Two of Us

Married life #22

On Christmas Day when we were having a pre-movie quick dinner at Mos Burger

Me: Hey, I’m surprised that you didn’t order fries.

Him: I don’t like their fries.

Me: Why not?

Him: I just never did like their fries.

Me: Why? I love their fries. Maybe you only like skinny fries.

Him: Yes, I have a thing for skinny fries.

Me: Oh hur hur, very funny. Well, it’s a good thing that I like fat fries then.

Him: That’s why we are here having this conversation.

Me: And what a stimulating conversation it is!

***********

On the night of Boxing Day, while watching The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. We are laughing uproariously…

Me: (lets out a tiny fart) Damn! Pregnancy is so unglamorous. I keep having these little farts these days when I laugh.

Him: It’s okay. That’s what I do to you too.

Me: THE FUCK?!?!

Him: You mean you never noticed?

Me: NO!!

Him: Oh.

Me: You are such an arsehole.

***********

Happy 12th anniversary to my love.
This time next year, it will be you, me and a little somebody.
In the meantime, I am happy to have had you all to myself for the past 12 years.


Photo taken during our trash the dress shoot by the awesome Alywin

The organised chaos

The simpler life

Turning 30 this year has been nothing short of life-changing. While I used to cringe at getting older in my youth, I’m not terribly concerned about it these days. Bring it on, I say. There’s always Botox (and a boob job), hah!

No, the change has nothing to do with the numerical sort. It’s more of a gradual transition in mindset.

It started when I decided to quit the rat race and go into education. The salary disparity would have put me off in my 20s but this time, it didn’t take me too long to throw in my resignation letter with one hand and hand in my acceptance letter with the other.

If you know me in real life, you would know that I am a very vain person. I love my bags and shoes and pretty frocks. Having that drastic pay cut would mean a pretty dramatic change in my, uh-hmm, shopping habits. Suddenly, though, it didn’t seem to matter anymore. Yes, I still love the beautiful things in life but they no longer take precedence. If I can’t afford to buy my own Chanel purse, then so be it. The change in environment, better hours and joy in teaching would more than make up for the lack of a pretty handbag.

Also, let’s face it: I am not in any danger of looking like a bag lady. I have enough outfits to stockpile for the next year, post-delivery. In fact, I have more than enough and that should suffice.

Not a moment too soon after, the nugget popped into my life. And in the past five months, I find myself shifting more and more towards a simpler way of living. We cut down on eating in restaurants during the week days, skip the cabs in favor of buses and trains, go for budget holidays and buy things that are on sale or with vouchers. Our weekend plans include catching up with friends, exploring new coffee joints and jaunting about parks, not shopping at malls. We plan on staying in our HDB flat for a long, long time. Heck, we are now smuggling a bottle of water from home into the cinema instead of buying sugar-laden soda drinks. For the past three years, we have opted not to own a car and even now that we are approaching parenthood, we are looking at buying a vehicle that is functional and – dare I say it – cheap.

We are not completely frugal yet, we could do better, but we are definitely streamlining our lives.

And honestly? I love it.

In my 20s, I was chasing after a dream, both material and spiritual. I wanted to be somebody. I wanted that damn Chanel purse by the time I am 35. I wanted to be that woman with a fulfilling job, shiny hair and high heels. Now, the dream has shifted and I finally find myself feeling confident, happy and at ease.

I am still somebody – just not the person whom I thought I would be when I was younger.

The organised chaos

Christmas 2011

And here we are again. Another year, another Christmas. 
Last Christmas eve, we spent the morning at the clinic undergoing our sixth IUI of the year. We were cheerful, optimistic and full of hope. We told ourselves, this time, this time it will work.
 
It didn’t.
My heart broke into pieces. 

I cried, put me back together again and then moved on.
 
But look at us now, a mere 12 months later.
 
I’m sitting in bed, my legs aching from all that time spent in the kitchen chopping and cooking and washing up. I’m listening to my favorite Glee music on the earphones, typing away on the iPad, while husband gives me a heavenly foot rub. And guess who is sharing in my music, moving his tiny ass in time?
 
(Answer: not husband.)
 
