Happiness is... finding the little joys

Posted by ~Summer~ on September 21, 2020
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 It's the little things that make life big.

That's what I truly believe in. Alas, along the way, we sometimes try so hard and get caught up in trying to accomplish something remarkable that we fail to cherish all the little moments that give life its magic. If anything, being a mum has taught me to slow down, to see beauty in the mundane, to appreciate the simple moments and not take things for granted. 

Seeing the kids grow up day by day, month by month, year by year, I often ask myself "Have I done everything I can to treasure these fleeting growing up years? Will they think of their childhood days and smile because of all the happiness they've experienced? Did we cherish all these little happy moments while we were blessed enough to have them?"

I hope so. I really so. 

In August's "Happiness is...", it's about finding the little joys in life and holding them dear.

The biggest highlight of our month of August had to be our nation's birthday. For many years, we have been lucky enough to attend the NDP preview shows - that's one of the privileges of being an officer's wife - and the kids have always enjoyed seeing the life action, watching the beautiful fireworks, singing to our national anthem and saying our pledge, and witnessing our mobile column with pride.

This year, everything has become different due to COVID-19 and the NDP is no exception. Nonetheless, we still wanted the kids to feel proud to be Singaporeans and be able to celebrate 9th of August, even if it means we were not able to come together with fellow Singaporeans to commemorate this special day.

Oh wait, actually we did! Well, it was with a couple of hundreds of others instead of 25,000 at the Padang but we were still very excited upon knowing that the mobile column was coming to the heartlands this year. That means we still had a chance to see it up close and let the kids feel the same sense of pride and patriotism that we feel every year. Of course, we couldn't miss putting on the SG tattoos on everyone and we made sure we caught the NDP show in the evening too.


Besides our family of five, we also had our parents join us in the evening for a simple get together as watched the NDP show, gathered to sing We Are Singapore, paid tribute to our frontline workers and be thankful for what we still have despite what the pandemic has taken away. Family has and will always be everything to me.

After the show, we found some time to unwind and relax as we got the grandparents to join us in a dance workout! Yup, it was totally spontaneous but so fun as we got them to get off their seats and boogie with the kids, who were more than delighted to see their grandparents in action. Those big smiles, those cute moves, the hearty laughter - these were the things that made our night so much more memorable.

Wearing a mask is a norm these days and while the girls have been grumbling about how it gets stuffy when they are in primary school for six to eight long hours, we all understand it is something we have to do in order to help us tide through these tough times.

We have been trying out many masks and prefer fabric ones nowadays because it means we don't have to ditch them after every use and feel the pinch, but it also means we have to be diligent in washing them to keep them clean. The good thing is the girls have taken charge of washing their own masks so it makes things easier for me, phew!

Anyway, we were glad that Two Funny Bears sent over these pretty masks with the kids' favourite cartoon characters because it made them happier to wear them out and kept them feeling comfy because of the cotton lining too. Yup, simple things can bring about immense joy, right? The boy was especially pleased with his Avengers prints and I was thankful too because it's not easy finding a mask that he likes and fits him well. That said, I hope I am not the only one who is looking forward to the day when our faces can 重见光明 and not have to hide behind a mask anymore.


It's been ages since we made our way to town and I'm not particularly anxious to make any trip unless I have to. For this day, it was an exciting morning for us as we headed down to the new Skechers outlet in Suntec City to collect our new shoes, woohoo! Yup, I can make an exception for that but still, we left once we were done and headed to somewhere less crowded for lunch.

The kids were so happy with their new kicks and I'm just glad this brand has worked so well and fitted us so comfortably for over half a decade.  While the hubby and I took merely half an hour to choose our styles, the kids took like almost an hour to try on pair after pair till they were happy with their final choices. Yup, too many nice designs to choose from! Thanks to the staff for being so ever patient with us and making sure the kids were satisfied and happy.

With our new shoes settled, it means we were all set to join in the virtual Skechers Friendship Walk 2020! Yup, we might not be able to walk with thousands of other participants this year but we were still determined to complete at least a 5km walk as a family.

