LIVE . LOVE . HURT . HOPE

Breezing through life and loving every moment…

Checking In

I should write more, but alas the demands of work and motherhood leave me with very little time to actually sit down and be given some quiet time to do so. I am either usually welded to the sink washing up, washing Maddy or picking up toys. Actually, since I taught Maddy how to pick up her toys and keep them into their boxes each night, things have gotten a little better. But still, there will always be a ball I have to look for from underneath the couch or that one elusive part of a puzzle toy that goes missing (it still is, actually).

Madelyn is now fast approaching her second birthday…two months short. An almost-young lady but not quite. She speaks so much more now and role plays with her toys…pretty soon she will be asking questions and telling us stories of imaginary friends. She has her little meltdowns but thankfully nothing unmanageable. It would be a little shriek here and there but always at home. Never in public, yet! But she is still generally well-behaved, lovable and cute as a button! She seems to have a soft spot for animals….she learns the names of any animal almost immediately and shows interest in pictures of animals more so compared to other things. Our future vet or zoologist perhaps? Hmmm…

Changes are coming soon….we will probably be moving out of our current location in a couple of months’ time. But nothing firm yet. I am looking forward to it, as when the change happens, my new career takes flight – to be a fulltime mommy!

Stay tuned!

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I Am Sorry, Mommy

Tonight, Madelyn was playing around with my bottle of hand lotion when she playfully threw it onto her daddy’s head and struck him on the side of his face. He was lying down on the floor.

The both of us then told her in a firm and stern voice, that she was not to throw things onto other people and that she should apologize to her daddy. She kneeled next to him and looked down, her expression very solemn indeed. She did not say a single word but her expression said it all – full of regret and guilt. We continued to look at her, waiting for her apology when suddenly I realized her eyes were a little watery. She had tears in her eyes but trying not to cry! And she didn’t utter a sound.

I felt so sorry for her that I pulled her into my arms and told her softly that it was okay but she is not to throw things at people in the future.

It struck me that my little girl, at 20 months old, is now able to control her emotions. She was feeling sad being reprimanded but trying not to cry. Oh when did my baby suddenly grow up overnight?

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I Want To Remember This…

I may not be able to find time enough to write much lately, but I reckon I should write these memories down so that I will never forget them….

My sweet heart Madelyn is now 18 months old and if it is ever possible, becoming more lovely each day. This afternoon, while I was about to fall asleep next to her (we have been taking naps together on weekends), she rolled over to my side, smiled so sweetly and put her hand on my cheek. I closed my eyes to encourage her to fall asleep and suddenly I felt her cool lips on my cheek and then seconds later she planted another affectionate kiss on my lips. My heart just exploded into a thousand pieces with all the sudden surge of motherly love. I cannot begin to describe just how warm and fuzzy it made me feel inside.

Later in the evening, we took a stroll along the beach and stood in the water with the waves rolling in about our ankles. She was so excited! “Here it comes!!” I said, as the waves rolled in and splashed about our ankles. She squealed and giggled and held on to my hand. Her little pudgy hand in mine…holding tight as if afraid the waves might wash her away. Her expression, so full of joy…made my heart swell again. “Here it comes!” And she laughed out loud again and again.

As we began to walk back to the car, she looked up and grinned and rattled on in baby chatter. Hand in hand, we walked with our backs against the setting sun…Madelyn’s round little bum swish-swishing against the orange light. It was a good evening indeed.

And now as she huddled close to me fast asleep, oblivious to the thunderstorm outside, I cannot help but feel the strongest need to protect my little girl. Sleep tight my love, mummy’s here to keep you warm. Mummy’s here to love you till the end of everything.

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I Love It When…

… I saw tears at the corner of my mother’s eyes because she was laughing so hard watching her grand daughter’s cheeky tricks

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The Simple Joys In Life

I been making a lot of lists lately..so while we’re at it, here’s looking at the little things that are so simple and insignificant, yet will always put a smile to my face or give me that warm fuzzy wuzzy feeling inside…

Going to sleep with rain pouring outside, and knowing I am warm and dry in bed

Waking up in the middle of the night to a thunderstorm after a long dry spell

A cool breezy weekend morning

Chicken curry with lots of soft potatoes

A meal with a side dish of sweet boiled carrots and plump green peas

A neatly arranged bookshelf-preferably mine!

My daughter’s grin

My husband on the phone telling me that he will be back home earlier than planned

Knowing I have a 20-something year old friendship with my girlfriends

Caramel popcorn

Wet sand under my bare feet and waves between my toes!

