18 May 2011, by Tan Yi Lin
Aaahhhh! Is it me or does the air smell extra sweet right after a vacation? Anyhow, I think the time is just ripe to do a post on celebrating the GREAT things in life! 🙂
This is going to be a photo-heavy entry. I guess it more than makes up for the recent image-sparse posts. So yaay, let’s get (sc)rolling!
1) Mothers Day Brunch
We actually celebrated on Polling Day on 7 May instead of Mother’s Day proper the next day. After all seven of us had trooped down the hill to our designated polling station at the foot of our housing estate and back up again, we were sweating buckets. What else better to do than to zip into an air-conditioned mall downtown. Which mall better to go than Millennia Walk where my sister’s inaugural self-designed fashion label NAKED|ROOM is on sale at PARCO Marina Bay! She and her co-designer Jada are part of PARCO’s pool of young, new, local fashion designers. Female readers out there, the simple but elegant collection which promises to flatter the figure and glam up the look. Before my sis got into this, I always had the impression that PARCO carried only expensive labels. The NAKED|ROOM range is priced sorta Mango-ish, which is worth spending a little more on because the pieces are timeless. It’s a pity that I can’t wear any of it now being a whopping six months pregnant, but will be one of my incentives to quickly lose the baby bulge and fit into one of these snazzy babies:
Do check it out (just click on the links in the para above – I really don’t encourage that you Google “naked room”…)
Okay, enough hard-sell and bugging you all to get Naked.
Brunch was at the Outback Steak House – really good steak for a tad-too-expensive prices. But heck, it’s a celebration worth splurging on. This is when I really appreciate that I have two siblings to split the bill with. See, another reason to have more children if you can – economies of scale.
I hope all mummies out there had a really nice Mothers’ Day celebration too. What touched me dearly was an SMS that I received bright and early on Sunday morning (9am is considered very early when you sleep at 4am after watching the GE2011 results on telly.) It was from my 62 year-old colleague, who is both a father and grandfather, wishing me “Hi mummy-to-be, Happy Mothers’ Day!” What a gentleman to remember me on this day, when I haven’t yet earned my mummy stripes on my sleeve. I couldn’t help but smile despite having to squint at my phone all bleary-eyed and sleep-deprived.
2) A Triple Baby Shower
What better way to find yet another way to celebrate Mothers’ Day on 8 May than with a Triple Baby Shower? It was a lovely tea party put together by my dear girlfriends from school in celebration of three expectant mums – Mich, Mandy (yes, fellow blogger Mandy) and me. Well, technically Mich is already a mum since she’s expecting Ah Boy No.2 this June, but who says baby showers are only in honour of first-time mums? Our little tete-a-tete made up the prettiest corner of Cafe Hacienda at Dempsey Hill, all decked out in pastel-coloured balloons, ribbons, miniature tea items and gifts. I’ll just let the pictures do the talking (and your fingers do the scrolling!)
This is the stuff that little girls are made of – even when they become mums and have their own little girls (and boys.) Utter sweetness. I love my friends for organising my first baby shower and for their wonderful gift of a denim-chic Maxi Cosi infant seat so that my little girl can ride snug and safe in the car (if she willingly sits still in it, hopefully.)
As for the guys, baby showers are obviously foreign territory to them. But they have their fair share of camaraderie and own ways of showing that they care. You can tell from this conversation that Dan had with his best bud (and our baby’s self-declared godfather-to-be) when he dropped me off at Dempsey:
Dan: Hey duuuuude, wat’s up?
Best Dude Forever: Hey duuuuude, wanna go scuba diving in the Maldives in August?
Dan: Dude! My baby is going to be born in August lah deh! And you’re going diving?!
Best Dude Forever: Oh sh*t! Okay, okay, I’m cancelling the trip now! Bye!
Yups. Roy cares 🙂 (PS. Dan did call him back after that and told him that it was really okay for him to go.)
3) Bali Babymoon
About a month ago, we jetted off to the nearby island of Bali for a quick getaway. I had just wrapped up my last couple of projects in the office before my transfer to a new department, so it was an ideal time to take some time off work and enjoy some couple time offshore. Plus, KLM was offering flights to Bali at the cannot-resist-price of $200+ per person, with taxes all in. We had earlier intended to visit Japan because Dan won a free plane ticket to Tokyo, but the recent earthquake created a rift in our travel plans. We picked Ubud for its lush tranquility up in the hills and amidst the padi fields, and stayed at the Furama Villas & Spa located outside of town. The resort was offering a 30% discount on its private pool villa rates, complete with daily breakfast, a free dinner, 30min couple massage, free shuttle to town and return airport transfers. In other words – A.DAMN.GOOD.DEAL. It was meant to be a very low-activity sorta programme where we would eat, sleep, swim, soak, read, wander lazily around town – basically do absolutely nothing. And that, we did:
Chilling in our very own pool villa…
Heading out to town for lunch and to chill some more at our favourite cafe by the lotus pond…
And returning to our peaceful retreat for the evening…
We had deliberately chosen such a “nuah” programme because I couldn’t do the usual cycling and trekking or river-rafting excursions that most people head to Ubud for. In any case, on our first trip to Bali where we visited Kuta and Ubud, I rolled down a sloping padi field too fast, hit the embankment, flew headlong into the drain and kissed a morning glory (plant) growing alongside the muddy ditch. Nice – not. Very embarrassing when you’re with the guy whom you’re still dating. Thankfully, he still decided to kiss and clean me up, and marry me. So we thought I would be pretty safe and injury-free if we avoided all this. Who knew that climbing repeatedly in and out of a deep bathtub, and up and down terraces within the resort, would give a pregnant woman severe backache? Well, I definitely didn’t know that and ended up hobbling around like a 94 year-old. My fitness guru friend Dawn gave me some online fitness advice over Facebook and after very dedicated bouts of pelvic lifts and cat-and-cow stretches, I could gingerly walk a few steps at a time without grimacing in pain. So much for a worry-free babymoon!
