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.

jjdjdd

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.

WP_20130127_002

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!

Advertisements

My first day of solo parenting

So, my parents left and I had to face reality – that I am going to be spending a lot of time with these kids on my own!

Just for fun, I thought I’d document my first day (or rather, first 12 hours) of solo parenting. Hubby was at work and had parent teacher interviews til late, and I had to pick him up as the other car had been sent for repair.

I hope not to bore you but this is roughly how my day worked out.

7.30am – We farewell daddy and have breakfast, which comprises Weetbix Bites and Cheerios (and has to be mopped up from the floor eventually).

8.00am – I realise that it’s the playgroup party day and I haven’t made “party food”! Cue scrambling around to find something, and then the Asian in me prevails and I make fried bananas. I certainly will share my recipe one day!

fried bananas

8.30am – Get both kids ready for playgroup. Since it’s Siblings Day (or I think it’s the day after, but never mind), I dress them in their matching shirts! Seriously, I’m one of those mums that loves to dress their kids in matching stuff. I would probably dress to match them too if I could. I would also do daily photoshoots. But I digress…

9.30am – So, we do get to playgroup after taking heaps of photos of the boys in their matching stuff. Playgroup is great, but there’s always that one kid that goes up to another boy, shouts at him and takes his helicopter. And the one who has a tantrum as he’s frustrated that he couldn’t get something to fit into something which clearly defied physical laws. You know, the kid who won’t sit still for morning tea time and pulls out the storytime blanket from under some kids because it’s “MY BLANKET”. Yes, that is my child. I think the other mums are a combination of understanding and sympathetic towards my cause. At least my fried bananas are well received.

12.00pm – We are done with playgroup! Playgroup ends at 11.30am but it took me close to 30 mins to round up my unruly lot (i.e. one child) who took off his shoes, then I put them back on and he lost one again, and then he ran off with the door stopper and insisted it was his phone. Thank goodness for baby carriers, so I could have the baby nicely nestled in it while I lug the toddler  to the car.

1.00pm – Finally, we are organised and are eating lunch. Leftovers again, because I had no time to make anything new! That’s what weekends are for, right? Toddler is bribed to eat his food by bartering Lego pieces for his new police truck. He’s really into Duplo at the moment so I might as well make the most of it.20160322_150951

2.30pm – A friend comes over to visit with her little boy so the kiddos have a good play. I give the boys little chocolate cupcakes as treats, and there are suddenly crumbs everywhere. Try to vacuum it up with the hand vac but it doesn’t work as somebody turned the power off the charger. Brush it off and pretend the crumbs will evaporate.

4.30pm – My friend is just about to leave and we realise the boys have been pretty darn quiet. We enter the room to see half a tissue box worth of tissues on the floor!!! I reckon the boys made a pile each! My only regret is that we didn’t take a photo!

5.30pm – Normally hubby would be home by now but he’s out, so I try to put food on the table. Yet again, it’s leftovers but a different kind of leftovers (lunch was stir fry and rice, now it’s pizza). Faced with strong opposition by toddler who eats about 2 bites and then does a poo in his nappy. Take him out to be changed while baby fusses (he’s normally fussy in the evening) and the baby does a blowout, so change that and toddler’s like “Mummy, I did another one.” A lot of nappy changing and very little eating done, and then I realise that we have to go and pick hubby up soon. By now it is nearly 7pm and I’m going to run late, so we resort to a baby food pouch – Apple and Fig Porridge – which is well-received, thank goodness!

7.30pm  – We get to hubby’s workplace to pick him up, and some of hubby’s colleagues get their fair share of baby cuddles. Thus ends a busy yet fun day!

I look forward to many more fun days with my boys, as trying as they can be at times!

And also, happy (belated) siblings day!

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!

 

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?

daddy

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:

20150106_171419

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:

shoe

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.

20141205_160439
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?

20141216_140502

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!

20141213_122033

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.

20141220_084810

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!

Perfectionism and other flaws

I apologise for the hiatus but I’ve had other priorities that unfortunately had to be attended to before I could justify doing my own writing.

Truly, I was actually working on an article about multiculturalism in Australia and corresponding opinions and advice on the matter. I’d love to discuss it further, but perhaps in another post since I’ve spent my last few days dwelling on the same topic that it’s driving me nuts!

I write for a Melbourne-based Malaysian magazine, and it’s quite interesting to see how it’s developed over the last half year. We cover community and lifestyle articles focusing on Malaysian-interest themes; I’d highly suggest checking it out for yourself: http://jommagazine.com.au/

Below is just a snippet of one of the articles I’ve contributed to the magazine in conjunction with Valentine’s Day!

Snip

Anyway, today I wanted to speak more about perfectionism, because it’s something I myself struggle with on a daily basis. I remember once going into an interview where the following scene ensued:

Interviewer: What do you feel are your biggest weaknesses?
Me: Probably the fact that I’m a perfectionist.
Interviewer: How about a weakness that isn’t actually a strength?
Me: ….

Needless to say, I did get the job and did exhibit a certain level of perfectionism within the role I took up. However, is it really a strength? Or could it just be a hindrance to feeling content with your life?

I started pondering this topic again when I came across an article in a parenting magazine I was reading in a hospital waiting area. The article discussed how some parents can portray themselves to be ‘perfect’ parents who always seem to be able to get their stuff together, not to mention their kids are perfect and have no known problems to the outside world. It makes people look up to them, try to emulate their ways and feel sorry for themselves for not being so perfect. And it can also spark jealousy and ruin relationships.

Somehow, I’m quite afraid that I’m going to end up being that ‘perfect’ parent. I don’t like exposing my problems, and I really don’t like being pitied or being asked “Are you okay?” and having people giving me loving words of care and advice. And of course, I know people mean well but it makes me feel awkward, hence I’d rather just not mention it in the first place.

In fact, I don’t even like letting people know that I’m feeling sick, to a point where I’ve had to be carried unconscious to the school clinic or taken to hospital because I’ve let my symptoms go unattended for too long. And all this boils down to my emotional need to appear invincible to the outside world.

Throughout my life, I’ve received compliments like being ‘wonder woman’, having ‘superhuman powers’, and some have even asked me to write a self-help book on how to become as successful as me! And as flattering as they may be, I need to assure people sometimes that I’m only human and that there are so many flaws beneath my skin that people just don’t see because I’m too darn good at hiding them.

And whereabouts has this perfectionist streak come from? I’m not fully sure, though from some of the stories my mother tells me, I’m quite sure I was like that from a very young age.

Image

And tada, that’s me at a relatively young age! 🙂 My mum used to have my hair cut really short so I looked like a boy. She recalls that I used to be really polite, prim and proper even, at the hairdressers as they lopped off my locks. But the moment I got home, I’d throw a tantrum because I hated what they had done to my dream of becoming a beautiful princess with long flowing hair.

Not to mention, once I had a birthday party where my mum ordered a low-calorie cake. Yet again, I was on my best behaviour but when I got home, I took off my clothes and had a terrible screaming match because I didn’t like the cake.

I’m sure you notice the trend – that in public eye, I was an angel sent from heaven. But what looms in that domain of my home, and now more so in my subconscious; only so few people have seen that side of me, and perhaps that’s exactly how I want it to stay.

Weakness, or strength?