february feelings

February was filled with fresh fruits, but overall not a great month for my mental health.

Continue reading

Advertisements

watermelon turns two!

Watermelon is TWO! Super cliche, but time really flies.

I hope I’m not jinxing myself when I say that I’ve been enjoying motherhood lately. Which is not to say that everything is easy, only that we’ve fallen into a rhythm and that I feel less like a frantic first time mum with a small baby. It feels like we’re emerging from the thick, dark forest of new parenthood and heading into the woods, at least for now. Maybe the parenting books I’ve been reading have helped me feel a tad more confident about honouring and responding to Watermelon’s needs, I dunno.

In any case, life with a toddler has been more free compared to her first year. She’s still clingy but she doesn’t depend on me as much. I can come home later on some days, and we can leave her with family without worrying about how she’d cope.

It took me 10 months from last year’s birthday post where I said I wanted to focus on my fitness to finally establish an exercise routine, and I have to say I’m loving it! I love being able to do something for myself, and feeling my body gain back some strength that I felt I lost since pregnancy.

My biggest parenting challenge — at least the first to come to my mind — is probably co-parenting. NG and I have wildly different styles, and sometimes it’s just so painful to work through. Lately this hasn’t caused any huge problems, but I know our differences will continue to haunt us as Watermelon progresses through her childhood.

My next (other?) huge challenge will probably be figuring out what I want to do about my career, and what kind of job would best support my needs and my family’s needs. To chiong or not to chiong? To stay in the same line or try something new? To accept a more rigid schedule and/or a paycut? I think the problem is that I haven’t worked out what I truly want. Maybe this year will give me the opportunity to, now that I feel a teeny braver to take risks and make big changes…

Until the next baby arrives, that is. Which is not anytime soon because we (cough, cough) don’t feel ready yet. Recently I was organising Watermelon’s wardrobe when I realised I’d have to think really hard about where to squeeze in no 2’s clothes if we have one. Suddenly it seems like a really daunting task, almost enough to scare me into stopping at one.

But I shan’t yield, at least not yet.

celebrating Watermelon

Enough about me, let’s celebrate the cutie patootie 2 year old Watermelon. I think one of the things I adore most about her is her sweet and gentle voice. Paired with her pelat (mispronunciations), aiyoyo. Suuuper cute lah. But I also love it when she gets a little shouty and says “WAHHHH!”, “HI!!!” or “BYE!!” with so much enthusiasm 😂

Watermelon loves books, perhaps a little more than toys. She likes us to read her the same books over and over again. It can be kinda hard to introduce new titles to her. For example:

Me trying to read her a book for the first time
me: (reads pg 1, pg 2, pg 3)
Watermelon: the end.
me: (reads pg 4)
Watermelon: the end.
me: (reads pg 5, and glances at Watermelon fidgeting) ok fine, the end.
me: *eyes the rest of the book that maybe someday we will finish*

She didn’t enjoy our swimming classes, but likes to splash and play in water. She particularly didn’t like to follow instructions and do the drills, and was hardly picked as the demo baby. A swimming instructor friend was so nice to tell me that it’s “good” that she doesn’t like to follow instructions tho. I’m like, “you sure or not? the other babies were amazingly compliant in the pool.”

Watermelon approaches playground slides with reservation. She climbs up enthusiastically then sits at the top for what feels like a really long time, at least when I’m around. Apparently she goes down fine whenever she’s with NG 🙄 She loves swings and wheel-y things.

90% of the time she cooperates and looks forward to our bike rides together. She’s fallen asleep several times mid-cycle, her head swaying uncontrollably and banging unexpectedly into my lower back.

The way to Watermelon’s heart is through a Magiclean. She loves to push it around the house and gets upset whenever it gets taken away.

She’s many times a paradox: will not flinch when (lightly) injured, but cries with fear at small foreign objects on the ground, like a stray bit of styrofoam or a tiny ball of thread.

Mama Kraken said if you scold Watermelon, she fights back with an icy expression in her eyes. She doesn’t cry, and stares right back at you without blinking.

Yet she gets overjoyed when we decipher what she’s saying and can repeat her request correctly.

