Oh no, not more baby photos!

So, I’m nearly halfway through this blog challenge and today was an easy one – a photo post! Only I have to make it complicated for myself, right?

I thought that this would be an amazing opportunity to show you more pics of my kids! I do my best not to compare my kids, but one thing I love to compare is what they looked like at different stages of their life. Hence I’ve put together a few pics of what Jacob and Jared looked like at the same age. (Jacob’s always on the left, Jared on the right)

At birth01 At Birth

At 1 week old02 At 1 week

At 3 weeks old03 At 3 weeks

At 6 weeks old04 At 6 weeks

At 9 weeks old05 At 9 weeks

At about 11 and a half weeks (which is what Jared is today)06 At 11+ Weeks

From all these pictures, I’ve come to the conclusion that Jacob has a HUGE nose!!! Okay it’s not huge but like lately I look at him and think his nose is huge! Maybe because Jared’s nose is small?

Anyway I hope you’ve enjoyed these pics of my darling boys. xoxo

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I miss…

I actually found this very hard to write; because there are a lot of things I miss, but I was trying to find the things that are really closest to my heart.

Of course, being a mum, it’s natural that I’d say things like I miss having the freedom to do whatever I liked, I miss not having so many responsibilities (or rather, dependent little people who I need to wait on hand and food) and I miss all the things mums don’t get to do very much like go out on fancy dates or the movies or even just to the toilet without a toddler wanting to be a part of it.

Those things matter, but I think I really want to talk about feelings. I used to be a very emotional person – some people who know me will be shocked because at times I reckon I appear unmoved by certain things, almost stoic? I’m not the type who cries openly (though I sometimes shed a tear watching a sad commercial – go figure!) and I almost at times feel like I’m not sure how to feel about certain things.

Like, when Jared was born, the day leading up to his birth was one filled with the joy of newness and the sorrow of change as I was so afraid my relationship with Jacob would change (and it has, but for the better). I wrote a poem about it, which you can read HERE.

But anyway, here are some things I miss, in no particular order:

  • I miss meeting my babies for the very first time. I don’t think there is any other feeling in the world quite like it. The exhaustion, the relief, the joy.
  • I miss Malaysian food from time to time – some of the oddest things like Japanese egg tofu first thing in the morning or sago gula melaka late at night. I also miss the drinks – teh halia (ginger tea) on a cold wintry night perhaps.
  • I miss getting caught in the rain to the point that you’re completely saturated, that extra rain doesn’t matter one bit. And just walking around in that state in warm humidity like nothing’s happened.
  • I miss playing the piano with my eyes closed, with absolutely no agenda and letting one song turn into another or into a melody you’ve never heard before, but it sounds good nevertheless.
  • I miss my family who are far away. There are times we don’t get along, but then they leave and I realise that it was just not worth being mad at each other, because there’s only so many hours in a day and only so many opportunities to be in the same room together.
  • I miss the feeling you get when you’re starting out on a holiday, be it a road trip nearby or a flight overseas; the stress of “Have I packed everything? Where are my passports?” and the excitement of “Oh yeah HERE WE COME!”
  • I miss meeting someone from your past who once played an important role in your life, but then life got in the way and you didn’t see each other for ages, but then we both smile at each other and all the familiarity comes floating back.
  • I miss the memories made at Port Dickson – my parents used to take me to a company bungalow and eventually we bought a flat not too far away from there because we loved the town so much. Just imagine the whole beach house feel; playing ping pong or carrom, eating seafood and of course, going to the beach. And we often had family friends come along with us too – people I hardly speak to now but there was once that we shared such amazing moments.
  • I miss the moment that you’re performing something that you’d been diligently practicing for, like a song or a dance. In particular, I want to share my wedding dance with you – which is something I got hubby into (he wouldn’t call himself a lover of dance) and, while I can’t speak for him, I reckon we had an amazing time learning and performing it.

