As we are all new to winter and cold weather, I am constantly thinking about how to keep my kids warm and at the same time how not to overheat them. My mind is constantly planning how to dress them – how many layers, which material, which jacket, when to remove the layers, how to prepare them for the night, etc.
One of the biggest things that my family and I had been preparing for was this big move to Australia. The hubby came first two months ago, to get settled down in his job and to get a house. And finally, the kids and I are able to join him.
That was how it was 11 years ago. Now, it’s known as “Edge TV”. I’ve been hosting and serving in this Edge TV ministry for 11 years. I still remember when my church first started this, it was a ‘according to flow’ thing. It would just be me and the camerawoman, and we would ask the church staff what announcements they wanted to be featured. Then I just had to plan my script as I went along.
(First of all, excuse the quality of my pictures… My camera is not with my at the moment so I could only resort to iPhone pictures hehe)
So… Life with two kids. How is it? Definitely looks nice and fun on Instagram. But what is it like exactly?
I rushed home from work because Alistair had refused bottle and was now hungry and crying for milk. But the moment I parked my car and got out, Amy greeted me at the door, jumping and shouting “Mama’s home!!! Mama!!!!” Then she promptly took some toys and asked me to play with her. But Alistair was crying. And hungry. I had to tell her, “Mama needs to feed Alistair first OK?” and looked as her face fell. My heart ached.
Since Alistair is still an infant, he sleeps all the time. Now he has a bit more awake time, but normally it lasts about an hour or so only, and half of that usually goes to feeding time. So any time to play with him is precious. Finally, he was awake. I really wanted to play with him, so I walked over to his cot and carried him up. The moment she saw me walk over, Amy said, “Mama come sit down and play Lego with me.” I told her, OK, let’s play together with Alistair. She had the most innocent expression on her face as she pointed to the cot, “Mama put baby Alistair down. Mama put baby Alistair down here in the cot.” My heart was torn.
It was bedtime. I was tucking Amy in and telling her bedtime stories, but suddenly my father-in-law came up to tell me that Alistair was crying for milk already. So, I had to leave Amy to feed him. Amy cried and cried and cried. My heart broke.
It was bedtime. I was tucking Amy in and telling her bedtime stories. Again, Alistair started crying for milk before Amy fell asleep. I told her I needed to go downstairs to feed Alistair, and she could choose to sleep with papa or yeh yeh (grandpa) first. She said, “Um… Papa! OK mama go down. Mama go down feed Alistair.” My heart warmed.
We took the kids out for a meal and did a little shopping together. It was chaotic. Madness. Tiring. But at the end of the day, the hubby and I looked at each other and said, “That is parenthood!” Our hearts were blessed.
We took the kids out for a meal with friends. It was strangely peaceful. Amy behaved so well throughout the dinner. Alistair slept through. The hubby and I looked at each other and said, “Wow. Unbelievable.” Thank You God.
I had finally rocked Alistair to sleep! My arms and back were starting to hurt because I had been carrying him for almost two hours. But now, he was finally sleeping! I put him down and sat myself down on the couch, ready to rest a little. Then Amy threw her toys down. Or laughed super loudly at ‘Angry Birds’. Or threw a tantrum. And Alistair woke up. And I had to do it all over again.
Alistair had finished feeding, so I was carrying him and trying to burp him. I also took the chance (as always) to smell him and kiss him and enjoy him. Then, suddenly, Amy fell down from the couch and landed on the floor. She cried in pain. I was shocked and quickly put Alistair down in the cot so that I could attend to Amy. Alistair was shocked, and cried. I now had two crying babies.
Alistair was chilling by himself in the cot, staring and talking to the ceiling fan. Amy was playing by herself nearby, with toys and books. I was relaxing by myself with my drink and book. This might only last for 5 minutes, but it was bliss anyhow.
Life was all about schedules. When to feed Alistair, when to feed Amy, when to cut Alistair’s nails, when to cut Amy’s nails, when to bathe Alistair, when to shower Amy, when to wash the bottles, when to shower myself, when to take Amy up for nap, when to change their diapers, etc.
Amy asked me to tell her stories, and I said, “Why don’t you tell Alistair stories?” She promptly turned to Alistair who was in the cot, and told him her own made-up stories.
“Once upon a time, there was Mr Sun. Mr Sun was in the sky, and then the dark clouds came and covered Mr Sun. Oh no, it’s dark. Oh no, it’s raining. Everybody ran away. Mr Sun fought with the dark clouds. He fought and pushed and fought and pushed, and finally, he pushed the dark clouds away. Hurray! Mr Sun is back in the sky! The end!”
That was actually the story I told her and she could recite it totally now. Sometimes she would replace Mr Sun with TV. Or Monkey. Or whatever she fancied at that moment.
Alistair was protesting and complaining and crying a little in his cot, but nobody was attending to him because everyone was busy with something or another. Amy climbed up a stool, sat on it and pat Alistair, saying, “OK K K K K… it’s OK K K K…”
And then she looked at me as I approached her, “Mama sit down here. Mama sit down here, rock baby Alistair.”
There are so many other scenarios. Some of them make me laugh. Some of them make me want to cry. Some of them make me say “Oh help me God.” Some of them make me say “Oh thank You so much God.”
Life with two kids is definitely a handful. When the days get crazy, I’ll take a deep breath and remind myself to take one hour at a time (haha). But most of the time, I find myself smiling at the both of them, and giving thanks to God for blessing me with these two little munchkins.
Have you watched ‘Beauty and the Beast’ the live-action movie? I confess: even as I sat there in the cinema, waiting for the movie to start, I was nervous. What if it screwed up? ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is such a classic and one of the best Disney cartoons to me. What if my expectations are too high for this new movie, and it falls flat?
I went to the movie not knowing what to expect at all. I hardly watched any trailers or teasers, and did not read much about it. So I really did not know how the movie would be, except that it would probably be exactly like the cartoon.
Well it was exactly like the cartoon, and more!
Picture from Elite Daily
Firstly, I think the cast were perfect. Emma Watson was Belle incarnate, and she can sing! Dan Stevens’ voice was on-point for the Beast. I say voice because we hardly see his face, all covered in that Beast costume haha. But even with the costume, he managed to bring out the Beast’s expressions and emotions so well. Even I fell in love with the Beast OK! Oh, I must also mention Luke Evans because I think he made such a great Gaston.
And the other big names: Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Emma Thompson as Mrs Potts, and Ewan McGregor as Lumiere… Perfect!
New songs were added, and they are beautiful, thanks to Disney powerhouse songwriter Alan Menken. With a classic like ‘Beauty and the Beast’, it can be hard to introduce new scores that somehow flow with its well-loved songs. But Menken did it somehow. I love the new additions, ‘Evermore’, ‘Days In The Sun’, and ‘How Does A Moment Last Forever’!
These songs were used to show a different side to the characters that we already love and know so well. I really like how the team added some backstories to the characters, and how they built on the relationships, i.e., the love story between Belle and the Beast, the Beast’s love for books, Belle’s childhood story, the Beast’s childhood story, etc. It made the characters even more relatable and lovable.
I think the team really succeeded in making ‘Beauty and the Beast’ real. With an animated movie, it can be more exaggerated and, well, fairy-tale-ish. But through this live-action movie, they managed to make it more real without compromising the magic.
Oh, even as I type this, I feel like watching the movie again!
The only part of the movie that felt a little bit of a drag to me was the ‘Be Our Guest’ scene. Somehow, I did not feel any magic from that scene. But other than that, it’s all love from me!
Overall, I would sum it up like this:
My heart skipped a beat every time they sang a song. I had a silly grin on my face when Belle and Beast fell in love. When the credits rolled I wanted to squeal with delight and stand and clap.
And now that I’m home, I find myself listening and re-listening to the soundtrack.