Some Important Milestones

/ 11:29 PM
My last entry was actually June 2018 when I quit my job to be a SAHM. I had imagined that I would have some own time to discover new interests/passion, as well as getting in touch with old hobbies, continue with blogging old travel entries or drama/movie review and adding new posts about kids, parenting, motherhood etc.... but haha... it didn't go as planned and I will fill in the gaps below...

July 2018

Just a month after I quit my job to be a SAHM, my relatively new laptop of 1 year broke down pffffff.... I actually had a super laptop since 2010 that's seemingly workable but just super super extremely slow that I almost can't do anything much except check/reply email, occasional online shopping. I cannot edit photos nor watch drama with it. I have an iPad mini but..... I don't want to type on iPad please....

Back to the 'relatively new laptop' and fast forward to Feb 2019, I finally sent this laptop for repair. As it was out of warranty, I had to pay a significant amount to get it fixed! Phew! BUT NOW I HAVE A LAPTOP TO dedicate my time to making sure this blog finally gets updated lol

Sept 2018

OUR FIRST FAMILY TRIP TO SEOUL!!!!! THIS WAS ACTUALLY MY FIRST TIME TRAVELING WITH KIDS! And I finally get to travel again since my last trip, which was my Europe Honeymoon. You are probably still seeing empty drafts in Travels.... But here are some sneak pics...

We get to sit together in the plane, despite only confirming our flight less than a mth before take up
Hanging out in streets of Myeongdong
Resting on the stairs after taking cable car to Namsan
With the famous locks


Wearing family hanbok in Gyeongbokgung!


Rare sightings of sakura (probably fake) @ Bukchon during summer.


It was early Sept but Lotte World's theme was Halloween already!
Out daily commute was the subways :) 


Once I had returned from Seoul, I had arranged a family photoshoot with Natsuki Photography at Chinese garden. It's my second time engaging her services. The first time was Maternity Shoot @ Japanese Garden. These 2 gardens are essentially just next to each other

Here are a few of my favourite shots!











Ever since we had very good training of walking in streets of Seoul for the entire day and me babyearing MJ for long hours, we were pretty hardworking in bringing the kids visiting free parks in SG such as Botanic Gardens, Henderson Wave/Forest Walk, MacRitchie!

Oct 2018 

It was the birthday month of the 2 important men in my life! Haha! Mr Z is a Halloween baby while Haohao was born in the middle of Oct. It was a Halloween Party!






I did not mention this but we would be moving to Woodlands and stay on our own at the end of the year. So Haohao will be finish his school term with his current school and start at a new school come Jan. Hence, we decided to do a birthday party for him to celebrate with his classmates...
Haha don't ask me why the 'y' was missing from Daddy cos I had no idea why this rookie baker didn't manage to allocate enough space for the whole line. 




It was after visiting Seoul that we became more adventurous in bringing the kids out on our own... Will share more about it again next time :)
My last entry was actually June 2018 when I quit my job to be a SAHM. I had imagined that I would have some own time to discover new interests/passion, as well as getting in touch with old hobbies, continue with blogging old travel entries or drama/movie review and adding new posts about kids, parenting, motherhood etc.... but haha... it didn't go as planned and I will fill in the gaps below...

July 2018

Just a month after I quit my job to be a SAHM, my relatively new laptop of 1 year broke down pffffff.... I actually had a super laptop since 2010 that's seemingly workable but just super super extremely slow that I almost can't do anything much except check/reply email, occasional online shopping. I cannot edit photos nor watch drama with it. I have an iPad mini but..... I don't want to type on iPad please....

Back to the 'relatively new laptop' and fast forward to Feb 2019, I finally sent this laptop for repair. As it was out of warranty, I had to pay a significant amount to get it fixed! Phew! BUT NOW I HAVE A LAPTOP TO dedicate my time to making sure this blog finally gets updated lol

Sept 2018

OUR FIRST FAMILY TRIP TO SEOUL!!!!! THIS WAS ACTUALLY MY FIRST TIME TRAVELING WITH KIDS! And I finally get to travel again since my last trip, which was my Europe Honeymoon. You are probably still seeing empty drafts in Travels.... But here are some sneak pics...