Our first stop was at the park because it's just much more spacious, closer to nature, less crowded and the fresh air is so refreshing too. Just so you know, it looks like a piece of cake in taking these family shots but actually, it took us over an hour because of the wet ground, the red ants all over, the kids who felt itchy, and a boy who refused to let Mama take a couple shot with Papa. Haha. Never believe all that you see on social media, yeah? There's always another side to the story and you really never know what goes behind that perfect looking square.




It took me a long time to be able to carve out one-on-one time with the kids but I'm thankful that I finally see the importance of doing so. With the girls having HBL on certain weeks of the month and sometimes they alternate because one is in upper primary and the other in lower primary, this has given me a chance to date them out and go for a mum-and-daughter breakfast after sending the little brother to school.

It might be just a quick and simple breakfast, usually just eggs and bread or porridge at KFC, but I can tell it means the world to my child and giving them my undivided attention for just an hour does wonders to fill up their love tanks. So yup, while the boy has plenty of time with Mama because he only has 3 hours of school each day, I remind myself to deliberately make time and hang out with the girls whenever I can too.


Talking about food, we are still having homecooked meals on weekdays as best as we can instead of dining out or ordering takeaways. Yup, nothing beats the flavour of homecooked food and those happy memories our simple meals create for our children are priceless.

Well, this was probably the most expensive and elaborate meal in the month of August and it was whipped up by the hubby! Yup, I would never bear to buy a ribeye steak or wagyu beef that costs anything over $20 but he is always willing to splurge on food to make us happy and satisfy my cravings that I would otherwise deprive myself of.

See our homecooked Western cuisine? Well, it was really yummy and it's no wonder the kids love having Papa home because he can cook so well, in addition to playing board games with them and taking them for outdoor play.

As for home activities, call it lazy I've kind of reached the point where I usually let the kids decide what they wanna play. If they wanna play with toys, go ahead. If they wanna draw, they know where the drawing paper, crayons and markers are located. If they wanna cook in their toy kitchen, I'll gladly be their customer. If they wanna read, they are free to choose what book they want from our tree of knowledge in the study.

To be honest, most of the time, they surprise me by all the creativity they can come up with. For instance, they love playing 'Baby Mama' where they will role play and come up with all kinds of interesting scenarios to act out. Recently, the eldest has taken up the role of 'teacher' and would come up with Science topics to teach the little sister or help the little brother learn to write his Chinese name and do his Heguru homework. We've also been keeping up with our home workout sessions, be it dance, Yoga or Zumba and all it takes is merely half an hour a day.

One of the projects we did in August was our DIY Terrarium from Masons Home Decor, which you can read all about in this post. It might have been a very simple terrarium to build and didn't take us more than an hour, but the kids were all smiles at the end of it and we loved this beautiful addition to our home garden.


As for myself, I found time to connect with my 姐妹s from secondary school. One of them became a stay-at-home mum this year and stays near me so we can meet up often, for which I am truly thankful for. Another recently became a mum and I was so happy to see her cute baby and know that she is enjoying motherhood. I also met up with a few others over breakfast and late night chit chats at my place and it was a great way for us to catch up and be updated on each other's life. 24 years of friendship - that's surely gotta account for something and I hope they are friends who will stay with me all the way through my life and we can all grow old and become grandmas together. Haha.

Weekends are what the kids and I deeply treasure. Regardless of whether the hubby is around to accompany us or not, I always make sure I bring the kids out for some outdoor fun, to try out a new cafe, to hunt for insects and look at greenery, or simply to scoot and cycle in the park. This was us, enjoying a Sunday breakfast at Fat Po and I was so in love with their freshly made Polo bun. So yummy! The kids are always happy to just go out, be it walk, scoot or cycle, and it really doesn't matter to them what we eat, you know.


