The organised chaos

Hairy business

I am going to put this down in black and white: I AM GOING TO GROW OUT MY HAIR.

See, for the past 4.5 years, I’ve resisted growing my hair out. I was able to patiently get my follicles to be all nice and long and Hagrid-like back in my undergraduate days because it meant I got to save money on haircuts. Also, I wasn’t that vain back in those days and didn’t care about tying up my scraggly ends and looking like a hobo.

And then I got married and decided that long hair was a drag. I cut all that weight off and since then, I haven’t been able to grow it past my shoulders. Every time I walk into the salon, convinced that I am just going in for a trim, I walk out with hair that’s chopped off in a major way. I cannot, just CANNOT say no to those sassy short cuts.

The irony is, I’d always look at the glossy pictures in the magazines and fall in love with those gorgeous girls with long, wavy locks. And I’d think, I want that. And then the next time I see my hairstylist, everything gets snipped off.


Not this time. I solemnly state that I will have longish hair come Christmas.

The last time I had long hair was back in 2008…

Aidan, Friends

The picnic that wasn’t

If you have been reading my blog long enough, you’d remember the fiasco that was our wedding.

Okay, to call it a “fiasco” is not to give it enough credit. It was a beautiful night and we did have loads of fun. But it certainly did not go the way it was supposed to.

We were meant to have a beach wedding but we got rained out 30 minutes before the ceremony started. It was, to put it crudely, a OMGWTFBBQ moment.

(Sidenote: I have a slight suspicion that the Universe NO. LIKEY. US. I mean, we planned for a beach wedding and got rained out. We planned to have children and were made to jump through crazy hoops for, like, two years. I was all geared for a natural birth and ended up on the operating theatre, being gutted like a fish. If I am living in a Taiwanese drama serial, I would be staggering at a beach, shaking my fists at the sky and shouting, “Why, God, why?” In the meantime, the rain would be pouring around me and then I’d get struck by lightning. Yup.)


A few days before our little man’s birthday party with our friends, miss ene asked if we had any friends who wouldn’t be comfortable with having her dog Moon around their kids. Why would they? I asked. None of my dear friends are that sort of people. We don’t worry about pre-school enrollment years ahead of time, we don’t bother with flash cards. No, not my friends.


So for Aidan’s first birthday, we decided to have a picnic. I didn’t want to have an elaborate party with magicians and whatnots. I just wanted to have a small and simple gathering of those who love us and, in turn, love our boy.


We made pinwheels. And packed pretty wooden cutlery sets from Sucre Shop. And bought glass bottles with cheery yellow covers. And ordered yellow chevron straws to go with the bottles. And made little packs of snacks, crayons and bubble mixture for the kids. And fluffed out our lovely picnic mat in preparation.

The day started off beautifully enough. It was hot, so hot that we joked about getting a tan. I checked and rechecked the NEA website, which assured me that the southern part of Singapore would stay dry in the afternoon. I said a little prayer of thanks.

Then as we started our drive to Botanic Gardens, the dark clouds loomed low and threatening. Friends started sending us text messages, updating us of the weather conditions of their locations. My heart sank.

By the time we reached Botanic Gardens, it was absolutely pissing with rain. There was to be no picnicking at all.

In the end, we sought refuge at Food for Thought. Thankfully, miss ene was there to help us organise and arrange for tables. We were frazzled and completely exhausted from running around, ensuring that everyone had a seat and was comfortable.

And then, it hit me. As our friends and their littles gathered around the table singing Aidan the birthday song, I realised that he is very loved and so are we. And that it didn’t matter how we celebrated. It was who we celebrated with that mattered.

None of our friends complained about the rain on that day, just as they did not complain about the rain four and a half years ago. And just like on our wedding day, they brushed aside our apologies and told us not to be silly.

They came, despite the torrential rain, and celebrated our little man’s birthday with us.

And that’s what was important.

(You’d think we would have learnt that lesson four and a half years ago but nooooo…)

Aidan, Motherhood


In the week leading up to my darling boy’s birthday, my oven died. It literally died. I couldn’t get it started without tripping our electricity.

I almost cried.

I had been so set on baking a birthday cake for the little man. And the oven had the audacity to DIE. I couldn’t get the repairman in early enough and it seemed like I wouldn’t be able to bake that cake after all.

A birthday cake.

Wow. My little was turning one. And I was gonna bake him a birthday cake.


Aidan has never been one to kiss us freely. We’d ask and sometimes he would deign to stay still enough for us to plant a smacker on his lips. But most of the time, he would turn his head away.

One evening, before his bedtime, we were in his room playing with him, as we did every night. Suddenly, he crawled over to me and threw himself over my lap, which was his way of saying CARRY ME.

So I did. I plucked him from my lap and held him up and gave him a hug. And suddenly, he leaned over and gave me a huge kiss on my lips! I laughed and told him I loved him, and he replied, “Ugh ugh ugh ugh.” Which was his way of saying I LOVE YOU TOO. I think.

And then he did it again. Leaned right into me and kissed me. Again.

He never repeated that feat again, not on us anyway (he enjoys kissing his books when we ask him to). But that moment? Pure magic.


We celebrated his birthday the weekend before the actual day. He had three parties: one with our dear friends, one with my in-laws and then one with my side of the family. Oh, he is so loved.

During that last party, my family members crowded around our dining table as he sat in front of his cake. They sang him a birthday song with much zest and gusto, clapping as they sang. He laughed and clapped in return, and made everyone so thrilled that they sang him the birthday song three times.


