I am back again because I promised to not drag my post too much. Belle would be two years old if I procrastinate any further. The previous post took me more more than 20 days to complete it. Belle is ONE. You knew that already but as a Mama, I don’t know if I have the mood to write heartfelt entries. I can’t believe that my tiny baby is no longer tiny anymore. So many things have changed for the past one year. You think I only have good thoughts and nice things to say? Well, you are absolutely wrong. I am only human and who says human is perfect? I ain’t a perfect mama. We all knew that too well. Motherhood isn’t always sunny and bright. When was the last time I dressed up properly and wear my fancy earrings? Messy hairs, smelling like expired milk all the time, having random scratches all over my body, dark eye bags and bad skins. This IS Motherhood. I have my fair share of storms and dark days. Sometimes I feel exasperate for not having enough rest. Almost every night, I feel like chucking my daughter away because of her horrible sleeping patterns and her asking for milk so frequently throughout the night. This whole level of sleep deprived has taken its toll on me and I almost feel like dying. It is a miracle that I am still surviving and able to blog about this.
Okay, this isn’t how I predicted I would kick start with this post. It was supposed to be a loving post of how grateful I am to have Belle. Heck no, I am not a liar. My daughter would be able to read one day. As much as I would be over to moon to write only the good stuffs but let’s face this, Belle would grow up to be a little girl, teenager, and later on a woman. It is with much regrets that I would have to prep her for the coming future. I am not writing this to condemn my own daughter or to show how noble I am. Being a human is tough enough so let’s not add on to the hardship. My intention is purely to get this message across to all moms-to-be or mamas who most probably been in my shoes so they would be able to understand. Our days are not as easy as you think. Let me move on to my birthday letter to Belle in case this turns out to be another lengthy post with no special meaning. What? Every post of mine are written out of my heart. Who dare to say they are not meaningful? *laugh out loud*
Happy birthday to you, my dear Belle. You will forever be special to Mama because you are my first born (provided if I do have another child in the future). I have to be honest that you weren’t in our plan but God just decided to bless us with you. Your papa was shocked because he was expecting us to have at least one to two years of honeymoon. Staring on the two red lines in Myeong Dong feels surreal. Never mind, we will confirm this the next morning. On the other hand, Mama was thrilled because you are going to be my best buddy despite you being a boy or girl. However, Mama didn’t enjoy the first three months of pregnancy because I was nauseated almost everyday. I don’t blame you for that because I already knew that you were going to be active like Mama. Just remember this, Mama and Papa wanted you whole-heartedly. We waited impatiently for your arrival. We spent a lot on your stuffs even though Grandma and some elders said we don’t really have to buy that many things. Call Mama crazy but I really want you to have hand me downs. It would be perfectly fine if we hand it to your siblings because it is still within our own family. Isn’t Mama weird?
It has been a short and eventful year with you, Pumpkin Belle. Mama could still remember how overwhelming you are when the nurse placed you on my chest. From that small and fragile baby, you transformed into an overactive toddler who is learning how to walk and talk. Papa and Mama is so proud of you. You are growing up so rapidly even though Mama keeps telling you to slow down because I haven’t indulge enough of all these mama-magic moments. The changes are drastic and every time I see you now, I just wish time would stand still for once. Papa would say I am crazy because he hopes for you to grow up faster. You don’t come with a manual so Papa and Mama definitely have no idea what would be the outcome for us. We have no slightest clue on how to become a parent until you came. It is a learning journey for all of us, including Grandma as you are her first grandchild. All I know is that I am going to savor all these as much as I can because you are definitely my answered prayers.
You most probably would want to know how Mama spent my first year with you. Mama spent my whole pregnancy worrying that I might not be able to deliver you smoothly or that you might died suddenly because I heard of stillborn and the high possibilities of stillborn. The first few days are dreadful. Mama don’t even know how to deal with clogged breast, let alone having any ideas on how to change diapers or how to soothe you. You also have no idea how anxious I was, having to to check from time to time to see if you are still breathing. When you cried, we are worried if you are unwell. You have no idea how much we spent at the doctor’s because you vomited after each meals. Over-reacting should be the perfect word to describe Papa and Mama. Thank God you grow up on track and well. For the first three months, you are a cool baby who doesn’t smile or laugh much. Now that you are babbling (screaming to be exact) non stop, we can relax a little. Thank you for staying strong, my little pumpkin.
Now that you are walking almost steadily and babbling all the time with your baby language, Mama just can’t catch up with you. Belle certainly loves to be in the spotlight. It is so hard to calm this girl down or get her to take proper pictures without her grabbing my phone with her plump little hand. Sometimes, she’ll surprise me by unlocking certain skills that I never knew she could. Reading back all the monthly progress that I have written for Belle just made me realized that my little pumpkin is really a little girl now. I repeat this a lot but I just want you all to know that I wouldn’t trade this for anything else in the World. Even if I had to do this all over again, I WOULD. We planned to take her to Disney Land before she turns one but ended up being bombarded by Covid-19. Tickets bought and everything is ready. What a shame! Mama is going to cry at one corner again because I so wanted to visit Disney Land before I turns 30.
The picture above literally showed how Belle sleeps every night. On my pillow. So where am I? Horrible sleeping pattern right? No wonder I always woke up with nasty back and neck pain. No matter how I tuck her in at night, she would always ended up squeezing me off my position to take over my place. Sometimes she would roll on top of me. My heart nearly stopped because I am afraid she would fall off the bed. There are times when she would wake up fresh in the middle of the night, sat up and starts tapping you so that she could play. Hey young lady, Papa and Mama needed to work. Well, Papa is literally sleeping like logs so this didn’t bother him. Poor Mama has to be the restless one because I would wake up when you move. Belle still wakes up a few times during night time for comfort latching. I am happy that you are still attached to me. This is my greatest reward for this whole breastfeeding journey. Glad that I chose to embark on this journey. Definitely tired, time consuming and drained out, but it is so worth it.
