Meet the Monsters!

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You don’t need me to tell you that parenting is hard… and I do mean HARD! Nerves are often frayed, kids sick, fighting, screaming, yelling, breaking things. I get particularly frustrated when I am rushing to do something and they insist on ‘helping’. It’s no fun when I need to concentrate on work and Aden wants to help by typing random things on my laptop. I keep thinking just let me finish this Aden and you can have my full attention. Just five more minutes please.. but then it’s never 5 minutes, is it? I once was working on a project one night and found him asleep on my bed without even a kiss good night. This made me cry.

We have a complex bed time ritual for the children. Aden is in bed by 9pm, Ayesha however, the professional Monster that she is sleeps closer to midnight. We tried to get her to bed at 9pm but she would wake up at 3am and monster away until 6am so she sleeps a bit later. After the usual bathing, dinner, tv time, 5 or so bedtime stories and loads of hugs, Aden gets tucked in bed with a glass of water. Ayesha runs around the room for a little bit then will settle down in bed with us for the remainder of the night. Any school work that needs attending will be done around this time and any tiny crafting projects too. It doesn’t always work out but when it does, bliss.

I have survived this Mama working guilt by allowing specific times to different tasks. From 4pm onwards to about 9pm, I am in family mode. I do things around the house, craft with the kids, make dinner, shop for food… I try not to entertain work around this time. In the end, family comes first and my job is second. I just need to keep reminding myself of that.

Monster 1: Aden is now 5. A gentle, loving, Pokemon obsessed, talkative 5 year old. His obsession with Pokemon is impressive. I buy these tiny little Pokemon figures and use them to bribe him to do a little bit of writing, reading, colouring… eating, bathing, singing…. According to Google, there are 802 Pokemon (without the evolutions) and Aden can almost name them all. Pokemon Go is a favourite past time and we enjoy watching the 21 Seasons of Pokemon as a family. We are now a Pokemon obsessed family.

He has also been fascinated with natural processes lately.. fossilisation, earthquakes, hurricanes, dinosaurs and everything in between. Yesterday I asked him how fossils are made.. matter of factly he states “well first, you die then you get buried..” Okay then little boy.

Monster 2: Little bubbly Ayesha is 2. Strong, opinionated, joyful and beautiful. She is daddy’s little princess and often follows Pete around as soon as he gets home. While Aden is a picky eater, Ayesha eats everything and eats with gusto! It delights me to no end as you know, Pete and I really really appreciate food😂.

She is also a terrible tease to her Abang. She would grab a toy that Aden is playing with and runs away with it. A chase would ensue, screaming, crying and then she would drop the toy, happy in the knowledge of the chaos she caused. Smug.

We are lucky to have such happy children. Trying as they are, Aden and Ayesha radiate love and life. They give us so much joy and I can’t get enough of them. So if you see me out on the street, dragging two whiny children, looking haggard and ultimately stressed out, don’t feel sorry for me. For I am truly wonderfully blessed.

Aden as a tree in his reception concert.

 

Mummy and Ayesha at a wedding 

Let’s try again!

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So sorry to be away for so long. I think life in general has been far too busy these last  few years with work, kids and so much more. It becomes increasingly harder to have some time just for myself when there is so much to do in the few hours of the day we have left.

My thoughts sparked back to this blog when I met one of my readers today. She said how much she enjoyed my blog and I genuinely said how much I loved writing it. So tonight, with both kids sound asleep, I find myself revisiting the posts I have written so long ago and it was … comforting.

So I am making a promise to myself to at least try and blog once or twice a week and to reach out to my readers who are still out there somewhere. I hope you take the time to reach out to me too 🙂

This blog will go through a few changes to make it suit the person I am now. Really excited to have you on this journey.. Lets begin, shall we!!

After a Long Absence

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Been away from this blog for a long time. Since I’ve had Aden, time seems to be so limited but this blog was always at the back of my mind. Every time something new happens, every time I bake something new and exciting, I was blogging about it in my head and wishing I could put these memories into words.

