elliott · family · me myself and i · moments · moon · us

A year of change

Ah. 2014.

What a year you’ve been.

Last year this same day, I wrote a long entry with the big reveal towards the end. That happily ever after we hankered after finally happened after what seemed like forever. 365 days later, here we are again, on the last day of 2014. Then, I wrote that this will be a year filled with changes. And damn, what a year of change it was. So many changes took place in 2014, I found myself out of breath on many occassions.

Change #1 – From couplehood to parenthood

The first quarter of the year and definitely the highlight of 2014 was, naturally, the arrival of our firstborn. I looked back at photos of giant belly and was a little taken aback. The human body is amazing! Bump arrived on 3 March in a rather dramatic fashion and henceforth – and I say this with no exaggeration whatsoever, our lives CHANGED FOREVER.

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We also celebrated 5 years of marriage. Having a child changes the dynamics of a relationship. With a young child, our relationship as a couple has clearly taken a backseat. Our conversations (real life and Whatsapp messages) revolve around Elliott (or Bubu, as we call him). Thankfully, we are still working as a team. This is especially acute when it comes to our new home. These days, the boy has been been washing, drying and ironing the clothes, taking Moon for her walks and trying to settle the house matters while I care for Elliott.

This partnership wasn’t discussed. We did not sit down and say, ok, you do this, I do that. But somehow, things click and we step for each other when the other’s occupied. Of course, our relationship is not without its kinks. We lose our tempers at each other when things get a little challenging but at the end of it all, we are a team.

Change #2 – Being a pseudo SAHM

Halfway through my pregnancy with Elliott, I decided that I will be taking unpaid leave after my maternity leave ends. I wanted to ensure that I spent at least the first 6 months of his life with him, full-time. This means that for a good part of 2014, I was not at the office. On hindsight, I am glad that I did it. Living under the same roof as my mum was very helpful as she was always there to provide the much needed support. Being a pseudo SAHM (stay at home mum) gave me insight into the life of mothers who care for their child full time.

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When it was time to head back to work, I was a bundle of nerves. I was worried about care-giving arrangements, about my milk supply, about the big adjustment, about everything! It has since been 2 months and we are still adjusting. I am thankful that Elliott’s main care givers – his Ah Ma and Por Por – love him to bits and I can concentrate 100% whenever I am work. I also relish the fact that I get adult conversations and eat proper meals with both hands during work days. Previously, I would head home after work and flop on the sofa. These days, as my colleague rightly quipped, I head home to start my “second shift” – as a mother. Definitely a big change there!

Change #3 – Moving house!

Another major change that took place is finally receiving the keys to our new (second) home in June. All this time, we have been living with my parents (2 years) and after what seemed like forever, the renovations were completed and we made the big move. We are loving our new neighbourhood and spend weekend mornings exploring the vicinity on foot with Moon and Elliott.

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Change #4 – Moon’s diet

I can’t talk about our year without mentioning Moon. At the start of 2014, I decided that it was a good time to change Moon’s diet from dried kibbles to raw food. She has been on the BARF diet for a year and so far, so good! She hasn’t suffered from any major ailments, save for the occassional diarrhea when she overeats or over-snacks and does not suffer from any skin conditions. We also changed her shampoo to Silkydog shampoo and it looks like it is working its magic as she doesn’t suffer from bumps that plague many fellow mini schnauzers.

One major change involving Moon is the fact that we now have a lot less time to spend with her. These days, she gets a cursory “Hello Moon!” when we arrive home and I barely have time (or energy) to play with her. Moon has been nothing but absolutely patient with Elliott. We celebrated her 7th birthday – first with family, then with her brother (previously Sky, now named Flannel) who was adopted by a most lovely couple this year. I am so very glad that he has found his forever home.

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Come 2015, when Elliott is older and things are a little more settled, I do hope to focus more attention on the furry one again.

Change #5 – Writing for Bubsicles

2014 was also the year I started to write for Bubsicles. I did not want this blog to turn into a motherhood blog so writing for Bubsicles allowed me to blog about my new role. This entry on breastfeeding was one of my first entries and I am glad I wrote it. It was such a struggle then. We are almost hitting the 10-month mark now. If someone told me that I would still be breastfeeding in the first few hazy days, I would have laughed very loudly in her face.

Naturally, we did not travel much this year, save for a baby-free trip to Phuket, and a quick getaway to Batam’s Montigo Resort (haven’t got time to blog about that!). I do hope we get to travel more as a family in the new year.

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As the year counted down to the last minutes of 2014, I paused and looked around me. Moon was fast asleep in her bed, and so was Elliott. The boy was busy setting up the camera to try and capture the fireworks. All was quiet until the first burst of fireworks to usher in the new year.

And I smiled a grateful smile.

As someone said on Instagram, motherhood has turned out to be the most difficult role that I have ever undertaken yet at the same time, the most fulfilling. On one hand, I cannot wait for Elliott to grow up just a little more yet I wish he’d remain my little baby boy forever. Such conflicting creatures we are.

It has been a wonderful year filled with blessings for our little family and I continue to be grateful. Come 2015, may all that your heart desire come true and I wish you happiness, health and all things joyful.

Have a truly awesome year ahead.

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