Posted in Mama Chronicles, Mum Mode

Mum Mode: Wardrobe Staples

I’m loving this new H&M striped jersey top that I got recently. Literally wearing it a lot because it’s so versatile! So soft, so stretchy and so affordable! I recommend it to anyone who asks! I mean USD12.99, come on!

Also, these are my reading glasses. Completely useless for anything else and I get a headache when I try to walk around in them. I spend half the time peering out of the top when I’m wearing them. I also have a pair of driving glasses for long distance. I like them enough but I’m getting bifocals next. 2 pairs of glasses are just one too many.

Posted in Mama Chronicles, Mum Mode

Mum Mode: Not sure about Athleisure

You don’t have to exercise to wear workout clothes. Did you know that?? Okay, now I do. It’s called Athleisure.

I am neither athletic nor do I find such attire suitable for my personal leisure activities BUT I do own exercise clothes these days. On Thursdays, I wear workout clothes and go bare-faced.

So I always say that every time I sweat, I die a little but after my heart attack, I knew I had to rehabilitate this broken body or I’ll truly die. Now I train with Jasmine at Divergent Fitness (the gym that Alastair goes to) and so far, she’s definitely made each session palatable with varied challenges each week. My favourite is learning to haul odd-shaped objects that are Alastair’s weight – my purpose is to care for him for as long as I can.

I find it patronizing when people tell me I look good now that I’ve lost weight. I’ve always hated equating size with attractiveness. More so now that I don’t feel good and occasionally still use a cane to help me walk. (I keep one in my car at all times.) They harvested 2 veins from my right calf to fix 2 of my 4 blocked arteries. That leg is still unreliable and weak. I still feel a lot of pain from the nerves healing. Weight-loss was a byproduct of my ordeal and not a happy thing. I feel like punching people all the time. Recovery has been a BITCH.

I don’t know how other special needs parents do it. Maybe I would just have to live in atheleisure so I can jump at every chance to exercise? Imagine me next to my parked minivan, just doing jumping jacks until they wheel Alastair out of the school gates.

*Koffkoff* Just kidding, no thanks.

Posted in Mama Chronicles, Mum Mode

Mum Mode: Guilty of owning more Mum Jeans

I have 2 different pairs of Mum jeans. I love my Mum Jeans and during the winter season I have found myself living in them. Soooo comfy!

This top from Atlein, however, is another story. I love the colour. I love colour, period. And I like that drapey style but the folds don’t sit right on me. Does that stop me from wearing it? Do I care that it makes my boobs look asymmetrical? Nope. Obviously I’m not going to wear it as much as my Mum Jeans but I like it.

Talking about asymmetrical boobs – my open-heart surgery scar is crooked so it looks like I have a weird cleavage. Even I do a double-take sometimes. Hah! A cleavage is a cleavage even if it’s crooked or just visual trickery.

Are you a Mum? Are you also in your mid-40s? How much do you love Mum Jeans???

Posted in Mama Chronicles, Mum Mode

Mum Mode: Mum Jeans yet again

I have been obsessed with Farm Rio and this is one of my latest purchases. Great with my Mum Jeans and look at my banana earrings that go with my banana-print top! LOOK AT THAT!

And these strappy Timberland heels are so comfortable! Tom’s a whole foot taller than I am so sometimes it’s fun to just narrow that gap. Mostly though, I wear cute but practical shoes that will allow me to care for Alastair appropriately.

Posted in Mama Chronicles, Rants & Raves

Rants & Raves: Hello 2023!

Or maybe not hello, but what’s up? As in, what I’ve been up to.

Things on my end have gone roller-coaster in the past 5 years or so:

We bought a house in Los Angeles in 2018. We had to move because the school district labelled our son as severely intellectually disabled. His intelligence is not affected by his brain injury.

We left Las Vegas and have been living in The Valley since 2019.

In 2020, I found myself pregnant (for the 4th time) and lost my baby (again) at the height of the Coronavirus pandemic. We still only have 1 child.

