The Things Faith Says #1: On Loving Us

I should have done this a long time ago, when Faith started having properly hilarious and startling conversations with us. Well, better late than never, so here goes (and I sure hope to keep this up with my busy bee schedule!)

Papa: Faith, do you love Papa?

Faith: YES!

Papa: Do you love Mama?

Faith: YES!

Papa: Who do you love more?

Mama (softly chiding Papa): What a question to ask her!!

Faith: FAITH!

Mama: *dumbfounded*

Papa: GOOD ANSWER.

Faith: You love Faith?

Papa and Mama (in unison): OF COURSE!

Mama: Papa and Mama love you very, very much, dear.

Faith (gives an approving nod): Thank you for everything. Amen.

There and then, we burst out laughing, and sat wondering where the time has gone and if our little girl is growing up too quickly.

faith

Look Who’s Got New Wheels?

Parents endeavour to give their children the very best, and I am no exception. As a mother to baby Faith, I am always on the lookout for quality clothes, toys, books, foods and other knick-knacks.

In the series ‘I Have My Eye On‘, I share my favourite finds for my little girl.

201409 Combi Mega Ride review 3[SPONSORED POST*] My family and I have a love affair with Combi strollers. My brother bought two for my niece to suit their different needs, and I, having had the opportunity to steal my niece’s strollers for test rides, invested in one for F too. F has unfortunately outgrown the one that we have, no thanks to her unusually long legs for her height, and I was just about to run to the store to get a new one when Combi Singapore asked me if I would like to review their latest stroller, the Mega Ride (which just snagged an award from Mother & Baby magazine). Perfect timing!

I had a good look at its specs before committing to this review, because I really needed a stroller that fits F’s proportions nicely, one that will grow with her for another two years (at the very least), and I was very pleased to know that the Mega Ride Stroller seemed to pass the measurements test with flying colours.  So, I said yes!

201409 Combi Mega Ride review 2

When it first arrived, I thought the stroller looked larger than the one I had and to be honest, I was a little worried about its size. The last thing I wanted was to lug yet another heavyweight around the island. Surprisingly, it is extremely lightweight at only 6.8kg, perfect for days out when I am all alone and have to hoist the stroller in and out of the boot whilst grabbing onto F with my other hand. True to the quality that defines Combi strollers, its light weight does not detract from its stability. The Mega Ride feels good on the hand,  and F rides safely and stably in it.

The Mega Ride stroller stands on its own when folded up, and is super easy to unfold, with its very smooth catch-and-release lock and one-touch release button. I have been taking F out alone in this stroller, and I had no trouble carrying a diaper bag, holding onto F (who often tries to wriggle out of my grasp) with one hand, and using my free hand to unfold or keep the stroller.

201409 Combi Mega Ride review 5It comes with a really large storage basket underneath the seat, which doesn’t bunch up in awkward shapes and hinder the unfolding and keeping of the stroller. I can put my gigantic diaper bag in it and still pop in two to three bags of groceries. Definitely more spacious than what I’m used to, and that’s a plus! I no longer need to use this function now that F is 2 years old, but the handle can be easily swivelled around such that the stroller becomes front-facing; this is perfect for younger babies who might prefer their caregivers in sight, and for parents who would like to keep an eye on the young ones. Again, the direction is very easily changed with the catch-and-release locks on the lower sides of the handle bar.

PA114282

What I love most about the Mega Ride is how incredibly smooth the ride feels. It is an absolute dream to push around with its mega wheels which are designed to cushion the shock from rougher terrains; it almost feels like the stroller glides on clouds or something, no kidding! I can only imagine how comfy one must feel sitting in it….lucky F! The front wheels are also superbly engineered to tackle sharp turns very smoothly. I have been travelling in and out of very busy malls and lifts, and often have to do sharp U-turns to get in and out of tight corners. I had no problem whatsoever swivelling the stroller around, and I could do so without lifting the stroller or hurting anyone in the vicinity. I have also had to hold heavy doors open with one hand while pushing the stroller through with another, and the front wheels make it so easy for me to change the direction of the stroller with my free hand just to get it through the door. All I had to do was to release the swivel lock on the front wheels to get access to this awesome function and if one prefers the stroller to travel in a fixed direction, you only need to lock it back up on the wheels. How convenient!
201409 Combi Mega Ride review 4I also love that the Mega Ride grows with the child. The designers have thought it through and added additional holes to thread the harness straps through, such that the straps still sit comfortably on a child’s shoulders as he or she grows taller. F is still on the lowest configuration, so yay, more room to grow into this stroller to get extra mileage out of it! 
P9134270One of my pet peeves of strollers is that they aren’t roomy or long enough for F, who has long legs for her height. On normal strollers, the back of her knees would fall off the edge of the seat at an awkward angle, and yet her legs are not long enough for her feet to get a grip on the footrest. I can only imagine how uncomfortable that may be for her, and I am happy to report that we don’t have this problem with the Mega Ride. Because of its extra-long seat, the back of her knees are still comfortably resting just before the edge of the seat, and by the time she grows taller, her feet will be resting properly on the footrest, so we won’t have the problems of her legs feeling the strain of inadequate support AND dangling in the air!

