LBTK - Life before The Kid(s)

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Children are a blessing, but as any parent will tell you - they are apt to change your life in more ways than you ever thought possible. More than just simply knowing that we have to accommodate them in our lives, our very existence will inevitably revolve around them in one way or another. It's a serious lifestyle overhaul, and while there are some parents who can seamlessly continue their lifestyle habits and practices before the kids, the majority of us make changes because we want to. The transition is almost effortless, because when a little being depends on us and looks up to us for guidance, we make a conscientious effort to always, always be there for them.

I love my son to bits, more than life itself - but there are times when a certain song, place or a face will trigger a memory. A time when I only had to worry about and be accountable to myself. What do I miss most about life, pre-Caden?


The freedom to only think of myself, and for myself. Doing things on a whim, and spending all my hard earned money on myself. I miss worrying for myself, wondering if I look presentable, and choosing shoes. I miss tottering about in heels, mini skirts, and not needing to carry anything but a card, some emergency cash, mobile and keys.

I miss me, sometimes, but the feeling is fleeting, almost - and fades to nothingness when I am greeted with a huge smile, a fierce hug, and a warm, loud "Hai-ooooh Marmee!!"

I'd like to think that I'm not the only one who sometimes think about LBTK (life before the kids). Parenthood is a big deal - don't let anyone tell you otherwise - because nothing, absolutely nothing in life will ever prepare you for it. It's a huge responsibility, perhaps the biggest thing (after marriage) that one will have to deal with in life. It's a roller coaster ride involving a gamut of emotions, and there isn't a stop button anywhere in sight. Nor a rewind button, for that matter.

Sometimes it's nice to reminisce and think about what we really miss doing. Things that we used to do, and habits that we used to have before the kids came along. Even if only for awhile.

I approached a few Mums (and Dads) with kids spanning from 7 weeks to 14 years of age, and asked them what it is that they miss most about life before the kid(s). Here are their thoughts:

Adeline Oon:


Alicia Tan: "I know that we can all do with more sleep and I definitely miss that. But what I miss most is being able to be 'irresponsible' doing something totally free spirited once in a while. Such as just packing up your bags for a diving trip or just heading off to discover Phomn Penh, just because. I definitely do not have any regrets being a mum (and one with superhero multi tasking and super hearing powers!) but as Uncle Ben says 'with great power comes great responsibilities'"

Angeline Sim: "I do miss the uninterrupted sleep; the ability to order my fav dish at the food court without considering if it's too spicy to share with my kid; the lazy Sunday mornings where I can enjoy my Sunday read without being harried. I miss our Baliness-inspired furniture which has made way for more kids-friendly ones. I miss the evenings when we can go for late night movies as a couple without the parent guilt. Even though these 'luxuries' are long gone, I would not trade the pitter-patter of the kids' footsteps, their endless, joyful chatter and boundless energy for anything in the world. I remembered how deafening quiet the home used to be, how empty our hearts felt and how fervently we prayed and waited just to have a child in our arms. Life pre-kids was liberating; life with kids? Blessed beyond measure."

Diana Gale:

Eddie Yii: "I miss vacations to places unknown with my wife, where we walk for the whole day and change cities frequently, which is just not possible after Noah arrived."

Evelyn Tan-Rogers:

Sandra Tan:

"What I miss most pre-kids, or what I refer to as my pre-Jayvonian days (my eldest), are the simple things: sleeping in on weekends, being able to go out shopping without lugging a suitcase-worth of baby stuff, watching midnight movies with friends - to name a few!"






Uh huh.

***

... and then, we are reminded how beautiful life is, post-kids.


Adeline is mum to 14 year old Brandon and 12 year old Megan.
Alicia is mum to an almost 6 year old preschooler, otherwise known fondly as Dumpling.
Angeline is mum to 6 year old Dana, and 7 week-old Alexander.
Diana is mum to 4 year old Aden and 2 year old Jadelyn.
Eddie is dad to 2 year old Noah.
Evelyn is mum to 8 year old Layla and 3 year old Zion.
Klessis, mum to 8 year old Joey and 5 year old Jayne.
Magdalene is mum to 3 year old twins, Charlotte and Daniel.
Natasha is mum to 2 year old Liam and is expecting her 2nd child any day now!
Sandra is mum to 6 year old Jayvon, 3 year old Xavier, and 1 year old Zoie.
Shereen has 7 year old twins, Jordan and Evan, and 4 year old Dylan.
Summer is mum to 4.5 year old Angel, and 19 month old Ariel.
Winston is married to Liza, and they are parents to 6 year old Xander and 6 month old Yvie.
Caden is 3.5 years old, and that's 3 and a half years of *not* missing my life, pre-kid! (well, sometimes I do, like now!) 
***