I don't know why but I am the type of mum who likes to challenge herself and take on what others might deem impossible or just plain silly. Haha. For August, it was my decision to take the kids all the way to Decathlon at Stadium. As if travelling by an hour via the train was not tiring enough, we walked a good distance to get to Old Airport Food Centre and after taking some time to find a seat amongst the crowd, our reward was to have a plate of yummy Hokkien Mee, a bowl of hot Bak Chor Mee and two cups of sugarcane! Woohoo, there, we settled our dinner for just $14 and it felt absolutely awesome and worthwhile.

Then we made our way to Decathlon where we had to join the long queue to get in. After trying out the bicycles, spending a long time at the pull-up bars and almost giving in to the temptation of getting a trampoline which was on sale, we made our way home with this new baby. Yup, a two-wheel bike for the boy because I was determined to teach him to cycle the next day. Haha. Very spontaneous, I know, but I did it because I knew I could. The hubby was away but I texted him and gave him a shock and he said to go home in a cab since I had three kids, a bag and a bike. Well, I didn't want to give myself the excuse to spend more than I should so we made our way to the MRT station despite it being near 11pm and we were one of the last passengers that night. 是的,我就是那么地任性、固执. The kids were over the moon to get to stay out late though, haha.



Like I said I would, the next day, I took this boy to the void deck and started him on his training! He was hesitant at the start and would hop off the bike within a couple of minutes of trying, saying he wanted his balance bike instead. I was disappointed but didn't want to push him too hard so I let him and allowed the second sister to cycle on his new bike instead - she was looking forward to it all along and was so happy that the height fitted her too.

To my pleasant surprise, the boy came back within a short while and said he wanted to try again! Woohoo! This time round, he was more assured and confident even though I still needed to hold onto his arms or the saddle because he had yet to find his balance. Who would expect that within 30 minutes, I could start to let go because he was doing a fine job on his own! See my IG post and check out my victory dance when this brave boy surprised all of us. To prove that it was not a fluke, he did it again, and again, and again! Even when he fell, he got up, brushed his hands and said it was not painful and that he could go again. Awwww, so proud of you, dear Asher!

You know, I always thought he was the least courageous of the three kids, given how he is scared of the dark, loud noises and roller coaster rides. He needed more of my assurance, my company and my tender loving care when he started school or tried anything new. It wasn't because I didn't have faith in him or that I was prepared for him to fail when I bought the bike; it was just that I wasn't expecting him to be successful on his first session and learn how to cycle in the record breaking time in our family.  So, he really amazed me that day and reminded me that all our kids will bloom in their own time; we just need to keep on believing, keep on watering and keep on loving.

Looking back, I didn't take that many pictures or videos last month, Maybe it was because there were not that many significant moments we had, or maybe it was just my subconscious way of trying to be more present when I was with the kids. It was truly a simple month yet still one with filled milestones, blissful moments and true joy.

Till the next "Happiness is" post, can't believe we are only three months away from the end of 2020!


Our first neckband earphone {Review & Giveaway of Sudio Elva}

Posted by ~Summer~ on September 07, 2020
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Having lived in Sweden for four years, there are a few Scandinavian brands that we trust and endorse. Sudio, a brand that seamlessly combines the words "Swedish" and "Audio", is one of them. When I first took a look at their latest earphone, Sudio Elva, I thought it was vastly different from the previous models, namely Ett and Tolv, that we have tried so far.

For starters, the earphones we have tried were all wireless earbuds and all you had to do was plug them into each ear and you are ready to go. Elva, on the other hand, is a neckband earphone and the first of its kind we own. I was skeptical of whether it would feel heavier especially if you wear it over a long time and whether it would be suitable for my older kids who have been using the computer more these days.

Over the past week, we put Elva to the test to see how well it works for our family and here's sharing what we've learnt in this post. For those who are keen, I am giving away a brand new set of Sudio Elva (white) worth $199 so read on to find out how to take part, yeah?


PACKAGING

Even though Elva comes with an neckband and bluetooth flight adaptor (more on this below), all the parts were snugly contained in the small box which was similar in size to the other earphone models we have received. There is an upper tray that allows you to wind the neckband and keep the earphone in place which will come in useful when you travel. As compared to Tolv or Ett which has a chic eggshell cases that doubles up as a storage casing and charger, Elva takes up more space in the bag even though it is still easy to carry around.