P9134271

The seat on the Mega Ride also reclines to an almost horizontal level, making it perfect for children to have a quick snooze in the stroller. The seat is very roomy and as it is extra-long, it is almost like the business class of seats for sleeping children! F is very happy to go on it most of the time, and particularly enjoys sitting in it like a boss, whilst pulling the sun-shade down to play peekaboo with us. My husband and I love that the ride feels so smooth over all sorts of terrains and even in tight situations, and that it is so easy to handle, yet lightweight and stable. No prizes for guessing our favourite stroller of the moment!

*I was gifted one Combi Mega Ride Stroller (in Prestige Black) to review. No monetary gift was received. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and written according to my experience in using the products. Sponsors have been notified that I am not obliged to write a review upon receipt of sponsored items, should I find the products unsuitable.

Check out the wide range of Combi baby products on the Combi Singapore Facebook Page.

A Reason to Love Shopping (and Saving!) for the Kid

As a mother, I am always on the lookout for quality clothes, toys, books, foods and other knick-knacks for my daughter; ‘I Have My Eye On‘ is a collection of these finds.

Growing up is a tough act but parenting is hard work too; I believe that mummies and daddies need some lovin’! Whilst I am not busting my budget on the little one, I like to sniff out things that make our new routines a little easier, or sometimes, just a little prettier.

In this series ‘We Need Some Lovin’‘, I share some of my favourite things for us big people.

[SPONSORED POST*] I have a confession to make. I’M AN ONLINE SHOPPING ADDICT. I don’t like prowling through physical stores all that much, I mean, why do that when I can pop my favourite things in the cart whilst still wearing my pyjamas? Of course, this addiction was so not going away with the birth of Faith.  If anything, motherhood simply accorded me the license to shop without getting quizzical looks from the husband (‘It’s for the baby, honey……’). I don’t shop without a conscience though; if you must know, I am quite the bargain-hunter. After all, M is the sole breadwinner and works really hard to provide for us, and we do what we can to stretch our dollar without severely compromising on our lifestyle.

Enter Agape Babies, one of the first online stores that I fell in love with before I even became a mother. I was pregnant with Faith when I made my very first purchase from Agape Babies. Back then, I had done lots of research on the kind of breast pumps that may help with our breastfeeding journey, and badly wanted the Medela Freestyle, which retails close to (an insane) S$1000 in stores island-wide. I was not working then, and there was NO way I would plonk a grand on a breast pump even if I were, no matter how good the pump may be. I was a little disappointed that I would have to get something else when my cousin-in-law told me about Agape Babies and its incredible prices for Medela breastpumps. I promptly carted the Freestyle at a neat S$530, almost 50% off the retail price! And there was no looking back. Soon, I was shopping for all sorts of things on the site, including our favourite California Baby products (also generously discounted, as compared to other stores) for Faith, who suffers from eczema.

logo_banner (1)

The crazy number of brands that Agape Babies carry!

I have been shopping at Agape Babies for more than two years now, and I have always enjoyed the experience. It is easy to cart the items I want and shipping is quick. From the small(er) store that it was two years ago, Agape Babies has now grown to carry a huge range of products, with over 100 brands and 2000 products. Agape Babies continues to specialise in California Baby products, and they now carry diapers and milk formula of brands such as Huggies, Mamypoko, GOO.N, Friso, Similac, Gain IQ, Pediasure and more! The items are very attractively priced, and it helps that the store currently offers free courier delivery with a minimum of $80 spent and a free Disney stationery set given with every purchase of S120. I’d say it’s a pretty good way to shop for the essentials and not have to lug the items back home on your own! There is more reason to love shopping at Agape Babies now, too, as it has recently partnered with The Sunshine Kids, a kids fashion company to build a multi-store. This means that customers can shop between both stores and check out in just one shopping cart! Talk about saving time with the check-out process! How many times have we struggled to cart the items we need, only to have our kids thwart our efforts and demand for our attention NOW, just as we are short of paying for the items? With more stores & products to be added soon, Agape Babies aims to grow into a one-stop shop for all parents to create a super-easy and convenient shopping experience. This online shopping addict here can hardly wait!

