Modern Parenting Crisis | Huffpost

I know this article will bring a flood load of controversial comments, opening a can of worms, Pandora’s box and scrutiny of all sorts. However, I cannot agree more with this.

It was shared by a good friend of mine, a family counsellor with 3 healthy and successful sons. I can only imagine he has done something right in parenting.

In fact, more and more, it frustrates me to hear fellow mums blaming their kids for their behaviour, their ‘husband’s bad genes’ , processed foods, teachers at daycare, school, “oh, the grandparents!”… Or even, “be glad you don’t have a girl…” (Coz sons just miraculously behave!)…. Preposterous!

Hardly ever… EVER, do the parents ever blame themselves and realise that it’s their parenting style or (lack of) responsibility over the well-being (physical and mental) of our future generations that come to their minds.

Yes, it frustrates me. And I’m here to lay it out.

I don’t debate nor disagree that I run a relatively strict, disciplined household. But it is no where near what you would call the ‘traditional Asian’ household. Believe me. Coz I grew up in those settings.

However, I try to construct a framework whereby my son(s) understand the importance of following rules and guidelines, display respect for others, develop patience… Call me old-fashioned.

All of these are to build a foundation for him to withstand the inevitable stormy days he will have to weather in some points during his life-long journey in this world.

Curious? Please read. And happy to hear comments.
Parenting Crisis Article

CNY | Year of the Sheep/Goat

Goat? Sheep? Ram? Whatever it is, wishing you all a prosperous year ahead with lots of joy and great health.

This year, instead of the full blown extended family dinner at Auntie Kat’s, my mother decided to host a little dinner party at her house. As usual, there was abundance of food supply!

Asian Aunties… Will they ever have enough dishes and food??

Feeling blessed that the families are all healthy and can dine together on the same time.

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Noah | 5 Months

What’s new this month? Apart from surviving the plane rides back to HK and officially taking on the name of Mr Porkchop (need I say more), he has also started solids this month. Unlike his older brother who was a bit more fussy with his solid mush, Noah’s first tastes of Laverty’s Garden Veggies mush saw him aggressive like a hungry gorilla!

The only problem he has is constipation. He tends to go 5 days without emptying his bowels and needs the help of some freshly squeezed (pulp-drained) orange juice to get him going. So that’s also part of his daily diet now.

What else? So, yeah… He doesn’t sleep like his brother either. Nor does he settle himself like his brother. Wakes at 6.30am even though we set him down late at 12.30am. And roars like a lion when he doesn’t get cradled to sleep.

How ’bout this new name?

Porkchop Diva

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Valentine’s Day | 2015

I was really looking forward to this special romantic day and was really bummed that I was struck with the flu.

This year, my hubby and I played reverse roles where I only got a card and he was showered with gifts. But I’m not complaining. I’m not a huge fan of gifting for the sake of gifting. I’m old fashioned that way. No… Really. I would rather see the $ rise in the bank account than see it spent on some branded pair of shoes or handbag. Yup, it took my hubby 5 years to really believe that but I think he really does now and accepts that he didn’t marry a particularly romantic woman. Ha! I tell you what. You always want what you can’t have. How many men could only dream of having such a non-romantic girl! ūüėú Yet my hubby yearns for a Kim-Kardashian-sucker for romance! (Ok, and the comparison stops right there).

I still braved it and went out to a nice dinner with hubby’s secret booking at Gochiso, a local Japanese restaurant. It was really cute that he actually put the effort into finding a place himself! Honestly, to me, that meant more than getting any gift. After dinner was a 10.10pm movie – Fifty Shades of Grey. If I wasn’t so sick, it would have been the cutest and perfect day for me… Oh well, that’s Murphy’s Law for you.

I still loved every moment of this Valentines Day. I love you, Willie Pang!

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Hong Kong Trip | January – February 2015

Wow.. Where to start?

A full mix of emotions come up when I talk about this trip to HK. Let’s just say it was ‘hectic’. The perfect word that sums up organised chaos, hard work yet fun!

Let me start of with the packing for this trip. As a start, to get ready for this ‘workation’, I spent 2 days packing for the whole family and getting the house ‘vacation’ ready. And yes, I did it all by myself. Why? Because hubby was away in London and would touch down Sydney the morning we fly out to HK. So all was left to me to pack and prepare. Needless to say, I was already pretty over the anticipation of the ‘holiday’ by the time I had squeezed the last luggage and zipped it up! Exhausted and sweating like a mad dog, I was determined to make the most out of the trip.

