Noah | 8 Months

My little one is 8 months and I am enjoying this time with him a lot. Hubby has been away for a large part of this month, meaning a lot of alone time with both my boys, especially Noah. 

God may have decided this is the month for character building, and thus gave Noah 2 weeks of sleepless nights while his father was away, leaving me up to a fortnight of sleep deprivation while looking after Seth as well. Although towards the last few days before he turned 8 months old, and coincidentally after his father returns, we saw an abrupt change in his sleeping patterns. As I type, he is now able to sleep through the night.  Officially. Yes, from 10pm to 8am without waking. (I hope I am not jinxing myself ūüėú) 

Weighing in at 9.1kg, this month saw Noah start on proper solids and a regular solid dinner every night. With Noah being sick since he was 3 month’s old, I have resorted to making his solids so I can be sure they are packed with nutrients and vitamins to keep him strong. 

Here’s an example of what I blend for him and freeze in these cubes that I got from Kmart. They are the best, I find. Unlike the ones where they are like ice-cube trays and you have to break them out pretty much all at once, these ones you can defrost one per night individually.

They are all boiled vegetables in chicken broth with a tablespoon of coconut oil. Then blended in my NutriBullet. Voilà!

  
Noah has most definitely started to teeth. His two bottom teeth are now sticking out and looking incredibly cute. 

He is now able to pull himself to propel himself forward on the lounge rug. Looks like the beginnings of a crawl. It won’t be long before he’ll be moving around on all fours!

Lastly, I must make this comment. I don’t see how this is the case but judging from the reactions I get from passerbys on the street, I have to admit Noah attracts just that bit more attention than his gentler older brother. Must be the cheeky smile and the fat cheeks. Until next month, baby!!  

 

Purpose vs Call in Life vs Calling

 Is there a difference between our Purpose, Call in Life and Calling?

As we prepare ourselves for the Holy Yoga Ministry, our first session focussed on establishing the difference between our Purpose, Call in Life and our Calling.

This session was led by Brooke Boon, founder of Holy Yoga.  She highlights the importance of understanding and differentiating the 3.

For those of you who are also interested in how we can articulate this differentiation, have a go first! Below is my version as part of my reflections from my first Holy a Yoga class. 

So, what is the difference?

Our Purpose – To glorify God, to do all things in His honour and praise Him. 

But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. – Exodus 9:16

To have a relationship with God and do all things in His glory. To glorify Him. 

Our Call in Life – The Divine invitation to embrace salvation.

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, – Ephesians 1:7  

Not to be confused with our ‘calling’, our call in life is accepting Jesus Christ as our saviour and following His walk in life. No one can make this ‘call’ other than our King above; or through His chosen authorities. God’s dominion alone. We do nothing here but simply ‘respond’. We do not have any dominion over others’ acceptance of Christ but to serve our calling and walk with Christ. 

Our Calling – Serving Him and surrendering into God’s authority. The Christian walk.

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, – Ephesians 4:1-2

This is our serving, or our response to our Call in Life. Our calling is our expression of glorifying of God and doing His work as he pleases.  It is the Hebrew answer, “Hineni” meaning “Here I am”.  God’s calling may not always be obvious if you have not encountered His revelation. But trust in Lord and do everything in the name of Christ, for that can be your simplest form of fulfilling your calling.

Amen? Amen. ūüôŹūüŹľ

How I Minimised Hair Loss | The Honest Co. & Recommended Organic Brands

Honestly, no…. Honestly.

During my pregnancy, I got given Jessica Alba’s The Honest Life book as my birthday gift. I remember wanting to immediately throw out all the processed foods out of my fridge. I didn’t, of course, because that would be just a wasteful life and nothing ‘honest’ about that. But having learnt about all the chemicals that exist in processed foods and many cleaning agents, I slowly started to make my own cleaning products with natural ingredients. And have since completely weaned myself into organic skincare.

I’m not a complete organic freak, admittedly. I still use bleach for whitening bathroom tiles and that white shirt that I love. Bleach King is what its name stands for. KING of the household, indeed.

Perhaps not to the extent of obsession. I mean, it’s not like we aren’t exposed to chemicals in one way or another. But it is consciously minimising the exposure to love our bodies, the temples that God has so graciously blessed us with.

So, the review in hands is Jessica Alba’s Honest Co. Bathing range. (A good friend of mine got this as a souvenir from Hawaii). It was a gift set that consisted of:

  1. Shampoo/Body Wash
  2. Face/Body Lotion
  3. Conditioner
  4. Body Oil
  5. Bubble bath gel 

Verdict?  AWESOME! 

Since using the shampoo, I have seen a significant reduction of hair shedding. 

The body oil I actually use on my face at night, as a moisturiser. It’s isn’t as rich and I would probably stick with Organic Rosehip on the face in the long term, but this oil is definitely great for the body.¬†

So there goes a quick review for those looking for another brand of good, natural products. 