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What are some things you miss?

Almost-vegan mac and cheese

And I’m back after a lovely weekend! We went to church on Saturday and then had a bowling night with the church group – terrorizing the bowling alley with our kids (8 between the lot of us)! Aw nah, they were all pretty good.

And today we had a quiet day at home, which is exactly what I pictured for Mother’s Day. I just wanted to be able to catch up on some things at home – weed my veggie patch, get through my numerous loads of laundry and sort through the kids’ clothes because Jacob’s now into size 3 and Jared is into size 0, so lots of phasing out to do!

Anyway, today (or rather, tomorrow) I’m meant to post a favourite recipe, so I’ll share with you this “almost-vegan mac and cheese” recipe that seems to be a go to – it works well in the veggie-smuggling front and has been well-received by vegan and meat-eating friends alike!

I actually don’t like macaroni and cheese. I remember once when I was little, I had mac and cheese and it made me spew – it was just way too cheesy and rich for me! Thank goodness now I’ve found a recipe that’s not as rich but just really tasty (and actually a bit healthy too!)

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I decided to make this recipe today – partly because I needed pictures, and also because it’s yummy! Included in my prep above is my favourite hot chocolate from Aldi that is awesome on a rainy autumn night such as this! I wish I could show you a picture of Jacob savouring it but unfortunately he wasn’t in the mood tonight. Failed the toddler test tonight, sob!

I got the original recipe HERE and just made a few changes here and there. It probably is fine fully vegan as well, but I just like to sprinkle it with a bit of cheese before baking for a bit of a yummy kick to it!

Ingredients

1 500g packet of macaroni
2 potatoes peeled/diced
1 carrot peeled/diced
1/2 chopped onion
3/4 cup water (preferably from pot of boiled veggies)
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp garlic powder or garlic paste
1 pinch paprika
salt and pepper to taste
grated cheese, to top it off (optional)
frozen peas and corn (optional)

Method

  1. Soak the cashews in warm water for 30 minutes before starting the sauce.
  2. Cook macaroni al dente, according to package instructions (usually requires boiling for 6-8 minutes in salted water), drain, and set aside.
  3. Bring some water to boil in a small pot. Place chopped potatoes, carrots, and onion in the boiling water, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and soft enough to blend. Cooking time will vary slightly, based on how small you have chopped your veggies.
  4. When veggies are soft enough to blend, take them out of the water, and place them in your blender. Add ¾ cup of that cooking water to your blender, along with your remaining ingredients except for the cheese, peas and corn.
  5. Blend until smooth.
  6. Or, place macaroni and sauce in a baking dish and mix through with the frozen peas and corn, sprinkle with cheese, and bake at 180 degrees Celcius for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese browns on top.

If you’re a meat eater like me, you can also add things like chicken, tuna, beef mince, etc. but trust me, it’s awesome just as is!

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Anyway, I feel that I didn’t quite do the last challenge justice as I only posted one pic of the town (suburb) I live in. So here’s another shot:

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That isn’t my house – this is just opposite the reserve close to our home. This picture is pretty close to my heart as this is the day before Jacob was born – I had lost my mucous plug already (sorry if TMI) and was already having light contractions. I took my dog for a walk as I figured I wouldn’t be sure when I’d be next up to walking her. It was a lovely spring day – it had rained in the morning and now a beautiful rainbow stretched across the sky. I felt excited, scared, but a great sense of calm as well. 8am the next morning, my life would be changed forever.

Today, I celebrated Mother’s Day as a mother of two! We actually celebrated last weekend (breakfast in the Barossa) but I still had a luxurious breakfast – chocolate croissants, strawberries and a hot chocolate! Yummy! Did I mention I was on a diet? Oops.

To all the mums I know, and particularly to my mum and mum-in-law, I hope you have had a beautiful Mother’s Day! Thank you for all the ways you have been a blessing in my life! Sending love from my two lovely boys.

cutie

What did you do for Mother’s Day?

