Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sew Fun!

I had the opportunity to attend Sew Fun's Baby Knits class and had fun making a bib and t-shirt for Baby Nico. It was an abridged version of their Sewing Knits: Ready for Baby class. The class was just three hours long on a Saturday afternoon. I was amazed that we could finish making a t-shirt from scratch in such a short time, given that many in the class were first timers. The class is suitable for beginners. So do not fear if the last time you touched a sewing machine was during your home economics class years back.

I enjoy working with the sewing machine although I am not really good, particularly cos I never really learned to do everything the proper way. I love pretty fabrics and I love being able to turn them into the things I want. Noah is now wearing Nathan's clown costume that I made a few years back and my Hungry Caterpillar Pillow Mattress is still being used. 

It was my first time working with knits. Always stayed away because I thought the stretchy nature was hard to handle. I was glad to learn that it wasn't all that difficult, and I need not stick to woven materials all the time.

The instructor started off by introducing us to the sewing machine and teaching us how to thread the machine. Perfect way to start for beginners. Then we went about our first project - a bandana bib.

My sewing machine for the session

It is a simple project to get us acquainted with the machine. Mostly straight lines. Pretty forgiving. Not too daunting.

Bib in progress

Ta dah! A bandana bib for Nico.

Nico's new bandana bib

In the second half of the class, we worked on our t-shirts. No more pictures of the t-shirt in progress cos I was too busy sewing (and unpicking)! But here's the final product...

The class gave me an opportunity to work with knits and I learned that sewing that t-shirt wasn't as difficult as I imagined it to be.

I think it's about time I sweep off the dust on my sewing machine and start using my fabric stash.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Hello Baby Nico!

Dear Baby Nico,

You arrived to much fanfare on the 1st day of the lunar new year. At week 38, mommy was getting quite impatient but you seem to be really comfortable in the safe confines of my womb. Carrying you felt tougher than when I was carrying your two kor kors. Probably because mommy's getting older and also because of all the running around I still had to do with your dear brothers. Boy, we were so glad when you finally decided to come out and meet us. We checked into the hospital on the eve of CNY, at about 10pm after tucking your brothers in bed, and you were born shortly before 2am. Daddy didn't even get a chance to warm up the companion arm chair in the labour ward. The labour proceeded swiftly. I remember experiencing excruciating pain and wishing with all my might that it'll be over. I think God knew exactly how much pain I could tolerate, and brought you out to see the world in His time. You ended up being the first baby born by natural birth in the Year of the Goat.

While I managed to write birth stories for your kor kor, and chronicle their first year month by month,  it is a rather daunting task now that there are three of you. BUT, you have the love, hugs and kisses of two loving and protective kor kors, and I'm sure you'd grow up well with their company.

So here's your first six months in pictures...

At birth

1 week old

2 weeks old

3 weeks old

Thank you card for Aunty Fong

Sleeping thru at 10 weeks old

10 weeks old

3 months olds

Celebrating Aunty Liza's Birthday

4 months old

Reading with kor kors

5 months old

Flipped from tummy to back

First foods

Celebrating Singapore's 50th

Canon Ball?

6 months old

The first month went by in a blur for mommy... you woke up every 2 to 3 hours to feed and the sleep deprivation took a toil on me. When Aunty Fong came, she took care of the night feeds and I got more rest at night. She was such a blessing. Thankfully, you stopped needing to be fed at night shortly after she left, though you still woke up once or twice almost every night, and needed to be soothed back to sleep. It is so much fun when you started smiling and babbling. Your brothers kept asking to hold you and readily helped to care for you. You've brought us so much joy and we can't wait for you to start walking, talking and joining in your brothers' adventures.

Lots of love, hugs and kisses,

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Primary 1 Registration

I was feeling rather emotional when it came to filling up the registration form. My first born is starting formal education next year. He has been looking forward to it and I am also feeling rather excited about this new beginning. And yet, I cannot bear to have him grow up so quickly.

Coincidentally, registration day fell on our wedding anniversary. D was planning to take leave so we could go back to his alma mater to process Nathan's registration... Then proceed for a nice breakfast before picking the boys up from school. Unfortunately, a biz trip cropped up and I ended up having to do the registration myself.

The process was pretty quick and fuss free. Other than some people I expected to meet, I also saw a couple who attended an antenatal class with us almost 6 years ago. It was the only antenatal class we attended, cos after one round, we were quite the experts. Hee!

