A Prince is Born!

Posted by ~Summer~ on March 01, 2021
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Having gone through childbirth thrice, I thought I had earned enough experience and gotten familiar with the whole process. Obviously, I didn't expect myself to be in for a surprise for this fourth baby of mine. Well, it turns out that life is unpredictable and you never know what tomorrow will bring.

We were still in the midst of Chinese New Year and since I was only 35 weeks along the pregnancy and had carried all my previous babies to full term, no one would have thought that our darling prince had made other plans and wanted to surprise us by arriving on the twelveth day of the Year of the Ox. For those who are eager to share more about how Ansel came into this world, here goes his birth story.

Date: 23 February 2021
Venue: Singapore

Right, that is actually the date that the baby was born but to get to start of his story, we have to rewind it a little. Let's go!

22 February

5:00pm I woke up from my nap with a startle, only to realise that I had wet my pants a little. I did a check in the bathroom but I was not absolutely sure if I was leaking amniotic fluid or if it was merely pee, so I decided to just wait and see.

5:18pm I sent the hubby a text to give him the heads up and told him I will continue to monitor the situation. He was just as surprised as me but I think at that point, neither of us thought it meant the start of labour anytime soon.

6:00pm For the next hour, there were the intermittent leaks which were small but noticeable. I put on a pad and started to see a slight pinkish colour in the fluid which was also odourless, convincing me that it was not my pee. 

6:45pm All the kids were up and while I told them that I might need to go hospital to do a check. I also rushed to heat up their dinner for them so they would not be hungry. Yup, gotta think for these three and put on my calm face though I was getting a little anxious within.

7:02pm I made a call to Thomson Labour Ward and the nurse advised me to go in immediately. Oh well, I sent the hubby a text who came back within half an hour while I rushed to take a shower, eat some food and get my stuff ready. I was soooo glad that I had decided to be a bit more kiasu and pack my hospital bags the week before because you really never know when it's gonna happen.

7:45pm We made our way out after saying goodbye to the kids. The boy was really sad and reluctant to let both Papa and Mama leave so we had to pacify him a little first. At that moment, I had a big gush of fluid leaking out which made me wet my pants (again!) and I dashed to change. Next, we drove out and made our way to the hospital. The hubby gave me a towel to sit on, just in case, haha.

8:00pm We had a little trouble finding the delivery suite (our last visit was 5 years ago lor) and had to ask around. After registering at the counter, I was told to change into the hospital gown and the nurse hooked the baby monitor around my tummy so we could hear the baby's heartbeat, which was a huge, huge relief for me because I was just so worried about him from the start. She took a look at the screen and asked me "You just had a contraction, did you feel it?" At that point, it was so mild that I probably didn't take any notice of it yet.

8:15pm The nurse did a check and said I was 1-cm dilated. She also confirmed that my waterbag had burst which meant I was officially in labour already. What?! Okay, so baby IS gonna come soon and will be my first premature one.

8:20pm She asked the hubby to take our IDs and do the hospital admission while she asked me lots of questions on my pregnancy history, the number of babies I have and which years they were born in, whether I went through natural delivery etc. I also took an antibiotic pill because I was leaking amniotic fluid all the way.

8:30pm I did a video call with the kids to let them know that I would be staying in the hospital and told them that I would miss them.

8:40pm Another nurse on duty came by to do a Dexamethasone jab for me (on the side of my bum!) and told me it was to mature the baby's lungs, which was crucial since he would be born prematurely. She told me I would feel sore when the liquid was pushed in through the syringe and it really stung a little. But, anything to make our babies healthy, right?

8:45pm My gynae arrived and I am always so relieved to have her around. She did a culture swab for me and confirmed that I was merely 1-cm dilated. When I asked her if I was going to give birth that night, she replied "Hopefully we can wait till tomorrow".
9:00pm Nonetheless, the string of events proceeded just in case the baby decided to accelerate the labour process. I was given the fleet enema to clear my bowls and as always, I was impressed by how fast it worked. Back in Sweden, we didn't have to clear our bowels because the nurses were prepared to handle the mess if it did happen. Cultures vary greatly in different countries when it comes to childbirth, just like beliefts vary greatly from person to person too. No right or wrong about it.

