Breaking point.

I wouldn’t call myself the expressive type – it probably will be my downfall one day. I’m just the type of person who just functions until I can function no more. Sometimes it’s worth it, just to get by, and other times I reckon it is just detrimental to my health.

Lately, I reached one of those breaking points- the trigger probably was the whole giving away the dog thing, but really there is so much more going on the background. It’s no mean feat taking care of an almost 3 year old and a 3 month old as well – I’m not going to lie, there are days that I have depended on the TV to gain us all some sanity, and there are nights that I don’t know if I want to go to sleep for the fear that I will see every hour of the night before the morning…

Not to mention my meagre attempt at keeping the house clean (and being thwarted by the toddler every time) as well as external commitments to things like church, work, etc. which I think are good for me, but are also just another thing to add into the plethora of things already going on in my head.

And then there’s the guilt – the guilt of not doing enough for my dog. The guilt of not doing enough for my husband and my children. The guilt of calling myself a Christian but not devoting enough time to building my relationship with God. The guilt of not having a stable career to give my husband an opportunity to be a full-time dad. The guilt of the uncertain future, daunting as much as it is promising. The guilt of not having the courage to do certain things or the wisdom to let go of other things.

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But anyway, that point – it broke last weekend. And thank goodness I had the long weekend to recover, because I think it helped me become functional again. Also, thank goodness for the sunshine, because everything feels better in the sunlight. And I can’t admit I have everything worked out, but I feel that perhaps I am taking small steps in the right direction again.

I suppose I’m trying to give a bit of advice here, though I never listen to my own advice, do I? Don’t let things reach a breaking point. If something is bugging you, don’t just sweep it under the doormat. Talk about it, write about it, sing about it even. Let it come out into the open so that it doesn’t poison your mind and your heart. And then let it go – let it float away, until you feel as light as a feather and can face the next thing life is going to throw at you. And then be at peace, with your decisions and with yourself.

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Anyway, I’m going to pull out this gem from my youth. I used to write songs since a child but perhaps the “darker” songs emerged from as early as 12 years old. I think I was about 14 when I wrote this – I only vaguely remember the melody, but I remember why I wrote it:

look again, am I the one that you know?
look inside, cos I’m the one you don’t understand
look around, it is falling in place
look at me, I am frozen in time

cos it’s hard to breathe
and inside my eyes it’s zero degrees
and I’m looking for the fire, the flame
but it’s gone, blown out, just like you…

and I was afraid this would happen
and I am afraid I can’t control myself
so I didn’t know that it was the breaking point
now my blood is cold and I can’t go on…

now I find, that it isn’t that simple
now I see, what the meaning of sacrifice is
now I know, how unities divide
and now I feel I can no longer survive

cos it’s hard to get by
and in my eyes
I’m frozen in a lie
and I’m looking for the fire, the flame
but it’s gone, blown out, just like you…
but it’s gone, put out, just like you…

and I was afraid this would happen
and I am afraid I cant control myself
so I didn’t know that it was the breaking point
now my blood is cold and I can’t go on…

how long is eternity
can it return my destiny
how long is life going on, going on, going on…

look again, am I the one that you know?
look inside, cos I’m the one you don’t understand
look around, it is falling in place
look at me, I am… going on, going on…

and I was afraid this would happen
and I am afraid I can’t control myself
so I didn’t know that it was the breaking point
now my blood is cold and I cant go on…

and I was afraid this would happen
and I am afraid I can’t control myself
so I didn’t know that it was the breaking point
now my blood is cold and I cant go on…

Here’s to the 14-year-old wisdom of my youth, something I need to call upon time and time again. 🙂 Have a great week!

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2016 Bupa Blog Awards

We’ve had a few “downers” of late – I think it’s been a bit of a streak in the last few months or so. We’ve had quite a few kitchen appliances fail on us, like first our microwave oven, then our convection oven, and even our actual oven too – I never knew that oven doors could fall off, but so be it. We’ve also had car troubles, which have already cost plenty, and then a couple of days ago, someone drove into the side of our car and took off. Sigh.

