What’s my morning routine?

We’re onto the 10th part of this blog challenge – I thought it would be hard to keep up but I guess I love pouring out my thoughts so much that it hasn’t seemed too difficult to find the momentum. That’s also possibly because of the number of hours that I’m awake in a day versus the hours I sleep (and one fine day I might crash and wake up like a week later?) – but so be it!

Today I’m meant to share my morning routine with you – I hope you can stomach it! 😉

First thing in the morning, I wake up to light streaming through my curtains and birds chirping outside my window. I stretch and yawn, feeling great that I’ve had a good night’s sleep and am ready to take on the new day! I sit back against my plush pillows, sipping herbal tea and trying to decide what colour I’ll paint my nails. Bring it on, skincare regime and yoga…

morningI should feel like this every time I wake up in the morning…

Oh wait, sorry, I think that might be happening in an alternate universe, but certainly not in my house…

Somewhere between 4.00am and 5.30am
Jared (the 12 week old) stirs. He either goes back to sleep easily, or he’s in the happy chatty mood that is so cute but also means he’s not going back to sleep for at least another hour or so. Which brings me to…

Somewhere between 5.30am and 5.45am
Jacob (the 2 and 3/4 year old) rises, and there is the rushed scurry between hubby and I to try and get him to go back into bed. He doesn’t go back to sleep, but some days he does agree to lie in bed until his Groclock sun rises (which is around 6.45am). Other days, it can get quite loud…

6.40am
Hubby gets out of bed and gets ready for work. Jacob and Jared conspire against me and both are wide awake, and Jacob conveniently sits on my head and tries to get me to read him books. So I drag my sorry self out of bed to make Jacob breakfast if hubby hasn’t already done it. I put on the kettle and pop a croissant into the convection oven. Then I make my coffee and try to enjoy my croissant while cuddling the bub and feeding Jacob his Weetbix bites & Cheerios.

One thing i might mention is that we say the “Superman” grace every morning and practically every meal (courtesy of Jacob’s cousin in Canberra who taught it to us when his family were over). It goes like this:
 (To the tune of the “Superman” theme)
Thank you God for giving us food
Thank you God for giving us food
For the food we eat
And the friends we meet
Thank you God for giving us food… Amen!

7.45am
Hubby leaves for work and I try my best to get things in order for the day, such as:
– Get Jacob to finish his breakfast and feed Jared
– Wash hands, brush teeth, clean Weetbix off my clothing and milk out of my hair.
– Change both boys’ nappies and make them presentable
– Feed the dog and top up her water
– Put Jared down for a nap before he loses it.

20160519_080313Shh, Jacob, don’t wake him!

And finally, we work out what we are doing for the day. The following are some of the things I usually do during the week:
Going to playgroup. I often go to one that’s tied to the school Jacob will be going to, and I’ve just started checking out a bilingual Mandarin playgroup too, which is really interesting (and I’m so amazed at how much Jacob has picked up after only going twice. Today he literally sang me one of the Chinese songs – he wasn’t even paying attention when they were singing it, or so I thought anyway!)
Swimming lesson. Jacob LOVES swimming (though he puts up a fuss all morning and all the way there about not wanting to go, and then when we’re there he doesn’t want to go home). Routinely after swimming he gets a nice hot milo and a hot shower at home.
Shopping. I usually try to do this on Jacob’s childcare day but sometimes I have to attempt the shops, ugh! Lots of coping strategies including numerous snacks, entertainment, and sometimes we play hide and seek with the pram cover (mainly when I want him NOT to see the Peppa Pig car ride on that we’re walking past).
A morning in. Sometimes we just have a lazy one – chill out and play with Lego, play outside, read some books or sometimes we do sneak in a bit of TV (if Jared is asleep and if I need to get housework done).
– Church. Jacob loves to go to church as he enjoys the kids program and gets to see his grandparents and sometimes his cousins too.
Anything. Like tomorrow, I’m taking him to this event called “Touch a Truck” where the local council is giving kids the opportunity to ride in and operate a garbage truck! So excited and really hoping there won’t be too many people there!

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What’s the best part of your daily routine?

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5 months of joy…

Argh, so I haven’t blogged in a while. This probably coincides with Daniel going back to school, because I can barely remember what it was like to deal with Jacob by myself all day. I have been spoiled, haven’t I?

Thank goodness that he can entertain himself a bit better nowadays, so I have some time for myself. He’s currently lying in his tunnel watching Praise Baby. I highly recommend Praise Baby DVDs – lovely music and lovely pictures/videos. It’s meant to stimulate babies’ minds with bright colours, animals and children playing too. Jacob can only last one or two songs before he loses interest, but that’s pretty good I reckon (and I don’t want to make him a TV junkie after all).

