Friday, July 08, 2016

Dear Gabriel - You've turned 3!

We celebrated Gabriel's 3rd birthday last Saturday.


How did he get from this....

to this? That's his latest hairstyle courtesy of Daddy!

How could my second-born be a kindergarten kid already? To me, he will always be my baby.

Of all 3 boys, he seems the most Asian because of his tanned skin and fiery temperament. He used to be a pretty demanding baby and only the good Lord knows how I survived his first year. But now that he's well into his toddler years, he's been such fun to be with.

He talks so much these days - that's one thing I do miss about him. Since he started kindergarten, we no longer do leisurely breakfasts together anymore. I pack his breakfast, let him sleep in till about 8am and he has his breakfast at kindergarten around 9am.

1,095 days flew by just like that. He's such a little man now. I look back at the time and am always so thankful and grateful that my little boy could be Mummy's little boy for 3 whole years. Being a Mum is truly one of life's greatest blessings.

Seeing that his birthday falls in June, I expected to have good weather and so went ahead to invite people for a potluck picnic where the kids can play at the playground while the parents chill in the sun.

But to my utter despair, the days leading up to Gabriel's birthday and the days after were bright and sunny, but it wouldn't stop raining on his birthday. It was dark, gloomy and wet. I kid you not.

We settled for an indoor picnic instead and oh boy, am I so thankful that we kept the list of birthday attendees short! Our apartment just doesn't do big birthday parties well. The noise level of a children's birthday party goes through the roof.

After much deliberation, we decided to get Gabriel a play kitchen. Unfortunately, one week later, the kitchen is not up yet because one part was spoilt! We have contacted the manufacturer but have yet to receive a reply. Nevertheless, Gabriel is already over-the-moon with his kitchen accessories like a chopping board and vegetables! 

Without further ado, here's my letter to Gabriel.

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Dear Gabriel

You turned 3 last Saturday.

We had an indoor picnic at home because of crappy weather and surprisingly you only had girls your age at your party! You're a friendly little boy but you do take some time to warm up to new faces. Bearing that in mind, we decided to keep your birthday party small because we didn't want to overwhelm you (and us) with a large number of children.

Much to your delight, Mummy made you your favourite salmon sushi. At first, I couldn't make the sushi fast enough because you kept eating whatever sushi I had made. In the end, Mummy had to hide the sushi from you for the sake of your guests.

You started kindergarten 2 weeks ago and took to it like fish to water. You look forward to going to kindergarten everyday and would even be disappointed if you couldn't go because you slept too late at night. We're still going through a period of adjustment at the moment because even though you enjoy kindergarten, you get so exhausted that you barely can make it through the afternoon without your afternoon nap.

However, if you do nap, you would fight your nighttime sleep until midnight! Mummy is still trying to figure out how to help you best without both of us going crazy. Help us to help you ok?

Being our second child, you have always been tagging along with your older brother's friends whenever we do playdates / playgroups. As such, you don't have many friends of your own but we know that its only a matter of time that you will find your own groove at kindergarten.

You seem like an audio person because you pick up words by singing. Mummy and Daddy have often been surprised at how you repeat songs that you have only heard on CD a few times. Oh and you love singing! We're thinking of signing you up for some music school.

You continue to have a very healthy appetite its such a pleasure to watch you eat anything and everything! One thing we've noticed about you is your sense of determination. You're pretty cautious by nature, so you would weigh your options before trying something new.

When we were in Legoland, which happens to be your new favourite place, we watched you scale a really high rope ladder thing. It took you so much determination to do that because you kept watching how the older kids did it before finally deciding to attempt it yourself.

Mummy's heart swelled with pride when she watched you scale that 2-storey rope wall. Once up there, you realized how high you were and started panicking a bit. Your older brother rushed over to "rescue" you and helped you to slide down the long slide back down.

You're talking a lot these days and it's so very interesting to have proper 2-way conversations with you. Like your older German brother, you're very interested in cars and have even started recognizing the different brands of cars on the streets. Your favourite pastime is lining up cars to indicate traffic jams!

