Tomorrow

Itโ€™s my sonโ€™s birthday tomorrow.

Itโ€™s going to be a very different sort of celebration as we’re still confined by the conditions of the Movement Control Order (MCO) that is still ongoing in Malaysia, at least till the end of the month (or longer, depending on what the government decides).

I am a mixture of feelings. Generally speaking, a tangled mess of emotions.

First of all, we haven’t really done much to prepare for this occasion. (We barely made it to shop for some simple birthday gifts today).

Secondly, I feel sorry for my son, because he will not be getting the usual round of celebrations that most family birthdays call for: A meal with grandparents, a private celebration with us at home, and a birthday bash at school with his classmates and teachers.

All of that… not happening this time around.

He just has us. And we have him. (Oh, and our youngest son too, of course).

He isn’t complaining though. He’s already told us what kind of cake he wants and in what theme. He is at ease, confident, that having made his requests, it would be fulfilled in some measure tomorrow. He knows there will be a present, but even then, he didn’t make any specific demands about it.

He isn’t doubting in any way that there will be some form of birthday party tomorrow. Though, of course, my husband, our youngest son and I will be the only ones in attendance.

I guess at this young age he is still content with simple things.

Perhaps I shouldn’t despair as much as I am doing, and ought to laugh it off the way he does most of the time.

My crazy, happy-go-lucky boy version of Winnie The Pooh turns five tomorrow.

Maybe I should just let that be enough for now.

Never mind the new job that I’m barely coping with, and the mayhem and mess all throughout the home, and the fact that we are still uncertain about many things in the near future.

Tomorrow. I’ll have it all together tomorrow.

Measure of days

My two sons within arm’s reach.

Here I am sitting in a parked car at McD’s with the engine on. My two sons are asleep in the backseat, and so is my husband, who is in the driver’s seat.

Meanwhile, I am savouring whatever remains of my very late lunch.

It is 4.27pm.

Such has been our family’s lifestyle of late.

We have not been eating at regular times. We eat whenever everyone becomes hungry. During the meals where we cook, we get to eat whenever we manage to finish getting the food prepared. Which is often late too.

These days, my husband is at home with us every day. He decided to quit his job abruptly, just before our second son was born. It was not an ideal choice. And it was certainly not the best season for our family to have this happening either.

But this he did, and of course, having discussed it with me beforehand. I metaphorically grit my teeth back then, saying it would be better he left his difficult situation at work than to be stressed out managing work challenges at a time such as this.

Anyway, here we are. He has been without work for the past 3 months or so.

It’s an ongoing worry on our heads, no doubt.

I ended my self declared maternity leave prematurely just to ensure we could get some extra income from a job opportunity that came up. This is not what I would have liked, as I had wanted to be able to focus my attention on just loving the boys and being available to them at this time without the complications of dividing myself between work and them.

But what needs to be done needs to be done. And even with this going on, we still are not making up for my husband’s loss of income.

We have some money to keep afloat for now, but it will not be for long. We still have not yet worked out a concrete plan for the next few months.

So far, bills are still able to be paid. But will we reach a point where we fail to? God only knows.

There isn’t much that gets done every day, even with both of us adults at home. Most times, it’s just about getting the minimal amount of chores done, meals cooked and keeping the kids alive through those daily routines of baths, naps, etc.

On the surface, I guess you could say there is nothing at all magical about our day-to-day affairs.

I don’t know how to put it without sounding too whimsical or unrealistically optimistic, but somehow to me these days are special.

Every day is a countdown to a reality which I will eventually have to face one day: That my boys will grow up and go about their own lives, probably apart from me.

And until that day comes, I cherish every one of these seemingly ordinary days. Each with their own share of chaos and their own sparkle of tiny battles and victories. Laughter and memories.

I also especially treasure the fact that my husband is present 24/7 for the boys at this time too.

I don’t know how to make this last, but if I can, I want it to.

I’d like the whole family together. And I hope we can find a way to make this work, yet to have everyone happy too while also not dying of poverty.

I’ll tell this story if you will listen.

And I’ll look forward to (as I hope you will) that happy ending that is just around the bend. Fingers crossed.

Alert

It’s 4.46am in the morning over here and I’ve just finished off writing some social media copy for my client. On one side of me, I have my son sleeping, and on the other is my husband. Yup, this is the Work At Home Mum life.

But hey, I love that my life is built around my family first and foremost. A career is important, but should not hinder me from tending to what I love most.

Anyway, it’s not such a good idea for me to stick around too long as I still do need a bit more sleep before the morning rush hour comes swooshing by.

I guess besides letting you know that I’m still awake at this odd hour, I also wanted to share some exciting and also scary news. Hehe.

I’m pregnant for the second time. ๐Ÿ˜€

It has taken us longer than expected to conceive, so this new development came as a joy + relief for us, but it has also got us worrying about things to come. A lot of changes are coming up, but perhaps it will be good to take things one step at a time.

We have already made this known to our son, and he seems to be taking it really well. In fact, he’s really excited. He’s in this phase where he’s fascinated with babies so he’s thrilled to know that soon we will have one in our family too. He calls it his baby. ๐Ÿ˜›

There’s a whole lot more other things I could say/share about this topic, but perhaps that’s best left to other posts.

