Happiness is... learning to dance in the rain

Posted by ~Summer~ on June 08, 2018
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"LIFE isn't about waiting for the storm to pass.
It's about learning to DANCE in the rain."

You know, no matter how many happy pictures I might post on the blog and on social media, the fact is life is never a bed of roses for anyone. I face the same trials and tribulations that all mums do and some days can be more trying and tougher to get through than the rest.

May was a period filled with challenges and also a time when I found myself tearing up more than usual, to the extent that I started questioning if I was a good mum or if I was even doing things right as a parent in the first place. Yup, to be frank, I was sobbing into the pillow on Mother's Day itself because one of the kids broke my heart and it makes you realise that life doesn't give you a break just because you think it is a special day.

Then again, the rainbow is only so beautiful because it comes after a rain, right? I mean, it might be nice to have a journey only full of ups, unicorns, cupcakes and all things nice and sweet. But how else will you be able to better appreciate it unless you go through the downs and all the moments that strove to tear you apart? That is why I believe that a life full of ups and downs is exactly the life that is meant for each of us and that is also how we learn to better cherish joy, love, health , friendship and family.




So when the storm comes, and I know it will keep coming, I'm going to try to learn to dance in the rain instead of waiting for it to pass. I want to make use of all the bad moments and turn them into the best learning experiences. For every tear I shed, I want it to be worth its while. For every time I break down, I will rise up higher, better and stronger than before.

And you know what gives me the motivation to keep going when the going gets tough? It's the happy moments, the moments when the kids make me feel loved more than anything I've felt in my entire life, the moments when things seem to be fall into place and I seem to be doing an okay job, the moments that make me burst out in laughter and warm my heart so deep and so real, the moments that remind me these kids need me to teach and guide them in life just as they have taught me about living unknowingly, the moments that I know I live for because they remind me just how purposeful, blissful and beautiful my life is. Here's a look at May's "Happiness is..." and what we did this month.


On Mother's Day, the kids presented me with flower pop-up cards which we learnt to make together, notes, flowers and rings and bracelets made using pipe cleaners. We had a simple dinner celebration at home with our parents as well as the extended family just to give all the mothers a pat on the back. Haha. I don't wish for this day to be overly special nor do I crave for a lavish celebration, but I do hope that the kids will always remember to write me a note and say "I love you, Mama". Do you think that would be too much to ask for? I'm not really sure, you know, but let's see how it goes.




The hubby, being the sportsperson he is, took us out for a family sports day at Temasek Club. We played badminton, we played ball, we skipped, then we went for swimming and water play before we made our way for karaoke with the in-laws. Yup, it was such a jam packed but fun-filled day! I swear I can fit into smaller jeans if we do this regularly, the only thing is it's so hard to make it a weekend habit. Haha. #excuses





The kids had lots of fun and couldn't stop laughing at themselves when they tried to go superman style facing up into the water when they were sliding. It was because I suggested for them to try something different and I wanted them to know that sometimes it's okay not to follow the rules, so long as you don't endanger anybody. It ended up that the three of them kept screaming in joy and taking turns to do it over and over again that I ended up catching some of their best and happiest moments on camera. Woohoo! That reminds me, I have so much catching up to do for their growing up videos but gosh, time never seems to be enough, does it?

I was using ice cream sticks to teach the toddler his colours and let him try sorting them out when I saw that the little sister had her own ideas instead. She proceeded to use the sticks to piece together so many different pictures and it was really awesome to see how she could make use of her own creativity. Goes to show that sometimes, we parents just need to take a step back, watch, hold our tongues and just learn to let go, right? Yup, I think I'm still working on that and I've a long way to go.




The K2 girl was assigned a family project and she wanted to do a painting on Singapore landmarks, namely the three that she chose herself - the Merlion, Gardens by the Bay and Singapore Flyer. We took a few weeks to complete this, thanks to Teacher Syafiq of Heart Studio who helped us to get started, and it was wonderful seeing how this girl had the passion to do what she does. She had to do a formal Show & Tell session on her finished work and I was so proud that she could memorise almost everything from her cue cards and she proudly told me she was the first one in her class to do the presentation. Awww, way to go, Ariel!



