Are you my mama? {Giveaway of Looking for Mama 小蝌蚪找妈妈}

Posted by ~Summer~ on 15.8.14
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If you don't know yet, we are a Mandarin-speaking family. Since Angel was born, we have been communicating to her more in Mandarin than English in the hope of building a strong foundation, and more importantly, a love for the mother tongue.

I guess it stems from my own love for the language and I wish to pass it down to my kids. Since I was in primary school, Chinese has always been my most-loved subject. Ok, Maths was a close second or sometimes on par. That was why although I chose to study mass comm, I decided to take up a minor in Chinese, and also why I was determined to teach at Berries when I was studying and even when I had a 9-5 job in a media agency.

In fact, when I first started A Happy Mum, I was half contemplating if I should make it a Chinese blog. *Do I hear a gasp?* However, even though I think and write better in Chinese, it might take me ages to type one post and I would run into trouble keeping up with the blog, so I decided to stick to English instead.

I think a language can define who we are and it is important for kids to learn to speak their mother tongue and for us as parents to keep passing down our cultural roots and heritage. It might sound bizarre to teach this when we were in Sweden but by age of three, we have taught Angel to recite 三字经 and by four, 弟子规. Yes, of course she can't recite the full text (I can't too!) but in my opinion, she can remember a good part of it already and I like to take the chance to teach her about Confucian values like filial piety and respect for elders.

When it comes to bedtime stories, I think it is very important for us to have a good mix of English and Chinese books too. A friend once commented that we have a huge collection of books in her library corner, which I seriously don't think so, but anyway when it comes to books, there is no such thing as too many, right? So, I like to let Angel pick her books to read every night and I am glad that every now and then, she will take a Chinese book and attempt to read it on her own. Even though it is based on memory more than word recognition for now.

Today, I'm introducing one of her favourite Chinese books which is titled 小蝌蚪找妈妈 (Little tadpole looks for Mama). We have had this book for years but till now, it remains a delight to read.

The story talks about little tadpoles who hatch and start their journey in search of their Mama. Along the way, they meet different creatures in the pond and mistake them for their Mama. Each of the creatures replies with different answers, giving them an inkling of how their Mama looks like. While the tadpoles get confused and keep asking “Where’s my Mama? Are you my Mama?”, they begin to discover more about themselves along the way.

It's such a fun way to teach our kids about life cycles and how tadpoles grow up to be frogs, don't you think so?

*****

Now, when Angel and I heard that come this September holidays, Paper Monkey Theatre would be holding a re-run of their sold out performance Looking for Mama 小蝌蚪找妈妈, you bet we jumped for joy. I can imagine how she would be able to relate to the story already!








With the addition of show-and-tell drama, handcrafted puppets and sing-along children’s songs, I think it will be such a fun learning experience for her.

Images from Paper Monkey Theatre
For those of you who are keen to find out more, here are the details of the show.

PUBLIC SHOW
Date: 12th and 13th September (Friday and Saturday)
Time: 2:30pm & 7:30pm
Venue: Goodman Arts Centre (90 Goodman Road, Block B #01-05 Singapore 439053)
Ticket price: $15 each

Early bird promotion ($12 per ticket) runs from now to 20 August and you can book your tickets here.

SYNOPSIS
小蝌蚪诞生了! 咦,怎么不见妈妈呢?小蝌蚪于是四处寻找妈妈。 但是,它不晓得妈妈是什么模样,怎么找呢?在途中遇到了大眼睛的金鱼、白肚皮的乌龟,可全都不是小蝌蚪的妈妈。它们告诉小蝌蚪,它的妈妈有一双大眼睛、白肚皮、四条腿,长得一点也不像黑漆漆的小蝌蚪。妈妈到底在哪里呀? 快来和小蝌蚪一同寻找妈妈吧!

TO NOTE
1. Performance is in Mandarin without English subtitles.
2. Duration is approx. 40 minutes without intermission.
3. Suitable for children aged between 5 and 7 years old.
4. Free seating.
5. No food and drinks are allowed.
6. For children below 5 years old, parental guidance is encouraged.
7. Tickets are required for all patrons for admission.
8. Latecomers are only allowed admission during suitable breaks if any.