15 Facts about Me…

Ever since I was young, I used to love personality quizzes. Remember those quizzes that people would send in chain letters via email or the ones you could post on Friendster? Those were the days!

Anyway, today’s topic in the blog challenge I’m doing is right up my alley – I have to tell you 15 facts about yours truly! I hope you find this list remotely interesting!

  1. I got married at 21, and had my first child Jacob at 23. Yes, it was all planned that way and I don’t regret it for the world! I certainly felt unprepared in a number of situations, but don’t we all?
  2. I am 1/8 Scottish, 1/8 Welsh, 1/8 Thai, 1/8 Malay and 1/2 Chinese. And I grew up in Malaysia. Long story, but that will be for another day!
  3. I used to idolize Avril Lavigne (and she was probably my style guru for a few years – argh!). I still love many elements of her music and we share a birthday – 27th Sept!
  4. I started learning how to play the piano at age 3. But unfortunately I’m no prodigy and can’t say I have Mozart-like talents. However, I am pretty good at playing things by ear so if someone gives me a song and wants it played, I can usually do it (unless it’s like Rachmaninoff).
  5. I used to do cheerleading. Okay, it was only a year of my life and I wasn’t one of the awesome pretty girls being airlifted. Rather, I was a “base” who had to be the tough one to toss the girls in the air. I also sustained a back injury from trying to catch a falling girl, which sometimes rears its head when I try to push my back too far.1kh8[1]
  6.  I am a Seventh-day Adventist Christian – I didn’t grow up in the faith but started going to church after I finished high school, and got baptised in 2008. Now I go to a beautiful little “country” church in Birdwood and am particularly passionate about children’s ministry.
  7. I have a Bachelor of Business in Hotel Management and started out working in hotels. Since, I’ve moved from that to Real Estate to Education Sales and am in Education Marketing now. I would love to study more though, maybe when I have more time on my hands.
  8. I worked for 6 months in Port Douglas, a little town up in Far North Queensland. It was an amazing time of my life and I went on an eye-opening road trip with friends. I definitely want to go back there sometime.
  9. I grew up with a body image complex and have had anorexia and bulimia at certain points of my life. But now I am pretty much freed from the clutches of self-doubt and am now able to appreciate and love my body.
  10. I used to do Ninjutsu – I learned it intensely for 5 years, and I was getting pretty good! I don’t have the best coordination and motor skills, so mastering some of those skills was very rewarding to me. Also, I have a “nin” tattoo on my back.
    tattoo
  11. I love action movies and series but ones with more of a storyline and have an element of comedy/romance in them. Superheroes and medieval elements are plus points. Some of the ones I’ve really enjoyed are Supergirl, Arrow, Flash, DC Legends, Daredevil, Sense 8, Heroes, Vikings, Once Upon a Time, and of course, Game of Thrones! I watch a lot of TV haha!
  12. I can speak English and Malay fluently, and a bit of Mandarin and Japanese as well. However, I’d love for my kids to learn European languages, German being a preference.
  13. I really want to write a novel, and also get my poetry published. I would also really love to write children’s books, though I need to find someone to illustrate them for me.
  14. Mulan is my favourite Disney movie – I have watched it over 50 times! I feel that I relate to Mulan in many ways. Also, while I don’t consider myself a feminist, it has irked me that Asian women are often sexualised in pop culture and are usually have something to do with sex and drugs.
  15. My husband is my rock. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me! And he spoils me to bits, picks up after me and indulges me in my silly Asian cravings such as roast duck, nasi lemak and bubble tea. And we make beautiful kids together hehe!

kiddos

I have a bit of a busy weekend to look forward to (and a bit of prep too) so I’ll just post what I was meant to post on the 7th as well – a photograph of the town I live in.

