Day in a Life (DIAL)

Hopping onto this blog train initiated by a fellow mummy blogger – Justina – to share a glimpse of what goes on behind the scene of a Mummy’s daily life.

I have a mixed identity due to my flexi-work nature. While being able to arrange my work schedules around my family’s schedules, at the same time, my work also require me to revolve around my clients’ availabilities. So that brings about a really flexible work day 24/7, 7 days a week.

Day in a Life 1

Here’s sharing a typical Friday since I am due on the blog train on a Friday.

7am to 730am

On a good day, I wake up with an uninterrupted night. After migrating  Eizac out of our room, my night rest will depend on how sharp  my hearing is and how tired I am. If I am hyper-owl at night, I will still hear Eizac asking for milk at night and get out to help my mum make the bottle of milk or soothe him back to sleep. Now that both boys sleep with their grandmother, I am grateful for the more restful nights.

I am naturally an early bird but the kind husband draws the curtain every morning to let me sleep in a while longer. 🙂 Then, It’s a habit to grab the phone next to the bed, download the emails on the phone, do a quick check on FB and reply some messages which are sent in the late night. All these within 5 mins of waking up. Not the best of habits I admit; but it’s a habit as said. :S

Breakfast is a must for me. I don’t know how some can skip breakfast and still function. I am a irritable zombie if I don’t eat. Simple fare of coffee and 2 slices of wholemeal bread with spread, tuna, ham/cheese etc – I am good as long as there is food in  the tummy.

If the kids are not up at this hour, I get 30 to 45 mins to read the newspapers quietly with my breakfast. Simple luxury often taken for granted. I am a traditional sort who still read the good old, printed newspapers. Call me old-fashioned: Just like between a real book vs an e-book, I still prefer smelling the carbon print and getting my hands dirty. :p

8am to 9am

One or two of the boys will be up. Both of them normally sleep late and thus wake up later. I wish they do a regular 9/10pm in bed and 7/8am wake up. But they don’t and that is another different story on discipline to be able to achieve it…

As Xi En is in the afternoon school session, we idle the morning away by reading some story books or doing pretend play or forever getting ready for school.

10am to 1pm

These are my unofficial working hours. Xi En gets to school and my mum normally entertains Eizac at the playground so I get to work. If I am not out for appointments, I will be in my home office, replying emails, making calls, doing paperwork, checking websites, blogging and etc. The window of working is really short before Eizac comes back for lunch. We decided on having a helper about 2 years back as the household chores and meal preparations are just too time consuming for a family with young children. Either I stop working altogether or we have a helper. With much struggles, we agreed on hired help to ease the tension at home. It is not the perfect solution since both Kim and I are not comfortable with having a stranger share our home. But probably the best interim-solution till the kids grow more independent. Sometimes it is helpful to have an extra pair of hands at hand if you know what I mean.

If there is no urgent work, I like to use this window of time to drive my mum out to do some marketing. My mum is particular about buying fresh fish from her old neighbourhood in Hougang Ave 1. That market stocks the freshest fishes at good prices according to her and so I read on some food blog sites too. Eizac is at the stage of enjoying a marketing trip (more than going to the playground!); his favourite activity being to “pay money”. He is at a vocal stage now and totally enjoys blabbing non-stop on his thoughts, his findings, observations and more. We totally enjoy a gesturing and blabbing conversation with him these days.

We lunched out if we are out or if we are at home, lunch is a simple affair too.  I am a Teochew and thus is comfortable eating plain porridge with salted egg, preserved olive veg, steam tofu with salted soya beans, pork floss or just stir-fried veg with oyster sauce. Some days when I am in the mood, I make myself some cold soba, udon, salad or instant noodles with Ajitsuke Tamago (Japanese marinated soft boiled egg). Not quite your healthy options, but there are cheat and lazy days.

1pm to 3pm

Eizac watches his cartoons and then take his bath before winding down for his nap. That’s if he actually takes one. If I am home, he will insist that I nap with him. As much as I loved an afternoon nap, I try not to. That’s because I find myself lazier if I sleep in. Instead, I tasked my mum to take him for his nap! haaa.. She can rest and I continue my work! Perfect! But Eizac is quite clingy to me these days; so I try to get out of the house during this timing either for work or appointments. Last Friday afternoon, I attended an blogger’s event with AMC – a long standing brand of pots and pans. Food is another passion and I enjoyed baking that occasional cake or bread or whipping up some new dishes for the family. Anything to do with food piques my interest and I am keen to start trying out the new AMC pot which many older generations raved about.

