I have been doing quite a bit of thinking recently. Thinking about family, friends, blogging and life in general. It struck me that I wasn't balancing my life that well because 24 hours a day seemed to be insufficient for me to accomplish all the things that I wanted to. So, many a time, I ended up sleeping at 3 or 4am in the wee hours and woke up the next day feeling like a zombie.
Summer, oh Summer, just what are you doing with your life? I would ask myself.
Much as I doing the things I do, I have to honestly confess that I did fall into the social media trap. This year, I have been doing quite a handful of sponsored reviews and giveaways to the extent that it has become a habit to check if entries are coming in, to see if my Instagram post has garnered likes, to find out what my readers are commenting on Facebook. Maybe it's because I am not a working mum and this blog has become a way for me to feel validated. Go on, laugh. Because even I feel like mocking myself.
Yes, I love blogging, I love penning down memories of my family, I love having my own space on the web, I love to bring the kids to fun PR events, I love going to movie premieres, I love making new friends and I am so very thankful for the fact that I have been able to receive and at the same time give away so much awesome stuff to my readers.
BUT, all these should never be a measure of my achievements or self worth. Okay, as a blogger, maybe. But not as a wife, a mum or a person. So, while I do know that I will continue to blog, I am however trying to be more selective of the things I choose to write and hope to take up only commitments that are truly beneficial to my family and readers.
This October, "Happiness is" about refocusing on my priorities, taking a step back in life and seeing the big picture of what truly matters. Perhaps it was a good thing that the hubby was away for nearly two weeks and so I had the kids all to myself. I realised much more than the blogosphere needs me, my children need me to be around when they are young. And they are only young once.
So, I'm learning to put away my phone, shut down the laptop, listen with my heart, look with my eyes and give the kids my undivided attention whenever we are together. Here are some of the things we did this month.
We went on 3-girls dinner dates and at Xin Wang Cafe, we had this impressive mango snow ice dessert which delighted the kids.
After realising how nearby we are located to the kampong-styled The Animal Resort, we visited our animal friends once again and this time round, we even brought the in-laws to visit grandma's long lost friend.
While the big sister goes for art class, I don't see why the little can't have her own art sessions too and I only wished I had thought of this sooner. We are learning numbers, colours and shapes as we paint nowadays and I think her smile says a lot.
Many times, I feel like I have shortchanged the little one just because she is the second child and has less one-on-one time with me as compared to the first. So, in the mornings when jiejie goes to school, I try to give her more of my time and do fun activities together.
We like to go to Tebing Lane in Punggol to watch people fishing and prawning. Once, the kids even got to use tiny nets, and paper that breaks super easily, to catch little fish!
Nowadays, when I am making dinner, I try to come up with new activities to keep the kids occupied. These decorative stones from Daiso kept them happy and helped practise their fine motor skills too! You should also check out this awesome list of sensory bins by Gingerbread Mum.
We also went for our first shabu shabu buffet at Suki-ya and had a really delicious meal. Angel is in love with hot pots because she gets to cook and put in all the vegetables, meat and she even learnt to crack an egg!
No toys at grandma's house? No worries! I found it quite amusing that on weekends when we visit my mum, Ariel would use the mahjong tiles as stacking blocks and build tower after tower. On the other hand, Angel learns her chinese words and practises her counting. Not bad, right?
Even when the hubby was not around, I was resolute to bring the girls out every other day and so we did. Although we do not have a double pram or stroller, the good thing is these two find it loving and fun to share and thank goodness they can both fit on one! For now, at least.
Once, I came home with six bags of groceries, eight library books, a big birthday present for Angel's classmate, a diaper bag, a toddler and a preschooler all packed on the pram. Phew! Luckily we chose to keep this bulky Emmeljunga pram bought in Sweden. I'm also thankful to the person who invented kiddy boards because my girls absolutely love theirs!
Not only does she love to stand on the kiddy board, Ariel is also learning to scoot like a pro and so some days after dinner, I would take them downstairs and while she learns to scoot, the big sister learns to cycle. We are not quite there yet but one day we will be! Cheers to more backaches for mama!
While Daddy was away, Angel also performed for the second time at her annual school concert and it made me cry tears of joy that day and I couldn't have been a happier mum.
After her concert, we came back for a quick nap and when they woke, I was wondering where to bring them for a nice Saturday evening. I didn't want to lose that spontaneity though the husband was away and so, the three of us made a last minute decision to take a 50-minute bus ride to..... Changi Airport! Yup. We ate at Kopitiam and had a couple of hours of fun drawing, playing at the arcade and playground before taking the bus home again.
The funny thing was we bumped into an ex-colleague of mine and she totally gasped when she saw that I was out with the two of them on my own and had just survived a long bus journey. Well, I think practice makes perfect, right?
One night, I chanced upon this heartwarming scene when I came out of the shower. Yes, Angel was trying to help meimei blow dry her hair! I loved how nice and snug Ariel looked and she seemed really contented just leaning on jiejie. Hooray for siblings!
We were also lucky to be able to watch the world famous The Very Hungry Caterpillar on stage! What's more, we had the exclusive opportunity to get backstage with the crew and learn how the props were used in the production. That was totally awesome!
The library is also one of our favourite hangouts and I am just glad both my kids are developing a love for reading. Well, even though they also like to run around and play and scream. A little.
It was also yet another fun-filled day for the kids when we attended one of Angel's classmate's birthday party - with a Hello Kitty theme! The mum is an awesome party planner and all the kids were kept entertained with games, food and fun for the entire afternoon. Angel's favourite part was emerging as the champion in the musical chair game while Ariel was thrilled with her first ever hand painted butterfly!
On the Deepavali holiday, we paid a visit to one of the hubby's best friends before we made our way to the River Safari for a highly anticipated event - Safari Boo! I didn't have time to make any Halloween outfits for the kids so we had to settle for being dressed as a fairy angel and a little mermaid. They were very happy though! If you would like to get closer to a friendly Frankenstein, kind witch and not-so-scary skeletons, the event will still run on 1-2 Nov and kids enter for free after 6pm!
Clickz Studio which provides DIY photography or so called 'selfie' service. This means they have the camera, backdrop and lighting set up and you can pose using a variety of props provided. All you have to do is click the control button to snap a shot! Easy and fun, right?
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.