Tom launched another commercially successful game in 2021 and Axiom Verge 2 also came with some critical acclaim. By commercially successful, I mean we bought our house and cars outright, are completely debt-free for the foreseeable future, have appropriate retirement funds in place and can keep up with the enormous medical expenses of our household. We live modestly otherwise.

I had a heart attack and hemorrhagic stroke in 2022. I underwent an emergency quadruple bypass just 6 months ago in July to save my life. Recovery has been a Bitch (with a capital B) and I tell everyone to keep getting those annual checks if possible. Don’t let it come to this point of no return and everything is just extreme. What keeps me going is that Alastair needs me and I have to be here for as long as I can.

In August of 2022, Alastair turned 7. He’s now quadriplegic, hearing impaired and non-verbal but happy socializing in 2nd Grade. He hates Maths but he does all the homework his General Education classmates do to the best of his (dis)abilities.

In September of 2022, I turned 44. And I’m grateful to be alive and have had the chance to see my baby turn 7.

So hello 2023, what’s up?

Posted in Mama Chronicles, Rants & Raves

10 things I learnt in 2017

With the turn of the year, I’ve been seeing all these reflections/resolutions type posts all over social media. For obvious reasons, I’m just grateful that I got through the year in one piece and I’m so glad to put it behind me. 2017 was a challenging year for our family and I’m happy to report what I’ve learnt:

  1. Taking turns to be the strong one made our marriage stronger. T and I are powered by love for our son but our confidence is equally shaken with fear for our son’s uncertain future. I’m glad we have each other for support.
  2. Driving is tiring – especially when you don’t have enough sleep. The 2nd half of the year saw me on the road driving for an average of 2-6 hours a day because of G’s appointments. 30-40 minutes each way to and from appointments several times a day.
  3. A Mom Car aka minivan isn’t that bad. Couldn’t have imagined that the 1st car I’d ever own would be so uncool and practical. My Chrysler Pacifica drives great (25MPG), is conducive for toddler naps and hauls a lot of mobility gear easily! No shame in saying that I’ve become the mother I need to be.
  4. Flying with a special needs child requires a lot of planning. Other than domestic flights, our family did 2 international trips in 2017 – Panama and Singapore. Imagine carrying the extra supplies – food, wipes, bottles, nappies, clothes etc; the car seat; the baby carrier for when his body goes crazy and needs to be held down; his stroller; and all his medications – just for the flight. Oh yeah and changing nappies in a cramp airplane bathroom with a disabled toddler is next level stuff!
  5. Special needs equipment is so complicated! In 2017, G received his wheelchair (adaptive stroller), gait trainer, prone/supine Stander and leg braces (AFOs). We also started trialing the Cochlear America Kanso. I’ve had to familiarize myself with all the apparatus and on top of the daily house chores, toddler activities and trek to appointments, I had to be conscientious about setting aside enough time for them all.
  6. Never say no to extra help. The best gift anyone has given me is respite. You can’t pour from an empty jug and I need to be 100% to be the mother that my little guy needs. (That and Americans say res-pit, not ris-spite)
  7. My favourite thing to do with my family is nothing. Our days are long and schedules packed. I love nothing more than just having the 3 of us in our den – tv, toys and takeout.
  8. I cannot afford to look back. Some weeks I just have to power through and tick off one thing at a time. My coping mechanism is to keep going forward and not to dwell on what I can’t change. Hey! Whaddya know? I did 2017! Let’s finish 2018 next!
  9. I like keeping tabs on the little things. G’s happy, he’s eaten several meals, he’s laughing at Mickey Mouse and he’s had more than 1 bowel movement. Who cares if he’s still unable to sit, stand, walk or talk? I’m still thankful for every day we have him. It could be worse.
  10. I have nothing for this point. I’ve learnt a lot of other frivolous things in 2017 but nothing else notable. Oh yeah my son is cute. I made a really cheeky and an adorable human being – I might be biased but maybe someday someone would look beyond his disabilities and love him like I do.