elliott · the twins · thoughts

Mother’s Day

It’s past midnight so technically, Mother’s Day is over but who says we can’t celebrate it on any other given day? It has been a hectic day of errands and since I’m wide awake (3rd tri insomnia yo) and the boys are in deep sleep, it is the best time to think and reflect..

This photo reminds me that it is my last Mother’s Day with the one who made me a mother and from next year on, I’d be a mother to 3. THREE KIDS. That still boggles my mind, to be honest. Are we excited? Yeah kind of. Are we scared shitless? Pretty much so. At least I am.

I’m not sure how or why the Universe chose us to be parents to twins and this amazingly sweet boy right here but it did, so we will count our blessings and hold on tight for the ride.

And if you yearn to be a mother one day (just like I did years ago) but it’s not happening yet, I want you to know that you are in my thoughts today. ❤️

Happy Mother’s Day.

Also, I don’t say this enough but here’s a special shout-out to my mum who, until today, always puts us before herself and is always there whenever we need her. I am also thankful for my mother-in-law who is always ready to babysit Elliott at the drop of a hat. We are blessed to have a village behind us.

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funnies · the journey · the twins · thoughts

The 5-letter word called sleep.

After sharing our news on social media, we have been overwhelmed with loads of kinds words and congratulatory messages. miss ene and the boy would like to say a big thank you to all of you who have shown nothing but grace and kindness towards our parenting journey.

It is nice to finally talk about the pregnancy openly on this blog! First up, let’s talk about sleep. Or rather, the lack of it. Many have reminded me to ‘sleep as much as you can before the babies come’ which comes from a good place because yes, I am fully aware that when newborns (TWO THIS TIME!) arrive, sleep goes out of the window very quickly.

However, sleep has not come easy to me, especially in this last trimester. Let me count the 5 ways:

Reason #1 – the need to pee

I need to pee. Many many times. New mothers gush and tell me to relish pregnancy because you’d miss the kicks and movements but all I remember from pregnancy (with Elliott) is the need to pee CONSTANTLY. And of course, that’s happening now with the twins.

I’d get into a comfortable position to sleep and when I almost doze off, I’d need to pee NOW NOW NOW. Forget about trying to ignore it because it cannot be ignored. You just need to get right up and head to the toilet.

And when I say “get right up”, I don’t mean bouncing out of bed (I wish). I am talking about moving from horizontal to vertical like an overweight sloth (i.e. very very slowly) while using one hand to support myself so that I don’t fall over from the giant belly. I then shuffle slowly and carefully to the bathroom to pee about 5 drops (8 if I’m lucky) before shuffling back to bed to try and get comfortable again. Repeat process x 10,572 times a night.

Reason #2 – Baby, it’s hot

I do vaguely remember feeling hot when I was pregnant with Elliott but this time round, perhaps due to the fact that there’s two baking inside, this heat thing is real. And please, I’m not talking sexy hot. I’m talking sweat dripping down your back, face, and everywhere, and looking like I just ran a half-marathon in 35 degrees heat with a wool pullover, complete with sweat-soaked messy hair.

We usually sleep in an air-conditioned room but these days, even in the 23 degrees celcius room with the ceiling fan turned on, I CAN’T SLEEP BECAUSE I AM FEELING VERY HOT. The boy, who is usually the one who hates the heat, ends up cowering under the duvet because the room is so darn cold (to him). Me? I’ve kicked off the duvet and trying to sleep while beads of sweat trickle down my forehead. Or I’d fall asleep finally but wake up to a sweaty head because yep, I’m feeling hot.

Reason #3 – My (almost) broken ribs

This is something I don’t remember from Elliott’s days. I honestly don’t remember my poor ribs being shoved, prodded, pushed and punched when I was pregnant with him. Either that or I have mumnesia. I have, on many occassions, been rudely jolted awake by intense pain in my ribs. It started with my right ribs which I thought were due to the fact that Twin B’s legs are right there. However, these days, my left ribs hurt as well, probably from Twin A’s legs as apparently, both of them are head-down.

So imagine this: You have 4 legs kicking and pushing against your ribs at odd hours of the night, like someone sucker-punched you when you weren’t looking. I’ve never bruised my ribs before (I don’t get into fights, thank you very much) so at first, I wasn’t sure if it was just my imagination that my ribs were hurting.

