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who am i

Name: modgurl
Location: Singapore

New mom. New woman. Born in Singapore. Raised in the World Wide Web.
Thursday, June 28, 2012 @ 11:31 pm

Dear Blogger,

Sometimes the hardest thing about being a mother is not so much the amount of workload one automatically assumes responsibility of. It's the lack of support from the person you expected to receive from. In other words, the spouse.

Support comes in many forms. Some as concrete materials like finance. Some physical. Sometimes, support need not even require a lifted finger. A simple agreement is support too! I've found that one of the most difficult task requiring support is disciplining children.

Children need to be disciplined. As much as we want them to be inquisitive, explorative and imaginative, they still need to learn that they can't always do whatever they want. They have to learn to work within rules and guidelines. If rules and guidelines aren't important, governments all over the world won't spend so much time drafting them and enforcing them. Even God sets rules and guidelines for us mortal beings!

What I hate most when I'm doing my job as a mother is when someone else over-rides my decisions. This is especially so when I'm disciplining my children. Like tonight for example. I don't know what is it about beds that make children want to jump on them all the time. Told my children repeatedly not to jump on the beds because they may fall and hit their heads. If they fall and they don't hurt any part of their bodies, it's fine with me. It's very annoying if they fall and cry the house down in pain and then look for mommy hoping that I'll give them some magic healing something to make the pain go away instantly.

Well tonight, it happened. My son Iman, didn't just fall. He cut his forehead against the window grill and smashed onto the wall. Now he has a deep cut on a big lump on his forehead. What was my natural instinct? To assess the damage on his forehead. What did I do next? Applied cold compress on the big nasty lump. What did the father do? Pulled the boy away because he couldn't stand the crying from the boy. Of course he's crying in pain! That's what you would feel if you had hit your head against a wall! But the cut and lump still need to be treated!

In a clichéd relationship, the father is usually the tough, stoic character while the mother is the soft cookie. In my relationship, I'm the hardy one while he's the softie. Sometimes I think he's a pussy. But don't ever mistaken my straightforwardness to mean that I don't love my children. Nurturing isn't just about Care Bears/Strawberry Shortcake wholesome goodness. Sometimes tough love is needed in life's lessons.

So imagine my frustration when I couldn't do my job well just because he crumbles at the sound of cries of pain. Bloody hell! I'm sick of being the "bad" parent but since we both can't be softies, somebody has to do the nasty jobs. Being a mother is already a thankless job. Now I've to be mean too.


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Thursday, June 21, 2012 @ 11:30 pm

Dear Blogger,

You have no idea what a shitty day I've had. It started with me looking forward to getting my sewing machine back and ended with me getting stuck in my lift. Let's start with the sewing machine.

I've had my sewing machine for about four years already, but I've only ever used it in sporadic moments. You know... I have phases. Like baking phase or knitting phase or gardening phase. Now, I'm having sewing phase. When Ipy bought the sewing machine for me, it wasn't a brand new machine. It was actually a very old machine. No longer in production in fact! It wasn't cheap either.

I had actually wanted a cheaper, beginner-entry sewing machine but Ipy said if I really wanted to sew, why not pay a bit more and get a good, sturdy machine that could last years! This machine could sew through leather and I suspected that was what sold him. As if I was really going to sew leather!

Anyway, the machine was so old (probably late last century!) that it didn't even come with a user guide or a manual. I couldn't even find any documentation on the machine on the Internet! Since I was really a beginner at sewing, I really had to learn my way through the machine through excessive reading, trial and error and good old instinct.

It was only a few weeks ago that I've learnt the reason why certain stitches did not turn out as expected was that they needed the right tools to work. Like the overlock stitch need an overlock presser foot. Duh! So I spent a considerable amount of money acquiring the right tools and fabric for my sewing projects. By the way, fabric these days isn't as cheap as I remembered it.

Thanks to websites and YouTube, there were so many easy-to-sew clothes that I wanted to make and I was very enthusiastic about the projects. So far, I've sewed two long floral skirts that are so fashionable now. Haven't taken any photos of them, but I should. They were inspired by the picture below from Let's Get Thrifty blog. It is the simplest skirt I've made so far (even easier than the one taught in Home Economics class!) and the blogger did a great easy-to-follow tutorial on making the skirt. I did mine in about half a day, minus sourcing for materials.