After registration, I walked around the school grounds and snapped some pictures for Nathan. Also popped into the school bookshop to buy a little gift for Nathan - a jotter book with the school crest. There, I saw the bookshop bookshop aunty up-selling to the boys...

Aunty: Do you want to buy this mechanical pencil? It's NEW!

Was rather tickled by it. Got to teach Nathan how to say no, lest he gets tempted and ends up spending his recess money at the book shop.

Nathan's really looking forward to Primary 1. Noah on the other hand, seemed rather sad... When I picked them up from school, Noah asked, " Is today Kor Kor's last day in SJ? He goes to Primary 1 tomorrow?"

Noah is not the only one who's glad that it's not happening tomorrow. I am not ready to wake up at 6am every weekday... Not just yet.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

And then there were 5...

I meant to post this before Nic's birth... but only managed to get down to it when he's 3 months old. :P

When I was a little girl, I dreamt of marrying my prince charming, becoming a mom and having two children - a boy and a girl. After marrying the man of my dreams, we went on to have two adorable children, two boys born 18 months apart. Was I disappointed when I found out that I was going to have another boy the second time round? Yes. Was I glad that we went on to have a second boy? Yes. I confess that the gender disappointment was real - I had always wanted the experience of bringing up a girl... And I imagined being able to do girly stuff with her, share secrets and dish our advice from mom to daughter. The disappointment soon faded and I am so thankful for God's gifts of two healthy boys who've completed our family. D & I are content with our family of 4, and never really thought of adding to it.

The first couple of years with an infant and a toddler were difficult. I was still working full time then and by the end of each work day, I'd be exhausted. Yet, seeing their bright smiles and cuddling up with them each night made all the hard work worth it. As the boys grew older and more independent, things got easier. We got back our uninterrupted sleep, enjoyed spending weekends outdoors, and went on short holidays a couple of times a year. Gone were the days of middle of the night feeds, diaper changes and baby food. D & I were enjoying parenthood so much, we started talking about having another child. But we were comfortable and weren't too keen about going thru another round of baby care. With another baby, our finances would be further stretched. Our attention and time would have to be further divided. I think I had enough love in my heart for more children, but the realities made it more a "no" then a "yes". As for the boys, Nathan has always been keen to have more siblings. Noah on the other hand, is happy with just one Kor Kor, and wasn't too keen on becoming one himself. Somehow, Nathan managed to convince him that having more children in the family meant more fun. Noah became more receptive to having a sibling. And so... we went on to have a third. Being pregnant the third time was more tiring than I remember it to be. Perhaps it was because I was running a full schedule with the boys and was handling childcare, cooking and cleaning by myself. It being the third and probably the last pregnancy, I decided to do a maternity photoshoot. Hardly had any photos of the pregnant me when Nathan / Noah were in my tummy. So I'm glad I have these photos which remind me of the days when a precious little being was growing inside me. Photos were taken at The Studio Loft, and these are some of my favourites.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day

I heard about B&J's FCD from a fellow mum at school. I contemplated bringing Nathan on a special one-on-one date when Noah was attending chinese class. I knew it was something he'd enjoy and yet I was thinking twice as it meant leaving the baby home with the helper for a longer time... Ever since the baby was born, I find myself rushing from place to place and trying to be home as quickly as possible so as to relieve the helper from baby care duties. At the same time, I do feel guilty about not being able to spend more time with the older boys. After much deliberation, I decided to make the detour after picking Nathan up from his enrichment class. I didn't tell him where we were going... I was thinking of abandoning the plan if I could not find a place to park or if the queue was too long. Didn't want him to be disappointed should that happen. Thankfully we found a parking space near the tents that they had set up for FCD. It was only after I had stopped the car that Nathan asked me where we were going. "They are giving out free ice-creams. We can get one if the queue isn't too long". His eyes lit up and he gave me a big smile when he heard the good news.

We made our way to the tents and as he saw the signages from a distance, he said, "over there mommy!"

With a skip and a hop in our steps, we headed for the queue... Nathan looked me in the eye and said, "thank you mommy". Those three words did it for me.  On days when motherhood is taking a toll on me, that was all I needed to hear.

Thank you B&J! It was a simple date that refueled both our love tanks. :)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Newborn Photoshoot

I love holding babies up close. I love the smell of their skin, I love having their tiny hands around my fingers, and I love looking at those tiny toes. They are only tiny for a bit. In a blink of an eye, they'd double their birth weight, and be tiny no more.

