Category Archives: Friends

Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013!

2012 has been a year filled with plenty of blessings from God.

C and I had a good few months of couplehood, as he took a four month break after completing his MBA, to spend some time with me before starting work at his current company. We went on our Babymoon to Taiwan, which seems to be THE travel destination these days, but to be honest, we only chose to go there because it’s not a long flight and C has some friends there. We didn’t do much there as I was in my second trimester and had been experiencing some cramps before we left, so the gynae told us to take it easy.

We also visited C’s grandma in Terengganu and had a nice, relaxing time in the kampung. The drive up was quite a challenge, more so for the three drivers, but at least I was over my morning sickness phase by then! My bladder was put to the test on the long journey, but at least we took regular breaks along the way. C wants to bring Noah to Terengganu one day, but I just can’t imagine entertaining Noah on such a long road trip, and don’t get me started on having to change his diapers etc! Maybe in a few years time. Maybe.

We also celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary with a simple meal and quality time together. We love our food, so having a good meal is usually the best kind of celebration for us.

C started working with a new company this year, and although he still has to travel quite a bit, his trips are usually short ones. He used to be away for months previously, only coming back for a weekend each month, so him being away for a few days each time now is a huge improvement. I don’t know how we survived those long periods apart in those days!

As for myself, I’ve been on no-pay leave since June 2011 and I’ve just extended it for another year. I do miss teaching of course, but I’m glad that I’ve kept in touch with my colleagues and ex-students too. I love that my ex-students still contact me and I was especially touched when one of them called me to inform me that he was headed back to Indonesia after his A Levels and to update me on his plans for 2013.

I also started this blog and I’m thinking of doing more with it, so keep a look-out for some changes! I’m not the best with IT-related matters, but I do want more control over how my blog looks and works, so C is helping me with that. This blog has helped me to meet new people and to re-connect with old friends too! I enjoy seeing people liking my posts and commenting on them, although these happen mainly on Facebook rather than on the blog itself. I’ve gotten lots of support throughout my five-plus months of motherhood, and I really appreciate all the advice and feedback I’ve gotten each time I post a new blog entry. Keep them coming, okay? 😉

Finally, the best thing that happened to us this year is definitely the birth of our little boy. He’s changed our lifestyle quite a bit, but he has brought us so much joy, and parenthood has been a much-welcomed new phase is our lives.

Our little family

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In 2013, we pray that God will continue to bless our family with good health, and fill our home with His abundant joy. There will be many new challenges ahead, and we ask that God will walk with us and guide us in our journey together.

May God bless each and every one of you in this new year too! 🙂

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Filed under Family, Friends, God, Love, Noah

Christmas 2012

We celebrated Christmas this year on a much smaller scale than usual, but it was no less meaningful than all the previous years. It’s tough to organise or even attend many celebrations with a baby in tow, and we’ve been blessed with very understanding family members and friends, who have organised the gatherings instead and even compromised on the earlier timings that we have requested. No, we aren’t diva parents, but it’s really no fun at all being at a gathering with a crying baby!

We started the day at church, singing Christmas carols and being reminded of the true reason for the season. It’s easy to get carried away by the food and gifts during this period, but Christmas is so much more than that. It still awes me that God would give us such a wonderful gift, His Son, knowing full well that He has to die, in order for us to live. His love for us is truly unfathomable. I was especially touched by this worship song that we sang during the Christmas service and thought it’d be nice to share it here. May it minister to you, as it did me.

When I call on your name you answer
When I fall You are there by my side
You delivered me out of darkness
Now I stand in the hope of new life

By grace I’m free
You’ve rescued me
All I am is Yours

CHORUS:
I’ve found a love greater than life itself
I’ve found a hope stronger and nothing compares
I once was lost; now I’m alive in You

You’re my God and my firm foundation
It is You whom I’ll trust at all times
I give glory and praise, adoration
To my Saviour who’s seated on high

BRIDGE:
Love came down and rescued me
I thank You, I thank You
I once was blind but now I see
I see You, I see You

We’ve been very blessed to have received so many gifts and we are very grateful for all the love showered upon us. We thank God for each and every one of you and pray that He will bless all of you with good health and abundant joy.

Here’s a very happy Noah with all his gifts on Christmas Day!

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His First…

… Hockey match!
C’s hockey team played in the Division One Finals on Saturday evening and it was an exciting introduction to hockey for Noah. He napped through most of the first half but woke up in the second half, just in time to watch daddy score a goal too! The other team was much stronger though and they had a lot more supporters, who came with a banner, party poppers and, get this, a rhino mascot. It would have been really embarrassing for them if they didn’t win. Our team had five supporters: three wives and two babies. Better than none!

The five supporters

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The last game C played was earlier this year, when I was still pregnant and I remember wondering when I would get to bring our baby to watch a match. I think I was more excited about Noah being at the game than C! The season for the year is over and I’m looking forward to next year’s, when Noah will be older and hopefully better able to enjoy watching his dad run around the pitch.