There are five additional eartips in varying sizes so you can easily find one that fits comfortably. Even my older kids were able to wear the earphones which I was glad for because it meant we could share. Note that there are two chargers within the box, one for the earphone and one for the adaptor, which you can easily tell them apart.




ADVANTAGES OF HAVING A NECKBAND

I mentioned my initial reaction to the neckband was that of a skeptical one, right? It turned out that after trying it out, I discovered there were advantages to it and in some cases, we actually prefer having a neckband than being without. Here are the reasons why.

-> Convenient and hassle-free

Despite having a neckband, Elva weighs merely 28 grams and is as light as can be. In fact, you can hardly feel it even after wearing for a couple of hours. On the other hand, having a neckband means you can easily find the earbuds since they are always hanging there. For Ett and Tolv, there were times when they would drop out of our ears especially when we moved around too vigorously. However, for Elva, it stays on snugly and the neckband is our assurance that we will not lose either of the earbuds, especially when we are out.

It connects to your device via Bluetooth 5.0 which has a range of 10 metres. Being a wireless earphone, that means other than the band around your neck, there is no extra cord that needs to be plugged into the device. We tried pairing our Elva up with three devices in our home and each one took merely a few seconds each time. Morever, the neckband and wires are the anti-tangle type which means you don't have to worry about having to untangle them before usage.




-> Long lasting and immersive

Elva has a long lasting battery life which can last up to 10 hours with Active noise control (ANC) switched on whereas Ett can last up to 4 hours with ANC in a single charge. For those who are wondering, ANC is a method for reducing unwanted sound by the addition of a second sound designed to cancel the first. It picks up low-frequency noise and neutralises it before it reaches the ear, resulting in the two sounds cancelling each other out. That helps to remove any unwanted noise and provide for a more immersive listening experience.



-> Easy control

With the control buttons at one side of the neckband, I find them easy to locate and to use as compared to the ones on the earbuds. These control buttons are placed far apart and easy to press, which makes it easy for me to adjust the volume, skip to the next track, activate ANC or answer phone calls.

Activate bluetooth pairing: Hold middle button for 7 seconds
Play or Pause: Press middle button once
Next Track: Hold right button for 2 seconds
Previous Track: Hold left button for 2 seconds
Switch On and Off: Hold middle button
Answer/End Phone Call: Press middle button once
Reject Phone Call: Hold middle button for 2 seconds
Activate/Deactivate Active Noise Cancelling: Press middle button twice
Volume Controls: Press left button to decrease and right button to increase volume




PERFECT FOR TRAVELLERS

One of the unique highlights of Sudio Elva is the bluetooth flight adaptor, Sudio Flyg, which makes it perfect for travellers who are frequently on the go. Yes, from now on, you can use your own good quality earphones instead of those standard headsets provided when you are on the plane. Remember that the adaptor has to be charged separately from the earphones, that's all.

In fact, you can connect the adaptor to any audio port, be it in flight entertainment, stereo equipment, gaming consoles or TV as long as it has an audio jack, be it a single 3.5mm stereo or dual 3.5mm mono inputs. It just means you must use either one or both of the adaptor pins which can be individually folded. I guess that is definitely good news for movie buffs, music lovers and avid gamers, right?


OTHER KEY FEATURES

Here are some other highlights of Sudio Elva:

- IPX5 (Splash, rain, sweat proof)
- In-built microphone
- Voice Assistance
- 11 hours playtime for music (10 hours for Active noise cancelling + music)
- 12 months international warranty (+6 months for a total of 18 months warranty after subscription with Sudio sphere)
- 30 days return policy
- 15 minutes quick charge for 1 hour listening
- Auto power off

OUR RECOMMENDED USAGE SCENARIOS 

Well, even though Sudio Elva is the perfect companion for travellers, the fact remains that most of us are abstaining from taking any overseas trip in the near future due to the pandemic. That doesn't mean we seldom get to use our wireless earphones because even if we are home, there are plenty of scenarios where Elva will come in handy. Here are some of our top favourites:

