I’ve moved to a new website!

One of my new year resolutions for 2013 was to move to a self hosted website. But I’ve not mustered enough courage to take the leap until now. Will write a little bit more about this on my new blog but here’s the new address:

http://www.anuggetofjoy.com

Do click on the follow button on the new site and type in your email so that you will continue to receive updates when a post is published. Existing wordpress followers and email subscribers will not automatically receive updates from the new site!

The new site still looks pretty much the same. I have yet to find a theme which I prefer to my current theme so I guess it’ll stay the same for now. There are a lot of fun features which I can incorporate into the blog. The possibilities are endless. I haven’t had the time to really play around with the plugins though.

In any case, do join me on my new journey! See you!

Beautiful Mama Blog Award

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I am very happy and honoured to have received this award from Valerie at Atlantamomofthree. This award had been specially created by her for fellow mama bloggers. I would think of it as a great way to discover more parenting blogs as well!

Stepping into motherhood has truly been a life-changing event and despite the sleepless nights and crazy weekends, I am really enjoying every minute of this journey.

I have been very fortunate to meet a group of like-minded mama bloggers in the past year and have learnt a great deal from these fellow mothers. Through our blogs, we encourage and inspire one another, and share stories of joy and helplessness (on some days).

This is a list of mummy blogs I really enjoy reading:

Atlantamomofthree

Mamawearpapashirt

Mum In the Making

Scissors Paper Stone Blog

Growing with the Tans

Mommy’s Boy Musings

Wee Stories

3 Things I enjoy about Motherhood:

1) To have someone shower me with hugs and kisses for no reason (simply because she loves me).

2) To be able to be a kid all over again.

3) To learn to find joy in the simplest things.

How to accept the award

Ladies, to accept the award, please do the following things:

  • Click the above award image, save it and use it in your acceptance post.
  • List 3 things you love about motherhood.
  • Nominate other deserving mamas; you may choose as many as you like. (And let them know of the nomination)

Changes

I realise I share very little about myself and my thoughts in this blog. I guess it’s because I know a handful of people read this blog. Most of these people don’t know me personally.

Then why blog right? Or why keep this blog public?

Remember this blog was started as a parenting blog. It was meant to contain resources and tips for new parents, and to chart Aly’s milestones. It was intended to have less focus on me, my thoughts and my feelings. Before this, I kept too blogs – one on live journal and another on wordpress. I was a lot more candid on those blogs.

Ever since I became a mother, I looked less into myself and allowed my thoughts to be ruled by parenthood.

I hope to change this though, and share more or my thoughts as an individual, not as a mother, not as a wife, but as a girl, as Zee.

Last night, on the cab back from dinner, when I had sometime alone, I thought about how I have changed in the last 10 years. Questions along the lines of how am I different? What prompted these changes? Am I happy with the me now? filled my mind.

A dinner date with my bunch of girlfriends prompted these thoughts. We have been friends for over a decade. We have watched each other grow from nerdy thirteen year olds to the adults we are today. And as I observed everyone at the table, I realise we have all changed in one way or another.

Here are the changes I see in myself from 10 years ago:

The positive

1) I’ve learnt to chill.
I used to be uptight about everything. There was a lot of anxiety in me and i was constantly worrying. Ys taught me how to chill and to learn that we can’t control all things in life. I laugh more. i am more candid. I live by the mantra “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”.

2) I love myself more.
I had an inferiority complex in the past. I looked down on myself. I thought I wasn’t good enough and that everyone else was better. It probably had to do with my upbringing. I don’t know if it comes with age but I am a lot more comfortable with myself now. I guess it also has to do with the fact that I understand myself better now. I see my strengths and play them to my benefit, and accept my flaws and move on. This is one of the greatest changes I feel I have made, especially now that I am a wife and a mother. It is tough playing these roles if you don’t start off by loving yourself.

3) I am a lot more optimistic.
I used to see the glass half empty but now I see the glass half full. I guess this is related to point 1, but I’m generally happier and more contented. I guess I’ve met enough people to realise that I really have very little to complain about. And I am at a point where I am truly grateful for everything I have.

4) I am less emotional and sensitive.
My husband will probably disagree with this but I will say that I have come a long way in this aspect. I used to be an emotional wreck. I cared too much about what people said and what people thought of me. I read between the lines and was easily hurt by words or actions of others. Guess this is related to #1 and #2, because I now care less about what people say and think, because these people are entitled to their opinions and I take things less personally.