But really, the heaviest thing weighing on my mind is the fact that we are quite seriously rehoming our dog, Skittles. We have thought about it on and off, for a number of reasons, but the main one being that she kept getting out of the house so we put her on a chain while trying to work out some solution, but nothing ever seemed to work. And we did get a dog trainer, but with two kids, a lot of the training was just going right out the window, with only ourselves to blame.

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She is on trial at the moment at a home where she’ll have a companion dog too, as well as a couple of primary-aged kids to play with. I am trying to imagine it in a sense that she’s getting married and will be living on with the in-laws. It’s not confirmed yet, but it sure is looking good. I have considered several times to march over there and get her back, but I really honestly want her to be happy too.

I never imagined I’d be the type of person who would give up my pet. In fact, she doesn’t feel like just a pet – she was my first child; one who I had to toilet train and to set boundaries with and even went to puppy school with. The one who I would have to boot off the sofa time and time again, the one who would nearly yank my arm off every time we took her for a walk, the one who even escaped so often into the neighbour’s garden that they took a picture of her lazing on their deckchair.

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I’m not sure how this will pan out, but I cannot deny this looming sense of loss.

~~~

I know my rant above has nothing to do with the title, but it was one of the “ups” amidst the downs. I got an email saying that my blog was nominated in the 2016 Bupa Blog Awards, which is a real privilege. I don’t know if I’ll win (but I sure would like to) but it did put a smile in my face amidst the storm. You can read more about the blog awards HERE – the next stage will be to cross my fingers and see if I qualify as one of the finalists on the 4th of July. 🙂

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10 random things I’ve said to my toddler this week

People wonder why I’m so busy. Yes, I do have quite a few commitments including volunteer work and actual paid work. But I think the thing (or the person) who keeps me the most busy is my wonderful 17 month old now Jacob.

17 whole months! Can you believe it?

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Anyway, here are 10 things I didn’t think I’d ever have to say but have said in the past week.

1. Don’t put the empty toilet rolls in the toilet bowl. Okay, yes it was my fault for not closing the bathroom door properly. You know how the door seems closed but it hasn’t clicked in properly? That’s one of the things that results in chaos in our house… which brings me to my next point.

2. Don’t let the dog in the house! I swear those two are partners in crime. So, I left the outside door open a crack while putting laundry on the line, and he lets the dog in and she runs amok (and puts mud on our bed, sofa, etc.) And while we’re on the subject of the dog.

20150106_165138Doing arts and craft while Skittles looks on

3. Stop giving your hat to Skittles. Jacob hates wearing hats. Skittles loves chewing hats. Not a great combination.

4. Stop putting your hands/feet/body in Skittles’ water dish. Never mind that he has a sandpit or a water table to play with, and bikes to ride on outside. The best toy is Skittles’ water dish, especially when it has mud and mildew in it. His second favourite thing to do outside is sit in a bucket:

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5. Stop tearing the flaps off your lift-the-flap books! He is overly excited about what to find under the flap. Sometimes he guesses what’s under there (and it’s absolutely adorable). But he does rip it sometimes (what’s the point of having to open a flap when you can just have no flap there, right?).

6. No, thank you – I don’t need anymore shoes. Jacob has a shoe fetish! He thinks it’s his ultimate job to bring shoes to Daniel and I. Hence resulting in this:

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7. Stop putting (item) in (location). Examples:
– Stop putting your blocks in the washing machine. (Yes, he knows how to open the door)
– Stop putting your books in the bath tub.
– Stop putting bottles (i.e. baby bath, powder, nappy cream) into the clothing hamper.
– Stop putting stuff in the BIN!!!

8. Where did you get that ….? Examples:
– Where did you get that metal rod? From the window sill
– Where did you get that (name of random piece of food)? Either from off the floor in an area mum forgot to sweep, or from the pantry, or from somebody like grandpa or nanny…
– Where did you get that toy that I hid from you? You can’t hide anything from me, mum. Nothing is sacred.
– Where did you get that body lotion (that you smeared all over the carpet)? Snuck into the bathroom and grabbed it from the countertop, which he can reach now
– Where did you get my wallet? I climbed the table and got it out of your handbag, of course!