3pm to 5pm

Xi En gets home around this time and as much as possible, I try to be the one (or his grandmother) to pick him up from the school bus. There is something about having a helper which I am yet to be comfortable with – that is to have the helper mind the children alone. Maybe it is the horror maids’ stories, maybe the children are still young, maybe I am just paranoid, maybe it is a combination of everything. As much as possible, we try to have a family member with the children instead of just the helper.

Xi En takes a second lunch/tea at home because he do better with smaller but frequent meals through the day. He is still underweight at 15.8kg for a 5-going-on-6 boy. His weight gain during his earlier years is hampered by poor appetite and made worse by constantly falling ill. The doctor recommended giving him a yearly flu vaccination due to his frequent bronchiolitis episodes and we decided that is best for him. Since his 2nd yearly vaccination, his condition had improved so much. He used to come down with the whole flu, cough, wheezing works every other month. Now, he is cleared for at least 6 months or more.

If Eizac isn’t napping or waking up from his nap, we will have 2 hyper active boys running amok around the house. Some days, we play hide-and-seek in the house. Other days, we do dough play, duplo, cars, pretend play and just about anything.

5pm to 7pm

Most weekdays, the boys get an hour or so playground time. They don’t play well together (yet). Xi En looks for familiar friends’ faces while Eizac chased after the bigger kids to try to be part of the action. We know many kids in the neighbourhood because my mum is very sociable and makes friends quickly; which is a contrast to me as I look more aloof and some say arrogant. :S

On a typical Friday, Xi En attends a Chinese enrichment class at Berries. We weren’t one who thought that enrichment programmes were necessary for preschoolers. But lo and behold, I realised that it is somewhat necessary if you don’t have the time to teach or the school teacher don’t have the time to teach or you don’t teach creatively. We ticked all those boxes. After Xi En’s first PTM in school, his teacher admittedly said that it is not easy to get much Chinese curriculum time in school given that Chinese period is only 1/2 hour to 45 mins max. Since then, I decided before he totally dislike his mother tongue, he need to learn it with a creative angle. And so that’s when Berries came into the picture.

While Xi En is at Berries, Kim and I used this time to park-tor (date!). We seldom have time alone without kids. And so either we share my favourite waffle or walk around the nearby mall together. More simple pleasures in life (after kids came along).

7pm to 8pm

If the kids are at home, after some barefoot, mad dashing around at the playground, the boys get shooed home and eat their dinner. We have a bad habit of allowing them to have dinner while watching cartoons. As much as we tried, we are torn between allowing TV so we can get them to eat more or forcing them to eat at the dinner table and get frustrated with them knocking down plates, refusing to eat, eating really little and etc. As much as we know what is right and recommended, after a day of work, we do take the easier way out so that everyone can have some peace. Do anyone have creative solutions to share here?

This is also the time when Kim and I can chat a little over dinner about the day’s event (or non-events).

8pm to 10pm

The children get their bath time and TV is switched off. We played a little or read borrowed books from the library during this time. Xi En is an avid reader though sometimes I wonder if he really understood what he read. He enjoyed mostly non-fiction books on maps, geography, space and sciences such as burps and farts and the likes! For fiction books, somehow weirdly he is hooked on mermaid books and stories lately. He just proclaimed he is getting married to a female school mate who is crazy over mermaids too. I used that opportunity to coax him to go for swimming lessons just like the mermaids he adores (he dislikes water on the face and breathing underwater).

11pm to 12am

Yes, both the boys only sleep at this witching hour. Eizac used to go to bed earlier but now that both are in the same room, they bounce around, ask for milk umpteen times, request for the last story, say that last prayer, smooch that last kisses and hugs before they eventually sleep. Night feeds are still on-going and so I prepared a tray of necessary items so that everything is at hand.

Xi En is learning to say prayers before he sleeps. A typical one goes like this:

Thank you God for the good day today. Please help Mummy recover soon (from a splinter in the finger). Keep us strong and healthy so we won’t fall sick (we pray this everyday with and for him since he is a baby). Help Eizac not to hit me (errm….). I love XX (our neighbour who has a collection of mermaid books). I like to married XX. Help Mummy to close more deals (He overheard our conversations.)Thank you Jesus for the good night rest and sweet dreams. And all God’s adults say Amen (we say All God’s little children; he improvises).”

