Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday Musings: TIME OUT!


We all need a timeout every now and then.


Last week while getting dressed for work, I tried on five different shirts, all of which failed to fit. Mostly because of my ever burgeoning baby bump. At a last resort I wore a baggy long sleeve shirt that made me feel fat, slack and ugly overall. Staring at the mirror, I found myself tearing up and barely caught myself before breaking down entirely. It’s true that pregnant hormones are insane, but it’s also true that a good cry relieves stress better than retail therapy or stuffing yourself with a pint of ice-cream. 

How do you usually unwind? Here are some of my favourite ways:

1. 'Do not disturb'

Most folks think I'm an extrovert, but closed friends would know I'm actually just a well-rehearsed live wire. Most of the time, I much prefer reading, sleeping or hanging out with myself. 

I mean we are online, on chat mediums, social media almost all the time! Being constantly in conversation leaves this closet introvert tired, annoyed and irritable. So to unwind, I shut down. My phone is put on silent, in desperate times I take out the battery pack entirely and just put up an imaginary do not disturb sign. No internet, no contact, no nothing.

2. Simple pleasures

freshly manicured nails

Not sure why but getting a manicure or cutting my hair gives me real pleasure. Perhaps its the whole service package they provide. From the shoulder massage to the hot tea as well as clean, smooth nails. What's not to love about being pampered? 

3. Go to nature

The beach if you can. Waves immediately calm any anxious soul. I have a friend who went so far as to put up a photo of a beautiful beach at his desk. His escape therapy apparently. Whatever works for the individual I guess!

But if that's too far away, there's always the nearby park of the huge field in front of my house. There's something soothingly therapeutic about walking barefoot on grassy fields, taking in fresh air and standing still in the breeze. 

4. Take a nap

My favourite method, widely accepted (everywhere but Singapore) and hugely backed up by science is taking a nap! 15 minutes or 45 minutes if you can afford it. 

J.G. recently purchased this amazing nap device called the Ostrich Pillow. It is revolutionizing the whole napping scene!! Check it out for yourself~

the Ostrich Pillow

Oh well, it's nine! Bedtime for me. Have a great week ahead friends!

Grateful,
Ames


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Baby Bumps: Week 32

ALL my clothes are exploding


It's the last leg in the journey now, we're left with 6-8 weeks before we meet her in the flesh. This pregnancy process continues to be very surreal, apart from moments when my ribs are kicked.

humblet's growth:
We're looking at a baby who can survive outside the womb from this week forward. At 1.8kg, she's come a long way from 4cm at the turn of the first trial-mester. Her head circumference is around 24cm and her thigh is a startling 6cm long. Definitely due to the genes of her daddy long legs. 

To give an easier picture, she's about size of a big pineapple - 35-40cm in length. 

likes / dislikes for food:
Things have pretty much stabilised where diet is concerned. I don't eat a lot in general. But I've definitely developed the discipline of taking mini snacks, like fruits or cakes between meals. 6 meals a day is still too many to handle, so I try to at least have a tea break or a biscuit slightly before lunch. 

Hydration though has become so important! I realise my blood volume has increased significantly in the last 2-3 weeks. This has left me with cracking lips and dried skin (despite moisturising daily). So I'm downing about 2-2.5 litres of water religiously now.

pregnancy blues:
She's recently taken to getting her right foot lodged somewhere under my rib. Wow. The pain of that brings tears to my eyes. Not so much an ache but more the shock of the impact when she kicks. 

The bladder is now fist size possibly. Remember how I'm drinking heaps? I'm also now heading to the toilet every 20-3o minutes. A real problem when I'm in the middle of a phone conversation with my client. 

mum to-do list:
We are absolutely over-flowing with love gifts. A fully cushioned cot liner, a rocker (make that 2), a little rocking toy and bags of tiny clothing to choose from (mostly boys) haha. But still, we're so grateful. Since the nursery post, people have given us not only advise but very practical help as well. 

Now all that's left is to get the mattress for the cot and the curtains washed. 

The good part about being homebodies is that we can really take time to organise and re-organise whenever we feel the need to. 

the worst part:
I can't wear anything is my wardrobe. It's a nightmare getting dressed for work in the mornings. Nothing fits! Like a skinny girl horror movie. 

