24.

September is my favourite month, because it’s my anniversary month (by choice) and my birthday month (by default)! I can’t believe I’m 24 now – part of me still feels like a teenager. I have to admit that I do feel older than 24 sometimes – not many of my friends my age are married with kids. I am indeed blessed though – this is exactly how I would have liked my life to turn out.

That isn’t to say that I haven’t done things in my life that I do regret – rather, I prefer not to dwell on a past that I cannot change, but rather on a future that I can.

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In conjunction with my 24th birthday, I’m going to list out 24 things that have happened in my life (which I don’t regret!):

1. Being born a girl! 🙂 At times, I wondered what it would be like to be a boy, but there are a lot of good things about being female. Like getting a guy to change your tyres by just batting your eyelashes. But I also love being a not-so-girly girl.

2. Growing up in Malaysia. Yes, I don’t have that British accent I always wanted (and I don’t think I ever will – I’m terrible at accents), but it was a good experience. While there isn’t much to say about things like safety, the education system, the drivers and the corruption, children get by pretty well and do enjoy themselves.

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3. Learning to play the piano. This I give credit to my mother, who started me at the age of 3. I must admit that my piano is my hiding place – it is where I pour out the deepest emotion, and it’s one of the few things that can turn a bad day good again.

4. Dancing lots. One of the biggest things in my growing up was doing dance performances. I learned ballet as a child, but that wasn’t really my thing. I remember dancing to songs like ‘Bring it all back’ by SClub7, ‘Larger than Life’ by Backstreet Boys and ‘No Strings Attached’ by NSync. I even did cheerleading in high school.

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5. Writing poems and songs. This formed a huge part of my later childhood and teenage years. It was a means of self-expression but also was something I took pride in. I sometimes look back on the collection that I still have to see where I was at that stage of life.

6. Going to both government and private schools. There are several stark differences between the two types of schools, but I had fun in both places. I remember running wild in my government high school – dealing with things like truancy, gangsters but building some of the best friendships ever. Private high school had its perks too, and probably helped me become a bit more serious about my academic achievement.

7. Winning a writing competition and going to Dublin. I met up with winners from Thailand, the Czech Republic and the US – we had a ball of a time! Goodness, I look so nerdy though:

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8. Learning to drive in Malaysia. Believe me, it’s a challenge (and I think I’d be scared to drive there now, cos I’m so used to driving in Australia now). But we also can drive FASTTTT and not get caught. 😀

9. Starting my first job at 16. I was an ‘Aunty’ at Tumble Tots, which is a child play program – a funny choice for a person who had never dealt with kids before. It was good fun and I earned RM5 an hour. I think it wasn’t so much the money I earned but the ethos of the whole situation that taught me that money doesn’t grow on trees.

10. Learning Ninjutsu. And yes, I kid you not – it’s not some fictional art to turn me into Naruto. I learned so much in my journey – not just the actual techniques, but also how it made me grow as a person. It taught me how to carry myself and how to handle people in different circumstances, and is part of me. It made such a huge impact that I have a tattoo of 忍 on my back – it’s the ‘nin’ in ninja and it means strength & perseverance.

11. Going for National Service in Malaysia. What an eye-opening experience! We experienced insect and frog infested dormitories, using a squat toilet for 3 months, food that made us sick and activities that tested us physically but also emotionally (and perhaps racially). I did love my time and have made some amazing friendships there too.

Stop – coffee break time! Don’t overwork yourself or you’ll end up as tired as this:

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12. Finding Jesus. I didn’t grow up going to church, but I was also searching for something more in terms of spirituality. And I’m so blessed to have found it, and also found not one but two loving churches (USJ SDA Church in Malaysia and Birdwood SDA Church in Australia) to accept me and help me grow.

13. Studying hospitality, particularly focusing on Food and Beverage. It is a vibrant, fast paced industry that is honestly not for everyone but I love it. I love how busy it can get; I love being run off my feet but in the end, doing a good job and being appreciated for it. The downside is that I have high standards at restaurants, and do not tolerate poor service.

14. Moving to Adelaide. I had the choice of doing the course locally, in Switzerland or in Adelaide. In retrospect, Switzerland may have been cool too (though I would have FROZEN in winter – I really hate the cold!) But I really do love Adelaide for its quaint personality, lovely people and the fact that I believe that I was always destined to be here.

15. Working in Port Douglas for 6 months. Yes, this turned out to be an amazing adventure for me. Imagine working in a huge resort, where you did housekeeping in the day and worked at the restaurant at night – exhausted myself completely, but managed to save up some cash. And it was from there that we went on an epic trip in Far North Queensland. I absolutely adore that area and cannot wait to be back.

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16. Working in Melbourne instead of Dubai for my second work placement. I had a job offer from Dubai and was preparing to go, but then changed my mind and remained local. It was the best decision I could have made in terms of my love life, and my husband and I got engaged during that time.

