Browsing Category

lists you should paste on your fridge

lists you should paste on your fridge, too awesome for words

5 reasons why babies are awesome

Let’s face it, babies are a lot of work. They cry for no reason, make poopie in their pants, require constant attention and wake up multiple times a night demanding milkies. And they make you talk like a two-year-old when in fact, you’re pushing thirty-one.

Frankly, it’s exhausting.

By virtue of those factors alone, babies should be extinct by now but the amazing thing is that they aren’t. And I think this is because they make up for all of it by sheer awesomeness. A redonkulous amount of awesomeness (hat tip to HIMYM’s latest episode), if I might add.

1. Baby skin. Have you felt the powdery soft skin of a baby who just woke up from a nap? That coupled with the intoxicating fragrance of eau de bébé can send your ovaries straight into overdrive. Notice I didn’t say MY ovaries. These ovaries need a break, y’all but yours can carry on.

2. They poop rainbows. No, like literally. Like that one time Finn ate crayons, there was actual traces of color in his poop. It was still really gross but in a colorful sort of way, I guess.

3. Babies don’t judge. They don’t care if I haven’t washed my hair in 3 days or can’t fit into my size 28 super skinnies. They don’t care if my singing sounds like when the neighbor’s cat was attacked by what I imagine was another more angry cat. They don’t make jokes about my cellulite. They look at me at see all the awesome parts that I often don’t even see myself.

4. Baby babble. Watching them try so hard to form words only to have them come out sounding like “bleh eh dehh” is a special level of cute. Every time Finn tries to talk, it’s like he really concentrates before forming sounds and when he actually hears the babbling that’s coming out of his mouth, he stops and looks puzzled like as if that wasn’t meant to happen. And he tries again until he babytalks himself into a frenzy. I half expect him to hulk smash some toys at the end of it.

5. Babies do what you tell them to do. More or less. Unless they don’t want to, then they will scream bloody murder. Okay you know what, scratch this point.

5 (redux). Babies are so stinkin’ cute to look at. Why are their heads so disproportionately big? Why do they look like emoticons? Why don’t they ever have a bad hair day? Why are their thighs so deliciously chubby? And most of all, how can anything have this much cuteness crammed into such a tiny body?


breastfeeding, lists you should paste on your fridge, not feeling so supermom, side effects of motherhood

Bobbly Bobblehead

So Truett and Kirsten both go to preschool in the morning and it’s great because by the time they’re done at noon, they come home with a bunch of new skills, tales of their adventures and little nuggets of academic knowledge they’ve gained that day. Like Tru came home last week and declared that he now knows how to clean his own bottom after pooping. I think he tried to clean the toilet bowl as well because I peered in to find half a roll of toilet paper stuffed into it but on the bright side, I’m sure his bottom was extremely clean after going through that much paper.

But then now that they’re in school, they also come home with other stuff like germs, viruses and bacteria. Lots and lots of them. To be precise, about 50 kids worth of them. Which would be fine if we didn’t have a baby in the house but you see, there’s just one problem. The baby is in the house, yo!

Within the first 3 months of baby Finn’s life, he’s already been ill 4 times. And that’s after factoring in a diet of my super-immunity-building breast milk.

The past 2 nights, baby Finn was fluish again and the virus was causing his sleep pattern to regress. He woke up every 2 hours for a feed and each time, he’d flail and struggle to breathe while latched on with his death grip for almost 40 minutes.

In other words, he was pretty much attached to my boob the entire night. Times two.

In my sleep-deprived stupor, I noticed several things.

1. Lying down is the best position to breastfeed. It is also the single most hated feeding postion for baby Finn. He’s all like “THIS IS NO WAY TO DRINK MY MILK AND I WILL NOT STAND IT.” Instead, he likes to be cradled in my arms while I’m sitting upright because he’s a tyrant and a slavedriver.

2. Falling asleep while breastfeeding is very bad. For boobs. The husband can keep his head perfectly straight while sleeping upright but I unfortunately do not possess that particular ability. Once I doze off, my head rolls around like a bobblehead doll and one time, it rolled to the back, causing my boob to be yanked backwards. Instead of letting go of his grip, baby Finn bit down even harder and let’s just say that the yanking + biting combination = a very effective deterrence to falling asleep.

3. Marathon breastfeeding through the night makes me very hungry. And sitting there in the dark gives me a lot of time to think about food. After the 5am feed, I had the most massive craving for a bacon sandwich so I raided my fridge only to find some milk & cereal. Which was nowhere near as good but when you’re starving at 5am, it’s pretty darn tasty.

how i pretend to be a cool mum, lists you should paste on your fridge, milestones & musings, unqualified parenting tips

Lessons from a 3rd time mom

When I first had Truett, I was as uptight as a new parent could be. My life was a variation of the following scenarios:

“He was supposed to take his nap 3.17 minutes ago, now his schedule is all ruined it’s a disaster!”

“Why is he not drinking his milk, quick call the PD for a consult!!”

“He fell asleep on the baby swing? ANOTHER DISASTER – WAKE HIM UP NOW!!!”


