Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Home sweet {new} home

We made it. After 2 days of packing and moving and unpacking, we're finally here. And we LOVE it. It's been a hectic couple of days trying to figure out what will go where, where exactly the couch should be placed, where exactly the rug should be placed, where exactly the TV cabinet should be placed and consequently where exactly the brand-spanking-new-and-rather-frickin'-awesome TV should be. These are serious decisions people. Not taken lightly in this household.

We had a pretty special Saturday night. Oh yes. We sat outside on our new balcony, yes our balcony, with a beer and a plate of cheese and crackers, followed by a sausage sandwich created on our new BBQ, yes our BBQ, and smugly revelled in the new found happiness that moving out here has brought us.

The place is still a giant sized mess so I won't post any photos just yet, but as you can see by the one photo, the view is pretty damn sensational. It's tough waking up to that from our bed every morning, and looking at it every time I change a nappy, and when I'm sitting on the couch, but hey, someone's got to do it. And right now I'm pretty bloody happy it's me!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Snap it {neighbourhood}

This is my neighbourhood.
Hong Kong.
Raw. Loud. Smelly. Hot. Markets. Incense. Noodles. Dogs.
People, people and more people.

Linking up with here today.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hello Suburbia

We're moving apartments this weekend. I am one happy woman. We're moving out of Midlevels, and into a quieter, more family-friendly part of town, Pokfulam. It's still only a ten minute drive from Central, so is close enough to the action, but far enough away to feel like we're not in the middle of the madness. Our current place has been great. As newcomers to Hong Kong over 18 months ago, it was the perfect mix of convenience, space and light. But things have changed. Not only is Fletch now in the mix but both Phil and I feel the need for home to be more peaceful (read: less jackhammers, horns). For it to be quiet. For it to be a place we look forward to coming home to. A place where we can happily spend the weekend without feeling like we have to go somewhere, anywhere.

The new place is bigger, has more space for Fletch to play, beautiful ocean views, 70s style bathrooms (hello mustard yellow toilet), a communal pool and a big open space downstairs for kids to play. But the best part? What I'm jumping out of my skin about? A balcony. Yes, a balcony. Which means a BBQ. Snap to that. I haven't lived in a house with any form of outdoor area since I moved out of my parents place as a 22 year old back in 2004. So this whole concept is such a treat for me. The thought of cracking a crisp glass of vino, digging into some brie and biscuits and sitting out there with my husband tong-mastering it up, and my little baby asleep inside, is as good a thought as any right now.

I will strategically ignore the fact that our apartment block may or may not also be beside a rather large cemetery. In fact, should you come to stay in the spare bedroom, you'll be able to blow a kiss goodnight to somewhere in the region of 46,800 headstones. Don't all rush at once. 

We've got the professional movers coming on Friday and Saturday to pack everything up, dismantle all the furniture and move it across to our new place. It'd be near impossible doing it all yourself here, and there is literally a man for everything in HK. So why the hell not, I say?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Like a virgin

It's like the first time you have sex. You build this thing up in your mind for so long, hypothesising every possible outcome, wondering whether you're making the right decision. Will I regret it? Have I done the right thing? When does everyone else do it? How does everyone else do it? You think about it far too much and then, once the deed is done, you wonder, really? Was that it? What on earth was I so worried about? All that worry, all that anticipation. And for what?

Every week I seem to come across a new something in this journey of motherhood that throws me. Something I need to do to or for or with Fletch for the first time. I think about it, anticipate it, worry about it, think about it some more, consider it, ponder it, until I've annoyed myself and everyone around me with the endless cogitation.

Do you know the sorts of things I mean?

Here's an example. We umm'd and ahhh'd till the cows came home about giving Fletch some formula. I've been exclusively breastfeeding and was hoping to do so for a while yet, but the midwife at the baby clinic we go to has been a bit worried about his weight and suggested that we should give Fletch an extra feed in the evening. I'd run out of my stores of frozen breastmilk so a bottle of formula was the only option.

I felt like I was cheating.
Like I should be able to feed him everything he needs.
Like somehow Fletch would hold it against me.
Or that someone would hold it against me.
Or that a brothel-esque whirring red light would start flashing with a loud siren outside my door to announce to everyone in the world that I'd done it.
Giving this occasional bottle of formula was clearly the biggest deal in the world.

Well, sod that. Fletch didn't even bloody notice. He sucked down that bottle of formula like I would a glass of champagne. And afterwards? Surprise, surprise. No loud siren. No flashing light. No national announcement.

The reality of this whole motherhood game, is that no one but you actually gives a shit (in a good way). Of course people care and are willing to help and can offer an opinion. But at the end of the day, those worries about someone out there holding one of your decisions against you? It's bullshit. Because your opinion is the only one that matters. Your decisions are the only ones you have to live with.

I think that's why I feel the pressure. No one can put pressure on me like me. I'm amazing at it. Superb. A+ in that department. But I need to learn to back the fuck off.

Stop worrying. Stop worrying. Stop worrying.
He will be ok.

It's exhausting worrying all the time. I'm tired enough as it is.

And all that worry I expend on today, I'm seriously going to need for tomorrow.  

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Snap it {inside}

I can't believe that this little one...

Used to live inside here...

The miracle of life, eh?
Linking up with Faith, Hope and a whole lotta Love today.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Water baby

The past five days have been miserable in this house. I've had the crapiest flu I've had in forever (the full on Influenza A one). My days have been spent coughing up my lungs, blowing the heavens through my raw nose, passing out every few hours and somehow trying to feed and look after Fletch in between. As I said, miserable. Let's not even talk about it.