If I didn’t fall sleep with them, I would catch up on some TV drama serials (yes, I am a drama person), Facebook, instagram, some miscellaneous work or pillow chat with the husband. Some days, my work brings me home only around this hour. But we actually do prefer such work arrangement, knowing that my boys are with their Daddy/grandmother and not left alone with the helper gives me peace at work.

12am to 1am

That’s my bed time on most days if I am not too tired out by the days’ events. I try not to work or blog at night unless I really have to meet deadlines.

And so that conclude a typical weekday for me. I am really thankful for a flexible work option which brings in some income and yet I can be around for my children, ferry them for classes, pick them up after school and spend some quality time with them all in a day. 6 years ago, I gave up a stable, salaried job and took up a fully commission-based career because I find life too short to spend in the office jus because I need to “clock the work hours”. Being my own boss isn’t a bed of roses, but I am thankful for the referrals, the support from friends, relatives and clients who get things going for me. Sometimes it sounds like I want the best of everything, but who doesn’t and try? For now, I am happy even if I don’t earn that million dollars or climb the highest corporate ladder. While the kids still want Mummy, I hope to be around to cherish every moment and celebrate every milestones.

Next up on this blog train in Edlyn (MummyEd)

Edlyn

MummyEd works from home whenever she has the chance to, but with 3 kids of ages 3 5 and 7 years old, those moments are few and far between. She blogs at http://mummyed.wordpress.com and has never been happier to leave the corporate world behind.

5 things I will do differently in 2015

“Auntie! Auntie!”

I heard a voice, a distance away; behind me, as I was walking quickly towards the lift.

I ignored the voice. That voice seemed to come from a teenager-of-sorts or an army boy.

Of course, I ignored it.

The only “Auntie”  I response to come from little children of my own kids’ age group.

The childish and innocent voices. “Auntieeee……” ; so cute lah!

Of course, I will stop my tracks to help a young little one.

“Auntie! Auntie! Xcuse me, Auntie!” the voice loomed nearer.

I walked a little faster (maybe too deliberately).

Wrong move, THE VOICE chased up with me.

I had to stop my pace unwillingly, turned around and quizzed at THE VOICE.

It turned out to be as I have expected : a teen boy who is probably 18 to 19 years old.

“Auntie ah, xcuse me ah, where is Blk 5?”

“I am not telling you.” haha!; his face is a concoction of panic and puzzlement; unsure of what he did wrongly.

“I am not telling you because you called me Auntie.” I retorted; looking annoyed but more teasingly.

“It’s over there, little boy. Next time try using Miss when you need help” I stopped myself from pointing to a different block! 😛

“Oh…sorrie sorrie ah, Thank you.”

#truestory


That was my story. I hit past mid 30s this 2015.

Time and tide waits for no man. Wrinkles and eye bags wait impatiently for all (most) women. They come in waves; oh so subtly sometimes. At least that’s true for me!

Admittedly I have aged; matured and it’s perhaps time to live my life a little different from past years.

So I purposed myself to join this blog train hosted by a fellow Mommy blogger – Rachel – to list down 5 (or 15) things that I will do differently in 2015. I couldn’t list 15 ‘cos I am not sure if I can keep to even 5!!

I seldom do New Year Resolutions. Simply because it never worked for me! The husband said it’s no discipline. I choose to think of myself as free-spirited; spontaneous! 😀

But here are 5 little things I will commit to doing differently this year in a bid for some form of improvements in my life.

1) Exercise

Commit to exercising at least once a week.  This is A LOT coming from one who don her short shoes possibly only once a year? Truly not ambitious in this area; but now that I said it – I will endeavour to do it. 😀

First step to “un-auntify” myself. Some say the glow from exercising makes you look and feel younger too!

Just to share – there are a few places providing FREE mass lessons in open areas if you are keen to try out a new sports/activity (such as badminton, yoga, zumba etc) for yourself or your children. One of them is the not-so-new Sports Hub. Check their website for more details.

Eizac

2) Healthier Eating habits

Most friends who know me well know that I can almost be bribed with (good) food. But with age catching up and metabolism losing steam, I am trying to be more selective; i.e. less processed, less salt, less oil, more vegetables, fruits. Actually eating less food will work in my case. haha..

As I am still managing medication for hyperthyroidism since the 2nd pregnancy, it is a gentle reminder that health is wealthier than wealth. So yes, if you must treat me, bring me healthier food options ya. 😛

3) Spiritual Food

After becoming a Mummy, my permanent place in church is the nursery room. It is all so good that the church caters to us, Mummies’ needs, and provide a live telecast so we can catch bits and pieces of the service while we chase after the toddler/s. But it is still so different when you can bask in whole praise/worship and etc. Then again, it doesn’t help that I am one who finds it hard to let go. Truth to be told, I just don’t trust anyone with my boys. They have to have only Mummy around with them. My mind would be travelling a thousand miles to the nursery room even if I get to sit in the main service.