I bought her so many toys out of recommendation of some mama bloggers on Instagram but Belle doesn’t seems to appreciate it. However, I have learnt not to “Over-react” with her progress because every child progressed differently. We definitely need to guide her step by step. Belle loves to be praised and cheered for. When she accomplished a task like standing up, she would be thrilled if we clap hands and cheer for her. Her beaming face would lit up.
It is worrying sometimes because Belle doesn’t know how to speak certain words. She hasn’t called out Papa and Mama. Some babies already knew how to call Papa and Mama at 10th month. You know what? I caught Belle in action and realized she is doing this on purpose. She does know how to call Papa and Mama, just that she purposely don’t want to call us. She would rather mimic us by repeating words like “Oh uh, Okay, mam mam, baba baaa”. Belle would flip her hands when she is impatient. Now that she only had two teeth (another two is coming up), she drools a lot and wants to bite almost everything. Belle would bring her snack cup to me and whine impatiently to indicate that I should open the cup. Crying went on non stop until I open up the cup and she got her snacks. Such a particular kid. From the way she would just throw everything off her sight when she is not happy. As if those cushions did her wrong.
Being a Mama, I was thrilled and excited to plan for my daughter’s first birthday. I wanted something simple and yet sticking closely to my Disney Theme. Wanted to rent my “Beauty and the Beast” wedding costumes to match the theme but I would blame Covid-19 for ruining the whole thing. To order it from China would take days. In addition to that, I wouldn’t want to waste the efforts and delicacy works from CCM . They have put in so much efforts in designing them finely just for my wedding day. A year gone by just like that. On Belle’s first birthday, I wanted everything to be perfect. From the theme, to the choices of food, to baking her birthday cake, and decoration, I want it to be all about her. Yes, Mama loves Disney but it is even more magical to see Disney in the eyes of my child and family. We invited only limited people because of the terms and conditions but I think it was perfect. Belle certainly enjoyed herself being carried around whenever she pleased and having fussing her around. We definitely hope everyone enjoy the gathering as we are very thankful that everyone contributed in making Belle’ first birthday a successful one. Special thanks to Anna who allowed us to use Harvest 29 for every events. Huge thanks also to my Momsy, Aunt Ann Nee, Aunt Cherry, Aunt AJ for preparing the food and desserts. Flawsome also design the sweetest gift packs for Belle. They are my reliable designers so please check out their and see all the artsy gift boxes and items made by hands and out of love. Last but not least, my brothers from another mother, Siah and Javen for helping me with the printings and set ups. Obviously we can’t do this alone so we are utmost grateful to everyone for lending their hands to make this a memorable one.
Browsing back to Belle’s first photo shoot as a newborn, my tiny baby really tried her best to grow up for the past one year, unlocking so many new skills and really making her stand in this World as a little fighter. Remembering how anxious Dexter (photographer) was because she just wouldn’t sleep and it is delaying his time for his next appointment. Though it cracked me up by seeing him playing those sleeping melodies and trying to rock Belle to sleep. As a newborn, Belle is totally different. Normal babies would be sleeping soundly but Belle doesn’t. Come to think of it, I realized I never show you guys all the full set of these amazing shots. Let me select some to display here.
It amazed me to watch Dexter bringing so many props and transformed one little corner of my house into a baby studio. When he asked me if I have any special requests of themes, I merely just told him I wanted a princess theme and most importantly I want Belle’s name in one of the styles. He managed to fulfill all my requests and going extra miles by making my imagination comes alive for me. Being a photographer is really not easy. He not only have to tame my baby but he has to be extra careful when he dressed my baby up as newborns are so fragile. Words cannot described how I felt when I caught a glimpse of all these pictures. His pricing is reasonable too. I would loved to engage him for my other shots too but because of Movement Control Order, all my plans vanished in thin air. Do check out Dexter Tan Production to see his profiles and portfolios. Oh by the way, he is also a funny man who likes to tell lame jokes. He is a father of three beautiful kids but can still be humorous. You will only laugh throughout the session.
By fate, I met another young photographer, Arick Kee when I hosted in one of the roadshows. He helps out as a promoter. Since we are in a new era today, it is good to give opportunities to young people to help them to embark in a brand new journey. My daughter is not the easiest baby to deal with. Hence, I really admire people who can handle my baby with patience. The whole session took about two hours, way past Belle’s napping time. She was cranky and couldn’t focus anymore. Behind every pictures are sweats, tolerance and patience. Mama Viola is only asking for a cake smashing moment and the theme has to be DISNEY. *Laugh out loud* Here are some of my favorite shots before I wrap up this post.
“I loved you from the very start because you are always a part of me, my little one”
I am finally done with my birthday letter to Belle. A bit longer than I expected but I feel the urge to write down my thoughts. This is a never ending story because to finish summing it up, it would be as thick as a book. My little Belle, Mama risk my life to bring you to this World. I cannot stand even the tiniest pain but in order to see you, I endure that constipated feeling. You will always be a part of me. Mama is looking forward to more Disney magic moments with you. Grow up well, my little pumpkin. Mama will always be by your side.
If you want to read more about Belle’s monthly updates, you may refer to the list below:-
This whole year is like a roller coaster ride for me. Swirls of emotions surrounded my soul. This journey is so worth it. Thank you for such a great year my dear pumpkin Belle. Cheers to many more years to come!
Mama loves you very much!