These two younger ones have been bickering more often nowadays yet they also show their love for each other in the sweetest ways. She never fails to give him a kiss when she goes to school, he never fails to look and ask for her when she is not around, they hold hands and play hide and seek when we are out, she picks him up whenever he falls, he looks for her for a hug whenever I chide him, and even though they also snatch over toys or even get into fights at times, I'm just so glad they have each other to spend most of each day with.





Guess where we went, like AGAIN? Haha, yes, LEGOLAND Malaysia. Like I said, it's one of our favourite holiday destinations and before the kids outgrow all the kiddy rides here, I hope we can still come here often. This time round, it was made even more special because we came with our friends and their kids (who all knew my kids because they are from the same schools). We stayed together in a 3-bedroom apartment in Somerset Medini (each family ended up paying less than a hundred bucks per night), we visited the parks together, we drove out for seafood together, we played in the arcade together, we played card games and chilled out over beer and cider when the kids were all asleep. This is the kind of holiday which will stay etched in our minds for a long time to come and I know the kids were all so happy to be with their friends.


It was also a milestone for Asher who went on his first drive! Okay, he did it at least four times in the end but you know how special the first time always is, right? This boy, who could barely reach the pedal with his foot, amazed us by not being scared to go in alone, by how he kept trying to start the car when it stopped, by how he could maneuver around the bends like a pro and how he was focused the entire time. You should see how the hubby and I were ecstatic cheerleaders as we kept screaming and cheering for him at the side. Yup, it's really awesome to be here for all their little milestones in life and these are the moments that really fill my heart with pure joy.



The hubby turned a year wise this month and he is just a year short of turning 40. Haha, oops, I just revealed his age. Anyway, we bought him two pairs of shorts, an expresso cup and lots of coffee capsules but the fun part was when the girls and I came up with his treasure hunt where we gave him clues to hunt for his present. He would have to guess a place in the house each clue referred to, move there and look for the next hidden clue, and solve a total of five clues before he could find all the gifts stashed away in the..... washing machine. Haha. It was really fun and the girls loved preparing every bit of it!




It might be his birthday but the hubby decided to reward the girls and I too by kind of 'forcing' us to go and watch Toruk even though I said repeatedly I didn't want to. I mean, what kind of wife am I to spend the hubby's birthday afternoon away from him to watch a show that, in my view, costs a bomb? Well, that's the thing. He insisted he wanted to be with the boy and proceeded to book the tickets so that the girls and I had the luxury of watching this 2-hour show in peace while they went for water play nearby. Very sweet of him I know, I just think it might be more worthwhile to keep that money for JJ Lin's concert instead. Haha. Still, thanks for the opportunity for this long missed girls outing, dear! I appreciate it lots!



Last but not least, another fond highlight of May was when I finally found time to sit down and do something fun with the kids - DIY lava lamps! Some of you have been asking about this so I hope I can write a post on it soon. The kids had so much fun doing this over and over again and it was nice to remember how the simple things in life can bring about the best kind of joy.

So, it's the June holidays now and I'm the kind of parent who loves school holidays because it gives me more time to be with the kids, to sleep late with them and wake up late too. Haha. What's not to like about it? I have more hands to help me with the chores too, like how I've already told them tomorrow is laundry day and they are going to help me hang and fold the clothes. #hoorayforlittlehelpers

That said, we do have a family vacation coming up next week and for the first time in two years, we're gonna take the plane together! Till more updates on that and do stay in touch with us on social media too!


Mealtimes are for family bonding

Posted by ~Summer~ on May 30, 2018
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Being a mum of three, I have dealt with my fair share of public tantrums, I have battled wild, unrestrainable behaviour from these sweet-looking beings, I have come to realise that motherhood throws you more curveballs than you can ever count and nothing ever goes as planned. Thankfully, it seems like most of us mums seem to know how this feels and knowing that we are not alone on this boat gives us the strength and courage to go on.

