The not so free flow fountain

There are things that sometimes we as humans take for granted. One that tops my list is – PEE. Or rather the ability to pee whenever one might feel like. 

Nothing beats the strong surge of pee. You know that sound that comes along with it? Joy. I never really appreciated the soundscape until I had Urinary Retention. Not once, but twice.

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The online community was great support and I’m hoping that by sharing my journey, other ladies who are suffering from it now – the ones hiding in the toilet, googling away on their phone, trying to frantically find  answers just like I did, will wipe away their tears – Know it will and can get better. Continue reading

Screw this.

Before I became a mom, I wouldn’t know a screw from a nail or where the screwdriver was actually kept. Nowadays I’ve got my own nifty little screw set that makes me become Handy Mummy all year round.

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Mummy’s toolbox!

Never have I changed so many batteries in my life and now with the little one in tow the task seems to be never ending. From remote cars to cot mobiles the need for batteries are endless!

Anyone got tips or ideas on how to deal with this #firstworldproblem?

 

Been there, haven’t done that!

It’s been interesting having two children. You think, you really think that it would be easier but well it isn’t…at least for now. Do I miss having my ‘ME time’ when Callum finally goes to bed? Hell yes.

At the moment, ‘ME time’ are the five steps I take from  Callum’s room after putting him to bed into Sophia’s for her DreamFeed. Do I whine and complain? Yes. Does that take away the joy of knowing that these little people belong to us and only us (for the next 7 years at least)?  No.

Just as I thought I couldn’t love another as I loved my first, the second comes along and really tests how long you can make sense of the world around you with total lack of sleep and of course, how big our hearts are for another.

One would think that it might be the same yes? one dog, two dogs not much difference …so won’t that be applied to children as well? The growth spurts, the sleep (or lack thereof), the milk, the cries, the diaper changes, the child rearing. Been there done that? Not quite.

Ironically it is these “new” things that I have experienced in Sophia’s first four month’s of her life that made me realise how humbling it is to be a mother to another new child.

Five first things I experienced with the second

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The newest addition amidst the chaos

What can I say? In true Samantha & Michael fashion, the last quarter of 2013 has been a whirlwind of events. From dealing with the passing of Scoobie, crazy eczema that attacked my entire body, the near death experience at Callum’s swim school (this is good enough to have a post on its own. Soon.), Mister C who was admitted for mycoplasma after a week of sleepless and breathless nights, and oh yes, the baby that decided to say hi to the world a week earlier!

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So we packed & Perth-ed.

It was a hot afternoon at lunch as I was randomly browsing through typical social media pages which lead to the viewing of pictures of the ultra ‘cold’ winter this year, postings on the food our friends were having  and jokes about the politics that had become a circus show. I messaged Mike,

You know, it would be so great if we could just go to Perth for a bit with Callum. Especially before #2 comes, because you know we are going to be grounded for the next year or so.

And as if a ticking time bomb had just been activated, were started to make bookings, chose dates, called up the gynae for a letter and got all excited. (apparently our points were expiring so it WAS the perfect excuse) and within 10 days of that hot and sunny lunch at the bench at school, we were packed and all ready for Perth.

To some, especially Singaporean tourists, Perth is probably the 2nd most boring place in Australia (after Darwin or some may argue Adelaide) but to many who studied, lived or spent a good chunk of time there, Perth is a place where you can’t demand much from but fully embrace. I’ve always told anyone who visited Perth during our time there to not expect anything. I mean, after all the shops close at five and the roads are empty by nine.

But what you can and what I’ve always enjoyed were the experiences.  Early morning coffee to prepare you for shopping at 9.30, be greeted at check out counters and start chatting about the dress you just bought or comment about the drastic weather, actually see how car indicator lights work in traffic when drivers understand the meaning of ‘give way’, the blue blue skies, the nice sunny beam with the chilly wind and the food..

Oh the food!

Sure, it might not be as exotic nor crazily-msg-laden mouth watering but it has something special to make any overseas student who once lived in perth get food nostalgia.

We did discuss that since I was tired pregnant at 28 weeks and having to tug along a three and a half little person that this trip to Perth would be slightly different. No late nights, no beer guzzling, no crazy shopping but we for the first time, would try farm staying, saying hello to animals, have three proper meals a day and to head down south in a safe and orderly manner.

Watch this space for how the holiday went down, what I learnt as a mom and as a wife within the 10 beautiful days in Perth.

The day we finally made the cut

Hair. Something that would make or break a person, something we call our crowning glory.

I had my fair share of problematic hair days with the folks for me sporting a different color each month on spiked cropped hair – blonde, pink, red, blue, green, purple, ash etc.. How my parents coped with their daughter being a psychedelic smurf I don’t know. Let’s just hope that part of the apple falls far away from this tree.

Callum didn’t have much hair to begin with. At 6-8 months he even started loosing what looked like a few sprouts! We never felt the impetus to cut his hair, if anything I had enjoyed seeing him grow it out.

“He looks like a hippy.” My mom in law would comment.

6 months still no hair

6 months still no hair

Girl or boy?

Girl or boy? At 3 years old

It was until he was perhaps a year old that I realized a trip to the salon was needed and Lo & Behold our little prince wouldn’t allow anyone or anything to go anywhere near an inch from his head/hair face.

He would scream, punch, pinch, shiver, shake, cry, bawl, kick and grab. DVDs, iPads, iPhones, new toys, chocolates, lollies, balloons, car salon seats, you name it we tried it – nothing worked.