A brand new shiny saucepan

A happy dog’s wagging tail

Cold butter on warm toasted bread

My grandma’s patchwork quilt (on a cold rainy night)

Fish and chips

A ladybug on my plant

A clean house

My laundry basket empty and no chores

Marketing with mom

…so, what makes YOU smile?

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Taming Toddler Tantrums

So here they come at last, the sudden outbursts, screams and stubborn streaks. Oh sure we had always known our little missy has a strong personality. Now that she is 16 months old, those stubborn streaks are more and more obvious.

Just hours ago in an attempt to show her displeasure over something, she threw her water bottle on the floor. I calmly told her to please pick it up, after which she kicked it around some more and I smacked her hand. She burst out crying and did not stop for a while until in the end, after being repeatedly told to pick up her bottle, she eventually did and I picked her up. Her nose was red from crying.

As I am sitting here now watching her sleeping form, I wonder if I had been too over-zealous in the disciplining department. I am determined to raise Maddy right, into a polite good natured young lady. I fear if I loosen the reigns, if she might become spoilt and throw tantrums unnecessarily. Maddy is a like a little surprise vault of strong emotions – she can be the happiest little girl one moment, and expressing her strong dislikes the next. But she never holds grudges, which makes it so hard for me when after being reprimanded by me, she would still come to me seeking comfort. Then I would be bursting with guilt for having made her cry or upset.

But how do we draw the line between letting kids be kids, and trying to keep them in line….I hope I am doing the right thing. Admittedly when she does something bad, I tend to forget that she is a good girl 95% of the time. I must remind myself to reward her with as much love as possible for all the wonderful things that she is.

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Just Another Friday…

Another end to another week. An almost 16-month old Madelyn is sound asleep, murmuring softly in her slumber and I get some quiet time to myself at the end of a busy day. Hubby’s been offshore for two weeks now and will not be home for another week. But thankfullly my folks are aound to keep me company.

So what have we been up to lately? The usual, I guess.

I have FINALLY returned to my pre-pregnancy weight and size after what seemed like forever. But between work and my very busy schedule at home as a part time single mother, I did not have much time to ponder over my lack of style or how I could not fit into my old clothes. Then suddenly I could once again slip into those pants and zip up the those old skirts! And all without a single hour of exercise. Took me a year, but I got there. It did not matter anyway prior to this whether or not I looked hot…because everyone else was checking out my baby and not my bum.

Maddy is now an almost toddler. She repeats a lot of the words that we say. She can now say very clearly; hello, buh bye, ball, mummy, papa, puppy, dog, mam-mam, duck, turtle and my favoarite of them all – plee (her version of please). My daughter is growing up too fast, she is a little person now, with a fully developed character, needs, preference, opinions and moods. She is eating very well and is a snacker, tasting almost everything we offer her and eats her meals without fuss. I have introduced fresh milk to her on weekdays when I am at work, but will still offer her breastmilk in a bottle before she goes to bed. I am still nursing her at nights, although the frequencies are reducing. She is probably weaning herself soon, which is about time but I will let her take the lead. I want to enjoy that special closeness that we share during nursing for as long as she lets me, as I know once she fully weans I may never get that back again.

You might probably know by now that I do not have time for any other personal activities outside work apart from house chores and spending all my time with Maddy. It is to be expected I suppose, with Hubby being away. The moment I get home, it’s just a few hours of feeding, washing, cleaning and putting wriggly person to bed. And every day it is just the same. But I am not complaining, life is just different now with a different kind of fun. I am just so tired sometimes but that is to be expected.

Time to get some rest now…and snuggle up to my chubby cheeks (yes we co-sleep and enjoying every moment of it!). Good night peeps!

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Weekend Soon!

Wednesday today. Hubs been away for almost three weeks and I am finally bored out of my brains at home. Not that Maddy is not being good company, oh yes she is…but well, the lack of grown up conversation and that extra pair of helping hands is something I would like to do without soon. :-/

So tonight, I decided to snap out of my Maddy and Me nights and invited two close friends over for dinner. We had a good chat and it was good company. Maddy was being such a well behaved girl by playing happily in her high chair or wandering around the house doing her stuff, while the big girls gossiped about things at work.

Tomorrow, I am planning to pile on some grease by treating myself to some KFC takeaway meal and a nice dessert. And on Friday evening I will bring Maddy to the boat club and let her walk around the beach since the low tide now brings up a wonderful stretch of firm clean sand. Can’t wait to snap some pictures of my little cutie on the beach!

