39 weeks + 2 days

October 2015

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Come this Monday, on the 12th of October, it will mark my 40th week in pregnancy. For the past one week, it has been sleepless and uncomfortable nights. Honestly, I do not know what to expect since my previous two births has been induced, natural deliveries.

Baby M is going to be our first spontaneous birth. Despite reading up online, the information feels insufficient. It is hard since both of us like to control as many variables as much as possible. One thing for sure is that both the little ones are very excited to meet their new sibling. They have been asking Baby M,’ Are you ready to come out now, Baby M?’

It has been a busy September/October, with plenty of changes in our lives, which I may update possibly in December when everything settles. At this moment in life, I feel immensely grateful for these changes even though there are challenges in itself.

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Ryan has started school in September. Initially, he was not used to the longer hours(as opposed to his daily 2.5 hours in nursery) but kids are really adaptable. He complains less about the long school days and shares more about his school life. Just yesterday(09/10), he brought home a very special sticker from his principal for helping out his music teacher. Okayyy… I know it is just a normal sticker to many of you. But for me, it is a proud Mummy moment!

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Gillian is our fighter baby. There are times when I feel so bad because it seems like I pay lesser attention to her but I suppose it brought out a more independent streak in her. At 2.5 year old, I think that she expresses herself very clearly. In comparison to Ryan at the exact same age, she is better at fixing puzzles, eating herself and seems to have better hand-eye coordination. As of now, we pray that her health will improve and maybe she will get into a nursery soon. (There is a long waiting list for both of the nurseries that we signed her up for.)

 The clock starts ticking for me and Baby M. It is still the waiting game…hopefully, Baby M will pop after our Char Kway Teow lunch at Little Penang on Monday.

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Mid Autumn Festival Weekend

27 September 2015

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This Mid Autumn is really special because it marks our move-in into our new place. So, you can imagine that we were very busy that day with the movers as well as transporting some of our personal items ourselves. At the end of the day, E treated us to a sumptuous dinner at Lotus and yes, I got my favourite dish- Lobster Yee Mien! After the move, we went for a Mid Autumn steamboat dinner hosted by Tawei and Yeeyin and the kids had their fill of fun playing with the children while the adults just chilled around.

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The first few days at our new place…

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This is one of the first welcome gifts we got. The tool kit came in the most useful of course. 😛

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Here are the kids with E, trying to fix up one of the first things in our house. Clothes hangers for the back of our doors from Ikea. Most of our furniture items are from Ikea or Wayfair. I suppose it is a much more different process than what we had back home in Singapore. Furnishing a home with kids in mind is a much less sexy notion. More often than not, we have to bear the kids in mind. It does not help that E and I are not aesthetically inclined… Maybe I will do a update of the house once everything settles.

E had to DIY many of our furniture that we bought. Fortunately, he is proving to be handier than what I imagined. It is a pity that Papa had to return to Singapore before the big move, lest he could be very helpful for this building and fixing process.

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The kids looking real excited. It is nice feeling to have the Ryan and Gillian being enthusiastic about the new place. Once we got our keys and showed them the place, the little ones were constantly asking to go to ‘our new home’. They definitely like our new place much better despite it being smaller than the previous apartments in London. I definitely do not miss the staircases at both of of the old places… Man… I really hate staircases. Not cool at all with young children around.

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E and the kids giving thanks for the first dinner at our place. We bought some frozen pizza from Asda and tested it out with the oven. Heehee.

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Come this December, it will mark our second year in London. I think so far, the journey has been really unexpected and exciting for everyone in the family. We will definitely be looking forward to getting our first proper Christmas tree and get the kids to spend time decorating it with Kimberly, the two grannies and their new little sibling!

Major love!

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Ryan’s Big School: Buying of School Uniforms/Shoes

August 2015

My eldest, Ryan will be attending formal school in September. Yes, I know time flies right! Just 4 years ago, he was a young baby waiting anxiously for Mummy to finish work so that we were able to drive to pick Daddy up before heading home. Now, Ryan is a young boy, with very good negotiation skills when it comes to getting his Peter Rabbit shows; he is becoming more dexterous in his playground play and he has a fixation with cars, fire engines, trucks as well as work tools.

