Lo and Behold, It’s March 2013!!

It has been the longest time since my last blog entry!

And I haven been truly busy since then …. Way busy during the last 4 months!!

Let’s take a peek at the bucket list of a busy mummy:

  1. Babysitting – keeps you perpetually busy
  2. Christmas and Chinese New Year – time of the year for lots of catching up and gatherings with families and friends
  3. Bringing 20 students on an overseas climbing trip
  4. Attending classes and seminars for personal development
  5. Sitting for exams
  6. Picking up basic skills on website design
  7. Getting lost while at it
  8. Housework

And I wonder why I have so little time.

This year, I have taken a big step in adjusting my career. The main motivation came from the twins, as my mum can’t manage them by herself while I’m at work. The Great-Grand has officially declared her retirement plans from the twins, thinking my mum and I should be able to handle them. It’s good that we learn to be independent of her, but we do have to make major changes to accommodate the change.

And so, I have taken a year off school to better manage the twins and their schedules. Aasha used to have to wake up at 6.30am with me when I was in school, because the school morning assembly is at 7.30am. I always dreaded the moment when I have to rouse her from her deep sleep!  Now that I don’t have to rush for morning assemblies, she can definitely sleep in later!

After the kids get dropped off at playschool, Mummy and Grandma scoots off to busy themselves with numerous tasks on hand! I keep myself occupied with the numerous items listed above. My mum turns her attention to quality marketing and re-organising her whole house. You can imagine how much work gets done when the twins are not home! A luxury only mothers will understand ….

There will be more entries coming up on new knowledge that I have picked up, as well as updates on new changes to come!

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The Power of Habit

“If you believe you can change – if you make it a habit – the change becomes real. This is the real power of habit: the insight that your habits are what you choose them to be”

Quoting from a book I recently read, The Power Of Habit, by Charles Duhigg, this statement makes perfect sense in our everyday lives, determining what we choose to do, what we choose to say, what we choose to identify with, or ignore.
As long as you adopt the right habits, you can become the person you always wanted to be and even determine the lifestyle you desire.

And right now, I’m determined to adopt two simple yet challenging habits in my life, that can have a positive impact on myself and my loved ones.
1. Eat Well, Eat Right
2. Half Hour Workouts

Eat Well, Eat Right
I was just talking to the hubs the other day about being selective over the types of foods we put inside us. Essentially, our sole purpose in life is not to just survive, but survive well. And the most important function to achieve that is our body.

If we do not take extra effort to care for our bodies – meaning the fuel/ food we put inside us, then we will not have the most basic but critical function to dictate our existence.
Luckily he agrees with my logic and is ever so supportive of my recent efforts in whipping up simple but wholesome meals. In any case, he says it’s always miles better than that “takeaway chicken from BBQ Express” – I take that as a compliment.

So I have kick-started the habit of cooking my own meals, even my lunches which I will pack to school. This definitely also means building the habit of doing marketing and buying my own list of fresh and whole foods. And lastly also the habit of planning for meals which I have to strategise, to make a nutritious meal in the most efficient manner.

Home-made Roasted Chicken with Stuffed Cous Cous

Easy Colourful Veggie Side Dish

Half Hour Workouts
Half Hour Workouts have started to become a part of my active lifestyle ever since the twins came along and I have to marry time spent on them with time spent on keeping fit and staying in shape.

The days where I have the luxury of time to go for long runs and spending a good 3-4 hours in a climbing session are long gone – at least until the the twins can be independent of their mum.
Most of the time now is spent feeling more exhausted and spent than anything else. So it is crucial for me to adopt this habit to design half hour workouts that can still help me achieve my fitness goals and keep me sane!

And the target is Half Hour Workouts 5 times a week minimally!

The Habits are not fully developed yet, and are still work in progress. I understand that I’m not perfect but I strive to work towards my targets by starting on a fresh slate every time I deviate instead of bugging on the wrongs.

What about you? Are you Ready to kick start your New Habits?

Spelt Pancakes – What’s that??