We get to sit together in the plane, despite only confirming our flight less than a mth before take up
Hanging out in streets of Myeongdong
Resting on the stairs after taking cable car to Namsan
With the famous locks


Wearing family hanbok in Gyeongbokgung!


Rare sightings of sakura (probably fake) @ Bukchon during summer.


It was early Sept but Lotte World's theme was Halloween already!
Out daily commute was the subways :) 


Once I had returned from Seoul, I had arranged a family photoshoot with Natsuki Photography at Chinese garden. It's my second time engaging her services. The first time was Maternity Shoot @ Japanese Garden. These 2 gardens are essentially just next to each other

Here are a few of my favourite shots!











Ever since we had very good training of walking in streets of Seoul for the entire day and me babyearing MJ for long hours, we were pretty hardworking in bringing the kids visiting free parks in SG such as Botanic Gardens, Henderson Wave/Forest Walk, MacRitchie!

Oct 2018 

It was the birthday month of the 2 important men in my life! Haha! Mr Z is a Halloween baby while Haohao was born in the middle of Oct. It was a Halloween Party!






I did not mention this but we would be moving to Woodlands and stay on our own at the end of the year. So Haohao will be finish his school term with his current school and start at a new school come Jan. Hence, we decided to do a birthday party for him to celebrate with his classmates...
Haha don't ask me why the 'y' was missing from Daddy cos I had no idea why this rookie baker didn't manage to allocate enough space for the whole line. 




It was after visiting Seoul that we became more adventurous in bringing the kids out on our own... Will share more about it again next time :)
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Here's a shoutout to everyone, old and new to this site.

It's only recently that I'm back to organise this old blog that was forsaken for several years because I was struggling with 2 kids while being a working mom for the past few years.

I had the opportunity of being a SAHM (Stay at home mom) recently because my mom had been away traveling. I found a nice skin/theme that I really like that motivated to re-organise some of the blog entries I had over the past decade.

It's definitely not anything easier being SAHM but it does allow me to have window frames of tiny freedom with my 'own time' at home when the kids nap. It is usually just 2-3 hours per day - which nowadays are spent organising this site.

It's always a dilemma if I should nap together as well because I don't get straight rest/sleep at night -  have not been able to sleep without uninteruptions for 3-4 hours for the past 4 years every single night. I honestly have no idea how other moms do it...

Happy children, happy me :)

Meanwhile, I'm more active on Instagram. Do follow me if you like seeing the pictures of my kids haha! Otherwise you may look around the navigation bar for some "old but gold & worth checking out" links/entries.

Being a SAHM recently

by on 3:55 PM
Here's a shoutout to everyone, old and new to this site. It's only recently that I'm back to organise this old blog that was f...
I am a regular reader of Mark Mason and he recently shared an incredible piece of article that I had to share some part of the highlights/summary that he brought up. All credits goes to him and the readers that he compiles the quotes from.

It's really a long read but once you know that it applies to you, you'd just keep reading parts that resonates with you.

But marriage & commitment & responsibilities are for the long term and in order for a long-term relationship to work, you gotta take it from people who has walked the marriage path much longer and just follow or at least emulate what works for them.

Ultimately, we're all fundamentally the same when it comes to achieving & maintain peace & happiness.

Here goes:

1. BE TOGETHER FOR THE RIGHT REASONS

It's pretty self-explanatory. Everything that makes a relationship “work” (and by work, I mean that it is happy and sustainable for both people involved) requires a genuine, deep-level admiration for each other. Without that mutual admiration, everything else will unravel.

From another perspective, it means: Don't be with someone for the wrong reasons and end up with a toxic relationship. You are the only person who will know what are you in for, only you yourself can decide if you'd like to make things work or simply walk out. 

2. HAVE REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS AND ROMANCE

There are a bunch of repetitive terms being mentioned and I'll like to sum up with: Love/Romance (yes the giddiness, the emotional highs, the passionate fireworks) are not realistic and they're absolutely not practical for a long-term commitment. The fact of how a REAL relationship work is, there are going to be a lot differences between the both of you and that's totally normal. And you guys are going to get into a lot undesirable situations due to those exact differences. 