Us at the stadium

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… Wedding!
We rushed home after the game to get ready for our good friend’s wedding dinner. Our original plan a few weeks back was to let my parents babysit Noah while we attended the dinner, but after the incident with my bleeding nipples, I didn’t think it was a good idea for him to be bottle-fed. I was also worried that he wouldn’t be able to fall asleep without suckling, so in the end, we decided to bring him along.

Noah seemed a little overwhelmed by the bright lights and the general noise level in the ballroom, but he was still pretty smiley and cheerful. He had a perpetual shocked look though, opening his eyes very widely and staring at the people who popped their heads in front of his stroller to say hi. He even got to meet my secondary school classmate, who’s a good friend of the bride! As it was his bedtime, he started fussing a little and I spent most of the evening outside the ballroom nursing him. A few of my friends came out and kept me company at various points, so at least I managed to catch up with some of them. Life after having a baby is certainly different but we are definitely learning to include Noah in all our activities. No photo of us at the dinner, unfortunately, apart from the obligatory ‘table shot’ taken by the official photographer.

… Laugh!
This took us completely by surprise! I was about to change his diaper just now and Noah was smiling at me as he lay on the changing table. All of a sudden, he let out a proper laugh and kicked his legs happily. C and I were stunned! It was so adorable and I kept trying to get him to do it again but to no avail. It was really unexpected, especially since he had been a little fussy all day and had been suckling a lot, either because he’s going through a growth spurt or because he needed comfort for some reason.

It’s been an exciting few days for us and I think the next couple of days will be spent recovering from all the activity. I’m loving our family time together, especially because C has been working from home since he got home from his business trip. He’s off again for a few days next week, but at least it’s not for a long time.

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Filed under Friends, Growing Up, Noah

With all my love… #3

Hey sweetheart,

Yesterday, we had a simple lunch buffet with our relatives and friends for your first month celebration. You were such a well-behaved baby throughout the six hours or so that we were out, even though it was your first time being among so many people at the same time. Daddy and mummy are so proud of you for being so good-natured, darling!

To be honest, we were very nervous about the celebration. It was our first time bringing you out for such an extended period of time and we really didn’t know how you would handle it. Daddy and mummy prayed really hard the night before, and asked God to grant you a good night’s rest as well as to keep you comfortable throughout the day, and He did! You slept from 1am to 530am, and I was so surprised when I woke up and saw a bit of light streaming in from outside, instead of the usual pitch dark conditions that I’ve gotten used to over the past few weeks. You were also very cooperative as we bustled around trying to get you ready for your big day out, apart from your usual wail-fest during your bath. You have to try to be brave when you take your baths, darling. I know it seems very scary, but you know that mummy is holding you and I won’t drop you, right?

Anyway, when we arrived at Clover by the Park where Gan Yiyi lives, you were sleeping so soundly. It was as though you knew you needed to rest before the guests arrived and you actually woke up in time to say hi to all the uncles and aunties! When you’re older, baby, you’ll probably meet all of them again, and perhaps be able to actually recognise them. Just know that you are loved by so many people and that it is a real blessing to have them all in our lives.

Here you are, taking your nap. I love it when you are sleeping so peacefully!

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Mummy made matching outfits for you and daddy! Daddy’s tee says, “Who’s your daddy?” and your romper says, “You are!”

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Auntie Serene was very nice and did up the hot-air balloons and pom-pom flowers in the background for us!

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Mummy also ordered a cake for you and daddy from Bees Cakes and everyone loved it. Mummy will get you another cake when you are old enough to actually eat your own cake okay?

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Uncle Edward and our church friends prayed for you at the celebration too. We asked God to protect you from all harm and danger, to keep you healthy and strong, to let your hands be raised in praise and thanksgiving to God and your feet be ones that walked the extra mile for others. We also asked for your heart to be filled with compassion for the less fortunate, for you to be blessed with wisdom from above so that you will always be able to discern right from wrong, and that you will grow up to be a God-fearing man. We asked for God’s wisdom to be upon us too, that we might be the best possible parents for you. Above all, we asked that God be ever-present in our lives, guiding us in all that we do.

It was a lovely day, all in all, although you were so tired that I had to bring you up to Gan Yiyi’s house to calm you down so that you could nap. Daddy also noticed that you were turning slightly blue and that you were shivering, most probably because I had just nursed you in a rather cold room, so it was good that we went up for a while too. Poor baby! You fell asleep so quickly once there was less activity going on around you that I know you must have been exhausted.

Mummy’s going to take a nap now since you’re napping too. If you think you’re tired, try being me! Getting you to sleep at night is such a challenge on most occasions and I really pray that you will learn how to fall (and stay) asleep on your own very VERY soon. You’re generally such an angel that I know I shouldn’t complain, but boy, I sure would appreciate it if you would start enjoying your baths and diaper changes, and learn to be a better sleeper. As soon as possible please, darling! Daddy’s leaving for another work trip on Monday, and this time round, he’s going to be away for two whole weeks. Be a good boy for mummy, okay? Please?

Happy first month, darling. We love you very very much.

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With all my love,
Mummy

PS. For those of you interested in ordering cakes or cupcakes from Bees Cakes, please do place your orders way in advance if you want them on a weekend. She needs time to make all those lovely decorations! If you have a particularly large order, weekdays might be a safer bet, as she might have more time to fill your order then. Enjoy! 🙂

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Filed under Food, Friends, God, Growing Up, Letters to Noah, Noah, Precious Moments Captured!