On some nights, I thought I was dreaming about the pain and wake up with a shock but I have concluded that the pain is very very real. I literally wake up going “owwww” and have to soothe the aching ribs by massaging them. How to sleep like that?

Reason #4 – Internal kungfu fighting

Assuming all of the above 3 reasons do not exist, there are the internal “fights” that go on inside of my belly. Ok, I’m not sure if the twins are fighting per se but I’m pretty sure with each passing day, space is becoming a precious commodity and they are fighting for space to move.

Twin A (the girl) is the more active of the two – surprise, surprise. So much for girls being “easier”, “more docile” and “gentle”. She is the one with the kungfu fly kicks and somersaults. Even at scans, she moves a lot. We saw her shake her head (!) and let out a huge lazy yawn, like it is such blardy hard work being a baby in-utero. Twin B moves less. So much lesser than I find myself going into Google-mad mode and asking on forums if this is normal and if I should press the panic button and see the gynae NOW NOW NOW.

Yes, it is wonderful to feel their kicks and moves (isn’t that the beauty of pregnancy, everyone asks) but when both of them kick up a storm or engage in an in-utero fist-fight at 3am, I get shocked awake. At last week’s check, they were 1.6 kg each so when they move or get excited, their movements are pretty darn acute.

Reason #5 – One very giant belly

I’ve been getting loads of “your belly is very small for twins leh” comments. To that, I punch them in the head mentally smile and say it’s really heavy for me already. I have a rather small frame so carrying twins feel like quite a load for me. My gynae has never said that the twins are small or not growing well. In fact, she has said that she is very pleased at my weight gain and progress so far.

At the moment, this “small belly” that everyone talks about is getting really hard to heave around. I get breathless just walking for short distances. Getting from a sitting position to a standing one just to get a drink of water from the kitchen takes a mammoth effort. I get achy if I sit/stand/lie for too long.

This translates to bad sleep or a complete lack of sleep at night. There is no comfortable position. Experts say we should lie on the left side for better blood flow but Twin A is there and she kicks up a storm when I do that. So I spend a considerably amount of effort turning from left to right. I manage to settle into a comfortable position on my right and then I’d…need to pee.

I get back to bed and lie facing-up but have to prop both legs into an inverted v-shaped position because lying flat kills my lower back. Sometimes, this is the ‘jackpot’ position and I finally fall asleep.

On other bad nights, I get a stuffy nose from pregnancy rhinitis which is another blog entry for another day. I’d then have to grab the other pillow from the boy and prop my head up to try and sleep. Sometimes, this helps as it clears my nose but I’ve woken up a few times with a ‘dead’ arm and a stiff neck because of the awkward position the extra pillow puts my upper body in.

There you go. 5 reasons why sleep is pretty elusive in my world right now.

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the journey · thoughts · us

Something’s brewing.

When Elliott turned 2 years old, the perennial question of “So when is number 2?” intensified. In fact, the moment he was almost a year old, this question was thrown at us whenever we met up with friends, family, etc. Don’t wait too long, they’d say. Good to have siblings, they’d quip. I always wanted to punch their faces smiled and just mumbled something incoherently, something along the lines of how Elliott is already a lot of work so siblings can wait.

Like I wrote about it here, my heart always broke a little whenever I get that question because if you have been following this blog, you will know that Elliott is our tiny miracle (ok, not so tiny now but still miracle). Dare we hope for….a second child?

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Last year, I turned 40. It was like the big four-zero. The boy and I got married late (I was 33) and we spent a good 4 years trying to get that bun in the oven. There was no big surprise party or huge fanfare when I turned 40. I honestly cannot remember what we did. But the fact is, I am now 40 years old. If – and that is a big fat if – we were to consider a sibling for Elliott, this would almost be the ‘last’ year before it gets a bit too late. I know there are tons of older mothers out there, think Fann Wong, Janet Jackson, blah blah blah. But realistically speaking, I cannot imagine having a child at 45 years old (or later). Even running after Elliott now takes the wind out of me most of the time and I cannot imagine having to care for a newborn as I get older.

So the boy and I sat down to seriously consider this sibling business. Basically, it was now or never. As he aptly puts, if we are successful, Elliott gets a sibling. Hooray! And if we fail, it is ok as well because we already have Elliott. In other words, it wouldn’t be as ‘stressful’ as trying to get a bun in the oven now as compared to the first time when odds were a lot higher. It was with a bit of trepidation, a bagful of hope and slight fear (of failure yet again) that we started on the journey for our second child.