17. Being Asian. That means I can get away with taking epic photos like this:

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18. Having loved and lost before. I honestly don’t regret my past relationships, though perhaps there are some elements of some of them that I would have rather done without. But I think everything is a learning curve, and in some relationships, we have a mutual agreement that it was best not to be together.

19. Marrying the man of my dreams. And getting married young too – I was 21 when I walked down the aisle. But I honestly knew that he was the one, and we are more than happy now!

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20. Having my wedding the way I wanted it to be. Obviously, everyone has an idea of a dream wedding – I knew I wanted my ceremony somewhere, either on a beach or in a garden. I wanted a smaller reception where I could be more personal with my guests. I also wanted to have a specially choreographed dance with all the fancy moves. And I got all that and more. 🙂

21. Honeymooning in Phuket. Staying at a gorgeous resort with a private plunge pool. Going on tours of the gorgeous coastline and islands. Checking out the markets and touristy attractions there, but also getting a local’s perspective from my friend Mann who lives there. And most of all, spending it with my awesome husband!

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22. Getting Skittles. Yes, she is a menace. She has eaten more plastic than any dog I’ve ever known, destroyed most of our garden, run away and killed a neighbour’s chook, and the list goes on… But I love her to bits!

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23. Buying our house. We had been shopping around for a bit and had seen a few that were really not up to mark. I’d driven around to a few real estate agencies and we were told we could view this place that very afternoon. Saw it and fell in love. It’s got a lot of great features, and I just love the fact that it’s so close to a lovely reserve!

24. Having a baby – who I believe is the most gorgeous baby in the world. Do you agree?

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The moral of the story really is that I am so blessed. There are always ups and downs in life, but I do my best to dwell on the moments that make life worthwhile.

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Don’t drop that dummy!

Another eventful day – my parents are going back to Malaysia soon, so I took them up to Tanunda to have a look around. We skipped Chateau Tanunda this time round – I think we’ve been there too many times to a point where it’s become rather ordinary.

Something that I have inherited from my mother is my op shop obsession. I love op shops, particularly the ones that have clothes in my size and are dirt cheap. However, since Jacob was born, I have a new obsession in these shops – baby books and clothes! Today, we had a field day…

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I was already being conservative here. 🙂 Jacob is going to have a lot of things to read!

What do you think of op shops? Some people don’t like second hand things – for example, they’d say pre-loved goods are dirty or shabby and they want better quality. I just like the value for money, and I actually love the fact that some things have a history to it.

In other news, I was just thinking about the things that annoy me about Jacob… while he can be an angel at times, we have our moments. Here are probably the top 5 things I think to myself each day:
5. Jacob, can you please have proper feeds every 3 hours instead of snacking all day?
4. Jacob, please could I put you down for a minute? I can’t cook or clean while carrying you…
3. Jacob, please don’t chuck up on me… especially not in my best outfit!
2. Jacob, it’s only a nappy change, so please don’t scream the house down…
1. Jacob, don’t drop that dummy!

But then again, I’m sure there are things that may annoy Jacob about me as well:
5. Mummy, why do you make funny faces at me?
4. Mummy, why won’t you walk around carrying me all day?
3. Mummy, why do you need to take my nappies and clothes off again and again?
2. Mummy, why did you put me on my tummy?
1. Mummy, why is your hair in my face?!

I have to admit that last one would irritate anybody… sorry Jacob, I can’t help having long hair. And even when I tie it up, my fringe gets in the way at times.

All in all, I think we’ll all have our love-hate moments but it’s all worth it. I’m not sure if Jacob thinks that I’m immensely cute, but that is one of his redeeming factors… 🙂

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It was a lovely eventful week and I can’t help smiling to myself, thinking of all the wonderful things I have to be thankful for.

Firstly, as I may have mentioned in my previous post, it was our anniversary and we thought we’d just do something simple for it. Call me a shameless Asian, but there was an Asian dessert bar I was dying to try – and what better time to go than in the afternoon where it’s not crazily crowded and there’d be space for a stroller.

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Here’s me with some scrumptious desserts. Did I mention that I’ve never had snow ice before – at least not in this consistency? It was like shaved ice cream – awesome! We had snow ice with peanuts & black sesame, as well as mango sago with green tea. Of course, I couldn’t resist bubble tea – and since we were peckish, we also ordered Taiwanese popcorn chicken.

WP_20130918_013You know what the best thing was? Jacob slept right through our date. 🙂

In the Jacob front, he’s just passed the 1 month mark – yay! In Chinese culture (of which I’m about half in terms of ethnicity), a Full Moon party is held to celebrate this. Theoretically, that’s when the baby is first introduced to family and friends as the mother and baby are usually confined for the first month.

While I didn’t have confinement, we did have a small Full Moon party for Jacob. No pictures yet, but I’ll steal some off other people’s cameras and post them up next time round.