One thing I've always reminded myself when it comes to motherhood is - never judge another parent, not a dear friend who just became a new mum, not an acquaintance whose kids are behaving like terrors, and definitely not a stranger on the street who might just be having a really bad day.

The truth is, no mum is ever perfect. Be it working mums, stay-at-home mums or work from home mums, we are all just trying to be the best that we can be under our own unique circumstance and no parenting philosophy should be deemed as more superior or more effective than another.

There is a topic I've wanted to talk about for a long time but didn't quite know how to approach it so it has been sitting in my drafts all this while. It's about how I emphasize that mealtimes are for family bonding and how I try to make it a time when the family not only sits and eats together, but we talk, we laugh, we learn and most importantly, we bond.


You see, we dine out quite often and there are some scenarios the kids and I witnessed which are etched so deeply in my mind that I keep reminding myself that this is not how I want our family to be. I'm not meaning to say if it's good or bad, healthy or unhealthy, but I am saying that this is not the path I wish to take when it comes to our mealtimes.

1) We were at a Chinese restaurant celebrating my mil's birthday. Seated at the next round table beside us was a family made up of grandparents, mums, dads, and a couple of teens and kids. Out of 10 of them, 8 were using their phones or tablets. It wasn't just for a brief while, but a considerable period of time during that reunion meal. Guess who were the ones without? Well, the grandparents.

2) The kids and I were eating zi char at a coffeeshop in our neighbourhood. I'm usually so occupied with trying to feed the toddler and nag at the elder ones to eat their food while gulping down a few mouths of my own food that I don't really have time to observe other diners around me. But this time, there was this mother-and-son pair seated beside us that caught our attention. Not because of what they were saying, but because of what they were not. The son, a teenager, had his headphones on the whole time during that meal and thus didn't speak a single word to his mum. When we finally heard him speak, it was to say "I'm done" and he proceeded to leave the table, leaving the mum to finish up her food before she left too.

3) We often see this pair of elderly with their granddaughter at this food court that we go regularly. From the looks, built and the uniform, the girl looks to be in kindergarten and around 5-6 years of age. Perhaps it's not so bad that she is constantly on her iPad throughout the meal, swiping across the screens and selecting videos to play on YouTube, what affected me more was how the granddad would feed her every mouth of her food, till the very last drop, while she just uses her hands to control the tablet.

There are many more cases that we've come across but these were the ones that made a deeper impact in my mind. You know, I can really understand if parents give the kids the phone or tablets for a while, for instance when they go and buy food, when the kids have finished eating or if the parents have something urgent to discuss. By all means, go ahead. Or if it's been just a really tiring or terrible day and you need to have some quiet time to eat your food, I get it too when you turn to the electronic babysitters for help. But to make it a habit throughout mealtimes, to the extent that the family interacts less and less with one another but instead more and more with the devices, that is a no-no for me.

That is why, as best as I can, we ban all phones and TVs (we don't have iPads so that is no issue for now) whenever it is time to have a meal together. It's not really a hard and fast rule because sometimes the hubby needs to answer to his boss urgently, sometimes there is a really nice show on TV that we would like to watch, and sometimes I whip out my phone to take videos of the kids and their silly antics. Nonetheless, for most of the time at least, we are device-free during mealtimes.

So what do we do when we eat?

Be it during homecooked meals or when we eat out, we do the same - we talk! Well, we try not to have food in our mouths when we do so but we always chat as we eat. A simple way to start is to ask the kids about their day, what they did in school, any interesting incident that happened to them or their friends and so on. I would also share with them about my day, what I did with the brother in the morning, any plans for the rest of the day or any errands to run so they could anticipate what to do next. At times, we would also talk about the headline news or community events and try to keep up with what's happening outside of our household. They also like to ask about family history, science and logic, jokes and riddles and basically just anything under the sun.

The amazing thing is most of the time, I don't really have to prompt much because they always have so much to share! Yup, it's usually stories from their schools or about their friends, a movie we just watched, or a memory that we shared and they can talk about it for the longest time (and I end up having to nag at them to remember to eat their food too, lol). Still, I love hearing all their stories and it's what makes me understand them more, be aware of their emotions and stay updated on their everyday happenings too.