Oh, you've started praying over your meals! Usually this is the job of your older brother, but you decided one day that you wanted to give thanks to God so you could start eating. You're usually the first one at the table and first one to eat. It was so heartwarming to hear you say a full prayer!

Our fiesty, determined, stubborn, strong-willed, funny, smart, talented 3-year old. We love you to the moon and back. May the Lord continue to guide your paths, expand your heart to love those around you, channel your determination to develop into a steadfast faith in God and fill your days with adventure, joy and zest for all things new!

Love,
Mummy & Daddy


The birthday train making its debut again


Mummy's maiden foray into salmon sushi using fresh salmon!

Ari's caprese in a stick

Hot dog rolls

Ham and cheese rolls

Tuna / Egg mayo sandwiches


Hub's chocolate cake for the birthday boy

Gabriel and his girlfriends. Guess where Sam was hiding? He absolutely refused to get his photo taken!


Opening the presents. Sam and B. were clamouring to open Gabriel's presents!


All my 4 Tews boys in one pix!

Trying to get him interested in one of his kitchen accessories




One of the cheapest but most fun present - a pull-and-fly helicopter
Gabe with his ever-so-doting Godparents

Glimpse into their future with 3 kids?

My little world of Tews boys and me!

Friday, May 06, 2016

Life with 3 kids - The real stuff

People have been asking me how life as a Mom to 3 kids has been. I find it hard to sort out my thoughts to answer honestly and yet I find it very superficial to just say "Oh yeah, it's been fine". So in the confines of my blog, I shall attempt to paint a picture of what life has been like for the past 4.5 weeks.

To sum it up, life has been hectic and I'm feeling very much out of my comfort zone.

Transiting from 0 to 1 kid was life-changing. Nothing prepares you really for the arrival of your firstborn. You can read all the books you want, listen to all the advice from other parents, but your experience with your kid will never be the same as what someone else experienced with his/her kid.

Transiting from 1 to 2 kids was much easier for us compared to 0 to 1. Sam and Gabriel are pretty close in age (22months), so I was still in the changing diapers / strollers / playgroups stage. As such, I didn't have to alter my lifestyle much to welcome Gabriel into our family. 2 hands for 2 kids. Easy-peasy right?

Introducing a 3rd kid to our family is the first time we are outnumbered.

Even when the hub is home, we are still a ratio of 2 adults to 3 kids. Alone, I'm at a 1 to 3 ratio. As I said, out of my comfort zone.

The good thing though, is that Sam and Gabe are very much able to occupy themselves when I'm busy with Liam. I no longer have the worry that the one kid is too "bored" or needs to meet up with fellow toddlers because these 2 brothers have each other for play and company.

They have also been providing very good company to Liam. Sam would often be the first to attend to a crying Liam and that in itself would buy me a good 10-15 more minutes. I would often lay Liam on the sofa during dinner and sometimes after dinner, Sam would bring his blanket to the sofa and lay next to Liam. Gabriel would follow suit and they would have their little sleepover on the sofa.

SO cute right? I can't even begin to say how my heart swells with pride!

Mealtimes are still tough.

Hub came home at 8pm today so I had to settle the kids for dinner. My in-laws help me out on Monday afternoons with the 2 older ones and today, they brought them to the playground since the weather was awesome.

Dinner was almost ready when Liam started crying. Obviously I couldn't attend to him immediately since I had to set the table, distribute the food and start the boys with the food before I could tend to the little one.

I have this bobby nursing pillow which I put on my lap to nurse the baby so that I can eat my meal at the same time as well as feed Gabriel. Both boys are very much capable of feeding themselves but as what every Mom would know, children can be picky about what they eat. Left to their own devices, Gabriel would eat nothing but rice and Sam eggs.

Last Thursday, I managed to bring them to playgroup for the first time since giving birth 4 weeks ago. We were 30 minutes late (surprisingly not because of the newborn but because the 2 older ones had to do their business just before we left the house).

