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.

~~~

What are some things you miss?

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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Of distance and time.

For time is the longest distance between two places.
– Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

I am sitting in the lounge room with my toddler and we are munching on some sort of crispy Asian snack that we really shouldn’t be eating at this time of day, but that’s okay. There are crumbs on the sofa, a washing load going on in the background and a silence in this house that hasn’t been there for many weeks.

After about 6 weeks of camping out in my house, my parents and grandma finally left this morning. My grandma was only here for some of the time, which meant that she and mum were in the spare room and my dad slept in the lounge room. It was a busy household, with Jared rousing in the night and Jacob running around from the wee hours of the morning. Then there was dad doing his yoga and responding to work emails, mum cooking and cleaning to keep my household up to scratch and grandma helping out here and there, particularly with holding the baby.

grandma

If you must know, my parents and I have an interesting relationship, particularly my mum and I. Our parenting styles are a discussion for another day, but we’ve always had that sort of relationship where we’re seething at each other one minute, and the other we’re having teh tarik at a mamak stall together talking about a random article we saw on Facebook.

In truth, we had every right to be mad at each other. I was an absolute hoon as a teenager, breaking out from my typical Asian upbringing and wanting to be some crazy chick with green hair playing bass in a rock band. And I wouldn’t say mum expected perfection, but she set the bar pretty high.

We are very different people – for example, mum always wanted to have a baby girl and I always wanted to have a boy. We both got what we wanted, fortunately. Mum is good at things like organising (households, suitcases, time) while I am better at going with the flow and making things happen at last minute. Mum tenses up under pressure, while pressure is my element.

But as I’ve been growing older, I’ve been finding more and more ways that we are alike. We are both strong and outspoken about certain things; we are set in our ways about some things but luckily are able to compromise about some to the point of minimising conflict. We both like small country towns, good bargains and Irish/German music. Also, we both operate on coffee and can survive with little sleep (though when we crash, we crash and burn).

I think that every time we meet, we come to a better understanding. I appreciate that you now view me as an adult (and as a relatively competent one at that) and that we value respect over our own views and love over the decisions we make. And I do miss you, more than you know, when you’re so far away.

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Due to the number of car seats in the back and the fact that our car is too narrow for someone to sit between them, we didn’t get to do too many things here.

Mum, I would have loved to take you to more op shops and maybe even garage sales, not so much to spend money but more so for the joy of the browse. I would have loved to take you to the markets more and cooked more food together, rather than trying and being shooed away because I’m not meant to carry the baby in the kitchen. I wish that you’d been able to relax more on your trip here, but I also appreciate all the work that you did here. I can’t say I’ll be able to keep it up, just as in some ways I can never walk in your footsteps, but I will do the best I can in my own way.

Dad, I would have loved to take you to more pubs and wineries just to have a taste. Thank you for coming to Jacob’s swimming lessons with us and for chasing Jacob and carrying him when he wouldn’t come when called. I promise to keep your vegetable patch alive for as long as possible.

Grandma, if only I’d had more time with you here – I’d have taken you to see the roses at the Veale Gardens and the lavender gardens in Lyndoch. We would have had tea and scones more, and sat in picturesque places just talking about anything. I know you couldn’t get your fill of Jared cuddles, but I do promise that you will see him again. 

And if there’s anything more difficult than sending cherished relatives to the airport, it’s explaining to your toddler where they’ve gone and how he won’t see them for a while.

And with Jacob, at 2 and a half, I don’t expect him to understand the concept of time and distance. He doesn’t yet know that he may not see his grandparents and great grandmother for another year or so. This is a conversation we had today (though with some interruptions due to his preoccupation with Lego House building)

Me: Where’s grandmama and grandpa George and great grandma?
Jacob: I don’t know?
Me: Where do you think they went?
Jacob: Grandpa George gone to work…
Me: What about grandmama and great grandma?
Jacob: Maybe outside?
Me: Yes sometimes they’re in the garden. But not today. Today they went in an aeroplane.
Jacob: No.
Me: Yes, they did.
Jacob: Not on an aeroplane.
Me: They did.
Jacob: They going home?
Me: Yes they went home.
Jacob: Where’s their house?
Me: It’s far away.
Jacob: Far like nanny and grandpa’s house? (which is my in-law’s place in the hills, about 40 minutes away)
Me: Yes, a bit further. Just a bit further.

But the sweet thing is that he does remember them. This year, we bought this particular calendar as we though it was funny – a satirical look at parenting. On the day we put it up, Jacob looked at January’s picture (left) and said “That’s Grandpa George!” (Grandpa George on the right as a comparison). He was pretty close I reckon!

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He was initially confused between grandmama and great grandma (they sound quite alike!) but has worked it out since. He occasionally mentions them in his made up stories where they go to the zoo or eat pancakes together.

I don’t know when we’ll all be in the same country again. I checked ticket prices and our next trip to Malaysia may cost us about $3500, argh! But I’m confident that we will go there once again, somewhere in the future and I hope that we can make up for lost time.

Thanks for the memories, mum, dad and grandma! We hope to see you again soon!

hello

 

One becomes two.

I’ve probably picked the worst time ever to start a blog.

I can hear the sound of white noise playing in my toddler Jacob’s room, while I am rocking my almost-4 week old Jared to the tunes of Ludovico Einaudi’s amazing piano and string arrangements, which always seems to send him into peaceful slumber.

I can still taste the chocolate in my mouth that I convinced myself that I needed in order to stay awake, and I can smell the yoghurty hint of milk stains on my top. Hubby and I wanted to watch TV tonight, but the baby was fussing and frankly we’re too tired to start up a new series. In fact, tired has become part of my personality.

But amidst the daze of sleep deprivation, I feel a burning sense of inspiration. I’m embarking on a new journey going from one kid to two, and like it or not, I have to keep on paddling to keep this ship afloat.