I seriously can't think of anything bad about device-free meals and it's surely the way I wish to keep things for now. Habits need to be cultivated and I'm hoping that by keeping this up and instilling it in our family culture, the kids will grow up knowing that this is the way it should be when we eat at meals - to give the family your undivided attention, to make them feel valued and appreciated, to remind yourself of your priorities in life and the need to put first things first.

******

Talking about phones and technology, for those of you who missed it, I went on a live interview with Guo Liang and Mei Lan on Channel 8's 狮城有约 Hello Singapore.



I wouldn't have travelled across the island to Mediacorp with three kids in tow (thanks to the staff for helping to keep an eye on them during my recording) if it wasn't for a topic that was close to my heart. Yup, we don't get paid for going on such interviews even though they do reimburse our travel expenses. It's really about having the interest and passion to share on the topic and this was one that I knew I couldn't bring myself to reject.

It would probably take me another lengthy blog post to explain why my beliefs are anchored this way and a good part of it was due to the fact that I gave birth in a foreign country and witnessed the differences in culture when it comes to kids and technology. To be clear, I'm not against technology (hello, family blogger here!) but I do think it is imperative that as parents, we learn to embrace it and wield this double-edged sword in order to forge, not destroy, family bonds.

To watch the full interview which is conducted in Mandarin (是的,讲华文哦), go here.


Mama, it's okay...

Posted by ~Summer~ on May 18, 2018
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Dear Mama,

You are the best Mama in the world, we mean it when we say it. We see how hard you work for our family, we see how exhausted you are from taking care of us, we see how your tears fall quietly and you wipe them off when things get a little too much to bear, we see how you try best to put on a smile so that you don't make us worry for you, we see how tough it gets when the chores are so demanding and your hands are never enough, we see how difficult it gets when Papa is often away and you have to face us around the clock, we see, we hear, we feel, we know and we understand it ain't easy being you.

That is why we hope you will know that when we say you are the best Mama, we don't expect you to be the perfect mum, if there is such a thing in the first place. Just like how we have our classic tantrums and extra whiny days, you have your bad moments too and you know what, it is TOTALLY okay. Don't beat yourself so much over the little things you do wrong because the truth is they don't bother us more than they bother you and us being kids means we forgive and forget easily. We don't mind and don't remember the 'bad' things you think you did but we do know how hard you try to be a good mum for us. You love us so much that it hurts you at times, you are willing to give up everything for us and you are the one who keeps our world spinning. That is the reason why, in our eyes, you will always be the best.

So Mama, please know that it's really okay and don't feel guilty over the things that don't matter the next day or things that only make you human. You are not a saint, you are not a robot, you are just our very ordinary yet somewhat extraordinary Mummy. Guilt is not an emotion we am familiar with so we don't you hanging out with it too often too, yeah?

******

It's okay that you decide to watch Netflix after we go to bed instead of catching up on your rest. We know you need your downtime and it's the only time you can enjoy some peace and quiet in the house. Even though it makes you more tired when you wake up in the morning, you always make sure we have our breakfasts and that we get to school on time. So Mama, it's really okay.

It's okay that you don't cook for us every day and that we need to eat out or have takeaways. We see how much effort goes into each simple meal you prepare and that cleaning up can be a real hassle. We know some days, you feel more tired than usual and you just don't have the motivation to cook. Anyway, we love dining out with you and a little more salt and flavouring isn't a big deal. So Mama, it's really okay.

It's okay that our house is messy on most, if not all, days. We know we contribute to the bulk of the mess and we don't expect you to clean up after us too. Yes, we know your constant nagging for us to learn to be responsible will do us good someday and we are aware that we need to do our part to help too, so please don't take it all upon yourself. It takes time and we are okay with living with unmopped floors, dirty windows and bedsheets which haven't been changed for weeks. So Mama, it's really okay.