That meant that my boys only got seats at opposite sides of the table. It was quite impossible for me to help both of them with craft. I was shuffling between the two boys, trying to help them with their "Mother's Day" cards (yeah, I made my own Mother's Day card). And all this time, I had to keep an eye on the infant in the carseat to see if he was still asleep or not.

After playgroup, when the kids were playing on the field outside, I had to use two eyes to keep an eye on 3 kids. Liam is still immobile, so that's one less kid to keep a look out for in terms of prospensity to danger.

I've mastered the skill of maintaining a conversation with a fellow Mom, while keeping my eyes on 2 children who dart around the vicinity. But at one point in time, Liam started crying and in my bid to quieten him down, I wasn't able to maintain visual with my other 2 children. That's when I realized Gabriel was wandering off to our car which was parked at the side of the street. I had to yell at him to stop!

It's true that the more kids you have, the more you know you have to depend on God. I can't be at all places at the same time, nor be 100% attentive at all times. I need to be more consistent in praying for the safety of my kids especially at this fearless toddler stage.

It's pretty much a balancing act, but at least I know from experience, things can only get better when baby grows older and we are more adjusted to having a 3rd baby in the household. 

I so do love being a Mom. There are so many moments in my daily life that I know I will cherish and ponder in my heart. My parenting skills may be far from perfect and I know I'll make many mistakes, but I also know God's grace is more than sufficient for my flaws.

Hub is also such a great Dad. Compared to with Sam, the hub is also so much more relaxed with Liam. It's so heart-warming to watch the man of your dreams grow to become the Dad of your dreams. We are so blessed with him and am so thankful at how he held the fort post-Liam's birth.

The hub was at home for about 4 weeks, while working in between for a couple of days. He makes us wonderful omelettes and I actually have a proper breakfast complete with a butter crossiant and latte macchiato when he's at home.

And don't ask me why, but hub seem to have an ability to make Liam take his pacifier. Somehow his success rates are way higher than me. I blame it on the fact that I breastfeed and the second Liam smells me, he refuses to take anything except the boob.

Yup, that's my life in a nutshell. Wouldn't change it for anything in the world. I'm reminded of this verse and am so grateful to the Lord for blessing our family.

"Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance." Psalm 16: 5-6

This pix pretty much depicts my life now

 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Dear Liam - 4 weeks old

In line with my tradition of writing love letters to my children, I shall endeavour to do the same for our littlest one, Liam....

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Dear Liam

You've turned one month old already! We so enjoy having a newborn in our house again. You make the cutest mousey sounds when you sleep and we're all so intoxicated with your delicious baby smell! Having a baby is like being on drugs. One smell from you and we're all totally addicted to you!

Personality-wise, you seem pretty calm and mild-tempered. But you're still able to turn up your volume when nobody tends to you. You do give us a grace period of about 5 minutes before you scream at the top of your lungs though.

Like many newborns, you've got your days and nights mixed up. Most days, it's almost impossible to keep you awake during waking hours. Your eyelids droop whenever you breastfeed and it doesn't matter what I do, you enjoy your milk so much so that you drift off to la-la land as soon as you're done feeding.

However, come nightfall, you wake up every 2-3 hours and drink like you're starving. One night when you were 3 weeks old, you stayed awake for 3 full hours while on your feeding marathon! I could see your opened eyelids in the dim night light and I was just shocked at how owl-like you were!

You seem to be pretty gassy and have problems trying to burp after each feed. Our hearts hurt whenever we hear you grunting and flexing your tummy muscles in your bid to get rid of gas. That said you're already getting much better at burping and we pray that in time, you'll be an expert in burping and farting! Oh, the simple joys of being a parent.

Mummy's milk supply has been pretty good and since you only drink from one boob each time, Mummy stores up "leaked milk" with my milk saver. With this invention, I'm able to freeze up 150ml of liquid gold everyday! The sad thing is, my leakage is slowing down but at least there's still quite a substantial milk stash for you!

We are so thankful and grateful to God that you were born healthy and fine!

