Why every mother should have a daughter

Before I had Lisa, I was constantly asked why did I have two boys and not a single daughter. First off, that question is a bit dumb, considering that a child’s gender is hardly decided by the push of a button. Secondly, I never felt any sort of “lack” from not having a mini-me. Sure, it’s cute and fun to dress up little girls, but considering how whiney most of them are, it kinda throws me off my boat just thinking about having them. Boys, on the other hand, with their (mostly) boisterous rough and tumble attitude are generally easier to care for – both financially and psychologically. That said, it definitely irks me when the boys mumble. -_- C’mon, you’re a man, SPEAK UP!

When Lisa arrived, I did not feel any difference towards her as I did to her brothers when they were newly born. She looked… androgynous (like almost all babies) and behaved no different than the boys did as they wailed to breastfeed and wailed to get changed, etc etc. Then… something magical happened.

She grew into this tiny little walking, talking baby doll that looked so much like me when I was her age. She adored all things pink, and would pick up any toy that was girl-specific. She would play with her hair, and asked for me to fiddle around with whatever little she had growing on her head. She giggled and grabbed at all things shiny, pretty or Hello Kitty. One of her first words were “Kitty” in fact, right after “papa”, “mommy”, “gorgor” and “eat”. She was so ultimately girly that it was hard not to bond with her.

She also shows great cognition at a terribly young age. Understanding concepts and emotions that the boys weren’t able to. Just the other day, Keegan received a scolding and started to cry. She rushed off to grab a tissue and wiped his tears, telling him: “二哥, don’t naughty ok? Mommy love you, right?”
She gave me a dirty look, as though I did something bad. Then, she reassured that her brother was loved: “二哥 be good boy k? Come, Lisa hug hug. I love you.”

The tenderness she displays towards everyone just melts my heart. And at barely 2.5 years old, she would often ask: “Mommy, are you soooo tired? Go, lie down. Lisa (can) play (by herself).” 

This little girl just loves and loves, and tickles my socks off whenever she helps “take charge” on my behalf. She would clap her hands to get the boys’ attention, yelling instructions like “Booooys! 来! Dinner time now!” or “Oh my god, so messy!! Booooys! PACK UP NOW!”

How could any mother not possibly love a child like that? 🙂

Now, I am unsure if all girls are as adorable and sensible as this, but it must be a gender difference since I raised all my kids the same way and none of the boys were ever as sensible and loving as this.

As for myself, I’ve seen a surge in patience and love as a mother that I never seemed to have achieved before. Despite her illnesses, vomiting in the middle of the night, and dramatised “OH MY GOD MOMMY, MY NAIL POLISH SPOIL”, I find that I hardly get irritated with her. (Maybe this is favoritism, I cannot be sure.)

I only know I enjoy any time I get with her, and cannot get enough of her antics and requests. Despite the countless times she asks me to tie up or blow dry her hair, or how many times she would try on shoes at the stores, or how she would go through several outfit changes a day… Well, you get my drift. 🙂


New Low

I’ve officially hit a new low in life when I found myself scraping the mould off my two-day-old Gardenia focaccia. And yes, I slapped two pieces of ham on it and ate it.

We shall see if I suffer from food poisoning.

Just when I thought my life couldn’t possibly get worse, it just does. In the most amazingly fucked up ways.

Fashion Inspiration!

Inspiring fashion pieces from MDS Collections at ZALORA SG :

I’m not that much into shopping these days with the high bills of three kids, but it doesn’t mean I don’t love to look! :mrgreen:


Yellow Cut-Out Dress:
I’m loving the look of the cut-out dress, but not so much the yellow colour… somehow I find it too bright and “dated” – easily going passé once Spring/Summer turns into Fall/Winter season. Though to be honest, most Singaporean women don’t pay much attention to season colours and cuts; living in shorts and tank tops all round the year. Personally I would have preferred this in a more classic colour like navy, black or even cobalt blue. (Cobalt blue is a classic colour to me, not a season summer neon shade. LOL)

Peplum Dress: 
I’ve been figuring whether a peplum dress would be flattering for my (current lack of a) figure, but somehow haven’t gotten round to trying it yet. The unfortunate thing is, I bought a peplum dress before I got pregnant with Lisa, but then the pregnancy happened and the rest is history… I formerly had a tendency of spotting trends before they hit, and hopefully this knack won’t be leaving me anything soon?


