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

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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 ❤️

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!

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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!

mums & babies qiyam + aug playdate?

alhamdulillah, over the weekend i attended the mums & babies qiyam session organised by the breastfeeding muslim mothers support group at masjid muhajirin.

it was my first qiyam ever. i was a little lost on the logistics, and had all sorts of questions like:

• do people sleep in their jubahs or PJs (jubah)
• do we pray all night (no, there’s scheduled lights off and then we wake up at 4.00am for tahajjud prayers)
• is it ok to bring my bed pillow (it’s not common but HENCEFORTH IT SHOULD BE!)

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no shopping goal 2018: Q1 update

hello! hard to believe March has ended which means … time to do a quarterly update on my No Shopping Goal.

oh … i’ve been bad. and good. but mostly bad 🙈

wraps/carriers i bought

⁃ Carry Om Phoenix Fire: i’ve been admiring this purple to orange colourway for a long time. so when the weaver opened a draw for a right to buy this wrap, i entered my name. why? i don’t know. i didn’t think i would win but … i did. omg, panic. ha ha. the consolation is that i looove the wrap: the colours, the weave, and the wrap qualities. and i have been wanting to try her tencel so ok lah, happy jugak.

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staycay at The Residence in Bintan

we did a one night staycay earlier this month at Bintan’s The Residence to celebrate NG’s birthday. the hotel opened in Feb and is still a work in progress: there’s plenty of landscaping that’s not completed, and also the pathways have not been tarred. many activities were also not operating yet.

it was pretty empty when we checked in. most of our the neighbouring units were unoccupied, and we were pretty much the only guests for dinner that night at the “halal” restaurant. by that i mean the restaurant that also offers dishes with wine in it 🤦🏻‍♀️ ok takpe, moving on.

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Watermelon is one!

Watermelon turned one without much fanfare. I was excited in the days leading up to it, but the day came and went, and she was still the Watermelon that we knew.

Chey. With all the hype I’d allowed myself to build, I thought she would transform overnight but no leh, never.

A birthday party was never on the cards because I think they look more stressful than enjoyable for the parents, and my plan is to throw one on her 5th birthday instead. InsyaAllah. I had a 5th birthday party myself and to this day I still remember some details of that day and still think of it as one of my happier childhood memories, alhamdulillah.

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umrah with baby

alhamdulillah, we fulfilled our intention to perform umrah with NG’s parents and Watermelon earlier this month.

i was anxious about what the experience with Watermelon was going to be like, but now that it’s over, i realise i need not have worried so much. alhamdulillah with God’s grace she was easy on us. save for a handful of cranky episodes, she was generally cheerful and slept well. bringing her to the mosque for congregational prayers was not too difficult — though Baby Bites (biscuits) quickly became the standard bribe 🤣

she had plenty of fans (“mashallah mashallah!”) and received a lot of kisses and sweets from strangers. the kisses, i mentally prepared myself that they might happen. so i made plenty of doa that Allah swt protects her from illnesses 😬 the sweet treats, i sacrificed myself and ate them on her behalf. you’re very welcome, Watermelon! mmyum.

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keeping up with this changing life

hola! it’s been 3 months of being a working mum — oh wow, how time flies. it really does get easier with time, though the hard times were genuinely tough at that point in time.

some things have become so natural, like heading home straight. it’s not even a thought anymore about how sad it is that i can’t singgah shops at say, Bedok Mall on the way home. i’ve found a regular grab hitch driver that i engage maybe 1-3x a week. we chat a lot during the drive home, so it’s really nice.

pumping is also a tad better now. i generally have a better yield after a hearty meal although i don’t take chances and have some milk boosters at my desk. for now i’m relying on @mamalait’s brownies and Milo with oats, brown rice wheat and barley. i still have one pack of cookies from my earlier order from another baker but to be honest i’m dreading eating them because they’re bitter 🙊 i also have @bymommadee’s nursing aid and mother’s milk supplements, but i’ve not been actively using these two recently. heh.

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