And in October 2016, we found ourselves pregnant.

As usual, the early weeks were nerve-wrecking as we weren’t sure if the pregnancy was going to be viable. Call me paranoid but after trying for so many years, it is hard to relax and be joyful when we find ourselves pregnant. In fact, we were slightly jittery and only shared the news with our closest family and friends.

But nothing quite prepared us for the news at the week 7 scan. This was the scan to see the heartbeat and as always, I had my heart in my mouth. What happened at the scan threw us all slightly off-course.

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Instead of 1 heartbeat, we saw….2. There were two teeny tiny heartbeats. We were having…twins? I was floored. I was happy to have one strong heartbeat and there it was, two heartbeats thumping away. The boy seemed very cool at the news and until today, I am not quite sure how he felt at that moment of truth because you know, men. Strong and silent types.

Except for the first trimester when I was hungry every 3 seconds (no kidding) and was nauseous all the freakin’ time, it has been smooth-sailing. And for that, we will always be thankful. Being pregnant with twins come with its fair share of complications and I am always reminded to take it easy. I am also blessed with a very understanding reporting officer and boss who tells me that the pregnancy takes precedence over work and to rest as much as I can.

Did I mention that my dad is part of a twin? He and his brother are fraternal twins and they don’t quite look alike. I am looking forward to the day when our twins are born and my dad and uncle hold them for a posterity picture.

And in case you’re wondering, we are expecting a boy and a girl. Many have expressed joy at this wonderful combination (if I get a dollar for every single time I hear the term 龙凤胎 uttered, I would have enough money – or more – to buy a month’s supply of diapers). As cliche as it sounds, the health and proper development of the twins are more important than their gender but I must admit that I was secretly relieved that I wouldn’t have to parent 3 boys.

We went from wanting a sibling for Elliott to having two siblings. This means our little family is growing from a one-child family to (gulp) three-children, plus 1 furry one. I don’t know if we’d ever be fully prepared for the arrival of the twins but we will take one day at a time. I never ever thought that one day, I’d be a mother of three but I guess that’s life. Always something unexpected at every turn.

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elliott · lil' things that make me happy · moments · note to elliott · thoughts

And you are 3.

Dear Elliott,

I have been a bad mummy. A very very bad mummy.

I was supposed to be writing you a note every month since you were born but I fell off the wagon after the 32nd note. I meant to write you notes until you turn 36 months so that you’d have 36 notes to read, but I fell short of…4 months. And this eats me up because your mother here is obsessed concerned about keeping to my words, deadlines and the such.

However, as the months whizz by, I stopped beating myself up. I may be taking a lot less photos and videos of you now as compared to your first year (have you seen how many photos you have?!) but I tell myself that it is ok. Motherhood does take up a lot of energy and time, and typing on a laptop is really the last thing I want to do at the end of each work day.

Yesterday, you turned 3 years old. That’s 36 months of you. It’s cliche but one moment you were a tiny ball of cuteness in our arms and suddenly, you’re an individual with your own (chatty) personality and quirks.

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These days, I find it hard to remember the newborn days. I think this is what people call ‘mumnesia‘ where we block out the crazy newborn days from our minds like those crazy moments didn’t happen. It is hard to remember because these days, you are truly a toddler with a mind of your own. Let me count the ways (as much as my hazy brain can remember).

You say the most hilarious things. Like that day when we stopped at the lights beside an ambulance with its lights on but no siren.

“Ambulance! Mummy look ambulance!”
“Yes that’s an ambulance! See the flashing lights?”
“Yes! But why no sound? Who take out the batteries, mummy?

You left me speechless with that question, my dear son. And I laughed. I laughed out loud as the lights turned green and we continued on our journey home. At this age, you say the funniest things (without meaning to, I’m sure) and I wish I can record every single funny quip because they are oh so fleeting.

At this age, you have a strong idea of what you want. Or don’t want. Like how you have decided that you only want to wear t-shirts (not shirts) and ‘soft’ shorts (not pants or proper ‘going out’ shorts). You also get obsessed about shirt labels and will insist that ‘Mummy cut’ if you spy the offending pieces of tags on your clothes. You also tell us that specifically that ‘you don’t want this green thing‘ (vegetables) or ‘no chicken, mummy. Only noodles‘.