tableHere he is on our messy table pinching chocolate biscuits.

9. Get off the table. If I take the chairs away, he pushes them back to the table, climbs onto them and onto the table. It’s his favourite place ever. And he especially loves to throw things off the table.

10. Go to sleeeeeep! I won’t make it a secret – we are still a bit patchy with sleep because some nights he just won’t wind down. Hard to be angry with him as he just runs out of the room laughing.

All said and done, it can be hard dealing with Jacob but I wouldn’t ask for any other child. Underneath his boisterous nature is a gentle and loving soul, one who loves giving (let’s see how long that’ll last) and loves smiling and laughing.

flowerHe loves flowers and sharing them around for everyone to smell.

It’s a wonderful thing to watch him learn, grow and conquer new skills each day. Jacob, mum and dad love you so much – don’t forget that! 🙂

Before the year is up…

Talk about a long hiatus. Yes, sorry, I know I have been AWOL but the last few months have been so jam packed that I thought it best to take a break and do justice to certain areas in my life. And now, most of the things have settled down so I’m thinking of getting back into writing!!!

As of yesterday, my little boy is already 16 months old! Can you believe it? I have a fully-fledged toddler (and a hyper one at that)!!!

So, I thought I’d do a little monthly update to show how far we’ve come so far.

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Little Mr here has 14 teeth and counting!

Height: 81cm

Weight: Almost 10kg, yippie!

Eating:
We initially struggled with his eating – he used to be very finnicky and naughty, throwing most of his meal on the floor. His weight plateaued for a while but since he started walking, things have started picking up and he is a pro right now! You should have seen him wolf down his pizza tonight! He also eats a lot of fruit, which I am quite happy about – and he loves a good fruit smoothie which we have plenty of since it’s summertime.

Favourites: Blueberries, Watermelon, Grapes, Pear, Cheese, Spring Rolls, Chicken, Peas, Corn on Cob, Any sort of Rice, Pasta, Yoghurt.

Sleep: Yes, sleep is a little patchy, and we struggles especially when he first learned to walk. He just LOVES to be awake to do things but he needs to rest for his own good. He is moving to his own room soon (we have finally moved furniture around so his cot can fit in the room) so things should improve from there, I hope! But he still looks adorable when he sleeps, doesn’t he?

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Mobility:
Jacob started walking just shy of 15 months. He had been standing for a while and trying to do stepping movements, but never really got past two steps. Then one day, at church, I think something must have just clicked. He just got up and walked right across the room, and hasn’t looked back since.

In the last few weeks, he’s really picked up speed and is relatively difficult to manage. He runs away from me in the shopping mall and climbs things like chairs, tables, bookcases, etc. No drawers or doors are safe from him so we are slowly child-locking everything. He is relatively clever at working out how things works so he opens tubes and bottles etc. He is loveable but so darn high maintenance at times!

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Words words words:
This little boy is talkative!!! I think his first word was “car” and he said “dada” around the same time. Some of his early words were mama, nana (banana), wawa (flower), star, nanny (his grandmother) and dua (dog). He also has some interesting words, like “murr” for bird, “aah” for a drink and “mannum/my-num” for dummy. And now he talks about books and balls and shoes and the moon. We are SOOO proud of him but we get pretty tired hearing the same words all day long.

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Favourite pastimes:
– Dancing/singing to songs and rhymes we know. He’s great at “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” (he sings the ‘star’ bit and does some actions) and also joins in with “Incy Wincy Spider”, “Pat a Cake”, “Head Shoulders Knees and Toes” (he only gets as far as head as it’s a bit fast).
– Drawing – I think he’s going to be a budding artist. He goes through our stationery drawers to find pens and markers to use. And despite my giving him scrap paper to draw on, he always looks for important documents to draw on (failing which, he will draw on the wall or tiles).
– Playing with other kids especially his cousins. He recognises them and points them out in pictures – they usually have an awesome time playing together and it’s great that they’re all relatively close in age.

family photoWe took some awesome family photos the other day!
– Playing with water and swimming. He loves ANYTHING to do with water. When we’re outside, he goes straight to the dog bowl and puts his hands in it. Hence why I’m buying him a sand & water table for Christmas (shhh don’t tell him!)