Watermelon: *pointing towards kitchen* Cat, cat, cat
Me: Biscuit? Watermelon wants a biscuit?
*Watermelon smiles, nods enthusiastically, and lets out a cheeky giggle*

She currently likes plain carbs and eats meat selectively. Avoids all vegetables, is obsessed with fruits, and loves teh tarik. Strangely does not seem to like ice cream.

We’ve witnessed a lot of cute moments lately, which have lit up our home. I’m looking forward to connecting more deeply with Watermelon and watching her develop into the person she is supposed to be.

Happy second birthday, my sweet love!

Watermelon: Nana?? Okay!!!

– Watermelon asking me to nurse her, but making it seem like it’s the other way around

no shopping goal 2018: Q4 update

woohoo the last quarterly report for 2018! without further ado:

wraps and carriers i bought

• BWT semi custom (sold off!)

early into the quarter, a mama was giving up her spot in a semi-custom with colours that were totally up my alley, so i impulsively jumped into it. i was planning to use the $200 that the govt was gonna give to fund it 🙊 when the project kicked off, i started having cold feet espesh since our babywearing had been less frequent. luckily i found a mama who was willing to take over my spot, so i got out.

• oscha briarwood mirabelle 5

this was a pre-order wrap which i didn’t want to get at first, but caved in 🙊 cotton, hemp, wet spun linen in purple and gold + copper. i hope it’ll turn out gorgeous!

and that is all..! i sold 2 wraps, and have a few more to sell. and one or maybe two more to buy, hee.

i suppose this quarter, i developed new interests which reduced my focus on babywearing in general. for instance, i sold off my previous ISO, Prim, to upgrade my bicycle, which i’ve been very happy with. Watermelon seems to really enjoy bike rides, so part of me has started to concede and plan activities around cycling rather than me babywearing her to somewhere. gitewww

seeing wraps sit unsold also (finally) scares me off buying more. the 1-2 wraps i have in mind are machine wovens which are easier to sell at a loss than pricey handwovens.

for a while, i also explored the idea of attending a weaving class in 2019, thinking it would be so meaningful to weave my own wrap. unfortch the costs are higher than i expected, so i’m shelving the idea.

clothes

i planned to shop for new clothes during our trip to KL, especially after hearing at least 3 people rave about zara’s sale. i went and left … empty handed! only got a pair of lounge pants from mango. i also felt veeeery drained from my “me time” shopping sesh – it was only 2h but felt like 8. i am seriously turning old.

i’m want to do a wardrobe update soon though coz vain me prefers not to repeat work outfits for another year. plus all the marie kondo show watching has been inspiring 😌

shawls

i bought a nude/beige shawl from TudungPeople and i think that’s it! i almost carted 2 more from their pretty printed collection but abandoned at checkout 😇

i’m starting to get really annoyed by my shawls that can’t shape properly though. would love to go through my shawl collection and keep only the ones that “spark joy” hee.

baby clothes

insyaAllah we’ll be travelling in March, so i bought some going out clothes for Watermelon to wear. i confidently bought size 2T only to realise that 1. there is such a thing as “24m” size (i assumed it was 18m then 2T, heppp) and that 2. the clothes might still be too big for her to wear. sianz, i don’t want her to look like she’s drowning in her clothes in our holiday pics.

i’m not liking Watermelon’s wardrobe these days because many clothes are stained with food (and hard to restore! and also not nice to give away) it also feels like she’s in between sizes, so it’s all very confusing on which to keep.

bags

i don’t think i bought a new bags 🤔

knick knacks

ooh, this is where it hurts. i went through a huge toy buying spree after being poisoned by another mum 🙊 the horrible part is that i can’t stop. i’m constantly discovering new toys to buy, and usually feel like i need to buy them NOW. i’m still in this phase. i hope after my next 2 purchases, i’ll be done??? running out of space also!

reflections

okay so for the entire year, my wrap buying ban failed miserably, but it should be naturally ending soon as our babywearing days are numbered and i find new interests and activities to fill up my time.

i’m quite happy with how my wardrobe size was kept manageable in 2018. i think the next challenge is to find some new pieces that fit my current tastes, and to finally part with pieces that i love but don’t wear. and also to train my eye on choosing clothes that fit me well – i think some clothes tend to fit me poorly but i wear them anyway because i don’t know better.

i still have a lot of heart work to go in learning to be mindful about my impulses to buy, and in wanting to buy them NOW. i feel like it’s really unhealthy to feel these urges, and i hope to try build a muscle for waiting and thinking purchases through.