Speaking of noodles, you have been in a noodles phrase. Before each meal, I get hopeful and ask: Elliot, would you like RICE (emphasised for effect) or noodles for dinner? You pretend to think for a bit and then say with conviction: Hmm, NOODLES! I am just glad that you are not too fussed about the type of noodles we give you – pasta, bee hoon, kway teow, mee tai mak, mee sua, yellow noodles, udon. You are good with all of them. You love them with soup and will always ask for more soup.

We have also, in recent weeks, switched you to full-day childcare. Your Ah Ma worries constantly about whether you are getting enough sleep and food as she thinks that you are such a “poor thing” to be in school for the entire day. The thing is, the majority of your classmates are there for the entire day. I’d admit that for the first week or so, you were constantly on my mind as I was also concerned if you were adapting well to the change in routine.

As it turns out, I am proud to say that you are adapting better than us adults. Other than the first few days of taking a while to fall asleep on your own at nap times, you have managed to fall nicely into your new routine without much drama. Oh, your teachers tell us that you do ask them wistfully if mummy is coming (my heart!) when your friends are picked up earlier but you do understand when they tell you that mummy is coming. And yes, my sweetie. Mummy will always be there to pick you up from school. It is always the highlight of my workday and I drive and walk a little faster just to get to you.

So as I was saying, you turned 3 yesterday and what a well-loved boy you are. You had 3 birthday cakes (THREE!) and received so many presents, I lost count. The day before your actual birthday, we celebrated it with your friends at school for the very first time. I was worried that you’d freeze up or cry when you see us but instead, you did very well! For the record, you told me repeatedly that you want a “chocolate cake with blue car” so we got your school cake from Prima Deli and topped it with a vehicle set from Toys R Us.

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You were a little stunned to see us but realised soon after that we were there to celebrate your birthday with your friends. It was wonderful to see you interact with your friends as it is not something we see everyday. I have a video clip where you are telling your friends excitedly “See? Car, truck, helicopter…“. Aiyo, everyone was so darn cute. I cannot.

The same evening, we headed over to Ah Ma and Ah Gong’s house for your 2nd birthday celebration. I am not sure who was more excited, you or them 🙂 And yes, you got a Paw Patrol cake (Bengawan Solo) and 2 fat ang baos from your doting grandparents.

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You asked to go to the zoo on your birthday and so we did. We’ve done so for the past 2 birthdays so it is a bit of a birthday ritual now. We also became Friends of the Zoo so hopefully, we’d be making many trips to the zoo this year. We only managed 2 exhibits (the sea otters and the Zoo-Rassic Park) before the rain came down in sheets. Pfffft. Never mind. Another time then.

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Plan B was to head to Future World exhibition at the Art Science Musuem but 2 of the exhibits were closed for renovations so we were done pretty quickly as well.

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In the evening, Yiyi and Popo came over for your last celebration at home. You were really thrilled to see them. I ordered a bunch of Paw Patrol balloons but you took one cursory look at them and erm, that’s about it. Tsk. Never mind. They made for a nice photo backdrop.

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This year, you sang your own birthday song with gusto, insisted that we all sit beside you for a photo and gave everyone big hugs. You also ripped your presents apart on your own. 3 seems like a terrific age to be and we can’t wait to see what the year has in store.

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Happy 3, dear Elliott. May you always  be joyful and healthy. We love you very much!

Love,
Mummy xoxo

thoughts

Do They Know It’s Christmas?

This remains one of my all-time favourite Christmas songs. I love LOVE the original recorded in 1984 with some of the biggest names in pop at that time – Boy George, U2, Wham, Duran Duran, Sting,  Phil Collins on drums, Bananarama, etc. Check out the big shoulder pads, hair and fashion. Ah, the 80s. And those voices. They don’t make them like they used to. *wistful sigh*

The song was remade in 1989 with another bunch of popular pop idols from the 90s – Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Bros, Lisa Stansfield, Wet Wet Wet, etc. Check out that short duet between Jason and Kylie. If you’re too young to remember, they did that huge classic “Especially For You” together.

And finally, in 2014, the young ones (with some of the older ones) did a remake too. I have to say that I did not recognise quite a lot of names in there (totally showing my age) but I did recognise Ed Sheeran, One Direction, Chris Martin, Seal, etc. You can see who sang which bits here.

Which is your favourite?