Independent children.

See, the thing about having independent children is that they’re so comfortable in their element that they indirectly force me to surrender my rights to mollycoddling them at times.

I actually enjoy inviting the boys to my room for naps, so that I may hold their hands while they sleep or simply stare at their cherubic faces. This is even more true for Keegan – him being at such an irresistible “part baby part child” stage. Yet alas, he had never agreed to a sleepover, choosing to simply declare: “Go bed bed!” as a way of telling me he has his own spot in the house. “I have my own bed, you know? And I like it very much, thank you.” he seems to say.

God must have heard my prayers of wanting to hold on to that little last sliver of Kee’s babyhood, because the first sleepover finally happened.

Isn’t he gorgeous? 🙂

For the mothers with special needs children…

Words cannot describe the courage you have to tread on the path you are on. Your bravery and persistence is something regular mothers know nothing about and has no way of competing with.

I know that you do not want people to view your child as “lacking” because in your eyes, your child is the same as every other child – unique in his or her own way. As regular moms fuss over the smallest detail about their children, you have bigger serious things to worry about. I bet you must wonder how could these parents be worried over such menial matters when their children can grow normally and lead a typical life. In the same way, I often wonder the same too.

To all of the mothers in the world with special needs children, I salute you. Keep on keeping on and educate the society about your children’s conditions so that more will be aware.

With the greatest admiration,
Shelly

And the door opened…

Just a couple nights ago, Hubs and I were talking about how to recognise an opportunity when it presents itself. We’ve agreed that most opportunities don’t present themselves blatantly and beg you to take them, they’re usually subtle hints that attempt to nudge you onto the right path in life but often fail seeing how most of us are thick in the head.

Hubs then proudly proclaimed that in order to avoid scenarios as such, what he does is to pray (yes you read me right) for clear signs; for God to open the doors that he should walk through and close the ones that he shouldn’t. “Make it obvious, Lord, for I am thick in the head”, he reiterated to me.

So I said my prayer aloud, in like fashion as he does, and asked for obvious signs for the roads I should take. Knowing myself, I would be able to detect subtle hints (spiritual ones or otherwise), but sometimes choose to ignore them because of my narrow-mindedness and/or unwillingness to change.

Then today, the strangest thing happened.

I was approached with a very decent job offer. When I wasn’t looking for any – consciously or subconsciously – and when I never expected something like this to happen. I mean, it almost feels as though I was head-hunted, just that it was an offer direct from the company and not from a headhunter. And by all counts, I haven’t been working full-time for more than four years now, so it was certainly the last thing I’d expect to happen!

So here goes, a clear path for me to walk onto; an evident route for me to take, even when it wasn’t exactly what I had hoped for when I said my prayer.

Sometimes, Lord, You amaze me with the things You do (and the speed at which You do it)! Please continue to make my weight loss efforts fruitful, and grant me with wisdom and patience to prosper in all that You have planned for me. Amen.

 

Sometimes you cannot ignore the signs.

Not too long ago, I embarked on my Project 1K. (Which I must mention is still quite a failure til date.)

Strangely, after I announced my plans, I starting putting on 1 horrendous kg every single week, for 3 weeks on end. I was told that it was due to Kee weaning off breastfeeding and switching to the bottle, causing my metabolism to dip drastically. (I was also told it was due to my constant complaining about being right smack between size 10 and 12, so God give me 3 extra kg to make me a proper size 12.) My boobs also concurrently shrank and went down a whole size (from 38C to a pathetic 36B now). While I’ve managed to keep my weight in check since late September, it’s currently still hovering around 70kg. GAH!

So… now I have to lose 4 kg in 3 months’ time, instead of the initial plan of 1 kg in 3 months. I’ll be darned if I hear remarks of “Are you pregnant again?!” over Christmas or Chinese New Year. Project 1K is now retitled as Project 4k (4000 grams), due by X’mas. Talk about pressure!

Which brings me to my point: Whatever I had put away for the monetary aspect of Project 1K has now gone into getting an exercise bike.

OTO zooozh

Now, don’t ask me why I can’t just slip on my running shoes and hit the pavement. I’ve never been the runner sort – having my fats jiggling around in public while feeling the sweat sting my eyes isn’t my idea of an enjoyable workout. It only works to scare me off any form of exercise. But cycling is something I enjoy and used to do long distance from East Coast to Tampines and back. But I can’t just take off and cycling long distance nowadays (given my commitment to the kids and the horrid weather), so this is my next best option.

So today, while I was on my way to buy the bike, I erm… did the usual thing of browsing the shops. And would you believe it, there wasn’t a single piece of clothing that I fancied! (Except for those gorgeous coats, fur-lined jackets and sweater dresses, but those are insane for tropical weather so I wouldn’t have bought them anyway.)

I dug and I dug, rack after rack, shelf after shelf, in complete utter disbelief that there wasn’t a single item that took my fancy. Finally I found a lovely top – on sale at $29.90 – that only had size 14 left!! This was when I finally got the point. God says: No new clothes for Shelly because she’s supposed to lose 4kg and that’s when I’ll give her some nice new (and cheap) clothes to buy.

I couldn’t even fight it even if I wanted to. God says NO.

But when I got to the OTO store to get the bike, the sales guy told me there wasn’t any left in the warehouse; they’re completely out of stock.

So ok, that got my panties in a knot. I was all like “Hello God?! So what are you trying to say now?!” until the guy made some more calls and found me a bike –a red one (yippee!) that’s supposed to be an export model, but they’re willing to sell to me.