Paper Monkey Theatre is a Singapore non-profit theatre company formed in April 2008. Helmed by well known puppeteer/playwright Benjamin Ho, it focus on providing quality drama programmes such as shadow puppet making workshops and theatre productions for children and families to entertain encourage artistic development and enrich learning experiences.

******

Now, if you are looking for activities to line up for the September holidays and are keen to let your child learn in Mandarin, this is something you might be keen to take part in! Yes, it's a giveaway!

A Happy Mum is now giving away a Family Package of FOUR tickets to the Looking for Mama 小蝌蚪找妈妈 public show performance on 12 Sept (Fri) at 7:30pm.

To participate, leave a comment in this blog post with your name and email address. Indicate on the Rafflecopter widget that you have done so and to increase your chances of winning, follow the rest of the steps. Please take part only if you are sure you can make it for the show!

Best of luck, everybody!

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Disclosure: We have been invited by Paper Monkey Theatre to watch the public show performance of Looking for Mama. Give me a yell if you see me there, ok? All opinions are our own.

Just splashing around {LEGOLAND Malaysia Water Park}

Posted by ~Summer~ on 14.8.14
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So we've been to LEGOLAND Malaysia at least half a dozen times but I have not dedicated posts to writing on the theme park or water park. You know how sometimes you badly feel like doing something but end up procrastinating, and the more you procrastinate, the more you think "I guess this can wait". Yeah, this is one of those. Same as the other few dozens things I wish to blog about but have yet to do so. You know, like Angel's 4th year video, our trip to Pulau Ubin, our honeymoon and many more.

Today, as a first step in getting myself to snap out of the procrastination, I will be sharing the fun times we had as a family at the LEGOLAND Malaysia Water Park! *splashes and squeals*

You know, I can't name any kid who doesn't like to play in water. Not any. But parents, I've seen a few. When I heard that a friend was against the idea of going to any water park because she finds changing, getting wet and running after the child a hassle, I was really appalled. Imagine how much that child is missing out? All the thrills, spills, and fun-filled afternoons.

My girls really love playing with water and if you give them a tub filled with water and two cups, they can somehow have fun for hours. That is mainly the reason why we wanted to have a bathtub in our toilet even though we stay in a HDB flat. It is pretty amazing how something as simple as water can bring about so much bonding, laughter and joy.

The LEGOLAND Malaysia Water Park occupies a space of 300,000m² and is said to be the largest LEGOLAND water park in the world. Right, it should be made known that so far there are only two other water parks - in California and Florida. Nonetheless, as a park dedicated to children under the age of 12, this is definitely a vibrant paradise for the little ones. 




With over 12 rides, 20 slides and 70 lego models in the Water Park for visitors to explore, I personally think it would be better to spend a relaxed day here instead of trying to cover both the theme park and the water park on the same day. This is especially so if you are travelling around with young kids who need their afternoon naps and might otherwise be unable to survive a whole day jammed with activities. 

If you are not staying at the LEGOLAND hotel (you can read our reviews here where we were invited for the exclusive media preview and here where we spent my 31st birthday there dancing the night away) and have your valuables with you, it might be helpful to note that lockers are available for rent near the park entrance, costing RM20 or RM30 for a day, depending on size. These can be accessed in a biometric manner where you can unlock them with your fingerprint.

Cabanas such as the ones above are also available if you prefer to have some shaded privacy and rest. Each cabana takes up to four guests and features two deluxe chaise lounges, two seating chairs, two complimentary towels, safe deposit box and one table with DUPLO bricks. 10 complimentary drinks will be provided in the mini-fridge and no outside food and beverage is allowed. A full day rental will cost RM300 while half day (from 2pm onwards) will cost RM150.

Since we were staying in the hotel and didn't need the lockers nor were we keen on the cabanas, you bet we were all ready to kick and splash once we entered the Park. Look, we were so thrilled that we got to meet Emmet - the main protagonist in the LEGO movie (you can read here on the 5 things we shared about the movie) who walked around the Park with a cheeky grin.