1) Listening to music

If you know me, you know I love listening to music, especially when I am working on the blog and trying to come up with an article. It doesn't distract me but instead, keeps me focused and gives me motivation to write. That said, the only time I get to do my work is when the kids are asleep which means as much as I'd love to, I can't use my speakers to blast the music but instead have to keep everything hush and quiet in case I wake any of them. That is when Elva comes to my rescue. With the ANC function, it helps to enhance the bass and give an enveloping output. Or like what the hubby says "It's like there's surround sound!"


2) Home-based learning

Since circuit breaker, home based learning has become a part of our lives and judging by the looks of it, it is here to stay for the time being and we can expect the kids to continue to have e-learning days every once in a while. That means my two older kids are tasked to complete their homework on the computer and I have seen them having to watch videos, listen to oral passages and even record their own voices. I let them try on Elva and besides it fitting them snugly, it also helps to eliminate the environmental noise which means they find it easier to pay attention and can better concentrate on their tasks.



3) Web conferencing

As a stay-at-home mum who blogs in her leisure time, web conferencing is something I rarely need to do but the opposite holds true for my eldest, who has been attending Zoom meetings with her teachers, classmates, project mates and CCA mates nearly every week. Yes, it's tough being an upper primary kid these days, isn't it? Since her meetings usually take place in the afternoons when her siblings will be taking their naps, I usually let her use a phone, which I will screen share onto our television in the living room, along with a good pair of wireless earphones so there will be minimal disturbance. She says she loves how Elva wraps around her neck because she doesn't need to fumble to search for the earbuds if they were to drop out.



4) On the road

For the hubby who drives to work and back every day, a pair of wireless earphones comes in handy for him when he needs to pick up calls while on the road. Having Elva means he doesn't need to be fumbling with cords or worry about entanglement. The neckband also allows his ears to rest instead of having to be constantly wearing the earbuds as they can dangle on his neck till the next call. The ANC function helps to ensure that the conversation is crisp and clear and the control buttons make it easy for him to increase or decrease the volume if needed.


5) Watching the news/movie

After my kids sleep, that is when I have my me-time to catch up on the news or scroll through social media to stay connected with friends. If it's for a short time like half an hour or so, I prefer to stay on the bed and use a pair of wireless earphones so that it doesn't wake my kid. If I'm feeling extra energetic, I can even connect Elva to my TV in the living room with the bluetooth flight adaptor which will allow me to watch a movie with enhanced audio output.


6) Exercising

Lastly, I will choose Elva over Tolv or Ett while doing workouts because I like how the neckband ensures that I will not lose my earbuds even if they were to fall out halfway. To be fair, they usually stay on snugly but you never know how a sudden, vigorous movement can cause one or two of them to loosen and drop off. With IPX5, Elva is splash, rain and sweat proof so for the hubby who loves to go out for runs in parks and reservoirs in the wee hours, it will be the perfect companion for him too.


In conclusion, we are loving how Elva can be shared by our family members and will definitely try to utilise it more in the days to come. It will be officially launched on Sudio's website next week on 14 September so do check it out if you are keen too.

DISCOUNT CODE

For those who love Sudio products too, here's a 15% discount code for you. Enter the code "wireless15" when you check out on the website. This discount code works worldwide for all Sudio products featured on their website at https://www.sudio.com/sg/.

GIVEAWAY!

If you would love to try out their latest earphone, here's your chance to win a brand new set of Sudio Elva (white) worth $199!



To join the giveaway,

1) Leave a comment in this blog post with your name, IG handle and why you would like to win.

2) Hop over to my Instagram post HERE to follow the rest of the steps.

3) For a bonus chance to win, like and share my Facebook post HERE.

This giveaway ends on 16 September 2359hrs and is not affiliated with Instagram or Facebook. The winner will be randomly chosen and contacted via DM. Good luck, everyone!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored collaboration between Sudio and A Happy Mum. All opinions and photographs are my own.