We did have a scare during the first trimester scan, which resulted in Mummy changing her gynae and going to a specialist for a second opinion. It turned out that it was a false alarm and the specialist gave us the green light that everything's progressing as per normal. That said, we opted not to go for an amniotic fluid test because we knew that we would keep you no matter what. You're a gift from God and we're going to trust that God knows what's best for us.

In addition, Mummy was diagnosed with gestational diabetes for the first time, so I was on a diet that consisted of less carbs and more proteins. You were therefore poked in your feet and had blood taken from you 4 times on the day of your birth to test for low glucose levels. Thank God that you passed all of the tests with flying colours, so you didn't need any more intervention.

We did your newborn photography a week ago and look forward to seeing how the photos turned out!

Your two brothers are fascinated with you. Sam takes on the protective older brother role who keeps "reminding" me that you're hungry whenever you cry. To him, a crying baby = a hungry baby. Gabriel is slowly warming up to you. He tends to lie down next to you whenever nobody is watching and he's beginning to connect with you. Lately, he even started saying, "Mummy, I like Liam."

You're blessed. With 2 older brothers doting on you and ready to protect you. Although you've only joined the Tews family 4 weeks ago, we can't imagine not having you in our lives anymore.

We are truly blessed to have a 3rd boy join our household and are excited to see how you develop through your milestones and what God has in store for you. Children truly are a gift from God and we intend to cherish you every single day!

Lots of love
Your Mummy & Daddy

Monday, April 04, 2016

Liam Owen Tews - Birth story


The 3 Musketeers!

This is my first post as a family of 5. Five! Oh gosh, I'm beginning to sound like a Mother hen.

We got discharged yesterday after a 3-day stay at the hospital - our shortest so far. With Sam, we stayed for 5 days because of the unplanned C-section and with Gabriel, we stayed for about the same period of time because of his jaundice.

What can I say? Liam's birth was the fastest and best birth I've had, out of 3 children.

Best birth does not equate to painless birth though. I'm still sitting on a ring pillow now and having the typical after-birth pains that most mothers would know about.

But Liam's birth was so good in comparison to my other 2 births that I can only overflow with thanksgiving.

So, with  no further ado, here's my birth story.....

(Open popcorn...)

30.3.2016 (Wednesday) - At exactly 39 weeks pregnant

4.30 am.- I felt intermittent cramps that jolted me awake. They were very mild compared to the usual labour cramps so I just monitored to see if the cramps would get more intense / regular. I felt so exhausted that just the thought of going into labour at this unearthly hour made me wanna faint.

I asked the hub to get me a warm water bottle which I put on my belly. I was so thankful when the contractions faded away as I slowly drifted into sleep again. My sleep was fitful but still gave me the rest I needed for the big day ahead.

9.15am - Got out of bed with Gabriel. Went to the toilet when I just couldn't shake off the feeling that something was not quite right. I felt a lot of pressure down there and even walking felt weird and uncomfortable.

9.20am - Contractions restarted and very quickly increased in frequency from once in 10 minutes to once in every 5 minutes. This time I knew it was the real thing because the contractions radiated from the back to the front and they were very regular. It was exactly the same type of contractions I had with Gabriel.

Called my midwife to inform her about my contractions, to which she said that I should go to the hospital if my contractions came every 5 minutes. But I was not supposed to drive.

Was quite appalled that hub went to work that morning even though I distinctly told him last night to have a home office day, judging by the fact that I had some irregular contractions.

He on the other hand,  either didn't hear what I said in his sleep or happened to dismiss those contractions as Braxton hicks, which I've been experiencing very often in this pregnancy.

Had breakfast with Gabriel while trying to figure out what to do. He was so cooperative and even brought his clothes / shoes / jacket to wear while we were getting ready to leave the house. 

Called my father-in-law to come over but FIL couldn't make it because he had an X-ray appointment at a specialist due to a dislocated shoulder.

Ahh.... told myself to focus in between the contractions. Who could I call next?

9.50am - Decided to call Yvonne (Sam's Godmother) who would come with one kid and take care of Gabriel. But she would need 30 mins.

Tried calling hub 5 times but couldn't get through to him.