Also, thank goodness that Sophie arrived! She was about 3 weeks late and I was so afraid she got lost in the post, but here she is (and she has become Jacob’s best bud)!

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But I promised myself that I would blog today, first thing (even before breakfast – just having a hot drink while I write this.) because today, Jacob is 5 months old! Goodness, time flies, doesn’t it? He’s grown so much and I’m looking forward to so many wonderful days, months and years to come!

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One thing I know about Jacob is that he’s not camera shy. He’s now used to smiling at the camera and boy, is he a ham! He looks in the mirror and thinks, no, he knows that he is gorgeous… Hopefully he hasn’t picked up that vanity from me, haha!

I’m also so happy that he’s confident in water and loves splashing about.

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He tried his hand at surfing too but I think he needs to wait until he can stand up…

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I just thought a little poem up for Jacob, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart.

Little hands and little feet
A little dimpled smile to greet
Me every morning, every night;
My little ray of sunlight

Little kisses, little squeals
His personality steals
My attention all the day;
I cannot bear to be away

Little breaths and little snores
Exactly what mummy adores
A little joy gives me wings
Thank you God for little things

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Happy 5 months, little showoff of mine! Your crazy mummy is already planning your 1st birthday party!

On another note, 5 reasons why I think Jacob is going to be a tech whiz:

5. He loves touching my phone and seeing things work. He zooms into pictures and slashes fruit in Fruit Ninja.

4. When he’s next to me when I type things, he copies my finger movement and types stuff. He also scrolls on my touchpad and moves things around. Once he even replayed a baby stimulation Youtube video – I guess he must have liked it.

3. We gave him a musical toy and he started playing some strange music from it – like songs that we couldn’t figure out how to play. It took us weeks to work out that you need to hold down certain buttons for that music to play.

2. He touched our TV remote and turned on subtitles. I had no idea how to turn them off.

1. He just deleted an article I was writing. With a giraffe. No, I kid you not. He was playing around with Sophie the Giraffe near my computer and suddenly selected my whole article and deleted it. Thank goodness he doesn’t know how to save a document.

Alrighty, I should get back to finishing my article and other writing work that I have to do. 🙂

Musings on a murderously hot day…

Heat wave! Yesterday’s temperatures soared to 45 and today it’s meant to hit 46! I was tempted to stay in all day yesterday, though it gets pretty hot in the house too – our air con’s working overtime. We escaped to the shopping mall for some retail therapy while Jacob slept in the pram. Dan picked up more work pants, while I pondered about what swimwear to get. My old bikinis are too small and my pregnancy swimsuit is a bit too big. I was toying between these two pieces from Dotti:

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Which one do you prefer? I love the bold colours… Well, since they were on sale, I got both! Ironically, I’ll probably have shorts or a tank over the bikini anyway. So now, I just have to head to the beach one of these days. It’s hard with a baby though, especially since I don’t want to give his poor skin too much sun exposure.

Poor Jacob doesn’t like the heat, so he stays relatively nudie all day (apart from the nappy). Since we were all hot and sweaty, we had another dip in the shell.

ImageEven on the hottest days, babies still get cold if the water is too cold. The last time we had a bit of a swim, Jacob got really quite cold – so, even though it was sweltering today, I added a kettle of hot water to warm it up a bit. Yay for little swimming shells!

Hot weather also makes me more inactive, hence I’ve sat on the computer most of the day. To be fair, I had some projects that I was working on. I’ve been doing a bit of designing as well as arts and crafts with regards to baby showers – would love to share but will keep it quiet til after the showers. First one coming up in less than 2 weeks!

I went to a friend’s baby shower a month or two ago… and she’s just had her baby! I went over to visit her today and it was just lovely to see her and her gorgeous little boy. My sister in law also had her baby back in December, and it’s lovely to see all the cousins together:

ImageAll the baby talk is making me clucky again! I was thinking about the early weeks after Jacob was born and how challenging it was at times. If I could do it all over again (and I probably will if I have a second baby), here are five things I would have done differently:

1. Spent more time in hospital – I didn’t even stay the night (though I guess you could count my night in labour as staying the night). My rationale for going home so early was because I didn’t want to be moved to a shared room in the event that someone else came in in labour and because Jacob and I were doing alright. Thinking about it, I probably would have appreciated a bit more rest. I was buzzing from the adrenaline of it all and didn’t even sleep very much the day he was born. 