Just to share some of the California Baby products that we recently purchased (this time with shopping credits gifted) from Agape Babies.

P9244281The California Baby Try It Kit (retails $49.70 but costs only $32.70 on Agape Babies) is one of my absolute favourites! Yes, I first bought it to try the different products out on Faith, who is prone to eczema flare-ups, and they work so well to keep her clean/well-moisturised/mozzie-bite-free whilst caring for her sensitive skin! They come in the perfect size for travel, and I have brought these items to quite a few countries on our holidays with Faith. I still have some leftovers from the first kit that I bought when she was only 3 months old, so a little really goes a long way, especially when it comes to the bath products and the bug repellant! I’d highly recommend this set, although there are other starter packs that may better suit your child’s needs, depending on whether you want to focus on suncare, treat sensitive skin, etc.

P9244280The California Baby Calming Hair Conditioner (retails S$28.90 but costs only $16.90 on Agape Babies) is a new product for us. Faith’s hair is getting longer now and I thought to give this conditioner a shot at keeping her locks luscious and smooth. The scent is incredibly lovely and (yes) calming! I’m tempted to steal this from her and use it on my hair!

(Can you tell we looooove California Baby already?! Especially when they are so heavily discounted on Agape Babies…)

PROMOTION FOR MY READERS:

Agape Babies is offering 5% off all purchases (except breast pumps, diapers, milk and sale items) for the readers of The Pleasure Monger. Simply enter the promotional code thepleasuremonger (valid for 4 weeks from 25 September 2014 to 23 October 2014) when you check out. Happy shopping!

*I was gifted shopping credits from Agape Babies to purchase the two sets of California Baby products photographed and paid remaining sum out of my own pocket. No additional monetary compensation has been received and I do not stand to gain any commission arising from sales using the discount code given to my readers. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and written according to my experience in using the products/services. Sponsors have been notified that I am not obliged to write a review upon receipt of sponsored service/items, should I find the products/services unsuitable.

You can now shop online at Agape Babies! Like Agape Babies on Facebook and sign up for the newsletter for updates on promotions, contests and giveaways!

Married Life Blooper #4: When One Gets All Smart-Ass on the Other

*This conversation is best illustrated as we spoke it, in English, Mandarin and Singlish. I thought of doing a translation for international readers, but it’s not half as funny in Queen’s English! Sorry, guys!

We were taking an evening stroll through the ‘hood, when we came across a house where the owner had grown a thick canopy of climbers over a quaint sitting area in the garden.

M (referring to the canopy): Look at that!

Me: Why would anyone do that?! What if the 鸟生鸡蛋,or worse 送他一粒炸弹 while he is sitting underneath the canopy?

M: Please lah, 鸟 doesn’t 生鸡蛋.

Me (shooting M the eh-you-fail-your-science-ah look): 鸟 of course 生鸡蛋, it does not give birth to live young, OKKKAAAAYY?

M: 鸟生鸟蛋, lah, PLEASEEEEEEE! (proceeds to shoot me the you-then-fail-your-science look)

Me: … (turns lobster red and smacks M repeatedly on his arm, as I do when I realise I am completely and horribly wrong!)

Cake, Candles and Balloons!

201408 Faith turns 2 15

F turned two a while ago, and we held an intimate garden party for our amazing family and friends. Truth be told, I’m no hostess with the mostess, and I’m not quite a party animal nor a social butterfly (yes, contrary to the fact that I have a blog, I really am socially awkward in person). I had written off holding a party for F’s 2nd birthday (having gone through the life-shortening madness of planning her 1st), and tried to sell the idea of us three going on a short, stress-free and fab getaway to M instead. M wasn’t keen on that, and I don’t really blame him because we have travelled quite a fair bit in the first half of this year, and his work schedule was rather (still is) punishing.