It's okay that you don't have much time to teach us or do art and craft with us nowadays even though we know you earnestly wish to. Life was much easier when the number of kids was not more than your number of hands and you had more pockets of free time with us. You don't have to feel envious by seeing how some of the amazing mums out there seem to hold it all together and have time to teach, homeschool or craft with their kids. You teach us all about life and what it means to be a good person in your own ways and we don't ask you for more too. So Mama, it's really okay.

It's okay that we don't travel as much as before or that we don't go on long family vacations nowadays. We know that these holidays cost you and Papa a bomb and actually, we have never complained that you don't bring us to see more of the world. It was you who felt bad that as more kids came, the travels reduced but you know what, we are happy to go anywhere as long as we are together. Even a trip to Sentosa is good enough for us and means more than you know. So Mama, it's really okay. 

It's okay that you don't have much one-on-one time with us because we are always together and it's hard for you to find a caretaker so you can whizz one of us away for a quick date. It will likely get better when we get older and more independent but for now, let's just enjoy the time we have to spend together, especially during our mum-and-kids outings. We love being together with our siblings too (even though we get into fights and arguments so often). So Mama, it's really okay. 

It's okay that you can't be absolutely fair to us all the time, even if you try to. Like how only big sister has a scrapbook with her baby pictures, how little sister gets a massage from you every night on her scar, how didi gets to be breastfed for the longest period of time etc. It's also okay for you to ask us to give in sometimes just because you want the fighting to stop. Oh by the way, the bickering only serves to bond us closer to each other at the end of the day so don't worry so much about it, yeah? We promise to love and take care of each other, and we know that you try your best to be impartial and that your love for us is all the same. So Mama, it's really okay.

It's okay that you lose your cool at times and that you shout at us, reprimand us and punish us more than you intended to. We know it's hard to discipline young kids like us and even if we might talk back or refuse to listen to you, deep down in our hearts, we still know you did it for us. Sure, we don't like you to shout at us so much but we know that we are usually the root cause of your emotional turbulence and that we take turns to upset you. You know, it's okay to let it go, to tear, to cry, to bawl, to scream, to punch a pillow, to shout it out, to have an ice cream (or two), to walk away to calm yourself down. You are just like us, Mama, and we don't want you to bottle up all your negative emotions too. So Mama, it's really okay.

******

You see, Mama, no matter what you do, it doesn't change who you are and we know that you LOVE us with every breath you take and every beat of your heart. No matter how tough a day we've had together, how many wrong things we did or how many tears we've shed, we will always remember to hug and kiss each other good night and say "I love you". Because love is the one constant in our family and we want you to know that we love you so much, no matter what happens.

So yes Mama, you are more than enough, you are more than what you think you are and you will always be the best Mama in our hearts. We love you to the moon and back a million times.

With hugs and kisses,
Your adorable kids


Happiness is... taking a step back

Posted by ~Summer~ on May 10, 2018
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It's a little ironic that in our pursuit of happiness and all the good things in life for ourselves and loved ones, we tend to lose sight of the things that truly matter along the way. We think so much about the destination that we forget to admire the scenery along the journey. We hurry through our daily lives, stick to our routines and sometimes, everything becomes a frenzy that we wonder what we've achieved at the end of it. We think far ahead but fail to cherish the present, the today, the now. We forget that that each day is a gift, a gift for us to treasure, to laugh, to love, to live.

The month of April has been an exciting, reflective and meaningful one for me.  I turned a year older, I celebrated a decade of marriage and most importantly, I decided to stop in my tracks, take a look at things from a bigger perspective, think about the things I am doing too much/not enough of, and to remind myself of what truly matters to me in my life now.

In this month's "Happiness is...", it's all about taking a step back in order to move forward.




It's easy to forget but I tell myself that while my kids are still young, I wanna let them take priority over other things in my life. That includes blogging, scrolling through social media feeds, trying to read a novel I started on last year, Netflix, couple dates, couple holidays, and so on. That means nowadays, I try my best to not let myself be distracted by the phone or any other matter when I am around them. I want to be fully present, not just with my body but my soul and heart too, when they are beside me. To give them the full attention and undivided love they need, and deserve.