Tribal top: 
I love the lines and the colour contrast! But this is something I would avoid until I can get my “chicken wings” under control… Also I’m not too sure how bust-flattering the top would be given its structured bodice, but I’m definitely attracted to the colour contrast and the pop of orange bias piping!

Lace Flared Top: 
Nice contrast of textures here, with a classic black-on-nude colour scheme. I would have however preferred the lace detail to be around the shoulders or bust (aka upper portion of the top) versus having it at the lower portion. Though I would admit having it placed the way it is does make for a visually smaller waistline…

Just through four pieces of clothing, you’ll come to realise why I would even think about making my own clothes! First off, my body shape is a tad weird, with armholes often being too big yet chest area being too snug – and it’s not even like I’m an F-cup or something… Secondly, I nitpick too much! Do you start to wonder what I actually wear day to day? :mrgreen:


A bottle carrier for my baby…

I finally got round to making a water bottle carrier for Lisa… It was not particularly easy considering:
(a) it’s small size – around the circumference of a regular soda can,
(b) the insulated material I had so cleverly wanted to include as a lining despite not having any prior experience with.

Also, the insulated material refused to feed through my machine, so almost 90% of the project was done by hand; powering the machine by manually turning the wheel instead of simply stepping on the foot pedal to start sewing. I had to get one of the kids to press down on the reverse lever on my machine each time I wanted to backstitch because I had to “force feed” the fabric through while turning the wheel – aka no more hands to press the reverse lever. 😆

If I have to make this again, I will make sure her bottle has been “upsized” to something more similar to the boys’ 700ml bottles. Bottle carriers are readily available in stores due to the size, but for Lisa, everything was too big and the straps were too thick and always cutting into her shoulders and neck. So thus, mama to the rescue with her lacklustre DIY skills. :mrgreen: Now she can finally go out for dinner with her bottle in a little bag without fighting to borrow one of the boys’ Ben 10 carriers.

Like I’ve said before… I don’t know WHEN I’d be able to start with sewing clothes when all I keep doing is making things (not clothes) for the kids and the house. 😐

2nd child is my first major headache.

Yesterday was the first time I was called in (as a parent) to meet with teachers to discuss “worsening behaviour”. My attention had been brought to this issue many times as a student, but never as a parent so far.

Suffice to say, the middle child in question does indeed take after my rebellious character – unlike the more “mainstream” characteristics that the firstborn inherits from his father. While his debonair style combined with devil-may-care attitude makes him oh-so-adorable, it is probably going to cause quite a few problems in his school-going years; this being the first of (what I presume to be) many to come.

After all, if he does take after me, drama is to be expected in the next few years (if not a whole decade or more).

Ironically, despite his likeness to me, I am beyond stumped when it comes to handling him. If my memory serves me right, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted when I was younger, often hopping from one decision to the next, but yet at the same time I was never quite happy with what I was offered. The situation did not improve until I was past my 20s. In the earlier days of my marriage, I was often justifying what I felt was “right” even though it was usually a load of bullcrap.

I do, however, hope that coming from the same f*cked up past would aid me in guiding Keegan onto the right psychological path much earlier than I had achieved on my own. Problem is, knowing me (therefore knowing some part of him) also means he would probably not listen.

The worst part of all this is that the third-born also takes after me, which pretty much means we’ll be in for a rough ride for the next decade… I can literally feel my white hair creeping out in “anticipation”.


After several fairly successful attempts at upcycling and refashioning clothes, I have come to one conclusion: The entire process takes a lot longer than making something out of brand new fabric. For the past couple of times, I spent more time picking out old seams and circumventing existing features like faux buttonflys when cutting it down than the actual time spent to sew it. ARGH.

But hey, all in the name of being eco-friendly right? Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
(Also I’d hate to admit it, but I am somewhat reluctant to cut into the pristine beautiful fabrics in my growing stash for fear of screwing up the sewing.)

