7 Pleasures for a Happy Mum

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

I've always wondered how those yummy mummies that we all secretly envy manage to always look well groomed, immaculate, and 'put-together', all whilst keeping the joy and love flowing.

First I ditched the skyscraper heels in favour of flip flops. Then the skirts and fancy tops were replaced by comfortable tees, which served a dual purpose - they go with the denim shorts which have become my weekend staple, and they hide the post baby bulges which I'm far too lazy to work on.

I still, however, know that regardless of the compromises I have made in terms of comfort and habits when the kid came along, I must never, ever forget myself. I have the luxury of adult company and 'me time' since I'm a working Mum, and fortunately, work has also made it necessary for me to not forget about personal grooming.

There are days, however, when I feel overwhelmed with juggling work and family. There are times when the boy (and hubba!) test my patience, and there are moments when I suddenly have enthralling visions of just sitting down, coffee or tea in hand, armed with a good book... without perpetual screams and 'Ask Mummy(s)!' ringing in my ears. Therefore I think it's important for all Mums to take some time to care for themselves - and just 'find' themselves, all over again.

Here's sharing a list of my 7 (hopeful) pleasures to a more positive Me!

1. Love My Family, Love Myself.
A Spa Session - the whole works! Hair, Manicure, Pedicure, Massage and Therapy. A monthly ritual would be nice, and leave me recharged to face the next 30 days.

2. Ask for Help.
When I need some time absolutely to myself or with the hubba, I have learnt not to be afraid in asking for help. As it is, this is very few and far in between since the boy is taken care of by my in-laws on weekdays.

3. Laughter makes good company
I always make sure that I surround myself with positive vibes. It's infectious, and doesn't allow me to dwell on negativities. Mothers contend with so much stimulation during the day that life becomes overwhelming.

4. An efficient helper
She should ideally, take over my obsession for cleanliness, organization and order, so that I can afford to spend time playing with the kid, cooking and baking without the prospect of cleaning up looming like a sinister spectre.

5. Bali with the Babes
I have these 2 friends who keep me sane. They are crazy cool, and they are the kind of friends who can sit together with you, not say a word - and have you walk away like it's the best conversation you've ever had.
A trip to Bali, just 3 of us - will be wonderful. The stuff feel-good movies are made of.

6. Eat without gaining a pound
Have I mentioned that I love good food? And that I don't get why 'good food' to me always translates to calorific goodness? I would love to be able to eat whatever I want, whenever, without worrying about adding on to that extra 10lbs which I have yet to lose post-partum. (This is also er... a hopeful list)

7. Be Myself.
I must always remember to never compare. Much of stress and irritation comes about by the inner fear and belief that there are other mothers who are better than we are, and that we're never good enough. I think BabyMoo will do well to know me for myself, and appreciate me for who I am without any prompting from my part.

I think when I'm in the right frame of mind and I don't put too much onus on myself to be a better person, wife and mum... I can then play up my strengths as a parent. Sometimes I just need some time to myself, for myself, and to appreciate myself.

Only then can I be a thoroughly happy Mum.

Linking up with:

The Accidental Mom Blogger

That decision to have more than One.

Most couples I come across have more than one child. I see families with more than one kid in tow at restaurants, malls and playgrounds. I see expectant women carrying barely toddling babies. In some cases, one tandem stroller doesn't seem to be enough, and the kids are not twins, triplets, or quadruplets.

Remind me again why the government thinks that the child bearing generation is not producing fast enough? Anyway... that's another thought to think about another day.

What is it that influences a couple's decision to have more than one child, and why is it that many children are produced almost consecutively, with a minimum age gap? I've wondered about that, especially with one child who demands my complete attention and leaves me thoroughly exhausted at the end of the day. Multiply that by two or three, and I don't think this old bag of bones (or my sanity) will be able to take it.

My gynaecologist tried to encourage me to have another child, going so far as to promise to give me 50% off the entire package, including delivery costs - should I get myself pregnant within the first 6 months of giving birth to BabyMoo. She did mention that it is medically proven that a woman is most fertile during the first 6 months post partum, and that if we were to try, chances are, it will be a hit and hit. Maybe she made a mistake of telling me this when I was struggling to stay awake for night feeds, battling engorgement, struggling with trying to understand the cries of the baby and melting from the heat while the stomach is boundsotightithurtstobreathe.

