|July 9, 2013||Posted by Mabel under General, Parenthood|
…in Malaysia, that is.
We moved down to Malaysia – from France – last month and arrived at the worst time ever. The haze hit the capital city and its surrounding areas. On top of that, the heat was just terrible. Noah’s eczema flared up – the worst in over a year – and later, both kids caught a stomach bug which resulted in plenty of tantrums, bowls pushed aside and “super-glue” behaviour.
Now, a couple of weeks later, the kids are adjusting to the weather (and mozzies and all). We are heading out nearly every day for walks at the park, the neighbourhood, etc. Yesterday the kids went to the park nearby and enjoyed the kids’ play area. The slides, bridges and what-nots make the area large in comparison to the French playground in Dole. The floor isn’t entirely covered with rubber – normal with most public playgrounds here in Malaysia – but it’s still a fairly safe place for kids. A pity that it isn’t more well-maintained though (some sections had stagnant water on the slides due to the concave dip at the bottom of the slide, etc).
Earlier today, we made a trip to Aquaria KLCC via LRT. Eva wanted to go on the train and it was Noah’s first time on a metro train so why not? It was a pretty nice experience for the kids who got to experience a train ride and watched two feedings. The aquarium is small – reminiscent of the one in Paris but unlike the French one, Aquaria was cheaper. Exhibits are quite well maintained and the staff were ultra friendly – we had people assist us in finding the elevator, the toilet, etc. The kids, especially Noah, went bonkers during the feeding.
Food-wise, the kids have (re)discovered Indian snacks, tropical fruits (rambutan, mangosteen, durian too!), local delights (noodle, roti canai, etc) and came away enjoying it. We shy-ed away from imported fruits, vegetables and even meats as well as dairy because of the price. Imported fruits like cherries are selling for at least RM28 per kilo while you can get a heft 3 kilo bag of rambutans for RM10. The lack of cheese – I only bought a block of cheddar for the kids – also means that the adults, namely the hubs, are not packing on the weight from dairy products. Good for the stomach and the wallet too!
Now to find a playschool/kindy for the kids and get them settled into our new place in Penang! Tehehehe.
|May 30, 2013||Posted by Mabel under Parenthood|
“Good bye may seem forever. Farewell is like the end, but in my heart is the memory and there you will always be.” – From the Fox & the Hound
On Sunday, I was hospitalised for bleeding. I was supposed to be 9-10 weeks pregnant with Bubs No 3. As the gynae examined me via a transvaginal ultrasound, his face changed. He began to look really grim.
“I’m so annoyed…hmpr. Sorry but I’m just annoyed because it doesn’t seem good.”
It was then that I got the news – I was having a miscarriage. There was an embryo but no heartbeat. Also it was small, too small for a 9-10 weeker. It seem that the pregnancy had stalled sometime around Week 6-7 of gestation. He ran through the options – because the size is still quite large, he can’t let me go home as he feared the bleeding might get out of control so I have to check in and then he’ll do a D&C the next day. Chances are, he said, it was a chromosomal defect but who knows?
I ran through the motions of being hospitalised. Everyone around me looked more devastated than I truly felt…to the point where I started feeling awkward.
Am I supposed to feel devastated and bawl my eyeballs out?
Am I suppose to collapse…or do something extreme?
Bubs No 3 was unplanned. In fact, I still remember screaming bloody murder at the hubby when I found out. Then we took a step back and said that this was a blessing, that many people out there want kids but can’t have any, that we were lucky and should be grateful. Despite the craziness of it all (packing, moving to another country), we began to look forward to an addition to the family.
Then Sun/Monday happened.
The first thing I could think of was “Dang, what am I going to tell my parents?” Then I gave the whole situation some thought. I could have easily just dwelt on the half empty glass – was it my fault? was it something I did? why now? why this? – but I chose to look at things differently.
My hubby asked me how I felt when I told him that I had to stay at the hospital. I didn’t sugarcoat my words but instead told him the truth – “I’m fine. The timing just wasn’t great.”.
Yes, I am sad but I am not devastated. Things happen for a reason. It always has. I want to look at the silver lining which is that I have two lovely children, that this is my body’s way of coping with a defect/problem, that this is perhaps God’s path for us. In a way, we can now focus on the move and the children, things won’t be so hectic and maybe then, it will allow us to consider if we want another child or not AND that I will be able to give my full attention to that baby.
Not feeling devastated doesn’t mean that I will forget. This is something that you just don’t chuck away in a corner, cover it with flowers or a cloth and say, voila, it’s over, time to forget about it. For the rest of my life, every time someone asks about my medical history, it’ll be there. Every time I look at ultrasound photos, I’ll be reminded of that little 6 weeker that I saw and of what could have been.
It may be another goodbye but it isn’t the end…
|May 1, 2013||Posted by Mabel under Parenthood, Thoughts & Emo-ness|
…from this coming M’sian General Election.
Always keep your head on your shoulders.
In the words, don’t let your emotions cloud your judgement. Fear can make people do crazy things…and so does anger and frustration. Always remind yourself that you are capable of rational thought and self-awareness.