Why, my little nugget, of course!
He’s the tiny human that we have created so unexpectedly, so miraculously. He is the answer to all the prayers that I thought God had ignored. He is the little one who has brought so much hope and love into our lives. He is the son we never thought we would ever have.
 
And I am ever so grateful that he is here with us, even if it’s in utero.
 
Next year, I tell myself, next year he will share our love for Christmas and we will create traditions for our family.
 
(He also already has Christmas outfits in his wardrobe but let’s save that for another day.)
 
But while this Christmas has been a blessed one for us, I know that there are many out there who are still chasing the dream. There are those of us who keep getting our hearts smashed to bits, which make us wonder why we continue going at it?
 
I know.
I was once there.
I don’t know when everyone’s happily ever after will materialise but one thing that I am pretty sure of is that we will get there eventually. We will have our happy ending, no matter which form it takes.
 
You will get there.
 
Merry Christmas, everyone.

 

Bun in oven

The 26-week belly

When I look at this picture, all I can see is that bulbous thing in the middle of my face.
Yes, it’s called THE NOSE.
Does it not resemble Jackie Chan’s?
Even Mr Thick was like, DUDE. That thing is BIG.

This little man of mine makes me sooooo ridiculously paranoid.
On Sunday, he hardly moved at all and I was all IS HE ALIVE?
I poked and prodded him till he gave me a few half-hearted kicks.
Hmm.
Turns out, the nugget was either snoozing away or having a growth spurt or something.
Cos we are back on again, ladies and gentlemen.
The human circus in utero is playing once more at a womb near you. Mine.

26 weeks is turning out to be fabulous.
Despite the insomnia caused by a certain somebody.
Who apparently sneezed in his sleep so violently, the entire bed shook and made me think, in my grogginess, that he was having a nightmare and shouting.
At 4bloody30am.
This person may or may not also have dropped his mobile phone from the bed at 4bloody30amagain this morning, hence waking me up.
I forgive him though.
We have been lowering the temperature of the aircon these days because mama here is SUPER HOT STUFF.
Yes, of course am sexy and Fabulously Gorgeous, but more so because I’m burning up like a furnace.
The poor man’s been freezing under his skimpy army singlet.
Told him to stop airing his pits in his sleep but would he listen to me? NOOOOO.

In other news, I am looking forward to Christmas and our holiday to Hong Kong.
Gawd, I love travelling with the man.
Or maybe, I just love the man, period.
Otherwise I wouldn’t be knocked up, would I?

Two of Us

Christmas @ east end

This year, Christmas has come a little later to east end.

We’ve been both so busy, our weekends have been completely booked solid in November and December. It’s just madness, really. Where has the year gone?

Another reason why we are a little tardy with the tree is because we decided to do away with our fake plastic tree and get a real pine one from Ikea. The fake tree was driving us up the wall: setting up was a pain, it was dusty and disgusting from the previous year and it kept shedding even though it wasn’t alive. Gah!

The real thing only arrived in Ikea at the start of December and we had it delivered around mid-month. And then we were so swamped, we took a while to put up the decorations.

So here you go, a little slice of Christmas in our home.

Christmas has finally come home to us.

Photography

Friday Photo Dump

I’ve been taking loads of photos using the Instagram app on my phone but it’s only recently that I started uploading them onto my Flickr page.

That app? One of the best that I have ever used. All those filters are so damn addictive!

Here’s what I shot over the past week in today’s edition of Friday Photo Dump.

Tree is here, decorations are up, presents are wrapped - Christmas comes home
The little man has got loads of new things from Petit Bateau!
Porridge set at Ochacha - simply delicious
Satisfied my waffle craving in school
Found this furry critter in our bed one morning
Mid-morning "snack" that lasted me till 3pm
Two of Us

Half and half

This post is a little outdated, considering that the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon has been over for at least a week and a half. But hey, accolades are meant to withstand the test of time so better late than never!

So earlier in the year, I decided to sign up husband for the half marathon. Yes, you heard me right. He’s been bragging that 10km races are no longer incentives for him to train because he can simply run with little preparation so I thought it a fab idea to put his money where his mouth is. Except that it was MY money because I PAID for his registration.