Recently I was in the mood of exploring Spelt. No there’s no spelling error, Spelt is spelt s-p-e-l-t. It’s a grain that is more superior than wheat, more nutritious and most importantly gluten-free! One of the most common food allergy people have is intolerance to gluten, and therefore wheat. Well, good news to you guys! Since Spelt has been around since the ancient times and it can be used, eaten and treated like wheat – you are saved!!

There are more things to Spelt but that’s not my main focus of sharing today. I have been brainstorming really hard about the types of food we will give the twins. It is a fact that lots of stuff out there is just complete crap! No, I’m not saying I want bird’s nest, tonics and stuff … but I’m referring to the fact that we are literally surrounded by processed, sugared and evil foods!

So even though I’m giving the twins a slice of wholemeal bread, I cannot help thinking that it’s actually just a piece of crap – bulk of it processed white flour with a bit of wholemeal flour. And it can’t be helped – that’s commercialisation for all of us!

Now why don’t I try making healthy pancakes for them – something that’s true to its ingredients, contains stuff I clearly know & understand (since I’m the one preparing) and give it to them! And since Spelt is the superior grain and behaves like wheat, it makes sense that I explore with Spelt!

I must admit the first try did not turn out so well. The recipe was taken off some random website and it gave me a chewy and dry pancake. Last week, I came across Berlin Natural Bakery while searching for a phenomenal Spelt Pancake Recipe. Coincidentally I had some free time in the evening after school and before picking them up at playschool – Great time for some experiment!

And the pancakes turned out well today! They were light, fluffy and nicely textured, When I added some Philly’s low fat natural cheese spread, it was just awesome! Wholesomely awesome! I’m going to warm them up tomorrow morning and pack some for the twins to munch at school!

Yummy Spelt Pancakes

Recipe courtesy of http://www.berlinnatural bakery.com

I hope the kids love Spelt …who wants some??

Just Keep Going!

Just Keep Going!!

This is exactly what all mummies need to hear! This is exactly what all mummies need to do!

In the midst of juggling work, kiddos, hubbies, parents, hobbies …. and yes I know, the list doesn’t stop here, do not forget about your own health! Take time to invest in your health – eat wisely, workout dilligently! It’s not easy, I have to confess …

That’s why we need to just keep going!

Picture Courtesy of Nike

Term Madness!

It’s Term Madness! I’m right smack in Term 2 of the school calendar, right in the midst of Madness Zone!

Yes Term 2 is the most fearsome period for us PE Teachers with numerous events happening at the same time. We need to conduct the NAPFA test for the whole school under the scorching hot summer sun. While recovering from the intense heat, we battle through meetings to organise college events, for I’m sure most schools will be conducting either a Sports Day or a Cross Country run during this term. And in the midst of it all, we have to push our athletes through the sports season, cheerleading them towards the glorious trophies. Seriously, I think we top the list for the job of one man with multiple roles.

Job aside, I just relinquished the service of my domestic helper last weekend. After numerous counselling sessions, with no improvement in working attitude and deteriorating work standards, we decided that we had enough! It might be easier to just handle the chores and work ourselves.

And surprisingly, we managed the first week without her pretty well. With a little bit of effort put in by each family member, some teamwork and re-activating the service of the twins’ 70 year-old Great Grandma, I must say we did really well! And I truly treasure the teamwork that emerged between the hubs and myself during the week of self-managing the household.

So yes, I have been quite behind time in completing my certification course; not quite up to date with all the annual reports as I should be; delayed the family photoshoot that I’m supposed to arrange since March hols …. I think I have done my best to still maintain my sanity and manage all the other aspects of this hectic life.

And to remind myself not to dwell on what’s missing, but on what was DONE WELL, these are the Top 5 things that I have accomplished and be happy about:

1. Organising a never-before running event for 1,700 students. Many obstacles along the way but I will keep reminding myself the ultimate objective and outcome of the experience, to persist and push forth. It’s gonna be worth it!

2. My mum seems happier now without the domestic helper. Although she needs to now manage the chores on top of the twins, she seems more relieved now without her. I’m happy when she is happy.

3. The twins are a little more independent in their walking now – which means we don’t need to constantly be at their sides, every single minute. That gives us some breathing space, to be able to go grab a glass of water, or do the simplest chores, while they mess around on their own from the corner of our eyes. Yep, we need to engineer them to be independent toddlers!