~~~

I always knew I wanted to have at least two children. I’m an only child and while I did grow up with plenty to keep me occupied, there was always this longing for a sibling – in particular, a big brother. Someone who would rough up this self-proclaimed tomboy and to have someone to fight with for all the right reasons, but ultimately one who watched out for me in a love-hate fashion.

The day before Jared was born, I had the ultimate blues with regards to Jacob. He was my baby – my one and only, my pride and joy. He was the one who built me up but also broke me down. And he knew he held first place in my eyes, but now he was about to be dethroned.

We had tried our best to prepare Jacob for D-day – we read some amazing books about babies, talked about baby names and picked baby clothes together. He would talk to my tummy and tell the baby “I love you” in the sweetest way he could.

My waters broke the night before I had Jared, hence Jacob was whisked away in the morning to spend the day with his cousins. My last kiss I gave him tasted bittersweet – the next time I would see him, I would be introducing him to his new brother.

I spent a bit of that day cooking and cleaning, and the rest of it crying my eyes out. What if I hadn’t prepared him enough and it left him feeling sad and lonely? What if I couldn’t cope with the demands of both kids and I wasn’t able to give Jacob the love he deserved? Was my heart big enough for two?

love

And then, they met.

My little boy was overjoyed to meet the “baby in mummy’s tummy” – the expression on his fact just says it all, doesn’t it?

So far, it’s obviously not been all fun and games, but every day has a hint of joy in it. I look forward to many new adventures as a family of four (or five, if you want to count our dastardly dog), and look forward to sharing them here as well.

Mummy of Dragons

Hear ye, hear ye! The mummy of dragons has risen. From bed. At about 4.30am. With a whinging baby and a toddler who wants to do colouring at this time of day.

And this, my friends, is essentially what this blog is about.

I am a mother of two boys, hence the blog title. Though, based on the Chinese zodiac, one is a snake and the other is a monkey (and courtesy of my mum, we have numerous stuffed toy snakes and monkeys all over the house). But I digress.

My first dragon’s name is Jacob – he has a mighty roar (particularly if someone takes something he wants) and has a fiery yet loving personality. He is 2.5 years old, loves anything that has wheels or propellers and his mouth does not stop moving (except when offered food – then it clamps shut).

My second dragon’s name is Jared – so far, not much is known of his personality as he is only 3 weeks old! But I can see him being the sunnier of the two – he even smiles in his sleep (and also just before he chucks up).

boys

I don’t want this blog to simply be a generic mummy blog where I post milestones of my children (Who cares about that, right?). I certainly will maintain a parenting sentiment, but also aim to touch on things that I’m passionate about like music, superhero movies/series’ and writing.

I also hope to get a chance to address a myriad of parenting interest issues, all the way from breastfeeding and babywearing to working parents and sleep training (or in my case, not sleep training). And of course, if I find an awesome playground, toddler craft or healthy meal that my toddler will actually eat, I definitely will share it as well!

I might also mention that I used to blog sometime ago (before life got WAY too busy) so if you do want to have a peek at my archives, have a look here:
https://ligurl27.wordpress.com/

So, just a quick thank you for reading and I really hope I can live up to my name as the mummy of dragons!