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Archive for the ‘Reflections’ Category

Writing from the Heart

I was having lunch at the Elmwood Spa on Thursday, leafing through the More magazine when an interview with Michael Buble caught my interest.

I’ve heard his name many times, but have never felt the urge to check out his music, so it’s interesting that I would stop short, and actually gave the interview my attention.

It’s his answer to the question “Why do you write from the heart?” that had called to my subconscious. 😉

“Every song I’ve written is because of something I’ve gone through – whether I’ve been in love or felt terrible, or I’ve hurt someone or someone has destroyed me. I can’t write unless I’m feeling something extreme. When you do that (writing from the heart), you allow people listening to your music to also become emotionally attached. You hit a chord somewhere – you make them feel something.”

And that connected me to him.

I have never met Michael, and likely never will. But the chord he has struck in my heart with his heartfelt answer will stay with me for a long time, and I will now make a point to check out his music. 🙂

Writing from the heart requires a lot of courage, and effort. It depletes the writer, as the writer pours his heart and soul into the endeavour to create something of beauty. And it exposes him to the critics of this world, some who may be very unkind.

For that bravery to bare all to the world, I salute all the writers out there, past, present and future.

Thank you all for your wonderful insights and revelations, and helping this little muser gain that much more understanding into the mysteries of the human psyche.

Till the next time I muse.

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Today is one of those days that I was driven nuts by Ethan.

He drove me nuts on Sunday with his seemingly never-ending fussing, and then he was a superb movie date yesterday, and went right back to being a monster today. I was a little baffled by his ever changing moods.

I had a feeling by midday that he was going to be cranky because he refused to nap, and boy, was I ever right. I tried all the different ways to get him to sleep, but he would only do 15 minutes at the max.

By 4:30 pm, he has to be the crankiest kid in Toronto! *sigh* And I almost became a bald mom. I nearly pulled all my hair out from frustration, get it? Hahaha! 🙂

It’s easy to be amused by the past events, but at the time it was happening, time seems to stand still.

Anyhow, Wayne was a real darling. When he came home, and saw me close to tears while trying to soothe a screaming baby, he took the little guy from me, and told me that he’ll bring him out for a couple of hours. He asked me to take a nap, which I did.

And funnily enough, when I woke up an hour later, and found that they were still out, I actually missed the little guy.

So, what has my 13 week old baby taught me? Let’s see…

1. I realized that I really am a very impatient person. I have little patience for fussiness, and crankiness. I am a little ashamed to say that in the last 3 months, I must have yelled more than I ever had in my 35 years of life! How am I ever going to reach a point where I can handle fussiness and crankiness like a pro? Then again, I think the real question for me is… Do I really want to learn to handle fussiness and crankiness? Or maybe the better way is to learn to minimize the periods of fussiness and crankiness by learning to pick up the cues from my baby?

2. Babies ABSOLUTELY need their sleep. Today is a great lesson for me… If I had braved the lesser evil of taking him out in the awful heat, he would have been able to sleep while we were out (like always). I wouldn’t have to deal with the greater evil of a very cranky baby!

3. It is possible to rock the baby till the cows come home, and he is still bright eyed and bushy tailed! GAH!

4. My baby turns out to be more like me than I thought possible. He becomes cranky when he is cooped up at home, just like his mommy!

5. The most important lesson that Ethan has taught me… Even when I leave him to cry till he falls asleep, his little heart is so forgiving that his eyes still light up when I talk to him, he’ll still give me that sweet toothless grin, and gurgle when I finally calm down.

6. That I do love this little guy to bits, even when he tests my patience almost every single day.

From what happened today, I realize that I am a better mom when I get my break from him. And I am not going to feel guilty about wanting to be away from him for a couple of hours.

From now on, I will make a conscious effort to ensure that I get my break from him. Because only when I am calm, sane, and centered, then can I be the kind of mom Ethan deserves! 🙂

Till the next time I muse.

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3 month new Mommy

Ethan is turning 3 months old today. He has been in this world for a full 91 days. He is definitely thriving, and enjoying his life in this world. 🙂

But Mommy here still has her moments… moments when I wonder when this whole thing will end. I guess today is one of those days when I miss my old life terribly. The life where I can do as I please, go where I want, without having to think of how to accommodate a little person.

These days when I go out, by the time I pack up Ethan’s stuff, strap him into his car seat, and lug him in his car seat to the car, I am already exhausted. Just writing about it is exhausting me!

I feel a little bad as I took my exhaustion and frustration out on Wayne. But at the same time, I needed to let the steam out, as I could see my feelings spiraling downwards, and my resentment ascending upwards!

Maybe it’s because I am mostly by myself? Would things have been better if we had family closer to us?

I really doubt it though.

When too many people are involved in bringing up a child, or are in close contact with the child often, there will inevitably be clashes on the way to bring up the child. We all have our own notions of what is the best for a kid.

