Monday, 16 September 2013

Motherhood unleashes the Wonder Woman in you.

Have you ever experienced a sudden power surge in your exhausted and about-to-crash body when you see your child is in harms way? Suddenly, you are able to do the lunges, somersaults and even run at lightening speed.
I have, and on many occasions too.

Just when I thought the need to bend down and pick up another toy off the floor would permanently disable my already aching back, I catch myself diving down and sliding  across my hallway to catch my toddler who decided to dive down from my sofa.
Despite being exhausted to the bones, the catch was so perfect that it was worthy of being a golden catch like that in a baseball game.

It's just amazing what motherhood brings out in you.

  • I remember a time in my past when silence was uncomfortable and unbearable but today, I crave for it (because I've got three who like to jibber jabber a lot!)
  • Eating out alone was unacceptable but today I want to be alone when I am having my cup of coffee.

  • Going out every night and returning at the crack of dawn was a fun but today I hit the sack before midnight and am up before the sun is out.
  • Watching TV was a daily routine but today, days go by without even glancing at the TV.
  • A shower meant a lengthy affair in the bathroom. That is time spent looking in the mirror applying my 3 step facial cleansing pack but today I hardly have time to brush my hair and scrunchie has became my favourite hair accessory. (What were you thinking when I said "lengthy affair'?)

This is not how my daily cuppa looks like. I wouldn't have mind it, if it was.

Other than unleashing the super powers in you, it changes you in ways you would have least expected. These changes happen willingly and slowly takes over your pre-child lifestyle. I welcome these changes and some changes have helped me become a better person. It has thought me to love unconditionally and to share more.

During our short family weekend getaway, my husband's cousin (still a bachelor) asked me if I missed my bachelorette life and my immediate response was a resounding no. 

I am happy with everything that I have and don't have.
I am glad with all the things that I had to miss because I am so tied down trying to manage my life with 3 children.

The jibber-jabbers

Would I swap it? NO
How about you?

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Linking up with Greta

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

This could happen to anybody

(Updated 21/8/14)

The house doesn't matter, the perfect dinner doesn't matter - the kids matter.

On one Sunday morning 5 years ago, I was crying inconsolably while hugging my 3 & 2 years old children. I called my husband, threatened him and told him I will not forgive.
I had just witnessed a devastating story shared on Oprah Winfrey's show: An overwhelmed mom's mistake.
On Aug 23, 2007, Brenda Shably had made horrid mistake. She had left her toddler, Cecilia in her car for many hours during the hottest summer time.
I am unable reiterate her story because it still gives me goose bumps and my mind starts wondering to places I don't want it to go. I hate such thoughts but I can't stop them either! 

What makes me angry is that I did it once - I can hear my heart pounding as I am writing this. I am lost for words and don't know how to continue... (Pause and breathing deep)

No! I did not let my child die in a car.
Thought I better clear the air before you start wondering but I did FORGET (yes I FORGOT, I don't know how it was even possible but I did!) my 6 months old baby in the car for a minute at 1 pm during when the sun is most unforgiving with its heat.

I am trembling as I share this because it was a terrible, horrible, horrific and horrid incident. I have spent many days after, trying to figure why and how could I have done it? I don't have an answer to that but I feel terrible each time I think about it. 

What happened:

As usual, I headed over to pick up my girls from their school with my baby safely buckled in her car seat and then to my mom's place for lunch. Once at my mom's, my girls excitedly leaped out of the car and ran inside leaving me the task of bringing in their school bags and some groceries from the trunk. 
As I was putting away the grocery in her fridge, my mom asked where is S?

Everything froze. I felt my head spin and legs wobbly. I dropped the bags and  ran out of the house to my car. It was the longest 20 meters I have ever ran and it was taking forever to reach the car.

She was awake and looking at me as I was frantically trying to unfasten her seat belt. Fat tears were rolling down my cheeks and I was shaking uncontrollably, full of fear and guilt. Flashback of Brenda's tragedy was playing in my mind and a loud prayer was being uttered. Everything was moving at snail pace and I could not make out the words my mom was saying to me.

There was and never will be, a good excuse for what I did.
No matter how tired and exhausted I may be, forgetting a child is unforgivable. Unlike Brenda Shably, I have no deadlines or impressions to set. I am a stay at home mom and my kids are my boss. I should be working very hard to impress them and it doesn't take a lot to impress them, especially at their age (toddler & tween). All they want is my undivided attention and love.

As adults we ought to know when to call it a day and get some rest. I sometimes find it hard to fathom how being tired can intervene and cause major disruptions in my daily routine - from forgetting to being cranky.
I seriously think that when a parent is handed a newborn, they should come with a warning sign that says 'Do not get too tired when dealing with young children'  just as how you would be advised when taking prescribed drugs - 'Do not operate heavy machinery after consuming this medicine'. 

It is easier said than done, I know because I've been there. It is a lot of work and being constantly tired is quite the norm with a newborn. So isn't it a blessing that many parents are given long leave from work? Getting 60 days paid leave is insufficient, I can honestly say now after spending close to two years with my children. It's a big sacrifice but it is worth it. Every day spent was worth it.