9:30pm I was given a sandwich to eat and Milo to drink. After talking to the nurse who agreed that we might have a long wait ahead since I was not gonna get induced, we decided that the hubby should go home to take care of the other kids while I stayed on to wait myself.

11:40pm Finally, the kids fell asleep. Over at my end, mild contractions started and continued into the night. However, they were sparse, irregular and not painful so I knew they were not the real thing yet.

12midnight A fellow preggie mum who was at 39-weeks checked into the observation ward beside me and the string of questions for her began. With all the bright lights, the noise and the nurses going in and out, I could foresee that it was going to be a sleepless night ahead.

23 February 

12:20am I was feeling thirsty and asked for water because I forgot to bring a water bottle. 

12:30am The nurse came in to take my blood pressure and also hooked the monitor back on to check on the contractions.

1:00am Hubby came back as we were both unsure of what was going to happen next and if the baby was going to come soon. He brought me snacks which I was thankful for and my toiletries which I had forgotten to bring along, thanks to the kids who helped me to pack them one by one when we spoke. Yay, now I got to wash my face and brush my teeth. Very important to keep myself feeling refreshed and ready for the battle ahead.
1:30am After eating cookies and drinking Milo (again!), I washed up and as the contractions were still mild, the nurse took off the baby monitor to let me rest.
2:30am Since the observation ward was a 4-bedder and there was only an armchair for the hubby to sit on, he decided to go and rest in the car instead as we waited.
3:00am My neighbour left and the lights were dimmed, Finally, I thought maybe I could get a bit of rest. 
4:20am Well, turns out I just COULD NOT sleep. How to, with the contractions and the leaks going on. Furthermore, I felt the need to pee every now and then. Yawnz.
4:40am The nurse came back to hook on the monitor and check on the baby while taking my blood pressure too. She asked me for my breakfast order and whether I wanted fish, chicken or pork porridge. I decided to go for fish. Then I had a nice chat with the nurse on duty who told me that she was also born at 35 weeks too and weighed 2kg then. By the way, I am also a preemie and I was born at over 34 weeks. She told me that I would get a second dose of the Dexamethasone for the baby's lungs later that day and she also explained that waiting naturally, instead of inducing, was so that we would not stress the baby.
5:00am I heard newborn cries from next door, Oh wow, how long has it been since I heard this sound! I felt happiness for the mum and at the same time, was looking forward to hearing the cries of my own baby boy too.

5:30am The nurse came in again to remove the monitor and yet another mum checked in beside me. Yup, it was busy night for the staff which also meant that it was really not possible to sleep.
6:10am Gave the hubby a call to make sure he woke the kids and brought them to school. 
7:30am The nurse came by and used the heartbeat monitor to check on the baby again and told me that he was doing well. Phew. 
7:40am I called hubby to make sure he brought Asher to school and that they could find his uniform and remember to pack his snack. Told the boy I missed him so much too.

8:15am Well, I was notified that 2 out of 3 kids did not go to school in the end. Haha. Oh well. Breathe, Mama, breathe and let go.
8:30am Dr Tan, my gynae, came to do a check. The contractions were still sparse and I did not further dilate since last night. She suggested that we transfer to the ward to wait so that I could get more privacy and hopefully, time to rest before the delivery. She said the latest we would wait was till the next day evening so we kind of assumed that our baby would be delivered on 24th Feb.

9:20am I packed my stuff as I waited for the ward to be ready. I was instructed not to wear a bra or even panties throughout the night which felt really uncomfortable since I was leaking fluid. So when the nurse told me to put on my panties so we could make our way to the ward later, I kind of jumped for joy. Haha.
11:30am After eating the fish porridge which was cold and not very tasty, it was a long two-hour wait before we were told to make our way to ward 513. In a wheelchair! Yup, I told the nurses I could walk on my own but I also understood it was their job to take care of me. They asked me to sit in the wheelchair while they helped to carry all my belongings to the ward too. Thank you!
11:45am The ward was surprisingly big and a welcome change from the observation ward the night before. I had a in-room toilet, a work desk, a TV, a pantry, a bedside table, an armchair and even a sofa bed so that the hubby could stay over if possible. Yup, paying for a single ward was worthwhile, especially in this case when the wait was going to be long and exhausting.