As an example, my own mom, who is ten thousand miles away from me and Ethan, will occasionally call me to tell me what I should or should not do with him. And it already drives me nuts. I dread to think what it will be like if she is involved in Ethan’s daily life.

It’s funny how I was always led to believe that once I have my own kid, I will finally understand what my mom has gone through, and I will appreciate her more.

I don’t think I ever under appreciated my mom… I love her, and I always will for the life she has given me, and for all she has done to bring me up. But that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t drive me nuts with her nagging and her own stubborn way of always thinking she is right.

Look at me going eh… 🙂

The truth is, I am more like my mom than I care to admit. 🙂

Where did I think my headstrong trait come from? 😉

I have been trying very hard not to look back at my old life, the life where Ethan was not a part of. But I think that may have backfired. I miss it even more by trying so hard to not think about it.

Perhaps, I will have to learn to accept that I will always miss my old life, and I shouldn’t feel guilty about it. Missing my old life doesn’t mean I don’t love Ethan. It is the the same as loving my mom doesn’t mean she doesn’t drive me crazy.

The existence of one doesn’t mean the demise of the other.

Hmm… I must be really tired… Not even sure if I am making any sense now. 🙂 Perhaps, things will look better once I have a good night’s sleep.

Till the next time I muse.

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Wow… May just whooshed by, and I did not even have a single post on my blog in the month of May. Being a mommy sure takes up a lot of time. Yea, yea… trust me to blame it on being a mommy! 😉

Ethan will be turning 10 weeks old tomorrow, and I just find it hard to believe he is only in my life for 10 weeks. It seems like he’s been in my life forever, in a good way! 😉 In the last 10 weeks, I have gone through many ups and many downs.

There was a point where I even had to take a hiatus in posting in the SmartCanucks forum that I frequent, as my postings were getting depressing and very negative regarding Motherhood.

I took a one week break, not allowing myself to post any words, and it did me tons of good. It gave me time to collect myself, and find my way back to positive me. It also proved that words really do reinforce your frame of mind.

I was exhausted from being a new mom, and was already feeling negative. Writing negatively about my experience reinforced the feelings, and made me feel worse! So, in hindsight, taking a break from writing was a wise decision. 🙂

In all fairness, Ethan is a great baby to have and to care for. There are times when he behaves like a baby and fusses lots, but hey, he IS a baby! 🙂

I tend to forget that he is still relatively new in and to this world, because it really feels like he has been in my life forever!

I recall writing that it doesn’t get better as a mom, it is just me getting used to being a mom, hence it seems like things are getting better. I still think that is true.

I’ve always known that being a mom IS a lot of work. But I never fully realize the extent of that knowledge until I experience it myself. I always respect moms, but now, I have immense respect for all mothers.

Motherhood requires so much dedication, commitment, courage, lots of patience, and most importantly, tons of love.

But behind all those work lies a very sweet fruit of labor. That toothless grin from my baby, the smiling sparkling eyes that seem to say it all, the happy gurgles from Ethan when I try to make him smile… All these little moments truly melt away the frustrations of all the hard work.

Oh my dear sweet son…. Thank you so much for the past 10 weeks of learning. I know we still have many years ahead of us to continue learning about each other, but at this point, I want you to know that I truly feel blessed to have you in my life.

I know there will always be times when I feel down because of the accompanying work. But it is also because of the bittersweetness of all the hard work, that I am really able to appreciate the little moments of tender sweetness you provide.

I love you, Ethan. And I want you to always remember that.

Till the next time I muse.

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The last 4 weeks of my life seems to be a very, very long neverending day. It went by so fast, and yet so slowly.

So many things have happened since the birth of Ethan… My poor little guy… He had it a little rough since coming to the world.

First, both of us had to go through a very long labour and delivery process. It was a total of 24 hours before we got to meet each other. He was finally brought out into this world via assisted delivery using forceps. I had a complete shutdown, and was too exhausted to have him placed on my body. Hubby was the one who got to carry him first. It was what I wanted, although not in the way I expected it to happen.

Then, when Ethan was 3 days old, he was diagnosed with jaundice, and had to be placed in an incubator for phototherapy. He didn’t like it too much, as he was screaming a lot. Poor Mommy here was in tears, as it was heartwrenching to hear and see him cry, and not be able to comfort him. The nurse told me not to take him out of the incubator too much, as it will increase the length of time he might have to stay in the incubator. So, I had to helplessly watch him through the incubator, and watch him wail and struggle. My poor little guy.

Then, when we finally reach home, and just when I thought things will get better, I had a bad reaction to some foods that was prepared for me, and I had gastric reflux. I was throwing up whatever I ate for 4 days. Not fun. Especially since that was the time when I needed nutrition to heal myself from a very long labour and delivery.