My friends and I have discussed this issue at length. Perhaps in the case of many couples who have kids close in age - they choose to get the production 'over and done with', putting up with sleepless nights and making sure that their acute senses work 24/7 all in one time frame. I'm sure all of us agree that taking care of one child is no joke... and it makes superwomen out of regular ones with the onset of two or more.

As one mum has succinctly put it: one steriliser, one steamer / blender, one tandem stroller, two messy mouths to feed at one time, and one shout to warn both. Not to mention that if you have 2 of the same gender, you won't have to purchase any clothes or shoes for #2.

In the case of another mum (who has the luxury of being young enough to space out the production), she was extremely thankful for the help rendered by her 7 year old son when it came to taking care and looking out for his younger sister. She was then able to do the housework or have a necessary breather when her son helps to keep an eye on the baby. She did confess to being tired of having to go through the 'new mum' motions all over again, though - just when she was already able to not worry about feeding, toilet training, and having eyes at the back of her head all the time. She also appreciated not having to deal with the usual jealousy which could be present in 'younger elder children'.

Regardless of the age difference between the kids, I have the utmost respect for mothers of two or more. They work, keep house, deal with a cacophony of repetitious: 'MummyMamaMommmMummyMamaMommm' twenty million times a day, and still find time to see to their Misters, too. I suppose when one becomes a Mother, like a superhero... life is faced headlong - because there is no time to worry or be fearful of failures when there isn't the luxury of time to dwell.

What influenced your decision to have more than one? Looking at it from a parental point of view (apart it being great for the kids as they will then have playmates / siblings closer in age) does it make better sense to have kids consecutively, or for them to have an age gap, at least enough for the older ones to grasp the concept of having a sibling better?

Do share your thoughts!

The first twelve months is the toughest, especially for a new mum. Does it get better with the 2nd child onwards?


Oh, the Sun!! Sand and Sea.

Monday, 29 October 2012

We just enjoyed an extra day of fun over the weekend, thanks to the Hari Raya Haji public holiday which fell on the Friday. BabyMoo enjoyed himself tremendously, and especially had fun on Sunday, when we took him to Sentosa for some fun at the beach.

We had plans to visit the 1st Redbull Flugtag held at Siloso Beach, an event whereby competitors try to 'fly' home-made contraptions which attempt to take off a pier and gets air borne for a distance. These machines rarely, if ever - fly - and most competitors enter simply for the entertainment value.

As it is with young kids, they will always choose to either nap or demand to be fed when we have some place else to be. With BabyMoo complaining that he wants to 'Ma-mam-mam-mam', we had no choice but to feed him first after that morning's church service, and totally missed the 12.00pm fly-off time!

We knew we had to wait another year to catch the event when we met the crowds walking back from the event while we were headed there.

Redbull Flugtag Singapore

This was only the tail end of the reported 35,000 strong crowd at the event.

Redbull Flugtag Singapore

Meanwhile, the merciless sun beat down, baking everything in sight. Add the stinging rays to the unbearable tropical humidity... and I wasn't a really happy camper. Well - I can't say the same for the merry makers and party revellers who thronged the beach bars and walked about in bare essentials.

Meantime, in BabyMoo land, the boy decides that the heat is too much for him and had a siesta.

Redbull Flugtag Singapore

He perspired, Daddy perspired, and both of them were a blob of melted mess during the 1km walk from the car park to the event grounds. Mummy glowed :)

True enough - the event was over when we reached there at 3.00pm, but we took a look around anyway. There were still a lot of beach babes and bums, along with families soaking in the atmosphere. 

Redbull Flugtag Singapore

Redbull Flugtag Singapore

Redbull Flugtag Singapore

BabyMoo woke up half an hour into his nap, most probably because of the heat and the blaring music from all angles. He looked around curiously, and took some time to observe his surroundings, the way he normally does at new places. The heat bothered him, and he wasn't all too happy, but thankfully, he didn't fret.

Redbull Flugtag Singapore

Redbull Flugtag Singapore
Love their tagline!

Redbull Flugtag Singapore
Had to hide this from BabyMoo because I think one sip would be enough to make him do cartwheels!

He then decided he has had enough of the heat, and figured that Daddy's cap will keep away the sun. He used to hate having anything placed on his head, but I suppose now that he's older, functionality wins over comfort!

Redbull Flugtag Singapore

Redbull Flugtag Singapore
When he decided that this could be fun after all - we finally got to see the smile.

He was initially apprehensive about the sand, but wading in the water with the waves crashing against him proved too much of a lure, and he gleefully succumbed. Daddy had to catch hold of him several time to stop him from wandering off into the deeper waters!