Goodnight.

Find your feet

Hello, I’m back!

It’s been a pretty decent start to 2019 so far.

Our little family of 3 has more or less gotten used to waking up a whole lot earlier every day, in order to adapt to the new preschool routine that we all have a part of now that Jamie has started kindy.

On the whole, it’s been a relatively positive experience. I think we’re all benefitting from waking up earlier and trying to have earlier dinners and bedtimes. It’s not been perfect, but I think we haven’t done too badly either.

Jamie started off his first week of school with lots of pee episodes, sometimes changing up to 2 sets of uniforms in just one morning. But the situation has improved tremendously since then, I am glad to report.

I am happy to see him learning lots of new stuff (which he will randomly inform me of we are spending the day together, like while having lunch or when I am bathing him or grooming him). He is indeed growing up so fast!

Since Day #1 that he stepped into kindy, Jamie has not ever cried at drop off time. In fact, I notice he is the kind of boy who goes right in to join in the action and doesn’t look back. I am so proud of him.

Deric is also turning up at work each day earlier than before, thanks to him joining us for the morning commute to school and hopping off at the nearby LRT station to catch the train to work.

Now February has rolled in and Chinese New Year is almost upon us. It’s going to be a week long break from both school and work (Deric’s on leave as well for this period), so I do have my concerns on how we’ll adjust back to the regular routine afterwards.

For now, I’m looking forward to having lots of enjoyable family time this week and hopefully having plenty of yummy cookies and other delightful snacks to munch on over this festive season.

I’d like to share more about the other stuff going on in the background right now, but I am still struggling with regards to how to do so.

In particular, I note that people sharing their parenting journey online tend to reside within some extreme camp or another.

Some take on the cool and collected stance, sharing their truckloads of wisdom and zen. Others are constantly spitting out profanities and making light of every possible thing, sometimes in the most irreverent and distasteful of ways. There are those who go out of their way to snap pictures of life at its worse, just so they appear more relatable. And then there are the others who upload picture perfect snapshots every time: Holidays, fancy food and sponsored posts aplenty.

I’m not sure I fit into any of those categories.

To be honest, I just want to share candidly what we have been through, and hope to inspire others in some form or another. But I feel like my words are so dull and flavourless, and my stories so ordinary. So I hesitate.

So far, though, my son seems to be growing up just fine, and we aren’t in dire straits financially yet. I have still managed to maintain at least ONE steady client at all times. And I have a bit of my sanity back now that I have time alone for a few hours every school day.

There are some other changes coming up which I am already aware of, but for now, I guess I ought to be thankful for what I do have. And I really ought to talk more with you guys about these many thoughts in my head.

I’m off for a Mandarin orange for now. Will be back soon in another post (I sincerely hope).

Christmas chaos and beyond

Merry Christmas everyone! 

Christmas has come and gone over here, and we’re into the last few hours of Boxing Day (which is NOT a holiday over here), but hopefully it’s not too late to wish all you readers out there ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s been a rather busy few days and the home has yet to be back to its usual order yet (not that it has much order these days actually). 

Christmas this year has been fun and enjoyable, mostly, but with several hiccups involved. Mainly the the gift preparation department. Pfft. 

As usual, I had lotsa ambitious ideas, and wanted to be able to offer gifts to most, if not all, my church members. What did not cross my mind though was the fact that the church I now attend isn’t as small as the one I grew up in. 

So, in other words, we set ourselves up to do impossible things. And that made us lose sleep as well as miss most of the Christmas service at our church. Not a good thing. Sigh. 

Things we made as gifts this year: 

  1. Herb salt (used already dry herbs and mixed it with Himalayan rock salt and garlic powder)
  2. Pandan kaya (if you don’t know what this is or have yet to try it yiu absolutely must!) 
  3. Shortbread cookies 

Here’s a pic of the jars of herb salt we gave away.

Forgot to take photos of the pandan kaya and shortbread, but the gift packaging had a similar look and feel anyway. 
This year, our Christmas tree looked the best of all the years we’ve been married. And with the most presents under it since we kept the discipline of opening gifts only on Christmas morning itself (which we didn’t use to observe when it was just me and Deric in the past haha). 

All this is probably because our youngest family member is extremely excited about the colours and lights on these trees. We got him to help us set the tree up with its decorations this time. No glass ornaments, so it wasn’t a problem. 

As for his Christmas present, we got him a drawing board that has both a blackboard and a whiteboard surface. It was from Ikea. He loved it. 

Gifts for Deric and myself were bought as a symbolic thing only, just to teach Jamie the idea that each family member deserves a present and that we all need to be part of the gift giving ritual.

We could have done more on the spiritual front though. We read him the Christmas story of baby Jesus and all that. But perhaps we should emphasise it more in the future. 

Or perhaps, I shouldn’t sweat it, and just let him grow up a little more before we share spiritual truths with him. 

I also regret not having been able to have some personal reflection time to contemplate the significance of Christmas and my relationship with God. Hmm. 

Anyway, I gotta run now. But here’s one last Christmas pic from me of our tree at home and the presents around it.