As both our girls were still quite little, and may I say short, they were unable to participate in more than half of the rides. The more thrilling rides like Splash and Swirl, Tidal Tube, Brick Blaster and Slide Racer required a minimum height of 1.07m and others like Red Rush and Twin Chasers required a minimum height of 1.02m. Since Angel, who was standing at 1m tall, also had a phobia of riding down big, swirly slides on her own, it was not hard to come to a conclusion that we should just hang around the rides which were more family friendly.

The LEGO Wave Pool was one which was suitable for the entire family to enjoy, given that it had ample space, gentle waves and was aptly located by the Beach 'N' Brick Grill where we could tuck into hotdogs and chicken tenders.


The Imagination Station consists of two interactive tables where kids can build bridges, learn to control water flow and create their own water symphony. For me, it was a little challenging carrying the toddler up so she could explore and holding her in that position for just ten minutes was a test of arm power.


If your child is one of those who loves to go to a water playground and wait below the giant pail for the water to fall, you might be happy to know that the Joker Soaker has a 300-gallon bucket! It also offers slides of different types and heights - children below 1.02m will not be allowed on the middle and top level slides. For the low level slides, they must be 91cm or taller, otherwise they must be accompanied by an adult.


It was easy to tell that the kids' favourite attraction was the DUPLO Splash Safari. Designed for kids 5 and under, this play area features smaller slides and interactive DUPLO creatures including an alligator, polar bear and elephant. Finally, we found slides that Angel was brave enough to sit on alone! They may be really short in length but with three slides - blue, red and yellow, they suffice to let the little ones have a great time. By the way, life jackets are available for use within the Water Park free of charge. I think Ariel looked really cute in the infant one!



As for my personal favourite, well, this one beats the rest hands down - the Build-A-Raft River. The water in the Build-A-Raft River is 76.2cm deep and even though there is no age limit or height requirement, do make sure to keep a lookout if you have a toddler with you. As you set afloat on a voyage along the lazy river, you can collect pieces of LEGO soft bricks to build your very own raft or just anything you like. Or if you prefer, just laze and enjoy the warm sun and blue skies! In fact, it was so comfortable that Ariel nearly dozed off after two rounds.

Just to get a taste of the so-called thrilling rides, the hubby and I did take turns to get some me-time and try out the slides meant for the older children. The thing was, after riding two of them, I realised that they did not provide half the excitement as the rides meant for adults in places like Wet N Wild. So, since this was supposed to be a family outing and a time to bond with my kids, I decided to just leave these more challenging slides aside and patiently wait till the girls turn older so we can all have fun together.


For the time being, we shall be content to just splash around, enjoy the sun, admire the sights, relish the simple joy and be thankful that we can be in this place as a family.

That said, we will definitely be back for more! Thank you LEGOLAND Malaysia!

******

LEGOLAND Malaysia Water Park

Opening Hours: 10am - 6pm daily

Book your LEGOLAND Malaysia Water Park ticket online here 7 days in advance of your visit date and enjoy 20% off!

Ticket Pricing:

Adult (12-59 years): Walkup Price - RM175 | Online Price: RM140
Child (3-11 years): Walkup Price - RM140 | Online Price: RM112
Senior Citizens (60+ years): Walkup Price - RM140 | Online Price: RM112 
Toddlers (0-2 years):  RM10, inclusive of 2 swim diapers

Disclosure: We received complimentary tickets to the Water Park during our media invite on both stays in the LEGOLAND Hotel. All opinions are our own.

Give Me a Hug {Book Review and Giveaway}

Posted by ~Summer~ on 8.8.14
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So we've talked a little about hugs and love in the previous post, I guess you probably know by now that we are quite the huggers. As much as possible, I also like to let my kids hug the grandparents, cousins, relatives, our friends and at times, even strangers. Yes, we are pretty generous with hugs because we believe they have the power to cheer people up and make the world a better place.

If there is one person I might have least expected to write a book about hugs, it is Nick Vujicic. Not for any other reason except that I just could not imagine how one could possibly give, or receive, a hug without limbs. Then when I first saw one of his motivational videos on YouTube, which by the way brought tears to my eyes, I realise you don't hug with arms or legs; you hug with your heart. The way he would embrace the students, the way he would look at them with sincerity, the way he always wore that charming smile on his face, those were the things that touched me from within and gave a whole new meaning to the word 'hug'.