Since I last blogged, Aden was only 4 months old. Now he is almost three! He started pre-kindy last year and goes to school twice a week. There were a few issues of Aden not wanting to share toys and last week, he was bitten quite hard on the leg otherwise he loves school. He is absolutely car mad! I know every line in Disney’s movie “Cars”and “planes” and so does he. He is a very sweet boy and is full of joy. Always laughing and always ready to give hugs. He is also in his terrible twos which means tantrums…. everywhere. He once had a huge tantrum in the  supermarket because I put apples in a plastic bag. A toddler is exasperating but also full of love. It is a challenge that Pete and I are living almost in disbelief. We are very grateful for our little boy and the joy that he brings.

Aden Shannon

 

It was an exciting year for us too in 2014. We had another baby and this time, a GIRL! Ayesha Hanim Shannon was born on the 29th of October after just one hour of labour. She is the complete opposite of Aden. Aden was premature and was barely 2kg when he was born. Ayesha however came in at a whopping 3.4kg and is a fluffy chubby baby. She is three months now and we are slowly getting to that point where she is sleeping most of the night. She laughs and coos if you talk to her in many funny voices. I didn’t think I would be but I find myself very excited in dressing up my baby girl, I was even asked by the nurses at hospital if all of Ayesha’s clothes were pink…. Ummm… pretty much 🙂 I can’t wait for her hair to be longer so that we can do all sorts of hairstyles with pretty pink bows.I know its terrible gender stereotyping but who could resist those pretty pink dresses and bows in the baby stores? Apparently not me!

Ayesha Hanim Shannon

Mama In Training

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Today I have been a Mama for exactly eleven weeks. It is all still very strange and very new. It is if anything a peculiar journey that started (if you don’t count the pregnancy) with such a violent beginning. People often talk about the instant bond mothers have with their newborn but I just felt exhausted and everything felt so surreal after labour. It was only when everyone left and we were alone with him that it slowly sunk in. This new human, this strange yet familiar stranger is my son. As days go by, I got to know the slope of his nose, the smell of his hair, the dark blueness of his eyes, every curve, every finger and every toe soon became familiar. I marveled at his every cry and reacted to his every whimper. I look for me and Pete in him, he has Pete’s honey blonde curly hair, his  ‘orang putih’ complexion, his hands with long fingers, and his deep blue eyes that may one day still change to brown like mine. People say he has my nose, my lips, my pout, my smile. He is a wonderful combination of Pete and me, a perfect unity of our own flesh and blood.

And he still changes. Everyday, he gets a bit chubbier, a bit taller. His cries are louder and his movements stronger.  He knows our voice and would turn his head to greet us. He can lift his head and smile widely. My little boy changes everyday and yet he is still the same. It’s astounding.

After being a couple for so long, we are still adjusting to life with baby. Everything we do centers around Aden. Our meals are eaten wherever baby is so that we are close by if he needs us, going out might or might not happen depending on how quickly we can get out the door with the paraphernalia that comes with taking baby out. Our cosy apartment had become much cosier with the addition of cribs, changing tables, a bassinet, a swing and so much more. Life revolves in bursts of two or three hours (if we are lucky) when Aden is asleep and stops when he is awake. Night feedings are getting a little bit easier and we are now experts at nappy changing a wiggly baby.

And there’s the worry. I worry if he is too cold, too warm, too tired, too hungry, too sleepy.  When it is time to see the pediatrician, I either have so many questions that overwhelm the doctor or my mind goes blank and I just say everything is fine. Luckily I have made some wonderful friends who strangely enough all gave birth in the same month as Aden who I can ask for help. It’s amazing how supportive mothers are to a new mother and I am so grateful for all the help I receive. I also have my own mother to fall back on and when Aden had a fever after his two month vaccination, it was my mum that I called and she gave me a calmness to face a whole night of Aden crying.

Pete has been amazing. He seems to shoulder the responsibility of being a new father with ease. He never complains through the night feedings and he still manages to make it to work the next day. He holds Aden like he holds the most precious thing in the world and I can see they both are madly in love with each other.

So here we are. Eleven weeks on. One month from now, I go back to work and have to leave Aden in the very capable hands of his new nanny and the very thought of that right now is enough to bring tears. If motherhood has taught me anything, its to take each day at a time, to live in the present with the most beautiful gift God has given us. Our beautiful son, little Aden.