At one month, Jacob is about 4.4kg (we weighed him naked on an adult scale, weighing me first and then weighing me with him) and he’s graduated from 0000 to 000 clothes. He’s also picked up a new hobby – watching TV with daddy.

20130921_212001Have a lovely week everybody! 🙂

2 years and counting…

I was going to post yesterday but I thought I might do it today since it coincides with two special occasions.

The first one is that little Jacob is 4 weeks old today! I can’t believe it’s been such a short time – I feel I’ve known him forever. The ordeal of labour is long forgotten and I’m already wondering when I can give him a little brother or sister.

At 4 weeks, Jacob has gained some skills:

  • He can copy facial expressions – I’m currently trying to teach him to curl his tongue, but that may be a bit too advanced for him. He can do an impressive duck face though (I did not teach him this!).
  • He knows the difference between the breast and the pacifier, and will clearly tell me which he wants. We’ve also successfully let him try the bottle (just as a backup) and he’s taken to it like a duck to water.
  • He can now fall asleep in the car seat, pram and baby carrier. So if we’re really in strife and can’t get him to sleep, we have several options now.
  • He can do a good commando crawl. It’s good to give babies tummy time, and boy does he like to go places. He’ll wriggle his way up my torso, or off his tummy time mat – sometimes his head will take him off balance though.
  • He can lift his head and turn it side to side. He looks like he’s doing some sort of aerobic exercise – right, left, right, left…

He’s a big boy now and gets to sit on daddy’s shoulder:
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Yet he’s still small enough to be mummy’s little bundle:
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We’re so blessed to have so many loving and generous friends and family – Jacob has got so many gifts that it’s filled up his room (luckily, the cot is in our room, or he’d have no space to sleep). He’s got a heap of clothes, toys, functional items (bottles, cutlery, etc) and even a rocker and baby gym.

He’s still trying to make sense of his baby gym:
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Thanks again to all the people who gave him gifts – really appreciate the thought that went into them and Jacob really loves them!

The second special occasion today is our 2nd Wedding Anniversary!

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I can’t believe it’s already been two years since I walked down the petal-strewn aisle of a gorgeous garden, on a sparkling sunny day. You may say I’m biased, but it was the most perfect wedding I could have ever imagined. The hall was stunning, the company was wonderful and all the spring flowers were in bloom.

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My next post will probably be about how to successfully have an anniversary celebration with a 4 week old baby (or how it went disastrously) – so stay tuned! 🙂

I’m up all night to get clucky…

I’ve been trying to get a blog post written but have just been sidetracked about 500 times. I’m currently sharing  my computer with my parents who are here to spend time with me and the baby, and I know where I get my computer addiction from (though I admit I’m a lot worse than them). I’ve also got to persevere and type with one hand seeing that I’m usually rocking the baby in the other arm.

In honest truth, I didn’t really know what to write about nor did I have the mood to write. In some ways, I feel that I have no purpose at the moment. I know it’s a silly thought because I have the most important job in the world – bringing up a person. Perhaps I just need a shift in perspective.

Reason for my blog post title – it seems that so many people are expecting babies now! My sister in law is due in December, and some of my close friends at church are due in March next year. The other day, we met our neighbour who was out walking her dog and she’s also expecting. Perhaps there’s something in the air? 🙂

 

Anyway, in my few moments of motherhood, I feel a lot more comfortable and confident with Jacob. It’s really true that you learn from your baby. In the first few days, I used to find it very distressing to hear Jacob crying, but now I know that he’s just trying to communicate with me – he’s either hungry, wet, cold, tired or something else that we figure out together.

Perhaps when I find more inspiration, I’ll write again.

But here is another picture of my favourite little boy, who is 3 weeks old today.

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Before and after…

Another predominantly photo-based post today because I haven’t really had the time to think of what to write.

Baby Jacob is now two weeks old, hence had his two week check today – he’s a happy boy, eating well and has grown 1.5cm since birth already. And his head had gotten bigger (literally). He’s still my favourite cutie, obviously.

Before Jacob was born, I was actually considering pregnancy photos but never really got down to it. I did get a few shots taken by my husband though, which I edited (rather poorly, I might add) so I thought I’d just share a few:

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I can’t believe I was so huge then! It’s almost strange now to look down and not have a belly there. But I’m glad that I have my little one out in the world now, and can give him cuddles. Credits for the photos go to my hubby Daniel, and my dog Skittles for being so patient with us taking photos out on her walk.

Jacob has learned a few skills since birth:
1. He can sleep through a fire alarm – I know they tested his hearing and it was a pass, but that still baffles me.
2. He knows if I’m half asleep and trying to change him – he will wee on me to wake me up.
3. He knows that just when I’m feeding him from the fast-flowing breast, he will sneeze and spray milk everywhere.
4. When you are burping him, he won’t burp but just as you put him down, he’ll cough up milk everywhere.
5. He can look at me and make me fall in love with him again, despite the fact that he pooed on me in the shower.

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Love you to bits anyway! 🙂