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! 

Letters from the valley: Of Baths, smoking cars and Michellin stars

Jet lag means you wake your reluctant Husband at 7 am to go for breakfast. I am not used to not having 24-hour eateries (everywhere in +65, FTW!) and we ended up waiting outside the Cliffhouse for an hour before they open. The clam chowder and steamed clams (clams clams, we can eat them all day)  were well worth the wait! Loved the pot sticker rolls but we ate them too quickly, no pictures.

The Suthro baths were a nice visit, and the area called Lands end was pretty aptly named. Loved the morning climbing up cliffs (wilderness, me??) and taking in some sea air. 

Someone got some seagull poop on his 328i and was not happy. Little C only cheered up after coffee, and finally forgave me for waking (and asking –somewhat fearfully — her out at this somewhat ungodly hour.

The Tan boys made an unexpected stop at the mechanics because Little D’s car started smoking, and we had too many people yell at us that “YOUR CAR’S ON FIRE!!”, bye bye X5. 

Dinner was a lovely affair at SPQR. Lovely names on all the dishes–like “fairytale eggplant”, gimme now, thanks. Dinner was wonderful, dessert blew me away.  Roasted strawberry ice cream with meringue .. Oh i was too busy stuffing face to take down the description. Yums.  

Happy 30th, mine. 

D brought me on a Long drive after dinner– to see the Golden Gate Bridge and Bay bridge; and a walk through the Palace of fine arts. The last was so heartbreakingly romantic, what a lovely end to a night out. Photos not mine, didn’t have a good enough camera to capture it. Photos from Wikipedia and Google images


What a first day, with my forev Boyf, who made it all about me rather than himself. I even got a gift!  

Hah! #presentfail, but it’s a very D thing to do– its the heart that counts, and I will treasure it so. His criterion of buying gifts for me : pink and sparkly. Oh, I love this man so, tacky $5 bracelet et al. 

Blessed birthday, sweetheart. The depth of your love surprises me, even after 8 years. Forever, in electric dreams.

Letters from the Valley: take off

I love plane rides. There is nothing to be done on the plane but rest, be quiet, read. In the company of strangers, where one can truly be oneself– ugly sleeping face and snoring, for all I care; they do not know me, or care to. That one safe haven away from the Internet — no texts, no phone calls. Me time. I pour over the pages of my book, I watch the movies i meant to but never did.Denn will attest to me sleeping for hours, take off to landing. DND for meals.

This flight is different, somehow. There is a nervousness, in the clench of my stomach that causes my eye to twitch and my shoulder to stiffen. I am restless and I can’t explain it. I protest! I was looking forward to this solace! I thought I would be sleeping my way through the flight! 2 tabs x novomin (I have bad flying ears) 2 hours ago; but here I am, sitting in the dark, still searching for Mr Sandman.

Is this the difference being a Mother? Am I worried about little Elizabeth back home, hence the unsettled being? Someone said having a child is like having your heart permanently outside your body. Maybe this is what it is. My solace has now become my vulnerability. I worry, what if she is having her bout of colic again? What if she finally learnt to make that turn in her sleep? What if what if.

My sister told me, I will learn to deal with the guilt of leaving her behind. That I may even cry enroute to the airport. Well I didn’t. I went for a 3 pm meeting that took me to 4.30 pm (coincidentally the client offices are at airport terminal 2) and then dad and I hung out for an hour at terminal 3 with some coffee. I packed my schedule so I did not need to deal with this emotion of leaving Elizabeth behind. I Guess this is why I am awake now?

The world conspires against me. Usually on flights there would be some people watching the screen or reading or working. Not in my segment! What is going on guys? The whole cabin segment is asleep! I just took a walk around. I don’t even see the crew! Twilight zone much? Perfect sleeping environment! Can you tell I am stressing out over nothing?

*post edit: was a blessing in disguise that I couldn’t sleep on the plane, as I arrived SFO at 8 pm last night! Dinner then bed, a lot easier after sleep eluded me on the plane! Am hoping this jet lag would pass quickly!