Reblog: My life as a new and improved mother

*** This was written in 2014, but I thought it was a good reminder again for myself this year.

In just a few hours, we will wake to a new day, and into a new year. While this year has been a fruitful year, I know 2014 will only bring greater experiences into my life. Life has been kind to me, even as a new parent, I managed to pull through the ups and downs of parenting without causing too much damage. Lol.
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So to end this year, I’d like to give myself a pat on the back and at the same time, jot down 10 important points that were reminiscent of my parenting experience in 2013, and hope that it will serve to guide to me be a better parent in 2014.

1. The best guide to parenting is your maternal instincts. Skip the best selling books on parenting and pregnancy and whatsoever. Parenting should come from the heart, not mind. If your heart tells you to co-sleep with your child, do it; if your heart tells you to carry your child, do it. No one (including the nanny, grandparents, Great Aunt Beatrix, parenting experts, even your paediatrician) knows your child better than you.
2. It’s all worth it. Having a baby means less (or non-existence) late nights out, sleeping in, movie dates, unhealthy fast food, me time, etc. But it’s okay, because a) none of those things do any good to your health anyway; b) the amount of joy (and occasionally headaches) that you get in return for having your little bundle of joy makes it all worth it. Having a baby completes your life, learn to enjoy it.
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3. Happy parents = happy baby = happy family. Noticed how I placed “Happy parents”first? That’s because your baby needs to feel that you’re okay to feel okay. If on the occasion it makes your life easier letting your child watch that thirty minutes of TV, so you could finish off your dinner preparation before hubby gets back, do it. If you had a really sleepless night yesterday and don’t have the energy to cook your child a wholesome meal, consider a simple sandwich, or noodle with soup, or fried rice. It’s okay to go with the flow once in a while. And if you’re happy, chances are your child will be happy too, and when your child is happy, it makes parenting so much easier and enjoyable.
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4. What feels natural is best. Yes, at 25 months, my not-so-little bundle of joy is still nursing, but only to sleep; she still co-sleeps with me; she loves cuddling up to her daddy at bed time. In this modern age and day, parents are encouraged to force independence onto their children at an early age. Well, as much as I tried following it out of peer pressure, I decided I feel better going with the flow of what feels natural to me and my child. I no longer feel ashamed to admit that my child still nurses occasionally everyday; I’m happy that she loves sleeping in between daddy and mommy; and daddy can’t seem to sleep peacefully without having her near him. These things feel natural to me, to her, to us. And I can’t think of a better way to live life than to live a life that feels natural to me.

5. Fever and infections are part and parcel of growing up. They are there to help build a strong immune system. Ever since Little Miss was six months old, I’ve learnt to trust her little body to fight off infections with minimal medical interventions. She’s never had anything major that her own body couldn’t fight off, with a little help of homeopathic and natural remedies. Out of her two years of existence, I could count with one hand the amount of times she’s had to take Paracetamol for fevers more than 39 degrees Celsius. Her immune system is stronger than many children I know, and I know it’s because her body has been allowed to develop as it should have.

6. Opinions can differ, but they stem from the same ground – everything we do, we do it for the love of our children. Some believe in spanking, others believe in a more gentle approach; some believe in eating organic everyday, others don’t have the luxury of affording better quality food; some believe in pharmaceuticals, others believe in nature and homeopathy. It’s never easy trying to make the best choice for your loved ones, but as long as it’s acted in accordance to your conscience and informed judgement, there is no absolute right or wrong in your decisions.

7. Respect others. Everyone else is fighting a harder battle than you. Just because you don’t see it on the surface doesn’t mean it’s not happening. Everyone has a history that justifies their actions, and until you understand their stories, don’t go pointing fingers and judging them for their actions. The same goes for parenting styles. Your friend choosing to undergo a C-section instead of a natural birth doesn’t make her less of a woman, it makes her a strong woman who is capable of making her own choices. A relative choosing to bottle feed her baby with formula milk doesn’t make her any less motherly, maybe she has a medical condition that prevents her from being able to provide breastmilk. Respect others for their decisions, their lives their choice.