Thanks to all the expert baby books, I had a lot of rules to follow. No rocking to sleep. No falling asleep while drinking milk. No pacifier. I had a strict 3-hour schedule to abide by, right down to the minute.

Then I had a second kid and decided to break some of the rules. Turns out, the world didn’t come to an end and the baby did just fine. I realized that while some of those rules were good, they’re supposed to help make my life easier, not harder. And having my panties all up in a bunch all the time wasn’t making my life easier.

Now with the third kid, I’ve learnt some lessons that I thought I’d share.

1. Every baby is different. 

Some babies sleep more than others. Some babies need more attention. Some babies love being rocked to sleep, some babies hate it. Some babies thrive on having a fixed routine, some are a little more flexible. Which brings me to my next point…

2. Do what works for you and your baby. 

There isn’t just one right way to parent. Be a helicopter parent or an attachment parent or a sleep-training commando parent or a combination of all of the above. If it works for you, don’t let anyone guilt you into feeling otherwise.

3. Sometimes, it’s ok to break the rules. 

It’s ok if baby misses a nap or stays awake for an extra 27 minutes. Be a badass and break the rules. Or be a badass and don’t.

4. Enjoy the process. 

It’s hard to enjoy the baby when you’re stressed out and frustrated half the time. Take a break if you can afford the time. Watch your favorite drama, take a long shower, have a cup of coffee – do what makes you happy, even if it’s just for a while.

I used to be so hung up over trying to be the perfect mom that I allowed myself no margin for error. But guess what? This whole parenting process is one of trial and error. And I’m fine with the fact that I’ll never be a perfect mom.

As long as my kids think I’m a rockstar, I’m think I’m ok.

lists you should paste on your fridge, stuff best described as not safe for parents, unqualified parenting tips

World’s Deadliest Creatures

Ok so the kids are sweet and filled with sparkly rainbow confetti kind of awesome but if I’m honest with myself, there are times where I just want to gag them and stuff them in my closet for 20 minutes.

You’d think that in the grand scheme of things, like compared to a grizzly bear attack or a shark bite, dealing with a toddler’s tantrum is um, child’s play.

But then you realize that unlike having a cobra death-match where your end is swift and decisive, dealing with a baby requires you to listen to that annoying sing-song nasally whine that can go on and on and on and on and on some more until the thought of ripping off your own arm and feeding it to wolves is monumentally less painful.

With that in mind, I present to you my list of the world’s deadliest creatures.

i embarrass myself sometimes, lists you should paste on your fridge, stuff best described as not safe for parents

Booger Bites

Boogers. We’ve all eaten some. And by we I really mean me.

I was about 4 and I had discovered the simple satisfaction that is nose-picking. I didn’t care much for cleanliness in general but I was um, picky about nostril hygiene. The quality of my life at that point was easily determined by how booger-free my nose was. The problem was that all this gold-digging left me with a by-product that I had to dispose of.

I could smear it, wipe it, flick it, wash it away or roll it around while thinking of more efficient ways to discard it.

It wasn’t long before it occurred to me to eat it. It seemed like such a good idea at that time because it did after all come from my nose and the proximity to my mouth made it practically edible. It’s all connected inside anyway, isn’t it?

I have to admit that my first booger bite wasn’t great. It wasn’t terrible but just very meh. With all the other snack options available to me, eating booger was way down the list, occupying the spot below wholemeal bread but above celery sticks.

The response I elicited from my bite of booger, however, was far more interesting. Grown ups seemed to find it a vile and disgusting habit. Some told me that it would give me a tummy ache and others even told me that it would make worms grow in my stomach. To the 4-year-old me, it was equal parts fascinating and terrifying. While I wasn’t entirely keen on the idea of having worms grow in my stomach, the rebel in me was already plotting to make it a regular snack option just to call their bluff.

I’ve since stopped it (seriously, I have) but it took my several years before I realized that me eating booger just to disprove a theory was dumb on so many levels. Plus it wasn’t even that nice.

Several days ago, I spotted Truett picking his nose and putting it in his mouth so now I’m considering my options on how to deal with the situation.

1. Leave him to outgrow it. I’m fairly confident that the taste of booger pales in comparison to Ruffles chips and ice-cream. which means that if I offer him tastier options, this gets phased out quick and easy. But then again, he might find it delicious and never stop.

2. Scare him into change. I could go with “son, that’s a vile and disgusting habit. You will get worms in your stomach that will eat their way up to your mouth” but off the top of my head, I just came up with many viler and more disgusting habits that will require this approach. I should probably save this for the day he attempts to eat someone else’s booger.

3. Tell him my booger story so he doesn’t have to learn the hard way. But any story that begins with “mommy used to eat booger too...” doesn’t make me sound very credible.

4. Get some worms for a live demonstration. It’s likely that my kids inherited my rebellious streak so this will probably backfire.

