March 2020: Covid-19 escalates

The days in March felt short, yet the whole month seemed so slow…

Covid-19 travel advisories and the #stayhome campaign

We had a big family trip to New York City (!) planned for early April, which sadly had to be cancelled due to Covid-19. It was going to be scary flying with 2 kids, yet exciting because we were going in a huge group with all of NG’s family members. It was also supposed to be a sweet 5 year return since our honeymoon kinda thing, but oh well.

Although it seems obvious now that the trip was bound to be cancelled because of the Govt’s advice; their imposing of Stay Home Notice (and most recently the “stay hotel notice”, my own words not theirs, for travellers returning from US & Britain); and also the fast rising of Covid-19 cases in the US — it wasn’t really clear at the start of the month. We were in a limbo, watching the Govt issue advisories against travelling to Italy, Spain, UK and Germany … but not US. And to be honest we were somewhat reluctant to cancel the trip because we had a lot of money in our Airbnb bookings. Airbnb’s stance at first was to refer us to our hosts for cancellation policies, and you’d bet no host would generously give full refunds at their own expense of lost revenue. Eventually Airbnb did allow guests to cancel bookings without penalty, and we were in a better position to cancel.

Even though calling off the trip is better for our well-being, I can’t help but feel disappointed. Last year’s family trip was so fun and memorable, and I was hoping for the same this year. Also during my pregnancy I’d bought Chickpea some warmer clothes to wear, but looks like I’ll have to sell them … after the world gets the all clear to travel again.

At the same time in Singapore, the calls to #stayhome were getting stronger as the month progressed. Luckily in the first few weeks I managed to go on mummy dates and catch up with my dear ex-colleagues for lunch. Having a newborn around this season meant I was sorta used to staying home anyways, but I still liked the idea of meeting friends to catch up and going out for a few hours. In the past week I’ve cut down on meeting friends and eating out. Hope our country doesn’t go into lockdown because I would hate to have this last bit of freedom to go out (admittedly at my own risk and discretion) to be taken away.

Chickpea updates

Round 2 of having a newborn is alhamdulillah easier and less stressful! And it also helps that Chickpea has been pleasant, patient, and forgiving with us. As a second time mum, I feel more confident of my choices and more willing to trust my baby. For instance, I now believe that babies need a lot of touch, so I try to be open-minded and complain less when Chickpea wants to be carried.

Chickpea is also shaping up to be rounder than her older sister was, which I secretly love. So cute! Love chubby babies! I dunno if she’s rounder because she’s sleeping quite a lot (yay! hope I’m not jinxing myself) or that I’m better at nursing now. She’s been really good with sleeping in a wrap — I’ve been out a few times without having to remove her because she’s just sleeping all the way.

Watermelon updates

While her kakak transition has been relatively smooth so far, I think poor Watermelon is still going through some hard developmental times because she’s been quite challenging lately. A lot of whining, crying, and night terrors. Truly a testing period where I’ve not been proud of the way I’ve sometimes responded, and at the same time trying to motivate myself to be a more positive parent. Hopefully I will do better by her.

First highlight of this month is finally bringing her to the PD to get her started on her vaccines. I was really worried about how she’d respond to needles and pain, but our warm and friendly doctor at The Cheery Child Clinic made it a very casual experience that she didn’t cry at all — alhamdulillah all my worries were for naught.

Second highlight is (also, finally) trying to commit to a stricter bedtime routine. I feel that the top 2 areas of concern that keep coming up with mother-ing Watermelon are (i) SLEEP and (ii) FOOD. So here’s me trying to tackle the sleep issue harder. After talking to more mummy friends, I’ve come to realise that I’ve really got to clear my night schedule and let go of all expectations of me-time or errands-time so I can get her in bed earlier. In a way, the whole staying home makes this easier. So let’s hope this will be a permanent-ish change in our lifestyle.

As for food, I recently bought a book about picky eating. Looking forward to valuable insights and helping Watermelon eat more varied foods.

Other things I’ve been up to

Netflix-wise, I watched “Crash Landing On You” together with NG. Fun times, reminds me of how we used to watch kdramas together back in 2017 when I was on maternity leave. I’m almost done with an oldie, “My Love From A Star” after a friend recommended it. Plus it was written by CLOY’s writer, so I was extra curious. Concurrently watching Queer Eye, ok finally I get the hype. Love the series despite the occasional eye-roll moments haha.

Fitness: My second pregnancy was a lot fitter than my first. I also gained more weight this round. Sooo this brings me to my current situation of (i) grieving over having to restart my fitness from scratch, and (ii) feeling anxious to lose my pregnancy weight quickly. This past week, I’ve been trying to make it a point to go on daily morning walks as mini cardio. After subuh I change out, wrap Chickpea, and go. When Watermelon wakes up, NG bathes her and feeds her breakfast, and when I’m back I hang out with her a little while before sending her to school. NG used to do morning school runs, but with him working from home more now, it makes more sense for me to do it.

