12 Sep 17

Seth’s 0-3 months on Earth

Hi friends! I don’t know if anyone’s up for more baby photos on the Internet, *rolls eyes*. Seth is almost five and a half months old now, I can’t believe it. There’s so much emotion behind parenthood that it overwhelms me every time someone asks me how’s things so let’s see if I can get it out of me by the end of the post. Photos, photos I can do right now! He is such a joy to take photos of these days since he responds to his name and will laugh if you say words starting with B like – burp, beep, bubble. But I have some favourites from his very small days that I’d like to share too.

Newborn days
newborn days
He’s just 3 days old here, getting some sun

newborn days

newborn days
We are on the couch a lot in those days

1-2 months old
1-2 months old
I LOVE this one but didn’t share it anywhere then because boobs. But I’m at a point now where I’m over it.

1-2 months old
Mittens!!! Which reminds me, I didn’t know babies’s nails grow at lightning speed. Even now, I have to trim his daily. If not, come morning, his face would look like Wolverine paid him a visit last night.

1-2 months old1-2 months old
Caring for him got a whole lot better once his neck got stronger. Now I’m looking forward to the day he can sit up!

2-3 months old
2-3 months old
This Baby Bjorn bouncer is everything. We bring it along with us if we pop by people’s houses. Still do! We’re at my ahgong’s house here, hanging out. Us marvelling at him, him fixated on the curtains. [Mama talk: I’d just also add that we bounce him on the bouncer to get him to sleep since he was four months-ish. So after he dozes off, we’ll carry him out and put him in his crib. I think we decided to because he’s not light and rocking/swaying/carrying him became very tiresome.]

2-3 months old
A lot of stress melted away once he started to enjoy tummy time, like, you won’t believe it.

2-3 months old2-3 months old
Ben was the happiest person alive when Seth started to smile back at him. He felt like finally there was some recognition.

The first few weeks were very very hard for us. I polished my reply after many reiterations and it goes something like this… “It’s crazy. You had this life of yours, a lot of it you’re good at, maybe your job, cooking your meals, working out. Then there’s some of it that you suck at, but all in all, you’re doing okay at taking care of yourself. You felt your 20s was a roller coaster ride and turning 30 felt a whole lot calmer, you’re more focused. You know what you want. You’re 80% happy most of the time. 20% emo. It took me 32 years to reach this point, awesome! Then boom, a baby falls into your arms and both you and your baby are 0 years old. You both are equally confused, clueless and need sleep. A lot of concepts are foreign to you. There’s so much learning to do. Inadequacy creeps in. There are no concrete answers. Friends can hold your hand, but you have to make the decisions yourself. You have to acquire new instincts, and not take your own sweet time. You make SO many so many mistakes. You learn quickly not to harp on anything anymore. You don’t know what anything means anymore too after trying this, that, this and that. Then you accept certain things/qualities/weaknesses about yourself, your partner and your baby”. By then, anyone would have regretted asking me how’s things, haha.

I felt like I could breathe a lot better after the third month. There are more good days than bad days now which is nice. It used to be the other way around. Not entirely because of the baby, bad days could also be caused by my moods, my inadequacy to handle something. We get to go out so much more now, so the sense of “having a life” is coming back. Which is nice. Nice is a good thing. I’m gonna end on this note. Hopefully, do another recap after he turns six months. xx

 

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26 Apr 17

1 month on

It’s been a crazy 28 days of living with a baby! I’m telling everyone who asks, that this truly is one of the hardest things I’ve done. The first week was so hard that I couldn’t even remember what labour pains were anymore, what are they? They are a type of pain that comes to an end. First-time-parent pain… that one lasts forever till baby #2 comes along. Anyway, I am taking it all with a sense of humour, as best I can. So in that spirit, I wanted to share this very real photo of how I had my breakfast this morning.

Day 28

The backstory: Ben & I thought we successfully put Seth down to nap so he prepped his cereal while I overdid things by wanting to celebrate ‘one month of baby’ with avocado toast. While my slices of sourdough were in the toaster, the little guy starts making sounds on the baby monitor. The both of us watched him closely, praying so hard he’ll soothe himself back to sleep. My toasts had 2.5 minutes to go, come on! He did not soothe himself back to sleep. In fact, he wanted to nurse. Why! No! Breakfast is almost ready! But then I realized, hey, I have one free hand. To eat with! So I ate and dropped crumbs on his body while he nursed.