As expected, the man had so little training, I was genuinely worried about him running the race at all. I mean, he is no spring chicken and he’s going to run from Sentosa to the Padang? Hmm. But he was all gungho and confident about it so the plan was for him to go forth and run without killing himself.

He actually completed the damn thing! Granted, he jogged for the first 10km (operative word being JOGGED, seeing how he actually could stop and take touristy snaps with Speedy Gonzales at Universal Studios Singapore) and took a leisurely stroll for the remaining distance. But he didn’t utilise the $10 note that he had stashed in his pocket for emergency cab fare so hurray for him!

Perhaps the full marathon next year then?

Bun in oven, Health Goddess

When darkness came

It hit me like a tonne of bricks from out of nowhere.
One moment I was smiling at a photo of the utterly unglamorous Emi Kat that husband had sent, the next moment my stomach was clenching and trying desperately not to hurl.  
Tanah Merah, the announcement said.  
I closed my eyes and willed my chirlish stomach to behave.  
Breathe, just breathe in, relax.  
The bile continued to rise.  
Come on, breathe in, breathe out, relax.  
I opened my eyes and was startled to see that the world had turned darker, and my vision was as grainy as an old analogue TV set.  
Shit.  
I closed my eyes again to block out that sight.  
It’s going to be okay. Breathe in, breathe out, relax. Shit. What do I do? Should I get off the train? I don’t think I can make it out without collapsing. Okay, let’s stay on the train, keep breathing, it’s gonna pass.  
The music playing in my ears grew faint.  
Suddenly, I couldn’t hear anything at all.  
Damn it.  
I pulled the earphones out and tossed them back into the bag.  
I didn’t want the reminder that I was blacking out.  
Damn it, I am not going to black out.  
Kembangan, the robotic female voice announced.  
I opened my eyes.  
Everything was pitch black.  
Shit. Breathe in. Breathe out. What do people do what they are blacking out. Oh yes, they put their heads between their knees. Yes.  
I bent as much as my stomach and bag would allow, in my seat.  
C’mon, breathe in, breathe out. That’s right, keep breathing.  
I felt the sweat pouring down the sides of my face, slipping down my body, plastering my hair to the back of my neck.  
Just breathe. It will pass. Come on.  
Aljunied, the announcement rang out bossily.  
I sat up and forced my eyes open.  
The world was getting clearer.  
I dug into my bag and fumbled for my phone.  
He picked up on the third ring.  
Hi, don’t freak out but I almost fainted on the train…  
 
***********************  
The growing uterus is shoving everything out of the way, the doctor explained, and this causes your blood circulation to be slower.  
 
It’s just a lack of oxygen supply.  
It’s one of those pregnancy things.  
It’s quite common.  
 
I know.  
I didn’t panic.  
I’m fine.  
I’m thankful that I had a seat on the train.  
 
But it’s yet another reminder that I’m sharing my body with the little man and I have to take it easy, even if I think I can charge full steam ahead.  
 
I can’t.  
 
I have to take better care of myself.  

Bun in oven, Health Goddess

Being late can be good

Me and husband, we are pretty bad at timekeeping.

When I used to work at the Agency, we’d both set the alarm for 7am and only roll out of bed at 730am. Okay, I would roll out of bed at 730 while he gets up a whole 15 minutes ahead of me.

Well, somebody’s got to prepare breakfast, right?

Somehow, we are just absolutely terrible at being punctual and it’s of no surprise that on Saturday, we found ourselves running late for our hospital tour (for the delivery of the tiny human). Now, it wasn’t my fault but his – he had to run an errand with his mother and she came by to pick him up 30 minutes late. This was how we found ourselves arriving at the hospital 15 minutes late for the tour.

Not that we missed much, really. The administrator showing the group of us around was shrill and ineffectual, holding up pictures of the different types of wards in a clear folder and shrieking, “Can you see? Can you see?”

No ma’am, I cannot see and I certainly didn’t come all the way to the hospital to look at pictures through a clear plastic sheet.