– Playing with Skittles. He LOVES dogs and just goes right up to them and plays with them. Skittles has knocked him over a few times but I think they’re both getting more used to each other. My babies are so cute!!!

boy and dog

Only a few more sleeps to Christmas, and I know the time is going to fly by. I am praying that Jacob doesn’t destroy more ornaments on our Christmas tree – he’s already broken a few baubles and often redecorates when I’m not looking.

ornament

Just as a fond memory of mine, here’s Jacob being baby Jesus in last year’s nativity at Lobethal. How time flies! Merry Christmas everyone, and may you enjoy this time with friends and family!

jacob christmasHis first artwork from childcare

20141208_104050He doesn’t look too happy to see Santa. Oh well!

Blossoms.

Yes, I have been on a hiatus. I think I’ve just been a bit too contemplative of late, to the point that the motivation to blog escaped me. 

But a walk in the park nearby spurred me to start again, or at least reminded me of a happier time in my life that I wanted to reflect on. Don’t get me wrong – I wouldn’t say I’m not happy now. But I think I’m the type of person whose happiness comes from looking at things ahead of me rather than living in the moment.

With that in mind, I want to stop to see the blossoms.

20140813_142728I never experienced blossoming trees very much as I was growing up, or at least not the ones that we have here in Australia. It’s not to say that I didn’t see lots of flowers – we had ixora bushes near our apartment and white tiger lillies decorated the sidewalk. I used to climb a frangipani tree near the library I went to and bougainvillea trees were a common sight.

But there’s something about the blossoms at the reserve near my house that make me smile. When I first saw them, I kept calling them sakura because I thought they were cherry blossoms (and then Daniel kindly informed me that not all blossoms are cherry blossoms, lol!). I only really noticed them last year when I was on maternity leave and went for daily walks with Skittles.

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The same time last year, the blossoms looked very similar but I looked quite different! 🙂 And as I was out walking today, I was reminded of the spring of last year where I felt all the hope and joy in the world. Every walk I took in that beautiful reserve reminded me of the miracle of creation and the joy of a new human being who I was longing to meet.

My walk today was a pleasant one, but it made me wonder why things had changed.

Firstly, the reason why I actually went on the walk was not to enjoy the sunny weather, but was really to get a stubborn little boy to sleep. I got him into his pram, fumbled with the straps as he writhed, and got Skittles on her lead – and we were off!

Walking the dog with the pram is a bit of a challenge at times, but it is easier than putting Jacob in the carrier because he’s a bit too heavy for me now. A lot of the walk is focused on getting Skittles to walk beside the pram and not to dart in random directions. I told Daniel that he could get a good Physics question out of our ordeal – namely vectors.

But anyway, so we were walking along, doing the same thing we normally do when we go for walks, and then I saw it. A tree full of blossoms. I stopped for a moment (more because Skittles stopped) and I remembered that I once used to appreciate things a lot more than I do now.

Perhaps it’s the lack of sleep. Daniel blames it on the coffee, which I admit that I’ve been turning to relatively often. But after barely 5 hours of sleep some nights, I justified that coffee was a lesser evil compared to not being able to function every morning. But perhaps it’s the fact that once again, I’ve started setting goals for myself and for Jacob that aren’t coming to pass, and I’m getting frustrated about things that I’m not able to do despite knowing that I don’t actually have to do them.

How does that make sense? I suppose to put it simply, I have been the cause of my own unhappiness. Rather than live in the joy of the moment, I’ve chosen to live aiming to be someone I’m not. And frankly, that is a silly way to live because it just leads to disappointment after disappointment.

20140813_143114This week, I’m going to dwell on the beautiful things in my life. I’m going to come out of my dark corner and bask in the sunlight. And I’m going to bring the people I love with me, too. 🙂

So, remember to stop to see the blossoms. ❤

 

 

Why am I so busy?

So, if you have not noticed already, I constantly complain that I am busy! Yet I also inflict myself with more and more commitments (because that’s just what makes me tick). 

Anyway, I just wanted to share a few things that I do with my time. 

Cleaning. Nope, I don’t have a spa tub at home (but I wish I did!). This is a picture of me when I was working in housekeeping before, hence I should have NO excuse for not knowing how to do housework. 

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Walking Skittles. I’m so happy that I actually have time to walk Skittles almost every day. I think that walking her has been really good for me because it’s helped me control my weight and the fresh air does wonders for the soul! Here is a pic of Skittles when she was really little, on one of her very first walks.