It could happen to anyone

In June 2013, I came to know that a 3 year old had died due to heatstroke because she was left in a car for almost 8 hours! This dreadful incident happened in a place that I pass by every day. I cannot stop myself from thinking and wondering how it must be for the mother of that child.

A teacher who witnessed the whole incident told me it is something she wish would never happen to anybody. She was mad and infuriated that the mother (her colleague) could have forgotten her child in the car. I was quiet and couldn't gather enough courage to speak up and tell her to stop blaming the mother. I wanted to share with her that I am guilty too. All I wanted to say was "Shut up! Shut up! You should help ease the pain for the grieving mother and sympathise with her", but I didn't. I cowardly kept my story inside me, locked and sealed but today I want to share this because I just saw a child safety film which got me screaming NO to the person who saw a child crying in a car but did not do anything about it!
That got me thinking, perhaps the person doesn't know the dangers of leaving a child in a locked car and that's why she walked away.
I knew then that I must share this.

I try my best'est to always be alert and well rested because I am dealing with precious cargo every day but you cannot know when lightning is going to strike. I have implemented an alert system (after the dreadful day and a mouthful of shelling from my mother) to remind me of all the small and big things.

I have set a reminder in my phone that asks me "Where are my children?" It has been set at specific intervals when I am getting in and out of the car most often.
I have also made it a habit to tell my husband if I am going out with the kids and he would call to check our whereabouts and ask about the kids.
I would do the same too when he is out with the kids. Thus far, this has helped us a lot in making sure we are aware and always know what each person is doing. It is like a checklist, each alert (hand phone reminder) and phone call is to check and make sure the kids are safe and well.

It is sad to know the statistics of this dreadful and AVOIDABLE accident. So please share this or just talk to the person next to you. You never know who this story might help and stop another car child death tragedy.

This is a reenactment and no one was harmed in the making of this video

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Thank you for stopping by at A cuppa for my thoughts

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Eyes are the window to the soul

Did you know that you are suppose to visit an eye specialist (not your optician) once a year? Even if you have perfect vision.
I only knew this when a friend asked me to accompany him (to an ophthalmologist) to pick up his glasses.

The doctor was surprised that I had not once, visited a proper eye doctor - I had been visiting opticians to get my spectacles (ophthalmic lenses) and never really thought about an eye specialist, truth be told, I didn't even know that there were different categories of eye specialist.

He insisted I come in for an eye examination and I learnt that what an ophthalmologist does is so thorough and detailed compared to the opticians I had been visiting in the past.
I even got sunglasses to sun proof my eyes (which I should have done from young) because exposure to sun's ultraviolet light can raise the risk of cataract and other eye related problems later in life.

So if you are as convinced as I am and would go the extra mile to protect your precious mini-me's eyes, I would suggest you to invest in a pair of sunglasses which is able to block 100% UVA & UVB rays. The only way to be sure you are getting this deal is by investing in a trusted brand label like Squids.

Beware of sunglasses that only blocks the sunlight (with dark lenses) without the UVA & UVB protection, because they could damage your eyes even more as opposed to not wearing a pair of sunglasses -when using dark lenses, your pupils will dilate to let in more light. So choose carefully and get to know your sunglasses before using them.

Squids comes in two sizes; Mini-squids can fit a baby up to 2 years old while Squids are meant for older children (3-10). These are from Australia but you can  easily get them here from Bloom and Grow

These sunglasses are made with care and are easy to care for too. The lenses are made of shatterproof Polycarbonate so you can trust you little ones to handle them on their own.
They are light and flexible, so are great company to the beach or pool because it will float if your child accidentally drops it in the pool. They are also great for your active toddler and children who enjoy being out in the sun.

The mini-squids are well thought design because there are no sharp edges on the frame (rounded temple tips) which could accidentally hurt my toddler and comes with a removable head strap to secure it around her head.
I tried using it with the head strap but my little toddler prefers it without because she  likes to take off and put on the sunglasses. Even without the strap, mini-squids would stay on and not fall off despite all the running around she does in the park.

She loves her Squids so much that she pretty much uses it all the time we are out in the sun. The moment I strap her up in her car seat, she would reach out for her sunglasses which are placed next to her seat and put them on. They are so comfortable that she managed to take a nap while wearing it.

Squids which are meant for older children do not come with a head strap but have the same features as the mini-squids and are slightly larger.
During our recent trip to the beach, my girls pretty much had these sunglasses on for a long period of time. They did not feel any discomfort or found it to be annoying. In fact, it felt rather pleasant and "cool", that's how my eldest daughter described it to be.

I am glad my girls like Squids which are stylish, comfortable and beautifully designed for the little ones. These have become an accessory that we won't leave the house without.

Malaysians are a lucky lot because we get sun or the summer experience throughout the year and these sunglasses provide the right protection I need for their eyes.

I received Squids from Bloom and Grow for review purpose.
No monetary compensation was given and all opinions are mine and mine only.

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Now you can follow me by email (fill email address here) to get new post notifications delivered directly into your mailbox or you could follow my Facebook page Life Simplified to get more recipes and tips in making life a little more laid back or we can connect via twitter.

Thank you for stopping by at A cuppa for my thoughts