Thursday, June 07, 2012

***Check & Balance***

I can't say that I am totally back cause time has been very unkind to me!  I do miss writing and I'd hate for my next post to be a year from now...sometimes I wonder how those other full time moms do it.  At every chance I get I choose to unwind, relax or nap.  However not a day goes by without me thinking about this lil blog of mine.  Guilt overwhelms me for ignoring it!  I guess it is a commitment that I just have to make! Baby steps...maybe once a week?? Gee, I really don't want to make promises! But let's try for the sake of this 2nd  half of 2012.

It has been almost a year now since I have become a full time mummy.  Of course it does come with it its sets of challenges, there are good days and bad days. More often good than bad.  There are also days when I felt as though I am locked in a cage counting the days to be set free! ;p but I am lucky I have a very supportive family and most of all hubs is always all for me getting my days off!

What a whirlwind the past year has been! Now, life is slowly settling and I get to savor every minute of it!  It's as though I was meant to do this right from the very beginning.  Like this is my destiny.  When it all began of course, getting into the hang of things was tough. Exhausting!  Now that it has found its rhythm, I am so content! Minus the bad days of course!  I am happy. My girls are right there before my eyes.  They are learning and I am learning something new alongside with them.  I can't complaint.  I still have time to have a social life though not as much as I would previously,  I get time to take care of myself and my girls are achieving milestones of development beyond my expectations. It is still exhausting but I still feel that that balance is important!

I have discovered things that I never knew about myself. I discovered this liking for cooking.  Like I don't complaint when I have to do it! I find it exciting and liberating! Believe it or not, over the 11 months I have been a full time mummy, I have cooked over 100+ recipes! I can't believe it either..all from Malay to Chinese to Thai to Italian to Middle Eastern to Indian to the Western. All simple recipes of course and those that are acceptable to the palette of the household...and I find myself wanting to try more and more.  I introduce a new recipe each week and so far they've been accepted biggest critic of course would be Hubs and hopefully he hasn't cheat and stretch his criticism.  I hope to have all these recipes collated and consolidated into a recipe book that I hope to be passed down to my girls.  It may not be much but it would be enough for them to whip something up when their own lives begin in years to come.  That is my dream, however, I have bought the right book to jot down these recipes but have yet to pen them.  I keep telling hubs how crucial it is for me to actually write these recipes down cause most of it are just conjured instinctively through what I've tasted from our food at the restaurants we dine in.  Like I said time is always unkind. Again baby steps...*sigh* So many to do so little time!

Then of course there is the yearly resolutions! I have never failed to set resolutions each new year and this year is no exception. I have achieved those resolutions before and this year to date is going good!  This year was supposed to be about progress; little milestones to trudge and achieve just to give us or rather myself the reassurance that we are indeed moving forward.  

This applies especially to our house.  We've moved in 2 years now and the first 2 years we put on hold furnishing and decorating cause the space was good for the kids especially Princess M (I was a month due to give birth when we moved in) to move around.  Now that Princess M is walking, jumping and running and doesn't need a field of space to practice her crawling, I have decided it is time to start putting in the big furnitures and play around with decorating ideas.  So far it is going great! We executed little projects to give a bit of warmth to the house.  We've also purchased armchairs and console tables. My personal favorite that somehow gave me this sense of achievement is when we sent our 28 year old piano for refurbishing.  I grew up with the piano when I started lessons at 5. Now, the piano is still with me and it has never looked better!  The refurbishing of the piano was indeed an achievement!  Apart from that we've also done up Princess D's room which also checks off the resolution to train her to sleep on her own.  The house of course is always a work in progress and I want to take my time to make it warm and homy for us.  It is something that we will live with for a long time and my aim is to make it comfortable for us to look forward to returning; a sanctuary!

The biggest portion of my resolution this year is Princess D.  I maybe tooting my own horn, but to me, she exudes a lot of potential.  The aim for me for her this year is to continue stimulating her personal growth and brain development.  People have called me a 'kiasu' mother but I couldn't give a S***! They are my kids and I will raise them as I see fit!  Princess D has the capacity and the energy.  It would be unfair for us not to expose her where her interests are and allow her to reach and grasp towards her maximum potential.  She loves the arts.  Be it imagining she is a Princess in dire need of help, singing, dancing, sketching and drawing..all about the arts!  Growing up I didn't have the opportunity to explore these skills in me.  Back then it was all about hitting the books and the piano! And of course getting good grades! The beginning of 2012, I was all over the Internet googling away for options.  It has to be drama, not speech and drama but the acting/theatre kind of drama.  Then there must be art class not the "let's learn how to draw your daddy with geometrical shapes" kind of art but fine art, where she is able to express all in drawings and learn coloring with pastel or water color.  You see why these classes are important because we felt that when Princess M made her debut Princess D had to suppress a lot of emotions.  She was just supposed to understand and give in just because she now has a little sister.  December 2010, she went into a depression spell for about 2 weeks.  Not wanting to communicate, was throwing her tantrums without a care and expressed no interest whatsoever in anything.  After that she developed self esteem issues and somehow along with that developed shyness and lack of confidence!  These classes were good for her to express herself so we signed her up for extra classes at her kindy.  This year however, I wanted to take it up a notch.  She shows so much interest in drama and art, that I went through all ends to look for the best classes outside of school for us to sign her up.  This way she could mix with new friends from different age groups which hopefully indirectly will boost her confidence and come out of her shyness.  Found the best classes for both respectively and it fitted our criteria for her and now half way through the year, she has so much to show for already!  She is more confident now, speaks very clearly and most importantly expresses her emotions forwardly.  She doesn't keep them in anymore. She lets us know when she is sad, angry, disappointed, happy, nervous and such!  Hubs and I are so happy with her progress and what she has achieved!  For drama especially, where she played a character in a group sketch and memorized her lines for the final presentation.  