The big, bright floral print on the skirt is gorgeous right? From Let's Get Thrifty.

I've also refit my husband's no-longer-fit work pants into skinny pants and lengthened my pants and jeans because somehow, either they have shrunk or I have grown taller. So you see. I have been busy at the sewing machine. Until a few days ago.

Apparently, something happened to my machine and the needle kept breaking when I sewed. Since I couldn't figure out what was wrong it, even through countless hours of Googling, I had it sent for repair at Ban Soon Sewing. It's a little shop in Clementi that sells and repairs sewing machine and other sewing stuff. It's like THE go-to shop for sewing enthusiasts just like Golden Dragon is to knitters and Ah Boy is to bikers.

It's a great shop except for the service. Actually that's not fair. The staff are helpful except for the lady boss. I don't think she meant to be rude but she really puts me off her service. It's as if she didn't want me to be her customer! Anyway, I sent my sewing machine for repair on Tuesday. Estimated to be ready by today. But it's not completely repaired. I could choose to use some of the stitches or pay more to have some machine part replaced and wait another two weeks or so.

At this point, I was so tempted to just buy a new one. It would cost about the price as having my old machine completely repaired anyway. But hubby dearest advised me to have the machine repaired simply because it's a really good, proven machine. So I went through the lady boss again, which by now had pushed up my blood pressure to boiling point. Next time, the husband will go through her.

So my sewing projects have to be put on hold. I don't know if I'll be enthusiastic about sewing when I get back my machine. I may move on to other interests. Also, I won't be on maternity leave forever.

Now how did I get stuck in the lift? I wanted to take the children out for a walk to the neighbourhood shops but it started to drizzle. But I really wanted to go to the shops. So I left the children at home, bought my stuff and took away a McNuggets meal on the way home for the children.

I live on the second floor but I hardly use the stairs because there are two lifts and they go to every floor. One of the lift is being upgraded now so all the residents in my block have to tolerate with only one lift. The funny thing was, before I went into the one and only lift, someone had come out. The lift door was working fine. Somehow, when I got into it, something had jammed the lift door. I tried going out on other floors but the door wouldn't open.

I didn't panic. I was more annoyed than panic. Called the toll-free maintenance number. Not easy when my phone kept losing signal. When I finally got through, I was told that I had to wait 20min for the support guys to come. In the meantime, I was going up and down the floors. Out of annoyance and boredom (signal loss therefore no access to 3G therefore no Facebook or twitter), I pressed the alarm button continuously.

I think many of my neighbours heard the alarm because as the lift stopped on different floors, some people were trying to pry open the doors. One finally managed to. A young man on the third floor. Guess what? The support guys had not even arrived yet! I thanked the young man and calmly walked down one floor down the stairs. Still no panic. Only increased annoyance.

That's how my day ended. As I'm typing this, I am baking a chocolate cake using "The Easiest Chocolate Cake Recipe" from pixelated crumb. It really is the easiest chocolate cake recipe and the yummiest! This is the second time I'm baking this cake. No eggs. No butter. It's idiot-proof and the cake turns out as expected every time (see picture). What's not to like? My children loved this cake. Now, every time Sarah sees chocolate cake, she'd say, "Mommy make chocolate cake!".

Light, fluffy, moist, chocolatey and low cholesterol chocolate cake from pixelated crumb

I split the batter into two round cake pans because I'm going to attempt to frost the cake with chocolate buttercream frosting. Cake frosting has always scared me. I haven't yet made a successful frosting, let alone applied it to a cake. Hopefully, I'll be able to succeed this time round. If I do, I'll be able to move on to piping!


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Wednesday, June 20, 2012 @ 4:19 am

Dear Blogger,

I first saw a picture of a rainbow layer cake from a recipe in my Flipboard months ago. It was actually called an ombré cake because the layers were shades of one colour. "Ombré" is French for shades. I was blown away by the shades of purple on the layers of the cake and I told myself that making a cake like this would be an item in my bucket list. I haven't made it yet.

Purple Ombré Sprinkles Cake

A few days ago, I came across another rainbow cake on the Internet and this was REALLY a rainbow cake. Apparently, rainbow cakes are the in-thing now looking at the number of photos and tutorials posted in blogs, photo sharing sites and of course, Facebook. It seems it all started when Martha Stewart made this colourful cake with creator Whisk Kid on one of her shows.