When I laid my hands on the book Give Me a Hug, I was already in love with it by looking at the cover. The illustration was simple yet powerful - a small girl who puts her hands behind her back and gives Nick a hug. I knew this was not just a book I wanted my girl to read, I craved to learn from it too and be inspired by Nick's life lessons.



"Whether your life is happy or not is your own choice.
Many people think I can't live a normal life because
I don't have arms or legs.
I could choose to believe that and give up trying.
I could stay at home and wait for others to take care of me.
Instead, I choose to believe that I can do anything,
and I always try to do things my own way.
I choose to be happy.
I am happy because I am always thankful."


I love the way he views life and how he stresses the importance of love and gratitude. Even though this might be an illustrated storybook for children, I think all of us can learn lessons on how to better treasure life and make each day count. Come to think of it, I think adults need to learn this more than kids, because while they are relishing moments of their childhood, we are the ones who never seem to be contented in our worldly pursuits.


The book is divided into eight chapters and in each chapter, Nick recounts a memorable episode in his life and at the end of it, reflects on the moral of the story and summarises it in a one-page lesson learnt. Empathy, acceptance, perseverance, friendship, gratitude and appreciation are some of the values talked about in these stories. But above all, the book revolves around two key points - love and hope.


Since this is a book meant for children to understand, the language is kept pretty simple and straightforward. While I miss some of the humour that Nick displays in his other books, I like that this is written in a sincere, succinct and non-preachy manner. Even though we might easily finish the book in a day, I personally think this is one of those books that can be read and re-read countless times and still makes a great choice for bedtime stories.


One of the things we love most about Give Me a Hug are the lovely illustrations by Dreamergo, who has a knack for capturing the essence of every story and puts it across in a vibrant and captivating manner. These striking illustrations also help to draw the attention of the younger ones and better convey the message that Nick wishes to drive across in every chapter.

Spoiler alert: Here's showing you the final two pages of the book which also happen to be my favourite pages. Well, I guess it's easy to see why. A picture of Nick hugging his son in a baby sling and a picture of his happy family - these are the kind of things that melt my heart and make me smile with teary eyes.



As a mum, I think this book will be a perfect read for kids and a timely reminder for adults.

May we all learn to always give love and never lose hope.

******

If you are keen to get a copy of Give Me a Hug, here's a giveaway whereby two lucky readers of A Happy Mum will be receiving this inspiring and delightful book.

To participate, comment in this blog post and and leave your name, email address and answer the question "What does a hug mean to you?" This giveaway is open to all readers with a valid Singapore address for delivery. Indicate in the Rafflecopter widget that you have commented and to increase your chances of winning, follow the rest of the options. Best of luck!

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Disclosure: We received a copy of Give Me a Hug for review purpose. All opinions are our own.

Hugs are the best medicine

Posted by ~Summer~ on 7.8.14
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Do you agree that hugging is the best and universal medicine?

        It transfers energy and gives the person hugged an emotional lift. You need four hugs a day for survival, eight for maintenance, and twelve for growth. Scientists say that hugging is a form of communication because it can say things you don’t have the words for. And the nicest thing about a hug is that you usually can’t give one without getting one. - Source

Well, I definitely do. If there is one thing I need most every day of my life, it is hugs. Okay. And air. And kisses.

Mushy or not, I like to hug the people I love every day. I give the kids a hug in the morning when they wake up, when they come back from school, when they do something good, when they do something bad, when we read books, when we play pretend, when we go to bed, and basically when we feel like in the mood for some love.

Besides me hugging them, I also get the sisters to give each other a tight embrace every now and then. I like to think that hugs help to bond them and let them show their love for each other. Sometimes, words can only do so much and when you have kids who don't really understand verbal language at times, I think hugs can speak a lot louder.

Yesterday, we were playing at home when Ariel accidentally bumped her head against the sofa. Well, it was a really light knock but nonetheless she started to wail. Many a time, Angel will be the first to run up to her and say "来, 姐姐疼" (Come, let me dote on you) which never fails to warm my heart. However, this time, before Angel could react, the little one took the initiative and started running up to the big sister, giving her one tight, big hug. Then, her tears stopped immediately. The power of sisterly love, yeah?