It's basically the middle of summer here again. Except it's not. It's still Spring. We've got 30+ degree days and 75%+ humidity. C'mon. That is hot. It is so summer.

To get some relief from the heat, we took Fletch for his first swim down at the beach one morning the week before last. He cried and cried for the first few minutes, then sure enough, he started getting used to it. Perhaps even enjoying it! The water may have been a little cold for his first swim but snuggling up with him in his beach towel afterwards was such a good feeling. My heart seriously melted. Is there anything cuter than a baby in a beach towel? We backed it up with another swim a few days later in the baby pool at the cricket club, a far more appealing place for him to hang out and get comfortable in the water than the, let's be honest, questionable waters of the South China Sea.

We've got swimming lessons starting at the club in a few months when he cracks the big six (seriously, where does the time go?). Phil and I love our swimming and grew up as water babies ourselves, so it's really important to us that Fletch gets in early and is really comfortable and confident in the water. I am so pumped. Little bubs, in little swimmers, bobbing around in the water? Snuggles in towels afterwards?

Stop me now.

Too cute.
Can't wait.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

You're my Simon Cowell, mama.

So, look mama. Here's the thing...
I'm almost four months old now. My head control rivals a 5 year old meerkat. I can fly on the ground like superman. I can hold onto this here phone and laugh while Daddy yells "Buy, buy, buy. Sell, sell sell". I lie on that same old playmat thinking "Mum, seriously, how am I gonna be a pro-golfer lying horizontal like this?". I sit in the bouncer thinking this would be great, if only I had a pool to do a 'double tuck with a twist into'. I like moving. And I know you've noticed. Don't get me wrong, you make me laugh with that motorboat thing you do, and those songs you sing with the same tune but different words (yes, I noticed) do crack me up the first few times (just not the eighth, ninth and tenth). It's just that I'm ready for more. It's like those kids trying out for The X Factor. They've got potential, and they need a platform to use it. That's me. But I need a little help from you. You're my Simon Cowell, mama. Make it happen.

I'm as bored with his gear as he is. Seriously. The poor kid lies on that same old mat, sits in that same old bouncer, cruises around hanging on my arm day-in, day-out, staring at the same noisy inchworm, chewing on the same rattles, staring Sophie straight in the eye, his patience quite obviously diminishing.

All he wants to do is stand bolt upright and check out the world. Or at least sit bolt upright to do it. His head control is ridiculous and in the past week he's learnt to roll over, get stuck on his tummy and subsequently crack the shits 'cause he can't get back without a little help. The kid isn't even four months old yet. I'm nervous. I can't keep up. The day-to-day changes at the moment are OUT OF CONTROL! In my head, he's still that lump of deliciousness that needs me for everything. Including holding his head up. The reality obviously ain't so.

So I need some help. The good ol' Mother's Guilt is creeping in. I feel like I need to keep him entertained and right now I'm doing a crap-arse job. I'm clearly a complete amateur at this whole gig. I have NFI. I was thinking it's time for one of those bumbo things, and have been told a Jumperoo is the way to go.

Any other suggestions for toys to keep him stimulated?
How do you keep your little ones entertained at home?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Looking back. Looking forward.

For the first 12 months of living in Hong Kong, I wasn't much of a fan of the place. I felt lost, lonely, like I didn't belong here. I struggled day in day out to find a job while Phil was swept up in his, working 13 hour days, delirious by the time he got home each night. We were living polar opposite lives, sharing only stories of our days and our weekends. I was wandering aimlessly through life, feeling alone, bored of my own thoughts and lack of direction.

I seemed to be missing the point of Hong Kong. No one I'd met said a bad word about the place. Yet there I was, frustrated, lonely, uninspired. I just didn't get what all the fuss was about. I wished with every inch of my being to be living at home in Sydney, with old friends, family, familiarity. I just couldn't see past what I didn't have. 

I look back at those months now, and strangely feel like it was all worth it. I'm in such a different place. One I wouldn't have arrived at, or appreciated, had I not gone through that time.

My three weeks back in Sydney in April have made me realise that although I love Sydney, the beaches, the food, the lifestyle, and I love being close to my family and friends, right now? Now, Hong Kong is home.

This is where my life is. My friends here are amazing. So many of us at are at the same stage of life, with little babies and consequently new challenges, finding our own ways through parenthood, but equally sharing the ride. That support, those relationships, are priceless during a time when no one really knows what the next day will bring.

We've figured out how to make life in this city work for us.
I've stopped thinking about when we're moving back to Sydney.
Because right now, I'm happy.
I'm home.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Shining light

Has it really been a month? A whole month since I've written here?
Sometimes, I don't go a day without wanting to write on my blog.
Sometimes, I forget I even have one.

Seems like April was one of those months.

Its been an eventful time since I last wrote. We flew to Taiwan over Easter for an amazing Taiwanese/Australian wedding. We spent three weeks at home in Sydney soaking up the city, having Fletch christened, attending a wedding in Oberon, another in Sydney and spending time in Mudgee. It was the first trip I've ever had back home where I didn't put pressure on myself to be out for boozy dinners, long lunches, brunches, coffees.

The priority was family. For more reasons than the obvious. There was many a smile, more than a few laughs, serious conversations, support, tears and most importantly, a lot of quality time.

Sometimes moments pop up in life which make you look at things differently. Make you appreciate time like you haven't before. Realise just who and what is really important. And it's during those moments when you come to realise what true joy a baby can bring to those who need a lift.

Fletch has been a shining light these last few weeks. A sincere manifestation of happiness at a time when it was most needed. His smiles, his laughs, his cuddles, his innocence.

My darling delight.
A true shining light.