in 2019 my goal is to Simplify. i won’t be doing a “no shopping” goal (read: with huuuuge inverted commas pls) but i believe decluttering my house will be part of simplifying, and hopefully help me with internalising that life is better without so many things.

seasons of 2018

I lived my 2018 in seasons. Overall, it’s been a great year alhamdulillah. Here are the seasons that I remember best:

The season of going for umrah

We performed our umrah in January together with Watermelon and our in laws. Alhamdulillah, it was an incredibly smooth and blessed trip, and I’m super happy at how it turned out. January was also a great time to go: non-peak, cold, and it set a positive tone for the start of the year.

The season of turning 30

In the beginning of the year, I had a lot of zest for 2018 because it’s the year I was turning 30. Suddenly I was feeling go-je about a lot of things; I was writing e-mails to ask for opportunities which I may not have done in a “normal year”. Not all opportunities worked out, and by mid-year my zest was starting to fizzle, but still it was a great feeling having a fire in my belly to go out and DO things.

Many years ago I had a questionable work mentor and if there was anything I got out of our conversations, it was him telling me that the 30s would be my prime, that I could go anywhere I wanted to. InsyaAllah!

Continue reading

life with a 21mo toddler

Sooo Watermelon is now 21 months, and life is getting comfortable again. There’s less stress than the first 18 months or so when everything’s changing all of the time. Things are more stable, and I’m feeling more like my old self in some ways.

Of course there are some things that I haven’t gotten back, like computer privileges. Every time I try to use my PC, Watermelon wants to climb onto my lap, hits the caps lock button on my keyboard, moves my mouse, asks to draw… ahhh I miss surfing aimlessly on my computer 😦

3 Things That I’m Currently Learning

1. To wake up at 5.00am for some me time. It’s hit and miss, some morning I snooze because I’m too tired. But I’ve learnt to squeeze in a short exercise before 6.00am. It makes me feel good (am still trying to lose weight – what’s new. Keyword: TRYING) and reminds me of my pregnancy days when I used to do short exercises. Life was good and sweet back then!

2. To adjust my communication style to be more respectful and gentle. For instance, learning to acknowledge Watermelon’s feelings. “You’re upset because you want to play some more!” Learning to state facts and without judgment. And without inadvertently dismissing feelings. “You fell down! Are you okay?” (Instead of “you’re okay!”) And learning to praise effort rather than results. Though so far I’ve only practised this on my sister’s kids, and on a mama who scored an Oscha Treasure Tote via FFF lulz.

3. To be kinder to myself. Telling myself that it’s okay to choose sleep over certain household tasks, because my rest is important too.

It’s such a joy watching Watermelon grow and learn new things. She’s adding new words to her vocabulary, teaching herself to jump (very slow but cute progression here) and being more confident – and even insisting – of going up and down staircases by herself. I feel like I can’t help but love her more as she develops more antics and reveals a little more of her personality over the weeks.

Tantrums abound, of course. She likes to throw herself back, kneel down in a dramatic plea, or throw the very thing we ask back from her onto the ground. The extra annoying part is when she pretends to not understand me when I ask her to pick them up 😒

3 Recent Memories

1. Went out for a zoo outing with 3 other mummies. It was fun! They’ve gone out together before, but it was my first time joining them. One of them came alone with her 14mo twins. You could tell it was pretty challenging for her to manage both. I thought it was most amazing when her mum came down to the zoo to join us and help her. After bringing food to her own mum. Like wow, she’s a super dedicated woman. First she attended to her own mum, then she rushed down to help her daughter and to serve her grandchildren. I was like whoa this is the every day sacrifice of a woman. Things we don’t shout about because we take them for granted. Our mums are so amazing, eh. N’s mum was super friendly and even helped another mama push her stroller. It was really touching to see their sweet group dynamics.

2. Cycling has been our latest family thing lately. My BIL started it. He got a bike, then my sister got a bike, then their two kids got bikes and had to learn how to cycle. Then NG got a bike, and then I got a bike. All this within a span of one month or so. Haha. So anyway last week we cycled to dinner. On the way back, my bike and Watermelon fell down when I lost my balance trying to cycle beside someone burning incense on the pavement. It was super scary kay. Watermelon whinged for a short while, eeps. And then we got caught in the rain! Lightning, thunder, heavy showers. Poor Watermelon was drenched to the skin. But she remained in fairly good spirit. One time I heard her shout “broom broom!” ahahaha. And she was quite nonchalant about the thunders that night. Yay, proud of her. It was quite fun, and I kinda wouldn’t mind cycling in the rain again as long as traffic is not heavy and I’m homebound!