We also signed her up for Mandarin classes.  The actual objective was for her to be enrolled into Chinese school.  After much thought, it wouldn't be practical and viable as our objectives for her is not just to crunch but fun and play is also important! Of course obviously one cannot get that in a Chinese school.  This was hub's dream.  We are both of Chinese descent where hubs is 50% chinese and I 25%.  He really wants the language to be learned and maintained down the generation.  The best solution is to send her to a Mandarin extra class that would teach the syllabus at the same time let the kids master the language.  We found one right under our noses nearby our home.  And voila!!! Princess D is now a mandarin speaking 5 year old mastering the basic of the language and learning the Std. 1 syllabus that of a Chinese school.  To date she has aced and done well in her tests bringing home her 100% or sometimes 90% sometimes 80%.

I know it in my heart she has the capacity and the energy.  She, by nature, is not those kids that terrorizes the house and turn it upside down, she prefers a structured environment, where she is able to play and imagine.  She loves her computer where she could sit and play for hours.  Her room is enough space for her imagination to run wild and play out her scenes as a Princess or a mommy or a sister or a fashionista or anywhere her imagination takes her! Call me whatever you want, kiasu or not,  there are reasons behind our decisions and naturally we have to do the best for our kids and I think the early years are the best years to let them discover where and what their interests are. As parents, I feel that the best way to encourage them during these years is to support them.  I am sure that is how a certain national squash player started out too, with a mere interest mixed with a little push and support.

Princess M.  What can I say, the first year has been quite turbulent especially where emotions are concerned.  And by that I meant  MY emotions.  Now almost turning 2, I can never be so proud!  We are still trying to gauge where her interest inclines to. So far I can see & hear a lot of singing and dancing from her.  She does sometimes pretend she is a certain character too but that sits behind to the singing and dancing.  She loves gadgets; the mobile phone, the computer, the iPad.  What is obvious about her character and skills so far is her temper and her coordination.  Her bodily kinetics is superb.  She learns something and catches really fast.  All in all trying to grow very fast or better yet to outdo her big sis.  We have no plans for her so far, just for her to keep discovering and learning.  Maybe 2013, we could start her with playgroup but we'll see her readiness.

Travels, breakaways & holidays has always been one of my many resolution each year.  It is my passion to discover new places domestic or international.  So far each year we do try to fulfill this pledge.  Ever since Princess D was one, we have travelled at least once in the year.  Just something to look forward to.  This year so far, Alhamdulillah, with His blessings and we were able to bring our 2 kids to experience plane rides to 2 international destinations, Singapore (January) and Australia (March).  The Australia trip was very meaningful as we were able to show our girls places that we visited during our honeymoon and being there together as hubs and wifey.  It was indeed very special and we felt so blessed to be given the chance to bring our kids with us and survived!!! Haha! I am so happy and grateful that my girls got to see and experience these parts of the world and made wonderful friends along the way!

Little breakaways tend to be more impromptu.  Brought the girls to Malacca for some history and of course introducing them to my roots where my grandma and dad was born from the Baba & Nyonya ancestry.  We had tonnes of fun!  Looking forward to a little relaxation at the beach soon and see how Princess M will like the swimming pool and water.  She had a hard time adjusting in Australia and only grew fond of the beach and its sands towards the end of our stay in Brisbane  before heading up to the Sunshine Coast. Hopefully she'll learn to accept this time...

Health is also important to me, always have and will always be!  But this year I stand on pushing myself further.  It has been going great and God willing, my motivation continues and of course with the wonderful friends I have made and their support, hopefully I won't be jumping off the wagon anytime soon!  But it is all about keeping and achieving your resolutions right? So far so good!

The year 2012 thus far has been kind.  I am truly grateful.  I am grateful for where my path has lead me.  I think I have always been born to be a mother - a stay-at-home one at that.  I have never felt so liberated, so determined and so so happy!  I am so content! Working all those years pulled me down. Proving myself to my superior, deadlines, pressure and stress and all for?  When all the while I knew the only person I need to prove to is myself and the Almighty of course!  I have achieved so much for the past one year than those many many years working and I am never happier! I have all that matters with me, my supportive husband, my lovely and growing girls, my parents, siblings and in-laws and wonderful wonderful friends!

Till my next post!  waiting for a whole year to update is exhausting!  Let's make it once a week?....It's a date then....


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