Happiness is... seeing the beauty of simplicity

Posted by ~Summer~ on August 27, 2020
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I've always been an advocate of simple living. That means to say I believe we don't need to be rich and don't need to have a lot of things in order to be happy and lead an enjoyable life. In fact, the less we have, the less we want and the less we consume, we might end up even happier because we would have realised how simple life can be and how joy can be found in the little things.

The first 成语 that I taught my kids when they were young was  知足常乐 and it's still something that I emphasise to them from time to time. It means to be contented is bliss and as long as you rid your heart of desires and learn to cherish what you already have - which is usually more than enough - joy will come to you naturally. It's so important for them to understand that from a tender age and even more important for me to remind myself of that as I age over the years.

Our month of July was a fairly straightforward one. We stayed away from crowded places, we had a relaxed one week school term break, we abstained from gatherings though we did meet up with our parents, we cooked and ate at home most of the time, we kept away from tourist attractions though the kids have been wanting to visit the zoo, we had many simple days yet these still warmed our hearts and made us smile because we knew we had all that we needed. In this post of "Happiness is...", it's about seeing the beauty of simplicity.


You know, I stayed in a 3-room HDB flat for over two decades of my life but it had always been more than enough for me. It was not space, belongings or luxuries that mattered to me; it was always about cherishing family ties and being happy to have a place to call home. Now that we have a place of our own, every visit to my parents is something I deeply appreciate and somehow, eating the homecooked food my Dad and Mum whip up always brings back fond memories of childhood.

We don't opt for fanciful meals and since young, my mum has kept her dishes simple and fuss free. Yet there's this taste of home that can't be replicated elsewhere. It's something I wish to do for my kids too and that is why I still make myself cook nearly every day even though I admit I don't have a passion for it. 家还是最温暖的, don't you agree?









These were some of the dishes I cooked last month and to be honest, I find myself repeating the same dish quite frequently. Haha. Unlike the chef hubby who is creative and adventurous when he is in the kitchen, I am the boring one who usually sticks to the same few recipes and it's once in a blue moon that I would search for a new one and create something totally new. Yup, maybe it's a fear of the unknown or that I don't like to complicate things or maybe I'm just too lazy. Haha.


Luckily, the kids have never once complained about my simple cooking and instead, they are just happy to get to eat homecooked food and that is a huge relief for me. Phew! Mealtimes are always happy times for us, how about you? It's an opportunity for the kids to tell me about their day, for us to open our hearts and share stories, and for me to understand them a little better. Yup, mealtimes also means screen-free time in our home which means no phone, no TV, no computers. Just us, the food, and lots of family love.


We have been travelling on public transport even though we still keep away from peak periods because we don't want to end up in a crowded MRT train. Usually, we'll try to find a corner so we can keep a safe distance away from others. These three are so loud when they talk and play games so it's good too in case they disturb the other commuters.

They always ask me why nine out 10 people are looking at their phones and honestly, it can be a disturbing trend. Yet I know it's something most of us are guilty of and something I might not be able to prevent my kids from doing in future too.

But for now, I'm just happy to see them talking, playing scissors paper stone or their favourite game called 'heart attack' because at least they are looking at each other and interacting with each other. It's also fond memories like this which I hope will be etched in their hearts as they grow up and form their own social circles.




As you probably know by now. we love going outdoors and many a time, I find going out with three kids easier than staying home all day with them. So, we have been visiting parks and neighbourhood playgrounds on weekends because a breath of fresh air, a game of tag or a family stroll never fails to do everybody some good. At times, we just hunt for bugs, look for mimosas or admire the blooms.

It might sound very mundane yet these simple moments are the times when we learn to take a step back, to relax, to cherish life and appreciate the things right in front of us.


