:: Life :: October 31st 2015

We are SIX baby! 

On our wedding day

On our wedding day

Wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else!

50 lbs heavier!

50 lbs heavier!


Here we go again. Despite what I said about staying put for a few years after we bought our first apartment, we are on the move again (8 blocks up the road!!). This time I’m not saying anything about not moving because if  we don’t leave the US, the Burbs is in the horizon (2018). 

It’s scary looking at the next number of boxes we have during the move. Do we really need all these stuff? It’s hard not to succumb to advertising, social media and sales mailer. Much harder in the States with free returns and shipping.

Read this the other day. I’m inspired. While I won’t be attempting something as drastic, I’m going to limit my clothes and shoes purchases. 

I have embarked on this; we were at Woodbury over the holiday weekend, I turned down Mr. P’s offer of a new pair of amazing Chloe booties (marked down to 65 from 500). Can you imagine a shoe-aholic like me turning down comfy, full leather black booties? Mr. P did ask if I was ill. 

I have TWO pairs of brand new Louboutin booties sitting in the closet there’s no reason for the purchase. And if I am to teach my kids not to spend frivolously, I need to lead by example no? 

On the dresses front, it’s going to be more difficult. I love me some Kate Spade and Club Monaco. But God was helping; the KS outlet (60% off store wide) had NOTHING. This is the first time when I had absolutely nothing to buy in KS! 

And just the other day I received $60 sending items that no longer fit or I-don’t-know-why-I-ever-bought-it to ThredUp. This will be my new dresses money. 

I suppose what I want t achieve for the second half of the year is to be more mindful of buying stuff; spending only on necessity and experiences (travel, activities). 
Kids, they don’t need stuff. What they need is our time, being outdoors (hello apple picking) and physical activities. 

And maybe we can buy a 3rd place for rental. Here’s to building a property portfolio! 

Change is the only constant or so they say. Less than two years at our current place, we are moving (yet again) in two weeks! This time undertaking such an endeavour with TWO kids in tow. (Have I used enough twos in a paragraph yet?) Crazy huh?

No, we are not off to the Burbs, well not for another 2-3 years anyway. Earlier in the year Mr. P and I revisited the Burbs idea; we spent (too many) weekends out in the usual commuting towns checking out open houses.

There was a NYTimes article on the cost effectiveness of moving out to the Burbs. The bottom line: it makes financial sense if you have at least 2 school age children. Herein lies our challenge; Ava is not. While infant care is  ($3-500) cheaper out in Timbaktu the Burbs, real estate taxes* are also higher.

*I think about RE taxes as an offset to school fees. I don’t quite mind higher taxes if the public school system is good.
Then there’s the dilemma of downtown versus quality of schools. I love Montclair and Maplewood, not so much their school system. (I don’t care what everyone says about the lack of creativity in Singapore’s curriculum, I enjoyed my childhood and schools I went to.)

Back to the drawing board. Should we sell our 2 bed / 2 bath apartment and stump up the cash for a 3 bed? Should we buy a 1 bed for rental and maybe even a weekend place up in the Catskills?

In the end we bought another 2 bed / 2 bath 8 blocks north of where we are! We closed on Tuesday but will only take possession next week because of a sale and lease back agreement with the seller.

(New) home sweet home

The new apartment will be our primary residence. We are on the top floor, there’s a skylight above the open kitchen and many windows. It has a handicapped parking spot right next to the lift, a gym, a resident lounge and a courtyard in the middle of the building. It is also uptown, closer to the supermarket and the beer garden.

The even better news was leasing our current place two days after listing. We had multiple applications! The rent covers mortgage, interest and HOA fees. Could we have gotten a couple of hundreds more? Possibly. Would we have to wait longer for a tenant? Maybe. The tenants are a professional couple with an 8 month old baby girl; I don’t even have to repaint the girls’ room to a neutral palette! Win-win!

:: Life :: Choices

I have life-choice envy. There I said it. It’s not jealously; more of an “I wish”.

One of my best girlfriends recently finished her EMBA course. I am extremely proud of her; completing this journey that we once dreamed of by the pool bar in Bintan Lagoon Resort a decade ago. I suppose dreams do come through if you put your mind to it.

I had have a similar dream to pursue higher education. That is now shelved indefinitely. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, raising two kids in the states with no family means a lack of resources – money and time. This is what economists call opportunity cost. The best kind of friends encourage one another to do more, to do better. My girlfriend told me that the some of the inspiring women in her EMBA class came back to school after their kids are older and it is never be too late. I certainly hope that is applicable to me.

I always thought I would be the last to get married among my friends. I am never the kind of girl who felt my life would be incomplete without children. I still don’t. It sounds like lip service since I now have two of my own, but it is the truth. Do I love them? Of course but these feelings are not mutually exclusive.

Life happened. I met someone who is amazing, that I can live with and cannot live without. My love for him resulted in two adorable (and infuriating) bundles of noise. They are so, so fortunate to have him for a father. He loves me, warts, strops and all.

I’ve made my bed…

Oh Chicago! Where do I even begin? 


I have to admit, my first impressions weren’t great. Made worse by the looks of The Langham; the hotel is housed in a bland tower block with the lobby on the second floor (I have no idea why). It improved when we reached the hotel hobby. The staffs were wonderful and the room spacious. 
We had an amazing four days in the city; could have easily stayed the week. There was so much to do, we didn’t even make it to the Lincoln Park Zoo nor the Art Institue. What a travesty if you asked me. 
We have to go back; this time with a pram for Ava (Mr. P forgot the stroller!!). Lugging a 15lb bub all around town was no joke. 
More later! 


:: Littlest :: Milestones


A week ago I posted the above on my Instagram. 


Someone forgot to give Ava the holiday memo; in St. Lucia little missy has hit a number of milestones at the same time! Her little head is not coping very well with the new skills and knowledge. This translated into multiple wakings all week. Coming from “the good baby” who let us sleep through the night since 10 weeks, I’m ready to give her up for adoption. 

It’s the most tiring week I have had in a while. I suppose it could be worse – having to work in a zombie-fied state instead of chilling (as much as you can with a spirited 4 year old) on a tropical island.

A week before she turns 8 months, Miss A can now flip, sprouted her first tooth, said “mama” for the first time yesterday and is starting to crawl. Oh and she now (like finally) enjoys baths and swimming! 

Well done littlest! Can’t wait to get you into toddlerhood. 

P.S. I’m must one of the few, if not only, mother who doesn’t think her baby is growing up too fast. I still truly dislike the baby stage.

:: Jetset :: Saint Lucia

We are away in Saint Lucia for the week, after what felt like a year (it’s not, only 2 months) since our Disney-Miami trip. 

It’s been too long since I was on a beach holiday; made an amateur mistake and I’m a little sunburnt!! 

The resort pools are great but accommodations, not so much. 真的是一分钱一分货. This trip is almost half what we spent last year in Dominican Republic; when we arrived, I understood why. Story for another post. It could be worse I guess. 

On an unrelated note, Ava has cut her first tooth, has started flipping, is learning to crawl (the moving backwards stage) and is now more into feeding her self (grabbing and shoving) then puréed food.  All while we are on holiday!!! 

Some pictures of the girls playing together this morning. Clover really is an amazing sister for a kid this young! 



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