9.55am - Hub calls me back and said he would drive home immediately. He would still take 40mins.

Decided I needed a backup plan just in case I felt that I needed to go to the hospital earlier, so I called my cellgroup leader, Marcy would said she would drive over. She would take about 15 mins.

10.45am - Hub finally makes it home and we drive to the hospital. Called Marcy to tell her I wouldn't need her service anymore.

11am - Yvonne meets me at the hospital and we pass Gabriel to her.

The wireless CTG that I was strapped up to. That's baby's heartbeat on top and the bottom one indicates my contractions

What a labour ward looks like. Spot the CD player? I used it to play some calming music.

Before the contractions got too painful

11.15am - We enter the labour ward, when my midwife examines me and says I'm around 5-6cm already. I was so elated because that was also the starting point for my labour with Gabriel. I tell myself that I can do this! I'm more than halfway done.

My water bag had not burst yet but I thought I should labour naturally to give the water bag a chance to burst normally.

12.15pm - I progress from 5/6cm to 7cm.

Was quite disappointed that it was only 1cm progression in 1 hour (which is actually a normal dilation rate). By this time, the contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes and were getting increasingly more intense.

Midwife and I agree to wait until 1pm to see how far I get.

12.45pm - I decide that enough is enough and I didn't want to wait for water bag to burst naturally anymore. Midwife manually bursts my waterbag and I felt temporary relief in the pressure down there.

Contractions come fast and furious and I keep asking for epidural. Midwife keeps telling me that my contractions / dilation have been so effective that I don't need epidural.

1pm - Contractions were so painful that I really regret not getting epidural. I was about 9cm by now.

Kept telling my midwife I need epidural, but she said that as soon as I feel a pushing sensation, an epidural is not going to help with the pushing phase anymore. 

I did feel the pushing sensation but kept reasoning with her that with Gabriel, I did have an epidural a 9cm. She kept encouraging me that I can do it without epidural and baby will come after a couple of pushes.

I asked her if she could use a vacuum (cos we had that for Gabriel), but she said that it was too early to use a vacuum. Asked her if there's anything else I can use, that's is betweeen drugless and epidural and she said there's nothing else.

PANIC! Argh.

I start pushing and everything else was a blur really. I just remember thinking "Ok, the head is out, can she not pull out baby?"

But she was like, "No, Frau Tews, YOU need to push out the baby".

Me, "NO way!"

(Save you further details of the last stage of labour).

1.25pm - Liam Owen Tews was born with his whole head of black hair.

Photo on the right was taken just an hour after his birth

Liam Owen Tews
3.46kg, 51cm

I was totally completely shocked and in disbelief that I managed to have a drugfree, painkiller-free, epidural-free birth!

Totally natural birth that was done in a matter of 4.5 hours of active labour (9am to 1.30pm)!

Liam was born 25 mins after my midwife burst my waterbag!

I had a little bruise down there but it didn't need any stitches. The pushing phase was also short and effective, so I didn't have the same problems I had with Gabriel's birth either.

I actually felt "OK" after Liam's birth! With Sam's birth, I felt like I was hit by a truck - twice, with Gabriel's birth, I fainted after giving birth and with Liam's birth, I was whatsapping with my group of girlfriends from Singapore throughout the birth process and could continue whatsapping with them after Liam was born!

I got wheeled into a double-room with an excellent, panoramic view of Stuttgart. I didn't have any roommate the entire 3 days I was there, so we had the peace and quiet to just be by ourselves - Liam and I.

I must say that this is the first birth that I felt so empowered as a woman. I have nothing against taking epidural and as a matter of fact, I was so certain I would have taken epidural if my midwife had not been so encouraging towards me about going for a natural birth.

I do feel that epidural is like a crutch psychologically. I was labouring so well when I kept thinking that I could use epidural if I couldn't take it anymore. But the second the option to have epidural was taken away from me, I could feel myself panicking on the inside - even though nothing had changed much about the contractions!