4. And I’m proud that I’m still sticking to my Lean Eating Fitness programme! Though not 100%, I’m happy that I have improved my level of adherence over the last few weeks and made sure I schedule my time efficiently to fit in workouts 5 times a week!

5. Lastly, that we managed a swimming and dinner date last week, amidst the ridiculous working hours. We decided that effort needs to be put into “us time”, and what better way to spend the time, than be engaged in healthy activities at the same time. It’s really fortunate both of us have the same attitude towards fitness, which allows us to marry fitness with dates. Our upcoming project for year is participating in the  Lovers’ Challenge at the NTU X-Physique in May.

Penning my thoughts down helps me slow things down and reflect on all that’s going on. And there ARE many things going on at the same time! I do wonder at times, if I can get any busier than I already am.

Motherhood should not be a limiting factor in what you can achieve. In fact, I think motherhood has driven me to look at and accomplish even more things than before.

 

The Amazing Bond Between Twins – Part I

It was really unexpected and by chance that I came across this sharing by Dr Jeff Mullan on Facebook. When I saw a picture of twin preemies, the natural instinct was to click on it and take a peek at what’s happening. When you are a mother of preemies, you can’t help wanting to know about other preemies and finding out how they are doing.

 And boy did this story touch my heart on a Monday morning!

I have taken the liberty to replicate and share Dr Jeff’s story on this blog, as a tribute to mummies of all multiple babies and preemies! It’s amazing how our little ones thrive in the circumstances they were borned to. As my dear friend, Evie, put it, each of them is a fighter right from the start!

Twin girls, Brielle and Kyrie, were born 12 weeks ahead of their due date. Needing intensive care, they were placed in separate incubators.

Kyrie began to gain weight and her health stabilized. But Brielle, born only 2 lbs, had trouble breathing, heart problems and other complications. She was not expected to live.

Their nurse did everything she could to make Brielle’s health better, but nothing she did was helping her. With nothing else to do, their nurse went against hospital policy and decided to place both babies in the same incubator.

She left the twin girls to sleep and when when she returned she found a sight she could not believe. She called all the nurses and doctors and this is what they saw (refer to the picture above).

As Brielle got closer to her sister, Kyrie put her small little arm around her, as if to hug and support her sister. From that moment on, Brielle’s breathing and heart rate stabilized and her health became normal.

From then on, they decided to keep both babies together, because when they were together they kept each other alive.

~ Adapted from Dr Jeff Mullan’s FB sharing

BE with your Children

A Dad, Mum and their two children sit at a table in a restaurant waiting for dinner to be served. Dad and Mum are busy scrolling through their smartphones. The kids have their heads bent, fngers busy tapping away on – a Playstation and an iPad.

This is a common sight today. But is this called family time?

One of the things I think most about being a parent is being unable to balance technology with …. “all things non tech”. You know what I mean … In the days of endless techy toys that range from the iPhones to the iPads to the Playstations and Nintendos, how can we ensure that our kids grow up without their noses being glued to these screens? And when even ministers, political parties and organisations depend heavily on social media as part of their marketing strategies, it seems like you will be labelled an alien if you neither tweet nor facebook.

Do we want our children to be “alienated” or risk probable technology addiction?

Who likes their children’s noses glued to screens and fingers in constant tapping mode?

Who can be the perfect role model for their children identify with and model after?

Who has the perfect solution to the best way to balance technology with “all things non-tech”?

Personally if my babies could do wonders and figure their ways around my gadgets, I find that that’s nothing much to be proud of. I would like to raise my twins with the least amount of technology influence, as much as possible. But I also fully understand the precious minutes of break parents get with the help of technology, wonderful or not. Though I may have a preference to deviate further from technology, I am still trying to figure the balance myself.

Well, I came across a blog which offers some solutions to parents on how you can evade technlogy when spending time with your kids. To just BE PRESENT and BE THERE with them. Some may look simple, but it also takes tremendous effort on our part as parents to maintain our own discipline, less to say the kids’.

http://awesomelyawake.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/25-ways-to-just-be-with-your-children/

I have identified some suggestions and will try them out!

Which ones will you try?