3. We were at a cafe which provided a small play area and some Lego blocks for kids. There was a preschooler who was building something before her mum (?) summoned her to the table to eat. When we were about to leave, Watermelon sat down at the corner once more and touched that Lego structure that the girl had built. The girl started whining, and the mum came up to us, smiled apologetically and took the structure back to their table. Since we were about to leave the cafe, I shrugged it off. But as I thought about it, I realised that I felt very uneasy about what the mum did. At first I thought, “it’s a communal toy. It’s not very nice to think of it as her daughter’s.” I probed a little deeper. “Plus there was a notice requesting for the toys not to be brought out of the play area and into the dining tables.” I talked about it with NG and came to the realisation that what bothered me most was the fact that she took the toy out of Watermelon’s hands. I don’t think it was very nice or fair of her to do that. If she had waited for just a minute more, we would have been out of the door already. Meh.

Ok lah, good or bad, sweet or painful, alhamdulillah for motherhood ❤️

no shopping goal 2018: Q3 update

uh oh, end September means it’s time to do another round of confessions. my wrap buying ban is not going well AT ALL, so i think i will remove it for the last quarter 😳

i did quite well for like 3-4 weeks in Aug-Sep and then faltered again and bought 3 wraps within a weekend.

wraps and carriers i bought

• oscha matrix malibu 6 (returned!)

they released a pretty pink-orange grad and i was like, ooh how nice if you made it in the matrix pattern! and make in the matrix pattern they did, so i got it (felt a bit obliged.) but then i returned it about 2 weeks later coz i felt the blend wouldn’t be suitable for us despite it being so pretty.

• oscha roses candyfloss toddler cairis

they were running a sale for their carriers and i got one coz i’m curious and feel the need to try them all. and oh, the most famous babywearing youtube influencer (@wrapyouinlove) has one of these so i was like, i want to copy her too! but to be honest i’ve not used it much coz i still prefer wraps, but i don’t want to give up just yet.

• handwoven melodies bliss 5

this one came up in the local deal or no deal swap. i went to make an offer (ikr…WHY) and … it got accepted. omg, i panicked. apparently my price was just right. dang! should have gone lower 😝 but anyway i holidayed this piece sometime early this year and really liked it, and was also aiming for a piece from this weaver. speaking of which, THE right piece that i was lusting for became available for sale recently but i had to stop myself, aurgh. oh wells!

• woven wings droplets summer sorbet 5

i’d been resisting some of WW’s releases, telling myself to save it for their famous quad blend. but when this cotton/linen piece came up — in pocket weave which is the rage these days — i was like omo i WANT it. so i entered the draw, had a strangely good feeling about it, and true enough found out that i won an invoice.

• oscha roses michael 6

i bought this to replace my okinami nydie 4 which was same grad, same blend, just different pattern and size. used my 20% discount code that i’d been hoarding, so i feel less bad about it. it’s a wetspun linen piece and is serving us very well. currently one of my favourites!

• oscha matrix bifrost 3

i’m not really a rainbow wrap kinda person but when a preorder opened up i was like … maybe i can get this in a 3 🙈 so that’s what i did. it becomes ready in end October, so i’m really excited!

this quarter i sold 3 wraps. NG also suggested that i sell everything and keep only 2, to which i replied no waaaay. but i did list a bunch of wraps as a result of his comments lah, seeing which would sell. i still have some for sale and hope someone will buy them soon, so that i can return the money to my bank account.

have i ever mentioned how conflicted i am about wraps? on one hand i’m annoyed how i can’t keep to a buying ban. after each wrap purchase i’d tell myself “ok no more..!” and then. i have talked myself out of buying 2 wraps that i would otherwise love to own, but i should be talking myself out of more.

on the other hand i’m justifying to myself how this will only last a while, if i enjoy it i shouldn’t have to feel so bad about it… etc. i recently told myself to take a break from participating in the ootd version of woven wraps. a week’s break did wonders to change my mindset — it helped me feel more okay with wearing the same 2 wraps, and it made me appreciate my stash more.