Redbull Flugtag Singapore

Redbull Flugtag Singapore

He dropped Daddy's cap into the water - so nobody had any head protection in the end!

It was a lovely (albeit extremely hot) day to be at the beach, and BabyMoo enjoyed himself tremendously. He even learnt a new word, 'Beach'... which I'm not encouraging him to say at all, because the way he says it now - I would have a lot of explaining to do especially if there are ladies within earshot! :)

We then headed on to West Coast Park because BabyMoo wanted to kick scoot after he saw the numerous kids kick scooting at Sentosa, hoping that it wouldn't be too crowded there. Let's just say we were better off staying on at Sentosa instead!

West Coast Park

By the way... if you're heading on down to West Coast Park, it's located along West Coast highway. If you were to search for 'West Coast Park' on the GPS Navigation system, it will direct you to the actual West Coast Park, which is a road flanked by landed properties and not much else.

It was a perfect day to end the long weekend. We had fun... hope you did, too!

Contributing to:
The Js Arena

Wordless Wednesday: Say Cheeeeeeese!!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

BabyMoo has recently discovered that his images get captured by magic via Mummy's camera. He will now pose long enough (3 sec, at the most!) for me, and then try to grab the camera to see his image on the viewer.

He also realised that saying 'Cheese!' will make him look ultra happy on-screen, so he would auto-exclaim 'Cheeeeeese'! when he sees my camera directed at him.

Then he tries to make Dad-dih say "Cheese!" too.

It's good to have a little vain pot to rival dear old Mummeh!

Linking up with:

   My Little Drummer Boys   

Tuesday's Thoughts: Grey is also a colour.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Maybe it's the dreamer in me, or perhaps it's just that I tend to look at things from a different perspective than most people do... but even though I can be an extremist at times, I will always make room for reasoning(s) that have no fixed answers.

Some people are apt to believe that the whole world consists of nothing but black and white - that everything can be solved, and there is a valid explanation for most things that transpire. It's either this or that... for sometimes, when we sit on the fence, we may end up not accomplishing anything substantial. I do see the sense in that, but for me, I will always explore a thought, or a beleaguering problem whilst I'm sitting on that fence, swinging my legs, and mulling things through.

There are times when I feel that we have to compromise. We live in a society where not everyone will see things the way we do, or even be able to accept our personal choices and lifestyle. I will never deem to judge anyone or anything simply based on whether they go against my beliefs or otherwise, because to me, a person will always choose to do what he / she thinks is best - be it for their own personal gains, or in view of their current situation.

I used to think that people who normally take the tried and tested (almost) infallible way are simply too 'grounded' for their own good, that these are the individuals who aren't really able to see the colours in the multi-hued spectrum of life, they are those who may miss out on a whole lot of things that may actually turn their fates the other way round. I used to believe that down to earth people who have fixed ways of thinking and can't be swayed by others thoughts or learn from others' experiences as the ultimate stubborn and boring personality; they are selfish enough to always want things to go their way.

Until I finally reached a stage where I begin to realize that many people who choose to be inflexible and go on the straight and narrow path aren't really showing a lack of imagination - they are simply realists. Perhaps contrary to what we dreamers may think - their choices are governed not by utter selfishness on their part, but mostly by what the consequences of their actions may be. Assuming they have a family to feed, a house mortgage, and some other day to day expense that they have to settle... can they really go with the way their heart feels? Can they actually throw caution to the wind and attempt to see and do things from an entirely different angle; though uncharted territory?

Not when there's simply too much at stake.

At the end of the day, even though for some of us, grey may be a colour... it's often so much easier to view things in monochromatic hues.

We will always evolve and adapt to our lives... what may work for us, may not be the best option for the next man on the street.

For some, the world is drenched in a myriad of colours and hues;
For others, it's simply bathed in the cloak of the rays of the silvery moon.

Image Source: http://www.flickriver.com/

Share your thoughts!

The 'Mothering' Instinct

Monday, 22 October 2012

Last weekend, BabyMoo was invited to a birthday celebration. He was the youngest of the children there, and he was so fortunate to have two big 'sisters' to look after him.

These wonderful girls were not asked to play with him, neither were they asked to look after him. They simply played, and included him in their games. They did not think he was intrusive, and instead took it upon themselves to entertain him, and make sure that he is safe.

Looking at these pictures prompted me to think.