How na√Įve of me….

The first mistake we made is to take a red-eye flight with a 3 month old. The flight itself was fine. And so was the baby. The only thing that was not fine was the ‘Put on your seat belt’ signal. ¬†It was as if the pilot was playing with the switch. ¬†It was on, it was off. ¬†It was on, it was off. Every single time it went on, the air hostess would force me to lift my peaceful, sleeping newborn from the bassinet and turn him in the crying monster who wakes everyone while he is strapped into his seatbelt onto me. ¬†For the first couple of times, I kept returning Noah into the bassinet. ¬†But after I realised the Pilot was having a time of his life switching that darn light on and off, when clearly the only turbulence anyone was experiencing was from the roaring of my baby, I decided it was a bad idea to lift him in and out of the bassinet. ¬†I decided to just have him on my lap for the rest of the flight. ¬†Needless to say, we landed in HK at the early hours with me being the crankiest person on the plane.

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At that point, the only thing I was looking forward to was a fluffy hotel bed with crisp white bed sheets. ¬†Yes, that was all part of my imagination. ¬†Forget the crisp bed sheets. ¬†What I was about to face was the second part of the nightmare for that day…

To save ourselves money, we had decided to stay in my Father-in-Law’s vacant, untenanted, one-bedroom apartment. ¬†Did I say ‘vacant’ with enough conviction!? ¬†We arrive the Kornhill apartment at 6.30am. ¬†Voil√†! ¬†No furniture, no kettle (I don’t remember how we managed to deal with a crying baby with no kettle to make his formula milk). ¬†As much as I was very thankful for a place to stay for free, it also came at a cost (not just of buying some simple furniture) but no housekeeping. ¬†This meant that, with my OCD tendencies, I had to spend the morning wiping down the apartment with one piece of cloth that I had managed to find in my luggage. ¬†And this is with a baby and a 6 year old in the background.

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Oh did I forget to mention that Willie had to leave us on the day we arrive to ¬†Macau for a 2-day sales conference? ¬†Now, if you think Single Motherhood is hard, I can’t agree more. ¬†But I tell you what…a single mum would never think of travelling with two kids like this. ¬†A single mum would hardly have to clean, wash, pack for another man…I would hope!

So here goes…the start of my 17-day ‘holiday’…..

***

Over the course of the next few days, I manage to book out EVERY SINGLE lunch and dinner that I had in HK to meet with family and friends. ¬†It was expected of, given I hadn’t been back in a while. ¬†Plus I have a new addition to the family that everyone wants to meet. ¬†It was also my spiritual year of ‘reconciliation’. ¬†I had made a commitment reconcile with as many friends as possible, especially fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. ¬†Honouring this commitment made it twice as hard in that setting, I guess. ¬†Nonetheless, I managed.

Yes, I managed.  We managed.

We managed to go to Sunday church service at the most amazing church – Island ECC. This is one of the highlights of the trip, I have to say!

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We managed to see all the friends and family who wanted to see us, bar a few whom we will remember to prioritise on our next visit* (*If we EVER visit in these settings again! LOL)

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I managed to go into the HK office to visit colleagues, some of which who had no idea I was on maternity leave still. ¬†But that’s fine.

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Willie managed to ‘fail to let his wife know it was a workation’ but that’s ok. ¬†I got over it easily, only vowing to bring a nanny next time or NEVER GET ON A PLANE WITH THE KIDS ALONE AGAIN!

Willie and I managed not to rip each other’s head apart, living in a cramped 1 bedder with high stress levels hanging above our heads and in the hustle and bustle of HK.

We managed to fit in a side trip to Taiwan and enjoy a little romantic getaway.

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We managed to fit in Disneyland with Seth.

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We managed to get the whole family sick but still survived our flight back home.

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Finally, we managed to have some fun. Boy, are we glad to be home….

End of Story.

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Theresa & Ben Wang’s Wedding | Humble House, Taiwan

Another EPIC wedding. ¬†First and foremost, congratulations to my good, old friend Theresa Law. ¬†AKA PARTY QUEEN, Social Butterfly… ¬†I’m so happy and honoured to be a part of this wonderful celebration of Theresa and Ben Wang.