We live in suburban Adelaide – the city used to be thought of as a big country town but a lot of development has happened of late that has become a lot more modern and metropolitan. But anyway, I’m not posting a picture of that – here’s a picture of me and my dog in the reserve near our house! This was before we had kids and we could just go off on a whim and do whatever we liked with ourselves!

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Wish List Collage (toddler style)

I’ve made it to challenge topic number 2 – a wish list collage! Just to make things fun, I decided to let Jacob get involved with my wish list (and I put a few things on his wish list on this too – though in truth I reckon I’d be just as excited as him if he got them!).

Before I get into it, I’ll just explain the progression. We were playing around with some cellotape and chalk (after doing the wishlist) – I was showing him how the chalk goes on the paper but not on the sticky tape. Then he kept bugging me to make him a treasure chest (he’s into pirates at the moment) so I used an old box and we stuck his chalk/sticky tape design onto it and put lettering stickers on it, and voila! We have the word “Quest” on it too because he wanted to use the letters Q and U, so I thought we’d just put another word there that sorta went along with the theme!

In the bottom corner, those are a couple of things he put in his treasure chest – a Thor dress up hat, number candles, a tiny green bell (which was confiscated after in case someone swallowed it) and Jared’s socks.

But anyway, back to the point. I was doing a wish list and thought I’d let Jacob make it with me. My kids are my life so there are a number of things that I want that really are for them, but seeing them with something they like makes me so happy. Anyway, here it is!

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Sorry if it’s hard to see, but I’ll now explain what is what. It’s a bit all over the place, full of tangible and intangible things, but this is sorta what I’d like at the moment.

  1. Money

    Yes, folks , I did put a picture of money here. Hubby was watching me make this and he’s like “Who puts MONEY on a wish list?” But in truth, I think we all want more money, so I’ll be honest. There are so many things I would do with more money. I would possibly have another child (we haven’t decided yet, but $ is ultimately a factor). I would probably travel a lot more. I would eat out more and hire a cleaner to keep my house in check. I would go back to study, learn a new language, the list goes on. But the fact is that I don’t have the money to rationalise many of these things, or rather I prioritise other things over my wants. But one day!

  2. A White Christmas

    I chose this picture because Jacob loves snowmen, and tells me he will build one one day. Which is hard as we live in Adelaide where it doesn’t snow (though it has happened once in a blue moon). We’d really like to have a white Christmas one year – maybe somewhere in Germany / Switzerland / Austria or even over in the UK. We initially thought to do it next year but think we might wait a few more years so both boys will actually remember the experience.

  3. The Wiggles Concert

    So, there was a Wiggles Concert here in Adelaide last week and we missed it!! Ugh. I really would like to take Jacob to something like that – either Wiggles or Playschool or even Mister Maker or Disney on Ice. I’ve just been doubting that he can sit still though so an “active” concert where the kids can join in would be awesome. But yes, one fine day we’ll do this. And maybe mummy here might even be able to go to a concert of my own too – top of list would be Ludovico Einaudi or Piano Guys!

  4. Healthy Eating

    Yes, it is a salad. But really, I really wish that I could live a healthier lifestyle and eat better, fresher, greener food. I know part of it is my bad management (my mum was shocked at the state of my pantry when she visited me last) and also making poor choices. And the fact that I LOVE all sorts of food, particularly the hearty, fatty and decadent! I have been eating like a pig since I started breastfeeding but I hope for it to change! We have been eating more salads and fruit lately but I still need to cut down on sweets and portion sizes – last night I had a double helping of spag bol as I was SOOOO hungry!

  5. Mummy and Son Matching Clothing

    By now you’re thinking “What kind of list is this?”. But yes, firstly I admit I’m the type who loves to dress my kids alike, but now I’m taking it to another level – I want to be dressed like them! There are so many adorable ideas and I was thinking maybe when the kids are older, we’ll do a family photoshoot wearing matching things!