12:30pm After speaking to a dietician about my GDM condition and hearing her advice to stay away from sugary stuff and carbs for another month, it was ironically time to order LUNCH, haha. Gosh, if there's one thing I've missed about my previous stays, it's the meals and how I get to eat on my bed every time. I got to choose from my meals from a mix of Asian, Western, Chinese, Confinement and Vegetarian cuisine for every meal, woohoo.

1:20pm The kids arrive! Yup, the hubby brought the two younger ones over since they didn't go to school that day. They loved the room, called it a 'staycation' and were just over the moon to be able to join me. Awww. 

2:30pm It was naptime in my ward and I was glad to see that both the kids were able to catch some rest. Asher slept on the bed right beside me and I was reminded of the fact that he was gonna be big brother in just a day or two. Life is definitely gonna change for all of us very, very soon.
4:00pm Dr Tan came into my ward and made the decision that we were gonna start to INDUCE because the leaks were getting less and she was worried about the fluid level. The hubby and the kids were still present and we all started getting into a frenzy as we made sure we could get the kids home safely first and that the hubby still had time to rush back to accompany me for the labour. Dr Tan was quite confident that the whole process would last till after midnight though in my heart, I felt quite skeptical as Asher only took three hours to come once induction began.
4:30pm I was brought back into the labour ward while the hubby took the kids home. The nurses took my blood pressure and hooked the monitor onto my tummy. At this point, I was feeling a little sleepy and wondering if I would have the strength to push the baby out later. All I was hoping for was a natural delivery without epidural and I really wanted myself to be able to do it like how I survived the previous three childbirths.

5:00pm I was given fleet enema to clear my bowels once more. Yup, it wasn't as if I ate a lot but the medicine still worked.
5:15pm They transferred me to Birthing Room 2, which was where I would be having my baby. The doctor came to insert the tube into my left hand and started me on oxytocics. Yup, I was officially induced. Haha. The nurse also gave me the second does of Dexamethasone and this time round, on the other side of my bum.
5:45pm At this point, I was STILL only 1-cm dilated. My doctor said it would be a long wait and more painful this time round because unlike the previous babies, my cervix had barely started to dilate. Once again, she predicted it would go past midnight and told the nurse that while I only took Entonox, or so called the laughing gas, previously, if it gets too painful, she might need to give me something more for the pain. Oh wow, I think that was what scared me. Haha. Not to be daunted, I was still determined to try my best and hang in there. No painkillers, no epidural, I am gonna do it, I told myself.

5:55pm I heard yet another newborn crying just next door. Awww. It was a sweet melody to me. Soon, I told myself, soon I will hear the sound of my baby prince too.

6:15pm My cheese sandwich and apple juice arrived and I was thankful since I felt famished. And yes, by this time, the contractions had begun to get stronger and stronger. Luckily, I was still able to watch TV a while and entertained myself by watching Ellen DeGeneres and Wheel of Fortune.
7:30pm I did a video call with the kids to tell them that Xiaodi would be arriving into the world soon and reminded them to be good at home as they waited for me. Just at this point, the hubby came into the birthing suite and I was glad to have his company. For the next one hour, I endured the pain of the contractions by just holding onto his hand and reminding him to tell me to breathe in and out. 

8:30pm We had a chat with one of the nurses and shared with her about our experience in Sweden, where there was no nursery, where epidural was not encouraged, where new parents were taught to be more independent etc. She was very interested and amazed, and had some of her own funny stories to share too. She saw me in pain during a contraction and asked if I wanted the gas, to which I replied "Soon, soon." She reminded me time and again to call for them once I had any slight inclination to push because they would need time to get the doctor over and since it was my 4th delivery, they knew things could develop fast.
8:45pm The pain intensified swiftly. While I could still chat with the nurses and watch TV previously, I was finding it harder to do so and every time a contraction came, I held onto the hubby's hand tightly and started to wince. So I told the nurse to give me the laughing gas, which I knew would not make me high but would make me feel better psychologically.