4) Maldives Babymoon
This is the reason why we didn’t choose a beach resort for our Bali trip – because we had already booked our Maldives babymoon way before Bali. Dan and I have a soft spot for the Maldives. We are fortunate to have visited the gorgeous islands a few times, thanks to his previous job at an airline. Our last visit was in 2005 where we chartered a yacht for a live-on-board scuba diving trip with friends, who also helped snapped our pre-wedding photos on the same trip (yes, I squeezed my poofy wedding gown into our luggage, which in turn had to be squeezed into our tiny cabin.) The photos turned out lovely against the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean and the fiery Maldivian sunset. Unfortunately, that was when we were still in the pre-Facebook era so I don’t have them readily available online and I’m too lazy to dig them up to post them here…. sorry!
On the morning we were scheduled to depart, I picked Dan up from the airport at 6am upon his return from a work trip in India, brought him home to shower, re-packed and zipped off to the airport again at 8am. We arrived at the airport in complete disarray, having forgotten to pack our snorkelling gear, electric kettle, extra food and snacks (because F&B in Maldivian resorts is incredibly expensive.) The only thing I did remember when packing was to remove the batteries from that tok-tok-tok thing, which I didn’t do when we packed for our Bali trip. Thus, it was only after we had locked our bound-for-Bali suitcase shut tight when we heard a surreptitious ticking sound coming from deep inside the bag… just.like.a.bomb. Best.
To make our departure for Maldives worse, I discovered upon stepping out of the car that MY NEW MATERNITY LEGGINGS WERE TRANSLUCENT. Never underestimate the ability of a pregnant butt to stretch thick black material into transparent oblivion. Horrors. I had to retrieve my sarong from our suitcase and drape it around my hips like an overenthusiastic Sarong Party Girl in full tropical floral glory.
At the check-in counter, I happily brandished my doctor’s letter when asked and told the counter staff that I was only due in August – no worries of me giving birth on the plane! Alas, the letter did not specifically state that I was “fit to travel by air”. The staff shooed me down to Raffles Medical at Basement 2, where we anxiously waited for the doctor to turn up for work, just so that I could pay him $65 to certify me fit to travel – but not before he asked, “You are pregnant ah? How did the staff know?” What?!?! Despite that, he neglected to write “by air” and Dan had to make a rushed U-turn back to the clinic and demand that Dr Medical-Authority-Pertaining-to-Aviation-Matters and his nurses quit arguing with him and just.write.the.damn.words.and.sign. Gah.
Oh, did I mention that we were flying on Friday the 13th?
As luck would have it, we were assigned the furthest possible departure gate and we made it on board with barely ten minutes to spare. Phew. It’s almost laughable that just a little more than a year ago, we returned to Singapore as seasoned backpackers. HAH.
Thankfully, everything else went really well from that point onwards. In fact, it was darn well PERFECT!
Arriving on our beautiful tropical isle with crystal clear waters…
Having baby – can still snorkel.
The marine life was breathtaking – large schools of colourful reef fish; shiny silver giant trevally; little critters like crabs, shrimp, pipefish; passing black tip sharks; the odd jelly fish and giant stingray… I wish we had our underwater cameras (both died from drowning and old age.) The only thing I was slightly worried about was swimming too close to coral and scraping my larger-than-life belly (my already-bad spatial judgement has taken a dip since getting pregnant.) Plus, I wasn’t too thrilled when a cheeky parrotfish pulled a literally below-the-belt manoeuvre and nipped me in a place where I can no longer see without the help of a mirror – MY CROTCH.
Having baby – cannot drink!
Yups, I had to give the sparkling bubbly on our sunset cruise a miss. So someone else indulged on my behalf. I was more than happy to just soak in the sight and experience of pod after pod of dolphins swimming, breaching, spinning and leaping into the air alongside our boat! It was incredible! And so was the fiery Maldivian sunset that followed.
I’m so happy that things are going well…
… at least for us. But every day, I wait for news that the few couples I know – and have gotten to know through this blog – who are going through their own IVF experiences right now, will have a happy story to tell too. It’s through their comments and emails that I am reminded why I blog – because this blog has been a source of information, solace and motivation for others. Listening to other people’s stories and re-reading my past entries are humbling and sobering experiences. And I’m just happy that my writing makes people feel better. Even if it’s just a little better. Even if it’s just a few people 🙂