You're not always going to get lovingly crazy about your partner all the time, that doesn't happen in real life at all. The sooner you understand what comprise of 'real life partnership', the better you will manage all the undesirable parts that comes with it. 

3. THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN A RELATIONSHIP IS NOT COMMUNICATION, BUT RESPECT

People who are together 10-15 years talk about communication as the key but people who are together for 20, 30 even 40 years talk about respect - something that if you lost respect for your partner, you're not going to get it back. (Which I most definitely agree, kind of applies to family members as well but that's for another story)

Communication, at some point, will breakdown. Conflicts are ultimately unavoidable, and feelings will always be hurt. And the only thing that can save you and your partner, that can cushion you both, is an unerring respect for one another, the fact that you hold each other in high esteem, believe in one another — often more than you each believe in yourselves — and trust that your partner is doing his/her best with what they’ve got.

You must also respect yourself. Just as your partner must also respect his/herself. Because without that self-respect, you will not feel worthy of the respect afforded by your partner. You will be unwilling to accept it and you will find ways to undermine it. You will constantly feel the need to compensate and prove yourself worthy of love, which will just backfire.

Respect for your partner and respect for yourself are intertwined. Respect yourself and your wife. Never talk badly to or about her. If you don’t respect your wife, you don’t respect yourself. You chose her – live up to that choice.

So what does respect look like?

Common examples given by many of Mark's readers:
  • NEVER talk shit about your partner or complain about them to your friends. If you have a problem with your partner, you should be having that conversation with them, not with your friends. Talking bad about them will erode your respect for them and make you feel worse about being with them, not better.
  • Respect that they have different hobbies, interests and perspectives from you. Just because you would spend your time and energy differently, doesn’t mean it’s better/worse.
  • Respect that they have an equal say in the relationship, that you are a team, and if one person on the team is not happy, then the team is not succeeding.
  • No secrets. If you’re really in this together and you respect one another, everything should be fair game. Have a crush on someone else? Discuss it. Laugh about it. Had a weird sexual fantasy that sounds ridiculous? Be open about it. Nothing should be off-limits.
Respect goes hand-in-hand with trust. And trust is the lifeblood of any relationship (romantic or otherwise). Without trust, there can be no sense of intimacy or comfort. Without trust, your partner will become a liability in your mind, something to be avoided and analyzed, not a protective homebase for your heart and your mind.

4. TALK OPENLY ABOUT EVERYTHING, ESPECIALLY THE STUFF THAT HURTS

Talk it out. That's the only way go get over what's bothering you about your partner.

If something bothers you in the relationship, you must be willing to say it. Saying it builds trust and trust builds intimacy. It may hurt, but you still need to do it. No one else can fix your relationship for you. Nor should anyone else. Just as causing pain to your muscles allows them to grow back stronger.

The deeper the commitment, the more intertwined your lives become, and the more you will have to trust your partner to act in your interest in your absence.

5. A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP MEANS TWO HEALTHY INDIVIDUALS
“Understand that it is up to you to make yourself happy, it is NOT the job of your spouse. I am not saying you shouldn’t do nice things for each other, or that your partner can’t make you happy sometimes. I am just saying don’t lay expectations on your partner to “make you happy.” It is not their responsibility. Figure out as individuals what makes you happy as an individual, be happy yourself, then you each bring that to the relationship.”
6. GIVE EACH OTHER SPACE
“Be sure you have a life of your own, otherwise it is harder to have a life together. What do I mean? Have your own interests, your own friends, your own support network, and your own hobbies. Overlap where you can, but not being identical should give you something to talk about and expose one another to. It helps to expand your horizons as a couple, but isn’t so boring as both living the exact same life.”
7. YOU AND YOUR PARTNER WILL GROW AND CHANGE IN UNEXPECTED WAYS; EMBRACE IT
“Over the course of 20 years we both have changed tremendously. We have changed faiths, political parties, numerous hair colors and styles, but we love each other and possibly even more. Our grown kids constantly tell their friends what hopeless romantics we are. And the biggest thing that keeps us strong is not giving a fuck about what anyone else says about our relationship.”
One day many years from now, you will wake up and your spouse will be a different person, make sure you fall in love with that person too.

