除夕夜

From this ….

To this!

Father in law spent all morning and afternoon prepping our reunion dinner. This is already a very restrained version of reunion dinner since none of R’s sisters are back, but we hardly made a dent and there’s really 鼠年有余.

The cousins during our family’s early reunion dinner. Saitaomei did not like wearing her qipao at all.

Saitaoha and LG at AEON mall.

They had lots of cute decorations there so I couldn’t resist asking Saitaoha to pose.

My family 💕.

Kids having fun nomming on bread during the car ride home.

R and said this is our worst nightmare, 8 kids!

Happy 除夕夜 everyone 😃.

Losing battle

4.15 am. Saitaomei and I have been up for the past couple of hours shifting from bedroom to bedroom as she makes her way through them, coughing till she pukes out the Panadol I’ve been trying to feed her to get her fever down. It’s a losing battle and I’m running out of clothes to change her into. This is her third set 😭.

Oh why oh why do the gods test me so. I’m just so tired from this holiday it just doesn’t feel like one at all.

I hope the Year of the Rat is when the kids and I become stronger and build up our immune system against all the bugs and viruses out there.

Saitaoha is sick again and I’m totally devastated about it 😭. Poor kid just doesn’t get a break, sick three days into her holiday, with all the other kids around as well, there’s the worry that they will catch her bug too and their holiday (as well as my siblings’ holiday) will be ruined as well. I know I’m being a worry wart but these things keep me awake at night. The lack of quality sleep from constantly crying and stirring kids is also making me a kill joy, I am a snarky bear to be around with and I don’t blame others from wanting to keep far far away.

Happier times of the sisters and my kids colouring together. That’s the best part of family holidays.

Let’s hope we all huat this year! Be it in health, wealth or luck.

Poor girl, she looks so worn out here. I’m glad we got to go for a spin at my favourite Kenyalang, I love this place.

All the Chinese New Year stalls were out but it felt very quiet this year.

I never get to spend enough time with my dear brother when he’s back, so I treasure all our snippets of conversation where I get a glimpse of his life in US. Every time I see him I selfishly wish he lives nearer to us. I wish my parents had their son with them. But he’s happy and that’s all that matters.

Roadside burger for supper last night, we can barely stuff anything into our bursting bellies anymore but I think my siblings did it for me.

It was nostalgic but as usual, after we devoured it, there was that tinge of regret.

We are waiting for R and my in laws to pick us up, my stint at home with my family is over and I’m already sad.

CNY holiday begins

Saitaomei was excited to be going on a holiday!

But her jeje enjoyed it the most, she adores her cousins and yee yees, so getting to travel with them was heaven for her.

This time I didn’t hesitate to get my holiday drink of Starbucks matcha latte, I know the opportunity to indulge is far and few in between so better get it while I can. I don’t even like it that much anymore but I like it that it symbolises being on a holiday.

The kids trying out their CNY costumes before the holiday. So cute hehe.

My first attempt at making kuih lapis, I quite enjoyed the process and would like to try other flavours. The only thing is now that I know the crazy amount of egg yolks, sugar and butter that goes into this cake I’m not sure I can encourage any of my loved ones to eat it!

I seriously don’t know where she learned to pose like that!

Where did she get this from? YouTube videos? This was at our favourite Spring, love it that the shopping centre is quiet even nearing the festive season.

It’s nice to be home and lovely hanging out with the family, I’m looking forward to seeing my brother again too. But I always feel bad whenever I see how stress my parents become when we’re over. It’s really tough maintaining two households and because they are away from Kuching for so long (looking after my kids *gulp*) everything is broken down or malfunctioning, supplies need replenishing and multiple errands are awaiting. As visitors of the house, we don’t know how to fix anything or get around and rely on my parents for everything. Travelling around in a big group logistics wise is challenging too and everything falls to them as the hosts when they are hardly in the country themselves. It’s really quite difficult and they could just have the devil may care attitude but my parents are just not like that, they take care of all of us and over worry and fret about our comfort too much. It’s stressful for them, and stressful for us too.

I’m hoping it gets easier once I move out because I know my little ones make everything all the more challenging. I want my parents to have a holiday too!

Farewell 2019 Hello 2020

I was trying to reflect on my 2019 when I realised that I couldn’t remember anything. Life went by in a blur and I was constantly chasing my tail, my memories are hazy and all I recall is the neverending cycle of the kids and myself being sick and getting well again. This is the reason why I have persisted in keeping a diary or blog of some sorts over the years, even when my brain fails me, my hastily jotted words bring me back my past memories and recollections.

I started this blog in 2009, exactly ten years ago! According to my posts, ten years ago was when I met R which I believe was the turning point and next stage of my life. In 2009 I secured permanency at a position which I then thought was a dream job. It wasn’t the dream job I envisaged but I learned a lot and it was definitely a stepping stone to where I am now in my career.

Fast forward ten years, 2019 was another turning point in my career. I went back to a field that I worked in ten years ago! Only this time it was a hundred times more challenging, not just because of the work context itself, but mostly because of difficult working relationships. Office politics dominated the second half of the year and caused me a lot of angst and grief. I wasn’t quite sure how to deal with it and there was the frequent temptation to run away. Luckily I didn’t, instead, I had some of the most difficult work conversations and hard talks of my career. Some were futile but there was also the pivotal moment where I forced my hand and difficult decisions were made. I am not proud of it but I am glad I didn’t back down. 2020 will be the biggest career challenge yet, it’s a make or break year and will define the next stage of my career. However unlike the past decade, work won’t be the dominating factor in my life (I hope!), my family still comes first and that I hope will help keep the stress at bay.