Even the kiddy salon aunty told me, “maybe you cut at home better lah” she gave up on us!
I would too if I had to follow this mom around the mall with a scissors and tissue trying to snip locks off her screaming devil possessed child!

The following year was a nightmare with me sneaking in a crooked snip during cartoon time, him not wanting to walk pass any “baby spa” kiddy salon type shops in the mall, having to deal with his fear of hair or anything that resembles hair that had fallen onto his arms, clothes, legs or anywhere within a 1 meter radius of his existence.

I gave up for a while and would sneak in a few snips during nap time. We bought books, played you tube videos and showed him pictures constantly. We brought him to salons to see how we got our hair cut, we allowed him to “cut” our hair, we bribed him with ice cream, toys, the moon.

What have I done? A question that popped into my mind every now and then.

However, slowly but surely at the age of three, he allowed for “only mommy can cut my hair” days – that equated to a shorter fringe every 6 months and even then, the ordeal was nothing pleasant. His dad would have to hold him tight while he shivered, froze and would only allow me anywhere close to his head for not more than 10 mins at each session. It was still, such an achievement.

We continued with the same old books and videos, constantly reading and coaxing every week & every month, explaining to him that while he thought mommy was the bestest hair dresser in the world, sometimes other people like “Nadia” from Getting a hair cut would do a great job too.

So one a fine day in September, something changed.

He wanted and really longed for a loopy loop race track. He had been looking at it for the longest time at the shops. Being three and a half, I thought I would try to speak to him again.
At first he was hesitant, but the temptation of the race track was too great. Ahhh age and the human condition has caught up at last.

It was a Friday, his dad had been prepping him in the morning about the trip to the salon. Grandpa and Nana skyped from China cheering him on.
You could see the uncertainty in his eyes, but each time I saw the fear, I roared,

“How fun would that loopy loop race track be?!”

D-day 27.09.2013- He took a nap in the car. I had made sure I packed the track into the boot and also just in case, had a smaller car ready for him to hold during the cut. I had packed m&ms, cookies, anything that he looked at as a treat.

I was excited and fearful at the same time. A nap in the car? Was I nuts? Won’t I be greeted by an uber cranky child that would not even want to get out of the seat let alone walk into a salon for the first time to get his hair cut? What was I doing? It was too late. I was already cruising on CTE wondering if a coffee playground date would do just as well for a Friday afternoon.

I parked and woke him up. He was cranky. I showed him the car, look! It is your favorite Audi r8! He was happy, he smiled.

“Are we ready for the loopy loop after the hair cut?” He nodded hesitantly.

Mom 1 Hair cut devil 0

We went straight up to the Salon. There were no balloons, no DVD screens, no fancy car chairs. It had no children, no bright happy colors, no Mickey Mouse characters smiling cynically in the mirrors.

What it had was a lady in a wheelchair, an uncle at the front seat and few older aunties chatting and getting their hair blown dry. No one turned to look at him, no one cared for him much.

I walked up to the counter and said,

“I need a kiddy cut. It’s his first time and he hasn’t gotten a proper hair cut since birth. The ladies looked at me perplexed. I warned them again, it’s his first time, he hates hair cuts and he hates salons. Let’s just see what we can achieve here today.”

Jossy aka Nadia (from the book) walked up to him,

“Ok are you ready for your hair cut?”

He shook his head. Looked down on the ground and started to sulk.

“Come on! It will be veryyyy fast. Ok?”

He looked up at her and said,

“Ok. But I don’t want the hair dryer please.”

She smiled and said,

“Ok. No problem. Look here, see I’m turning it off.”

He walked to the seat where there was a curved plank just plonked on top of the arm rests.

“Don’t they look like racing ramps? It’s a special seat just for race car drivers.”

Up he went.

Mom 2 Hair cut devil 0!

Jossy puts a cape over him and he starts to freak out.

Secret weapon release: Out comes the loopy loop track right in front of his eyes.

“Wooooowwwwwwwww! It’s the race track!! Wow wow wow mommy!”

The maneuver buys Jossy a towel tuck in, a scissors unveiling and a nice comb through.

He tells me in his shaky voice,

“Mommy please hold my hand. I just close my eyes ok. When it is finished then I open my eyes ok? I just close now ok?”

Happy as a cow, I reassure him,

“Sure baby, don’t worry my hands are here ok? Once it is all done we can play with your new race track and it will be so fun!”

Suddenly, he begins to open his eyes, mainly because he wants to check out his new toy but also tells me,

“Look I can open my eyes and get the hair cut. I’m not afraid any more!”

Mom 10000000 Hair cut devil 0000000

And as they say, the rest was history. He was so amused by how different he looked that he kept on wanting to see how much she could cut off.

“I am different now! I am so very different now!” He exclaimed after Jossy had finished.

And that was it, one of my biggest mothering milestones. I could have cried tears of joy and hugged Jossy a million times.

No one could have understood how I felt and probably thought I was some nutcase of a mom smiling from ear to ear.
A hard lesson learnt and I told him immediately after that we would be seeing her very soon again.

So there, after three long years, we finally made the cut. And boy oh boy was it a happy day for me.

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Eyes on the prize

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Weary

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Who is that in the mirror? Is it I? The great one who fear hair cuts?

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Smug.

Different much? Sure thing my little champion!