8. Love your partner. He’s the reason why you’re still sane in amidst of all your parenting ups and downs; he’s the reason why your feet are firmly on the ground with your decisions; he’s the reason you have that beautiful little miracle in your arms. Vice versa. She’s the reason you have a family; she’s the reason why you strive to be better in every way; she’s the reason you have a HOME.

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9. Love yourself. Do things that make you happy and relaxed. Because ultimately a happy you equals happy spouse equal happy parents equals happy child.

10. Last but not least, praise your child everyday and listen with an open heart. Tell her how brilliant, beautiful and precious she is. Love her for who she is. She could be naturally reserved, active, dreamy, grumpy, but it’s part of who she is. Nurture according to nature instead of against it. Work with your child’s natural behaviour. Listen to her. Listen to what she’s really trying to tell you, so she knows that her voice DOES matter.

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I have a lot to improve on as a mother, but I know I am a lot better than last year. Hopefully, I will be even better next year.
Happy New Year everyone! May the next year bring you more wealth, better health, and an abundance of happiness!
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Travelogue 2016: Sungai Besar/ Sekinchan

Just recently, my in laws decided to take the whole unRoyal Household for a half day trip to a small town called Sungai Besar, which was located nearby Sekinchan. It was where you’d find awesome seafood restaurants. Unfortunately, the one that we went to wasn’t that great, but I think it’s the company that matters more than the food. Because the kids only fly to Malaysia about once a year, it was a rare occasion to be able to spend a day trip or travel with my in laws, which in my opinion was a pity. It would have been nice for the kids to grow up being close to their paternal grandparents. But life isn’t always perfect, is it?

Anyway, here are some random shots of the day.

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We were so lucky to find a village treehouse near Redang! Big Warrior was so ecstatic as she’s been missing her back to nature play so badly since arriving at Malaysia. She jumped on the chance and quickly climbed up the treehouse, swing from the tree like Tarzan (she even had to show her elder cousin brother how to do it because he’s never done it before LOL), and just ran around like a child in tune with nature. It was such a happy sight. 🙂

Aaaaand, if I had to choose a photo of the day, it would be this… 😀

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FRREEEEEEEESSSSSSHHHH COCONUTSSSSSS. Darn, I miss fresh coconuts. We don’t get them in Australia. Meh. Think I’m gonna head out to get some now, while I’m still in Malaysia.

 

Till later,

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Travelogue 2015: Hong Kong Disneyland

Winter 2015 (Hong Kong)

It’s been awhile since we’ve travelled somewhere new for a holiday. The last time we travelled was back when Big Warrior was merely ten months old, and now she’s four.

So, recently the whole unRoyal household decided to make a trip to Hong Kong, as a belated Birthday present for Big Warrior. Little Warrior didn’t get to go at the last minute because she was suffering from a bad case of food poisoning, so we thought it’d be best for her to stay back with the grandparents while she recovers. Mommy felt soooooo guilty and bad about leaving her, but we really couldn’t just burn all four tickets, so we had to sacrifice poor little Warrior. 😦 😦 Come to think of it, it was probably for the best, as she only managed to recover by the time we return from the trip.

Anyway, here’s how our HK Disneyland trip went.

We left the hotel (we were staying at Novotel Hotel Nathan Rd, which was awesome by the way, and celebrity Alan Tam was shooting a movie right in front of the hotel the last time we were there!) bright and early in the morning around 9am to take the MTR to Disneyland.

How cool is the Disney monorail? Everything screams Disney, even the handles and windows. LOL. The kids were soooo excited! Oh, that’s Big Warrior’s cousin brother by the way (we went with Duke’s parents and nephew).

