from around here

Oh hey 2018

We’re ten days into 2018 and I had hoped to write this sooner but the first week of the year is always a little nuts. This year more than usual because it’s a new routine for everyone.

Kirsten and Finn are adjusting to new schools, Tru is adjusting to leaving the house at 6.05am to travel back to Gongshang Primary via school bus while waiting for a spot to open up at the new school, and Theo? This kid is having the best time not being in school because his waitlist hasn’t cleared either. He’s so pleased to be hanging out with his favourite girls at home all day.

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It’s too early to tell what sort of year this one is going to be but what I can tell you is that this is the first time in 10 years where I’m not pregnant or breastfeeding or having my hands full with a newborn.

Actually, I’m excited. I’ve spent a whole decade in this pressure cooker of being needed by so many babies to do so many things all at once and this is the year I get to start easing the valve a little at a time.

My list of Mommy Duties I’m Done Doing is slowly getting longer. Things like:

Carry a whole human in my uterus

Make milk using my body

Sing the goodnight song 300 times in a row

Burping a baby

Childbirth

Two-hourly night feeds

Midnight poop changes

Hold a baby for 8 hours straight

Three-hourly night feeds

Night feeds in general

Sleep training

These days, with the big kids, it’s like “You’d like a sandwich? Of course! Just go make one yourself. In fact, make one for the babies while you’re at it, thanks!” Do you know how much extra non-sandwich making time I’ve got now? A lot. Enough time to make myself a sandwich and enjoy the whole thing like a normal person without inducing indigestion. Okay, I do have to supervise from a distance and preemptively nag at them to clean up any resulting mess and still eventually have to clean up the glob of egg mayo on the countertop myself but it’s progress and it’s really nice.

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I think I’m ready for 2018.

I’m ready to be done with the baby making chapter and finally turn the page to something new. When the babies were tiny, the mom part of me overshadowed everything else and all the other parts got squashed into a corner and forgotten. Being a mom will always be the part I love the most but this year, I hope to have some of the other parts filled in so I can be a more complete me.

And if this is a year where this home is filled with delighted baby faces and a whole lot of love, that’s all I really need to be happy.

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No more post holiday laundry blues

Okay, here’s something you need to know about travelling with 4 kids – the post holiday laundry situation is pretty epic. The husband knows that I’m borderline obsessive about clean laundry when we travel but despite my best efforts, we come home with suitcases filled with clothes that belong to a toxic disposal site because 1. kids are so gross and 2. no, seriously, kids are SO GROSS.

Take for example, this lovely day we spent at heckscher playground in central park. The kids had the best time, running around and climbing rocks and I was trying my best to be encouraging of their fun exploits even though the rational part of my mom brain was telling me to put an end to this madness before somebody ends up destroying their stylish #ootds.

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Sure enough, shortly after this video was taken, Theo tripped and fell face first into a puddle of slushy black mud. Thankfully, he wasn’t hurt but his ego was a little bruised because his face, arms, and the entire front side of his body was covered in this thick, black, gooey mud; it was everywhere. I tried not to laugh as I picked him up gently and tried to hug this angry, screamy little golliwog at arm’s length without getting my own clothes stained. He was like “HELPPPP!! EWWWW WHAT IS THIS??? HUG ME PROPERLY MOMMMMM IT’S NOT FUNNY STOP LAUGHING AND HELP ME NOWWWWWW!!

After the shock wore off and he started feeling better, I had to figure out how to get this ridiculous mess cleaned up.

I decided on baby wipes to clean up his face and hands (success!), and then more wipes to wipe down the mud stains on his clothes (also a perfect opportunity to question my life choices) but it seemed to be making the stains worse (what is this super stainy toxic black mud made of??). Eventually, I just stuffed the whole disgusting lump into double bagged ziplocks, to be sorted out after we got home. That’s a problem future me would have to deal with.

I’d love to say that this was an unfortunate one-off incident but sadly, I cannot. It’s like my kids have this special ability to attract all manner of grossness to their body + clothes. They would rub the side of their nice down jackets against the subway elevators in New York (I had a small cardiac arrest the first time it happened, but by day 5, I was like “you know what, rub away guys. I’m immune to this sight now.“) or they would sit right smack on a glob of what looks suspiciously like spit/phlegm/mucus on a bench without even looking or they would attempt to make snow/grass angels on semi moist grass (I mean, WHY??) before rolling around some more for good measure.

Towards the end of the trip, all of their coats were so disgusting, I had to keep making excuses to not touch them or be in their immediate vicinity all day.

Eventually we got back home and I felt a little ill as I looked the pile of laundry I had to get through. I also found the black lump of grossness I had tucked away into the ziplock bag and forgotten about (Merry Christmas to me!!). I momentarily thought about setting the whole thing on fire and being done with it, but then I decided to be a responsible adult and passing it on to the laundry/dry cleaning professionals.

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Fast forward a week and I’m glad to say that this whole process of getting all the laundry done was such a breeze. It took me like 3 minutes to put in an order for dry cleaning via the Honestbee app and everything was picked up within the day, then delivered back to my house all nice and clean 48 hours later (the fastest turnaround in the market).

I didn’t have high hopes that Theo’s jacket could be salvaged but just look at this beautiful specimen of cleanliness.

All the other coats came back spotless and smelling so fresh and nice after getting some first class dry cleaning treatment from Honestbee laundry.

I used to have to lug all my jackets to my dry cleaner lady and then go back to pick everything up 2 months later because I would forget and the stub would be in my wallet judging me until the lady calls me and tells me that all my stuff is taking up too much space in her shop and I’ll have to eventually go get them.

This new process is so much better and it’s not cost-prohibitive either because the prices on Honestbee laundry are very competitive, plus you can get an extra $15 off with min purchase of $25 using the promo code “15WASH. This code is valid until 31 Mar 2018 and is only for first time users.

christmas

Almost Christmas

2 more days to Christmas! It’s my favorite time of the year and it’s finally here.

Did you notice that everything is better when it’s Christmas. Cookies taste extra delicious, playground time is extra fun and the kids are generally less fighty because they’re too busy being in a constant state of delight. Every day, they’re like, “Is it Christmas yet?? How about now? Or now? I’m so excited it’s going to be Christmas!!

//It’s been over a week since we got back and we’re not done loading up on Hayley time. Urgh, just look at this face it’s so squishy I cannot.

I don’t think I’ll ever get enough of this baby but all the kids are also still fussing over her, cuddling her and holding her hand and reading her stories and feeding her their share of snacks and chomping on her chubby cheeks all day.

You’d think that she would be tired of all the fuss by now but this baby is thoroughly enjoying it, being all like “Yeah you know what? Just keep it coming, guys!!

It’s so adorable when babies are pleased with the attention because they cannot contain their delight. This is what an overdose of bliss looks like.

Over the years, I’ve learnt that the best way to spend our Decembers is to take a break from the usual routine and fuel up on special family moments. This means less stressing out about proper dinners or school stuff or bedtimes and having a spontaneous popcorn + PJ movie night or an extended edition game night or a can’t-sleep-let’s-go-for-desserts night. And I enjoy making these announcements because the kids are always like “WHAT?? For real??? Thanks mom this is the best day of my life!!” That’s a pretty low bar for #bestdayever if I’m being honest but hey, I’ll take it. :)

This year, I’m grateful for all the people I have in my life because they make it the best life a girl could ask for.

PS. Also, I love these guys more than anything and I can’t believe I get to keep them forever and ever.

PPS. Okay let’s get this party started! Merry Christmas from my family to yours!! 🎄