Be informed at every step of your journey.
It’s important to know your environment, the situation and the people involved. Read up, question what you already know, talk to the RIGHT people (don’t just talk to any Tom, Dick & Harry) and form your own opinion. Herd mentality is very dangerous.
Have faith and courage.
A lot of things in life are out of our control. We can only do our best and leave the rest to God. Have faith in yourself, the people around you and God. It doesn’t hurt to have some faith. Do not be afraid to live even if it means facing challenges and conflicts that may hurt you or your family. Living helps us build character, memories and experiences – yes, as cheesy as it sounds, it is true. By living, we end up growing too – for better or worse.
Talk alone equals inaction.
Don’t just complain and rant if you’re unhappy. Do something. Channel your frustrations and annoyance at the situation into action. Be proactive. Be the change yourself instead of expecting others to change the situation for you. This is YOUR life and no one else’s.
Running away is not an answer.
Life is full of challenges and tests. Running away is not an answer to life’s conflicts and tests. It is easy, yes, no one will deny that, but a journey fought and fought well is something to be more proud of than a journey that you hide from.
I hope that one day, my children will look back and remember how my husband was there to support me as I casted my vote as a postal voter & how we try to set a good example for them.
|April 14, 2013||Posted by Mabel under Just Noah, Playtime Learning|
A while back, I’ve been giving Noah a free-hand with the pencils and paper lying around on Eva’s little table. He has been showing interest in his sister’s doodling and colouring activites much to her chagrin. (He is always pulling at her pants, trying to steal the paper from under her and even tossing aside the pencils and pens.)
While he is still a novice at drawing – he makes dots and very light doodles – it is clear that he is definitely exploring the creative aspect of things. At the moment, he seems to be gravitating towards making noise with the pencil or just exploring the shape & feel rather than doodle with it. But on some days, he is just like his sister – all doodles and scribbles.
For me, it doesn’t really matter if he likes doodling or not. As long as he’s happy and learning something. After all, creativity manifests itself in many aspects – music, painting, drawing, design work, baking, cooking…I should know. LOL.
|February 28, 2013||Posted by Mabel under Breastfeeding, Just Noah, Parenthood|
As of this week, I said goodbye to breastfeeding my son.
It has been a journey that spanned nearly 18 months and one that wasn’t smooth too. I had my fair share of blocked ducts, engorgements, milk blebs, oversupply (undersupply wasn’t an issue this time as I was pumping in the early days and Noah didn’t need much of my milk) and all the “joys” that come with breastfeeding.
Noah was already down to two feeds – my kids drink “straight from the tap” since I am a stay-at-home mum – for the past few months and sometime late December/early January, I decided to try cutting back on boob-time before naps – experience told me that the night feeds are hardest to drop so I saved that for last instead. He accepted it and went to bed on his own with some shoulder patting. The weaning came by accident, to be honest, as sometime last week, I started to notice that he was playing more than nursing and when my period came earlier this week, I told my hubs that maybe it is time to stop completely. I let my hubby put him to bed instead of me – Eva was with my mother-in-law for the week since it’s the school holidays – and I reckon that if my hubby is the one to get him to sleep, he wouldn’t want to nurse or think of nursing.
It went smoother than I had expected. Of course I haven’t tried putting him to bed at night…not yet. I think I’ll wait for next week to try it out.
Now many people asked about my feelings on this, if I was sad about him self-weaning. To be honest, I am not. I think what made this time different from my previous weaning experience – my daughter self-weaned at 11 mths old – is that the both of us are ready to move on and I was not under pressure to build up a milk bank or make sure that he was still on milk as was the case when Eva went off breast milk. I am not working now and Noah is doing very well on solids – sometimes, we joke that he’s a bottomless pit – and more importantly, he is still on a balanced diet despite his food allergies.
I must say tho – I am happy to have my breasts back! Kakakakaka!
|December 2, 2012||Posted by Mabel under Playtime Learning|
While dropping Eva off at school, I noticed that the 4 year olds are planting hyacinth bulbs as one of their classroom activities. It seemed like an interesting idea to explore and something that could still remain interesting after a few days or weeks.
I had thought of getting a science-based project for her to start off on the science aspect of our homeschooling curriculum and a fighting fish came to mind. After doing some research and scouting around, I decided against it as it was just too costly (the tank, fish, decorations, heater) and too much work (water change every week, etc). Then I saw some bulbs of Hyacinth (above) and Amaryllis (below) on sale – it is common to buy bulbs to give to folks around this time of the year as gifts. They were much cheaper, easier to care for – since I have an Amaryllis at home already – and the learning objects would still be the same.
I allowed Eva to choose the colours she wanted and she settled on pink & purple. The two plants now sit on top of the fireplace in the playroom. Earlier today, I spent a few minutes explaining how plants grow and getting her to water them. I don’t really have a hard and fast rule for teaching this to her. It’s more of exposing her to plant care, growth and biology in a fun way. I’ll also be capturing the progress of the plant’s growth in pictures so that we can sit down and look back at how the plants have grown over a few days. I reckon it would make for an interesting discussion.