I sulked a little at not being able to travel And so, I was really quite happy to spend the day quietly with F, at the zoo or something, until M suggested that we could hire the ice-cream man (you know, the one with the old-school pushcart) and invite a couple of friends with kiddos over for a tea-time treat. I protested, of course, because…why would any parent bring their kids over, knowing that they are going to get sugar-high, hyperactive and run into epic meltdowns later in the day?! Geez, M…

He wouldn’t let the idea go, that stubborn man, and I decided we would have to plump the party up a bit and make it a little more reasonable for our guests to haul their kids over for an afternoon of fun. Any logical person with a crazy toddler on the loose would cater, you know, like PAY someone else to cook the food, bake a cake and set everything up. But I, (a) was not happy with the catering menus out there, (b) couldn’t bring myself to break the tradition of baking my family’s birthday cakes, (c) have terribly itchy fingers and (d) love to torture myself, and so I decided to…DO EVERY FREAKING THING BY MYSELF (except the curry puffs and fried chicken wings we got from OCK, because those are definite crowd-pleasers, unlike our food…).

*CUE MADNESS AND STRESS AND SLEEPLESS NIGHTS*

Of course, I recruited my minions, M and my darling sister, J, to help me with the food preparation, and begged my future brother-in-law, J, to babysit F (who probably terrorised him) while we were slogging away in the kitchen. The preps started two days before the party. Many curses, countless regrets, and one massive birthday cake mishap later (the weather was too hot even in the air-conditioned kitchen, and the four-layer cake did a BBC-news-worthy landslide on me whilst I was putting on the crumb coat, so I had to RE-DO the freaking cake), we were done.

I hope everyone enjoyed the food (though the humidity killed some of the crispness of my signature roasted pork belly and that pizza toast) and the cake (I was disappointed with the way it turned out, unlike the previous ones I made), and that the kids had fun playing with one another and chasing after bubbles. F had a most wonderful day, in spite of the glitches, did not have a single bite of the ice-cream (the irony, she wasn’t in the mood for any), and was genuinely sad and puzzled when everyone left (that’s testament to how much she enjoyed your company). Thank you, our family and friends, for your presence, love and gifts (we are allowing her open only one gift every month, and you guys have been so generous, she will be opening presents into her third birthday!).

Alright, Mama should probably stop rambling and let the pictures do the talking. I’m sorry that there are so many of them over here (there are more on my camera but I have to keep them away from the public eye to protect my family members’ and friends’ privacies), I had to take as many shots as possible because there is no way in hell I am going to DIY a party to this extent ever again.

Till the next birthday (which is hopefully a quiet getaway because I need to rest from planning this one)!
201408 Faith turns 2 8

A simple, styled table, laden with food and peachy, minty colours, perfect for a tyke!

201408 Faith turns 2 9

We made everything except the OCK curry puffs and wings, and store-bought nachos. Word to the wise, cater if you don’t want to lose your sanity.

201408 Faith turns 2 7

Putting the chalkboard easel we bought from Perth to good use again this year.201408 Faith turns 2

I’m all for reusing silk floral arrangements. I did this for F’s 1st birthday, and I didn’t have time to get fresh flowers, so this came in handy.

201408 Faith turns 2 2

Homemade spicy guacamole with store-bought nachos.
201408 Faith turns 2 4

My favourite salad to make, inspired by one of Ottolenghi’s recipes – roasted aubergine salad with pomegranate, basil, toasted pine nuts, saffron garlic yogurt dressing and roasted buttermilk chicken.201408 Faith turns 2 3

Always a crowd-pleaser – curry puffs and fried chicken wings from OCK. Thank goodness for our Airfryer, which did a fine job of crisping them up again.201408 Faith turns 2 5

Another of my favourite foods to make – roasted pork belly (also known as siu yuk) with garilc aioli dipping sauce.

201408 Faith turns 2 6My favourite snack to eat since I was a kid – Papa used to make this for us every Sunday morning. Pizza toast with cheese, fresh tomatoes and bacon, grilled to gooey, crisp goodness. Perfect for kids!
201408 Faith turns 2 17Another shot of the table, just because.
201408 Faith turns 2 10

The ice-cream man and his old-school pushcart! 201408 Faith turns 2 11

F, being absolutely delighted to be surrounded by one of her favourite things in the world, BUBBLES!201408 Faith turns 2 12

The kids looked like they were having fun!201408 Faith turns 2 13

Goodies bags we prepared for the young ones. The parents must hate me because I filled them with treats. I did try to soften the blow by putting in some balloons and self-inking rubber stamps.

201408 Faith turns 2 14

The birthday cake, which caused way too much drama during the preps. My cake-making mojo wasn’t there.