2. Shared the baby a bit more – my parents and Dan were at home, but I would choose to sit in the room with Jacob alone just because I wanted to be close to him. I felt directly responsible for anything Jacob did and would always take him when he cried. Now I realise that I could have given myself a few breathers by just passing on the responsibility.

3. Used a nipple shield for breastfeeding – boy, were those first weeks a bit sore! I didn’t even know about them but perhaps they might have helped. I would have liked to speak to more people about what to expect from breastfeeding too, though now I need no introduction. 

4. Not freaked out every time the baby cries – I’ve realised now that babies just cry because they need things. They’re not necessarily sad or upset, but are just trying to communicate their needs. It would have helped the baby stay calm too if I had been calm, but I guess sometimes it’s harder than it sounds.

5. Enjoyed every moment just a tiny bit more – I admit I didn’t enjoy everything I could enjoy in the early weeks. I could have spent more time watching Jacob sleep, or cuddled him more, or even taken more photos. Time puts things into perspective, and I can’t believe how much time has already passed me by.

For now, rather than looking back in retrospect, I’d like to look forward and spend many joyful moments with my lovely family. Tomorrow’s going to be 42 degrees and then we have a cool change (if you can call low 30s cool, I guess). Stay cool, everyone!

 

 

Summer lovin…

We have a bit of a heat wave here – 42 degrees today! I’m keeping Jacob in so we don’t get scorched. On an awesome note though, there’s a bit of thunder out there. I love summer rain, and I’m sure Jacob will too one day! Growing up in Malaysia, summer rain was all too common but here it’s a bit of a rarity. I also love to take walks with Skittles after a good rain – the reserve almost comes alive with the sound of the stream flowing and the frogs croaking.

I’m looking forward to a fun summer with Jacob. Honestly, I’m so amazed at how much he’s grown and how he’s so much stronger, smarter and cuter each day (though I may be biased). He’s sociable, active, a bit crazy at times (like when he makes squawking or screeching sounds) and he does try very hard. He rolls around a lot now (even tries to roll out of his pram) and is really keen on crawling (a.k.a. slithering) around. Sometimes we find him in his baby gym like this:

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Anyway, we caught up with the family over the weekend and had a little splish splash splosh in the pool. I love the fact that he’s a similar age to his cousins, and when they’re a bit older I can see them all running around together having fun. It was a pretty warm day though there was a bit of a breeze, hence Jacob got cold quite quickly so we only let him have a few dips. Initially, Jacob was not impressed as he was being splashed (and the water was a bit cold).

ImageBut, being the lover of water that he is, he decided that yes, he would have a good time despite being a little cold and wet. Of course, this was possibly also because the big kids were out of the pool and he was in the limelight. Photo credits to nanny of course – he seems to love to smile at her camera. Maybe I’ll get a pink phone cover too.

ImageI think it’s so important to give kids water exposure/education at a young age so that they’re comfortable with it. That being said, it’s probably just as important to never take any of that for granted and always supervise kids with water, because they can drown in like mere inches of water.

Here in Australia, lots of babies start swimming classes from 6 months old. I don’t think I’ll start Jacob that early, but I am keen to keep him comfortable with water. He swims quite often in the bath (as we bathe with him in the bathtub) and is quite accustomed to having water being poured on his face, since we’ve really been doing that since day one. I do hope he becomes a good swimmer like his daddy! (Mummy’s not too bad but has no stamina…)

Another highlight of the week is Jacob’s first haircut. The lucky boy had a free haircut as the first one is complimentary! Here’s his before picture, and he’s actually in a brand new shirt that we got from the Pumpkin Patch sale.

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Reason for this impulse purchase? Well, when we headed out to the mall and I thought “Aw, just a short trip so don’t need to worry about a spare change of clothes.” And just a while after we got there, all hell breaks loose in his nappy to a point that he can no longer wear his jumpsuit around. So, what to do – I do like his new shirt though, and it was only $10 anyway…

The result? A handsome happy baby… (in my opinion anyway)

ImageI will busy myself this week with baby shower organisation – there are three coming up in the next month or so and I can’t wait. Not to mention, Chinese New Year is around the corner too and while we don’t usually make a big occasion of it, there are lots of dishes I’d love to cook! 🙂 Hope you all have an exciting month ahead!

Happy New Year!

I picked a fine day to try and write a major blog post (yesterday) and just couldn’t get the time to sit down and focus on writing. We had a New Year’s Eve party to go to and I was pushing hard to get the housework done. I went out to the shops to get groceries (boy was it busy!), washed 2 lots of laundry, did some outstanding dishes, made honeydew sago, etc. Thank goodness for Dan being at home so we could share the Jacob duties (except for breastfeeding!)