The bottom line is that I felt that with each subsequent pregnancy, I've been blessed with better labours and recovery period. I was honestly quite traumatized after Sam's birth that, the thought of going through labour with Gabriel again scared me the most. But once I had a VBAC with Gabriel, it was a healing process for me that not all births have to be that traumatic. And with Liam's birth, not only did I have my second VBAC, it was all-natural, short and very smooth!

And if you remember what I blogged about before, I was very worried about being induced if I went past my due date. So for the fact that Liam was born at 39 weeks, I was totally saved from having to go through the dilemma of should I wait or should I be induced.

Yeah, so that's my testimony of how God knew what was going on inside of me. He knew exactly what my worries  / desires were and oh how He helped me through every single worry!

- No induction, cos baby was born at 39 weeks.

- No epidural, all-natural birth with 4.5hours of active labour

- No tears / episiotomy, just a bruise that didn't require stitches

- Short hospital stay of 3 days. Liam has some jaundice but PD said that its minor enough for him to be breastfed regularly and it should resolve itself with time.

- Having a "single" room with a panoramic view of Stuttgart for 3 full days. Didn't have to share room with anybody and could enjoy my baby in the privacy of my own room

That's the view from my room. Gorgeous, isn't it? And doesn't the hub look so relaxed? Like the "This is the 3rd time I'm doing it, so I know what I'm doing" look!

Sam looks so "Ahh...I've done this big brother thing before" while Gabe looks so "Hmmm... hope I'm holding baby alright!"


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For those who are interested, here's the birth story of Sammy,

And here's the birth story of Gabriel.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

What Good Friday means to me

We went to church today and I was very touched by the Good Friday service. I've been a Christian all my life (sort of), but today I was so reminded of the type of death Jesus died for all on the cross. He didn't have a painless death, he had such a painful and excruciating death that disfigured him so badly that he was beyond recognition.

Jesus could have come down from the cross to rescue himself cos he was without sin. But he could not save himself AND mankind, so he sacrificed himself for the sake of mankind. The wages of sin is death and someone had to pay the price.

In  my reality, I don't know anybody who can possibly do that except a parent. Only a parent could possibly possess enough love to sacrifice his/her life for his/her child(ren). I certainly wouldn't be able to do that for someone I do not know or do not love. I probably wouldn't even be able to do that for a friend! Ask me to give up a vital body organ for someone who's dying, but that would mean that I would die on his / her behalf. Hmmm.... no?

In this light, it makes sense to me that for God to love the world so much such that He would sacrifice His only son on the cross for the redemption of the world, means that God treats all of us like His children! To God, we are just as important to Him as Jesus is. That explains why He loves us and why Jesus died for us. 

It made me ponder about the gravity of sin.

That there is no difference between a big sin or a small sin, because a sin is a sin. An evil thought is a sin as much as a murder is a sin. Sin separates us from God. Separation from God cannot be defined as a 20% separation cos of a small sin or a 100% separation cos its a "big" sin. A separation is an either or issue. Either one is connected to God and has a relationship with God or one is separated from God and has no relationship with Him.

The whole gospel hinges on the death and resurrection of Jesus.

I'm just so moved that Jesus chose to die for me. He didn't have to. He had a choice. And he exercised that choice to die on my behalf, so all I have to do is simply to accept that gift of free salvation.

I saw this video on Facebook and thought I should share it here.



May this long Good-Friday-Easter weekend remind you that you're precious and your life has been bought with a price. And what a price that was.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Pregnancy #3 - (almost) 38 weeks!

Baby is officially past full-term! So he won't be considered premature if he came any day from now onwards.

I got a feeling this baby is going to stay put for a while though! I'm really hoping he will make his appearance betweeen 39-40 weeks but hopefully not beyond 40 weeks because that means I'm going to be induced!

16 more days and guess what? We only washed our first batch of newborn clothes today!

I think that's the difference between having a third child and first child. The great thing about having our 3rd boy is that we seriously haven't bought anything new for this kid. There's simply no need to, cos we're bursting with clothes left over from his 2 older brothers.