We've been keeping up with our mum-and-kids date nights since the hubby works late nearly every weekday. We watch movies, we visit playgrounds, we go for ice cream treats, we have Sunday breakfast at McDonalds when the hubby is out playing football, and we just enjoy each other's company - provided they are being cooperative and not throwing tantrums or fighting when we are out. Lol. It won't be long before they start wanting to hang out with friends more than mums, right?

I've also been yearning to take them on one-on-one dates and have been thinking of the things I can do with each of them, based on their interests and loves in life (which can be quite different). It's going to be hard because I will need the hubby to look after the other two (good luck, dear!) but let's hope that we can try it out soon.







Weekends, as always, are very precious for us because it is the time when we get together as a family. I have been nagging at the hubby to put away his phone more because the kids don't get much time to interact with him all week so they have been asking me why Daddy has to work such long hours and why does he still use his phone on weekends on they are around him. Oh well, it's gotten us into arguments but I guess he will see things from our perspective somehow.

It's also a reminder that work should never take importance over family and no matter how bogged down he gets at work (I can tell he suffers from high levels of stress daily), it shouldn't affect the relationship with the kids. Likewise for me, chores are my 'work' and part of my daily life as a SAHM, they are never ending, they are tedious and they wear me out. But it should never seem like these so-called tasks are more crucial than me being with the kids. You know what I mean?

I am relieved that we still make time to go outdoors and we had a good Sunday at East Coast Park eating at the food centre, fishing at Bedok Jetty and going on a one-hour ride on the family bike where we just pedaled, pretended we were on a roller coaster ride and sang our hearts out to familiar pop song tunes. That was definitely a moment when we took a step back from the hustle and bustle of life, together as a family.



Talking about taking a step back, it's always awesome to go on a family staycation in Singapore and we haven't done that for a long time. Thanks to kind folks at Shangri-La, we were granted a weekend stay on my actual birthday and the kids had the chance to play at the new Buds playground (read my review here). I can't say I totally rested during that trip because truth be told, any blog collaboration means that I am always running around with my camera in hand, trying my best to capture every moment be it in pictures or on video clips. The worse thing is since I'm not a very good photographer, I try my best to take as many pictures as I can just so I have a huge selection to choose from. Yup, I went home with hundreds of photos and dozens of clips so I could work on that one review post. Not easy as it looks, yeah?







Birthdays, in recent years, are celebrated with the kids, the hubby and my parents. I guess they are the ones closest to me and it's nice to just know that they look forward to celebrating this day with me. The kids give me the sweetest cards and I always look forward to seeing what they will draw for me. For now, they always love to draw our happy family, which I hope means a lot because it shows that they are happy to have me as their mum, just like how I know I am blessed to call them my own too.




It's been a while since I went on a live interview but given how this topic of kids being addicted to smartphones is one close to my heart, I decided to take it on when the editor at "狮城有约 Hello Singapore" rang me up. I've rejected a few requests in the past few years because I didn't feel strongly about the topics and it's hard for me to get a babysitter or get the hubby to take leave last minute. This time round, the good folks at MediaCorp offered to help me keep an eye on the kids in the waiting room while I was in the recording studio, which would take around 40minutes at most. I really wanted to share my views in this matter and in my heart, I knew this was an opportunity that would not come by easily again. Therefore, armed with the big sister's homework for the day, as well as biscuits and candy as distractions for the younger ones, the four of us made our way to the new MediaCorp campus all the way across the island. You can watch a recap of the interview conducted in Chinese at https://bit.ly/2Ha90AY.


In the home, I've been trying to cut down a little on the chores that I have to get through each day and besides closing one eye to dusty floors and messy rooms, another way is for me to outsource them to the kids. Haha. Yup, the 5-year-old was excited to help me prepare our meals and that she got to handle a sharp knife and peeler for the first time. I do think these are important life skills which they pick up in the process and these should matter more than getting full marks in spelling tests, shouldn't they?