It was all quite hilarious and dramatic, and I admit I felt a little envious while Angel was probably a little smug about the whole incident. Nonetheless, we were all very touched by this gesture and I was impressed by how even kids can understand the power of hugs. 

You know, that just makes me wanna hug them more than a dozen times a day. Maybe two dozens. Or three. I'm seriously hoping I can do this for the rest of my life.

Have you hugged someone today? Go on, let's all do it now and make the world a better place! 

P.S. I have a book giveaway coming up soon and it is all about love and hugs! Stay tuned!

Creativity 521 #51 - Happy 49th birthday, Singapore!

Posted by ~Summer~ on 5.8.14
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Woohoo, it's time to celebrate our nation's birthday once again!

If you might recall, last year we made maracas, parade wands and flag buntings and had an awesome time with family and friends at the SAF Changi Seaview Resort. This year, we plan to invite friends over for a lunch gathering but other than that, I want my kids to remember this special moment and know that it is a time to rejoice, appreciate, reminisce and cherish.

So, in this week's Creativity 521, we did a DIY paper visor which was themed to something we are all proud of - the Singapore flag.

What we used:

1) Matt photo paper or thick white paper (with visor outline printed, template can be found here)
2) Newspaper
3) Printout of our national flag emblem
4) Mini star-shaped cutouts
5) Scissors
6) Glue
7) Red and white paint
8) Brush and palette

Firstly, cut along the outline of the visor. This can be quite tricky for the smaller hands, especially at the turns and along the curves. Angel tried it once and didn't do it that well, cutting out of line in several places. I was very surprised when she was not disheartened by it and in fact, asked for a second piece to try again. Given how she tends to lose patience when she does her homework and gets intimidated from a fall when cycling, you can understand why this gesture totally impressed and delighted me.

So, even though her second piece was not perfect either, it was a marked improvement from the first and it just made me realise how I need to have the willingness to let her try time and again without stepping in to make things 'better' and 'nicer' from my point of view. The only thing I did to help was to trim away the rough edges.
 
Next, it was time for one of their favourite activities - Painting!

Although Angel gets to go for art class every Thursday, Ariel does not get that luxury so you should see how her face lit up when I asked her if she wanted to paint. For a 19-month old, I think she's quite a pro at art! My only regret is that I don't do this often enough with them and I think I should really find more opportunities to let them make a mess at home without any second thoughts.

Back to the visor, we painted the brim white and red according to our flag, left out the middle portion which is bordered by the two dotted lines, as well as painted all the rest of the area red to make it eye-catching.

From the remaining paper, we cut out 1.5" wide strips of paper lengthwise for the straps. You would need to glue two strips together for each strap and depending on your preference, you can either paint them red or leave them as white.

From the printed emblem, cut out the crescent and stars and glue them onto the visor. I had to help in this because the stars were really tiny! Before printing out, you should adjust the size of the emblem (to around 3cm wide) and make sure they fit on the red portion. We also wanted to decorate the visor with more stars so I printed them out onto another piece of paper. Well, I wish I had a star-shaped puncher at home but since I don't, I just had to cut them out one by one.



Next, fold along the dotted lines accordingly, making sure to crease the curved part slowly and one section at a time. Glue the middle section in place to form the brim.

Lastly, push the two ends of the visor to form a nice curved shape, then attach the ends of the strap onto both sides of the visor, making sure it fits snugly on the head. Voila! We are all done!










I think we are all set to celebrate this coming Saturday! How are you planning to celebrate this special day?

For more ideas on kids' craft, visit my gallery here.

******



To fellow bloggers who have a fun craft session, DIY tip or creative idea to share, come join in the party! Highlight and press Ctrl + C to copy my button above, include it in your post/sidebar and add your link below. I will be hosting Creativity 521 on the 5th and 21st of every month, do hop over for more inspiration. Remember: The sky's the limit when it comes to creativity!