5. Tell him to stop it because mommy says so. Hah. Right, if only this ever works.

Any ideas?

lists you should paste on your fridge, seriously somewhat serious

Being thankful for the little things

As I get older, I start to appreciate the value of thankfulness. On good days and bad days, for the big things and the little things.

I know it’s easier said that done because I used to hate it when kindly folks told me to be thankful for the little things on a monumentally bad day. If not for my immense self-control, I would have punched every single one of them in the liver.

I’m glad I didn’t because now I realize that the cliches are actually true and being thankful for the little things is strangely therapeutic, especially on difficult days.

So today, I’m thankful.

For walls that are covered with crayon scribbles because they could have easily been covered with permanent marker ink.

For embarrassing toddler questions because non-embarrassing ones are totally boring.

For sticky fingers that smear chocolate on my face because it usually comes with a juicy, chocolatey, slobbery kiss.

For poopy diapers because it means I don’t have to deal with constipation.

For toys that are strewn all over the living room because sometimes I get to play with it too.

For tiny clothes that are strewn all over the living room because come on, tiny clothes are cute anywhere.

For dishes to clean and clothes to wash and toys to pack because I’m um, masochistic.

For incessant high-pitched toddler whines because… ok, this is pushing it a little. How about for ear plugs that drown out the annoying toddler whines?

For goodnight kisses and morning cuddles because it makes up for everything else I have to put up with.

For every single day that I get to stay home with the kids and watch them discover the world.

Happy thanksgiving!

lists you should paste on your fridge, unqualified parenting tips

Minding manners, not business

As a country, we’re not big on manners. We do the Singaporean thing of minding our own business and eyeballing the floor when we happen to be in the presence of strangers. We score a seat in the train and pretend to fall asleep because it’s so much easier than dealing with the awkward situation of “should I offer my seat to that lady with a slightly roundish abdomen”.

“Good morning” and “How’s it going?” aren’t things you hear on a typical morning grind. In fact, all it takes is for your toddler to hold up the elevator for an extra 2 seconds and you hear the impatient “tsks” getting progressively audible.

Then there’re the establishments that seem determined to take the service out of customer service. The husband knows that I’m very particular about exactly what goes into my food. I order a double cheeseburger and it has to be without pickles, mustard and ketchup (yes, I know it technically is NOT a cheeseburger without them). My mee pok has to have chili but no vinegar or ketchup.

On good days, my order gets taken with a slight brow furrow and a curt nod. On other days, I get an irate “if you don’t ask for ketchup, we don’t put ketchup one hor.”

One time the husband was ordering dinner at a tze char stall and he politely asked the lady how long the wait was going to be. She proceeded to lose her marbles, screaming in Mandarin “you want to eat, you wait. If not, forget it.” We did wait, because the food is remarkably good there and besides, what’s dignity compared to the legendary claypot chicken? But imagine, the experience would have been so much better if he didn’t have to get yelled at.

With the kids, we’re determined to inculcate good manners. And not just the perfunctory “please” and “thank you’s” but the genuine enthusiasm that goes into being gracious and polite. The heartfelt compliments when they’re deserved and a kind word to someone who didn’t necessarily deserve it.

We’ve done a manners list. A set of rules for the kids to abide by, where the penalty for non-compliance is to not have McDonalds for a week. So basically, we win either way.

Ok, we also try to lead by example and do all of those things.

1. In the morning, say “morning momma/daddy” and round it up with a hug and a kiss. Don’t grunt and roll your eyes unless they’re rolling back into your head, and even then, it’s your own fault for tormenting me till midnight the night before.

2. When you want something, say please. If you want something really bad, say “pretty please mommy, btw you look so beautiful today, I really like your hair/jeans/smile/eyes.” Also doesn’t hurt to throw in a kiss.

3. If you don’t get what you want when you want it, it’s your prerogative to whine. But that only means you’re never going to get it. Ever.

4. When you get something, say thank you. You can also say “I love you so much, you’re the best mom in the world.”

5. Sometimes you’ll see other aunties/uncles/kids get into the lift with you. Smile and say “hello auntie.” If it’s a kid, you can give a hi-5. If it’s the weird uncle downstairs, stay the hell away from him.

6. When someone does something well, say “you did a great job”. Remember when you guys finished all your food and mommy said “great job, kids, you did well?” Like that.

7. When someone doesn’t do a really good job and there’s room for improvement, say “it’s ok, you can do it next time.” Remember the time you guys didn’t finish your food and mommy said “That wasn’t so good, no gummies. But it’s ok, you can do better at dinner?” Yeah, like that, except without the gummies part.

8. When you leave a house after a visit, say “bye and thank you for having me.” Don’t just grab your stuff and dash off. Or have a meltdown because it’s time to leave.

9. Be respectful to adults. That means not being rude or obnoxious. Obnoxious is when…forget it. Just don’t be rude.

10. Be nice to other kids. Unless they’re repeatedly mean to you then tell mommy and I’ll deal with it.

11. Sometimes when mommy is driving, mommy gets to be not very polite to other drivers when they do very bad driving. Cover your ears. One day, you will understand.

What’s on your manners list? Do tell.