no matter what you do, you’re doing it wrong.

parenting is a lot like walking on eggshells, i reckon. i mean, i’m the kind of person who abuses google and i can tell you right now that in the business of raising kids, every article you read would be a contradiction to the other.

letting a baby “cry it out” fosters independence.

babies who co-slept turn out to be more emotionally stable adults and therefore less likely to become future axe murderers.

and let’s not get started on the whole breastfeeding war which, frankly speaking, is a load of bullshit that puts a lot of pressure on mothers to a point of guilt when they find they couldn’t do it for whatever reason. and those who do breastfeed are put to shame when then they do so publicly.

either way, you’re screwed. it’s always gonna be a catch-22 and you’ll always be left wondering if you’re doing the right thing.

considering the number of parenting articles i studied for the sake of “weighing my options” (the freakin’ libran that i am), i’m amazed that i still have my sanity intact. relatively speaking.

the first time parents group meetings really helped a lot. here are some of the things the nurse pointed out that really hit home. i’ll bullet-point them for you to give you the impression that i’m one organized asshole:

  • STOP GOOGLING!

lol. guilty as charged. i can’t help it. i have this pathologic condition of googling everything that arouses my curiosity — from “signs of baby’s growth spurt” to “how to wear a head scarf without looking like a cancer patient.” i’m not even kidding on the last one. somehow i feel like the more accurate my key phrases are, the more accurate the results i’m gonna get. which isn’t always the case because, you know, head scarves can be quite a tricky look to pull off.

  • DON’T COMPARE YOUR BABY TO OTHER BABIES. IT’S NOT FAIR TO YOU, IT’S NOT FAIR TO THE OTHER BABY, AND IT’S DEFINITELY NOT FAIR TO YOUR BABY.

because, you know, every baby is different. some reach their milestones earlier than others but those who don’t do catch up at some point, sometimes even overtaking the early bloomers. they need to take their sweet time. as long as they’re happy and they’re doing well for their age, that’s all that matters.

and i’m sorry if it looked like i was screaming.

  • JUST DO WHAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU.

even some random stranger wouldn’t hesitate to give you “a bit of advice” but at the end of the day, it’s just you and your child. and you know your child better than anyone else so trust your instincts. you could be wrong but you learn. and you could be right but what works for your baby now might not be as effective later. it’s really all just trial and error.

i reckon we’re all just trying to wing it.

raven

here’s my baby on our way out to last friday’s group meeting, looking all calm and angelic despite the fact that we were running 30 minutes late and i was a ball of nerves.

because she started to get fussy at the last minute but when i tried to nurse her, she decided she wasn’t hungry after all.

because it was raining and i knew i had to carry her car seat from the parking lot to the building and i’m telling you, that shit is heavy! plus, i still struggle with putting the car seat in and taking it out. i wrestle with that damn thing all the time.

because i was nervous at having to breastfeed her there, knowing that she might need a feed in an hour or two. and i still get anxious about breastfeeding in public. even if it’s around other first time moms like myself.

i bought a big kimono on sale that day. i reckon it would come in handy for that purpose. we’ll see how it goes.

i could maybe use some of these toys myself too.

Typing on my phone right now. It makes me feel uneasy how every sentence is properly capitalized at the start. Kind of makes this blog post too formal; and me seem kind of stuck up. Not that i have anything against people who cross their t’s and dot their i’s to perfection but, you know, that’s not me. I like the casualness of small caps. The free flow it gives me as i type. But this freaking phone (no, really, i love this phone.) Has OCD so i’ll just let it be.

Besides, looks kind of fun to see capital letters randomly popping out of nowhere. Like in that last sentence up there, in case you haven’t noticed. We’ll see how this goes.

raven

So anyway, i bought raven some toys yesterday. Although bought is such a passive word to use. Because the truth is, it was closer to panicbuying than anything else.

Because my older sister was like, “poor raven. how come she doesn’t have any toys? She needs the stimulation.”

In my head i was thinking:

1. isn’t my face stimulation enough?

2. OMIGOD, WHAT IF MY KID TURNS OUT TO BE INTELLECTUALLY DISADVANTAGED?!

Before somebody reports me to the authorities for child neglect, i did plan on getting raven some toys. Just when she’s older. And have you been to toys ‘r us? The sheer amount and variety of toys there are astounding. Half the time i couldn’t help but ask what they’re for and how exactly they contribute to a child’s development.

Because i guess i’m the kind of mom who promotes her child’s creativity through raw art. I mean getting little fingers and faces dirty with paint. and maybe a bit of a carboard box rides too.

raven

Just as i’m the kind of mom who finds it really funny when her baby’s head is stuck in her singlet when she’s getting her ready so they can buy those freaking toys already.