Other brands I also like:

  1. Juniper Australia РI love this brand for their handcreams and Skin Firming Serum, which I use as a makeup primer and I get this from the local vitamins store, Mr Vitamins. 
  2. Springfields РI love their Jojoba and Rosehip oils. 
  3. Trilogy РI stumbled across their Replenishing Night Cream when it was on sale and have loved it, especially for drier months.
  4. Rosehip by essano¬†– I literally bulk buy their foaming facial cleansers when they go on sale. I find it is strong enough to remove makeup, even my mascara, but doesn’t leave my face dry. I still recommend using jojoba or rosehip oil on a cotton pad to remove waterproof makeup first before facial cleansing.¬†
  5. This cheap but super effective cucumber eye gel literally feels like putting on cooled cucumber slices over my eyes, except it’s a squirt from a bottle. It’s only $19.99 AUD but does a better job in de-puffing tired eyes than La Mer, I think! Say Yes to cucumber. Yup, that’s the name of the product!

Hope you enjoyed it! 

How Do You Define Precious Motherhood? | Is the modern day image distorted? 

On our Mother’s Day sermon, our pastor reminded us of how modern age ¬†perception has distorted our views of what the role model mother is. ¬†And how we should refer to the Scriptures on the true definition.

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.  Proverbs 31:10

Here’s my view. Whether the media and Hollywood wants to admit it or not, they have shaped this distorted modern day view. ¬†And here goes:

A successful, role model mum does not just wear an apron at home making the best meals for their children, providing for the household and ensuring everyone is well fed (including her own self). The modern day successful mum:

1. is juggling between a high-flying career and soccer mum duties, like it is possible to do both perfectly. Let’s just accept that it is an impossibility.

2. looks unrealistically supermodel-like and hits the gym 5 times a week¬†¬†(thanks to the rise of juice diets and workout plans that have exploded in the past 10 years, easy access to plastic surgery, etc.) Not to mention there’s a race on who can lose all her baby weight the quickest post-birth.

3. has a nanny to help because the double household income will allow for that. Or for those without help, refer to point 1 again.

4. looks immaculate and chants ‘positivity’ as her mantra. Yes, everyday. Where is the social empathy of ‘sharing’ and empathy on women’s support? Oh sorry, wrong answer. ¬†Society nowadays condones sharing of issues and slams that as being weak. No wonder there is all this suppressed bitterness, passive-aggressive comparison and disingenuous concern in mothers circles! How many times I’ve had a friend simply voice an opinion in a Whatsapp Group chat only to be immediately compared with her worse-off friend? Honey, she’s not asking you how bad your situation is. ¬†Save your ‘at least you….’ for your husband, please! Women, we are here to support one another. Pray for your friend! Hear her out! Give her an emoji hug! Whatever you do, please skip the ‘Oh, at least you…..’ We are reminded that in God’s eyes, we are all the same. ¬†Sorry, clearly this is a very sticking ¬†point for me. So, moving on…

5. have kids who are well-groomed, sent to the best schools…all because the mum did the most research and sacrificed her dignity or pre-pregnancy vitamins for the school entry fees. ¬†Either that, or she flaunts her own social status through her child’s education privileges.

I suspect the points in discussion here require dedication and I do not underestimate that. But it also comes with sacrifice. Often, subliminally, at the expense of your relationship with your child(ren), husband and family.  The devil always has ways to justify why we should strive for those things. Perhaps we could hone in the same level of effort to strive for real beauty?

I could harp on forever and I should really stop on the sarcasm. But that word vomit was necessary.  Far too often, I find myself being a culprit. I wonder how many women will fess up to falling into that category of somewhat striving to be what the modern age successful mum looks like.

Well, I do. I wave the white flag. I do. I surrender. Because, what defines a woman’s worth is not her charm nor vanity. It is the inner beauty, the genuine kind intent, the real sacrifices that she makes for her children, family, friends and others that we should value.

Let this post pause you for a moment. ¬†Even for a minute. Let’s reflect and make for better role models and create a better place for our children.

Lord Jesus, I confess I sin with most if not all of the above. Every day, I strive to avoid fitting into the pressures and distorted views of modern age definitions. Please give me strengths, grace, love and patience to overcome the temptations. 

After all…

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.  Proverbs 31:30

Mother’s Day 2015 | 6 Years of Motherhood¬†

Another year… It has been 6 years since I first embarked on this journey of motherhood. Can I just say it is possibly the most challenging yet most rewarding blessing for me? Motherhood has grown me, in so many aspects. And for those who aren’t mothers, this is a wonderful celebration for us to thank our mothers who have sacrificed so much for us.

For me, Mother’s Day is not just about me as a ¬†mum. But an occasion where I stop and reflect on what my mother has done for me. Thank you, mum. Although you aren’t in Sydney to celebrate with me this year, have lots of fun and know that we love you and thank you very, very much!