Just a few weeks ago, we went to purchase the the school necessities for him, ala the tops, the school trousers, track pants, the fleece jacket, the jumpers, the cardigans, black shoes, black trainers the book bag, PE kit, and a school bag. Compared to Singapore, Ryan needed more items because of the cold weather. Honestly, E and I were shocked when the bill came. After talking to fellow parents, E and I realised we only needed to get specific items from that shop while the rest could be bought in the supermarkets. Lesson learnt. Read the school leaflet properly and check online before just going ahead blindly.

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We had Mac’s breakfast before we went to the uniform shop. Ryan also got his black Dr Martens school shoes at £32, which we thought was a steal. Heehee. The pending item was to get those name labels/stickers to put on the school items because apparently kids lose their things all the time. After checking with one of my NIE friends who is quite a lobang(deal) queen, Jessica recommended me to Stickers Garden. The response from the owner was really quick and I thought the variety of stickers were good and prices were quite reasonable. The items were sent to my mother’s address and they will be bringing over to London for the children!

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Gillian loves shoes. Hmm… yes. Not exactly a good habit. Actually. she likes anything girly. She is the typical ‘I like pink and anything princess-y’. Unfortunately, we seldom indulge her in these purchases as often as she would like to. She still have to wear Ryan’s hand-me-downs at home but she will always pair it with her pink ballerina tutu skirt. Hahaha. Ohwells. Having three children on a single income means we have to be more conscious of purchases. Let’s hope the kids will understand.

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After the finishing our uniform shopping, it was the Ryan and Gillian’s turn to have fun! Since it was a nice warm Saturday, we went off to a Weavers Field Park to exhaust the their energies.

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Regent’s Park

May 2015

E and I decided to bring Ryan and Gillian to my second trimester detailed scan and it turned out to be real hard work. The scan which was supposed to take on 45 minutes, stretched to 3 hours as the sonographers could not get the images that they needed for their calculations. We even had to take a short break at Mac Donald’s, hoping that baby pumpkin would change to a better position.

Whilst the wait was long, Ryan and Gillian did learn new stuff about their youngest sibling and also the use of an ultrascan. Towards the end of the scan, we found out the gender of our number 3. Ryan was looking forward to having a little brother but I supposed he did come about to liking the idea of having another sister as well. As for Gillian, she feels real excited about having another girl to play with. Still, despite the long and painful wait, the trip with the kids for the ultrascan was pretty educational since they have been pretending to be sonographers these days, putting their toy stethoscope and using a pillow as a fake screen to look at Baby M.

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The day started off with us having lunch at The Boathouse Cafe. Food was mediocre. I thought the kids’ macaroni and cheese was quite nasty. No kidding. It would definitely be our first and last time there. We would bring our picnic food there the next time. Initially, we planned to have a boating excursion before the scan but we were running late for our appointment(and one should never be late for any sort of medical/dental appointment in the UK. They will usually reschedule you for another time).

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As you can see from the picture, Gillian had some eye infection which made her beautiful eyes swollen for a couple of weeks. 😦 After about two rounds of eye drops with antibiotics, she is finally better.

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The little ones enjoying themselves at one of the playgrounds at the park. There is something about sandplay and my kids, just like flame and fireflies.

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The kids loving the sand play!

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The boys having some good time together in the park, roughing about. Sometimes it can be quite lonely being a SAHM in a foreign land. While there are playdates and playgroups to head for, it is inevitable to miss the comforts of having the extended family around, and this is awfully true for me since my family and I are very close-knitted. This is why days with E around to help me with the kids are very treasured and precious. There is always an extra adult whom I can talk to about Ryan and Gillian, to share my minute worries and joys.

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Read about one of our first few visits to Regent’s Park with my Papa Leon, my brother when they came over for a visit!

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Third Trimester Thoughts

July 2015

I am 12 kg heavier than what I was before pregnancy. Possibly the heaviest I have been for three of my pregnancies. For at least the past few days, my energy level is at a constant low. This is not looking too well considering how summer holidays have just only started and I have kind of promised the children that it is going to be fun. As of now, Day 5 of summer holidays, we have barely done anything.

