Archive for August, 2018

Neighbours

Back in our Kuching home, we had a Malay family as neighbours. I still remember Aunty cooked the best ayam masak merah which she would gift a pot to us during Chinese New Year. We always visited their beautiful home during Hari Raya and they would visit ours during CNY. It was nice having lovely neighbours and we were sad when they eventually moved away.

During my nomad uni life I had lots of different neighbours, most of them we didn’t even know by sight. We were quite friendly with our last neighbour though, especially after Saitaoha came along.

My parents and I live a house apart, and luckily we have the nicest neighbours that live between us! They are so polite, generous and friendly. Every couple of days they will knock on my parents door to gift them with fruits and veggies from their garden. Aunty often gives us food that she has cooked like buns, curry puffs and spring rolls.

Yesterday they dropped off a giant pot of Burmese noodle soup, it was our first time trying this national dish, R really liked it.

So in return we cooked them Sarawak laksa, haha, I am loving this neighbourly exchange of culture. Mostly I’m just really pleased that my parents are getting such a warm welcome to Australia by their lovely neighbours. I’m glad neighbourly relations are still strong and thriving in our neighbourhood.

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Standing room only

Monday coffee at this coffee place aptly named Standing Room Only. Their coffee is really pretty good. Nowadays I get my caffeine fix from Max and Co which I think is ok only. But I always end up going there because they have lactose free milk so I can order chai latte for my lactose intolerant sister. Sometimes I get into the lift filled with people all holding on to their precious coffees ‘all pretending to be adults with our oh-so-adult coffees’ I think. I’m one of the crowd too. Most of the time I still feel I’m a kid, most comfortable hanging out with my parents in their bedroom.

Happy baby picture of the day. She’s so filled with smiles and giggles lately. I love my babies. Tomorrow Saitaoha comes home with us. Earlier in the evening, she said goodbye to me happily. I felt so comforted because I know she’s really happy with my parents in their cozy little home. She’s so well taken care of and so loved. My parents had to sacrifice a lot to help me look after my kids, I hope they think it’s worthwhile, because they are having a wonderful childhood and my parents have a lot to do with it.

I was telling R about my latest project at work. It struck me that I haven’t sounded so excited and happy about work in a long time. I love learning new things, it’s not so foreign that I feel out of my depth, but it’s interesting enough that I feel I’m gaining knowledge day by day. Best of all, there’s no urgency to my work, in fact, it’s best to take time to ponder and analyse the work properly. I can switch off the computer when the clock strikes four and go home to my family with no pang of guilt or stress. I could get used to this.

Saitaomei is 9 months old

Saitaomei turned 9 months a couple of days ago. Poor baby is suffering from second child syndrome, most of the time I can’t remember how old she is and I’m not even sure of her milestones.

I do think that she’s remarkably cute though (mum bias) and keep telling R that I’m going to miss the baby stage so much.

This baby is a foodie like her sister was, she’s eating solids like a champ and is maintaining her round figure well. She’s a quiet observant baby most of the time, but has recently learned to shriek for attention. Her favourite person is her jeje I think, she always beams when she gets attention from Saitaoha.

She’s not quite crawling yet but showing all signs of starting too. Definitely shuffling with her butt and getting pretty mobile. I actually feel a bit sad thinking she’s going to crawl and start walking soon, sigh she’s probably going to be last baby, why are you growing up so quick bubba?

Sigh I hope this means her sleeps will get better soon, she’s not that bad but could be better. Ah ma and I would be so much more energised if she STTN!

Saitaomei’s favourite activity is going out, she gets upset if she sees us going out without her. Happiest when we’re out at the shops where she can people watch all day.

Saitaomei is enjoying our new playroom too. We might be in this house for a while more, I’m glad the kids will have a cosy room of their own to play in. R and I have more plans for this room, it just takes time and effort to DIY it ourselves. But there’s lots of satisfaction in seeing how the kids love the room.

Roast pork dinner tonight, I invited my parents over because I’ve been wanting to make roast pork for my ah pa for some time. They were admiring the new furnishings in our house which are not that new, just that they haven’t been over for quite some time! Even though they live a stone’s throw away, I usually go to theirs instead.

I actually love walking to their house with Saitaoha. We have our little chats and she points out the flowers, the clouds and the sky. Then she will gasp happily ‘it’s Gung Gung Mah Mah’s house!’ and ask to ring the doorbell. She loves their house and sees it as her second home. I guess we are very lucky to have two lovely houses to call home.

Playroom

My view from the kitchen window. The playroom is a success, even in its half done state. Saitaoha loves the room and spent the most of the morning in it. The majority of the dirty, hard labour is done, we’re on to the fun part of furnishings and decorations.

Saitaoha is so big and tall now. Still loving her shoes haha, she insisted on wearing her new shoes today, but was also admiring her other pair of new shoes gifted by da yee. She has too many shoes now, never a problem for girls I reckon.

Winter is almost over and I thought we didn’t do too badly illness wise. Bang, here we are, sick again. I feel guilty and wonder whether it’s because I haven’t found time to reschedule the kids for their second flu short yet. I didn’t get my flu shot this year too ๐Ÿ˜“.

Today’s chicken and mushroom risotto was a success, it mostly comes out overdone when I cook it using my instant pot. But I shortened the timing and liquids this time and it seems nicer? Will ask for resident risotto fan R for feedback.

The nice thing about taking a sick day, it gives you time to potter around the house, do household chores, cook, I wish we had four day work weeks, how nice that would be.

Family home

For the most part of the year, whenever we’ve had spare time (haha), we’ve been focused on DIY projects or work around the house. Sometimes I think we’re putting too much effort and money in this house which to me is just a temporary home until we build our dream home. R thinks otherwise, he’s always liked the foundations of this temporary home of ours, and thinks we might be here for a while yet, so may as well refurbish it.