I did not engage any professional photographers for my first two babies and I wish I did. I do not have many photos to show of those early days... At that time, we were struggling with being first time parents and were just living from one milk feed to another. I hardly had the time nor the energy to take many photos. When Nicodemus was born, Orange Studios contacted me to ask if I'd like to do a photoshoot for Nic. I jumped at the opportunity. It is recommended that the photoshoot be scheduled within two weeks of baby's birth. Babies put on about 200g a week in the initial months, and hence, you can imagine how much they change in a short time, appearance wise. Nic's photoshoot was done when he was 12 days old.

Orange Studios brought all the props that were required and the photoshoot was conducted at home. For us, the shoot was conducted in the living room where there was natural light streaming in.

A behind-the-scenes shot of Ryan at work

With the shoot conducted at home, I did not need to pack and bring along a big baby bag and could feed my newborn in familiar surroundings when the need arises. Ryan, the photographer, went about setting up the backdrop and calibrating his camera to suit the lighting conditions, while I tried feeding Nic. We wanted to give him a full feed so he'd sleep thru the entire photography session, but Nic had other ideas. He just wanted to sleep. Oh well... so we went ahead with the shoot. Wini, Ryan's trusty assistant, went about swaddling Nic in earth tone wraps and Ryan started snapping. Not long into the shoot, Nic decided that he had enough sleep and wanted some milk. And so we took a milk break... then a pee break... then a poo break. And then, I tried getting him to sleep. But this time, he decided that he wanted to stay awake. Oh well... the shoot wasn't proceeding as I had liked it to. But Ryan and Wini were extremely patient. They waited while I fed him and cleaned him up. The entire shoot took slightly over two hours including break time. The Orange Studios team took the cue from the baby and the session didn't feel rushed at all.

Another behind-the-scenes shot taken in my garden

These are some of my favourite shots from the session...

And when the little prince decided that he had enough of lying down, and wanted to be cuddled, we did some mommy and baby shots...

The Orange Studios team managed to capture a good number of shots despite a less than cooperative baby, and this collection of photos will serve as precious and timeless memories for us.

Are you planning a newborn shoot? Here are some noteworthy points:

1) When is the best time to do a newborn shoot?
The best time for a Newborn photoshoot session is when your baby is under 2 weeks old, to capture those very precious moments when he/she still has the "newborn look". After 2 weeks, they look  very different!

2) What are Orange Studio's charges like? Any additional charges for sessions conducted at customer's house?
We are currently offering an SG50 promotion in which you will get to enjoy a free Maternity photography package (worth $300) when you book a Newborn session with us. You will enjoy a total savings of $550.

For just $350 (U.P. $600), you will enjoy the following:
- pre-photoshoot preparatory/consultation call
- 3-4 hours Newborn studio photoshoot session (outfits, props and backdrop provided)
- one 8R professional print
- four 5R professional prints
- free delivery of professional prints
- $100 credits for use on our products

Above promotion is for SG50 babies (born before or on 31 Dec 2015). Terms and conditions apply.

For Newborn home sessions, there is a surcharge of $150, as Orange Studios will be transporting all their props along, including a large bean bag for your baby to rest on during the photoshoot session.

3) Anything for parents to note; any preparations required?
Orange Studios provide outfits and props for newborns, hence parents do not have to prepare any special outfits for their babies. We would love for the parents to have a relaxing and comfortable experience, hence they do not need to prepare anything special. They just have to take note of a few things: - ensure they bring enough milk if their baby is bottle-fed, to last through the long session - bring along magazines, books or snacks for themselves while waiting during the session - come dressed in layers as the studio will be very warm (comfortable temperature for newborns), so that they can remove the outer layer(s) if they feel warm in the studio. Other than that, just come and enjoy the session with their family!

Orange Studios is offering one free Newborn photography session worth $200 to one lucky reader of The View from Mama's Desk. It consists of a 3-4 hours studio photoshoot session for an SG50 baby. Baby must be less than 2 weeks old at the time of the photoshoot.

To take part in the giveaway, readers would have to: 
b) leave a comment telling us why you want to win this prize
c) leave your email address so we can contact you if you win
Submit your entries using the Rafflecoptor below!

Giveaway closes 26 April 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Embracing Motherhood

It has been about 3 weeks since I became a mother of 3, and it has been tiring to say the least. I have always found taking care of a newborn challenging... The sleep deprivation, the engorgement and other breastfeeding issues, the cries of your newborn, the emotional roller coasters... It was tough with my first baby, tough with my second and now with my third, not any easier. But the day they look you in the eye and give you that first smile, all tiredness melts away and you feel like the happiest mama on earth.