9:00pm You know what made me endure those super, duper painful contractions? Nope, not the gas actually. Whenever the pain came, I pictured in my mind my kids, my parents, my in-laws and the hubby cheering for me at the race and telling me to never give up but to fight on with all my might. Yup, that honestly did wonders for me and kept my mind on something else rather than the pain. I also thought of how all my babies had grown up since Day 1 and I pictured them when they were just born too. I knew they were all rooting for me - I could almost hear them saying "Go, Mama, go! You can do it!" - and I wanted to do it for them, for myself and for the baby. 
9:15pm I wasn't sure if I wanted to push but I felt a dire need to call for the nurse and tell them that it would be soon, a decision which proved to be a lifesaver because what happened after was as quick as lightning. The nurses came in, did a check and said I was 7-8cm dilated as they decided to call for the doctor. However, with the next contraction, I felt the urge to push and I got frantic and started shouting into the gas mask "I need to push already, 要推了,要推了,要推了!" which I think got everyone anxious too. Haha. The hubby stroked my head and told me to calm down, telling me to breathe into the mask and to endure. It was, of course, much easier said than done and it's something husbands will never truly understand. Still, seeing his calm demeanor was what managed to compose me slightly for the next couple of contractions, though at that point I was rolling my eyes, staring into blank space and feeling like I had half of my life left only (只剩下半条命).
9:25pm The nurses were supposed to change shift and I think my situation made some of them stay back to help too. One of the nurses, the one who chatted with me about Sweden, was saying "Sure, we can stay and help too." So I had a handful of nurses  in the room but I still did NOT see my gynae yet and that always makes me very nervous. At that point, I felt like I couldn't really hold it in anymore and one of the nurses stuck her finger into my cervix to guide me along and and said "This will help you to prevent a bad tear". And she had to repeat the words "bad tear" a few times because we couldn't figure out that she was saying, haha. I really liked her though. She was calm and assuring and told me I kept thinking of pushing because the head was there already but I wasn't fully dilated yet. She said I was doing a great job at breathing and told me to continue doing it although I felt like I was doing a terrible job this time round at holding back. All I wanted to do was PUSH!
9:27pm In less than two minutes after being told that I was not fully dilated, one of the nurses came and felt the baby's head and said "She's coming already." She? Was it baby or me or did I just hear wrongly? Anyway, I knew it too because regardless of how the nurses tried to shift my legs - I initially bent my legs at the knees but the nurses pulled them down and closed them in order to stop me from pushing - it seemed like my baby was determined to come right there and then. Half of me was trying to push the head out yet the other half was trying to hold it back and it was a tug of war that I jolly well knew which side was going to win. And boy, that was definitely the toughest part of the delivery, considering that the contractions were at the peak too.
9:29pm I heard those magic words "Doctor is here already." Oh gosh, you have no idea how much of a relief that was and how seeing her made me feel at ease instantly, like I knew that I was in good hands from now on. It was exactly the same as Asher's birth where I delivered much earlier than expected and she managed to arrive just in the nick of time for the pushing.

9:30pm And you know what? In less than a minute of my gynae's arrival, the baby's head came out because I had absolutely no way of holding it back anymore so I decided to just let it do what it wants to do, haha. By this time, the contraction had died down, I could feel it. I was prepared to wait for the next one so I could push out his body but the doctor and nurses said I had to push immediately there and then, once the head came out. So I used my hands to sit myself up a little, gave a loud 'Uuuhhhhhhh' as I summoned all my strength and boy did I push! Arrgghhhhhhh! Whhooosh! Phhhheeeww! Thankful, with just that one more push, the whole baby came out like a big ball of , head, body and all. Yup, my baby is here!

9:33pm It was a huge relief for me as I lay back on the bed. Nothing else mattered much after that, so long as I saw that my baby was safe. I pushed out the placenta, let my doctor stitch me up and do everything she had to do - nothing feels painful after all the contractions and pushing. I lay there just gazing into my baby's eyes, feeling thankful for the whole experience even though we cut it really close this time round and everything happened in a fast and furious way. Even my gynae, who has decades of experience under her belt, was very much surprised at how short a time it took for the baby to be out and said "He must be very eager to see the world." Indeed, he is, and he may be small but he is perfect just the way he was born.