The rainbow cake I came across was from Pixelated Crumb, and her recipe (inspired by Whisk Kid and America's Test Kitchen via Diamonds for Dessert) looked more achievable for my elementary skills.

Just look at those cheerful, bright colours! Don't you feel happy already? Thanks Pixelated Crumb!

Now, I can attempt to make this cake the way as it should be i.e. from scratch, or the easy way i.e. pre-mixed ala Betty Crocker. I have attempted the time-consuming, ingredient-fussy kek lapis successfully before and that my friend, did not come from a pre-mixed box. So why not this rainbow cake, which looked much easier to make than the kek lapis. Furthermore, I'm on maternity leave! So wish me luck!

But first, I've to get the right tools. Phoon Huat, here I come!


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Friday, June 15, 2012 @ 12:15 pm

Dear Blogger,

At this moment, I want to kill myself. I cannot stand all the whining, wailing and crying in the house. Do I dare say that I hate my children? Why can't they just sleep when they're tired? Why must they cry when they want something? Why can't they just stay where they are and play with their toys quietly?

I was a well-behaved child! I didn't cry so much. I didn't even cry when I pooped in my nappy! I sat quietly in my corner and played with whatever that was given to me. How did I know that? My aunties keep telling me these little anecdotes.

From whom did my children inherit these attention-seeking behaviours??? Was it their diet? Did the milk formula company added some kind of hyperactive drugs in the milk powder? Was it because I didn't follow any conventions during pregnancy or confinement? What? What? What? Tell me!!!

Could I possibly regret having children? They came too soon! I haven't even settled down proper in marriage and BOOM! The children came one after the other. Much too soon. You know what? I blame my husband for this. I blame his cowardice to get himself protected. Men so easily blame women for things that go wrong in the house. Hey! Listen up! If women are so wrong, why are you still with us???


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Tuesday, June 12, 2012 @ 10:19 pm

Dear Blogger,

Life with one child changes everything. Life with two children has its joys. Life with three children is crazy. One would think that with this many children, one would have been an expert in parenting or at least be more organised in the routines. All I can say is, I am neither. I am seriously overwhelmed with the attention needed by my children.

The baby feeds a lot and cries a lot. I can't stand the crying anymore. I don't know what she wants! Even after she's fed, cleaned, cuddled and God knows what else I've done, she still cries. And it's not even one of those cute cries that makes a person want to hold the baby. It's like a banshee's wail that makes me want to run out of the house! I'm not kidding. I really want to run away. There are even moments that I've thought of dropping the baby, God forbid.

My other two children are no different. I'm surprised the roof hasn't collapsed yet with all their screaming. If they are not screaming, they are up to some mischief somewhere. Mostly damaging my possessions. They just don't understand what no means! Especially my son. Even after countless times of bodily injuries due to falling, hitting or stepping, he still does whatever that injured him in the first place!

My stress level is hitting the roof. People don't think I'm having any stress right now, but I am. So much so that going mental is inevitable. I just want to swallow some drugs that will make this stress go away. Or get my children to swallow some drugs that will make them behave. Is that bad? Child development experts can say whatever they want. They can report me for child abuse. I don't care. They don't live with my children.

I've always believed in spare the rod, spoil the child. The westerners may call it inhumane but who's having a civil and moral crisis now? There is some truth about how some western elements are bad influences. Proof? Just look at Jersey Shore. I was a wild child but Jersey Shore was the pits!

For now, I just want to get away from everything. Maybe for a few days. I just want a few days to live a hedonistic life. No husband. No children. Is that possible? I don't want to get rid of them. Just taking a break from them. Maybe I should admit myself in a mental institution.


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Monday, June 11, 2012 @ 12:28 am

Dear Blogger,

Some men, like my husband, think that breastfeeding is easy. I would like to see them have a go at it. Some women too make breastfeeding look so easy. Lucky them. My husband has no idea the stress I face daily breastfeeding all my children. He thinks that whenever the baby cries, just shove her the breast. Bloody hell!