We didn’t buy him a birthday present.

But I think that our love, devotion and undivided attention is present enough for our first-born.

(I did make him that cake after all. Prepared the batter and had his wonderful, wonderful Aunty Dotz pick it up and bake it for us. Made the frosting, brought it to the party venue and frosted it right before we sang the song.)


My baby boy is one. One week in and I am still trying to get my head around it. He’s been such a beam of sunshine in my life and for that I am grateful.



Saturdays. Our favourite day of the week.

We get to spend the entire day with the little man. We do the things we love: going out for brunch, checking out new cafes, working up a sweat by walking, enjoying our home. And we do it all with him.

Yesterday, we spent a rainy afternoon indoors at homebodies, the latest venture from the people behind my favourite Smitten. As I drained the last of my flat white, I looked at the empty cup and said to husband, “It’s always tragic – TRAGIC – when I finish my coffee.” Complete with dramatic hand gestures for emphasis. What! I love my caffeine.

I really like the sunlight that pours in through the large windows (well, as much sunlight as the poor, drenched sun could muster), the large wooden tables and the cosy atmosphere. Wistfully, I thought of how I could sit there for an entire afternoon, working on my laptop and taking little breaks with Lula or Frankie.

Maybe one day.

Our late lunch comprised of a kurobuta hot dog for me and a wagyu hot dog for him. Both were good.

60A Boat Quay


Am Beautiful Mama?

Well, apparently somebody other than myself thinks so. Hur hur.

Katrijn (who’s recently welcomed their second child into the family, go say hi!) has nominated me for the Beautiful Mama award. And since it’s not like I am constantly receiving awards (and also because work allows me to BREATHE! now), I shall gladly endeavour to follow the rules of the award:

1. Talk about three things that I love about being a mother
2. Nominate as many deserving mamas as I like

Here goes…

Motherhood makes me a more humble person.
The truth is, I had never doubted my ability to spawn mini-mes. Infertility is something that nobody ever talks about. When you try for months and months and get to nowhere while others simply breathe and get pregnant, it hits you like a tonne of bricks. It hurts.

And now that I have my little man, I find myself thanking the big guy above every day. Even on mornings after a night of ravaged and little sleep, I can’t help but smile at and love the kid with all my heart. Because he is here.

Also, watching him grow and develop has been a privilege like no other. Abilities that we take for granted – walking, running, even good ‘ol farting – are skills that babies need to learn. It amazes me to see how nature and nurture combine to unlock these abilities in the little ones.

And this is how and why motherhood takes me down a peg. Or two. And I love it.

Baby kisses, laughter, smiles and hugs are awesome.
No matter how bad the day has been, no matter how weary I am, everything is erased and the slate is cleaned when I get to see my little boy in the evenings. The way his eyes light up at the sight of me, the way he smiles and reaches his little arms out towards me, the way his legs kick in excitement…I instantly become a new person again.

I love the way he pats my chest when I carry him, the way he cheekily turns away when I say “KEEEEEES!”, the way he babbles in the car seat when I am driving us home.

Everything. I love everything about him.

He is my mirror and more.
Being able to see myself in my son is such a funny, fuzzy feeling. His smile, the way he bites on his lower lip, his talkative nature – these are my traits that were genetically handed down to him.

At the same time, he makes me more aware of how I behave. Little persons have such strong abilities to mimic the adults that I am trying to be a better person for him.

Now, although I am supposed to be nominating three mamas for this award, I’m not going to do that. Instead, I am giving this out to all mamas reading this because we are all beautiful in our own ways. So go on, grab this for your own blog if you want to!

Aidan, Motherhood

365 days, reset to zero

Today marks the very last day of my little man’s first year with us.

This time last year, my waters started leaking. Husband and I looked into each other’s eyes, and calmly tied up all loose ends before heading to the hospital. Without saying a word to each other, we knew that this was an intimate experience, something that we wanted to share between ourselves only. We switched off our phones, kept social media out of it, and quietly faced what was coming.

At 4am, my son was born.
And my world changed in that moment.

365 days. A year.

A year has flown past, just like that.
It’s been such a journey, an adventure, the steepest learning curve I have ever encountered.

But the joy! Oh, such pure intense joy and love.
I thought I knew what love was, all along. I thought I had been through it all.
I thought wrong.

A famous quote from author Elizabeth Stone goes like this: “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” And it is true.

The love we have for the little man is unparalleled. It’s deep, and intense, and so raw. I look at him everyday and think to myself, “We made this?!” Because it’s so unreal that he is here, especially given all that we have gone through. And it’s such an amazement to see ourselves mirrored in him, and to discern the aspects of him that is him and him alone.

I’m not an over-protective mama and yet I can say that my protective instincts are fierce and selfless when it comes to him. We try not to practise helicopter parenting but I will not hesitate to stand up for him and his well-being if the need arises. Lord knows how much friction this has caused but I stand firmly by my parenting values and philosophy.

Parenting is such an evolutionary process, we are constantly learning everyday. Not just about the little man, but about ourselves too. It can be a little scary sometimes, because we honestly don’t know what we are doing. I mean, this is a first time for us and Aidan’s personality is as new to us as we are to him.

And so, we celebrate.

We celebrate his existence.
We celebrate his milestones.
We celebrate our achievements.
We celebrate the joy and laughter that he has brought us.

And more importantly, we celebrate our family, which feels even more complete than ever.