Happiness is... knowing how rich I am

Posted by ~Summer~ on 31.7.14
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July was a month of reunion as I met up with some old friends at weddings and gatherings. You know that part where you get to chit-chat with people you have not seen in ages, come face to face with friends who are all busy with their separate lives and would otherwise not meet up, and then you go on to update each other on how you have been? Yeah, I did that aplenty.

For me, my updates were pretty much straightforward. It would be things like "Yes, I am back from Sweden at last." Or "Oh, I got married and I have two girls now - Angel and Ariel." Or "Nope, not working. I stay home to look after my kids". I might have been a little hesitant in the first year or two but over time, I have grown used to telling people that I am a stay-at-home mum of two, and I do it proudly with a big smile.

I had a friend who was telling me "I remember you were one of the smartest people in class and you had all the A grades." Thinking back, since we were all enjoying the free flow of booze, I can't really decipher if he meant it in the sense "Wow, you were one of the smartest people and you are doing just as awesome in your life now, look at your kids!" or "What, you were one of the smartest people and look at where you ended up - a stay-at-home mum who is contented to, well, stay home all day long." Then he went on to tell me his plans about starting his own company in the near future.

One of my best friends got married this month, just got a new job, had a pay raise and is moving into an executive condo in a couple of years' time. Another friend, for some reason talked about income, mentioned that he now earns a five-figure monthly salary.

You see, everywhere I go, I hear people talking about occupations, careers, ambitions and dreams. Me, I am jobless, have no income, stay in a HDB with 15m² of space per person, only hobby is blogging and there is no doubt about it, my biggest and most valuable assets at this point in life are - my kids. It's not that none of my friends have kids, a small handful of them do but summing up, we probably make up up less than 12% of the people in the bunch and Angel is definitely one of the oldest kids around. 

I am not sure how I can make anyone understand this, if there was even a need for that in the first place. I don't know if one day when these friends become parents,they will feel what I feel and view life in a different way than before. And I can't say for sure if I would have had a more fulfilling career and choose to have kids much later if we did not move to Sweden. 

But I do know that everyone's parenting journey is unique and we get to choose which path we wish to take. I know there is no right or wrong in the choice you make, only commitment and perseverance. And most of all, I know even if I don't have a job, a 4-figure salary or a big house, I am just so, so very rich in my life now.  

In this month's "Happiness is", I am going to show you my riches. 

****** 

-> I am rich because I have time - I get to be with my kids every morning, afternoon and night, watching them grow, seeing them try new things and bringing them to explore new places on the island.  

We visited the Sports Hub and the kids had fun at the fountain just splashing around.
I loved seeing how the big sister held the small sister's hand and said "Come, follow jiejie,everything will be ok."
We tried to keep two caterpillars in the hope of turning them into butterflies, thanks to a reader who passed them to us. Alas they did not make it but it was nonetheless a precious and memorable experience for Angel.

-> I am rich because I get rewarded with joy - big smiles, hearty laughter, bear hugs and sweet cuddles are just some of the things I can't imagine living without and no amount of money can buy me.

These two are getting great at posing for pictures together. Even Ariel is learning to say "Cheese" and smile at the camera.


The poor girl had a bad case of fungal infection on her waist and bum, yet she would smile whenever you asked her to. How can you not love a baby like that?
-> I am rich because I get to keep fond memories day after day. Every day is like a fresh new page of my motherhood journal which are filled with precious moments I hold dear. Like when Angel drew her first family portrait or when Ariel first said "妈妈,抱抱" (Mummy, carry), I was there to see it, hear it and relish it.

Ariel cooks up a storm in the kitchen and offers me the first meal. You should see how her face lit up when I devoured (or tried to) everything on the plate.

I bring the kids to the supermarket twice weekly and it's amazing how much they can learn every time. Nowadays, Ariel helps me to put things in the basket while Angel helps me to carry the groceries home. 
-> I am rich because I have an abundance of freedom - the freedom to do what I wanna do with my kids any time, any place. *guilty look* Sometimes I let them have ice cream even though they have a cough, or I let them stay up till midnight to watch a movie. You see, for good or for bad, I am writing my own rules as a stay-at-home mum and while no one needs to report to me, I need not report to anyone too. Woohoo!