On Monday, I had a mid-wife appointment. E and I left Ryan and Gillian in creche as we expected the check-up to be relatively long. I had my blood test taken as well as the whooping cough vaccine. Everything took about 2 over hours. Thankfully, the kids were not with us as they would not be able to take the long wait. The last time we went to the hospital with them for my second antenatal scan, the little ones were so restless. Well, that session took almost a painful 3ish hours. We totally felt for them. *sigh* To compensate them, we did head to Regent Park to have an hour of play before we went home.

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So, after the appointment, E and I went for sort of a mini date in town since the hospital is in the vicinity. We had lunch at Bao London which serves mainly taiwanese delights on super small scale, yet pricey portions. At least, they tasted yummy and were pretty authentic. The crispy fried chicken with hot sauce was amazing in particular. The items that I would totally give a miss would be the drinks. For the exact same price, you could get a good sized and yummy bubble tea from Chatime or Sharetime.

The thing is, after this whole relatively leisurely meal and a short walk, we got a call from the creche. Ryan, apparently had a temperature and it was quite high. In the end, we had to cut short our date to pick the poor boy and his sister up. For the next two days, it was mental torture for me as Ryan’s fever did not go off and we had to cancel our plans for the week. From experience, I know that seeing the GP would not be very useful either. They would usually send us home, with no medication, diagnosing the illness as viral fever. So, all we could do was to just constantly monitor Ryan’s fever, feed him with paracetamol or ibuprofen, get him to take lots of water and take lots of rest.

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After 3 entire days of fever, Ryan finally got better this morning but Gillian was down. *sigh sigh* As of now, both kids look relatively lively but I am still trying to observe to make sure the bug is really gone. It is really sad that for the past 3 days of cooping ourselves at home, the weather was really bright and sunny. I keep thinking that we could be doing this and that but of course, health is the most important. Fortunately for us, the kids had plenty of toys and books and most importantly, our television programmes to keep them occupied. Ideally, I would have wanted to do more productive home activities with Ryan and Gillian as well. But the night monitoring of the fever took it toll on me. I feel zombie-fied all the time. I am really praying that the kids stay healthy as much as possible.

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At this point in time, we are at the third trimester. Baby M(we sort of have a name and will reveal when she pops!) is definitely one active baby. Even more so at night when I am trying to sleep. Heehee. Well, I am not complaining. Always good to be moving, right? The two older siblings are excited to welcome their baby sibling and both of them are so diligent in putting my Sebamed anti-stretch mark cream(I will do up a proper blog post for that later!) for me. I do enjoy our evenings together when Ryan and Gillian massage my tummy and start talking to Baby M about their future play plans. (Baby M, you are so loved by all of us!) It is really adorable and yes, because of that short 15-20 minutes, the whole day’s hard work is worth it. I am totally working for intangible benefits.

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It will be a wee bit more(like about 2.5 months) before Baby M pops. Even though she is my third one, I am feeling just as nervous as the first time.

I am:

1. not looking forward to the labour pains.  I totally have very low pain threshold and am worried about the pushing. And when I can have my epidural. As it is my first delivery in London, I am really quite clueless on what would be happening. (-_-)”’
3. anxious and fearful of confinement month and breastfeeding!
4. apprehensive about managing three children, all under the age of 5 come January 2016.

Actually, there will be many changes happening in the later part of 2015, which I will update over time. Instead of constantly fretting, I just need to put all my worries into God and pray that everything will turn out according to His Will.

Do keep us in your prayers as well!
xxx

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The 5th Anniversary!

19 June 2015

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Here’s me and my love at Sticks’n’Sushi, Greenwich for our 5th year anniversary dinner. 5 years of marriage is not a long time but feels that we have done so many things together, almost having to make major decisions every year. I suppose to a certain extent, both of us took a leap of faith. Within 11 months of knowing me, the very brave E decided to propose to me and the infatuated me agreed enthusiastically. Looking back, I do feel that we were quite impulsive but thankfully, with God’s grace, things have worked out.

I suppose once can never know a person enough before marriage. Dating and marriage are very different stages. When we were dating, all we needed to care about was just the feeling of being in love, to constantly find ways to make your partner feel happy and surprised. During that period, E and I were just like any other typical couples in Singapore- we like to cafe-hop, we like to discover good hawker delights in Singapore, we dance, we enjoyed the night life and went for movies. There were very little concerns except for the fact that we were growing side ways.