Food: NG and I are trying to move towards a whole foods plant-based diet for health reasons. And weight loss (me). Imho this lifestyle change is the sort of thing where you cannot expect to do it perfectly, or you might never start. So while I try not to buy meat or poultry anymore, we still do eat meat and chicken when outside or eating at parents’, and indulge in fast food or processed food once in a while. And cook fish and prawns weekly, because they’re tried and tested and easy for us. Our struggle is finding WFPB recipes that entice us. There are TONS of recipes out there, but many don’t particularly feel inspiring. Hopefully we’ll keep building our collection of go-to recipes and successfully transition!

Next month …

I want to keep up with my exercise, before Ramadhan comes

Continue decluttering around the home

Finish reading the book on picky eating and see what I can implement

Get started again on finding work assignments … wish me luck and rezeki!


Stay safe and healthy, everyone! May we find hope, support, and community strength in these strange times ❤


Chickpea’s birth story

22 Jan, 9.00 pm (38 weeks, 7 days)

During my shower, I feel some water escape. At first I doubt myself and then I become sure, omg my waterbag is leaking … again. (This was also how my labour with Watermelon started.)

I put on a maternity pad, and lie down beside Watermelon to coax her to sleep. I feel a little sentimental thinking about how life is about to change in a huge way, and that this could be the last night of Watermelon being my only child.

23 Jan

I woke up at 6.30am in a panic, thinking I had wet the bed. Seems like a little more water continued to release.

I really want to eat nasi lemak, so I make NG bring me to Changi Village, after we drop off Watermelon at school. The plan is to eat, then walk along the beach, but the late morning becomes too hot to walk in the sun. Instead we eat chendol and then head home. Read More

Watermelon is three!

Awww Watermelon, you’re already 3. It’s amazing how much you’ve grown in the last 12 months. You learning to string sentences together was probably the biggest game changer, because now you’re such a chatterbox! And sometimes so bossy. But still cute.

The biggest highlights from between your 24th month to your 36th month include:

  • The long holiday we had It was an ambitious itinerary involving almost 4 weeks of travel and 8 different hotels. I was worried it was going to be too many changes for you to adapt to, but you were such a great travel companion. You were so happy to be around your paternal relatives, and I think it was during the trip that you started to closely bond with your cousins. Then we travelled with Abah’s colleagues and you gladly basked in their attention too. Finally we hung out with my friend and her husband, and you loved it when they brought you to feed ducks and swans at the local park. Throughout the trip you were pleasant, generally cooperative, and didn’t whine much — it was truly a special time for our little family :’)
  • Being a big sister We found out you were going to be a big sister sometime in June. We didn’t make a big deal out of it until much later in the pregnancy. At first you told us the baby was a boy, only to be corrected by the sonographer that your adik is a girl! Haha. When you did seem to figure out that we were expecting a baby, you’d say sweet things like how adik can share your toys and your books, and how you wanted adik to come out. We’ll soon discover for ourselves what kind of big sister you’ll really be — hopefully a really sweet and awesome one!
  • Our JB & KL staycations It wasn’t until we travelled again in November that you started to appreciate hotels. It was fun seeing you get excited about your “new house”, running in and out of the huge toilet we had in Capri, beaming at us in the king size bed as the three of us snuggled together, or getting soooo excited about swimming only to feel scared to do anything in the water LOL. Now you like to say “I want new house, I don’t like old house” and we have to tell you that please eh, it’s not like we can easily go to “new houses” every week.
  • Toilet training We also got to see you figure out toilet training fairly easily. It amazes me how quickly you figure out things, and how teachable you are. I hope you never lose your curiosity. We’ll have to work on weaning you off night diapers soon, and I hope it’ll go just as smoothly!

And then there are the everyday delights … like seeing your love for books, your eagerness to help us “cook” and “wash the dishes”, and hearing endearing stories about you from your infantcare/playgroup teachers. The way you giggle playfully, sing your made up songs, and be all drama queen or mimic us when we least expect it.

And to keep things real, the everyday struggles … like you being selective with food and not wanting to fall asleep early. Areas we still have to work on in our relationship with you.

Thank you for being so patient and forgiving with us as we learn how to be parents and better humans in general. Thank you for simply being you and for coming into our lives ❤

toilet training Watermelon @ 35 months

Toilet training Watermelon has been quite an exciting development/accomplishment for me, espesh since I was initially planning to do it next year after baby no. 2 arrives. It wasn’t until I read Jamie Glowacki’s “Oh Crap! Potty Training: Everything Modern Parents Need to Know to Do It Once and Do It Right” book (affiliate link) that I was convinced to start ASAP. According to her, the best window to potty train a kid is between 20-30 months. After 3, it gets “harder”. So counterintuitive to me because I thought the older the kid is, the easier she can understand. But Jamie explained that after 3, toddlers develop a stronger sense of self and may want to assert their individuality and thus resist your attempts to potty train them.

oh crap potty training cover

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