No matter whether we have one, two, three or more kids - life takes on a whole new meaning. Children affect every part of our lives. From dining out, going out, travelling, to becoming really clever at telling white lies as a shut up tactic, once we bring that little tiny person home, life will never, ever be the same again. It's a crazy tospy turvy world from there on, and there are days when you lose your cool, and moments you miss the times when you can have a cup of coffee, curled up on a couch, and read a good book without any interruptions. You think about the clothes you're able to wear (and oh, the places you'd go!) on the pre-baby body. You grab the paracetamol when the whinings hit fever pitch and you're already nursing a bad headache from work.

You ask yourself time and time again: Is it worth it?
Are they worth every sleepless night, every new opportunity foregone, and every sacrifice made?

Why yes, they are, and they always will be.

***

Share with us what is it YOU miss about your life, pre-kids!


N.B. Thanks to all the Mums and Dads featured here, for gamely sharing with me what they missed most about life, sans kids. Click on their names to read about their musings, post kids - in their respective blogs!

Earl Grey Butter Pound Cake

Thursday, 31 July 2014

I have always been more of a tea person than a coffee lover, and I didn't need caffeine fixes in the mornings and throughout the day. Well - until I got pregnant that is, and then all I wanted was coffee. Even the smell of coffee brewing was enough to get me excited, and it took all of my willpower to limit myself to a small latte a day, generously laced with milk.

Post partum, however, I got back to my tea habits, even though I didn't mind a cup of coffee every now and then. I'm not a big fan of flowery infusions (kinda makes me think I'm drinking body lotion!), I much prefer strong, robust flavours with a heady aroma.

Lapsang Souchong, English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Genmachai, or just give me the good ol' sock brewed tea - these full bodied flavours are my personal favourites. A strong infusion is a good accompaniment to plain, simple cakes for tea. Or supper. Or anytime of the day! I always have time (and room in the stomach) for tea and cake. Simple pleasures which can give you a much needed jolt to get through the day.

What about an Earl Grey infused butter cake?

Yes, please.

EARL GREY BUTTER POUND CAKE

adapted from The Little Teochew

Prep time: 15 min
Bake time: 40 min, in a preheated oven at 170 deg C
Makes a 9" x 3" loaf

Ingredients

  • 170g unsalted butter
  • 200g caster sugar (original recipe calls for 350g)
  • 3 eggs (55g each)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or full cream milk
  • 165g all purpose flour
  • 2 sachets of Earl Grey Tea (2g each)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


1. Using a mixer on low speed, cream butter and sugar till well incorporated. 


2. Add in the eggs, one at a time, along with vanilla extract.


3. Mix well, making sure to scrape down the sides as necessary.


4. In a separate bowl, whisk dry ingredients together.


5. Fold dry ingredients into the batter in 3 additions - mixing alternately with the buttermilk, starting with the flour mix and ending with it.


6. Line a loaf pan with baking paper. If you are doing without - do butter and flour the pan generously on all sides. Pour batter in, bang pan a few times on the counter to eliminate air bubbles, and smooth the top.


7. Bake in a preheated oven at 170 deg C, for 40 min, or until a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean.


and then... be prepared to be assailed by the wonderful aroma when you slice into the cake.


Moist and wonderfully buttery, with a subtle hint of Earl Grey. Perfect with a cup of coffee, or more Earl Grey tea! There are times when you can't have too much of a good thing.



Printable recipe - click on image, right click to save.




MummyMoo

 

If you have a quick-fix recipe to share, do link up!