Breastfeeding is one of those activities which no one can tell you if you're doing it well or not. It can affect a person's security and sanity, like yours truly. Is my baby fed enough? If according to the guide books and nursing professionals I'm breastfeeding proper, then why is my baby crying for more right after she suckled my tits for hours??? Is formula milk such a bad thing to give to a newborn? Why can't I supplement breastfeeding with formula without getting disapproval looks from breastfeeding enthusiasts???

It doesn't help my already low self-esteem about my breasts capabilities when my husband keep comparing my milk supply to his friends' wives who seem to be milking like cows. God knows who these "friends" are. I'm so sick of being asked why I can only express less than an ounce of milk per session. How the hell do I know??? It's as good as telling me that I have defective breasts.

Men like my husband should just shut up and leave us women with breastfeeding issues alone. They think they're helping and showing concern by making remarks like these. Well, they're not! I'm already having a hard time with this obsession with milk flow. I don't need to be blamed for every time the baby cries. Since I'm doing such a lousy job at it, let him feed the baby! Wake up in the middle of the night several times too. Babies feed all the time!


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Tuesday, June 05, 2012 @ 12:12 am

Dear Blogger,

I couldn't sleep because I've been thinking about how long I've not been blogging. Does anyone blog anymore? Anyway, I just wanted to write about my non-epidural birth experience.

People have been asking me about my labour experience before this. I always said that I wasn't the best person to ask about that. Firstly, I have never experienced contractions until now. Secondly, my previous two deliveries were relatively painless. Thirdly, I have quite a high threshold for pain.

Epidural isn't for everyone. I've heard some people say they experienced side effects after opting for epidural. Side effects like back aches and joint pains. I have only experienced those occasionally but I've never attributed them to epidural. Also, if you have a fear of needles, then epidural is definitely not for you. The needle is injected into the spine and the needle isn't a fine one. So if that vision gives you shivers, then epidural is not for you.

For my 3rd delivery, I chose not to get epidural. Two reasons really. Firstly, I wanted to cut cost. More specifically, reduce Ipy's expenses. Epidural would cost him $500 more. Secondly, I wanted to experience natural birth so that I can finally answer the popular question, "Does giving birth hurt?".

I went into the familiar labour suite early in the morning with a 5cm dilation. My water bag hadn't broken yet and I hadn't felt any contractions. I had to go in early because I had some infection in my vagina so I had to antibiotic drip inserted into my blood. My doctor pierced my water bag an hour later but I still had not felt any contractions. It was only about four hours later that I felt the wave-like cramps in my lower region. The notorious contractions have begun. It wasn't so much the pain that was unbearable. It was the quick succession of contractions that made women go crazy.

Proper breathing techniques help to relieve the pain. I had forgotten the breathing technique taught in pre-natal class three years ago. So I googled it. The fact that my hospital offered free WiFi was worth the few thousand dollars that may husband had paid for my stay. Anyway, I learnt to breathe in and out using the "Re-Lax" mantra. Reeee (breathe in), laaaaaaaaaxxxx (breathe out).

The important thing is to stay focus. It is hard to stay focus when your womb feels like it is being squeezed like a sponge. But panicking will only make things worse. For a few minutes, I did that. Panic that is. Then I remembered to focus on my breathing and it did help to relieve the pain a little. At least, you'd be rational enough to ask for painkillers and gas. I don't know what gas it was but I want t again. It tasted horrible at first but after that, I was just floating and it felt good! Guess this was what marijuana felt like.

I couldn't remember much after that. I remembered saying that I wanted to push. Through the haze, I saw my doctor and the nurses rushing to me. I heard Ipy said something but I couldn't make out what he said because there were so many other voices talking too. Then I remembered pushing my arse out. I thought I was doing a number two! I was trying to push something big and round like a rock out of my hole. After three pushes, something just slid out of my body and I felt relieved. Still in a haze, I heard a loud cry. No. A wailing. Then I knew. It was my baby. I couldn't hold or even open my eyes because I was very drowsy. It felt surreal. It felt neither here nor there. I remembered saying "Mommy's drowsy. Mommy's drowsy". And that's that.

When I finally woke up, I was in my suite and my tummy's growling of hunger. Strangely, I was up and about as if I hadn't just delivered a 3.6kg baby girl. Everyone was concerned except me. Physically, I felt really good! Must be the gas. I loved the gas.


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