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Baby Bounce. I went to the library’s baby bounce programs and noticed that so many people were attending and having a good time with their babies. It’s an awesome singalong program and a good way for mums to meet other mums too. We have a local ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency) Community Centre in the area and I thought it’d be a great program to start up there! So far, we’ve only had a few mums and bubs but I hope the group will grow significantly (and Jacob and I can both make new friends!).

Food Distribution. The ADRA Community Centre also runs a food distribution program where people who are in need can pick up groceries. The food comes from Second Bite, an organisation who collects and redistributes food to agencies like ADRA to reach the community. What’s great is that Jacob can come along with me when I help out here, and he definitely gets involved with the food. Silly boy must think it’s a ball pit- I usually get him out quite quickly but this was a photo moment I didn’t want to miss.

ImageThere are quite a few different programs available at the ADRA Community Centre so for those of you in the local area, check out their Facebook page for more info! 

Writing. I think I might have mentioned this before, but I write for JOM Magazine which is a Melbourne-based, Malaysian-interest magazine. The hard copy version of the magazine is only available in Melbourne but there is a digital copy that you can read on their website. See if you can spot any of my articles! 🙂 I would love to write more, not just with magazines but on a personal level as well.

And here is a picture of myself, Jacob and a small goat:

ImageAlright, I’m just being random now (probably due to disjointed sleep, busy day and silly but cute baby) so I might just rattle off a few random facts about my week. 

– I am LOVING the fact that this is one of the warmer winters Adelaide is experiencing. This week has been a bit rainy but we got some nice sunshine today. I thrive on warm weather (and could happily go back to living in Far North Queensland).

– Doing community work is really uplifting. While earning money is great too (and we need money to live), helping people fulfil their needs is intrinsically rewarding. I’ve just felt really happy to see the way some of the community activities I’ve been involved in has impacted on people’s lives.

– I am SO blessed with opportunities to earn a living. At times, I get so worried that I’m not earning money and feel bad about buying things etc. But God always provides me with what I need and every time I falter, He reminds me that He is taking care of me.

– I got Jacob’s passport photo taken and I have to admit, my baby is gorgeous. Haha!! He had just woken up from a nap so he was relatively docile but still in a good mood from his good rest. I won’t post his picture up here but I can promise you, it’s pretty cute (and better than my passport photo where I look like some refugee).

– A lecturer of mine posted a video of one of our food and beverage classes 5 years ago, and I can’t believe it’s been 5 years!!! That was my first year in Australia and since then, I’ve lived in 3 different states, graduated, worked at 6 different places (not including one-offs and subcontracted work), gotten married and had a baby. Wow. I have been busy!

Alright, I’ve come to the end of my tether so good night all! 🙂

I shaved my baby!!!

Happy Wednesday everyone! This is mainly a photo post because photos speak a thousand words (and also save a thousand minutes haha!)

Firstly, I need to realise never to leave Jacob alone on the change table (not even for a second to throw away the diaper). He loves sitting up and climbing now, and I usually find him sitting like this on the change table. Today I caught him turning around and when I reached around to get the cloth nappy, and when I grabbed him, he just burst out laughing. Funny child he is. 😛

ImageThe post title speaks for itself… but no, Jacob isn’t bald! 😛 I love his locks but they were getting a little long, so we used an electric shaver. I’m still intrigued that you can’t actually cut yourself with it (how awesome!) though it can get a bit prickly. We shaved his hair on an 8/8 setting, and I really must say it looks alright!

Here’s the before shot:

ImageAnd after the ordeal – doesn’t my boy look handsome?

ImageThis is SO much cheaper than taking him for regular haircuts, and so much safer than using a pair of scissors. Only thing is that he squirmed a lot (he was in a bad mood anyway) and hair went everywhere – and he hated having the hair all over his body and face. It’s amazing how much hair sticks to a baby’s soft skin – took me ages to wash it all off! He did like being powdered after the bath though.

Finally, a brief report on my other baby, Skittles. Woke up to find her in this position – silly dog!

ImageEnjoy the rest of the week! 🙂