1. Gingerbreadmum's 5 quick and easy meals  15. Mother of Twins - Cheat's Indo Satay Chicken  29. Adeline @ The Accidental Mom Blogger  
2. CHOCOLATE BROWNIE BOWLS  16. Mother of Twins: Noodles + left overs!  30. Easy Pizza - A Cuppa For Mama  
3. Weiz Journey - Everyday is Food Revolution Day  17. The Domestic Goddess Wannabe: Lor Bak  31. Pancake Art - A Cuppa For Mama  
4. A Tale of Some Mice Tails  18. DomesticGoddessWannabe: Fried Rice  32. Meeningfully | Simple Steamed Porridge  
5. The Chill Mom: Easy and Hearty Salmon Chowder  19. Mamamie's Thots: Steamed Milk Cake  33. miracule | wasabi cucumber pickles  
6. DomesticGoddessWannabe: Crispy Noodles  20. The Domestic Goddess Wannabe  34. Easy Peasy Lentil Soup  
7. No Frills Peking Duck  21. Mother of Xander  35. Domestic Goddess Wannabe - Kimchi stew  
8. Mother of Twins - Speedy Chicken with Udon  22. Weiz Journey - Layered Kale & Sweet Potato Quiche  36. Mother of Twins - Tuna Pasta Bake w hidden veggies  
9. Nutella Cupcakes - The Accidental Mom Blogger  23. Mother of Twins - Noodles with THE LOT  37. miracule | marinated guava  
10. Christine  24. The Domestic Goddess Wannabe  38. Mother of Twins-15 min meal with the lot  
11. Pretty Simple Family: Essence Chicken  25. salmon mushroom wafu pasta recipe | Simply Mommie  39. Joy 'N' Escapade - Eggless Cheddar Cheese Pancakes  
12. Easy Chicken wrap | Simply Mommie  26. The Domestic Goddess Wannabe - Tandoori Chicken  40. Quick-to-cook noodles breakfast  
13. SANses | Spaghetti & Meatballs  27. Mother of Xander: Ice-cream bread  41. http://1on1designgroup.com/Fresh_Group_Sex_Scat_And_Pissing_Pics_Movie.html  
14. Mother of Twins - Mexican Savoury Mince  28. Miracule | Miso Salmon  



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1. Gingerbreadmum's 5 quick and easy meals  15. Mother of Twins - Cheat's Indo Satay Chicken  29. Adeline @ The Accidental Mom Blogger  
2. CHOCOLATE BROWNIE BOWLS  16. Mother of Twins: Noodles + left overs!  30. Easy Pizza - A Cuppa For Mama  
3. Weiz Journey - Everyday is Food Revolution Day  17. The Domestic Goddess Wannabe: Lor Bak  31. Pancake Art - A Cuppa For Mama  
4. A Tale of Some Mice Tails  18. DomesticGoddessWannabe: Fried Rice  32. Meeningfully | Simple Steamed Porridge  
5. The Chill Mom: Easy and Hearty Salmon Chowder  19. Mamamie's Thots: Steamed Milk Cake  33. miracule | wasabi cucumber pickles  
6. DomesticGoddessWannabe: Crispy Noodles  20. The Domestic Goddess Wannabe  34. Easy Peasy Lentil Soup  
7. No Frills Peking Duck  21. Mother of Xander  35. Domestic Goddess Wannabe - Kimchi stew  
8. Mother of Twins - Speedy Chicken with Udon  22. Weiz Journey - Layered Kale & Sweet Potato Quiche  36. Mother of Twins - Tuna Pasta Bake w hidden veggies  
9. Nutella Cupcakes - The Accidental Mom Blogger  23. Mother of Twins - Noodles with THE LOT  37. miracule | marinated guava  
10. Christine  24. The Domestic Goddess Wannabe  38. Mother of Twins-15 min meal with the lot  
11. Pretty Simple Family: Essence Chicken  25. salmon mushroom wafu pasta recipe | Simply Mommie  39. Joy 'N' Escapade - Eggless Cheddar Cheese Pancakes  
12. Easy Chicken wrap | Simply Mommie  26. The Domestic Goddess Wannabe - Tandoori Chicken  40. Quick-to-cook noodles breakfast  
13. SANses | Spaghetti & Meatballs  27. Mother of Xander: Ice-cream bread  41. http://1on1designgroup.com/Fresh_Group_Sex_Scat_And_Pissing_Pics_Movie.html  
14. Mother of Twins - Mexican Savoury Mince  28. Miracule | Miso Salmon  



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If you have a quick-fix recipe to share, do link up!

