just too much of everything that had left me uninspired and stuck. Maybe I couldn't see what I needed past the clutter and the mess to get to where I wanted to be, to find the exact emotion, feeling, thought to get through to the word. Just like my kitchen, I needed to sort my head first. 

Anyway, I'm on a partial social media purge / fast in hopes to simplify and declutter my life before the second one arrives. I enjoyed cleaning the kitchen so much I've made it a home project to declutter the rest of my house as well. Hoping to be done before I pop. Till next time. 

-Ally

Saturday, 1 April 2017

To Pre-School We Go! One Month Countdown Begins.


All the feelings!

The truth is I can't let go. On the outside I'm an overjoyed mama excited that her little tiny baby girl is now a happy healthy eager two year old who is going off to Pre-school. BUT on the inside, oh the inside, I'm a mama who wonders where all the time went, how did we survive TWO AND A HALF years, when did she grow up to be this beautiful and smart, and how on earth does a parent go through this transition? Transition - that's the perfect word to describe what all this is.

No amount of time will prepare you for the first day. That's what I'm learning as the day draws closer. Hubbycat and I had slightly over a year to prepare ourselves (because I AM that Kiasu mom who paid the deposit to reserve a space for her child one year in advance) and what felt like a whole lot of time suddenly feels too short. We even considered deferring another term but of course we couldn't do that to her. While we may not be ready, she is

Oh, so ready, she is. She has grown into this little girl who is ready for this next phase in her life. She asks the "why?" "where?" and "who?" questions very frequently - a good sign of her trying to grasp understanding of the world around her. She easily mixes with other children her age - a good sign that she's socially matured enough to interact with other children. She doesn't need mommy and daddy around so much - a clear sign of her independence. So yes, the signs are there that sending her to pre-school will be more beneficial for her than not. 

So with heavy hearts, we prepare for the day. One month left. One month before she starts school for the next 20 years of her life. One month before she will start telling me "but Aunty so-so said so". One more month before she morphs into a child with much more understanding and character. Oh, excuse me while I cry a bit (dramamama!) 

AND If you think I'm bad, wait till you see the daddy (lol!) I bet you, he will be the one crying first and not wanting to leave while his 8month pregnant wife drags him out of the gate. Now that is a sight to behold. 

-Ally

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. 

-Ally






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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. 

-Ally