Ok. So God is very clear. This is my only chance to lose the flab and slim down (hopefully forever). And also, no new clothes until I’m down to a perfect size 10. Sometimes, you really can’t ignore the signs.

 

Eating crab.

It makes me wonder: Who was the first person ever to crack open the hard shell of a crab, and be adventurous (or desperate) enough to eat it?

“Crab, group of water creatures characterised by their hard, round, flat shells. Several of the larger kinds are very good to eat, but ancient sources do not suggest they were eaten enthusiastically. The various classical names cannot be confidently attached to individual species; they varied in their reference across the ancient world and through time.”

Food in the Ancient World from A to Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003 (p. 105)

 

A lot has changed through the generations, I guess, judging from the sheer number of “I want to eat chilli crab!!” declarations I see on my Twitter timeline everyday.

Yet alas, I am not a crab enthusiast (much). Too much hard work to peel and crack (and often cut my fingers due to carelessness) just for that few slivers of flesh. BEEF FOR THE WIN!

 

Pleasure is…

… not being able to fall asleep but not needing to worry about “how to wake up tomorrow for work?!”

… enjoying a glass of green tea (spiked with Choya, no less) with Dji Sam Soe while waiting for the Sandman.

… browsing shopping sites to pass time, giving no more than a rat’s ass about lack of sleep.

… being the first one “on the scene” when the kids (unfortunately) wake up. They always get right back to sleep when mama gets right in on it. 🙂

… doing work – if I so feel inclined to – with no distractions and being productive through my bout of insomnia.

… keeping the telly on to our new “upsized” cable tv channel groups. AXN Beyond and Syfy Universal!!

… somewhat being punished to stay up late because I slept most of the Sunday away. LOL.

 

Oh, this is all so indulgent.

 

Strange things are happening.

Lots of toilet visits, yoyo-ing appetite, sleeping replacing eating, yada yada. (And no, definitely not pregnant.)

God works in wondrous ways, and I’m hoping this is his answer to my prayer of wanting to lose weight. LOL.

And lucky me. I haven’t put on more weight since the last time I shot up 3kg to 70.5kg. I’ve been keeping it at 70kg for the past 2 weeks without doing much. (Save for not being able to eat because I was too busy missing Hubs.)

Now to just get it over with at getting that exercise bike! Why so not fated?!

 

Now available in Teochew!

Joshua can probably count up to 20 in English on a good day, but mostly he just stops after 13. I’ve heard him counting up to 20 while he was paying with his wooden blocks, but ask him to count it for you, and he’ll almost always stop by the time he gets to 11.

And despite his formerly terrible command of Mandarin (which I vehemently insist is not my fault) he can now count up to 9. Then when you ask him what comes after 九, he’ll say “十楼! 谢谢!” because that’s the floor we live on. Then he’ll usually start mumbling “按几楼?”

It’s amazing how fast he picked up Mandarin, considering he’s only been in school for three months, and had skipped a fair number of days due to inability to cope with the new schedule and his on-off illnesses. Just earlier tonight, he was mumbling the first few phrases of the “三字经” – something I know his entire class recites every single morning. That kinda puts me to shame, because I only know the first line: “人之初 性本善 性相近 习相远”

But Josh… he followed up after that and said: “苟不教 性乃迁 教之道 贵以专” This mommy has much to catch up on!

And as if that isn’t enough to make me want to bury my face in shame, he started counting to 5 in Teochew. It took Grandpa Tan only 15 minutes to teach, and he can recite it to a T. As for me… I can still only muster up to 3 after five years of being married to Hubs.

Jialat if he comes back tomorrow from dinner at the shophouse and can count up to 10. I will really need to dig a hole to hide myself in.

My children constantly amaze me with their quick ability to learn anything – be it good or bad stuff (so parents please be wary). I am starting to hatch evil plans on cramming their little heads full of knowledge and languages before this natural ability slows down and turns stale. And yes, I am still trying very hard to completely self-censor because Josh has been exclaiming “What the hell!” when something unpleasant happens. My fault, obviously.

 

Chic to be sick.

While it’s not the most comfortable, being sick reminds that I am only human. It’s my body’s way of expelling all the bad stuff; akin to pressing the reset button.

And it’s not just the physical aspect of it.

Each time after a bout of illness, most people learn to appreciate their regained health and mobility. Their outlook on life and living is renewed. And this is what I am looking forward to – the ability to carry my baby and not feel my whole body ache from such a simple task.

It’s a vicious cycle really. You go on in life until you slowly forget how to appreciate the little things, and boom, cycle repeats. Pretty cool if you think about it. It’s like a natural reminder for us to be thankful of the little things.

Today, my hubs took the trouble to come home and bring sick lil Josh to work with him. All so that I could get the rest my body needed. Then he brought hone dinner, and took care of the boys and put them in bed while I vegetated on the couch. Then he went out to get me Korean ginseng chicken soup, and Sara Lee’s tiny choc cheesecake bits. (I know I eat a lot for someone who’s sick, but hey, my body needs energy to fight the illness.)

I am loved, and there’s nothing else I could want (except to get well sooner).

To have “been there and done that”…

… and to have learnt from the experience. It’s the world – or your God, or the Universe, whichever you prefer – teaching you how to cope with the various obstacles and situations that come your way.

And what I saw happening to a friend, was what I had painfully experienced for myself and came out a better woman – with knowledge of how to handle it if the need arises.

I’m not saying I’m smart. I’m just saying that I’ve been there, done that, and am now a better person because of it.

But of course, there are always those who never learn.