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!

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.

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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! 🙂

The gift of availability…

I was going to blog yesterday but we actually had a power outage – we had some crazy winds two nights ago and over 80000 homes lost power, including many local businesses. Jacob and I went out to a mall to escape for some of the day, but it was still a bit of a challenge, especially with hot water as our system is electric ignition based. We got power back last night, thank goodness. Some homes still don’t have power, and even today we still have temperamental power – it dropped out again just before I would publish this!

Read the full story here: http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/power-to-84000-homes-restored-6000-more-to-go-as-crews-are-stretched-to-the-limit/story-fni6uo1m-1226817192911

I don’t know why this blog doesn’t show links now, and am trying to figure out how to embed them. I am a bit technologically challenged so do bear with me!

One good thing about my outing was that I got to drop by Myer’s closing down sale – everything 50% off! I got a new outfit – dress for $20 and wedge heels for $50 (but they’re real leather and very comfy – I need good shoes for my back and neck). Looks kinda retro with the piano and cement floor, doesn’t it?

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Anyway, what I really wanted to talk about today is the gift of availability. No, not the availability of a gift (though I love gifts!). I’m used to having a very busy lifestyle – even when I was a kid, I had a myriad of activities outside of school. Art classes, dance classes, music classes, tuition classes… the list goes on. And I would go to bed that night feeling rather tired but fulfilled because I had ‘made the most of my day’.

Now that I’m grown up, I’ve tried to adopt a similar outlook on life – by being busy and ‘productive’. Work used to keep me on my toes, but I also did other things like voluntary work, church activities, etc. But I found that it wasn’t actually giving me the feeling of fulfillment that I’ve been seeking since childhood. What was it I was missing?

I think I was actually missing time to do things that mattered more to me. Yes, it was good to build things into my schedule so I actually had a predictable time frame to work with. I’d know what time to do what and where I’d have to be when, etc. But since I stopped work, I’ve actually enjoyed the lack of structure to my life and the fact that I don’t have to make commitments in most of my waking hours.

Of course, I have to care for Jacob, which is a full time job in itself… but it also comes with a myriad of surprises and changing patterns. He has a routine to an extent, but there are also times where he’ll just change his mind and want to do something completely different. The last few days have been testament to this as he’s been teething (and has a little sharp edge sticking out already) – his sleeping and eating pattern both have gone to the dogs! But he’s still cute (especially when he’s sleeping):

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On Sunday, there was some worrying news going around – friends of ours had their son in hospital and the doctors couldn’t seem to figure out what was wrong with him. Another pregnant friend of ours also went into hospital with contractions which could have resulted in premature labour. We prayed for them, but we were quite busy moving furniture and stripping carpet/lino for renovations this week so couldn’t go out to see them.

However, on Monday, things didn’t look much brighter and I thought to myself – I don’t have anything pressing to do today. I could drop by to visit these friends – and that’s exactly what I did. Things just seemed to fall in place – I managed to pick up and put together a gift basket, and a friend was with me so that when I went to the Paed ward, she could keep Jacob outside (in case he caught something from there). I know I’d had a bee in my bonnet the days leading up to that, but for some reason, when I was there with my friends, I felt completely at peace. I felt that I was doing the right thing at the right time and that my purpose had been fulfilled.

And I thought to myself, how amazing is it to be available? There are so many needs out there to be met, and I wasn’t able to give them my attention because I was too busy with my own life. I made my own plans all the time, and thought I was being productive – which I might have been, but not necessarily was I happy. But once I surrendered my time into the hands of Someone bigger than me, things were being achieved on a bigger scale and I finally felt like I was doing the right thing.

So, for now, I think I won’t overcrowd my calendar with this, that and everything – because sometimes, all that’s asked of you is your time, and you want to be able to freely give it.

Here’s to many more days where we are available to do amazingly more than we’d ever have imagined! 🙂

A final greeting from Skittles who thinks she’s queen of the carpet and lino. 

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Baby Shower Number 1

We have another shocker of a hot week so I’m going to stay in as much as possible, and if I have errands, will run them as early as possible. Thank goodness that it wasn’t so hot on the day of baby shower number one! 🙂 My friend is due in early March and she’s having a baby boy!

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She had the party out in the yard and it was a beach-themed party. There was soooo much delicious food! I love the idea of the wishing tree (why didn’t I think of that at my shower?) – people just write a wish on a leaf and stick it on. I also made the little umbrella cups in the picture – I got the idea off the net and it was supposed to look like the picture below, but the cream melted and the babies sank into the ‘sand’. Oh well!

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I ordered some cupcakes from a friend of mine and they did not disappoint. There was a little girl there who was fascinated by the dummy on the cupcake baby’s mouth and ate it right off! There was so much food that the men (who had gone off to play golf) came back after to help us finish it up!