5) I stand up for myself now.
I have always had a problem with assertiveness. I find it difficult to put my foot down, to push my views and to basically protect myself. I am still learning but I’m doing a better job now!

The negative

1) No longer a romantic.
I grew up reading romantic novels and having too many romantic notions, and got bitter at some point when I realised that fairytales don’t exist. I snapped out of my la la land. Not entirely a bad thing I guess. When you acknowledge that life isn’t a fairytale, you have less unrealistic expectations.

2) I have less patience.
Again, I don’t know if this comes with age, but I’m less patient with people in general (other than towards Aly). One of my personal resolutions for 2013 is to cultivate patience.

3) I am less generous with my time.
This started from private practice days. Work hours were really long and I had to prioritise. Most weekends were spent with family and catching up on sleep. Things got better after I switched jobs, but somehow, I lost that generosity. I am fiercely possessive of my time. Now, as a mother, time is even more precious. Juggling work, baby, family has drained me and somedays, all I wanna do is to take time off work and curl up in bed alone. Again, I think this is inevitable. After all, we only have 24 hours a day!

Now, this is therapeutic! Whenever I do up a list like that, I understand myself a little better and that is always a good thing.

How will your list look like?

Super Sweet Blog Award

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Thank you Rookie Mom for nominating me for this award. It’s my very first award!

My answers to the 5 questions:

The rules for the award:

  • Thank the blogger who gave you the award and link back to their blog.
  • Nominate other blogs for this award and let them know (you cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you).
  • Post the award on your blog.
  • Answer 5 questions:
  1. Cookies or Cake? Cake!
  2. Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate
  3. Favorite sweet treat? This is a tough one. But if I had to choose, it will have to be sticky date pudding.
  4. When do you crave sweet things the most? Honestly the craving can hit anytime of the day. There’s always room for something sweet. I remember though, during my pregnancy, I was craving for something sweet all the time!
  5. If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be? Erm… It’s weird thinking of sweet nicknames for myself but I guess it would have to be zeezee (a nickname coined by my jc classmates).

I’m nominating Growing With The Tans for this award!

Time for a break!

Waiting to board my flight to Hong Kong, where I will get to sleep in as late as I want, put aside my diaper changing and milking duties and just focus on resting, eating and shopping! Hoping to catch up with some friends in HK too! (Aside: thanks YL for opening up your place to me and ys).

Can I just say that I miss Aly already??? Just three hours after dropping her off at my mother in law’s. haha. Notwithstanding, I know I should look forward and enjoy this short break (which in my opinion, is well deserved!) after all, I was the one who was going on and on about how important it is to have me time and couple time even after a kiddo comes along. I do believe it is important! Like I always say, happy parents = happy child = happy family. And I am truly grateful that I have parents and in laws who are willing to help look after Aly just so I can go for this short holiday.

Goodbye Singapore! Hello Hong Kong, yummy food and loads of shopping!

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The Sleep Debt

I must say the past few months have been really hectic. In addition to trying to get used to parenthood and dealing with an energizer baby, we have also had to sell our place (which meant many weekends of house viewings and cleaning up), buy a new place, deal with all the administrative matters that came along with the aforesaid, pack (it’s amazing what this simple four letter word entails), move to a serviced apartment and deal with the renovations and furniture shopping.

It doesn’t help that work has been really busy and stressful especially in the past month. I get home mentally and physically exhausted at the end of the day, and have to deal with Aly waking up a couple of times a night.

So I think my body finally decided to go on a strike. It’s way of telling me “Take a break! You’ve got to rest!” I can’t remember when was the last time I fell this ill. In fact I don’t remember falling sick since I gave birth. But I guess once it hits, it hits real bad!

I’m thankful though, that I could count on my in laws and my mum to take care of Aly while I caught up on my sleep the past two days. And for once in maybe 10 months, I managed to get restful uninterrupted naps. Oh sleep, how I’ve missed you so!

So maybe it isn’t a bad thing that I’ve been taken ill. The Chinese have a saying 休息是为了走更长远的路 (which translates to something like “rest is to prepare you for the longer journey ahead”). I guess there’s some truth to that!