The buttons are stretched to maximum capacity the moment I sit down. So embarrassing. Oh well, no one is pregnant forever. I'll just get back into my favourite jeans later.  

the best part:
Swimming. I'm so glad we've formed the routine of swimming late Monday mornings (and the occasional Saturday). We didn't bother paying for aqua aerobics, we simply went to a regular pool and did laps. 

It's so relaxing. Takes the weight of my back and gives me a good stretch as well. Humblet herself seems to really enjoy the water, squirming and kicking as I'm swimming. The gynae tells us I'll be able to swim right up to my delivery date, so we intend to keep this up for a bit. 

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It's really the last leg. Not sure how many more <baby bumps> there will be, but J.G. and I are so grateful for everyone of you who have showered us with your generousity. Seeing humblet so loved before she's even born gives us immense joy. 


Grateful,
Amy

Monday, June 22, 2015

RAWR or the Jurassic World Movie: a Review


Monday Musings: Movie Review


I'm not really a Jurassic World / Jurassic Park type of movie goer as compared to my mum, who watched it on the first night of its opening. But I also do not know any other almost 60-year old whose taste in movies in like hers. Either way, I'm more of a reader. I find movies over-stimulating and a little too in-your-face. But that's a totally different blog post.

Since I did watch Jurassic World and I did come out of it thoughtful, I figured I'd do a little movie review. If you'd like to read -

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Saturdays

can one have too many pins or rings?

Side note: thank you to all for helping me with suggestions for the nursery. So grateful!


On Accessories


Do you usually wear accessories? Not sure about the younger ladies, but I know for a fact most of my girlfriends wear minimal embellishments. I also know that many of them only wear accessories for instagram shots or very special occasions, then remove them almost immediately after. Our humid and scorching weather does not really make good for wearing jewelry. Either our skin gets harmed in the process or our jewelry die in the humidity.

Yet, can we girls really do without accessories? A whole industry is built upon these trinkets which are meant to enhance our ordinary clothing - bags, time pieces, jewelry and recently even your mobile phone is a fashion statement. I realised even tiny little girls have low shelves set apart for them in huge malls, where they can try on beady necklaces, bracelets and hair tie thingamajigs. Humblet, we are not going there...

Here's a lowdown of my accessory stash -

The discerning eye would note that there are really only two kinds of accessories present - namely pins (or brooches) and rings (mostly from my travels).

I've concluded that I'm a pretty flighty person when it comes to accessories. In one season, where I'm sporting a short bob, its all about hairbands, hairbands and mostly hairbands. Then another phase wear I suddenly becoming a collector of sunglasses. In this phase, I'm pinning everything and anything on my shirts / dresses and blouses. From robots to dinosaurs and even sweet wrappers.

So there's no real fixed category that I'm particularly obsessed about. There are however details that I never leave home without - my wedding band and a pair of diamond studs my mum got me years ago. Apart from these guys, I might throw on some eyeliner or lip balm but that's about it.

Are you an accessory person?

I know friends who never leave home without first putting on stacks of rings.
What are some accessories you never leave home without?

Hope you're resting well this sunny Saturday!

Grateful,
Amy

Thursday, June 18, 2015

A Mini Review: The Deep Exhibition



Really looking forward to heading down to the Dreamworks Animation exhibition, but before this, we went to The Deep exhibition. Here's a mini review of the exhibition.


Monday, June 15, 2015

Monday Musings

I totally missed doing the usual <Saturdays> post due to the packed weekend. But it was a nice kind of busy. A good friend's baby turned a full-month old. The best friend and I headed down to public garden and there was such a huge turnout of local and other independent designers. Manage to get a few steals whilst trying to avoid slamming my baby bump into these makeshift stalls. 

This week, we will be working on organising humblet's nursery. Do you have any must-haves in a baby girls' nursery? Do share your experiences and wise words with us in the comments!


naturally seen on pinterest


For the ever-practical engineer I married, it's storage / shelving / organisation. He has an eye for detail I don't, which I'm extremely grateful for. Where the cot should go and how the drawers ought to be divided etc. He's able to visualise the nursery in a very practical way. The whole drawer putting together was so massive, I wrote a post just for it.

Big picture mummy-to-be just wants minimal, gender neutral and sleep-training friendly. Curtains think enough to block out sunlight check! Also it's in a lovely shade of apple green. Brown hand-me-down cot to match our woody house theme check! Thankfully J.G. also made sure it had adjustable heights and one side that could be lowered.