And when explaining the differences between a family suite and a single deluxe room, she said, “Oh everything is the same except that a suite has a living room for your visitors. If you want to pay $1,000 extra for your guests to be in the living room, then the suite is for you.”

Mmmkay.

Thankfully though, as the tour came to an end, we asked the administrator if she could show us around the Delivery suite since we had missed out on that. She looked startled and replied vehemently with a series of wild waving at the rest of the group, “I can’t! I can’t! I have to…”

By this time, Mr Thick was getting impatient with her. He asked her bluntly if we could check out the Delivery area on our own and she squeaked out a yes. With an epic roll of our eyes, we left her and the group and went off by ourselves.

The delivery ward was silent and there was nary a person when we made our way in, feeling like intruders. I rang the bell at the counter and miraculously, a nurse appeared less than 10 seconds later. And she was lovely! She showed us the different delivery rooms, answered our questions and even offered to get the nurse manager to speak to us.

Sister Ng was a gem. We asked her questions about hypnobirthing and she told us that all we had to do was to put down our wishes in the birth plan, and the nurses would follow them through, as long as it was endorsed by our doctor. She shared with us the different types of labour tools that they had, and even told us to fax in our birth plan to her for a quick look so that she can advise us on anything that might not be viable. She spent a good 10 minutes with us despite it being lunch hour and was generally kind, warm and friendly.

Now, we feel more assured about delivering in the hospital and knowing that our birth plan will be respected.

See, it does pay to be late!

Bun in oven

The 24-week belly

And just like that, we have been properly pregnant for six whole months.

These two weeks have been all about being thankful. Not a day goes by without the two of us feeling grateful that we have a little somebody sitting snugly in my belly. Just like my friend P – who is glowing and looking seriously radiant despite it being the hardest, heaviest weeks of her pregnancy! – I thank the big guy up there for gifting us with life every day. Yes, our journey hasn’t been easy but all that doesn’t matter now. What matters is the present and the future.

I had a scare the other day, when I started getting cramps that lasted for more than an hour. Usually, the twinges and aches come and go but these were like waves of period cramps that were occasionally painful and persistent. Thankfully, there was no bleeding. By late afternoon, the cramping subsided and I resolved to relax and trust my body to do its job as an incubator.

On another note, pregnancy brings with it a whole host of things that are designed to bring embarrassment to the mother.

First of all, the infamous pregnancy brains have besieged me! I could be speaking to husband about something and all of a sudden, I would forget what it was that we were talking about. Or I’d scan my brains for the right word to use, even if it’s something as simple as “ice-cream” or “milk”. I’d go, “err err the err err” and flounder like a silly, brainless bimbo while he laughs. Or I’d ask him to pass me the iPad, open up Safari and stare at it, wondering what it was that I had wanted to search for in the first place.

I don’t know what the relationship is but DAMN THE HORMONES.
That’s my motto. If in doubt, BLAME THE DAMN HORMONES.

I’ve started feeling Braxton Hicks contractions. Actually, it was Mr Thick who first noticed how hard my belly was and a quick consult with Dr Google tells me that it’s nothing to worry about. If these practice contractions are anything like the real thing, then yeah, labour totally feels like taking a great big dump.

And of course, let’s talk about the various orifices that the growing uterus has been putting pressure on! Cos we are DYING to know ALL about farts and pee, don’t we?

It’s like the uterus is expanding and shoving aside all my other organs, going “SCUE ME SCUE ME” like a typical Singaporean. The bladder’s been pushed unceremoniously to one side but THANK GOODNESS for the fact that I was born with a bladder of gracious steel. I haven’t been plagued by the nightly visits to the loo that I have heard so much about YET so the lack of sleep has mainly been due to external reasons.

Like, oh, THE MAN I MARRIED AND WHO KNOCKED ME UP. And who just FARTED IN HIS SEAT.

Speaking of which, we were lounging on the sofa just now after a yummy dinner that I cooked (COS I IS NIGELLA) when we started laughing about something. I was laughing so hard, I FARTED. We stopped, stared at each other with the “did you hear what I just did” look and then laughed even harder than before.

If this is how labour is going to progress, man, I DO need to bring my aromatherapy diffuser to the L&D suite.