7 Weeks Early, Our Baby Boy!

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Here he is, 7 weeks too early! Our precious little son born premature at 33 weeks only weighing in at 2kg. His name is David Aden Shannon. David after Pete’s dad, Aden after mine 🙂

Aden is so tiny, I could hold him comfortably in one arm. None of the infant clothes I bought for him fit  properly, not even the little mittens, socks and hats meant for infants. Even the onesies my sister bought for him especially for premature babies don’t fit properly. He is forever lost in a sea of clothes 🙂

It was an exhausting and scary two weeks in hospital. My water broke on a Tuesday night just as I was getting ready for bed, a slow trickle that made me think I peed myself! We rushed over to RIPAS hospital and at 1am, I was admitted in the first stage labour ward, a small room with about eight beds where women are taken in first pangs of labour. The doctors seem confident that they could possibly delay my labour for a week until Aden was 34 weeks and I resigned myself to a week in hospital.

It was not meant to be! I had my first contractions at 1am on Wednesday. The nurses gave me yet more pills to prolong the labour and wouldnt give me any painkillers. My contractions grew stronger and stronger and closer together, by 7am, the contractions were very close together and I was 4 cm dilated. The doctors doing their rounds finally saw me in a lot of pain and gave me a shot to ease the pain but I could still feel each contraction!

By 9am, the doctors decided it was time to go to the labour room. I called Pete who was giving a lecture to come quickly and he was by my side in 20 minutes. I was wheeled into the labour room and I asked for an epidural as I was in so much pain by now. The anesthetist worked quickly and I quickly felt relief. The midwife was lovely and so reassuring, I felt very well taken care of. The next few hours were the hardest in my life and Aden was born at 12.52pm! I couldnt believe that the tiny little baby trusted in my arms was my son! As they stitched me up (OUCH!!) Pete took Aden out to show my family outside and my brother took this picture of the moment!

I can’t believe Pete’s white shirt survived that labour room! Here is Aden again a few hours old!

We were then wheeled into Ward 18 which is an open ward filled with new mothers and their newborns. You can imagine the noise from visitors, crying babies and noisy children. I was exhausted and spent most of the evening curled up on the bed while Pete took care of Aden. Unfortunately they don’t allow anyone to stay over the night with you and I was expected to look after the baby that night by myself! It was terribly hard and by morning, I was shaking with exhaustion! I was happy when Pete showed up at 9am and took over looking after Aden while I caught up on some much needed sleep. It was hell that evening too with the ward filled with visitors, the noise was terrible and it was impossible for me or Aden to get any sleep! Luckily at 9pm, an opening at first class opened up and we were moved to room 10, ward 23 by 10pm. It was blissfully quiet and even better, Pete could now stay the night!!

We were looking forward to going home soon when the pediatrician came in Saturday morning and declared that Aden had jaundice! He was to be taken away to SCBU for photo therapy  to bring his bilirubin levels down. I was beside myself with worry and couldn’t stop crying! It was a horrible thought that my little boy was to be placed in a sterile plastic box with strong UV lights shining on him without us by his side. It could have been the hormones or just sheer exhaustion but it felt a bit too much!

Aden was in SCBU for two days. Hardest two days ever.

He was then put under a few more days of antibiotics and yet more tests. Horrible as they had to do it intravenously.

Finally on Saturday, ten days after he was born and two weeks since I was in hospital, we were discharged from Ward 23 with a clean bill of health but a multitudes of appointments to go to in the next few weeks.

So now we are home. The night feedings are rough and the nappy change endless but we are home 🙂

A big thank you to all the doctors, midwives and nurses of  JPMC, Ward 14, Ward 18, OB Gyn, Emergency Room, First Stage Labour Room, The Labour Room, SCBU and Ward 23 for all the love, help and support in bringing our son into this world. We are forever in your debt and eternally grateful.

Finally, my favourite picture of Aden taken when he was a week old. His first smile 🙂

Our little Prince. David Aden Shannon.

The Pregnancy so far!

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Just a quick post to show you a few pictures Pete and I did in a photo studio for the baby’s album. We decided we would do this for every trimester and once more when baby is born.

The First Trimester at 6 weeks

I just did my first ultrasound and saw baby for the first time. A tiny black and white blob that flickered to show his/her little heart beating. We did this photo shoot two weeks after I was discharged from hospital. The knowledge of being pregnant was still new and felt very unreal. It was a family photo shoot. My brother just graduated from the University and my little sister was off to UK that night to do her degree in the University of York . Pete and I arrived early to get a few  pictures of just us and here they are!