Seriously, between me and my kid, i reckon i’m the one with the developmental delay.

if you notice me getting fat, shut up and silently blame jeff.

he lied. BIG TIME.

when he asked me to move in with him 3 years ago, i told him i won’t. on account that i can’t cook and i thought it would be unfair to move in with somebody when i can’t even bring anything to the table, literally and figuratively.

he said he couldn’t cook either. said that it would be fun to learn together. you know, make it an adventure. he made it sound so much fun. of course i fell for it.

boy, was i in for a big surprise: THE DUDE CAN COOK!

and i’m not talking scrambled-eggs-on-toast-with-maybe-a-bit-of-tomato-on-the-side-to-make-it-look-gourmet kind of cook.

i’m talking about this:

jeff cookingjeff cooking

for the last couple of weeks jeff has been cooking dinner for us. one year of eating my monggos and dinuldog and he’s probably had enough. can’t blame him. there’s only so much a person can take eating pumpkin soup, even if you’re filo as.

jeff cooking

he says it’s kind of like a date. him and me in the kitchen. hell, he says it’s even better than going out to eat at restaurants. plus, it’s waaaay so much cheaper too, he says. he did the math and according to his computation, i eat like a pig wherever anyways so might as well take the most cost-effective route. win-win.

i don’t mind. to be honest, i’d rather really just stay at home most of the time. because it fucking takes so much effort for me to look human for public consumption that i’d really rather just netflix and chill. (and by “chill,” i mean zzzzz…)

and besides, as his sous chef, i’m learning a lot from him.

sous chef.

such a fancy name for somebody who washes the dishes and operates his industrial fan blower when the fire alarm goes off. but i’m starting to earn his trust, i noticed. because he now delegates to me the most crucial task:

breading the meat.

mind you, it can make or break the whole entire dish. i’m dead serious. if you can’t even do it properly, then you have no right touching the holy flour sprinkled with jeff’s secret blend of herbs and spices. i’m not laughing. (what, you think this is some kind of a joke?)

and when he feels like it, he promotes me to food taster too. my most favorite job of all. except that he has to guard the rest of the food like a maximum security prison officer for fear that i’d eat it all. which i’m not saying i won’t. there’s always something exciting about prisonbreak. before you found out wentworth miller was actually gay.

anyhow, there’s this quote saying:

“a wife has to be a maid in the living room, a cook in the kitchen, and a whore in the bedroom.”

obviously, a cook in the kitchen is already out of the equation which leaves me as… well, let’s just say, a whore in the living room. because i daresay i turn the heat up there pretty quick.

not to brag but i can work the heater like a motha’.

while jeff works like a motha’ to pay for the gas bills.

p.s. he makes some mean lamb biryani! holler and i’ll hook you up.

yes, mommy, i do miss going to church once in a while.

truth be told, i’m not very religious. a little ironic considering how, once upon a time, when i was about 8 years old, i’d wear a skirt on my head and pretend it was a habit. i wanted to be a nun.

nobody knows this but i used to have this diary where i would write down the prayers that i would say every single day of the week which i copied from my mom’s prayer books. no one prayer on repeat. my mom had a lot of prayer books.

of course i never stuck to them. the ritual of writing them was more enjoyable than the penance of actually following through.

and i wasn’t exactly a saintly child either. i guess i just liked the novelty of writing things down.

i was a pen and paper kid, you know what i mean? but the extreme kind. i was that kid who secretly saved papers from the rubbish bin because i felt sorry for them. watching them move clumsily forward as i swept the floor felt like a funeral procession and i didn’t have the heart to throw them away so i’d lovingly pick them up like you would a child and stuff them in my mom’s tupperware cabinet.

i know it sounds pretty mental. i probably was. probably still am. probably always will be.

anyhow, back to the business of religion: i don’t really go to church that often here. i know i should but i don’t. for a myriad of reasons. but if there’s one church i would consider my favorite, it would have to be st. francis’ catholic church in the city. for the simple, unexplainable reason that it feels church-y to me — the stained glass windows, wooden ceilings, the paintings on the ceiling — the general feeling of oldness and solemnness about it.

most of all, i love their prayer room. and the fact that you can light candles in there. because it’s rare to find churches here that allow people to do it, obviously for safety reasons. but at st. francis’ church, you can. and i miss that.

i should probably take better, and more recent photos of the church. the next time i go there, i will. for now, these will have to do.

st. francis catholic church, melbournest. francis catholic church, melbournest. francis catholic church, melbourne

*26 weeks pregnant

of books and boobs

time flies.

i don’t know how many times i’ve said that ever since i became a mom. watching my baby grow every day and achieving her milestones is always a bittersweet event. i get so fucking emotional. and yes, when she graduated from newborn nappies to infant ones, deep inside i was crying shitloads over that too.