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Game time! Her sister-in-law organised three games while I organised the two games below (and had a third one on standby, but it was getting late). I especially enjoyed the Bottle drinking race between the three pregnant ladies – one would not imagine how hard it is to drink from a baby bottle (the teat is soooo tiny!).

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My friend is really creative, hence a lot of the things at her baby shower are handmade! She made a lot of the decorations by herself and even made some gorgeous little booties for her bombonieres with yummy Hershey’s chocolate (I LOVE HERSHEY’S, especially the Cookies and Cream one).

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Finally, what was Jacob doing? He was there with the ladies socialising, as usual! He was a good boy and went down for an afternoon sleep so I could have something to eat. Thanks everyone for taking turns to take care of him! 🙂 Here he is in a bit of a standoff with the dog (which is about the same size as him, haha!). 

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It was a really lovely day and it was awesome to have a public holiday the next day to recover from it (for those who are working anyway). Today it’s back to school for Dan (and also all the students) – hope everyone has a lovely day!

Perfect swimming weather!

We’re just recovering from Adelaide’s hottest December day in 82 years! The temperature hit just over 43 degrees yesterday and I think everyone was feeling the heat, especially poor Skittles (we let her in for a bit and gave her many ice cubes). We bought a shell yesterday (because I’m not into blowing up a pool, and Skittles bit a hole in our old pool) and it was lovely.

ImageJacob cooled down heaps in the pool and had a fun splash about – he was a bit shocked that the water was so cool (as he normally has warm baths) but he got used to it. Didn’t keep him in for too long though.

ImageAfterwards, Skittles got a turn. She’s sorta scared of water so won’t go in when we’re there (maybe because she hates baths), but will go and explore it herself later on and have a sip.

ImageToday is still relatively hot – 38 degrees! If it’s this hot now, I can’t imagine what it’ll be like in January! Let’s hope for no bushfires! At least it cools down over the weekend and it’s 30 degrees on Christmas day. 

I know I’m supposed to blog about the nativity experience (and I will in my next post, for sure) but today I really want to talk about pregnancy bodies, weight loss and all that jazz.

Yesterday marked the first day that I stepped into a bikini and I honestly didn’t mind how I looked. Firstly, I have to admit that this pregnancy was really kind to me. It’s in my genes not to have stretch marks (or so I hope anyway – fingers crossed if I have other kids) so I only have my linea negra to show for it, and I had a “not interested in food” pregnancy though I did eat more in the third trimester. I think that we had a good strategy having a winter baby, as the pregnant belly keeps you warm in winter, and you generally lose your pregnancy weight in summer because people lose weight in summer anyhow.

I’m still about 7kg above my pre-pregnancy weight though I think I have toned myself up in the last few weeks. Now, let me assure you that I’m not starving myself (hardly, it’s Christmastime!) and not working out crazily either. I admit that I do take the opportunity to walk Skittles every day (except for when it’s 43 degrees!) and that does help. But breastfeeding makes you really hungry and it’s only right that you eat a good amount so your baby will be nourished too.

I know some of my pregnant friends are worried at times whether they’re overeating, or if they’ll be able to lose the weight they gained over pregnancy. I have to tell you the truth – you’re not going to have your exact pre-pregnancy body back, and not right away for sure. I know for myself that my hips have gotten bigger and my thighs are bigger than Daniel’s at the moment – *gasp*! But I know that in time, I’ll get back to a healthy body shape and that’s all that’s important for me.

So, for you ladies who are pregnant, eat well but don’t overindulge with your cravings. I know sometimes it’s tempting to eat a whole tub of ice cream, but you’ll be fine with just a scoop or even one of those mini ice creams on a stick. (I love mini Magnums, yum!) If you can breastfeed, do so as it does help with your weight loss but if you can’t, you’re still a great mum and your baby will thrive on formula too. 

I think what’s important is to keep active even after pregnancy. Now I’m not asking you to run on a treadmill in the first few weeks after the birth. I actually put on weight in the first few weeks after Jacob was born as I was sitting at home a lot (as opposed to walking the dog and running around heaps as I was doing in pregnancy) and my mum was feeding me lots of nourishing food. But there are heaps of things you could do – walking’s probably the easiest. I know there are mum and bubs exercise groups like yoga, etc. and I find it’s great to meet other mums so you can sit and rant about baby poo stories together. 

But what’s most important is to remember that you are beautiful. I remember going through a lot of “OMG I look like a frog” moments over the last few months. I guess it didn’t help that my skin was peeling, I was losing hair and I don’t look great sleep-deprived either. Partners, this is where it is important to convince your wife that she does not look like a frog. You have to remind her that all her odd bits here and there are just tiny reminders of the miracle that she has given birth to.

And mums, you are beautiful. You just have to look into your baby’s eyes and catch him/her gazing back at you to remember that he/she thinks you are the most beautiful being on earth.