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the husband

the husband

The big 10

We celebrated our 10th anniversary two weeks ago. It was right in the middle of the no-helper mayhem, so we celebrated by stealing a quick kiss in between doing laundry and cleaning poop, which seemed poetically fitting because this just about sums up our lives right now.


It wasn’t always this way. It was 2001 and we were both doing our first year in NTU – I was 19, he was 21. We had our first conversation out of necessity because I wanted in on a project he had dibs on (specifically “Hey, I heard you choped the Madonna presentation, want to work on it together?“), but we fell in love several months later after some *ahem* study sessions + that one ill-fated evening jog that turned out to be my last + a copy of Baby Blues. 

At that point, I thought I knew all there was to know about falling in love – as much as any 19-year-old could know about anything, I suppose. I had watched a very impressive list of romantic comedies, read pretentious poems about love, tuned in religiously to Class 95’s love songs every night, and gave a lot of thought to how my great love story would turn out.

I was very clear on the kind of guy I would marry. Hot, obviously. Someone with a wicked sense of humour, who would write me poetry via ICQ. He would sweep me off my feet and we would ride off into the sunset to have our 7 perfect children.

When I met the husband, I learnt something new about love. He wasn’t the cliched tortured artist type that my 19-year-old self was so into. He didn’t serenade me or make exaggerated declarations of love outside my bedroom window. But he was the guy who would pass me his detailed set of lecture notes because I couldn’t wake up in time for class. He was the guy who didn’t mind having to walk home for 2 hours after missing the last bus just so he could make sure I got home safe. He was the guy who knew what to say to make me smile when I was having a bad day. He would listen to me talk about my dreams, then tell me that he’d do whatever it takes to make them come true. And I knew he meant it.

Three years later, he proposed and I said yes. I was starting to realise that I didn’t know that much about love after all, but what I knew then was that I found my best friend in the world and he made me happy.

In the 10 years that we’ve been married, I feel like we grew up together. We graduated together, started our careers together, had kids and built a family together. People talk about how marriage is hard and it is. Because life is hard. Somewhere along the way, we realized that we had to stop being the carefree students who slept in till noon and watched movies all day (for research!). We found ourselves having to trade that hakuna matata problem free philosophy for a life with real problems, the kind that keeps you up at night feeling terrified and sick to the gut.

But what people don’t talk about enough is that being married is pretty darn amazing. I’ve been able to spend the past 10 years waking up to the one person who brings me the most joy. He’s the one I want to have conversations with till 2 in the morning, the one whose one liners over fb messenger make me laugh out loud in the middle of a chaotic day, the one who knows exactly how to talk me out of my crazy. There’s no one else I’d rather do laundry and clean poop with. 

Happy anniversary, babe! You’re still the one that I want. :)


the husband

Eight and looking great

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

It’s our anniversary today and I meant to write something about being married for 8 years. Except that it’s already 11:37 at night and I only just managed to sit down with my laptop. And you know what I’m thinking? I don’t have a secret sauce recipe for this. There’s no magic formula to dealing with all the curve balls that life sends our way.

I don’t know, I think marriage is like a dance and we’ve been making up the moves as we go. Sometimes we’re in sync and it’s beautiful. Sometimes I step on his toes and sometimes he steps on mine. Sometimes he attempts to throw me up in the air and I fall spectacularly on my ass. But then we just get right back up and keep on dancing.

This morning, the husband kissed me before leaving for work like he usually does and from the time he got back, we’ve been on autopilot, hustling to get the kids settled and ready for bed. It’s an elaborate system. He hosts game time while I nurse Theo, then he takes the baby and the big kids while I get Finn into bed, then he settles Tru and Kirsten while I nurse the baby some more. This goes on for a while until all the kids are down for the night and we finally exchange an exhausted hi-5.

We did manage to carve out some time for a super special anniversary edition supper – seaweed chicken and leftover ngoh hiang that I popped into the air fryer.

I don’t have any marriage advice to give but here’s what I think about being married for 8 years.

1. Boring is ok.

Before we got married, we were nerds who read self-help books about relationships so we were prepared for the big things like in-laws, raising babies and money management. But there was one thing that we weren’t prepared for: how truly mundane marriage can be.

