Bye 2016!

As 2016 comes to a close, I had the opportunity today to reflect on the good and bad of 2016. Here are my thoughts during the final hour of 2016.

On the personal front, it’s been a challenging yet fulfilling year.

I think the worst part of 2016 was the few months I spent as a single parent while Irene was in Seattle because it showed me my inadequacies as a parent. I remember the first couple of weeks were particularly painful for me as I found myself struggling to manage Zoey’s meltdowns due to the void that Irene had left behind. It was compounded by the fact that we had started Zoey at a new school and I was still working full-time. On the bright side, it taught me more patience and helped me forge a stronger bond with Zoey. So for that I am thankful.

The best thing of 2016 was definitely getting pregnant with BB8. Even though it has been a tougher pregnancy than when I was pregnant with Zoey, the fact that we managed to get pregnant on the first try was a blessing. It saved me loads of stress and of course lots of money as well. So that was good.

On the family front, I think we have been fortunate that things have gone well despite the time we had to spend apart from each other. They say distance makes the heart grow fonder and I think in this case, it is true. Zoey missed Irene a lot while they were apart and their bond now is even stronger than before. It puts a smile on my face everyday to see how they interact, play and enjoy with each other. I find my relationship with Irene has also improved over this past year as we navigated new challenges and built a new life in a new place together.

While the world has had a pretty bad year (just the number of talents we lost this year was devastating), I think overall the Chiongs had a good year.

As a reminder for myself and quick reflection, here is a quick run down of the significant events in 2016:

January – Spent my birthday in Bangkok, the first overseas vacation Irene and I went on together without Zoey.

February – Rushed to Jakarta when we thought we were losing my grandma. Fortunate that she pulled through and we still have her with us now. A timely reminder to treasure our loved ones as time marches on while we are distracted in our lives.

March – Met Margaret Cho and caught her show. ¬†Zoey turned 3. Irene left for Seattle and this started our family’s biggest challenge to date.

April – Zoey was the flower girl for the first time at Daryl and Nicole’s wedding. Submitted PR application for Zoey. Launched my second book Baby Zoey – Our Search for Life and Family.

May – Grandma turned 86 and we were able to celebrate it with her. Zoey and I flew to Seattle to spend a month with Irene. Did IUI during this trip and was rewarded with a positive pregnancy test.

June – Left Seattle knowing that we will need to move sooner rather than later as it showed us how much Irene’s move had affected Zoey. Had my secondary school 20th year reunion.

July – Indulged in some me time as I watched a couple of local productions including Boo Jun Feng’s Apprentice and Wild Rice’s Hotel, both of which are excellent.

August – Lots of quality time with Zoey as I wind down at work and start preparing for the big move. Managed to get a US visa for our helper Siti.

September – Mega change as I pack up my home for the past 18 years into a 20 ft container and move to Seattle. Saying goodbye is hard, but I know it is worth it.

October – Battled jetlag, a car accident, doctor challenges, credit card fraud, house hunting, tenant replacement and head lice, all within the first month of arrival.

November – Moved and settled into our new home. Hosted our first Thanksgiving dinner with our friends who came to be with us. Discover I have gestational diabetes, but manage to keep it under control with proper diet.

December – We enrol Zoey into a bilingual preschool. We get snow in Seattle and Zoey gets to build her first snowman.


Overall it’s been a good year and I’m looking forward to what 2017 will bring.

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