And on Saturday *crosses fingers really hard* Hubby will FINALLY be home!! :))

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Snapshots From the Past: Paperboats & Puddles

What a rainy night it is tonight…heavy ran failing in sheets outside. But I oh so love rainy nights, specially when I am tucked warm in bed with my sleeping baby beside me. I have always loved the rain; its calming steady sound against the roof, the distant rumble of thunder and the smell of the wet earth and leaves.

Rain makes puddles. And there are no better puddles than the ones that appeared around the garden of our old house back home. We had a huge garden and the house was surrounded by a network of shallow and deep drainage system to channel away rain water. Perhaps it was because our house was so old that the drains did not do a very good job during heavy downpours, so there would always be big puddles of water everywhere in the garden.

I love love love the puddles! Especially the extra large ones which appeared during very heavy rain. As a child, I had the weirdest imagination. I would imagine us living by the edge of a large lake and would throw stones into the puddles to create ripples and imagine them to be wavelets on the lake. I was fixated with ripples! I remember that well. The larger the puddle, the better the ripples. The more excited I would get. Odd, I know.

Mom would always fold paper boats for me to sail on the puddles during rainy days. She made large ones and little ones and I would launch my fleet of boats into my imaginative lake. I would use a stick to create ripples and watch them bob along and jump for joy.

Nowdays house gardens are so well drained that we hardly find puddles anymore….there are good soil, underground drainage….all sorts of landscaping technologies. These are meant to be an improvement to muddy gardens and waterlocked compounds, of course. But alas, it also means an end to children splashing around water, digging muddy holes for make-believe treasures and launching imaginary fleets of ship. I should perhaps bring Maddy to our local lake in the park to sail paper boats…but then again I might get fined for littering.

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Snapshots From the Past: Bedtime & Stories

While in a conversation with my dearest friend lately, I realized that I have so many wonderful childhood memories that are just too precious to be forgotten. So I thought what better way to remember them if not to write them down to be read and re-read….and for a start, here is a snippet from my days as a sleepy little girl, sharing a room with my beloved late Grandma…

When I was a little girl, I shared a room with my grandma. We lived in grandma’s old house – all of us – papa, mom, my brother, grandma and myself. It was a renovated wooden kampung style house on stilts. As a girl, I slept in Grandma’s huge room (or at least back then it seemed so). We didn’t have beds, and it did not struck me as odd. I just accepted that was the way it was. My parents’ room and everyone else’s room had a bed each. But grandma preferred to sleep on the wooden floor, lined with a traditional rattan mat. So naturally I just went along with this. Every night, Grandma would unroll her mat (which during the daytime would be neatly kept in a corner behind the door), then place a sheet of thick wooly material over it as a sleeping surface. Then she would arrange her square pillow, bolster and blanket. I would do the same for my own side. After a while, I began to start helping her, a few minutes before bedtime, I would quietly go upstairs to our room while Grandma was still watching TV. And I would unroll the mats, line the mat with the sleeping material and arrange all the pillows and blankets. So that when Grandma came into the room, her sleeping area would be ready for her. She never thanked me, but I suppose in her own way she was grateful for this little eager grand daughter.

Grandma would tell me bedtime stories every night before we went to sleep. They were not typical stories in books or fairytales of princesses and princes. Oh but they were wonderful tales of magic talking animals and quaint tales of strange lands. I cannot fully recall those stories but there was one about a bird who told lies and had its tongue caught up in a branch of a tree in a storm. Strange, I know. But from our room window, I could see a big old raintree across the road and Grandma would say “There! Bird told lies and got its tongue pulled over there!” and I would squint and try to imagine it amongst the lush leaves. Oh how she fueled my childlike imagination!

Grandma and I slept side by side on the floor mat. Sometimes she would roll over and hug me in her sleep. Sometimes she rolled over me. Many times I remember waking up groggy to the sound of torrential ran outside and Grandma pulling the blanket up to my chin. Once I woke up to total darkness because there was a power outage and I yelled “Grandma I am blind!!!” and she said “silly silly girl” and lit her oil lamp.

I remember Grandma always putting her palms together for a final night prayer just before she shut her eyes to sleep. And when I was old enough to understand, I asked her, what did she pray for every night. She said she prayed for protection and for our family. And up to this day, I say the exact same prayer every night before I go to sleep.

But with the addition, Grandma…I hope you are happy where you are.

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