But I know I have been far for a while. So, I will do it a little different this 2015. Read a different translation of the Bible, rely less on my own strength (and more of God’s) and remember my first love.

4) Slow to speak, quick to listen

Now’s what that? My long-time friends will know me as a sharp shooter, in words. But over the years, I have mellowed down (seriously yes!). Nevertheless, sometimes I still shoot myself for saying something totally wrong or sensitive without putting my pea-sized brain to work. It can be in the form of digital/print or verbal words. Often, it became more tedious trying to take the words back and mend the relationships or change the image that was being portrayed. The intent can be benign but the outcome deemed as malicious if the words and actions came out totally wrong.

This 2015, I will bite my tongue tighter and grow my ears that longer to listen well.

“Therefore, my dear brothers, let every person be quick to listen but slow to speak, slow to get angry;” James 1:19

5) Dating the husband

Last but not the least! I list it as the last of the 5 things because some might just scroll down to the bottom of the blog post to get the whole story without reading the body! hahaaa..

After 2 children, the couple dates are getting rarer if any to start with. I wrote this blog post on my sons’ future girlfriends and the husband always remind me that when the boys are all grown up, he will be the one still walking next to me! The hint is loud and clear. I better sow the seeds now!

And so my dear husband, this is for you. Let’s date more.. at least once a month? 😛

Jus the 2 of us


There goes my simple fiver list for 2015. Do you hope to do something differently in 2015 as well? Journey with the rest of the mommy bloggers in this blog train for some inspiration!

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Next up on this blog train is:

Felicia

Felicia Tan

A homeschooling mama of two. She aspires to nourish the heart, mind body and soul of her family. “The world is our school” is her mantra so be it a stroll to the market nearby or a vacation to Europe, she encourages curiosity and inquiry from her children. Her passion for cooking and healthy living drives her to churn out nutritious but easy-to-prepare meals so you can expect to see some healthy recipes on her blog. She also shares her parenting thoughts and learning activities as she goes about her journey and discovery as a homeschooling mama of Princess and The Rock.

Girlfriend.Girlfriends.I already dislike them.

I have 2 handsome boys.

And I know they will break my heart one day.

It is a dilemma I acknowledge.

As much as I want them to grow up to be fine young gentlemen and learn to treat ladies with due respect and love a woman single heartedly; deep down in my heart – I know I will be green with jealousy when that day arrives. Can I say I already dislike all my sons’ future girlfriends? hahahaaa….. (*evil laugh*)

Or rather the protective mother hen emerge! How can you blame mothers? Mothers have this instinct to perhaps, over-protect, over-nag, over-suspicious and over-emotional. I still remembered the first time I met my now in-laws some 16 years back. 🙂 Mothers are often the ones who will want to continue the “mothering” of their “Mama’s boy” and leaving Fathers to take on a protective shield over their precious “Daddies’ girls”.

I have 2 charming boys.

And I know they will charm some (good) girls one day.

And I am seeing it now!

There is this cutesy fair girl from school who bears the name “Olivia” – the name of the character of this series of books he was reading last year. Xi En announced to me after a few days of school that he likes Olivia. I am not sure if it’s the name or the person. 😀

There is this tall and strong girl in the neighbourhood whom he enjoys following around. Superwoman is fun to be with! 😀

Superwoman

And there is this pretty Australian girl in a colorful tutu dress whose hands he held on so endearingly throughout our stroll in the Melbourne city. My college friend’s daughter! He proudly counted “E” as one of his friends when he tallied his “friends count”. 😀

It is heartening to see that Xi En is friendly to (most) girls and treat them nicely. And I am glad he’s in the “right orientation”. Heheheh.

I know one day I won’t be the only one who can wipe his tears when he fall, bring a smile to his face with smothering kisses and welcome him home with a bear hug.

Be still, mommy’s heart. We have some years to go before his heart includes another woman besides his Mommy! Till then, I will do my best to bring up fine young men. You are most welcomed, my dear future daughter-in-laws. 🙂

Happy Friday and weekend to come everyone!

P.S: Do you have a son too? Like me, do you watch his growing up with lots of pride and some butterflies in the stomach too? 🙂