motherhood is weird.

raven

yesterday we took her for her 8-week checkup with the midwife. walked it ‘coz it was just around the block. that, and it was a nice sunny morning too. the freezing wind was a bitch but the sun was definitely a welcome relief from the cold rainy days we’ve been having lately.

i don’t like winter. never have. so even when it’s summer and it’s 34 degrees out, you might hear me complain but that’s just my half-hearted attempt at small talk. i’d take the heat anytime.

okay, maybe around 35 degrees max. i said heat, not hell.

anyway, everything went well with raven’s checkup. the midwife was just as happy with my breastmilk as i am because raven’s hitting the growth chart target.

speaking of breastmilk, i’m getting the hang of it now, breastfeeding. in a sense that i have already developed the uncanny ability to nurse her with one hand while reading a book on the other. (omg, may i recommend markus zusak’s the book thief? it’s awesome! like, 5 stars awesome. if i have to describe it in one word, i’d probably go for “delicious.” seriously, every page is fucking wordporn.)

as for breastfeeding shedding off those pregnancy pounds? i don’t know about that. i’m still a couple of kilos away from my home base. but then again, i may have been eating too many chocolate chip cookies. okay, fine, and ice cream as well but for what it’s worth, i was happy eating them.

now showing: revenge of the fats.

raven

also, took the little bubba to the op shop yesterday to baptize her into the wonderful world of thrifting. barely 5 minutes in there and she was already crying. i called jeff and told him his daughter might not be into thrifting. that perhaps she’s more of a chanel and chadstone kind of girl.

almost gave her dad a heart attack.

on the bright side, i started her book collection already. bought secondhand, of course. (because i can’t ever justify buying books brand new. and also, because i’m a fucking cheapskate.) i started reading to her already even though she might not be able to focus quite yet. i don’t know if it’s doing her any good but i sure as hell am enjoying it!

a birthday and a monthsary

jeff's birthday

this was us on jeff’s birthday last year. he said he was getting old. said he’d rather have a full 8-hour sleep than a sleepless night of drunken parties. he just wanted some peace and quiet. an age-appropriate celebration befitting of the numbers that spell out his age. the kind your grandma would totally gatecrash.

and so we only had a simple dinner in the city. at this vietnamese restaurant whose name i can’t remember.

jeff's birthday

it was a really cold night, i can tell you that right now. 3 layers of clothing and my bones were still feeling it, man. as a consolation, you have to give my beanie some brownie points. didn’t really help much with preventing hypothermia but, well, what can you do? that shit was on sale.

oh, and what’s up with the 6 of spades? well, outside the restaurant, there was this street magician doing some card tricks. you know how they let you pick a random card from the deck and you sign your name on it and then they put it back into the stack and shuffle it like crazy to give you the impression that your card’s just as lost as nemo in a sea of spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs? and then all of a sudden, with a handful of exaggerated gestures and facial expressions, they fish out that one single card with your handwriting on it?

yep, that trick.

except that he used this plastic-y thing which then revealed my card. something like that. whatever. it was so long ago and i don’t exactly have photographic memory.

unless i’m trying to phish jeff with personal questions i already know the answer to. that, my friend, is my forte. as well as every other woman’s out there, whether they care to admit it or not. lol.

jeff's birthday

anyhow, jeff’s not getting any younger so as you can expect, it was still a pretty laid-back birthday celebration this year. although he just kissed his last year’s wish of a full 8-hour sleep goodbye because, you know, chubby cheeks.

his parents shouted us dinner at china bar signature asian buffet. an all-you-can-eat resto at burwood east. where i stuffed my face full with sushi because i’ve been so deprived of it for 10 long months i almost forgot what they taste like. (like heaven!) and, oh, i discovered a new japanese favorite: seaweed salad.

so as not to waste the $65 meal, i also stuffed my face full with oysters. too much that i felt drunk with it. tipsy. i didn’t even know oysters could do that to you. or maybe it was just me. but that didn’t stop me from going for more, nonetheless.

maybe because i also kind of miss getting drunk. no, not make-out-with-the-toilet drunk. just, you know, chill drunk. the kind that lowers your self-consciousness and raises your endearing lameness to an all-time high. laughing your gums out with your buddies at 3am, talking about ridiculous nonsense that you’re bound to forget the morning after.

those were the days.

jeff's birthdayjeff's birthdayjeff's birthday

and if you ask me if i want something like that for my kid as well, the answer is:

HELL, YEAH!

but only when she’s 23 and i’m one of her drinking buddies while her dad DJs somewhere in the background.

i swear we’d the coolest parents ever! (i’ll bet my false teeth on it. lol.)