As a little girl, I have always dreamt of marrying the man of my dreams and having children. But I never knew what being a mom entailed, until I became one. The first month with my first born was probably the most trying period of my life. I was knocked to my knees and I found myself asking God for strength and wisdom for the parenting journey. There was so much to worry about and so much beyond my control, the only thing I can do, is get on my knees and pray. Thankfully, the first month went by in a flash and the subsequent months parenting an infant was easier. Baby started sleeping thru the night and I got the sleep I craved. Baby started making eye contact, cooing and gurgling as you sang, and letting out squeals of laughter as you made funny faces... What joy! I went back to full time work when my maternity leave ended and coming home to my baby was what I looked forward to after a long day at work. In that first two years, we experienced many firsts... First smiles, first steps, first hospital stay, first words, first tantrums... Along with it, we experienced joy, anxiety, sadness, excitement... And life was so much fuller with the addition of a little one.

Even though I never quite enjoyed the newborn phase (especially now that I am going thru it again), I have enjoyed every moment of being a mother. Truly, "the days are long but the years are short". On days when I'm exhausted and running on reserve energy, I wish nap time would come by quickly so I can take a much needed break... But when my children's birthdays roll around, I find myself holding back tears as I sing them a birthday song, just cos I can't bear to have them grow up so quickly. Not wanting to miss out on their growing up years, I made the decision to quit my full time job three years ago, with my husband's blessings. Being a stay home mom has been truly rewarding and I wouldn't trade it for any other job in the world.

Motherhood is nothing I imagined it to be, but everything I want it to be. I am thankful for these three boys who call me "mommy" and I pray daily that God will help me be the mother that He has called me to be.

Children are a heritage from the Lord,
    offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.

- Psalm 127:3-5

This post is part of a Blog Train hosted by Dominique at Dominique's Desk. Hop on the train to hear other mums share about embracing motherhood.


Next up, we have Christy who blogs at Kids 'R' Simple. Christy has 3 young lovely children and she wants them all to know that motherhood is no easy task. She wrote down her thoughts and struggles of being a mom, and wants her children to know that being a mother is not about sacrificing everything and losing her identity as a woman, but it can be an enjoyable journey if they follow her list. Every mother has her own set of advice for her children, stay tune tomorrow at Kids 'R' Simple to find out what is Christy's list of things that she wants her children to know about motherhood!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

You are 4!

Dear Noah,

We have been counting down to your birthday and it is finally here! You have been looking forward to turning 4 and when you woke up seeing the "1" on the clock in your room... You exclaimed, "look, 1 on the clock. It's my birthday today!"

I think the best present for you this year is a baby brother to call you "Kor Kor Noah". You have been the sweetest Kor Kor around... Asking "when is baby going to come out", as we waited for baby's arrival; wanting to hold baby Nico so often and singing to him when he cries; being patient with mommy when I couldn't attend to you as I was busy with baby Nico; and playing quietly by yourself when I needed to take a nap. You make a great big brother and I hope the three of you will always enjoy growing up with one another.

I thought you were showing signs of being displaced when you started asking to be carried, to be fed, and wanting mommy / daddy to take a shower for you. Know that you always have a special place in my hearts, and mommy and daddy loves you all the same.

Some things about the four year old you...
1) Your favorite superheroes include spiderman, Incredible Hulk, Michelangelo and Luke Sky Walker.
2) Thanks to daddy, you know quite a bit about Star Wars and enjoy flipping thru ur Star Wars encyclopedia by yourself.
3) You love eating strawberries, kiwis, dragon fruits. You requested for a chocolate cake with strawberries for your birthday cos Kor Kor likes chocolate and you like strawberries. You are thoughtful in that way... Always thinking about the ones you love.
4) Your eyes sparkle when I praise you for a job well done. I believe "words of affirmation" is your love language just like your daddy's.
5) You enjoy story time and wouldn't go to sleep until we've read you a bedtime story. You can read simple readers by yourself (from memory) and love reading to mommy, daddy or kor kor.
6) You never fail to amuse us with your wise cracks, surprise us with your Lego and origami creations, and exasperate us with your 101 questions.

It has been a joy raising you and I continue to pray that you will grow in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Happy birthday Noah Baey!