Enjoying our unique Korea-inspired corn cane ice cream at Ngee Ann City. It feels like eating vanilla ice cream with Kaka!

Look, Mama! I can hang! Those few seconds, though fleeting, were of pride and pure joy. We just gotta cherish and make the best out of every moment in life, right?
-> Last but not least, I am so very rich because of this one thing that makes the world go round. No, not money. It's L-O-V-E.

Of course, I know I am deeply loved by my kids but since you have heard enough of that, today I'm showcasing something different if you are one of those who happen to read till the end of my long-winded post. July is a special month for the hubby and I because other than holding our fairytale wedding at Regent Hotel six years ago, the 29th of July also marks the 11th year of us being together in love. 11 years! That's more than a third of my life.

Being together with someone for more than a decade, someone who loves me for who I am from day one till now, someone who accepts my flaws and sees my strengths, someone who cherishes and truly cares for me, and more importantly, someone whom I love just as much, if not more, back in return - now, that's rare. If true love exists in this world, I am just glad to have found it.

Well, enough of the mushy talk, I'm going to take a walk down memory lane and share with you some moments from the beginning of our love journey where we did things, travelled around and explored places as a couple. Which means I was around 10 years younger then. Care to read on?

Oct 2005. We went to JB for a quick getaway. Oh yeah, the days when I had colour in my hair.

Aug 2005. In our (actually it's my) hostel room in NTU Hall 6, the place where we knew each other. What were we doing? Don't ask me. I had a whole series of different expressions.

Jun 2004. He built a huge sandcastle using his bare hands in East Coast Park which totally impressed me.

Feb 2005. We attended a wedding and I loved this blue long dress bought from a pasar malam. Guess what? I just wore it to a friend's wedding this month, nearly a decade later. Cheap things can be good, y'know.

Jun 2005. We went on a 3D2N fishing trip and this was the biggest fish we (I mean, the hubby) caught! I was the only girl on board and the captain was amazed that I didn't puke because the sea state was so bad!

Jul 2005. Oh man, I miss this steamboat we had in Bangkok! Super oily and unhealthy, but super cheap and yummy!

May 2005. A common love for sports, outdoor and beach was something that made us closer.

Dec 2006. At the Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan. We went with a tour for 7D6N and it was so tiring that we decided to go free and easy for our holidays ever since.
Dec 2005. We rode on elephants, went on boat rides and had fun at the beach as a couple in Bintan.

Dec 2005. Oh yeah, not sure if you like it or hate it, but we probably had a dozen matching couple shirts.

Apr 2005. Competing at an archery game in Genting. Those were the days when we could hit the casino together!

Dec 2007. *cough* Did I just say couple shirts? Looking at this pic, I'm thinking if I should cut my hair short again!

Dec 2006. One of my favourite pics of all time, taken by a professional photographer at The Peak in Hong Kong. We used to have a pretty lousy camera so the pictures could never much make it. Thank goodness I now see how important it is to take good pictures and keep them as memories for a lifetime!

Love is not blind.
It sees more, not less.
But because it sees more,
it is willing to see less. 

Thank you dear, for your whole-hearted love and all the riches you gave me! Happy 11th year!

To anyone who ever feels that you are poor or not as affluent as you think you can be, just look around and realise all the riches that are surrounding you this very moment. Love, joy, time, freedom, memories - these are just some of the things that make up a beautiful life. It's not the tangibles, but the intangibles that matter when it comes to wealth, don't you agree?

******

There, I'm totally not sure if any of you liked seeing our younger pics, but if you do, drop me a comment and I'll dig through my hard disk to find more. In fact, I'm half thinking if I should write about our honeymoon in 2008 since I never got down to blog about that. It would take me ages to sort through the pictures but I think it might just be worthwhile.

How was July like for you and what was the one thing that made you happy?


What are you HAPPY for this month? 

Happy memories have a special way of touching our hearts every time we think about them. Join in my linky party at the end of every month and let us smile, rejoice and share the simple joys of life. Highlight and press Ctrl + C to copy my button above, include it in your post/sidebar and add your link below. For happiness is all around us.


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