Friday, January 20, 2017

Rounding Up 2016!

I know it's already like the 3rd week of 2017, but as usual I am always late in posting my year in review. No matter how tempted I am to brush it away, I would always end up posting it as I really love to look back on it one day. It's also a good time to reflect and give thanks to God and the people who has made my year an exceptional blessed one.

I remembered 2016 started with me in my third trimester, feeling all heavy, tired and emotional. I didn't blog about it, but third trimester was quite hard for me. Being pregnant the second time is an entirely different experience compared to to the first where I can take a nap at anytime of the day, check the pregnancy tracker every single day and remembering in a single heartbeat that its the "15 weeks and 2 days" and my baby is currently growing out his little toes or developing his limbs. For the 2nd pregnancy, I needed about a few seconds to remember I am pregnant and shouldn't be running after a bus, trying to tolerate the smell of Zoe's pork broth without throwing up, and often forgetting to to apply my stretch mark cream before knocking out on the bed (and I am paying the price now). It was basically also all about trying to not go into an early labor with all that walking to Zoe's school everyday, and keeping up with the needs of a toddler.

 Emotionally I think the hormones were really acting up. I was really teary towards the end of my pregnancy, and often stayed up overthinking about everything like the transitions for everyone, the arrangements after my maternity leave has ended, would I be able to cope etc. As much as I am excited to welcome our baby, I was also getting really sentimental about how things are no longer going to be the same when we welcome our second child. The thought of Zoe no longer being our only baby, and how if I could manage two young kids and splitting myself to love them were constantly on my mind.  It was just lots of nerves and anxiety and feeling a lot less ready to be a mum of 2. But now, when I thought back on those days, I am glad things just fell into place and all those worries were really kind of unfounded!

 We also begun 2016 with Zoe going for her first day of school and the husband for his first day at work in a new environment. Both on the same day! Going to school was a huge thing for her and also us! She was just 20 months old and leaving her in a new environment was a huge worry for me all the time. (This adds on to all my anxiety in my 3rd trimester!) Thankfully, she adjusted very quickly (she stopped crying after about a month or less), and clearly love school very very very much that she would sometimes refuse to leave even though she had spent 9 hours there! (I had episodes of her planking on the floor because she didn't want to go back home), I am thankful that I get to meet her teachers every quarter to find out about her progress, to see her artwork, photos of her when she is participating in activities and to understand any concern or issues that the teachers had with her. My husband and I are so proud of her progress in school, to be able to encourage and care for the younger ones and grow in her life skills in her time there.

Read about her first week in preschool here!

Just before I popped, Zoe turned 2! We threw a small party for her at home and in school (read here for more), and I can hardly believe this baby of mine is now a girl and her baby features are almost or actually all gone. Watching her grow this year has been so different from the prior year. Last year was more about meeting her physical needs (feeding, bathing, reading a book, crawling or walking etc), this year it's much deeper.... It's about about her emotional and mental development. We went through a short phase of terrible twos, and boy was it tough! 

Dealing with a toddler who does not listen and one who threw a tantrum every other minute was extremely challenging and hair pulling experience. I know it's hard to tell that we went through it because all you see are sweet photos of her (hello social media!), but there were days I cried because I had no idea what to do with this stubborn child of mine who is screaming her head off because I had put on the left side of the shoe first instead of the right side. But thankfully, we had it for only short short period of time though it felt like forever, and managed to navigate our way out of it by God's grace. She has since then grown to be more mature, into someone whom we can reason with, who understands us when we correct her, who apologies when she is in the wrong, and one who learns from her mistakes. Of course not all the time, but significantly a lot less tantrums and a lot a lot more fun times together. 

One big milestone of hers in 2016 was also that she has also successfully toilet trained within 2 weeks and would now go to the potty on her own when she needs to pee or poo. She has recently refused to let us help her and will go to her potty to pee, takes the toilet paper to wipe, wear her pants and wash her hands all on her own. We are only allowed to stand outside to secretly peep (so that she don't do anything dangerous), and she will come out announcing "I did it!". We are going to start the night time training next week, so hopefully we see some good results given her enthusiasm in this!

We also managed to squeeze in two family photo shoots this year! One was a maternity shoot that was shot by my dearest sister, you can view more photos here. And another which was when Coen was about 6 or 7 weeks old and we had the shoot done by a professional photographer which we redeemed FOC by purchasing a product. I didn't blog about it because the photos we received were kind of not really up to my expectations and to post it up means I have to re edit them, so I put that off. Perhaps one day I will post it up, but till then here's one of my favorite shots from that shoot. Really hoping that 2017 we will get the chance to do a really good family photo shoot!

In late April, the day finally arrived and our second child Coen Xie was born! This is probably the biggest and most important event of the entire year for me. Memories of that day are still fresh on my mind, like how I felt the contractions, the epidural that hurt during its administration and his non stop crying the entire time when we were in the labor ward. But of course not forgetting how amazing the feeling was to hold him in my arms, and the time where I first felt that special connection with him in my stay at the hospital. To be honest, it wasn't an instant "click" when I first carried him and nor did I feel anything extraordinary when I pushed him out and heard his cries. But it was really through those initial nursing sessions in the middle of the night at the hospital that got me really bonded with Coen for the first time. Tiring to have the nurse pushed him in every 3 hours, but I just could stare at him look all snugly wrapped up asleep and my tiredness would disappear. Sigh, babies grow up too fast.

Read more about the delivery here.

In 2016, I am really thankful we managed to also travel at least once for a holiday and it was such a much needed break for me after having returned to work for 2 months. I was really weighed down mentally by the transition of going back to work and amount of work that needs to be cleared during that period of time. We traveled to Hong Kong (again) and brought Zoe to Disneyland where she could see all her favorite characters come to life. And speaking of which, I only managed to blog 2 out of 4 entries of this trip, so.... I will try to finish that soon! Hopefully we get to travel soon again, with Coen this time definitely!

Read our Disneyland adventure here.

Just before the year ended, the kids had a really wonderful opportunity to appear in Le Petit Society Chinese New Year's Rooster Collection shoot. Honestly, I wasn't very sure nor confident if the kids would cooperate on the day or for Zoe's case if she would even allow me to change her into the clothing. Temperaments of a 2 year old fluctuates so much that I can hardly keep up sometimes. But anyway, I decided to let the kids have a go to just gain some exposure and besides, we love the clothing from Le Petit Society and we couldn't be happier for the opportunity! I will definitely be posting the photos soon so keep a lookout for it!

So, with the above, I am done with 2016, although I still have a few more backlog entries to be posted. But generally this was how 2016 went by, and I couldn't be happier about how it all turned out to be. It will most likely be the most significant or biggest year for me because having been made a mom of 2, I don't think anything else can beat that! Before I sign off, I would like to give thanks and all glory to Jesus who has made all these possible and for His grace in everything in our lives. There is just simply not enough words to express how thankful I feel right now when I think of what I have been blessed with in 2016 or even my entire life! So, thank You Jesus!


  1. That makes two of us! :p
    What a whirlwind of a year it was, in 2016, wasn't it? So thankful for everything, and yes, those toddler phases can be really challenging, and I feel you!! It does get better, so let's wing it together! Also really glad to finally meet you! Hehe. Cheers to a brighter and more fabulous year ahead!! Pls send kisses to Zoe and Coen for me! ����

    1. Hey Cindy! It was so good to know you in 2016! Thanks for being part of my motherhood journey! I felt so much better when I know I am not the one suffering from mastitis!! LOL! Hope to meet you more in 2017! <3