T is for Thirty!

I turn 30 in a week and for such a big milestone birthday, i guess i expected a lot more aplomb and excitement but instead, i find myself feeling.. what’s the word for it? ah, there it is.. grateful. 

Now that i have a child of my own, i think turning 30 made me think about the sacrifices and the love my parents have showered on me all these years.

Ping Birthday

oh the trauma mum went through! there is something about the raw bestiality of childbearing that makes me appreciate my mum that much more, especially because she had a really tough pregnancy with me. and then she probably realised that was the easiest part? did she know that day her life would forever change? i was a tough baby, an even worse, clingy and needy child, a defiant teenager, an absent young adult and a stubborn and strong-headed adult. thank you mum, for the loving patience and all encompassing love that you’ve demonstrated with me and with my sisters and now our children. you are twice the woman i’d ever be.

“it takes a village to raise a child” and don’t i know it? raising a child is scores harder than birthing a child — and i have plenty to be thankful for, for dad who is my lunch buddy and supper kah-ki. i dont think dad has ever refused me a lift anywhere or denied me anything i wanted  needed. dad’s my closest friend and there is nothing we cannot talk about and he is the parent i aspire to be. dad teaches me the meaning of putting his children first in all things; and that family sticks up for each other, no matter what.

ah, i am misty eyed.

maybe because i am spending this milestone birthday away from them with my new family– if everything goes according to plan, the three of us will be taking in the night parade at Disneyland on my birthday.

what a timely break, i have found myself stuck in a rut for a while, emotionally. it is not easy to do a long distance relationship, especially with such a young child. i know we’ve got it better than most. (we have so much help!) but its still different to live apart — and to be completely honest, Denn and i are used to doing alot together, so it does feel like i am not whole without him.

i’d be travelling up with my in-laws, and then we’d have some tan-family time in Napa Valley, then we’re all headed to Disneyland before we split off from the main group. Denn, E and I are heading to San Diego/ Santa Monica while the Other 4 Tans are heading to Vegas! This would be the first time Dennis and i would truly be alone with Elizabeth with no external help and i am really looking forward to it. (praying for patience!) We will all then head back to SF for christmas and new year’s.

i have much to be thankful for this birthday.

Lotsa Love,


P is for Packing List

We leave for SF to join Dennis on friday morning, and i have to admit, i am really stressed out about it. a couple of nights ago, my dad came to sit with me when i was battling a migraine, and told me “its a stress headache”.

Elizabeth has been the sweetest baby, all smiles and content to sit in her carrier, sleeping and eating on schedule, able to play quietly by herself, engaged with books and toys for long periods. until last week. suddenly she has learnt a new skill: defiance. pushing boundaries, threw a few tantrums and i have to admit it has given me quite a shock. and frustrations.

Facebook has this feature where it reminds you what happened on this day X no. of years ago, and sent me a notification that on this day, 2012, i attended a friend’s wedding and this song played — filling me with peace.

what a lovely song, and what a wonderful reminder that despite all the hassle and bustle — i’m going to fly over to Dennis, and what a happy reunion that would be. i’ve been so caught up being so frustrated over Elizabeth and packing logistics that i forgot the reason why i am going over — to be with my beloved. to look forward, to be basking in his attention and love.

When Love is Found

When love is found and hope comes home,
Sing and be glad that two are one.
When love explodes and fills the sky,
Praise God and share our Maker’s joy.

When love has flow’red in trust and care,
Build both each day that love may dare
To reach beyond home’s warmth and light,
To serve and strive for truth and right.

When love is tried as loved-ones change,
Hold still to hope though all seems strange,
Till ease returns and love grows wise
Through list’ning ears and opened eyes.

When love is torn and trust betrayed,
Pray strength to love till torments fade,
Till lovers keep no score of wrong,
But hear through pan love’s Easter song.

Praise God for love, praise God for life,
In age or youth, in husband, wife,
Lift up your hearts, let love be fed
Through death and life in broken bread.

i have much to be thankful for, and looking forward to.

Letters to Elizabeth, 9 months.

Dear Elizabeth

A part of me regrets not writing to you on the previous milestones. i wasn’t in the mood then, i wasn’t ready to talk about it then, i wasn’t all there mentally then, the words wouldn’t come… excuses excuses.. so here i do a mash up, chop-chop version of the events leading to now.

you were born, while most women would tell you childbirth is one of the most profound experiences in their lifetime, let mummy tell you, it was not one of my favourite. there is nothing fun about trying to pull a fishball out of your nostrill –dont try that!– but it got me, you so that day is forever etched in my memory darling. i truly felt like i left the last dregs of “girl” behind and became a woman (hormonal, sweaty, weepy, angry..) that day.