9:50pm The baby and I cuddled for some time when I was being stitched up and I whispered to tell him how much he is loved. Being a preemie, the doctor had cut the umblilical cord for him instead of letting the hubby do it and once the baby was out, they rushed to get the mucus out and to make sure he was safe and breathing. He was also taken to the special care unit in the NICU for most of the night, other than when it was time to breastfeed, and for the first time, my newborn baby did not room in with me through the first night. Of course, we understood the reasons behind all this and all we hope for from now is for him to grow up healthily and happily. I was so relieved and glad when he passed most of the culture and blood tests because it meant that he was able to spend the remaining days and nights in the ward with me. Yay!

So, this was how baby Ansel came into this world and while it took all of us by surprise, I am thankful for every moment of this amazing experience and it's something that makes me stronger and cherish being a mum deeper than before. Right now, I'm just so excited and happy to have a newborn to hold, to love and to kiss a thousand times a day once again.
Thank you for reading and sharing all our birth stories!

For Angel's birth story, go here. For Ariel's birth story, go here. For Asher's birth story, go here.


Posted by ~Summer~ on February 17, 2021
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去年七月,我得知自己怀了小宝。坦白说,当时的心情百感交集、五味杂陈 喜悦、焦虑、恐慌、害怕等思绪同时涌上心头。虽然我不曾说过刚满五岁的三宝将会是最后一胎,却也被这突如其来的好消息震惊,甚至有些难以释怀。

也许,情绪波动的确是怀孕经历中的一部分吧。无论是因为生理负担、心理压力或荷尔蒙失调,怀孕妈妈的心情往往免不了七上八下,尤其是在13周以前的早期妊娠。当时,我第一时间就把验孕棒呈阳性的照片发给丈夫,之后就滔滔不绝地写出自己内心一连串的担忧。当时我虽然看不见老公的面孔,但我深信一向来沉稳冷静的他开怀地笑了,因为他发给我的回复胜过了一切。短短的四个字 - "恭喜我们",顿时安抚了我复杂的心情, 也让我找到了正能量。



在怀孕的这段期间,最让我感到欣慰的是看到大宝、二宝和三宝都那么百般疼爱小宝。每晚,他们都积极地帮我擦妊娠纹霜,同时唱儿歌和告诉小宝他们有多爱他。他们也无时无刻抱抱和亲吻我的大肚子,让我感到无比温馨。在家时,他们会帮忙做家务; 出外时,他们不仅牵着我的手,还会主动提东西。看到孩子茁壮成长和渐渐成熟,是母亲最好的礼物。

如今,小宝在下个月就要诞生了。现在的我,也就是即将成为四个孩子妈妈的我,内心充满了兴奋、感恩和憧憬。虽然明知自己会感到疲惫不堪,我却迫不及待地想迎接这项新的挑战,并秉持着 我能、我行、我可以的态度勇往直前。我坚信我们的未来会更加幸福美好,之后面对的问题也能迎刃而解。



P.S. 若想阅读更多快乐妈咪的作品,请点击这里。 谢谢支持!

Happiness is... ushering in a new year

Posted by ~Summer~ on February 09, 2021
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2020 seemed to have come and gone in a flash. It's kind of unbelievable to realise how much of our lives have changed within a year because of a virus. While things like home-based learning, social distancing, mask wearing and limited gatherings are things very new to us, I think we are blessed in the sense that some things still remain the same - like making time for family on weekends, being able to have home cooked food, our love for outdoor and doing our best to cherish every day that comes.

As we welcome 2021, there is a renewed sense of hope and excitement, even if deep down in our hearts, we know that life will not go back back to how it used to be, at least not in the near future. Still, we were happy to count down on the last day of last year with smiles on our faces and joy in our hearts. A positive mindset has the power to make dreams come true, right?

In January's "Happiness is...", it's about ushering in the new year and looking forward to a brand new beginning filled with hope, bliss, happiness and good health for our loved ones. It was a month that flew past with everyone trying to settle down into the new routines and getting used to waking up early once more, a month that reminded us of the truly important things in life, a month that brought us closer to becoming a family of six.

We still love going outdoor as a family and I hope that is something that will never change, no matter how old the kids grow and how different our lives get. One thing we've been trying to do is to visit places that we've never explored and the most recent one is Labrador Nature Reserve.