This one’s still my fave one so far, winning boring “size-down pants for boys” projects with its gorgeous purple hue and girlish gown look.

What I can’t make, I’ll have to buy.

So on the note of crafting and sewing, I’ve come to realise there’s something I don’t think I could ever make with my own hands: SHOES. Sure, I know of crafters who make baby booties and even leather-soled ballet flats, but a well-structured pair of heeled shoes is probably best left to expert shoe brands.

After my first pair of ALDO shoes back in 2007, I’ve been a convert and am now the (proud?) owner of five pairs of (too high) heels, plus a pair of black leather Nine West heel sandals I’ve pretty much worn to death since I bought one sale at $90ish before I got preggers with Lisa in 2011. Because I’m “old” now and can’t keep wearing those 5-inch ALDO heels anymore, and heels also make me way too tall to talk to my small kids so I end up having to bend over – or worse, squat down – and possibly flash some body parts at someone unknowingly.

So for the past year, I’ve been trying to find a pair of wedge sneakers in animal prints that would scream “THAT’S SO SHELLY!”. I’ve shortlisted two brands I’ve been dying to try out in recent years: Steve Madden and Vans. But sadly, I’ve not found the perfect pair yet… 😦

Thanks to technology (again!) I’ve taken to browsing Steve Madden shoes online in hopes of finding a pair without leaving the comfort of home. Then the most (predictably) peculiar pair of shoes caught my eye…

SWTROOPALE Laced Up Boots (Leather)

SWTROOPALE Laced Up Boots (Leather).[Photo courtesy of ZALORA SG]

To be honest, I’ve been eyeing this pair of boots for a while now because it’s one of those pairs with convenient zippers built-in! But given the weather here and the frequency in which I actually wear SHOES and not slip-on sandals or heels… ARGH DECISIONS DECISIONS. :mrgreen:

In today’s news…

It’s been slightly over a month since I’ve been working in news. Well, sort of. My job is to go through the day’s papers that I’ve been allotted to, and cough up related news synopses for the ease of the client/s. While it may sound fairly simple, it’s actually much harder to do because:

  1. My standard daily paper is the 联合早报 (Lianhe Zaobao), which means it’s written entirely in Mandarin and I have to do a translation-cum-synopsis. AKA ” so much s l o w e r”…
  2. I have less than 3.5 hours each day to complete my work. So I get up at 6am daily or earlier (depending on projected news volume).
  3. National events are the worst. News go on for days and days on the same topic/s and it bores the hell out of me re-reading – and rewriting – the same background info.
  4. SPH is a pain in the ass and constantly conks up the Zaobao server, leading to inability to access the day’s news. A printed copy works, but unfortunately fairly inefficient as my eyes have to toggle between paper and PC at a neck-straining angle, and there’s no ability to copy & paste when I need to research a featured person’s proper English name.

The good thing about all this is, the salary is pretty decent for a home-based job and I finish work by 10am daily unless there is an exceptionally high volume of news. That said, based on some other similar job positions advertised, I have a niggling feeling that I’m being slightly underpaid… You see, I saw a job opening for a “news clipper” working 7.30am to 9.30am daily. The job scope was to simply scan relevant news articles and email them in. The listed salary for this was a FIXED $700 per month. Right now I’m taking in a couple hundred more than that, but I have to write + translate?! As far as I know, translation work is not something that pays little, so I will probably be asking for more after I’ve “settled in”.

In other news, I’ve recently picked up a sewing hobby!! It has an amazing ability to clear my mind in a meditative sort of way as I scheme how to turn cloth and old clothes into… clothing pieces. It started as an waste-minimising attempt to refashion a HUGE pile of old clothes thanks to pregnancy and growing kids, but evolved into using actual flat pieces of fabrics. Unfortunately in Singapore, fabric prices aren’t the cheapest so I probably wouldn’t go into making a ton of handmade clothes. (Even though I really want to.) But I’ve found a few great places to shop for cheap fabric, so I’ll be compiling a list and putting them up on a blog page!

Chinatown area is SO NOT the best-priced fabric market like what everyone says. I’ve encountered similar fabrics going for much lower elsewhere!