Right now I feel like a huge, big, almost-bursting ball! I have braxton hicks contractions almost everyday and sometimes all day! It's been so uncomfortable.

Thank God we have a long weekend for Good Friday and Easter Sunday coming up. We aren't going to travel anywhere, cos I'm simply too exhausted and out of breath to do anything other than the very basic necessities.

I wake up 3-4 times a night to empty my bladder and it ain't a joke to get a whale out of bed!

I was so exhausted today that I didn't want to get out of bed but my little one kept going, "Mummy, wake up! Mummy, wake up!" I simply couldn't persuade him to stay in bed anymore.

My Chinese neighbour, whom I'm quite close to, went back to China for 6 months today. I've been feeling a bit down cos it's just nice to have a fellow Mummy around the corner, whom you can simply text to ask if she's keen to come over for a playdate, or we just meet downstairs at the playground and the kids hang out.

So with no plans today, the kids and I actually had lunch, had some tea (I baked some N.Y. cheeesecake) and Sam brought out book after book for me to read to them!

I was SO amazed at their attention span! They actually sat through 5 books! - 3 English and 2 Chinese books! Like wow! My eyelids were threatening to close by the end of our reading marathon, such that I had to put them in the bathtub and ask the hub to come home a bit earlier to help me out.

He ended up coming home at 6pm instead of his usual 7pm. And oh boy, what a difference that made! We had dinner by 7pm (some leftovers from yesterday) and the kids were in bed by 8pm instead of the usual 8.30-9pm. And I'm actually writing this at 9.30pm!

I so wish hub could come home earlier..... a girl can dream!

Sam is so over-the-moon excited about the upcoming arrival of his 2nd brother, while Gabriel seems to be having a love-hate relationship with my baby belly. Today, when I came home after a midwife appointment, he actually smacked my belly with so much force I was so shocked! I ended up smacking the hand that did the deed and giving him a long time out!

He apologized quite immediately after realizing what he did, but I simply couldn't allow an act of "violence" go unpunished. Especially not one that was directed at baby!

Having said that, sometimes Gabriel can be so sweet and would just kiss my belly on his own accord. I guess time will tell to see how he adjusts to being a middle child and being an older brother. Praying that he will ease into his new role easily!

Oh, haven't announced it here yet here, but Gabriel got a spot in Sammy's kindergarten and he will start after he turns 3 in September! We are very overjoyed and thankful that God held his space open cos spots for 3-year olds in kindergartens are so limited these days!

We hardly have any scan photos of this baby except for one that's too private to show - uh hum.

It's weird being in this waiting game for labour to start again! I know baby will show his face when the time is right. I'm just feeling like I'm sitting on coals cos of the impending induction date. Do pray with us that baby will come naturally before his due date!

Haven't posted many photos of the kids later, so here's some random pictures / videos! Enjoy!

Perfect playmates for each other

Caught in the air!

Gabe was so exhausted, he fell asleep right on the sofa!

 Gabe wanted to do exactly what his older brother did, but realized later that it wasn't his cup of tea!







Monday, February 29, 2016

10-year anniversary yeah baby!



Hub and I just just celebrated our 10-year wedding anniversary!

Oh gosh! Did I just say 10 years?? That's almost one-third of my life! (I'm 33 now). It's about a quarter of his (he turns the big 40 this year).

So how did we commemorate the big event?

We were contemplating going to Paris for a while, but decided against it after the terrorist attacks last year and also cos we didn't want to travel!

I'm almost 35 weeks pregnant and round as a whale, so it was a really wise decision that we decided to have a staycation!

At Le Meridien in Stuttgart no less!

My lovely in-laws took the kids for 2 nights so we could rediscover couplehood again! Can't believe this is the first time we went away by ourselves since we had kids!

It was SO. SO. SO. SO. SO. SO. good! And so needed!

Life with kids can be so full throttle. It's like an engine that once started, can't be stopped. And there's no weekends, no public holidays, no day offs. Everyday is a workday. As much as we enjoy our work as parents, its so easy to forget ourselves as husband and wife.