For those who wonder if my kids bicker among themselves or get into fights, YES THEY DO and nearly everyday. Hahaha. Yup, very normal and ordinary kids. Yet, as a parent, if you learn to look beyond that, there's also this unspoken love between them and it's not hard to sense how much they care for each other. For instance, the big girl will lend the brother her favourite Sylvanian toys, the little sister is the first to dash up to him when he falls and in return, the boy showers both his sisters with plenty of hugs, kisses and love.

I woke up and saw these two still sleeping in bed one day (the eldest had to stay back in school) and it was a sight I would never forget. Such love. It just makes me feel glad that they have each other to depend on for life.






When we are home, we also try to create family bonding opportunities. For instance, we have been playing lots of board and card games together, we watch movies and documentaries, and we also have art and craft sessions or hands-on projects every once in a while. This was a fun afternoon when we had lots of colouring and splashing fun making our 'Water Babies' from scratch.



I finally completed Asher's personalised pearl portrait! Yup, I bought a photo frame online for it and added a picture border for him too, which he had requested for balls, balloons and cars. Haha. Yup, so I made it happen and he was over the moon to see the final product. It's now proudly displayed in our living room alongside the Jiejies' ones too. Yay, such simple craft projects provide me with a sense of achievement and endless joy.



This boy has also started going for his Heguru classes on his own now that parents are not allowed to accompany them. Read our full review here. I'm still having trouble dropping him off because this boy is one of the most clingy kids ever and he tends to kick up a huge fuss and shed tears whenever Mama goes out of sight - yup, it got worse over CB and he whines even when he goes for his preschool too. Still, I tell myself that this is just a passing phase and before I know it, he won't be needing or asking for me this much anymore, so cherish it while I can, right?

In any case, he usually settles down soon and he enjoys his Heguru lessons so much because there are so many fun activities for him to participate in. I love Heguru days because it falls on a Friday which means it's our mum-and-kids night out after their class followed by a movie night at home.



Yes, that also means we get to dine out and I don't cook on that day. I guess it's not too much to say that I deserve a break at times and it's okay to eat out, right? We finally had our craving for Genki Sushi satisfied after waiting for months and the kids were immensely satisfied with their udon soup and chawanmushi. So yummy!







We didn't got out much during the school term break but I did bring them out for an afternoon at City Square Mall. I wanted to visit the outdoor free playground but alas it was closed and our last minute change of plan brought us to the basement level where we went on Zoomoov rides for hours. Yup, hours! That was because I bought the unlimited rides plan for $38 that day which also gave me 14 tokens to keep for future use. So for that afternoon, we went on ride after ride after ride and even came back again after having our dinner and a quick arcade session.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that even the big girl, who is turning 11, still loved going on the rides and it proved to me that most of of the time, it's the company that matters. To these kids, happiness is very simple. It's us the adults who tend to complicate things as we grow up.



I was thankful that I managed to find time to catch up with some good friends last month. People always tell me to 'not to forget myself' because the truth is in rushing to make sure the kids' have their needs met every day, I am the kind of mum who tends to forget myself most of the time. It's really so important to remember we are individuals with our needs and wants too and while our lives might revolve around the kids, our world is made up of more than that. Our parents, our spouses, our friends, ourselves - let's not forget them too. 




This was one of the best days in July for me and that was having a 3-generation outing with my Dad and the kids where we went.... indoor rock climbing! It was my Dad's first attempt at it and he was so doubtful if he could scale a wall but it turned out he completed not just one, but several of them, woohoo! Yup, it was awesome to see him reaching beyond his limits and accomplishing more than what he thought he could.

In fact, he inspired the kids to stay healthy and strong even at an old age and to never underestimate yourself and what you can achieve in life. Ah Gong, you rock!




As for the kids, they might not be able to climb to the summit of all the 19 walls yet but they are definitely getting there and improving over time. The girls are the daredevils who are not afraid to try and to fall and while the boy stills needs lots of motivation to get up there. I am absolutely loving this sport as a way to train their determination and resilience and hopefully, we can come back here again someday and scale even greater heights as a family.

So that's about it for our month of July. I sure hope you had a great one too! Cheers to simple living and to the little moments in our lives that make all the difference. Till the next post!


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