Finally graduated.

“Enjoy your babies while they are little. They will never need you quite the same way ever again.”

Realising the difference between “new moms” and “old moms” is that one thing every experienced parent tells you from the beginning but you couldn’t begin to understand, let alone take heed. “They’re at their most adorable now”, people would say. And all you could think about was all the poop you’ve been cleaning up after, the screaming, the repetitive stories and songs, the refusal to be put down and the 101 things such a tiny person requires. “This is the worst”, most moms would be saying in their heads.

It’s taken quite a while – three kids to be exact – for me to FINALLY GET IT. Now it’s about grabbing every available sane moment to cherish the neediness, and praising the growing marvels they are – each of them unique and wonderful in their own ways. To muse on their inherited traits, giggle at their quirks, to spur them on, fawn over their achievements and relish their being in existence.

At 4am, it might be an odd time to be enlightened but I had just done a second round of rocking an unwell little one to sleep. And you know what? I’ve never been happier feeling this completely zombied out. 🙂

“Up” should have been down.

So I’ve finally watched the Pixar animation film “Up”. Maybe it was all the raving reviews from people around me that built up some high expectations for it, but I did not like it.

First off, why did the little boy have to be a fat and dumb Chinese boy?! Personally I feel it’s a tad racist, combined with my lack of tolerance for fat dumb boys – regardless of race/ethnicity – the character of Russell just made most of the movie quite unbearable.

Now, with the main character Carl… He irritates me even more. The film was focused on his days as a grumpy old man and his adventures of trying to park his house on Paradise Falls, but I just couldn’t get past the early scenes of the movie! I was so obsessed with the fact that he had “crossed his heart” and promised to bring his wife Ellie to Paradise Falls but never ever made it there with her until after she was DEAD. Maybe it’s just too similar to my reality, which is pretty effed up that way too except that I’m not dead… yet.

Despite the fact that they had started pooling savings for this dream trip to Paradise Falls, they never made it there due to broken tyres, damaged roof and other bank-breaking “little” problems of life. Which I must say is entirely realistic and believable, so that part I don’t fault.

What really irks the shit out of me is how Carl suddenly seemed to remember about his promise of Paradise Falls and goes out to buy plane tickets immediately. I mean, WTF, if he could just buy it when he remembered it, then why didn’t he do it earlier BEFORE his wife got hospitalised and shortly after, DIED?! How did he even FORGET about their agreement in the first place?! What kind of heartless husband is he?! Do his promises mean NOTHING?! (Yes, like I said, this strikes too close to my heart.)

And the irony of him being able to fly his entire house up to Paradise Falls with an army of helium balloons… and he never once thought of doing that when his wife was still alive?!

Throughout the movie I just kept thinking about how his wife had spent her entire lifetime with him, going through the loss of their child and never having any kids – in return she never even saw Paradise Falls in the flesh. Sure, her character is portrayed as a loving homely woman and never once faulted Carl for not carrying out the promise. Instead, she completed her adventure book and even thanked him for a lifetime of (mundane domestic) adventures. That totally mindfucked me.

Being someone (real) wearing the same pair of shoes, it’s beyond what I can comprehend. True that I definitely am not much of a loving homely woman as Ellie is, but betrayal of trust is betrayal. And how Carl could have forgotten their agreement… that to me is like, WOW what an ass. I mean, they didn’t even have kids! What was he so busy with that he could forget their life-long dream?!

So yeah, I really really HATED “Up”. I don’t care how many awards it was nominated for, and how many it won. It’s just fucked up that they had written the story so true to life in the beginning, then mid-way through had turned so impossibly unrealistic with a house being carried away by balloons, a colourful giant (dodo) bird and a humungous pack of dogs that speak through some ingenious collar.

I’m not too sure what the moral of the story is supposed to be. Is it that women are doomed to spend their lifetimes with unreliable men and never fulfilling their own dreams? Or maybe it’s that old people are crazy? Or that Chinese boys are always fat and dumb? Or that men tend to fulfill their promises when it’s already too late? What message was the movie supposed to send?

But one thing I do know: I hate this movie. It’s just so effed up in so many ways.