While it was fun spotting bugs like red ants, spiders and caterpillars and learning more about World War II, what thrilled the kids most was to find not one but two playgrounds at the park where they enjoyed themselves on the swings, spinning wheel and see-saw. Yup, it brings out the innocence of childhood and reminds us that happiness can be so pure and simple, and I really love that we are screen-free when we spend moments like this.

When the weather is not that good, it doesn't mean we stay home too but instead, we try to go somewhere indoor where the kids can still hang around and play. Jewel has always been one of our favourite places to be in and I think we will never get tired of admiring the magnificent Vortex. 

The kids also went on the ZooMoov rides because we had leftover credits from last year and what warmed my heart was seeing that how the kids still love to sit together. When it got too slow, the girls would then take turns to come down and give it a push so that the boy can enjoy the rush. Yup, instead of complaining that such rides are too childish for their liking and telling me that they prefer to stay at the side and do their own thing, I'm hoping the Jiejies will still be able to find joy in such kiddy stuff and be able to look after their baby brothers. Angel did tell me she would be happy to take Xiaodi on a merry-go-round next time and she would accompany and look after him, that is quite sweet to hear, right?

We resumed our art classes when the year began and it's something that the kids, especially the girls, look forward to every week. Angel was asking me if she could still continue with art despite this being her PSLE year and I was more than happy to oblige considering this is the only enrichment class we pay for (our other one is Heguru which is sponsored). I told her if it helps her to wind down and relax every week, why not? Of course, I'm also hoping it motivates her to work harder in her free time but I also want her to know that taking a break now and then is not just healthy but crucial too. I don't want either of us to be overstressed by PSLE!

As for the little sister, she is doing awesome in Primary 3 and one piece of good news she brought home was that she has been chosen to be a School Captain after going through some interviews. Well, she must first pass the training in the next six months before she officially becomes one but I look forward to seeing how she will learn to be a responsible leader. She also received her first Character Award while the big sister got her Edusave Scholarship and EAGLES award. You girls make me proud!

Talking about enrichment class, the boy bade farewell to his favourite teacher in Heguru who has showered him with love and taught him with patience for the past three years. Yup, he was rather dejected about it so we promised to keep in touch with his teacher, which is made easy these days thanks to social media. I guess this change also allows him to learn to be more courageous, adaptable and resilient, which is something this boy is still working on slowly but surely. I'm definitely grateful to see how the kids have all grown and blossomed along the way (search Heguru reviews in my blog to read more) and this is a journey that has greatly benefitted us in the past years.

Media events are nothing like the past and we make sure we only take up those that really interest us or the kids. The only one we've attended so far is Around the World in 80 Days organised by Andsoforth Junior and the kids thoroughly enjoyed it as they unlocked secret doors and travelled to different parts of the world, including a jungle, a ship, a theatre and even a train.

Back at home, life has been quite the same for us including the never ending chores. I've been trying to get the kids to step up even more and besides doing the laundry, cooking, cleaning and packing, the girls have also been ironing their own uniforms and throwing out the trash daily. Yup, I told them they will have to chip in and even help to lead the troop, especially when the baby comes, and although I find myself nagging every single day, I think I got the point across and I do see their effort from time to time, which is very heartening and encouraging.

One huge achievement for me as a stay-at-home mum is that we did not dabao or order any lunch on any weekday for the whole month of January! In fact, I also cooked our dinners except on the nights when we had classes. That is definitely a record for me and I am glad I managed to do it despite the big tummy that is making frying and dishwashing a challenge. Nothing ever beats the taste of home cooked food, no matter how simple, right? I am just happy to see that the kids appreciate my effort most of the time and they know better than to be picky eaters or waste anything in their bowls.

That said, I am not a great chef nor do I aspire to be, all I wanna do is to cook for my kids and make sure they are fed. Haha. Check out my IG highlights under 'cooking' for more sharing of the simple dishes we make. I usually try to cook bigger portions at dinner so that we have some leftovers for next day's lunch, especially when it comes to soup. Yup, it's not a crime in trying to make our lives easier and not feel guilty about it.

