15 Jul 18
We spent five days in Penang, Malaysia, last week. Our second vacation with Seth. He enjoyed every minute of it – new hotel room to explore, riding in the car with no car seat (hooray for him! boohoo for me!), swam every day, went to the beach every day, ate tasty salty food all day, had the holy trio of TV/iPad/iPhone – living his best life, really.
Even though we didn’t get to see any of the Instagram-famous street art in Georgetown, or join the long queues at roadside hawker stalls, this trip was a good one in my books. So much so we want to head back again soon! To eat more durian, to try their version of Hokkien Mee and meet more Penangites, they could not be more low-key but friendly, warm people.
12 Sep 17
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.
He’s just 3 days old here, getting some sun
We are on the couch a lot in those days
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.
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.
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
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.]
A lot of stress melted away once he started to enjoy tummy time, like, you won’t believe it.
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
26 Apr 17
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.
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.
22 Jan 17
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?
27 Jul 16
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.
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.
Arashiyama bamboo groves
Ryoan-Ji, where this famous zen garden is
I plan to write another post with my recommendations!