Best Birthday Ever!

Today has been the best birthday I’ve ever had! Not that my previous birthdays have been bad, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve been so very blessed this year that it tops all the other wonderful celebrations I’ve had.

I honestly didn’t expect anything special this year, since I’m in the middle of my confinement and C acted so normally that I was completely clueless about all the planning going on behind my back. My birthday celebration actually started yesterday, when my elder godsis brought a cake over to our place last night and my god-nephew, Nat, presented me with a lovely sunflower. Noah was already asleep by then, and since he had a lot of trouble falling asleep during the day yesterday, we decided not to wake him up. Never wake a sleeping baby! You never know how long it will take you to get him to fall asleep again. Anyway, C gave me my gift, a beautiful Macbook Air which I’m using right now to write this post, just before midnight and I was thrilled with the lovely surprise from him. I had no idea that he had an even bigger surprise waiting for me today!

Basically, my church friend M was scheduled to visit this afternoon and to me, it was like any other visit I’ve had so far. I had a nice nap before she arrived and was still in my little lala-land, completely unaware that my other church friends were coming too. M arrived, together with her husband and little girl, so we all sat around chatting until Noah woke up for his feed. I brought Noah into our bedroom to nurse him and while I was in there with him, my other friends secretly arrived! I heard a baby crying outside and was wondering why M’s little Megan was crying, since she seemed perfectly contented before I went into the room. Little did I know that it was J’s baby, not Megan! Imagine my surprise when I came out of the room with Noah, and saw J emerging from Noah’s room, telling me that she used my changing table. In that moment, all I could say was, ‘Oh sure!’ (I think that’s what I said!) while my mind was going, ‘Why is J here?’ Then I looked at my living room and it was filled with my friends! C had planned the entire surprise so well that I didn’t suspect a thing. I think even Noah was in on the secret, since he woke up at the perfect time for his feed! Daddy has him well-trained, I think! 😉

This year, I am truly overwhelmed by the bountiful blessings that God has showered upon me. I am so very blessed to be married to C, the love of my life, who has never failed to support me in all that I have done. He has gotten me perfect gifts each year and always comes up with wonderful celebrations, be it for my birthday or our wedding anniversary. Quite a feat, since we’ve been together for more than ten years now! I am thankful for Noah, our little miracle baby, who has such a sweet disposition. He hardly cries, except when he’s hungry or over-tired like yesterday, and he can usually lie quietly on his own in his cot, before falling asleep on his own. He has the sweetest gummy little smile that melts our hearts and it’s been such a joy watching him interact with his daddy. I’m highly biased of course, since he’s my baby boy, but that’s what being a mother does to you. I am also touched that my friends took the time to come to our place to surprise me, and I am grateful for their friendship. I’ve had so many friends providing me with emotional support and covering us in prayer throughout my pregnancy, and I hope that I am as good a friend to them as they are to me. Above all, I am humbled by God’s unfailing love and faithfulness to us. Best birthday, EVER! 🙂

Update: In my haste to upload this post before midnight, I forgot to mention that M was the mastermind behind today’s surprise. Oops! She was the one who suggested surprising me by gathering all our church friends and was the ‘decoy’ who had to come earlier to our place. Big hug to her! 🙂

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The First Time…

Last night was the first time since I gave birth that C and I went out on our own without Noah. It being the Olympics Hockey semi-finals, our friend invited a group of us over to his place to catch the game, since he’s the only one who has Mio TV. Tell me again, why do we subscribe to Starhub? Anyway, the Australia vs Germany game promised to be a really good one, and C convinced me to leave the baby at home with our confinement lady, so that we could watch the game together.

I never thought I’d experience separation anxiety at just two weeks, but I did. I’m VERY indecisive by nature and this just threw my fickle mind into overdrive. Should I go? What if the baby can’t fall asleep without suckling from my boob? What if something happens to the baby? Would my time be better spent sleeping at home instead? Is there enough of my expressed breast milk in the fridge for him? As though these questions weren’t enough, my brain decided to throw in another one that I know sounds silly now but seemed really scary to me last night: What if we got into an accident? I guess becoming a parent really makes you worry for the rest of your life!

C’s winning argument that convinced me to go? The confinement lady was the person who can best handle baby and whom we can safely trust. This was our best chance to go out without Noah, especially since it was late at night and we would only be away for three hours. How could I argue with that logic? I pumped some extra milk for storage, just in case Noah needed more than what I had left in the fridge earlier, and the confinement lady reassured me more than once that she would be just fine alone with the baby. Secretly, I bet she thought I was nuts, but in my defence, my hormones are still all over the place.

Did I regret my decision? Nope! I had a good time with C and our friends, talking and laughing during the duller moments of the game, and cheering madly when the teams scored. It reminded me a little of the time that C and I went to KL with our friends to watch the Hockey World Cup, ten years ago. The game has changed so much since then, and so have our lives. I can’t wait for Noah to be old enough to start playing hockey! 🙂

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