"Do girls really have a natural instinct to 'mother' and care for the young? Is it what is called the 'mothering instinct'?

Ask any man, and chances are they would say that women belong to a peculiar species. They are emotional, unpredictable, and in some cases, highly strung. They expect their men to know what they are thinking, and can fall apart and dissolve into an inconsolable mess when things don't go their way.

They also tend to have this urge to try to nurture and protect those who seem helpless and need care (read: babies), and this feeling can usually start even during pre-pubescent times and escalate as their biological clock tick away. They get married, have kids, and feel that they are then complete.

Ask me again about mothering instincts.

I never had that. Seriously.

Don't get me wrong... I love babies - just not enough to want to have any of my own, or to have to wipe poopy bums or deal with screams, and have them cramp my style. Most of all, I wouldn't dream of getting married to simply balance the equation. I adore babies, enough to hand them back to their parents when they start scrunching up their faces in preparation for a bawl ranging from 90 dB to 140 dB.

Back then, I could not imagine giving birth. The thought of squeezing something the size of a huge pumpkin through the birth canal is enough to give me palpitations, not to mention having to push, breathe, count, push again and whatever that natural birth is associated with. I've never even carried a baby prior to having BabyMoo placed in my arms - and that speaks volumes.

I think most men are apprehensive, at best, but their 'fathering instincts' will naturally involve buying jerseys to herald their love of a particular football team (gender doesn't matter in this instance), and images of finally having a drum playing, football mad and mud-streaked mini-them partner in crime.

So... when I found myself married (unthinkable #1) and then expecting (unthinkable #2), I threw all caution to the wind, and hoped against all hopes that I will be able to provide for this little child, at least enough to not have Social Services called in by well-meaning neighbours and friends.

I have since realised that 'mothering instinct' should not be confused with a 'mother's instincts'.

I cheated on the giving birth bit. Knowing that there is a little being growing inside me did nothing to me in that 'pumpkin coming through!' department, and therefore I opted for a 'go to sleep, have baby, wake up' alternative. And no... BabyMoo's wails from across the nursery were enough to convince me that it wasn't a dream.

There I was, walking out of hospital, wondering how am I going to go through this parenting business. I didn't know what to do, I have no idea what lay in store, and I was petrified. Sure, I had my mother-in-law to help me out, but knowing that this little being was entirely dependent on me was enough to send some crazy images in my head.

"What if he chokes? What if he turns blue? What if he stops breathing and I was asleep? He can't talk... which means I wouldn't know what he wants!"

I spent a good part of the first few weeks watching him sleep because I was afraid he will stop breathing (don't believe people when they tell you to sleep when baby sleeps, most of the time it doesn't work that way). I panicked when he started bawling (he just hated to be swaddled) and I worried. Oh boy... I just realised that I didn't actually know what 'worrying' was till I had the wee babe. And too bad for us mums - the worrying will last forever.

Weirdly, though, I realised that when everyone has exhausted all avenues and options in trying to find out what ails the boy, I will instinctively know what to do. Of course, initially I didn't realise it, but after several hits and misses, I found out that the 'solution' was in my head all along! I didn't trust it, thinking that if the experienced hands didn't know, what did I - as a new mum - know?

I asked myself then: why is it that humans seem to be the only one who need parenting guidance? How is it that all other creatures, big and small, manage to reproduce and raise their young? Yes, there are some who eat their young... and there have been some instances where I have had the urge to do the same. But I digress.

If there is one thing I've learnt, it's that we all need to listen to our hearts more. As mothers, we are naturally equipped with instincts to nurture and raise our young, regardless of whether we had the 'mothering instincts' to begin with, or otherwise. When God has entrusted a little one to us, He has also made sure that we are 'basically' equipped to handle that road wrought with worries. All too often, we become so dependent on our intellectual sides that we forget there is much, much more to this amazing world we live in.

“A mother understands what a child does not say”
~ Jewish proverb

Linking up with:

A Juggling Mom Motiviational Monday

Photo *Heart* Friday: Optical Illusion

Friday, 19 October 2012

So... earlier on, I was on FB Messenger having a threesome with my favourite ladies, DinoMama and Adeline... which has become a pretty daily affair.


Nice or not?

<attach below pic>

whats dat?
pic is nice
but looks eerie!!


yes it does
talking about my camera skills la
using a digicam

urs ah!! nice!!
thought some pro take one


Yah... some pro did :)




got visually cheated...

Well... we can't all have great photography skills, ya know?

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