8. GET GOOD AT FIGHTING
“The relationship is a living, breathing thing. Much like the body and muscles, it cannot get stronger without stress and challenge. You have to fight. You have to hash things out. Obstacles make the marriage.”
9. GET GOOD AT FORGIVING
“When you end up being right about something – shut up. You can be right and be quiet at the same time. Your partner will already know you’re right and will feel loved knowing that you didn’t wield it like a bastard sword.”
“Everyone says that compromise is key, but that’s not how my husband and I see it. It’s more about seeking understanding. Compromise is bullshit, because it leaves both sides unsatisfied, losing little pieces of themselves in an effort to get along. On the other hand, refusing to compromise is just as much of a disaster, because you turn your partner into a competitor (“I win, you lose”). These are the wrong goals, because they’re outcome-based rather than process-based. When your goal is to find out where your partner is coming from – to truly understand on a deep level – you can’t help but be altered by the process. Conflict becomes much easier to navigate because you see more of the context.”
“Been happily married 40+ years. One piece of advice that comes to mind: choose your battles. Some things matter, worth getting upset about. Most do not. Argue over the little things and you’ll find yourself arguing endlessly; little things pop up all day long, it takes a toll over time. Like Chinese water torture: minor in the short term, corrosive over time. Consider: is this a little thing or a big thing? Is it worth the cost of arguing?”
10. THE LITTLE THINGS ADD UP TO BIG THINGS
“If you don’t take the time to meet for lunch, go for a walk or go out to dinner and a movie with some regularity then you basically end up with a roommate. Staying connected through life’s ups and downs is critical. Eventually your kids grow up, your obnoxious brother-in-law will join a monastery and your parents will die. When that happens, guess who’s left? You got it… Mr./Mrs. Right! You don’t want to wake up 20 years later and be staring at a stranger because life broke the bonds you formed before the shitstorm started. You and your partner need to be the eye of the hurricane.”
Summary: Put kids before marriage and make time for each other as often as you can.

11. SEX MATTERS… A LOT.

Sex not only keeps the relationship healthy, many of Mark's readers suggested that they use it to heal their relationships. That when things are a bit frigid between them or that they have some problems going on, a lot of stress, or other issues (i.e., kids), they even go so far as to schedule sexy time for themselves. They say it’s important. And it’s worth it.

A few people even said that when things start to feel stale in the relationship, they agree to have sex every day for a week. Then, as if by magic, by the next week, they feel great again.

12. BE PRACTICAL, AND CREATE RELATIONSHIP RULES
“There is no 50/50 in housecleaning, child rearing, vacation planning, dishwasher emptying, gift buying, dinner making, money making, etc. The sooner everyone accepts that, the happier everyone is. We all have things we like to do and hate to do; we all have things we are good at and not so good at. TALK to your partner about those things when it comes to dividing and conquering all the crap that has to get done in life.”
What people have in their minds about 'dividing the household/domestic work' will be different from the ACTUAL thing. What does the actual thing look like? 

Messy. Stressful. Miscommunication flying everywhere so that both of you feel as though you’re in a perpetual state of talking to a wall.

The fact is relationships are imperfect, messy affairs. And it’s for the simple reason that they’re comprised of imperfect, messy people — people who want different things at different times in different ways and oh, they forgot to tell you? Well, maybe if you had been listening, asshole.

Again, remember to talk it out who's doing what. Go ahead and have "annual reviews" or something and improve/change what you both don't like about the household or relationship. 