201408 Faith turns 2 16

Devil’s food cake with raspberry curd, cream cheese frosting and topped with fresh raspberries.
201408 Faith turns 2 18

I couldn’t help notice how F has grown and matured since her 1st birthday. My poor mother’s heart can’t take her growing so quickly! Happy birthday, my love. You must know that Papa and Mama love you so much that we would die planning a party for you. Just sayin’. By the way, all the practice sessions we had to sing the birthday song, make a wish, blow the candle and cut the cake? Went down the drain because F had stage fright. GAH. She did it at bedtime with her imaginary cake that night, though. I guess that counts, somewhat?

 

 

 

 

 

Playing Dress Up with The Lady General

 

201409 The Lady General cheongsam

[SPONSORED POST*] I am terribly picky when it comes to fashion, and that’s not because I’m a clotheshorse or a fashionista. In fact, I’m the total opposite. I can’t quite carry off the latest trends, and am far from willing to plonk large sums of money on a wardrobe of clothes that would make Anna Wintour beam with pride. For casual days out, I ONLY go for baggy and loose and shapeless and cooling outfits, which is why I’m mostly sloppy on days when I don’t have to dress up. Unfortunately, the body-hugging thing seems to be all the rage these few years and oh my, I end up having to purchase pieces that are two sizes up just because I am not comfortable and know that I don’t look good in fitting clothes. For smart casual or formal days, I prefer to go for well-cut pieces that hide the flaws which I’d like to think have been hidden pretty well, especially these two years after I became a mother. I mean, I was a whale for 9 months and pushed a baby out of that pelvis. I don’t feel that great when everything jiggles more than before I was pregnant, so I’ve resorted to a little trickery on the eye with cleverly cut outfits. 201409 The Lady General cheongsam 2

It is, however, incredibly difficult to find pieces that give me that much-needed boost. More often than not, I walk out of shops feeling frustrated over the lack of suitable sizes or cuts. The pretty clothes only come in small sizes that I can’t zip up, or in cuts that only flatter Heidi Klum (bareback, crop top, low cut, too short, OMG). I’ve also encountered one too many sales assistants who threw me are-you-sure-you-can-wear-that glances whenever they see me browse the racks with a baby strapped onto me. Yes, that’s the mummy-stereotype we are talking about here. GAH. After many failed attempts to spruce up my wardrobe over the past few years, believe it or not, I have practically stopped shopping for clothes.

For half a year now, I’ve been feeling a little frumpy. I put on some weight and can’t fit into my old clothes without looking like a stuffed dumpling. Whilst I’m not oversized, I knew I needed clothes in a new size, what with some gatherings coming up. I didn’t want to show up in clothes that are zipped up halfway; that would be such an eyesore. So I scouted for a while before chancing upon The Lady General. All I can say is, WHAT A GODSEND.

201409 The Lady General cheongsam 4The Lady General carries beautifully designed, and well-cut modern cheongsams to flatter all shapes and sizes. Unlike many boutiques that churn out one skin-tight cheongsam after another, The Lady General offers three styles to cater to our whims and fancies. Fit and Flare which is generously cut at the hips (MY ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE because I have a very generously-sized pelvis too), Column styles which are wonderful at hiding the tummy whilst still giving some room at the hips, in addition to the Classic Fit (as the term suggests, in the style of a classic cheongsam).

I am wearing the Jia cheongsam in size M, which is cut in the Fit and Flare style. It has a full skirt that hides my child-bearing hips (I’m not trying to boast, but I can’t tell I have a generous bottom in this dress!). I did send the cheongsam to be altered at the waist but even after taking the waist in, the skirt still skims over my hips nicely. The sky blue stripes are cleverly orientated to instantly slim one down (I rarely take a full-frontal shot because that’s the most unflattering angle, but it wasn’t a problem in this dress), and the skirt reveals a beautiful blush-pink lining when one twirls (I tried to capture the blush peeking out from under by twirling around and taking a selfie, but the most highly skilled selfie expert AND octopus would be stumped, so check out the photos on the listing for Jia to have a look at that gorgeous lining). I can’t capture the pink coming through the blue layer on the outside, but trust me on this, you’d see this in real life and you will fall in love with the pink-hued blue! The seersucker cotton is perfectly lightweight and cooling for a substantial, full-skirted, high-neck dress such as this, and I feel absolutely comfortable in it. The full skirt comes in a good length, and lets me run after my toddler without compromising my modesty. WIN-WIN-WIN!