I unfortunately passed the bug on to Aly so I was kept awake most of last night, trying to help her clear her blocked nose, nursing her and making sure she wasn’t running a fever. On nights like these, i’m really really thankful that I’m
still nursing and am still able to provide her with some comfort (and immunity). I have been breastfeeding for 11 months and was hoping to wean her off soon, before my trip to hong kong, but this episode has made me rethink my decision. Oh well, I shall save this for another post.

I hope both Aly and I fully recover soon! It’s going to be an exciting weekend for us!

September Day 12 – Together

I love my charm bracelet and how it looks when the charms and glass beads are strung together. The first three are bought for me by ys from a shop in murano, Venice on our honeymoon. I fell in love with those glass beads the moment I set my eyes on them! The next three are from E, for my 28th birthday. The last one which is a pram charm was a very special gift from my younger sister when Aly was born. I love the meaning behind each glass bead and charm and the fact that they all represent important points in my life.

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Loving yourself

Somedays I feel like I spend so much time loving others that I’ve forgotten about myself. As I grow older, I realise that u cannot depend on anyone to teach you how to love yourself. Reminds me of a quote from a particular poem “So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul; instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers”. I have to remind myself to teach Aly this valuable lesson.

Today was a particularly emotional day and I marked the day by snipping my hair short, the shortest it’s ever been in years. And it sure feels liberating.

Proenza Schouler PS1 Medium Satchel

There are days when I feel slightly more frivolous. Today is one of those days. So be forewarned that this is going to be one of those bimbotic frivolous posts.

I’m going to be talking about a new bag which I just acquired about two months back. Yes I’m sure by now most people about my irrational obsession with buttery leather bags and gold hardware. It’s irrational but it does make me happy so yup I do indulge once in a (I would like to think, long) while. Given that I just bought my balenciaga classic town bag in February, I kinda declared to my colleague that I WILL NOT buy another bag this year. Most.definitely.not.

I had to eat my words the very next day because I ended up heading to the reebonz sale and setting my eyes on THE bag which I have been eyeing for some time, in a colour which I love (orchid, which is a purplish fuschia colour). I was missing a fun, bright coloured bag so this obviously fit the bill (no pun intended)..

It’s a satchel and what I love most about it is how light the weight of the bag is (I know I also said this about the balenciaga town). But weight is really an important consideration now that I have a baby (whose weight is the same as a huge sack of rice) to grapple with!

It’s also great because there’s an adjustable shoulder strap which allows me to wear it both cross body or just slung on one shoulder and the bag would hang at just the right height ie just at the hip bone, which is perfect for me. The balenciaga town unfortunately ends slightly below the hips and I find that a tad uncomfortable sometimes, so I prefer to double loop for that and just sling it on one shoulder. There is also a braided top handle for the ps1 which means you can carry it like a briefcase or have it slung on your arm. Very versatile!

Another feature which i love about this bag is the numerous compartments, which is great for me since i can never find stuff from my bag (ys claims that bags eat up my stuff). It’s also easy to reach for things since its convenient to “unbuckle” the bag and lift the flap up – definitely can be done with one hand. I also like that the bag is very roomy and I have managed to fit a book, an umbrella, my long purse, a coin pouch, a key pouch, my phone and blackberry, and other misc stuff in there before, all with much ease.

Been using it for about two months now and never once regretted my buy. Love it to bits! Oh and I suspect Aly too!

Love the gorgeous colour and the gold hardware:

Roomy compartments:

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View from the back:

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Cute tag:

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Me time

I feel that ever since I became a mum, I am constantly racing with time. Somehow 24 hours a day just don’t seem enough. When I take time off work, I cannot decide if I should spend the precious time with Aly or if I should go on a date with ys, have tea with my mum or have some me time.

My idea of a perfect day of me time honestly is to do absolutely nothing at all and to just curl in bed in my king size bed and just erm sleep. But of course I cannot bring myself to do that since time is so precious and there are so many other things that I need to do for myself (like have a haircut, go for a facial or shop for clothes – haha).

So anyway, today I decided to take a couple of hours off work and pamper myself. I managed to get some shopping done in 20 mins (I shop like a man now) and squeezed in time for a facial! The husband was kind enough to offer to send Aly home on his own from his mum’s place so I will just need to head straight home after dinner. The result is a happier (and cleaner) me! It is amazing what a few hours of me time can do.

Again, I think it takes some discipline to set aside time for yourself, especially with kids you would like to spend all your time with. But it’s necessary I feel. And a happy mum = a happy baby!

So what do you do during your me-time?