you had your tongue-tie snipped, that was probably more painful emotionally for mummy than physically for you. daddy and mama connie went into the procedure room with you while mummy sat outside bawling — i wasn’t allowed in as i was to prepare to nurse you. you were a champ though. 2 mins after, it was like it never happened.

you first smiled at me, you were, and still remain, a happy contented child. you are not a crier, often we wake to hear you gurgling in laughter. this world must be a funny world to you — a beautiful baby in front of us, and we adults spend our times stressing out in front of our big screens

you turned one month old, anyone who tells you one-month olds are fun, are lying. eat, sleep, poop, repeat. ah, those wonderful days. but it was lovely to watch your daddy fall in love with you, over and over.

you had your first vaccination, we like your PD very much, he was mummy’s PD too. we werent really used to hearing you scream in anger so this vacc tickled us greatly, sweetheart — sorry, we laughed as you screamed then glared very angrily (as angrily as babies can) at the nurse

you were hospitalized for salmonella, we are fanatic about the cleaniness of your stuff, and noone really knows how you caught it. PD says its probably an inheritance from mummy that you caught on the way out. this sensitive tummy would constantly plaque us over the next few months.

you discovered TV, ah life got easier for us. you are clearly your father’s daughter. once the TV is on, you are enraptured. you can clearly identify your favourite characters : billy and bam bam, vocabu-larry, stick with mick. oh sweetheart, your first crush was on a little blue/purple boy with a red cap and baggy pants. you’d laugh and blush whenever he came on screen.

you tried your first solids, nightmare. you reject everything new violently, and had this amazing ability to projectile your displeasure all over everyone. right now, you like pumpkin, corn, carrots, spinach, rice (not porridge), cereal, pears. you completely dislike fish, chicken, mangoes. ice-cream is your current favourite. i know, what awful parents would give their child sugars and processed dairy? but their fussy-pot child giggles and would-do-anything-for-ice-cream — even tummy time. and also because your mama christine pretends to crave ice-cream every afternoon so she has an excuse to “share” with you.

oh baby. how loved, are you?



Letters from the valley: last days, Big Sur

Sunshine smiles, but the heart is sad. I write this as I recuperate from my Long flight back. The bed feels too big, and too empty, so I am comforting myself by going through the last few pictures of our amazing week together. 

Food, food, food. The non stop eating! This was the best breakfast in the paso Robles area, the locals told us, so we had to go.  
Hearst castle was inspiring. 

Random creek, in the middle of the mountains.

17 mile drive, before heading home.

Ah love, I feel like I left a part of me there with you, somewhere along the 101. 

Letters from the valley: steakhouses, inns and vineyards 

Ah, how good God is, to gift us with perfect sunny weather for the vineyards! San Luis Obispo was so unpretentious — I’d love to come back. Wine tours, are not my thing– but Denn loves the grape. Me, I loved the sunshine and the neat little rows. And the lovely Eberle poodles.


Denn also checked us into the Madonna Inn– which is a really cool inn with different feature rooms. We were in the Yosemite room with rocks and our own little fireplace; and little CD were in the caveman room. Tons of fun. Even better than the rooms, were their steakhouse. I wish I had pictures. One of the best steaks I’ve had. 


What a trip! So epic. 

Letters from the Valley: driving with the top down

So little D’s SUV had to stay at the workshop, and we have left SF in Denn’s little convertible. Not the most comfortable of rides but I really couldn’t ask for more. Feeling extremely thankful to be able to be here in the first place.

 We’re driving towards San Jose, but I don’t know where our destination is at this point. It doesn’t matter, because I am in excellent company and its the journey that really means something to me. Anywhere, with You.

Letters from the Valley: California dreaming 

Oh, come on, sing it with me: “All the leaves are browning/ and the sky is grey/ I went for a walk/ On a winter’s day.” 

We are doing a lot of walking (by my standards) and it was a lovely day to walk to South Park, and catch a little sun. Maybe I just miss having someone’s hand to hold. Denn confided that he has been waiting for me to come over, he misses having someone around to do the couple things with, like walk around the park.    

Today I had breakfast with my Favourite boys, at a lovely little French patisserie, the Butler and the Chef. Very Parisian, but what would I know, I have never been to Paris. The Hot chocolate was lovely, but I did not enjoy the country ham as much as I expected to. 
I took 3 nights to settle into the jet lag; it’s already Tuesday over here. A couple more days left, it’s already feels like the vacation is nearly over. Denn has been working a fair bit yesterday and today, and growled at me more than once. Ah, love, how I miss you surly so. 

Little C brought me out for some shopping, and I should not have walked into Saks off 5th, which was discount Saks. Cos I  ended up buying things I did not know I even needed– like  that Marc Jacob diaper bag. Tsk, bad influence, that one. But it was nice just being out and about w Little C, have missed her so. Even if she encouraged me to buy 4 pairs of shoes, when I only needed 1. 

Taking in the Alcatraz tour today!