There are a few ways to wear this dress, of course. You can wear it alone, with a nice pair of flats of heels, or belt it up with a tan-coloured one like what I did in the photos for a more neutral take. I thought a fun way of jazzing up the cheongsam would be to pair it with a red belt with cute pumps, but I don’t have the said accessories in such strong hues, so I couldn’t try that out. I reckon that it would look very cute, and slightly retro!

I’m lusting after a few other designs too, the Kyoto Cheongsam in Clouds (which is sadly out of stock) and Hui and Mi (in neutral tones). Every design comes in a very limited quantity (so the chances of you bumping into someone wearing the same thing are pretty slim) and I would urge you to like their page on Facebook to stay updated on their collection before everything gets sold out!

*I was gifted a Jia cheongsam for the review. No monetary gift was received. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and written according to my experience in using the products. Sponsors have been notified that I am not obliged to write a review upon receipt of sponsored items, should I find the products unsuitable.

You can now shop online at The Lady General!

You Are Always On My Mind

It’s 10.24pm on a Friday night.

Most people I know are spending time with their family and friends after a dreadful week of peak-hour commutes, school runs, deadlines and run-ins with their bosses, colleagues, clients or (gasp) children.

I, on the other hand, am alone; yet again lounging in bed and having some me-time online. And I know that after I finish penning my thoughts, I will curl up with a good book before turning in for the night. Such is the story of my life in recent months.

You see, M has signed up to work in one of the most intensive departments. He yearned to pick up whatever he can learn from this rotation, but in return, his hours are long, gruelling and intensive. He practically works the graveyard shifts now, and rarely gets to sleep partly due to a largely confused circadian rhythm, and partly because he tries to see Faith and me as much as possible during our waking hours. Our family of three has been thrown into the deep end once again with his work schedules. Well, it kinda feels like the times when F was still an infant…you know, the times when days and nights are not what they should be.

It’s very tiring, this solo-parenting-not-seeing-M-as-often-as-I-wish-thing. As is juggling between work, rest and family time for M. Even F is feeling the heat from the recent arrangements. She didn’t used to cry when Papa left her in the past, but ever since M started work in this department, she has taken to wailing whenever Papa ups and goes to work at different times of the day. It’s hard for us to stomach the separation, and harder for her to grasp the abruptness and irregularity of it all. I would be lying if I said this isn’t taking a toll on us. These days, I’m usually flat out by the end of the day and I can’t sleep because I worry about M. M would be shattered with exhaustion and torn with guilt on neglecting us and his buddies because of unyielding demands from work (I mean, you can’t just leave your patients and insist you want to knock off at the end of a stipulated shift). M doesn’t say it, but I know from the glances he throws at us, that he misses us terribly too.

But we are, strangely, stronger in parts and as one. And I am very thankful for that bond and love we have for one another. For the most transient father-daughter exchanges that I get to witness in that few seconds and beam at for the rest of my life. For the times when F goes, ”Papa?” and she quietly nods when I remind her gently that ‘Papa is at work.’ For the times when I stir as M reaches home in the wee hours of the morning, squeezes my hand and whispers, ‘Don’t worry, I am here.’ just before he falls into a deep slumber. For the bunch of the most beautiful blood-red roses that M (wouldn’t have usually bought because he doesn’t believe in buying flowers) surprised me with after a 10pm-8am shift, and the way he asked me to not forget that I am always on his mind even though I am mostly alone these days. For the times when I throw my arms around M and watch his favourite Hobbits series, just because I know he would like some company whilst trying to get himself accustomed to sleeping on demand, when all I really want to do is to catch some sleep.

Suddenly, every word spoken, every second spent together, every gesture is much more precious and memorable than before.

While our lives are currently fraught with unpredictability, exhaustion and our future, with uncertainty, I cannot remember a time when we were happier, more contented, and more comfortable with walking on a tight-rope. It’s almost as if we have truly grown as family, even with F at the tender age of (almost) two and we are somehow (surprisingly) letting the obstacles roll off our backs like they don’t matter. Children are creatures of habit but F seems to know how important it is to flit and float with us now that our circumstances have changed, and she has adapted well, save for the separation anxiety when Papa leaves for work. I cannot be more thankful for what we have going on here to cope with our new lives.

So, on this Friday night, as people around us snuggle up to their loved ones and recharge for the coming week, we fight together in spirit and take comfort that we shall see one another tomorrow morning, even if it’s for a few minutes.

Because…Faith, Papa thinks of you all the time, and M, you too, are always on my mind. And that is enough to keep us all going.

201408 Red Roses