13. LEARN TO RIDE THE WAVES
“I have been married for 44 years (4 children, 6 grandchildren). I think the most important thing that I have learned in those years is that the love you feel for each other is constantly changing. Sometimes you feel a deep love and satisfaction, other times you want nothing to do with your spouse; sometimes you laugh together, sometimes you’re screaming at each other. It’s like a roller-coaster ride, ups and downs all the time, but as you stay together long enough the downs become less severe and the ups are more loving and contented. So even if you feel like you could never love your partner any more, that can change, if you give it a chance. I think people give up too soon. You need to be the kind of person that you want your spouse to be. When you do that it makes a world of difference.”
Relationships exist as waves, people need to learn how to ride them. Like the ocean, there are constant waves of emotion going on within a relationship, ups and downs — some waves last for hours, some last for months or even years. The key is understanding that few of those waves have anything to do with the quality of the relationship — people lose jobs, family members die, couples relocate, switch careers, make a lot of money, lose a lot of money. Your job as a committed partner is to simply ride the waves with the person you love, regardless of where they go. Because ultimately, none of these waves last. And you simply end up with each other.

And here's a quote to summarize everything above: 
“You can work through anything as long as you are not destroying yourself or each other. 
That means emotionally, physically, financially or spiritually. 
Make nothing off limits to discuss. 
Never shame or mock each other for the things you do that make you happy. 
Write down why you fell in love and read it every year on your anniversary (or more often). 
Write love letters to each other often. Make each other first. 
When kids arrive, it will be easy to fall into a frenzy of making them the only focus of your life…do not forget the love that produced them. 
You must keep that love alive and strong to feed them love. Spouse comes first. 
Each of you will continue to grow. Bring the other one with you. 
Be the one that welcomes that growth. 
Don’t think that the other one will hold the relationship together. Both of you should assume it’s up to you so that you are both working on it. 
Be passionate about cleaning house, preparing meals and taking care of your home. This is required of everyone daily, make it fun and happy and do it together. 
Do not complain about your partner to anyone. Love them for who they are. Make love even when you are not in the mood. 
Trust each other. Give each other the benefit of the doubt always. Be transparent. Have nothing to hide. Be proud of each other. 
Have a life outside of each other, but share it through conversation. Pamper and adore each other. 
Go to counselling now before you need it so that you are both open to working on the relationship together. 
Disagree with respect to each other’s feelings. Be open to change and accepting of differences. 
Print this and refer to it daily.”
Found this on my Facebook feed shared with a friend. 

Thought it was worthwhile to share. 

It's an image but I will just type out.

你选择了漂亮的女人,你就要接受她的消费。

你选择了赚钱的女人,你得接受她的不顾家。

你选择了顾家的女人,你得接受她的不赚钱。

你选择了理性的女人,你得接受她的算计。

你选择了听话的女人,你得家受她的自卑。

你选择了勇敢的女人,你得接受她的固执。

你选择了能干的女人,你就得接受她的霸道和不讲理。

As an audience, I would think this piece is quite true. 

But if I'm the woman in question, I would think it doesn't apply haha. 

I am inferior but I'm not obedient. 

I am stubborn but I don't have courage. 

I am sometimes unreasonable but I'm not capable. 

Haha! Worth a thought. 
On 12 Oct 2014, after being pregnant for 38 weeks, I gave birth through cesarean to a healthy son who weighs 3.56kg

I then became the mom of Leong Min Hao - named after Lee Min Ho lol (I wanted to name him Leong Min Ho but didn't wanna make it too obvious lol)

We affectionately call him Haohao :)

As you can see from my Instagram widget on my blog, it has been flooded with pics of Haohao. Go check out my documentation of his growth if you haven't :P

The whole journey of becoming a mom was surreal.

When I was pregnant, I thought being pregnant was difficult because it was tiring.

After going through surgery, I thought the surgery was difficult because it was so painful.

After recuperating, I thought the healing process of difficult because I couldn't move quickly like before.

After confinement, I really think taking care of a baby is the most ultimate difficult task I ever encountered in my entire 31 years of life,

After 6 weeks (technically it's just 2 weeks as my child was being taken care of by the confinement nanny), I was struggling with this biggest challenge in my life ever and day after day I keep wondering why did I ever want a kid?

I must have been crazy when I thought having a kid would be 'sweet, cute & fun'. Why did I ever think that a person like me could become a mom?