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Aaaaaaaaand, here we are, at the main entrance of HK Disneyland. Since we bought tickets from Klook.com and because we went on a weekday, we managed to skip the queue and head straight to the entrance. So remember to buy your pre-book your tickets the next time you intend to go! 🙂

So many adorable Minnie headbands! Tempted to buy everything. 😀

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Tadaa! The Duke and Duchess photo taken by Big Warrior. Not bad right? 🙂

Our first stop was to the Jungle Cruise, but I didn’t get to take any pictures of it as I was busy entertaining Big Warrior. She was a little scared as the boat was a little rocky, and she literally screamed and broke down crying near the end of the cruise when they had fire coming out of some cave or something. I know hey, my Big Warrior is not so tough after all. LOL. So yeah, I didn’t get to manage to take pictures of her on the cruise, sadly.

But heeeeeerrreeeee… after the cruise and after the Lion King show, Big Warrior was beginning to havethe time of her life, eating junk food, being silly, etc. I don’t think she’s ever had so much junk food in one day EVER. Really need to go back to our routine of eating healthily, well, healthier, when we return home to Perth. Afterall, how do you say no junk food the kid during a holiday when it’s literally everywhere. And especially when you’re on vacation, chances of me getting yummy avocados, and home cooked food, are basically zero. Oh well….

And here we are, waiting for our turn at the Pooh bear ride. We initially took the Fast Pass, but the queue wasn’t very long so we decided to go for it first. It was okay for us, but Big Warrior loved it. I think it was her favourite ride out of all the Disney rides, that she actually went to anyway. By the end of the day, we actually went on the ride three times, or four, can’t remember. LOL

Next was the infamous Disney Parade. The kids did enjoy it, albeit having to sit under the hot sun for the whole duration. I only managed to take these few pictures as I decided to just take a video of the whole parade after the first few attempts of trying to snap the characters. 😀

Few hours later… Big Warrior was getting tired. Luckily she was still tiny enough to hitch a ride on Daddy’s shoulders. LOL. We proceeded to have a very late lunch at the Royal Banquet Hall. There were quite a bit of variety, from japanese, to chinese dim sum, to western… The food tasted okay, but it was definitely not value for money. I guess it is to be expected for a touristy place like Disneyland, right?

The best ride in Disneyland (IMO) would be the It’s a Small World ride. Everything was so pretty and bright, even Big Warrior was excited to see all the colourful figurines and beautiful “architecture”. We would have gone for another ride if it weren’t for the fireworks display that was due to start shortly after our ride. And no, I recorded a video of the fireworks session, so I don’t have pictures. :p

Overall, I’d say everyone enjoyed the trip to Disneyland. The kids got to experience the magical world of Disney, where everything was up to your imagination. The adults got to experience the true meaning of tiredness, from having to walk around carrying a luggage (yes, we bought a small hand luggage to put our jumpers and biccies and wallet) and/ or a child. Nah, I’m kidding. LOL. I think the adults were happy just seeing the smiles and laughter on the children’s faces. That’s all that matters, anyway right? We just want to see our children happy. 🙂

 

Duchess Travelogue rating:

Yummy Tummy: 5/10

Happiness Level: 9/10

Enchantment Level: 7/10

Ka-Ching: $$$

Overall: 7/10

It was still a magical place for the kids, but I think Big Warrior would have enjoyed it more if she was a little older. Another thing worth mentioning, is that HK Disneyland didn’t have that many interesting rides as compared to Disney in other countries, mainly due to its size. I would probably still come back, when the kids are older. 

 

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The unRoyal Family Photoshoot

Our much needed family photos, taken by the very talented Blee Photography based in Western Australia. This was taken end of 2015 at a private estate in Roleystone. Unfortunately, both warriors were feeling a little under the weather, and weren’t very cooperative that day. But the pics did turn out better than I expected. 🙂

 

Do visit her website here for further information and portfolio. 🙂

 

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