side effects of motherhood

Aaaand we have a walker!!

So guess why this baby is, as we say, happy like bird?

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Baby Theo has finally discovered the freedom that is walking on his own two feet. Ok, not entirely. He still requires the use of walking aids, but he’s taken a few steps on his own and is feeling rather pleased with himself.

I think he feels like a rockstar having so many people cheer him on even though he doesn’t make it past 3 steps before falling hard on his chubby cushy bottom.

The important thing is to get up and try again. Which is easier when you have big brothers (and sister!) who take turns to walk with you.

Big brothers make the best walking aids :)

A video posted by Daphne (@daphneling) on

Baby steps, y’all!!

side effects of motherhood

Stay this way

I had some snuggle time with my big boy Truett two nights ago and as he turned to give me a goodnight kiss, he jabbed me in the ribs so hard with his pointy, bony big boy elbow I almost passed out. This boy is all tall and lanky and gangly right now.

“Ok, night! I’m super tired, you can go now.”

“Hey, talk to mommy for just 10 minutes, I want to hear all about your day.”

*grunt mmmmhrrrmm grunt*

That was it. All 2 minutes and 12 seconds of snuggle time and I was being unceremoniously dismissed because my super snuggly services were no longer required. I hung around for a while and he was out like a light in another minute or so.

When Truett was really small, he would take an hour to fall asleep and I spent many nights (and days) thinking of how nice it would be if my baby could fall asleep in a solid minute. As a newly minted zombie parent, having a baby that could fall asleep quickly was like finding a unicorn who could shoot rainbows out of its ears. And I was hot on a unicorn hunt. Please God, if I could ask for just one thing, make my baby fall asleep in a minute. People say be careful what you wish for, because you might not want it once you get it. I hate it so much when these cliches turn out to be true, but GAH, here we are.

I normally handle these sort of moments quite well but I started getting all teary. I blame this video that I watched earlier in the day where women talked about what they would do if they were young again. It really gave me the feels – it’s sweet and wistful and nostalgic all at the same time.

“What I wouldn’t give for an extra second of cuddling my babies before they became too big to hold,” said one of these sweet old ladies.

This would totally be me in another 20 years. Saying the exact same words.

Suddenly, I really missed Truett. It’s strange because he was right there and I adore Truett the big boy, but I missed Truett my first baby, with his squishy hamburger face and tubby fingers. That baby is all gone. :(

So I stuck around next to him and ran my fingers through his hair, thinking of the time I ran my fingers through his hair as he he fell asleep on my chest for two hours one rainy, thundery afternoon 6 years ago. He was the perfect size for cuddling and I could hold him for as long as I wanted. Now I’m watching him get almost too big to hold and I’d probably suffocate if he fell asleep on my chest for two hours but I’m going to squeeze in a few more years of cuddling until it gets too weird to do it. TRU, I’M GOING TO CUDDLE YOU WHETHER YOU WANT ME TO OR NOT. THIS IS NOT OPEN FOR DISCUSSION.

I’m also going to hold my other 3 babies while I still can right now and they will have no say in this matter.

Processed with VSCOcam with m6 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with m6 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Look at this I-could-use-a-cuddle face. I’m going to look back at this face and cry.

Be all in while I’m still in.

PS. And to my kids, just so we’re clear, you guys will need to have babies (no, not now!! eventually!!!) because if I can’t cuddle you at 30, I’m going to need to cuddle your babies. This is also non negotiable.


Finn’s Birthday Time Capsule 2015

We’re rounding up birthday season 2015 with this dreamy dreamboat who turned three last week. Three is such an adorably fun age, you know what, three can put on its jammies and get real comfy because three can stay for as long as it likes. Three makes my heart skip a beat.

Then again, maybe it’s this face that has turns my heart a little squishy.

finn kao

Sometimes, I think Finn was meant to be born in another time, like maybe a hundred years earlier in a victorian aristocracy. Such a proper little gentleman, this one. He’ll remember to say “please” and “thank you” and “you’re welcome” all the time, and if I forget to say “bless you” after he sneezes, he’ll turn to me and say “you forgot to say “bless you” to me, mommy.”