We reserved for ourselves a regular (ie. the cheapest) guestroom, so we were pleasantly surprised when they gave us a free upgrade to the honeymoon suite!

Well, the suite is simply a bigger room with a study table and couch. It was a very romantic add-on though! We also had a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine but hub only had a glass while I had a sip just to taste. Still, it was a very thoughtful gesture and we totally appreciated their efforts!

We did all the stuff we can't do with kids.

- Went to the movies. 

 Unfortunately we had to skip Leonardo Dicaprio's Oscar-winning performance in "The Revenant" because it was too tight time-wise. Watched "Deadpool". I think the name speaks for itself. It was a dead movie and not even Ryan Reynolds could resuscitate it! Please don't watch it and save your money.

- Went for a 1.5-hour massage 

What else can I say? It's become a tradition for us to go for massages whenever we can! We went straight for our massage even before we checked into the hotel on Friday!

- Went for sit-down proper dinners

We dined at the restaurant in Le Meridien, Le Cassoulet for our anniversary dinner. The ambience was very romantic and the prices were off the charts but hey, one's gotta indulge once in 10 years right?

The portions were a bit small though! We ended up going for a second dinner at an Italian place just so that I could get my fill!

We also indulged in the famous Sunday brunch at Le Cassoulet and that was a huge treat! Costing about 45€ / head, it was fairly pricey but I think it was still worth it for the dining experience. They had free flow of sparkling wine (not that I could take advantage of it) as well as fresh oysters (not my cup of tea either). I barely touched the usual carbs but I caved at the sweet dessert offerings.

(Clockwise from top): Bread closet with the different dips stored in the drawers. Chef's speciality on the house, something so yummy I wanted to ask for seconds! Soup starter from parsley root

My salmon and perfectly-seared scallops with root vegetables. Hub's beef fillet with some potato spring roll things that is to die for!

Indulged at our favourite Japanese restaurant, Kicho!

Sunday brunch: Creme Brulee and a chocolate-covered fruit stick from a chocolate fondue

At the subway station. We went carless so had lots of time for we-fies!

- Went proper shopping without the kids! 

We're such fans of online shopping by now because we have no patience to search for things we need with 2 running toddlers in tow. So it was double as fun to be able to just sit and wait for the hub while he tried on his clothes in the fitting room, the good old-fashioned way.

Breuninger was having a sale for members and we caught the last day of the sale. Talk about divine timing! We replenished his wardrobe and introduced some new brighter colours.

- Actually had a proper coffee and cake tea time!

Guess which one(s) the hub picked?

On a more serious note, I felt that this weekend afforded me / us the time to reflect on our relationship as a couple.

If I could summarize our weekend in one word, it would be "reconnect".

I remembered why I was so attracted to this guy in the first place. That we can actually have fun together! That we can do "our" stuff and not just "family" stuff together.

That we actually enjoy each other's company! We could talk and laugh and eat our meals without rushing. Oh and we could look at each other in the eyes and intentionally spend time together. And hold hands too. Oh the joys!

It was such a memorable weekend that I felt so sad when it ended! I felt like I didn't want to go back to my role as a Mom and housewife! I didn't want hub to go back to work! I actually missed our lives back before we had kids - that's not saying we regret having kids though!

We know our "us" times will come back again once the kids are older and more independent. I just need to learn how to grow as my role as a wife to my husband. To remind myself that my husband tries his best to be there for us and to be the sole bread-winner for our family. To lower my expectations for times when he comes home late. Or when I have to hold the fort from morning to evenings.

And to keep the flame of passion burning through those children-growing up years. We need to reconnect with each other. With God. Allow God to hold our marriage together and to keep our hearts right before Him.

May the good Lord use our marriage as a tool to mold both of us more into his image everyday. May I learn the art and skill of submission, which I do believe is a beautiful thing when not manipulated by the world's definition of master-slave submission. May I be able to continue to hold my husband in high regard, such that I can be his biggest cheerleader. All this will only be possible in God's strength as I ask Him to help me.

10 years down, here's to 10,20,30 more years to go!

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