There are so many things to learn, so many things to know, so many things to do... It is really overwhelming.

There were a lot of misconception of what I thought parenting/post-natal was about.

I thought I naturally had breast milk because every women have it right? Wrong. Apparently, not every woman is able to have fountain of breast milk available as & when.

I naively thought that I was able to supply my baby with my breast milk only to realise I have none or extremely little. For the first week, he has to drink formula milk until my very limited supply came in.

It was (and still is) a tiring process and and even more tiring journey to walk on but I hope it will get better because I already had a hard time taking care of myself, what makes me think I can take care of a little fragile new life?

I have to say that the confinement at my in-law's place wasn't an easy one and having a kid at home put extra tension between 婆媳关系.

Let's just sum it up as we weren't able to see eye to eye with each other and don't agree the way each other is doing things - this actually puts my husband in a difficult position but what to do?

My only consolation during the awful confinement was looking forward to my family visiting me every Sundays and bringing me a lot tonic and useful necessities for health/surgery recuperation.

During the unpleasantness, I often tear up thinking about stuff. A LOT OF stuff.

In order to put a stop to the miscommunication & misunderstanding, I ended up bringing Haohao back to my (own) parent's place so that my mom and/or my sisters would be able to keep an eye on him as I eat/bath/pee/poo.

And so I shifted from Woodlands back to Jurong.

-

Just to share some maternity shots that I had taken with Blocmemoire in Sept @ Raffles Marina.







I only selected a few to post. For more pics, you may check out here.

-

Haohao turned One Month old on Nov 12. He received many love from Zach's relatives & friends and my side of relatives & friends too.

However I was too overwhelmed and hardly took any pics.

我很高兴也很感动各位亲朋戚友对皓皓的厚爱。

非常感谢你们的厚礼。

再感谢你们抽出时间来看看他,甚至抱抱他。

没有机会跟每个人打招呼的和有什么招待不周的,请你们多多原谅。

最后,我这个新手妈妈也希望这个小瓜健健康康,

快高长大比他爸爸妈妈还大块,哈哈!

"Mom" Is A Difficult Role

by on 6:05 PM
On 12 Oct 2014, after being pregnant for 38 weeks, I gave birth through cesarean to a healthy son who weighs 3.56kg I then became the mom ...
A hilarious but true article I saw on my Facebook feed, written by Julie Lay.

Morning sickness, insomnia, an ever-growing belly, and the long, agonizing wait of labor … it's all worth it! Enjoy these 29 things only someone who's endured the nine-month journey of pregnancy would understand.

1. What it feels like to be completely terrified and excited at the same time.

2. Morning sickness that lasts. All. Damn. Day.

3. That pantyliner aren’t just for periods.

4. That sometimes you get diaper rash even when you don’t wear diapers.

5. Mucus plugs. ‘Nuff said.

6. What Dolly Parton must feel like.

7. Cankles that engulf your entire leg.

8. How to waddle like a penguin.

9. The awesomeness that is the ability to grow a freakin’ human being.

10. Willing the worst pain of your life to come. SOON.

11. How you can be hot when there is ice dripping from the air conditioner.

12. What it is like to have to pee every 15 minutes. All. Night. Long.

13. Crying because the fast food worker got your order wrong.

14. The urge to punch complete strangers in the neck when they comment on how big you are.

15. The need to organize. ALL THE THINGS.

16. The first time you feel the life growing inside of you move.

17. How to trim the hedges when you can no longer see them…

18. How Jabba the Hutt really feels.

19. The importance of fiber.

20. When a baby does a flip off your cervix and lands on your bladder.

21. That you plan every trip out of the house around access to clean restrooms.

22. What it feels like to be punched in the stomach from the inside.

23. Getting excited when you get diarrhea because it means the baby might be coming soon.

24. What it’s like to pee a little when you cough. Or sneeze. Or breathe.

25. The reason ASPCA commercials make you cry.

26. What that dude in the movie Alien felt like.

27. Sleeping in a fortress of pillows.

28. Why you put dirty dishes in the cupboard and mayonnaise in the dishwasher.

29. Loving someone deeply before you even meet them.