  6. More Travel

    I want to travel the world! I want to scale mountains and swim in rivers; I want to see big cities and small country towns; I want to hear foreign tongues being spoken, experience different climates and taste authentic cuisine. Of course, a lot of this has had to be put on hold due to having young kiddos, though we have been travelling a bit (but mainly in Australia or in Asia/on our way to Malaysia to visit relatives). But I’m confident that we will travel more in future!

  7. Japan (and Disneyland)!

    One of my most desired destinations is Japan! We’re hoping to go there next year but still in the early planning stages. I just love so many things about Japan – the culture, the food, the history, the language, the people… and I’m really excited to go there as they have so many awesome and kawaii things for little kids to do, particularly Tokyo Disneyland!

  8. Bubble Tea

    I reckon I’ve always liked bubble tea, but in my pregnancy with Jared, I was obsessed! It was about the only thing I enjoyed consuming aside from coconut juice, so hubby spoiled me and bought it for me. He knows my order now – large Thai milk tea, 50% sugar and no ice. I was so obsessed I had bubble tea at my baby shower! And I think the addiction has stuck, though I don’t have it anywhere as much!

  9. Tree Fu Tom Garden

    I’m really keen to start up my very own fairy garden in my back yard. Not much grows there, but I’m hoping that I could maybe beautify it with gnomes and fairy houses. But Jacob is not really into fairies – rather, he told me he wants a “Tree Fu Tom” Garden since Tree Fu Tom is one of his new favourite shows. I’m not sure if you’ve seen the show (or if you want to) but this boy Tom transforms into a tiny fairy-sized superhero and he goes out to help the citizens of Treetopolis in his back yard. So, yes, I’m on the lookout for cool solar houses and toadstools etc.

  10. Beach Holiday in Paradise

    I’ve been reading so much about this place called Paradise Resort Gold Coast, which is this awesome kid friendly resort that I’d love to go to! It’s got pools and a number of playgrounds including water play but also rock climbing, ice skating and a Kids Club so parents can have a day without the kids! Definitely sounds like a fun holiday! But I’m also keen to go back to Far North Queensland to bask in tropical paradise.

  11. LOTS of Lego!

    This certainly would be Jacob’s wish, but in truth, I love Lego as well. I never really got into it as a kid but I just love seeing how Jacob gets into it and builds so many interesting things. I’ve actually already bought him some Lego Juniors (which is for 4-8 year olds, but they have so many cool vehicles/diggers that he can make). I might try some of that with him from his 3rd birthday!

And so, that’s my wish list!

On an ending note, I just wanted to share a couple of pics. We went for some buffet breakfast on Sunday and it was sublime! On the way there, the sun was really bright and was shining in Jacob’s eyes. This is his “The sun is in my eyes face”. Then he decided he’d had enough and put my breastfeeding shawl on his head. Oh well. Gotta love his problem solving skills!

Why Mummy of Dragons?

So, I’ve accepted a blog challenge and the first “topic’ is to explain the meaning behind my blog name.

Funnily enough, I actually blogged about this not too long ago when I started this blog. You can look at THIS blog post to see the full explanation as to why I started this blog.

But I’ll summarize it here. I chose to call this blog Mummy of Dragons because:
– I wanted to actually call it Mother of Dragons but that’s copyrighted by Game of Thrones. And because I’m not Daenerys.
– I am a mummy to two adorable little dragons. I mean children. Of the male variety.
– I think that it sounds cool and is a bit catchy.

Is that reason enough? 😛

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On another note, I am one of those mums who would probably dress their kids in identical clothing all the time if I could. I tried it the other day (including colour-coding hubby too). Don’t they look cute here? (Jacob is giving his death stare)

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We arrived early at church the other day and the lighting was just absolutely divine. So I tried to pretend I was a professional photographer and took some photos. A couple came out alright!

And of course, this is how NOT to take a photo of a toddler:

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Loving my boys, and loving autumn! 🙂