Being married is basically having to do the same things with the same person every day for the rest of your life. That’s the epitome of boring.

Do the same chores, put kids to bed, run errands, stress about work, clear laundry, more chores, run after babies. Urgh, bo-ring.

We had one off-night a few weeks ago when all the kids had a sleepover at my mom’s place and guess what we spent our night of freedom doing? Buying groceries at Giant till 1 in the morning. I know, right? What is happening to my street cred? But I liked it though. I like that we can be boring together and still have a good time.

2. But not too boring. 

I’m going with the 80/20 rule here. 80% boring responsible adult: 20% silly and spontaneous. Sometimes we operate at 90/10, maybe even 95/5 but never 100/0.

Just the other day, we snuck out for a late night bubble tea run at the airport and as we walked past NTUC on the way back, there was an auntie closing the shutters for the outlet. The husband pretended to duck under the shutters just for kicks and the little old lady almost lunged towards him with a flying tackle. When she realised he was just fooling around, she feigned disapproval and said “会心脏病的, 老兄”. I laughed till I had tears.

3. Laugh often. 

Marriage is hard. It really is. In the past 8 years, we’ve gone though some tough times and it helps to be able to laugh during those moments.

We like to send each other funny youtube videos, we laugh at our own lame inside jokes, we laugh at all the ridiculous things the kids get up to, we laugh at ourselves, we laugh at each other and we even laugh at how bad things are when they can’t possibly get any worse. It’s true, laughter is the best medicine.

4. Let it go.

In the wise melodious words of Queen Elsa of Arendelle, let. it. go. It took me a long time to learn this because I do not believe in letting things go. I am what some might call an expert dead-horse-flogger. If I see a horse that’s decapitated and dead for three days, I’ll be all like “I think I see it twitching. 40 more lashes!!”

When we used to disagree on matters, I would literally not rest until it was resolved in a satisfactory manner, with satisfactory being a full and total surrender on his part. We absolutely had to talk it out some more, even though it was 3 in the morning and we’ve already been talking it out for 5 hours straight.

I’m still working on it but these days when we’re at an impasse, after we’ve talked about it sufficiently, we’ll stop talking and just take a break for some perspective. Then we have to figure out a way to agree to disagree.

But we’re not dealing with the issue! We need to talk about it some more,” my head screams.

Sometimes, we do not. It’s not a big deal. Just let it go.

5. Take the wins.

In marriage, there are a lot of downs, so when the ups come around, no matter how small, we take the wins. A disagreement almost went nuclear but phew, crisis averted, that’s a win. We made it through a rough week, that’s a win. Kids went to bed early without any drama, that’s a win.

And we try to make it to the next win. And the next. And the next.


Happy anniversary, baby. I love you and I like you.

the husband

Happy birthday to my favourite guy

It was my favourite husband’s birthday last Friday, which gave me the perfect excuse to plan a day out for some grub. I was starting to get all cobwebby from being cooped up at home with the baby, so birthday lunch with the husband (and the baby!) was a welcome change.

I know, right? Almost like as if it was my birthday. But the best husbands are nice like that – they share their birthdays – and I’ve got me one of the very best ones.

I had planned for a nice, quiet lunch where we sat next to other adults and used shiny cutlery to eat food that came in various courses while the baby slept but what was I thinking? It was more of a let’s-do-this-without-choking lunch where we took turns to rock the baby while the other did some frenzied-food-shovelling.

That’s right folks, 7 years and 4 kids in, this is what a birthday looks like. We had lunch, squeezed in some conversation and then went home to hang out with the other 3 kids.

I felt bad that it wasn’t more fancy. No surprise getaway or romantic staycation or even a night out about town without the kids. I told him we’d do a proper celebration once things got a little easier and he was all “what I really wanted for my birthday was for you to have a break.”

How’s that for the Sweetest Birthday Wish Ever? I really like this guy.

That night, after all the kids had gone to bed, he said “Don’t worry babe, in a couple of years, the kids will be bigger and life’s going to be so much fun. We’ve got a whole lifetime of awesome birthdays ahead of us.”


