Crestfallen

Crestfallen. The first word that came to mind when I was asked to head back to the parking ground where I started my Traffic Police driving test, after my circuit session. I was carrying high hopes of passing the driving test, to get it over and done with, having spent countless weekends and paid leaves to learn how to drive for the past 5 months. I was carrying the hopes of being able to drive my mum and nainai on 25 May when we meet for lunch. My instructor was carrying hopes for me to pass as he told me that he hoped to hear good news from me before I went for the test.

But, I failed. 30 points. I struck the kerb twice in my parallel parking which I’ve never done so during my practices.

I was disappointed that I’ve dashed hopes – mine, my family and my instructor’s. It was an emotion I’ve not felt so strongly for a long time.

Called DR and sobbed. Headed home and closed my eyes for about 20 minutes, and I felt better after that. Rest and food are God-given comfort to manage one’s emotions. Thankful also for my colleagues who shared how they only passed on the 2nd or 3rd time over WhatsApp. It helps to know you are not alone.

Now after a failure, got to try again and not be afraid. The next time, stronger.

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How life has changed

So many significant things have happened since my last post. This season is seeing many exciting changes. First exciting thing – I’m learning driving! The reason? I think I need another blog post to share what made me do this.

For now, would like to keep things short. Oh another exciting thing that’s coming up – John Mayer is finally holding a concert here in Singapore! I really can’t wait to hear him live on 1 April, together with Sarah, Sihui and Wenqi 😀

Last thing – we made it for Eunice’s 1st birthday! Thanks to the many helping hands, particularly from the Woodlanders ladies. I’m so glad her birthday party was full of laughter from family and friends who matter to us in our lives. It means a lot to us when we see them turn up.. because we want to celebrate with them our first-time joy of being parents and surviving the first year. Many more years to come!

Thank you, Jesus for this season.

Goodbye, 8 Days (print)

I feel poignant holding the last print issue of 8 Days in my hands. Started reading 8 Days when I was 11 and bought it faithfully every week (almost!) till today. 8 Days isn’t just any usual magazine because my family and I practically grew up together with it, reading their drama synopses, entertainment news, food reviews and whatnots.

My little one may never know how it is like to look forward to a magazine to hit newsstands, and thumb through the colourful pages for entertainment news when you finally have the copy in your hands. Because Instagram. Sigh.

I suppose my tingle of sadness came also from the hope that 8 Days could continue in print, being the last (few) stalwarts of print magazines that could sell relatively well. But I guess we have to embrace being digital because this is the future of communications.

If not now, then when? Eventually, they will go digital. In the meantime, thank you, 8 Days print, for accompanying my childhood, teenage years and young adulthood for the past 20 years!

How I prepared to go out with the baby alone

So, I reached a milestone in motherhood last Saturday (1 Sep) — bringing baby out on my own to a relatively unknown place, in this case, Clan Cafe at Bukit Pasoh.

What gave me the boldness to bring baby out on my own? Well, I’ve been talking more to my mother-in-law and realise she’s quite capable in child-caring! She told me she used to bring her three children out from Bedok to Toa Payoh to visit her parents on Saturdays — on her own! I was amazed.. she told me she would carry the youngest in a carrier, the middle child in the stroller and hold my hubby’s hands (as he’s the oldest child) when heading out. Without. Taxi. No MRT Circle Line in early 1990s. I was like… *slow clap*

So, when my girlfriends and I planned to catch up over lunch, I had wanted to place baby at my in laws’ so I can head out to meet them on own. Eventually I decided against it after finding out that Bukit Pasoh is just right next to Outram Park station! If it’s near an MRT station, I should bring baby out on my own. If my MIL has done it (with three kids, no less), I should be able to do it too!

So brought her out, I did! And survived 🙂

What is necessary when bringing out a baby on your own? Here’s my list of things to prepare…

1) Wear contact lenses instead of glasses so that you won’t risk having your baby grab your glasses or have glasses slipping down your nose when settling the baby. You wouldn’t want something to go awry when you are struggling with the baby on your own!

2) Ensure you have diapers and a fresh change of clothes, for soiled moments. Because you don’t want to be buying one whole packet of diapers just because you forgot to bring a few pieces!

3) Carry a sling bag and a backpack. Backpack for all the baby “barang barang” and sling bag to easily reach your wallet, ez-link card and mobile phones.

4) Push the baby with a stroller. I always thought that I just need a trusty, good carrier when going out but I realise a good stroller is equally important. Especially when you want to put baby down to sleep for a while or just rest your aching shoulders/hips.

5) Be friendly and smiley. You need to be prepared to be friendly when going out alone as you never know when you need help from strangers, like having them help hold the door for your stroller, or carry your stroller or giving you an empathetic “it’s-okay” look when your baby starts screaming in public.

Here’s the picture of victory. Thank you, Jesus for watching out for both of us!

Things that I’ve learnt in school that’s actually useful for work/life

When I was younger, I would wonder what the heck was algebra. Why would I need to know “toa cah soh” (for the uninitiated, it’s a Singlish way to make us remember trigonometry formulas)? As I grew older, I realise there were some things that I learnt in school that were actually useful and essential for work and in daily life.

So if you think you want to focus your energies on learning important things that are useful, you may want to make reference to this post! But here’s a disclaimer — these things are what I personally find useful for life and my job in general.

Primary school

– Mathematics – Percentages (to know proportion, how significant are certain changes and not just rely on absolute numbers)

– English – how to write numbers in words (to write cheques)

Secondary school

– English – Summary skills (you will have to read tons of information for work and condense the critical information for your bosses or clients)

– Social studies – Cross-referencing skills (to know how to differentiate fake news, to not be easily swayed by popular opinions but know that every message has an agenda)

– Mathematics – Probability (to know whether to take a risk on a certain decision or whether you should buy certain insurance)

Junior college

– Economics – Demand & Supply concept, Return of Investment

University

– Communications fundamentals – know how to communicate to different stakeholders. Tailor your message to different audience through different medium. One topic that would be useful at work is “strategic ambiguity” :p

What? I’m going back to work already?

I am going back to work next week after my maternity leave. What??! Noooooo…

I enjoyed my time with the baby, and not having to think about work and dealing with whether-the-boss-agrees conversations. After working for 7.5 years, I guess I’m happy that I can have a short (and paid) break away from work. I am grateful. Now with a baby, it’s going to be more challenging to deal with work stuff but may the Lord grant me efficiency and energy. May the Lord help me to know what is important.

All I want is to see my little girl’s face at the end of the work day!

How I wanted to announce my pregnancy – The Baker and the Bun

Except for a couple of scares, my pregnancy has generally been smooth-sailing, which I am really thankful to the Lord for. But these two scary episodes (with one involving going to KK Hospital) were enough to make me have reservations about sharing my pregnancy early to big groups of people on social media.

So when I was ready to share, I was planning to do so with a short story instead of posting a run-of-the-mill ultrasound picture… but after reading the story to DR, he found it strange to announce it this way, and so I withheld this story. Now that little E is already out and turning 12 weeks tomorrow, I decided to share this exclusively here. Haha.. presenting to you, “The Baker and the Bun”!

THE BAKER AND THE BUN

One fine day, the Baker decided to make a bun. He wanted the bun to be life-giving to those who would have it. So he personally rolled it, kneaded it, shaped it. He wanted to make sure the aroma of the baked bun would bring big smiles and satisfaction. He then placed the bun in Esther’s oven. He will bake it for about 9 months. De Ren, the Baker’s assistant is thrilled and looks forward to seeing the Baker’s masterpiece in January 2018!

~The End~

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