Now I fully understand why some mamas out there told me to prepare snacks that can be eaten with one hand. And it kinda helped peel off the first layer of preciousness with this little baby. A friend recently reminded me that babies are robust, which was something I needed to hear.

And, promise it’s the last and –– see that piece of plain toast, that’s where the avocado was supposed to go. I ate plain toast guys. Life is so different now. I used to fuss over how to slice avocados real thinly! That was a luxury. This is a great tutorial on slicing pretty avocados, btw.

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22 Jan 17

On being pregnant – #mytruth

21 weeks pregnant in Ubud
Me, 21 weeks pregnant, on our babymoon in Ubud, Bali

That photo was back taken in November, when my belly was still looking decent for a photo. I’m 29 weeks now and boy has it changed. I wouldn’t want to have a photo taken of it, from the front. Let’s just say, I didn’t know my belly button could look this weird.

I’ve been thinking about writing this post – about my struggles with this pregnancy – for some time now. And certain factors put me off because a) everyone’s pregnancy is different b) when it’s different that’s when people disagree c) I’ve seen a lot of disagreements on my pregnancy app’s forum and it gets ugly. On the flip side, I’ve read some really intimate blog posts by women I don’t know, where they shared truths that I felt, must have been hard to admit. And I wanted to add my voice to that.

I do want to point out that this isn’t about struggles with conceiving, or having any health issues. I’m thankful for having a smooth-sailing journey so far in that context. On some scale, what I’m gonna share seems so trivial then. I’ve tried to brush it off as trivial too. Yet, I can’t seem to brush it off no matter the number of weeks that has passed. And upon entering my third trimester, the feelings are stronger than ever. I talked a bit about how my body has changed at the start of this post and that has been eating away at me. I don’t know why I’m having such a hard time with this, to be really honest. But I am and I can’t seem to escape it. I cringe at every photo I see of myself, when my husband wants a photo for posterity, I scream NO!. I even want to ban photo-taking this Chinese New Year if possible. This is coming from someone who never cared about how silly/fat-face/bad angle I looked in photos in the past.

It’s like my perception of myself has changed, for the worse. I don’t know. My husband is very nice to remind me my body has only grown in places that should be growing. I’m gaining weight at a healthy pace. I workout thrice a week. But the person I see in the mirror, she makes me feel sad.

There are days I find it in me to say fuck it, I don’t care. I don’t care about this rash that’s mapped out its colonies on my belly. But if you prodded a bit more, I’d start tearing. I’d tell you I hate everything about being pregnant.

Maybe I didn’t mentally prep myself enough? Maybe I thought being pregnant meant being yourself with a big belly. I say that I miss my old self from time to time. So maybe all these feelings stem from that… I’m not my old self anymore but I’m still looking for her.

It’s been hard, I’ve cried many many times. I’ve talked to friends about it. I’ve cried to my husband about it. But I know that this is mine to deal with. Or mine to live out. A few more months to go! Thus far, I’ve only come across one lady sharing that she didn’t enjoy pregnancy one bit without padding it with a “but it was all worth it in the end”. I appreciated her honesty so much. It’s too early to say as I haven’t held my baby in my arms, however, if that feeling overcomes me, it would be really nice. As of now, I’m struggling every day, I hate it and I can’t wait for it to be over.

Just in case anyone confuses this with me not loving my baby, I don’t view my pregnancy in relation to the baby. The pregnancy is mine. The baby is the baby. Yknow what I’m saying?

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27 Jul 16

Tokyo/Kyoto [Part 1]

In April, Ben & I headed to Tokyo & Kyoto. Tokyo was hard to grasp as a city for first-timers so I approached our days with the intention of returning to the city in the future. There is just too much popular food to eat and too many coffee shops to try! I find it hard to photograph in cities too, for some reason, so even though we were there during sakura season (which is gloooorious!), I took like 3 photos in Tokyo.

Ueno park
Tokyo

Meiji shrine
Tokyo

Tokyo

Kyoto

Kyoto is so beautiful, I was wholly surprised at all the nature it had to offer. The old charm of the city automatically made me move at a slower pace. At the end of our stay, I wanted to just live out the rest of my life there.