We also went to carnivals and had fun at the game stalls, for instance the girls were so thrilled to go into a big bubble in the water and laughed non-stop as they rolled around, the toddler went into a bouncy castle and was the gentlest jumper there, he then played a game of fishing and caught the biggest prize which was a Nemo stuffed toy, and we also tried our luck at this Thunderbolt game which has 36 squares and using 18 tiles of your choice, you have to form at least one straight line (be it horizontal or vertical). It wasn't really about winning for me, it was about playing and having fun together as a family, and making all these priceless memories with my kids during their growing up years.





You probably can also sense that I'm taking a step back when it comes to blogging, even though I know that I won't be able to give it up because writing all my heartfelt stories is a way to keep me sane, to remember and be able to get through those trying moments and to connect with so many of you like-minded mums out there. So, I guess my posts might not come as regularly as before but they will still keep coming whenever I get inspired (and find pockets of time to be able to sit in front of my computer), yeah?

That said, I've taken on another role and that is as a committee member in the Parents Volunteer group in the big girl's new primary school. I was already active in her previous school but this time round, I decided to just roll with it and might as well join the committee. Haha, as if I am not busy enough with three kids and blog, right? I guess I just need a change in lifestyle and a challenge for myself too. Anyway, that means I now need to go for regular meetings with the Principal, Vice Principal, Teachers in charge and fellow members (and I have to bring along a 2yo to the meeting, which I'm very thankful that they allow me to). Real adult interaction for the first time in a long time. Haha. I even had to do a Powerpoint presentation for Teacher's Day because I'm in charge of coming up with  gifts for a total of 150 staff. That saw me running around to places like Art Friend and Popular in Bras Basah, Spotlight in Plaza Singapura and a few other places for inspiration - which the kids always saw as an adventure since I have to lug them with me, even on weekday nights.

We have this huge family event coming up soon and as the props I/C, I've been spending my weekday mornings at her school just doing lots of cutting, pasting, sticking, and coming up with all kinds of props needed for the actual day. It is tiring yet fulfilling to be part of a team of committed parents who have the heart to serve (not in order to get our kids into the school because all our kids are already in lor) and I've been inspired by them to put in my best effort for these events. Yup, so Asher goes with me every day and it's nice to see him interacting with other adults and their kids too (who always come and look for us at recess time and they will play with him). The biggest reward is knowing that the firstborn is proud to see Mama putting in so much effort for her school and there is this sense of indescribable joy that we both feel and I think it's something that will bond us too.





Last but not least, the hubby and I celebrated our 10th year of wedding anniversary in April 2018. It's a huge milestone, isn't it? We went for the earliest showing of Avengers at the movie theatres (at 820am!) after dropping the girls in school and getting the in-laws to look after Asher, then made it back in time to pick Ariel before noon.

At night, we went for a nice dinner at House of Crab, who so happened to be celebrating their 10th anniversary too and there was a special promotion ongoing - 2 crabs for just $52!! It was a yummy dinner filled with lots of love - and noise - because the kids were all with us. But, I guess that was the best way to celebrate our special day. The kids and I went to IKEA to get this surprise magnetic board for the hubby and we printed some of our photos onto magnetic paper from Canon too. Each of them also drew a little something on shrinky dink paper which we turned into magnets too.






It would probably be a lie to say that I wasn't at all sad to know that the hubby didn't get anything for me at all. It's not that I needed anything and I have told him before that flowers and lavish gifts are not my kind of thing, but I was still hoping for a handwritten card or just a little something for keepsake since we made it through a decade of love after all.

I guess he got the hint so he did say he will make me a card, which might jolly well arrive a year later, but we'll see how that turns out. Haha. He did point to himself and said he is my best present which is annoying yet true. Yup, I guess as long as that we are together in love, willing and able to work through our differences hand in hand, that we never forget why we got married in the first place, that we both have a desire to keep this family happy and closely-knitted, that we remind ourselves just how rare true love is in this world, that is more than what I can ask for. Till more thoughts on happiness next month!


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