And we had a lovely party at our friend’s house which involved scrumptious food, swimming, karaoke and a countdown. This was Jacob’s first time in a swimming pool, though he has been ‘swimming’ in the bath before. It had been a relatively hot day and the pool water was about 32 degrees, which was really nice. I bought him a little floatie to swim with, but what he liked best was floating in the water on his back – all I need to do is support his head, and he just floats around calmly, gurgling to himself.

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Jacob was quite intent on being awake so I let him be – he did have a sleep for almost two hours, but then woke up to join us for karaoke. Maybe one day he’ll be able to sing karaoke with me (until he becomes a teenager and finds it uncool to sing with mum). Here he is ‘singing’ with a friend of mine (more like him making screeching sounds).

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And of course, we just had a lovely countdown between the lot of us. I’m so thankful for friends and family, and that I can spend such celebrations with them. A few years ago, this would have been an impossibility because I worked in hospitality and had to be busy at work on such occasions. I remember my first new year’s knowing Daniel (2011), I spent on the balcony of The Westin Melbourne, sipping a glass of French champagne (the boss let us open a bottle) watching the fireworks over Federation Square. Then, after my shift ended, I rushed down to meet Daniel and welcome the new year with him.

Come to think of it, I also welcomed 2012 away from home as I was in Auckland organising my visa (I had to go offshore to get my visa done, long story). I was staying at a Backpacker’s place and didn’t have any plans – then I got invited to dinner with some girls, so we went out for a steak in a pub and then counted down in the middle of the street, waiting for the fireworks to go off from the Skytower. Well, it was a foggy night and we only caught glimpses, but it was a really lovely time. Missed being with hubby of course, but I knew there’d always be the following year (which we just spent at home with my parents).

All this talk of new year made me wonder if things actually changed in the new year. This morning I woke up to a handsome man and a cute baby (who puked on my nice clean sheets, le sigh!). I had a bowl of cereal for breakfast and Skittles stared in from the window, hoping that we would get up to give her breakfast. I realised that things aren’t really that different, and I can’t complain because these people (and dog) bring such meaning to my life.

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I think what really changes at this time of year is people’s mindsets. New Year’s is a time of hope and new meaning to a person’s life. It’s a time for putting the past aside and focusing on what’s ahead. It’s a time for regrets, but also a time for new resolutions. It’s a time to forget about the failures and to just dream big. It’s like, when the clock ticks past midnight, a new lease of life has been given to people and we can find the strength to start the year right.

But I believe that we have access to this strength anytime, be it on New Year’s Day or on any day of the year. I aim to make every day count, and to try to start every day right (even if I’ve had a rough night before that, or am not feeling well, etc.). I’m honestly really happy to have done all the things I’ve done in my life, the good and the bad because it’s made me who I am today. Yes, sorry that was a bit cliché but it’s very true.

That being said, and I know I haven’t been consistent with my top 5 list, here are the top 5 things I promise myself for this year:

5. I promise myself that even if I stumble, I will pick myself up. One of my biggest problems is when I falter, I just succumb to my failure and revel in it. I need to remind myself that I can overcome, and that all things are possible if I just tap the right power source.

4. I promise myself that I will keep Daniel the happiest husband alive. I know that many times I fall short, and many times I feel I ask too much and give too little. But I will remember to thank him for the little things and remember that I’m as much a wife as I am a mother.

3. I promise myself that I will enjoy Jacob and not let this time slip by. I was tempted to go back to work at first, but I realise now that my baby needs me and that I need him. Not that he’ll turn out bad if I put him in childcare, but I know I will regret all the lost time. I must remember to enjoy the intimate moments, because all too soon he’ll be a toddler, and then he’ll go to school and then become a teenager. And when he leaves home to start his own family, I will have those beautiful moments to hold on to.

2. I promise myself that I will focus more on my spiritual life. No, this doesn’t mean that I’m going to drop all I’m doing and become a missionary and travel across Asia and Africa baptising people. Though a mission trip at some time would be amazing (but I think I’ll wait til the kid(s) are older). But I do need to remember that your faith is what you stand for; it should be something that defines you, something that resonates from your very core to a point that people do not question it and and respect what you believe in.

1. I promise myself that no matter what happens this year, I choose to be happy. I choose happiness for my family and my loved ones, and I do hope that they will choose the same as well.

Happy New Year everyone! May 2014 be an amazing year that astounds you to no end!