We weren't too fixated on having to buy a new cot or a new anything for that matter, since all experienced mums said repeatedly how quickly kids outgrow stuff. Outgrow their swaddle cloths, outgrow their newborn sized diapers, outgrow the cot (or rather master climbing out of them) etc.

With the hand-me-downs piling up, plastic bags and boxes littering the nursery, it's time for us to get ourselves organised like this gorgeous little nursery -

neat and nice, more ideas here


Clearly a case of too much inspiration along with too much inertia. Help.
Please share with us how you get organised!

Have a great week ahead~

Grateful,
Amy





Monday, June 8, 2015

Monday Musing - A view from the summit

It's been a confusing weekend for us here in Singapore. At the 2015 SEA Games, we continue to remain at the top of the table. Sweeping medals here and there, from marathons to Wushu. We cheer Team Singapore on, with loud cheers and bright red banners. Also this weekend, we are faced with a tragedy, the loss of precious young lives braving an expedition on Mount Kinabalu.

Personally it's heart-wrenching on so many levels. TKPS is a school close to my heart, many of my students graduated from there before entering TKSS. In the more recent years, Acorn has had the privilege to train the leaders of this school. Thus, there are several students we personally know on this team. Most of all, as a teacher and as a parent-to-be, this loss is suffocating to say the least. How would the parents, teachers, classmates move on from here? How do we even begin to mourn such a loss? Where do we find comfort? How do we offer comfort when the loss is so immense?

To read senseless criticisms of the government, teachers and school at this point drives me crazy. However, the reading the reflections, condolences and messages of ex-students, parents and fellow teachers reminds me that where the hurt is real, that solidarity and hope remains aglow alongside.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Saturdays

Dinner Table Manners

date night last week

One of my favourite things about Asian culture is communal eating. Family members sitting around the dining table, feasting, talking and laughing. This evening once again, the entire extended family will be gathered for homemade popiah, laksa and thai chicken wings. I thought it was appropriate to reflect about meal times for today's edition of Saturdays.

On average J.G. and I share about 10 meals a week. A simple, quick breakfast in the mornings before work. One home-cooked meal. One date night, which we both look forward to every week. We make it a point to go to our parents' place one a week as well. These are a few non-negotiables from the earliest meals I remember having as a child.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Baby Bumps

WEEK TWENTY-EIGHT!!!



Wanting to diligently document this first pregnancy, I've been doing a series of baby bumps since the turn of the first trimester, if you would like to read the other editions of baby bumps you can simply click on the link below -

week 18
week 20
week 24

This edition of baby bumps is significant, because it marks to start of the third and final trimester. What a journey of humility and gratitude it has already been. We continue to thank you all for your love for humblet.

humblet's growth:
Little humblet is not so little anymore. She weighs slightly more than a kilo. According to the doc, her thighs are significantly longer than average. Well at least that explains the whooping kungfu kicks to my ribs. Experienced friends tell me it will only get more painful. Right. Roger that. 

likes / dislikes for food:
MEAT. Give me meat. I've been very into meat this past 2-3 weeks. Korean boiled pork. Beef stew. Bacon. More bacon! Trying to balance this meat craving with a regular fish diet as well, but meat wins! (I'm sorry my beloved vegan friends, please forgive this ravenous pregnant woman)

Dislikes? Strong smells in general put me off. The smells I use to love such as stir-fried garlic / onions now really turn me away. Although the taste doesn't at all.

pregnancy blues:
Accidentally allowed a fever to turn into a full blown flu. It's pretty exhausting to be sick without being to take strong medicines that will just knock me out. 

But also I'm learning how to fight this nasty cold naturally with home remedies like high vitamin C fruits (kiwi!) and warm honey lemon. Surprisingly, they seem to be working. 

mum to-do list:
The very dedicated father-to-be has completed both the set up of the cot as well as the drawers. Now what we need is to get a suitable sized mattress for the thing. 

Also sorting out smaller knick-knacks like towels, bottles, containers etc. 

the best part:
Nightly 'live-action' shows with humblet. At around nine in the evening, every night now, she does this spectacular show of kicks, punches and knee thrusts. Feeling it might not be all that great, but simply watching her active and healthy is truly the best part. 

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As her arrival nears, we are both excited and apprehensive all at once. As I mentioned in my previous post, no one can ever be ready because every experience is different. But we continue to rely on wise words from parents / grandparents who have gone before us, comforted that we can also borrow their strength in the trying times and that they will share our joy in those wonderful moments. 


Grateful,
Amy