1. Gingerbreadmum's 5 quick and easy meals  15. Mother of Twins - Cheat's Indo Satay Chicken  29. Adeline @ The Accidental Mom Blogger  
2. CHOCOLATE BROWNIE BOWLS  16. Mother of Twins: Noodles + left overs!  30. Easy Pizza - A Cuppa For Mama  
3. Weiz Journey - Everyday is Food Revolution Day  17. The Domestic Goddess Wannabe: Lor Bak  31. Pancake Art - A Cuppa For Mama  
4. A Tale of Some Mice Tails  18. DomesticGoddessWannabe: Fried Rice  32. Meeningfully | Simple Steamed Porridge  
5. The Chill Mom: Easy and Hearty Salmon Chowder  19. Mamamie's Thots: Steamed Milk Cake  33. miracule | wasabi cucumber pickles  
6. DomesticGoddessWannabe: Crispy Noodles  20. The Domestic Goddess Wannabe  34. Easy Peasy Lentil Soup  
7. No Frills Peking Duck  21. Mother of Xander  35. Domestic Goddess Wannabe - Kimchi stew  
8. Mother of Twins - Speedy Chicken with Udon  22. Weiz Journey - Layered Kale & Sweet Potato Quiche  36. Mother of Twins - Tuna Pasta Bake w hidden veggies  
9. Nutella Cupcakes - The Accidental Mom Blogger  23. Mother of Twins - Noodles with THE LOT  37. miracule | marinated guava  
10. Christine  24. The Domestic Goddess Wannabe  38. Mother of Twins-15 min meal with the lot  
11. Pretty Simple Family: Essence Chicken  25. salmon mushroom wafu pasta recipe | Simply Mommie  39. Joy 'N' Escapade - Eggless Cheddar Cheese Pancakes  
12. Easy Chicken wrap | Simply Mommie  26. The Domestic Goddess Wannabe - Tandoori Chicken  40. Quick-to-cook noodles breakfast  
13. SANses | Spaghetti & Meatballs  27. Mother of Xander: Ice-cream bread  41. http://1on1designgroup.com/Fresh_Group_Sex_Scat_And_Pissing_Pics_Movie.html  
14. Mother of Twins - Mexican Savoury Mince  28. Miracule | Miso Salmon  



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If you have a quick-fix recipe to share, do link up!

1. Gingerbreadmum's 5 quick and easy meals  15. Mother of Twins - Cheat's Indo Satay Chicken  29. Adeline @ The Accidental Mom Blogger  
2. CHOCOLATE BROWNIE BOWLS  16. Mother of Twins: Noodles + left overs!  30. Easy Pizza - A Cuppa For Mama  
3. Weiz Journey - Everyday is Food Revolution Day  17. The Domestic Goddess Wannabe: Lor Bak  31. Pancake Art - A Cuppa For Mama  
4. A Tale of Some Mice Tails  18. DomesticGoddessWannabe: Fried Rice  32. Meeningfully | Simple Steamed Porridge  
5. The Chill Mom: Easy and Hearty Salmon Chowder  19. Mamamie's Thots: Steamed Milk Cake  33. miracule | wasabi cucumber pickles  
6. DomesticGoddessWannabe: Crispy Noodles  20. The Domestic Goddess Wannabe  34. Easy Peasy Lentil Soup  
7. No Frills Peking Duck  21. Mother of Xander  35. Domestic Goddess Wannabe - Kimchi stew  
8. Mother of Twins - Speedy Chicken with Udon  22. Weiz Journey - Layered Kale & Sweet Potato Quiche  36. Mother of Twins - Tuna Pasta Bake w hidden veggies  
9. Nutella Cupcakes - The Accidental Mom Blogger  23. Mother of Twins - Noodles with THE LOT  37. miracule | marinated guava  
10. Christine  24. The Domestic Goddess Wannabe  38. Mother of Twins-15 min meal with the lot  
11. Pretty Simple Family: Essence Chicken  25. salmon mushroom wafu pasta recipe | Simply Mommie  39. Joy 'N' Escapade - Eggless Cheddar Cheese Pancakes  
12. Easy Chicken wrap | Simply Mommie  26. The Domestic Goddess Wannabe - Tandoori Chicken  40. Quick-to-cook noodles breakfast  
13. SANses | Spaghetti & Meatballs  27. Mother of Xander: Ice-cream bread  41. http://1on1designgroup.com/Fresh_Group_Sex_Scat_And_Pissing_Pics_Movie.html  
14. Mother of Twins - Mexican Savoury Mince  28. Miracule | Miso Salmon  



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If you have a quick-fix recipe to share, do link up!