This is the boy who has lunch with me every day because he gets off school by 11:45am. So many friends have asked me why don't I just put my kids in childcare while I can and the thing is, I don't want to! I mean, I think being apart for three hours is good enough for this kindergarten age and I don't see why I wanna lengthen that when he will be in school for six hours when primary school starts. Yup, maybe I just don't wanna be lonely or maybe I see it more important for us to spend time together and bond, talk, laugh, eat and sleep while we still can and while they are still young. So just three hours for now, thank you very much.

We haven't been dancing every night like we did at the end of last year but we still squeeze in time to do that at least every week so that we can have a workout together. The kids also join me in doing my pregnancy exercises and it's really cute to see them doing that, especially the boy who dashes off to get his rubber ball whenever I have to use my gym ball. Haha. Togetherness, it's so important, right?

Open-ended play is something I try to encourage at home so it's not a surprise to know that we have boxes of toys in our living room for the kids to choose from and play with in their free time. One of our favourites is still Just Blocks (read our review here) and its amazing how these wooden blocks and planks can conjure our creativity and stretch our imagination. The kids love it when I join in and while it's really tempting to scroll through my phone and sit on the sofa to watch them, I remind myself to put away the gadgets, sit down and listen to their ideas whenever I can.

Thanks to Pineappletarts.com, we started feasting on CNY goodies already and our favourites are the award-winning pineapple tarts which come in just the right amount of sweetness, the highly addictive almond cookies which I have almost devoured on my own and the crab stick crackers which the kids can't get enough of.

When I was unable to do a goodies giveaway for you all, I decided to share my store credits with two of you instead because it's always nice to care and share. I think my readers, that's you, more than deserve it after supporting this blogging journey of mine for so many years. Yup, I will try my best to share more in the remaining year as a form of thank you so stay tuned for more reviews and giveaways.

In case you have not seen it, I am now giving away this set of Connetix Ball Run Pack worth $139 from Little Happy Haus on IG, hop over here to join in. You can also check out any Connetix set (bundles excluded) with my code "SUMMER10" to enjoy 10% off. I would never promote something that we do not believe in or enjoy so when I say it's fun, I really hope you and your kids will benefit from it too. This is also something that I initiated to do out of my own will, using the store credits I earned by writing for them. So do trust that I really wanna share the good stuff with you guys instead of keeping everything for ourselves only, yeah?

Last but not least, we are also getting ready for the baby's arrival! I am so thankful that we got a few bags of hand-me-downs from friends because we all know how expensive baby clothes can be considering they only last a couple of months. Haha. Well, I did get some cheap ones from online sales so that the baby will at least have a few pieces of new clothing. Friends also passed us their playpen, playgym and bouncers so I think we are quite well stocked up for now, except for an infant car seat which we don't have as we gave ours away.

The kids also excitedly wrapped up their gifts for Xiaodi (do you let your kids exchange gifts too when they meet for the first time?) and we are very practical this time round, getting only the things that are useful and handy, like baby clothes, nail clippers, rattle and teether. I can't believe I will be packing my hospital bag after CNY and it still makes me nervous despite that this is the fourth time I am doing it. Haha. Yup, it also means I have three other kids to worry about when I am busy delivering but I know things will somehow be fine eventually.

I've been taking more bumpfie shots this time because it's so easy taking pics with just a phone and more importantly, this is highly likely my last pregnancy already. Even though the kids keep saying things like "How do you know?", "Maybe you will have a 5th or 6th baby!", "You can still have more!", I think I'm happy to stop at four. Hello, I'm turning 40 in a couple of years ley. That is why I especially cherish this pregnant feeling more than ever and am thankful for every flutter that I feel.

2021 is definitely gonna be a year of change for us and I'll be sharing more about how life changes as we grow from having three to four kids. Thank you for being with me all the way since a decade ago and sharing my motherhood journey with me. Remember, we are all in this together and no mum is ever alone in her fears and worries, tears and heartaches. 

May the rest of the year bring you the joy that you deserve and let's all look forward to better things ahead for all of us. Sending you love, hope and lots of hugs in this year and have an awesome CNY in advance, people! Gong Xi Fa Cai, 大家一起 Huat Ah!

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