***

Earlier this week, I had gone to Seth’s school to help with Art & Craft. This lesson was to make a card and a little gift for their mums. On one hand, I miss out on the surprise gift that I would have otherwise had if I hadn’t been there. But I find it extremely rewarding to have spent it with the kids, seeing each of them create something for their mums. It was very entertaining. On several occasions, I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself hearing what the kids (with no filter) had to say about what colour their mums like, the reasoning behind it and what their mums liked to do.

  

   ***

For the third year in a row now, my hubby has been away during Mother’s Day and I have had the pleasure to spend it by myself with my boy(s). For some, they cannot imagine anything worse than having to spend Mother’s Day looking after two children. For me, I see this has a blessing. Before you call me crazy, listen to my perspective. Being alone with no help reigns in the joys and responsibilities of Motherhood. You have nothing else to distract you but the full immersion of motherhood. ¬†It is the ultimate reminder of what motherhood is for me, and what my mother sacrificed for me.¬†

***

I wake up on Mother’s Day with a 7 month old to feed and having to change nappies while having to get the older 6 year old ready for church. Whilst it may not be as chaotic as you may imagine, it is definitely more challenging than having an extra set of adult hands around.¬†

Meanwhile, my older one, Seth wanted me to go ‘hunting’ for the secret present he and his dad had hid in his spacious room. It was the sweetest thing my hubby could have done. ¬†Yet, at the same time, it wasn’t an easy task to go and find this surprise gift with little hints from a 6 year old. Eventually, I gave in and asked for specific cues; thankfully, that led me quickly to the card.¬†

After a hug and a kiss, with a baby whinging in the background, I proceed quickly to get the milk bottles ready so we could leave the house and get to church on time. 

Needless to say, by the time I had the kids loaded into the car, I was a little overwhelmed. ¬†I mean, this isn’t unusual for a school day but when you’re trying to make it in time for special church service on a Sunday, there’s that added pressure.

Surprisingly, we arrived on time. Unloading the kids from the car seemed to be the invigorating part of the morning, because it meant I was another step closer to my destination. And was I proud that I managed!

Seth performed on stage and I couldn’t help but shed a tear. ¬†How blessed I am!

The Passion in Scripture Study | Holy Yoga Journey

 

I’ve not enjoyed studying so much in my life! And to think it would be Bible study that I am enjoying is far from the imagination even just 10 years ago. 

Growing up in a Catholic convent, Bible study was a gruelling chore. I only knew the Scriptures for the exam questions.

I will still need to sit my exam at the end of Holy Yoga retreat. But today, Scripture study is far from gruelling. It is a joy; a passion. I read and re-read the same passages over. I turn every page of the Bible like an inquisitive, curious child fascinated by the characters of Narnia. 

The more I delve into the depths of The Word, the more I realise how little I am, how little I know, how much more I need to learn and most importantly, how much more I need to LOVE

It’s true that when you are inquisitive and curious, you open doors to learning.  Every day, I am learning something new. Learning is a humbling experience and a journey that we should all embark on, every day and for the rest of our lives.
 
“Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your statutes! With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth. In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.” Psalms 119:12-16
Thank you, Jesus, for bringing me here and your love and continued guidance on my journey. 

YuWong Baby BBQ | Baby Shower Ideas

It was explicitly stated that it isn’t a “baby shower” per se. But it is somewhat, still, of a celebration for the soon-coming of a baby. I quite like the idea, actually. It does feel a little unfair that hubbies and men miss out on the traditional baby shower celebrations. So a BBQ/Paella day with all the boys and girls is an awesome idea. 

You can always trust my BFF, Remiko (Miko) and her man (Warren), to host the best celebrations with the biggest crowds. Who would have thought we could move an outdoor party into Miko’s house for 50 people? But they managed. They always do. 

It was an awesome idea to get the Paella Guy to come and cook up a storm. There was plenty of food, lots of laughs and great company.  We had an amazing time. And it all worked out well that they moved the party indoors so everyone could watch the ‘Fight of the Century’ between Manny and Floyd. 

On a side note, I have become the Baby Shower queen. I think I can score a Hollywood movie like ‘The Bridesmaid’ where I am the go-to host for girlfriend’s baby showers. So, needless to say, I have become quite familiar with making Bonbonnieres and preparing the decorations for these events. This one, though, was by far the most decked up Bonbonnieres that I’ve created. 

For those who are interested, I got my favours and deco from www.PinkFrosting.com.au. I always like to add a special touch by customising stickers to add to the favours. One tip is to ensure you order at least on month in advance. My experience tells me that you need that buffer in case they are low on stock or need to ask further questions on your customisations and to add a bit of buffer for delivery and finally, actually sitting down and making the Bonbons. 

Here are some ideas: 

         Milk bottles with Gem Cookies

Cookie cutters

Tea leave strainer 

Milk bottles in tiny glass jars 

Hope you enjoyed it, Miko! 

I can’t wait to meet baby Yu-Wong and I am so looking forward to seeing our kids grow up together.

With Love xx