1. Gingerbreadmum's 5 quick and easy meals  15. Mother of Twins - Cheat's Indo Satay Chicken  29. Adeline @ The Accidental Mom Blogger  
2. CHOCOLATE BROWNIE BOWLS  16. Mother of Twins: Noodles + left overs!  30. Easy Pizza - A Cuppa For Mama  
3. Weiz Journey - Everyday is Food Revolution Day  17. The Domestic Goddess Wannabe: Lor Bak  31. Pancake Art - A Cuppa For Mama  
4. A Tale of Some Mice Tails  18. DomesticGoddessWannabe: Fried Rice  32. Meeningfully | Simple Steamed Porridge  
5. The Chill Mom: Easy and Hearty Salmon Chowder  19. Mamamie's Thots: Steamed Milk Cake  33. miracule | wasabi cucumber pickles  
6. DomesticGoddessWannabe: Crispy Noodles  20. The Domestic Goddess Wannabe  34. Easy Peasy Lentil Soup  
7. No Frills Peking Duck  21. Mother of Xander  35. Domestic Goddess Wannabe - Kimchi stew  
8. Mother of Twins - Speedy Chicken with Udon  22. Weiz Journey - Layered Kale & Sweet Potato Quiche  36. Mother of Twins - Tuna Pasta Bake w hidden veggies  
9. Nutella Cupcakes - The Accidental Mom Blogger  23. Mother of Twins - Noodles with THE LOT  37. miracule | marinated guava  
10. Christine  24. The Domestic Goddess Wannabe  38. Mother of Twins-15 min meal with the lot  
11. Pretty Simple Family: Essence Chicken  25. salmon mushroom wafu pasta recipe | Simply Mommie  39. Joy 'N' Escapade - Eggless Cheddar Cheese Pancakes  
12. Easy Chicken wrap | Simply Mommie  26. The Domestic Goddess Wannabe - Tandoori Chicken  40. Quick-to-cook noodles breakfast  
13. SANses | Spaghetti & Meatballs  27. Mother of Xander: Ice-cream bread  41. http://1on1designgroup.com/Fresh_Group_Sex_Scat_And_Pissing_Pics_Movie.html  
14. Mother of Twins - Mexican Savoury Mince  28. Miracule | Miso Salmon  



(Submissions close in 153d 1h 35m)
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If you have a quick-fix recipe to share, do link up!

1. Gingerbreadmum's 5 quick and easy meals  15. Mother of Twins - Cheat's Indo Satay Chicken  29. Adeline @ The Accidental Mom Blogger  
2. CHOCOLATE BROWNIE BOWLS  16. Mother of Twins: Noodles + left overs!  30. Easy Pizza - A Cuppa For Mama  
3. Weiz Journey - Everyday is Food Revolution Day  17. The Domestic Goddess Wannabe: Lor Bak  31. Pancake Art - A Cuppa For Mama  
4. A Tale of Some Mice Tails  18. DomesticGoddessWannabe: Fried Rice  32. Meeningfully | Simple Steamed Porridge  
5. The Chill Mom: Easy and Hearty Salmon Chowder  19. Mamamie's Thots: Steamed Milk Cake  33. miracule | wasabi cucumber pickles  
6. DomesticGoddessWannabe: Crispy Noodles  20. The Domestic Goddess Wannabe  34. Easy Peasy Lentil Soup  
7. No Frills Peking Duck  21. Mother of Xander  35. Domestic Goddess Wannabe - Kimchi stew  
8. Mother of Twins - Speedy Chicken with Udon  22. Weiz Journey - Layered Kale & Sweet Potato Quiche  36. Mother of Twins - Tuna Pasta Bake w hidden veggies  
9. Nutella Cupcakes - The Accidental Mom Blogger  23. Mother of Twins - Noodles with THE LOT  37. miracule | marinated guava  
10. Christine  24. The Domestic Goddess Wannabe  38. Mother of Twins-15 min meal with the lot  
11. Pretty Simple Family: Essence Chicken  25. salmon mushroom wafu pasta recipe | Simply Mommie  39. Joy 'N' Escapade - Eggless Cheddar Cheese Pancakes  
12. Easy Chicken wrap | Simply Mommie  26. The Domestic Goddess Wannabe - Tandoori Chicken  40. Quick-to-cook noodles breakfast  
13. SANses | Spaghetti & Meatballs  27. Mother of Xander: Ice-cream bread  41. http://1on1designgroup.com/Fresh_Group_Sex_Scat_And_Pissing_Pics_Movie.html  
14. Mother of Twins - Mexican Savoury Mince  28. Miracule | Miso Salmon  



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