Archive for August 2011

Who are you?

August 30, 2011

You probably know quite a bit about me but perhaps I don’t know you so well.

Why don’t we get to know each other better?

1. Who are you and where are you from?

2. How do you know this place of mine?

3. And why do you read me?

I should be so lucky

August 29, 2011

I am blessed.

Yes, there are times when I do get down and frustrated and moan about my life but actually I do have a lot to be thankful for.

I wanted a baby and I was lucky enough to get pregnant on our first try. There is no doubt he is a real handful but we are so blessed to have a healthy child. We often seem to take for granted that all babies will be born healthy, but I have recently heard a number of stories both in Singapore and here in Wales, about parents who have had babies with serious or lifelong health conditions, and that really made me appreciate how lucky I am.

I don’t have the most exciting or glamorous job in the world but I generally enjoy what I do and I have an amazing boss and colleagues who are all pro-family.

I am very, very, very, tired at the end of every day but at least I get the privilege of being with and looking after my own child. It means so much to us to be able to see him take his first step and achieve different milestones.

I am not rich and like most people, have to watch what I spend. But we lead a relatively comfortable life, we eat well and have a warm house to come home to.

I have a fantastic mother who comes to stay with us four times a year to give us a hand with Lucien. I really cannot ask for a better mother because she totally understands that the way we lead our lives is different to how she would lead hers in Singapore and she respects that. She has never tried to change how we run the household, bring up Lucien or interfere with our routines. She understands that he is our child, not hers, and chooses to help and support us rather than direct and control us.

The rest of my family too is brilliant. They have wholeheartedly accepted R and welcomed him into the family. They shower Lucien with so much love, attention and gifts.

When I sit down and type such an entry to reflect on my life, I realise I really haven’t got much to complain about.

I am a truly lucky girl.

Smelling like almonds

August 28, 2011

Recently I am addicted to this – the Body Shop Almond Shower Gel. I used to be a fan of their fruity scents until I discovered this. There’s something so wonderful about walking around and smelling like a bowl of Almond Jelly.

Work around it

August 25, 2011

When I heard a male classmate from poly was uprooting his wife and two daughters under 5 to Liverpool, I was interested to know why. Through his blog, I found out that his wife was going to pursue her Master’s degree here and he had quit his job to be a stay-home Dad in Britain.

I was majorly impressed when I read that, because I think it takes a real man to be able to give up his job and be willing to take over the parenting responsibilities and support his wife in her pursuit of her dreams. At the same time, I was also inspired. Packing up their lives and moving 7,000 miles across the globe with two young children will not be easy. But that didn’t stop them from giving it a shot.

I think a lot of people are afraid of starting a family because they fear it will stop them from having fun, growing their careers, leading the lifestyles they used to and perhaps limiting their freedom and cashflow and all the rest of it. But in reality, having children will stop you from doing the above ONLY if you let it happen.

It is true that in the first couple of years you will lose some freedom (depending on how much you want to be with your kids), but children grow up quickly and you will get your time back. Maybe there are places you haven’t explored in the world – what’s to stop you from exploring as a family? Maybe you don’t have time in the day to finish your work – then do it when the little one goes to bed at night. Maybe there is something you badly want to pursue like my friend’s wife – then do it and work your life around it. Children are actually a lot more adaptable than adults.

Yes, having children is a life-altering experience but we should never use it as an excuse to limit new experiences or a reason to blame for unfulfilled dreams. Instead, embark on new experiences with them. Everything will be a big adventure and even more special because you have them with you.

What’s it like, having kids?

August 23, 2011

Stan: What’s it like, the whole kid thing?

Playground Dad: Well the best way I can describe it is it’s awful, awful, awful, awful. And then something incredible happens. Then it’s awful, awful, awful, awful, awful, and then something incredible happens again. It’s like this all day, every day. I feel like I’m drowning, like I’m gasping to get my old life back. Then something happens that is so magical, so life-affirming that it makes it all worthwhile.

– The Back-up Plan (2010) –

30 days to 31

August 22, 2011

I have always been a birthday person. Birthdays are very important to me. It’s a milestone, a special day to call my own. I enjoy celebrating other people’s birthdays and having a good time on my own birthday. I have to admit I am not the kind who wants to forget my birthday, keep it low-key and not eat a birthday cake (like my husband).

So this year I decided I shall do something I’ve never done before. I decided I shall be absolutely shameless and list down everything I want for my birthday. My 30th last year, which I’d hoped to be a big week-long kick-ass party with loads of surprises, cards and presents, was spent on an aircraft. Don’t even ask what I got. It was quite tragic. So, I figured, don’t ask, don’t get. And now that I am almost 31, I have finally got it in my head that my husband is men are terribly bad at hints. You have to tell them EXACTLY what you want to avoid disappointment.

So I have put together a my wish list for him (I hope he is reading), my generous family, friendly and readers:

  1. Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child
  2. The Carpenter’s Greatest Hits CD
  3. Hector and The Secrets of Love by Francois Lelord
  4. Jo Malone home candles
  5. Chocolates
  6. Flowers, flowers, flowers
  7. Birthday cards – the more the merrier!
  8. Cath Kidston gift vouchers/ any shopping vouchers
  9. A manicure/pedicure package
  10. Body Shop shower gel in Almond flavour

Or maybe you could just give me £5,000 so I can get a new car, renovate my bathroom, fix my teeth and maybe get a green lawn for my garden. Thank you.

Afterword: A box of mooncakes would be nice too.

On the riot

August 19, 2011

“The barriers that prevent most youngsters from running amok—an inherent sense of right and wrong; concern for their job and education prospects; shame—seem not to exist in the minds of the rioters. Britain needs to try to understand why that is so.” – The Economist