I told him last night that no matter how much we refurbish the house, including a whole bathroom and kitchen rehaul which is on the cards (when we can find money and time for it), it will never be the dream home that I’m looking for.

He thinks that it’s ok, we can always have a dream home when the kids have grown up, because the ‘golden time’ for a couple (after marriage) is when you retire and your kids are independent and move out. I don’t disagree with that, except my golden time is when my kids are with me, when our family is growing up and growing old together. So my dream home is not my retirement/eventual home, but rather my family home.

We moved into our family home in Kuching when I was 4-5 years old. My parents built it from scratch and I’ve always loved our family home with it’s large garden, tall ceilings and spacious rooms. I spent a very happy childhood and my teenage years in this happy home before eventually moving to Perth for studies. I guess I’m trying to recreate a family home in Perth for my family, not just my children but also for my parents. It might be a while away but I believe we will get there in the end.

My parents have also had their Australian permanent residency approved. It’s such a relief, back then, it felt like a lot of paperwork, waiting and rushing back and forth. The process felt a lot more stressful than it should have been because we were juggling with a newborn then. Anyway, I’m glad it’s over now and was surprisingly a short wait in the end, a mere 7-8 months from application to approval! It means a lot to me because this guarantees a back up plan and eventual home for my parents, and allows us to look after them in their old age.

Life tests us and throws us curveballs, but we get there in the end. For that, I am thankful.

Mayday mayday

๐Ÿ˜“ Both kids and ah ma are down with some mystery bug. Saitaoha vomited three times last night and Saitaomei wailed from 2-6 am. Needless to say I didn’t go to work today and my parents are so tired because they had Saitaoha and were probably cleaning kid and room up all night.

Saitaoha is feeling better and quite cheery, but she’s also very clingy. Saitaomei is extra clingy too so this is not a good situation. I’m carrying the bub to sleep and can hear Saitaoha next door saying ‘my mummy. Where is my mummy?’ Sigh at times like this I wish I could clone myself.

It’s almost 9.30pm and I still haven’t had dinner. I have this stubborn idiotic obsession of wanting to eat my dinner alone and at least in peace. So sometimes this means no meals until late at night when both kids are asleep. Why am I so idiotic ah?

Examining the remote control. I remember when Saitaoha was this age she was obsessed with the remote control and loved chewing on it.

Uh oh. Unhappy kid alert. My strong lungs munchkin

Song ah Saitaoha? Earlier in the day when ah pa brought her out for a spin at Bunnings.

I hope ah ma and the kids recover soon!

My day

Yesterday I was walking back home from the bus stop when I met my neighbour who was weeding her garden. She said ‘you look very tired!’

My days start at 5.30am which gives me half an hour to pump, wash bottles and shower. Then Saitaomei gets up at 6am and I feed her. I get dressed, blow dry my hair and made up in the living room while she plays on the mat. Around 7.15am, she is showing signs of sleepiness, R and I bundle her up and bring her over to my mother’s. He drops me off at the bus stop and it takes half an hour to get into the city. The work day officially starts at 8am.

Depending on my workload, I try to clock off before 4.30pm so I can catch the bus to get home around 5pm. In the span of an hour, I cook dinner, pump and shower. Then I go over to ah ma’s to get the babies, spend some time with them, go home, maybe eat dinner late depending on whether the baby is due a nap or needs feeding. If there’s time, I make lunch bentos, fold laundry or do a load of washing. Another round of pumping then I put baby to bed. Lights out at 9 or 10pm. If possible, I try to read after lights out, because that’s my me time. I haven’t been able to last long for the past couple of nights coz just too sleepy.

And yet, I think my parents have it worse because they look after both kids during the day!

Some days my body is thrown out of whack because Saitaomei decides to surprise me by waking up at 4 am instead! This was today ๐Ÿ˜ญ.

It really takes a village to raise your kids.

***

Today’s work day was brutal. And yet I am the least productive that I’ve ever been in my working life perhaps. The CEO stopped by my desk today and we had a chat about my grandmother and her mother. It was nice. Then she suddenly said ‘oh yes! Have I discussed my plans for you?!’

Inwardly I thought ‘ohh the non existent plans that I’ve been hearing about for ages ah’ but I shook my head ‘no you haven’t’.

‘Come! Let me make a cup tea and come in and we will discuss my PLANS for you.’

So like a lamb I trotted into her office where she told me of a new project that she wants me to work on. ‘Would you be interested?’ she asked. I knew the decision had already been made for me, but luckily I was interested.

It will be a learning curve, but the key word is learning, for my fear is that I’m growing stagnant in my job. I need to grow and I already know what I need to know in my previous field. It sounds like a quiet role, one where I can self manage and not have to look after others. That sounds good. I need a job that I clock off from at 5pm and not worry about for the rest of the day.

***

I thought there’s no way I would or could go out after I reached home. Turns out your kid can banish all exhaustion with a hug and a kiss.

Ah pa told me yesterday that Saitaoha had been looking out for me all day, especially when the sky darkened, because she knew it meant I would be home soon. She kept asking him to open the door saying that mummy was coming. I was surprised to see the door unlocked when I came in. He said he felt bad for her so opened the door to let her see that mummy wasn’t here yet. ‘She was quite ko lian’ he said.

My heart broke a little.

Today when we went to fetch her, she kept repeating ‘go home’ and wouldn’t leave the house entrance, thinking I would sneak off and leave her behind again ๐Ÿ˜ญ. She was so happy when we carried her home. So I asked R to bring her out to gai gai at the shops.

Mummy are you coming?

Running with glee. โค๏ธ๐Ÿงก๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™

My firstborn. My baby. Our princess.


August 2018
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