then i also started feeling a little tired of holidaying wraps, so i told myself to take a break too. it was very liberating, though i eventually faltered when two people texted me to offer me their wraps. how to say no when people were thinking of you, right 😌

i also got an exciting opportunity to test a prototype wrap from Oscha. this was after whining that nobody in Singapore seemed to be selected during the couple of prototype casting calls, so i was really happy and excited and grateful for the opportunity! my friends teased me about being so excited but it really was a biiiig thing for me ☺️

clothes

hmmm, i think i was pretty good! i don’t recall buying any new pieces 🤔

shawls

i impulsively bought one of those trendy textured shawls from @nusheenurra tho now i wish i’d picked a different colour.

also a curved satin silk tudung (Inaya) and a chiffon piece (Muna) from @tudungpeoplesg.

and omg ya i caved in and bought a snood from @theduckgroup. it’s my first snood ever and i struggled with it coz it seems much bigger than the ones in youtube tutorials. but the drapes are really quite 🤤 and i get to feeling feeling vivy for the day.

i didn’t get rid of any shawl this quarter, tho i should, because my shawl basket is getting full 😬

baby clothes

picked up a unicorn dress from the market near my place. i also had a small carter’s/skiphop order because we needed a bigger school bag for Watermelon to keep up with her bigger packing list since transferring to the playgroup, so i added some clothes. still within acceptable limits, if i may say so myself :p

bags

i caved and bought the WW Be Light after deciding that i needed a good tote bag. i’ve been loving it so far! nice pattern, nice pocket, quite light … i’m happy. other than this i don’t think i bought any other bags… 🤔

knick knacks

i did a lot better this quarter, yay. glad my “home improvement” shopping spree phase ended. i did buy a couple of seemingly random things but these were mostly from Daiso and therefore inexpensive? hee.

i went a little crazy splurging on baby’s toys recently, though. there are more that i wanna buy but i think Watermelon is still underaged, so i’m forcing myself to wait wait wait. it’s so hard! 😩

i must say tho, that i’m liking how our toy collection is shaping up. my intention is to keep it to a small number of mostly open ended toys. bonus if they’re wooden, coz i’m crunchy/hippie like that 😬

reflections

i feel most guilty about the wrap purchases, especially after thinking about how much higher my bank account balance would be if i hadn’t bought so many 🙊 being less active in the community, sending out less travellers and reducing the number of wraps i was hosting seemed to help curb my desires. i’m starting to become more immune to seeing sales posts and photos of other people’s wraps, which is good!

Watermelon had a short clingy phase where she was more receptive to wraps, but at time of writing, she is avoiding them with a 5 ft pole. life…

september wasn’t a great month for my cash flow. i ended up feeling very broke, and a little scared for myself on how my spending habits were panning out. it’s only been a week since my october pay day, so far i feel a little more secure. i hope it’s not a short-lived phase, espesh as my future remains uncertain. i’m still undecided whether to take a break from work next year or to chiong in a new job.

i’ve started my SAHM fund as discussed earlier 🙂 have been consistently putting in funds every month. it’s only been 3 months so the fund is small, but i hope to slowly build it up.

i want to blog more but a) i don’t know what content to put out, short of talking about Watermelon 95% of the time and b) it seems so quiet around my WordPress app these days.

one more quarterly report for the year, insyaAllah! time flies by so quickly.

switching to menstrual cup!

alright alright alright, today i would like to discuss a topic that is recently dear to my heart: MENSTRUAL CUPS!

menstrual cups are a silicone medical-grade cup that you insert during your period so that it will collect the blood. it’s different from tampons in that the cup collects, while the tampon absorbs. the cup is reusable while the tampon is disposed after every use. a menstrual cup contains no bleaches (that make pads and pantiliners artificially white!), absorbency gels and other “nasties”, and won’t cause skin sensitivities.

it took me about 5 occasions before i warmed up to it.

first time, with a mummy friend: what is this menstrual cup? i am only about to explore cloth pantiliners.

second time, in an international babywearing group: k y’all menstrual cup users are in a different league. i am only at level cloth pantiliners, not even cloth pads!

third time, in a local babywearing group: cloth pantiliners, cloth pantiliners, cloth pantiliners.