Can you see the black and white baby blob?

Picture with whole family, missing abah.

 The Second Trimester at 21 weeks

This photo shoot was a whole load of fun. Just Pete and me, goofing around as usual 🙂

I could now feel his little kicks and it is comforting to know that he is moving around in there. We have started cleaning out the apartment to make room for the nursery and buying little things for baby. After dreaming of this for so long, it still doesn’t feel real. I don’t think it will feel real until baby is in our arms 🙂

Wonderful News

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I am so sorry for being away for so long.

I promise I have very good reason to. There is a little cupcake in my oven 🙂

Yes, after almost eight years of trying, hoping, dreaming and praying, Pete and I are expecting our first baby next May!!

I mentioned to Pete how I needed a picture for the big reveal on my blog and he made me pose by the road just as the sun is setting. I quite like this picture!

It wasn’t an easy journey and I will blog about how we got pregnant another time. Right now, in my four months  of being pregnant, I will now share with you the little gems I have learnt on the journey so far.

1. In the first three months of being pregnant, I was extremely nauseous and I was not sure why. I would happily take two bites out of a meal then turn green. People said there were triggers to nausea and there were some, the smell of curry, tomato sauce, pizza, cat food and anything raw like chicken or meat  would instantly cause me to choke. Because of this, Pete had to do all the cooking because sometimes the smell of the kitchen was enough to make me … well, you know.

2. I have superpowers, well, my nose does. I swear I can smell the wet dirt of the jungle at the back of the house, dust, dettol, cat litter, body odour, EVERYTHING is intensified! I was walking through the Mall one day and I swear the smell of BO almost knocked me out! It never bothered me before!

3. Brushing my teeth is a battle. It is always a matter of time before I start to gag.

4. I really look forward to ultrasounds. I love seeing our baby grow and move around and there is always a first. The first kick, the first wave, to see and hear  baby’s heartbeat the first time. Yesterday, in a routine ultrasound, we saw baby kicking over and over again. I cant help but cry every time we see our little miracle on screen.

5. I feel I need to mention this. Constipation is no fun.

6. I know its a bit strange but I love how my bump is growing and I can’t wait to see it as big as a house!

7. Doctors do not know everything. I hate my visits to the hospital. I wait for 3-4 hours just to see the doctor for five minutes and they don’t address  my questions or my concerns.We want to deliver in this hospital so we don’t have a choice so when I am really worried, I go to a private practitioner who is a lot more helpful.

8. Speaking of antenatal clinics, they make you do your own pee test. Ewwwww. LOTS of  gloves and sanitary wipes!

9. Baby stuff even for a newborn costs an arm, a leg and a house. Thank goodness for relatives and friends who can lend you things!

10. Need to find maternity clothes that actually makes me look good and not a sack of potatoes.

I guess no matter what this pregnancy brings, I am forever grateful that I finally am! Praying hard that all will be well and we will have a beautiful healthy baby in May.

Selamat Hari Raya Maaf Zahir & Batin.

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I am writing this post from my hospital bed. Apparently, I have very very big cysts on my ovaries. Last Thursday, while at my mum’s house, I felt these excuriating sharp pains in my lower abdomen. I really thought I was going to die. Pete rushed me to Emergency and I have stayed here eversince.
Here is a list of things I have done and have learnt since being stuck in bed all this time.
1. Play many different types of Solitaire games on my phone.
2. Read women magazine that made me feel depressed and fat.
3. Stare into space. ( this makes time go so much slower)
4. Cat nap
5. Chat with friendly nurses
6. Dream of murdering bratty children that scream and stomp around for hours.
7. Missing Tv, hot bath, privacy, cats, going out, my king size bed, my mum, fast internet and sleeping next to Pete.
8. Hospital food is atrocious.
9. Hospital clothes are comfy.
10. Hate needles. Have been poked and prodded everyday.
11. Can I say I really miss my cats?

Will have to stay here for a few more days. Other than that, would like to wish all my readers, friends and family SELAMAT HARI RAYA MAAF ZAHIR BATIN.