2019 was a really tough year for relationships. Work relationships were tricky and heartwarming at the same time. I enjoyed reconnecting with my old colleagues and working with them again. But some work relationships were challenging and downright horrible. Marriage wise, it’s been ten years since I first met R and we starting going out, six years of marriage. It all sounds very long but if you think about it, it’s not that long in one’s lifespan. You would think after ten years we would have our relationship dynamics down to pat and our marriage would be smooth sailing. The truth is it’s been a rocky couple of years and in 2019 we had some rough patches but also happy moments. I can’t deny that there were days when I tore my hair out and felt our relationship wasn’t worth the trouble or effort. Ten years and I still find it difficult to understand how and why he sometimes acts the way he does, and to be fair, I am sure he struggles with me as well. I wish I could be like other Instagram couples where their values, principles and lifestyles align and all looks peachy and rosy. I wish our marriage was that easy but it’s not. A lot of it is about tolerance, compromise, patience and understanding. With the arrival of kids our social life is pretty much nil, we find it hard to find time to go out on couple dates let alone go out with friends without the kids in tow. But we’ve made some changes to that and are trying to expand our social circle. I truly hope 2020 can be a turning point in our marriage where we can find a comfortable rhythm again.

The kids and their development has been the highlight of the year and I believe that will be the case for me every year. Saitaomei is at her cutest stage and is learning new things everyday. She has a strong and independent personality and is quite different to her sister who is sensitive and clingy. She’s a lot easier to take care of now that she has turned two, it’s less physical but more about mental development now and I will have to pay more attention to her cognitive skills including instilling the right values and morals. Saitaoha had a big year, she started her 3 year old pre kindy at our neighbourhood school and will be continuing with her 4 year old pre kindy in 2020. I am so thankful that she really really loves school and has thrived in the warm and fun learning environment. She makes me laugh all the time with her funny comments and stories. She also constantly surprises me at how thoughtful and sweet she can be. She has it tough in that I constantly expect too much from her as the ‘big sister’, it’s a constant struggle for me to remind myself that she’s only three and a small kid, I shouldn’t be putting all the expectations on her just because she is the older child.

Health wise it’s been a good and bad year. Good in that my prolapsed discs have miraculously regressed, bad in that I probably celebrated too much by not exercising, eating badly and irregularly and therefore succumbing to every minor illness under the sun. My immune system is at an all time low and the kids and I were sick A LOT in 2019, I developed bronchitis for the first time ever and had every viral illness going around the daycare. It really was very depressing because I was constantly worried about the poor sick kids, my parents who also caught our illnesses, I missed work or attended work whilst battling embarrassing coughing fits, the kids had coughing and throwing up sessions and boy did I do a lot of laundry runs in 2019.

I say this every year but really it’s been ten years since I took the plunge and really embarked on a weight loss and exercise lifestyle. Can I please just do it this year? It’s embarrassing but I really need to gain my health back! For myself and for the kids too.

2019 was my year of recovery after the bleak 2018, I made small gains in life and slowly regained some of that lost confidence. There are still days when I trudge into my house and look at the mess and pigsty that I live in and think ‘what the hell am I doing?!’, but I have some hope in regaining some stability from the chaos of mummyhood that I have struggled with post kids. Maybe 2020 will be the year where I find myself and regain confidence to become a better mummy, wife, daughter, sister and friend. Fingers crossed🤞🏻. Happy New Year everyone!

Papa and mei mei

This is why fathers melt like putties around their daughters.

You must be doing ok as a papa for your daughter to look at you this way.

Deck the halls with holly

The Christmas holidays have been nothing short of glorious. It’s been relaxing, fun and filled with family activities. The kids are having the best time ever because they get to hang out with their favourite cousins and Yee yees.

I finally baked the turkey which was brined for two days in the fridge.

Turkey goes in the oven.

Ta-dah!!

The breast could be more moist but otherwise it was pretty good! I even made the gravy from the drippings and ah pa approved.

We had such a good Christmas spread!

Everything tasted delicious 😋.

My Christmas log cake which was actually a chocolate Swiss roll in disguise. Cheese and crackers after dinner was pretty fabulous too.

Another look at the Christmas cake.

On Christmas Eve Saitaoha accompanied me to work for the first time. She was very excited and thrilled.

Look at that happy smile.

I think she really enjoyed herself that day.

Cousins enjoying Christmas lunch. They performed for us a Christmas song afterwards, cuteness overload.

We went for a picnic with our new friends, R and I are trying to expand our social circle.

It was a lovely day by the river, Saitaomei and Saitaoha had lots of fun running around in the grass. On days like these you are reminded how nice it is to live in Perth with its blue skies and sunny weather.

The grandchildren really enjoyed their Christmas gift from Gung Gung Mah Mah! I wish it could withstand adult weight, would have loved to go down the slide.

Celebrated my sister’s birthday, the children gave her flowers.

We brought two of them into the city today, Saitaoha is always happy when her cousins are around. She cries when they won’t hold her hand, such a silly billy.

Finally treated my parents to lunch of Bari Uma ramen. My father keeps paying for our meals, it was great that I could finally treat them to a meal. We had a fun day out in the city!

I think I will be sad when the holidays are over, and they almost are, but this time I don’t feel the blues as much because we’re going back to Kuching for Chinese New Year soon! Wah December- January really are the best months of the year.


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