fourth time, reading local newspaper about school friend’s menstrual cup social enterprise: good on ya!

fifth time in same local group above: hmmm, 2 mummies that i know relatively well have said that menstrual cups changed their lives forever and that they would never go back to pads or tampons. ok let me order from said school friend’s enterprise.

so i ordered me one menstrual cup from Freedom Cups. they come in two sizes so i naturally went for the smaller one.

and so far the user journey has been very enriching. it’s like learning and mastering new skills (i.e. insertion and removal, espesh if you are not a tampon user to begin with) you learn to be comfy with your woman parts (don’t say eee!)

youtube videos helped me a lot, especially one vlogger who created a video diary of her first cycle on it. thought it was very useful and insightful of the new experiences that i was about to sign up for. then there are also videos discussing specifically insertion or removal, which also helped. it was from these videos that i learnt to use my pelvic muscles, which makes removal a looot easier and less erm, geli.

i’d say the biggest downside of menstrual cups is when you have to change in a public toilet. the trick is to use a handicapped toilet which has its own sink.

menstrual cups can theoretically be worn for 10-12h. but on heavy days, it probably gets full by 4-5h. and unfortch the time away from home on a work day is longer than 12h, so that means having to remove and empty it in the office 😐

but but but, the pros outweigh the cons by a mile. you know how pad advertisements love to say their pads are “barely there”? there’ll be a visual of a girl feeling oh so cheery climbing into bed supposedly while wearing one of their advertised night pads.

i tell you, menstrual cups ARE the definition of barely there. heh. other than a bubbling sensation that you might feel, you pretty much don’t feel anything.

menstrual cups need to be sterilised in boiling water just once, between period cycles. during each change, it needs to be washed in non-scented hand soap, or sometimes i just rinse it clean with water.

not done with pads

i still wear pads, though. as back up protection. i’ve been stocking up a lot on more cloth pantiliners and cloth pads. my collection is super cute and i would love to share a photo of the fabrics i picked, if only it wasn’t such a personal thing. haha.

i so wanted my most recent period cycle to be completely #zerowaste but unfortunately i learned, the hard way, that my longest cloth pad was still not quite long enough (on average i need it to be like, 100cm long because i’m always so prone to staining, urgh! 🙄) so i had to revert to disposable night pads.

sooo i’ll be hunting for long long long cloth pads soon, and hopefully i will be on my way to zero waste period cycles insyaAllah. idk it’s like, after using menstrual cups, the idea of going back to disposable pads is just meh. especially the plasticky ones which i grew an aversion to, postpartum.

this switch to menstrual cups and cloth pads have made me look forward to my periods (lulz) tho i still hate the terribly uncomfy period cramps.

if you’re bored of life and want something new to learn and explore, or are looking to minimise waste yourself, i reaaaally recommend giving menstrual cups a chance. i wish i’d discovered them sooner!

menstrual cup companies say the learning curve takes around 1 period cycle, but i’d realistically put it at 2 or 3, depending on how enthusiastically you start off. for me, my first 2 cycles was a mix of cups and pads. it was only my third cycle that i used the cup all the time. strangely my cycle was shorter too. not sure if it’s a coincidence — some people say no!

thanks and high five if you made it to the end! ❤ ❤

18 months update

Watermelon turns 18 months this week, I can’t believe it! My baby is not a baby anymore, but legally a toddler who qualifies for the much-more-affordable childcare fees compared to the relatively exorbitant infantcare rates.

I was reading back my old milestone-ish updates and hardly remembered any of it. That’s very telling of motherhood I think, things move so fast, so hard to keep up, gotta purge old memories to make space for new things to remember, or you’ll burst at the seams. Not enough RAM!

Continue reading

4 Aug Play Date – It’s ONZ!

Salam all! The play date that Mrs F and I are planning on 4 Aug, 2.00pm to 4.00pm is still onzzz insyaAllah.

We would love for mummies to get together with us and let our LOs play while we ladies chat 🙂 It’ll be hosted at either one of our houses in the north (Yishun or Woodlands) — we’re planning to see the turnout before deciding where. We’re not professional play date organisers so this sesh is free! (In case anyone is wondering)

Here’s the sign up link if you’re interested! Hope to see you there 🤗

Pic of my silly milkmaid for attention!