The dynamics of a relationship changed when we got married and had kids very quickly. The focus of each other had to be shared between our lovely new additions as well as running of a household. Once upon a time, presents from Tiffany and Chanel would be very welcomed, they were almost like an indication of love. Now, what brings a smile to my face would be knowing that E goes off to work for our family, coming back to help me with the chores and spending time with Ryan and Gillian. The old me would totally have scoffed at how much I have changed over the years. I suppose my language of love have changed.

As a couple, we have experienced the most number of changes in these two years of our lives in London. One of the best thing that happened to us is perhaps starting to attend church and experiencing how Christ has worked in our lives and that of our children’s. Okay, to qualify myself, we are still pretty much the same. None of us has learnt how to speak in tongues or  even read the Bible daily. But, I suppose at least we are learning to lead more God-centric lives by remembering God in our everyday lives. We discuss about the messages being shared during Sunday sermons and also what we learnt during bible studies with our pastors. Somehow, having Christ in our lives brought some sort of peace in our relationship. While we still have our arguments and rolling of eyes, nothing seems to be that serious that cannot be resolved with God in mind.

God has been very faithful to our prayers and I think E definitely interested in opening up to Christ in his life as well. (Erhm… he used to be a rather strong atheist.) So, it is amazing how much things has changed. From my end, I will just have to continue to pray for a mentality to have God in the center of our relationship and family and that I will be a more supportive wife to E in our lives.

And so, dearest Mister E,
thank you for these 5 years of giving and love.
Lets welcome our 5th year year with our little new addition soon!
ilu, always and forever.

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Click on these links to read of my blog recounts of past anniversaries!
First: 1st year wedding anniversary
Second: 2nd year anniversary at Ao-Chan
Third: Terrific Three, Just what I was looking for
Fourth: Anniversary lunch at Tajima Tei

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Hewitts Farm with the Cousins!

June 2015

My cousins, Shawn and Shiyi came over in June for a short visit. It was really nice to have some familiar faces around in the house and the children were happy to see them as well. We brought them to some strawberries plucking at Hewitts Farm on one Sunday after church. (Yes, despite being on holidays, the cousins still went for church. I am very moved by their faith in God. In fact, they even bought the children and myself Christian books as gifts. So Ryan has received his 4th toddler’s Bible. No kidding. He owns 4 toddler’s Bibles now. Amazing! Because we came to London with no bibles at all.)

In comparison to last year when we went in July, the weather in June was much better. Warmer. And the strawberries were bigger, redder and definitely tastier.

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These were some of the strawberries that we plucked earlier in the journey. The ones that we picked later were so much bigger! In the end, we purchased £10 worth of strawberries and they lasted us about one week!

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I did not managed to take many photos as compared to my last trip as I feel incredibly heavy and tired despite just only being in my second trimester. This is what age did to me… 😦

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These are the photos taken by Shawn. Erhmm… super big difference because he brought the professional stuff! Photo quality is amazing! And it is rare that I am not the day’s photographer!

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We brought a milk carton filled with water to wash the plucked strawberries. From the smiles on their faces, Ryan and Gillian enjoyed themselves thoroughly. Summer’s gotta be our family’s favourite season! It is so awesome to be outdoors with the kids exerting their energies!

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While the job of strawberries plucking is back breaking, the experience is just awesome for the kids.

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Shawn and Shiyi, my awesome cousins! Thank you for spending time with us!

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Here’s a group photo taken with the GoPro!

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Back to my loyal camera’s photos…. Not the best quality but I still love you!

We had a picnic outside the farm store with food from the supermarket before heading to Bluewater Shopping Mall for some shopping! E and I were impressed with the array of stores and eateries at Bluewater. Given that it was a Sunday, it was not as crowded as Westfield Shopping Mall at Stratford. I can foresee that we will be heading there more often this coming winter.

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Because we did not bring alone the stroller, we decided to rent this cart to explore the mall with the kids.

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Here’s the kids having fun playing ‘train’ with their Daddy.

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