Theresa and I met in the first year of university. ¬†To think of it, it has been around 15 years since we first met. ¬†We’ve been through our rounds of partying, boys, relationship-problem-sharing and even business partnering. ¬†And while I moved on quite quickly to incorporate family and marriage problem sharing into our life equation, Theresa has been jet-setting around the world, making most of us young mums live through her vicariously (and jealously). ¬†There were times when we wondered whether PARTY QUEEN would EVER grow up! :P

In the midst of our business partnership, where Theresa would make a trip back to Taiwan for sourcing and production, she would meet the man of her life, Ben Wang.   Ironically, her Mr Mysterious was no longer the business but this man who would sweep her off her feet, help her create her business success and most importantly, deliver on his life-long commitment to providing her happiness.  The rest is history.

And while many wonder why I would leave my 3-month-old in HK and make this huge effort to fly to Taiwan for this wedding.  On many dimensions, this is a special occasion for me.

Theresa is the epitome of happiness, loyalty, kindness and all you want in a friend. ¬†It would be preposterous of me not to make an effort to this dear friend of mine, who I will always remember …always..the friend who had stepped in, in the midst of my marriage issues, to remind me what marriage is about.

And so it gave Willie and I a chance to go on a little romantic getaway (double whammy!!) and for me to visit Taiwan for the first time (triple whammy!!!). ¬†And in the mere 2 days I was there, I can totally understand why Theresa never made it back for ‘Mr Mysterious’ here back home…

Wishing you both a life-long journey of exactly what you two represent:  Sweetness, Kindness, Commitment and Happiness.

Thank you for inviting us to the most elaborate wedding ever. ¬†I’ve never been to a wedding with more celebrities in my life before. ¬†Being usher meant I was privy to the whole guest list and wasn’t that fun :)

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Noah | 4 Months Old

This is what happens when you don’t¬†blog regularly, or you keep putting it off until you ‘have time’. ¬†As a mother of two, you barely remember what your week ahead looks like (and that’s why Google calendar is my lifesaver), let alone remembering your child’s development in the past month to write a blog post about it!

On saying that, whilst I was very diligent on capturing every minutiae of Seth’s infant and childhood development, with Noah, I have learnt to just enjoy and live the moment rather than frantically trying to live up to catch everything on Social Media.

I’ve learnt that these cute little things, while being so energy-draining, don’t stay like this for long. ¬†In a blink of an eye, they are in kindy and then by year one, they don’t even need you to walk them to their classroom door.

With Noah, he is a little attention seeker.  Much  more than Seth.  In this past month, he has quickly learnt to smile, laugh even and interact with touch.

He also took his first longhaul flight back to HK and he had his first time meeting family and friends in HK.

I know I shouldn’t compare but it’s hard not to. ¬†So, I will lay it out here because I think it’s more of an act of embracing differences and not judgement on my own children.

Seth was a lot more of a placid baby/child. He was so good, it was unbelievable. ¬†He was an amazing sleeper, clean eater and even knew not to wake mum up and make himself breakfast at the age of 3! ¬†Yes, I kid you not. ¬†If anyone wants a recommendation on how to train them that way, I tell you what? ¬†Just being an irresponsible mum does the job. LOL ¬†In desperate means, the kid will learn to survive. ¬†Ok, in all serious, it is a bit of training, a bit of the child’s natural gifted ability to be independent and lastly, it is the fact that when you simply don’t give a child a choice (i.e. when I just sleep through his breakfast), they will find ways to make it work for themselves. ¬†Have you not heard of Chinese 5 year old kids who carry their ¬†younger siblings and walk 5km to school all by themselves? ¬†Ok, now I’m starting to sound ridiculous. ¬†So, I digress.

Now, Noah, on the other hand….he has started to intermittently sleep through the night from 11pm through to 8am. ¬†Some days, he will wake between 6am-7am but that’s about as early as he will wake, which isn’t too bad. ¬†We carry him around on our sling facing outwards and he will smile at people. ¬†He is more of a people person than Seth. ¬†Surprisingly, even though, Noah isn’t as good-looking a baby as Seth (yes, I said it!), he attracts a lot more attention. ¬†I guess, he’s a lot more of an attention seeker. ¬†He has absolutely no issue with showing his emotions. ¬†His affectionate smile is toxic. ¬†But his cried are torturous. ¬†When he cries, he wants the whole world to know.

So far, these are the most notable developments of my little Pork Chop.

And here are some photos for recapping special moments.

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