After I am done with the gastric reflux, my poor little guy fell ill, had fever, and we had to rush him to the Sick Kids’ hospital, where he was diagnosed with urinary tract infection (E coli bacteria). He was in the hospital for a total of 9 days. During the 9 days, he probably had enough needles, cathethers and IV to last him for his entire childhood. My poor son. He had to have the IV procedure 3 times. =( My heart bleeds every time that happens, and he cries so hard.

Before I became a mommy, I’ve heard about the sleepless nights, the runaway hormones following childbirth, and thought I was prepared for it. Nope. The entire experience is nothing like I expected. At this point, I sometimes wonder what made me decide to go through with it.

But what really struck me was that being a mommy means having my heart wrenched everytime my little guy cries with discomfort, or isn’t feeling well. And everytime he cries, I want to cry with him. And every time he feels unwell, there is immense guilt on my part. I feel like it was my fault that he is unwell. Could it be something that I did not do enough, or did I do something wrongly?

But when I see his adorable countenance, his sparkling eyes, his little gurgles and smiles, my heart melts and I just want the best in this world for him! And as reluctant as I am to admit it, he is really all worth it.

And on my part, I have to learn not to be too harsh on myself, and accept that my little guy has finally embarked on his own little journey in this world, and he is no longer protected in the warmth of my uterus. He will have to go through sniffles, coughs, colds, germs, bacteria, fever etc., and it is nothing to do with what I have or have not done. It is just a passage of life, and the way he builds up his own immune system. My part as his mommy will be to comfort him when he cries from being sick, or when he is feeling discomfort.

Okay, my little guy is crying to be fed now. I am going to him now. Till the next time I muse.

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Post Partum Musings

I had a minor breakdown today.

And I took it out on my mom, who called me at a wrong time. I went ballistic when she started nagging about how my health and body isn’t the same as before since I just gave birth. I told her that I am going mad not going out of the house. I had wanted her to understand that it is awful to stay indoors when the weather out there is so nice, but she went the other way and started nagging about how my body is not the same and I should not go out.

I guess it’s about time I let out my pent up frustrations and feelings since giving birth to Ethan 2 weeks ago. And I am partly to be blamed. Although I never really believed in the traditional Chinese confinement practices, I decided to try to follow it, since I really didn’t want to suffer from aches and pains when I am older.

But I am utterly miserable trying to follow the practice! My mood is foul most of the time, and although I appreciate the help that the confinement lady I hired, I really dislike her nagging. It reminds me of my mom! And the worst thing is I am paying her!

I feel like an utter fool, paying someone to come nag at how I shouldn’t be going out, I should eat this, I should lie down more, blah, blah, blah.

I might as well just have my mom over to nag at me, and it is free!

It’s strange how all these older people seem to think that they know what is the best for new mothers. Part of me really misses the times when I was left alone, far away from all these “traditions and beliefs”.

I guess I deserved it. I should have listened and followed my heart. Being a person who has never been a follower of traditions, I should have known instinctively that I would be miserable trying to follow tradition.

I should have done my own modified post partum recuperation plan, instead of blindly following the confinement practices that have been passed down for a thousand years.

Some of the practices probably made a whole lot of sense a thousand years ago, but not for today’s women.

I’m sure there are lessons to be learnt from my confinement fiasco. And I am sure a few months down the road, I will probably be laughing over what I’ve experienced during this month.

But at this moment, I really don’t find it funny.

I think I might just look into the entire post partum confinement history when I am done, and try to debunk it.

Yes, I think I’ll do that. If I do some research and lay down some facts, I might save some other new mom from this confinement misery. 😛

Alright… enough musing for now. Time to go check on my little son. He’s been sleeping for almost 3 hours… Time to wake him up and feed him. 🙂

Till the next time I muse.

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The last week and a half have really gone by in a blur… Ethan has finally come… He came to this world at 9 lbs and 9 ounces, and gave mommy here a hard time. But it’s all worth it. He’s the most adorable thing I’ve seen. Probably even more adorable than me when I was a baby. 😉

I guess with being a new mommy now, I will likely have less time to do long posts with my musings. But I still want to record some of the thoughts that go through in my mind.

The last week and a half, I’ve discovered that:
– I really do love my hubby a lot. And he is the most wonderful man anyone can ever ask for. He was with me all the way while I was labouring in the hospital, from the labour room to the operating theater for the assisted deilvery. He said he’s so proud of me, but I am just as proud of him. It’s never easy watching a loved one “suffering”… and he went through it like a trooper. Just like me! 😀

– Looking at Ethan, I realized that my heart indeed can expand and include another person. The heart seems to have no limits in loving.

– There are times when I still feel a little weepy, as I look at Ethan, because he look so helpless as a newborn. At least when he is within me, I can give him everything that I have, but now all he takes is milk.. Is that even enough? I miss drinking those Green Monsters, and knowing that the goodness of he Green Monsters is somehow getting through to him.

– I am glad that I played a lot of my favourite music to Ethan while he was in utero… He seems to calm down when I play the same music now.

Oh… my dear son is awake… I gotta go…

Till the next time I muse.

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