“Oh sorry, bless you, Finn!”

“No need to say sorry, it’s ok mom!”

And I’ll smile because I feel like I’m having a conversation with the Duke of Buckingham, and I should maybe curtsy or twirl or something.


Birthdays wouldn’t be complete without a time capsule so here we go.

Hey Finn!

//We’ve been calling you Finn Finn since you were a tiny baby, but you’ve recently decided that one Finn suits you just fine. These days, when I call you Finn Finn, you’ll look at me with that serious big boy head tilt and say, “I’m Finn. Finn Kao.” Reminds me of one Mr Bond.

So hey there Finn Kao, happy birthday!

Can I just say that being your mom is such a dream? I’ve spent 1,100 days being your favourite person in the world and we’ve had all kinds of crazy days during that time, haven’t we? Some started out as super fun days, best day of my life kind of days, mediocre days, lousy days, boring days, and days that I don’t want to talk about ever, but every single one of those 1,100 days have turned out to be terrific days because I’ve had you in them.

You really are a sweetheart. There’s a certain je ne sais quoi about you that’s so sweet and endearing. Maybe it’s those surprise kisses that you give generously and so purposefully (with both hands holding my cheeks), like you’re taking the time to do something big and important. Maybe it’s that earnest, gentle, soft spoken demeanour that’s so out of place next to your cheeky grin. Maybe it’s the way you somehow make everyone feel like they’re really special. I can’t put my finger on it, but it’s hard not to be drawn to you.


Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Your dominant emotions are joy and sadness. Mostly joy, followed by a little bit of sadness when things don’t go your way. (So different from baby Theo who is a combination of joy and all out hulk-smash fury. You boys are like ice and fire, so adorable.)

In your entire 3 years, you’ve never had a full scale meltdown. That’s remarkable. Which is not to say that you’ve never gotten upset. There have been tears (mostly of the heartbreaking sobbing variety) and indignant hollers of “HEYYYY!!!”, but never the hardcore melt into the floor tantrum. At first, we were just waiting for that one epic outburst to happen, but it’s been 3 years and…we realised that it’s just not how you deal. You get sad and a big fat tear falls out of your sad smouldering baby eyes and you hide in a corner and say mournful things like “kor kor and jie jie don’t want to love me.”

Hey, I want you to know that sadness isn’t bad. When you’re sad, it’s ok to talk about it and your daddy and I, we’ll always be here to listen. Or if you’re too sad to talk, we’ll just be here to sit with you in your corner and hold your hand. Things always get better when you have someone to hold your hand, you’ll see.

I know sometimes you get overshadowed by your boisterous siblings in the stampede that goes on at home everyday. Even your baby brother is like “Did somebody say stampede?? YEAHHH YEEHAWWW!!!” And you’re all, “guys, let’s chill out and do some puzzles…” That’s ok, you know. That’s more than ok. You bring the ice cubes to their fire and they adore you for it.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Want to know a secret? Being your mom is also really hard because you have a manner that is so disarming. I don’t know what to do with you. The other day, you drew on the walls with a pen (right after you drew on the curtains and bed and sofa with a marker), so I made you stand at the spot which you drew for 5 minutes to ponder the error of your ways.

At the end of those 5 minutes, you mustered your most innocent face and said, “I’m sorry mommy, I’ll listen and be a good boy.”

I know there are more drawings on more walls to be discovered in my immediate future but how do I stay mad at this face? Urgh, incorrigible.

I guess you make up for it by being delightful company. Which you absolutely are. I love our little ice-cream dates and grocery dates and walks at the park dates. At the end of each day, you’ll tell me about all the adventures you had and round off with “I had so much fun with you mommy!”

You always know how to make a girl feel special, that’s for sure.

Have fun with being 3 ok, you’re going to be legendary at it.

I love you, Finn Kao.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset