My Baby Turns 2!

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Darla turns 2 today! In motherhood, you can certainly feel the famous adage, "the nights are long, but the days are short." It has been 2 years of interrupted sleep and unpredicted schedule but those years couldn't possibly contain the happiness that our baby brought to our household.

I will never get tired of reminiscing too... from the moment I found out I was pregnant, when we found out we were having Darla Jenn instead of Nilo John and how two years ago, Darla has forever changed the way my husband and I celebrate our wedding anniversary, because she chose to come out at the same day, 12:33am of 29 April.

The doctors scheduled her birth via CS operation on 2nd of May and while waiting for the date, I read my life away because that was the only thing I could do gracefully. 😆 But early 5am of 28 April, I started feeling the cramps - as for the book? Never touched it again since then hehehe.

I thought Darla was going to come out that day but for some magical reason, I managed to survive the whole day with only a small brekky and a constantly cramping belly. I never had the full contractions though - beats me why. 😥 I waited in the hospital from lunch time until 11:30pm when I was wheeled into the operating room. Finally, we're going to meet our baby!

I won't go into the details of the day because I have told this story before. But to me, it's a very memorable event that I like to tell myself over and over. Indeed, our anniversary had been different since then. Instead of romantic dates, which boss baby won't allow anyway, I excitedly plan on birthday parties.

Last year's party was Under The Sea because of Darla's natural affinity to the water, like a fish. And here is the evidence, the sheer delight on her face the first time she experienced the beach.


Too bad I didn't really have the time to post a blog about her first birthday but on a later post, I will share, if not the story - because the actual excitement has long gone - at least the decorating ideas for moms who like to DIY their parties. 😁

In between those days from her birth to now, we have slowly known who our baby is, she is such a character! In the hospital, I will never forget how the nurse commented that "she's ferocious!" because she saw her tearing frustratedly at my empty breasts. 😆 She is indeed a strong-willed girl, just like her 2 older sisters. She knows what she wants and how she could get it.

She used to like avocado and papaya a lot. But she has moved on to fried chicken, porridge, cheese and baby junk food. She's generally not allowed to eat cakes, ice cream and adult junk food but she gets away with tasting bits here and there. And she knows how to remind herself that the food is not allowed by waving her pointer finger while saying, "no, no, no..." Cute!

She loves music too and screen-time. 😳 Judge me now, she's on the screen more than she should be. But everything's not in vain whenever she sings a new nursery rhyme while dancing too! She knows all her ABC's too (actually for a couple of months or so now), along with shapes and colours too!


Her latest trick? She can hold her 2 fingers now, for 2 years old! 😄 More than pride, I feel happiness. To me, it really doesn't matter when she started reaching her milestones. If I could keep her a baby forever, I would but I also can't wait to watch her grow. *Sigh* the ironies of motherhood.

She also likes to join in on conversations now. On family bondings, we would let her interrupt the conversation with her gibberish talks. We don't really understand majority of what she's saying except a few words we can pick up, like "Blippi," "Emma," "Peppa," "Daisy," "Demi," and so many other words she pronounces so adorably.

Our baby is growing up too quickly. Now that she can express herself better, I decided to decorate her party after Emma Wiggle. She loves playing dress-up as Emma so I got her an Emma costume from K-mart. This will make her extremely happy!

Today is a gloomy day so we're doing her party on Saturday. The sun would give the backyard a lovely glow together with all the yellows for an Emma-themed birthday party!

And here is my baby Darla, on our first union. 💓


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3 Ways To Help With Perfectionism

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Everyone at one point in his life would experience perfectionism. Sometimes, a healthy dose of trying to be perfect in what we do could boost our productivity and creativity. However, when perfectionism becomes too much and runs long term, it could also make one critical of others and unforgiving of one’s self. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s time to step away, take a break and go back to basics. Long term and unhealthy perfectionism is stressful and could lead to a variety of physical and mental illnesses.

Perfectionism is often characterized by being sensitive of criticisms and fear of committing mistakes. When this happens, we end up being frustrated and stuck in what we do, and we miss opportunities because we are afraid of taking risks.

Below are some of the simple ways I practice whenever I feel crippled by toxic perfectionism.

Be flexible in defining “success”

Success should be viewed not as an end, but a series of effort, like a journey. It is more of an attitude than a result. If we could maintain a mindset of focusing on the journey and not the destination, we will start to be happy on NOW and less stressed about the FUTURE.

Acknowledging mistakes

Perfection fears mistakes. Realising your mistakes and being accountable for them is like confronting your hardships face on. The more you face your fears, the more you overcome them. This will open doors of opportunity because you are more willing to take risks when you’re not afraid of “what ifs.” Making unintentional mistakes isn’t so negative after all when we see them as a chance to learn and improve.

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Practice more self-compassion

We often watch ourselves on how we treat others nicely, but we rarely apply this to ourselves. Be gentle on yourself. Choose your battles wisely. If your hands are full, then say NO to commitments. If you say YES, give yourself an allowance for shortcomings. When we feel disheartened, do not entertain the self-demeaning thoughts. Instead, take a short break and treat yourself to something you love. Just like you would support a friend in times of his needs, you should firstly be a good friend to yourself.

Striving to be perfect in the things we do is natural. It’s a good thing and if we view this as doing our best. However, when it starts to frustrate us, then remind yourself of the 3 things above. Nothing is worth achieving if we lose ourselves in the process.

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Ingredients to Avoid in Your Skin Care

Sunday, April 26, 2020

It's been a while since I have last paid attention to my skin. After giving birth to my toddler, who is turning 2 in a few days (yipee!), I have noticed that my skin has become dull and dry. Lack of sleep is the main reason for its deterioration.

Our skin, just like the rest of our body, actually needs plenty of rest to heal. Since I don't have a choice about getting enough sleep - my toddler still wakes up every now and then at night, so it's been more than 2 years since I have experienced blissful, uninterrupted sleep - I realise that it's time to probably use moisturisers.

I have never used moisturisers in my entire life. I am very particular of what I leave in on my skin because whatever is in it would eventually be absorbed by my skin and end up in my bloodstream. It might be "just small traces" but using it everyday and for a continuous period of time could accumulate and that's when problems start to arise.

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If you look at the list of ingredients your skin care product has, it's not very easy to recognise what they are. Most labels use the scientific names and even if you do recognise an ingredient, how do you know if it's safe or not?

So I did a little bit of research. Firstly, I discovered this website where you can type in the skin care product you are interested in and the ingredients are classified according to its safety level, with 1 as safest and 10 as harmful. Personally, I can tolerate results of up to 5 if there aren't too much ingredients. But if there's at least 5 ingredients marked as 5 and up in safety, or even if there's only 1 ingredient marked as 6 to 10, I wouldn't use that skin care product.

Click here to visit the site

The results may not be a hundred percent accurate but I have read reviews from a lot of people that it could be reliable especially for the ones with sensitive skin. You may still do your further research, after all, its your skin's health at stake!

It's not easy to recall all these ingredients so it's a good idea to keep an eye on WHAT TO AVOID.

Here are the 15 ingredients that I watch out for when choosing my skin care. Be sure you have your skin care's list of ingredients handy so you can compare and decide afterwards whether it's time to switch to something new!

1. Parabens

2. Phthalates

3. Benzophenone

4. Triclosan

5. Retinyl Palmitate

6. Sodium Laureth (or Lauryl) Sulfate

7. Synthetic (Chemical) Fragrances

8. Synthetic (Chemical) Colors often labeled with letters FD&C or D&C followed by a number

9. Stearalkonium Chloride

10. Triethanolamine

11. Petrolatum

12. Mineral Oil

13. Imidazolidinyl Urea aka Germall II and Germall 115

14. Propylene Glycol & Butylene Glycol

15. PEGs aka polyethylene glycols

Most of these ingredients have been linked to risk of cancers such as parabens and phthalates.  Benzophenone, which are commonly found on sunscreens, has also been associated to cellular damage and cancer. This is shocking considering that the reason we use sunscreens is to protect ourselves from getting cancer from too much exposure to sun. So I would watch out carefully for this one.

Retinyl Palmitate, a form of Vitamin A, may sound like a safe ingredient in your skin care however, a study has been found that this substance can speed up the growth of cancerous tumours when used in the presence of sunlight. So watch out for this one too especially for skin care products that you use during the day.

Even the Mineral Oil, which sounds pretty natural. Apparently, it's a cheap alternative used as a filler and moisturiser in most products to save cost. However, it seals the skin and prevents it from breathing and contains no nutrients.

If you want to read more about these toxic chemicals, visit the source website here.

Paula's Choice is also one of my trusted sites when I need to check on a beauty product ingredient.
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