Philosopher’s path
KyotoKyoto

Kyoto

Kyoto

Tenryu-Ji
Kyoto

KyotoKyoto

Arashiyama bamboo groves
Kyoto

Kyoto

Ryoan-Ji, where this famous zen garden is
KyotoKyoto

Kyoto

I plan to write another post with my recommendations!

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27 Jun 16

Ways I updated my bedroom

Hey guys! I’m collaborating with Ikea Singapore for a couple of months and this time, the focus is on the bedroom. I wanted to talk a bit about how almost after two years of living in this house, I’ve found ways to improve my sleep and sleeping patterns. I initially wanted to say ‘quality of sleep’ but really I don’t know how to measure that so let’s just call ‘sleep’ sleep. It’s gonna be a lengthy post but I promise some useful tips throughout.

I’m starting out by talking about quilts
Right after moving in, we treated ourselves to a fluffy new quilt from Ikea. (Long-time users of Ikea bedsheets, quilts and pillows!) We decided on a ‘warmer’ quilt thinking our AC is new and be blasting with full force, a warm one would keep us nice and snuggly. It kept my husband nice and snuggly while leaving me… sweaty. Maybe I suffer from night sweats, maybe not but I stuck with this warmer quilt for over a year. We all know it’s not the cheapest thing to replace, even harder to do it when it’s so new. We used our oldoldold Ikea quilt throughout the years we stayed in rentals – that’s about five years – and we only replaced it because moving into our first home was a pretty monumental step for us. But ah, I couldn’t continue using it any longer. A few months back, I got us a ‘cooler’ quilt and we quickly realized, it was perfect. Well, almost-perfect for me. I’ll elaborate below.

When Ikea reached out, I knew I wanted to use this opportunity to try out bedspreads. This, my friends, is what my body’s been asking for!

bedroom
SOMMAR 2016 bedspread

I’m always touching the bedspreads on display at Ikea stores but I thought of it as a frivolous thing stylists used in interior magazines. Now I know, it works beautifully for our climate. I sleep a lot happier now. The ‘cooler’ quilt still stays because >> husband << and we’re not modern enough to try two separate quilts, something I saw on Cup of Jo recently.

Next, pillows
Don’t hesitate to change them once they turn soft, or that gross yellowish colour. My husband’s ‘body-pillow’ had an annoying habit of shedding A LOT of feathers, which made changing sheets a nightmare, there would be tiny feathers flying all over. So we replaced that stat.

bedroom
RÖLLEKA pillows for our head & AXAG pillow for hugging

Mood & feels
Candles does wonders, it’s not news but I neglect mine when I get too busy. So this is a gentle nudge to go light some today.

bedroombedroom
BORRBY lantern & FENOMEN unscented block candle

bedroom

I’ve become sensitive to scented candles so I usually light those for a short while and blow them out. But on days I still want a subtle lingering fragrance, I use my MAD et LEN black lava potpourri.

Two other things I want to share a bit about are: meditation and using a sleep tracker

I’ve been practicing on and off and recently really stuck with it daily for over a month now. Meditation means different things to different people, for me, I discipline myself to do it mostly for the action of non-doing. Most days for twenty minutes, on busy days I squeeze out five minutes. To be still and have awareness, for a while every day, I think helps you learn to be still and be present bit by bit, in the face of anything. I love this app for it, there is a vast variety of guided meditations/timed meditations and the best part, a community. If you’re thinking sitting still is not your thing, there are meditations for lying still as well. Perfect for before bedtime… I’ve drifted off into sleep many times.

bedroom

bedroom07

The sleep tracker is something I’ve only very recently got into. I use an UP2 tracker by Jawbone. Before this, I’d count the number of hours I slept simply by when I go to bed – like go into the bedroom and lie on the bed – and when I wake. So I’ve been sleeping a lot less than I thought. For sure the tracker gives me more accurate readings, but what truly helps me the most, is wanting to go to bed earlier, so my readings are smiling back at me tomorrow. Doing it for yourself, even if it seems competitive to want to hit your goal, or beat your goal. It’s all for you in the end.

Here’s a quick recap:
– Replace anything that is old, not working out for you anymore. I try not to think of it as wasteful, more like finally figuring out what works.

– Candles help lift your mood & spirit, without fail, I don’t know why. I like to use the action of lighting a candle before meditating as a signal to begin quiet time.

– Trackers push you to do better for your health by sleeping earlier and taking more steps, embrace the technology!

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