Happy birthday, baby!


the husband

About dads


I’ll admit it. When I was 19 and in the game, high on my list of qualities to look for a in a guy was the dad factor – whether he’d be a good dad. See, I knew back then that I’d be having a whole brood of kids, I’m weird that way.

When I met the husband, I knew he’d be a great father. I just didn’t know he’d be this good.

So usually in the first year of a baby’s life, mothers usually have the upper hand because we’re a natural at this. We do the feeding, bathing, cuddling and soothing just a little better. I’m thankful that the husband was a pro at all of it, but I remember thinking that if there was ever a contest of being generally more awesome with babies, I’d crush him every time.

But as the kids grew bigger, it became clear that the husband was levelling the parenting playing field. He’d found his niche and he was killing it.

Like no matter how hard I try, daddy’s approval and validation means so much more. Why is that? I often tell the kids they’ve done a great job and I’m really proud of them and they’re like “yeah, ok, I know, mom.” But when the husband does it, they beam and beam like they’ve just won an olympic gold medal.

Daddy’s also the super fun one. He usually does the crazy games with the kids and when he’s working late, I try to do my own version with them. Apparently, my fun level is vastly inferior. One time, we were halfway through a game and Truett said, “I think we can go to sleep now, we’ll play with daddy tomorrow, it’s more fun.” Welllll…ok then.

Daddy’s the fixer, the smart one, the hugger, the anchor, the bringer of fun, the cool one, the designated driver, the atm and storyteller, basically everything that’s awesome to a kid.

And momma’s gotta bring back her A-game.

Okay, I kid about the competition, it’s all very friendly. I’m glad the husband is a wonderful father because we’re in this together and there’s no one else I’d want in my corner.

daddy 2

Happy Father’s Day, sweetheart.

the husband

In honor of the birthday boy.

Today is a little sappy because it’s the husband’s birthday and sometimes husbands deserve a birthday post in their honor. Especially when it’s a milestone like 33.

The first time I celebrated his birthday was when he turned 21 and 12 years on, we’re still at it so I’d say that it’s turned out quite well indeed.

So let’s see, here are some fun facts you might not know about the husband. He’s probably going to slaughter me for posting this on the blog but it’s all part of the territory, being married to someone who owns a blog and has very little self control when it comes to matters of oversharing.

1. We call each other baby. Or babe for short. As in I call my very strong and macho husband the same term of endearment I use on girly girlfriends. I’m not sure how it works but it works and he’s manly enough not to mind it one bit.

2. He has more shoes than I do. Marginally but still, more is more.

3. He’s the biggest U2 fan I’ve ever seen. I’m talking every single album + hours and hours on youtube listening to the same song kind of fan.

4. He really good at making up wacky games for the kids. Till this day, I still don’t know how the oobie doobie game works but the kids seem to get the rules.

5. In another life, he would be Walter White. Minus the chemistry teacher bit and cancer bit and the meth bit. Also the generally being an ass bit. He’d be a really sweet and nice and much hotter Walter White.

6. He writes better than I do. It’s a difficult feat to achieve but sigh…

7. He once shouted “LIME! LIME! LIME! I NEED LIIIIIIME!!! in a crowded supermarket on a dare. Thankfully, I’ve stopped issuing dares and he’s stopped accepting them.

8. He likes stationery. I know, it’s crazy. He loves going to stationery stores to look at writing implements and notebooks and folders!!??? I guess it sort of makes birthday present shopping easier but I don’t know what to all the stationery we have at home.

9. When we first got together, I told him that I was planning to have 7 kids and he said with a straight face, “ok!”

10. He’s my best friend in the entire world. It’s sappy for couples to refer to each other as their best friends but there it is. I love hanging out with the guy and we still talk for hours about everything from which Disney villain would win in a smackdown (hands down, Ursula) to who gets first dibs on getting an autograph if we ever meet Robin Van Persie (that would be me, obviously).

I sometimes think that our family of 5 is off on a little sailboat out at a great big scary sea. And I’m glad I’ve got him with me on the boat, all calm and strong and brave and steady, making sure we get to where we’re going and we’re enjoying the ride while we get there. I would follow this man anywhere.

Happy birthday, sweetheart!

kel & daf