That is something I've believed in for a long time, and as best as I can, I try to make it happen. I believe that we should learn to enjoy the present instead of worrying about the future. That we need to embrace the moment and make the most of today. That it's not the number of years in your life but the life in those years. That happiness comes when you learn to seize the day.
I'm terrible at planning for the future, I must say. But in cherishing the present and making it count, I think I'm doing not too bad a job at that with the kiddos. In September's "Happiness is...", here's how we tried to live life the carpe diem way and treasured every moment as best as possible.
For the first time since Asher was born, and the first time after a good many years, I went out without the kids! For a stay-at-home mum like me who is with her kids 24/7/365, whose hubby works pretty late nearly every day, who doesn't have a third pair of hands to help her look after the kids, being able to go out with girlfriends isn't something you get to do too often. In fact, it's precisely because of how this happens once in a blue, blue, blue moon that it felt kind of liberating, even though I have to admit my heart felt so heavy at first because I was so afraid that the baby would bawl without me. And my milk.
It ended up that I hurriedly rushed back after the event ended because the hubby called me and I could hear a shrieking baby in the background. He was crying profusely and I had to find a bench to breastfeed him in public, without a nursing shawl, just so to soothe and comfort him. Poor baby. Mummy guilt? Yes. Any regrets? Not really, because I think I did enjoy that few hours of break, which in any case might take years to happen again.
So, where did I go? Yes, you saw the pics, of course! We went for Jay Chou's "地表最强" concert! I was surprised by how many of you wrote to ask me to enjoy the show and gave kind comments like how I deserved the break. Thank you thank you thank you!
Here I was, with fellow mummy bloggers from Life's Tiny Miracles, Bumble Bee Mum, So Natty, A Million Little Echoes and Amazingly Still. It didn't matter to me much that we were seated high up and tucked in a corner. or that we couldn't really hear much since the sounds were muffled, or that we couldn't even make out where Jay was at times and had to use a pair of binoculars. I enjoyed every moment of it and I sang my heart out to the oldies songs that I know and love so much! Think 稻香， 屋顶，开不了口，半岛铁盒 and more!
We visited the newly opened rooftop playground at Compass One not once, not twice, but thrice already! Yup, I even let Ariel skip school so that we could catch the grand opening and the lion dance ceremony. Hehe. Seize the day, seize the day. Not now, then when? Anyway, the kids totally love this new playground and if you haven't been there, check out our introduction to the Ninja Trail here.
Coming to my baby, I'm enjoying my one on one time with him in the mornings when both the girls are in school. Even though it's just a short 3-hour, it's enough for us to really bond like no other and while it's tiring that he sticks to me like superglue nowadays, I wouldn't have it any other way too. This cutie has now learnt to sit up straight, crawl and he just sprouted his first two teeth this month too! Awwww. Why does it still melt my heart every time?
One afternoon, we made a spontaneous decision to take the girls for a haircut which I'm glad they took it in their stride and didn't protest. It was a relief to see that the big girl has bangs now as her fringe was something that frustrated me recently. Why? She would forget to clip her hair, or choose not to clip, and subsequently use her hand to support the hair when she does homework or reads her books. Argghh. Glad that problem is solved for now!
We have been revamping up the toy kitchen corner and bought some wooden toys from The Better Toy Store which I feel is worth the investment. The girls now love to cook, have named their corner Rainbow Cafe and even came up with menus for us to choose from when we order. Awww, I'm so gonna miss this part of their childhood when they outgrow this kind of imaginary play.
The Eiffel Tower has this special place in my heart, you do know that is because that was where the hubby and I got engaged, right? So I can never resist anything that has to do with it and was so happy to see this love bridge and Eiffel poster in JCube when we travelled all the way to the west one day. Yes, by public transport, since the hubby wasn't with us! It turned out to be a really fun-filled and memorable day for all of us.
Since there was a week long holiday, we also managed to check out some new places of interest and playgrounds that we hadn't had the chance to visit. I don't know how we managed to squeeze out so much time but I was so glad we did!
One of our favourites was this short wall which you could climb up and then just jump down and land on the soft foam. Ariel was initially apprehensive but once she did it, she went again, and again, and AGAIN! All I needed was to help her find a sense of confidence, just once, and she never looked back in fear again.
September also brought about a handful of solo parenting moments for me as the hubby had to travel or work late on many occasions. Even though that definitely brings about more fatigue, it also grants me more opportunities to seize the day with just me and my three kids, right? Positive thinking is a great way to move forward!
In wanting to celebrate Mid Autumn Festival with the kids, I also did something a little plucky and brought them to squeeze with the crowd at Gardens by the Bay so that we could check out the lantern exhibits, watch dragon dance performance, do art and craft and basically just soak in the festive mood. My father in law probably thought I was really mad when I declared on a Saturday "We're going to the Gardens". And the hubby was not in town. He said "Wouldn't there be a lot of people?" I thought that was the whole point but replied "I think so but don't worry, we will be okay." Being the strong-willed me, I also rejected his kind offer of sending us there and instead, took our huge pram (it can carry all 3 kids!), lanterns and barang barang to travel on the MRT to and fro. We learnt about the Jade Rabbit, Chang Er, Hou Yi and more! With all the walking we did that day (we covered almost all of the displays), I think it was a pretty good workout for all of us.
Besides the lanterns, another fun part of the night was when we did what many others were doing at Food Street - make dragon breaths! Well, some of you might not know but it's actually just cracker balls dipped in liquid nitrogen. One cup of this cost $6 and they were selling like hotcakes that evening we were there! Seize the day, right? I couldn't, just couldn't, resist queuing up when my girls looked on with that burning curiosity in their eyes. Have to, have to try! Nah, take my money!
Some things, you just have to try. Sometimes, you just don't need to care if you look like monkeys. Some days, they are just tougher yet these special moments give you the courage and motivation you need to keep going. It was a memorable night for us, for sure! Thanks for making me laugh so much, my girls! P.S. Baby was sitting in the pram right beside us, in case you think we forgot bout him. He got to munch on his baby biscuits too! 😘 #ahappymum #gbtb #foodstreet #midautumnfestival #ipaid6dollarsforcrackers #cannotresist #musttry #sofun
My dad turned 60 this month and we held a simple celebration for him by having a dim sum lunch, a zi char dinner and a cake ceremony where the girls presented their handmade cards to their dear Ah Gong. They were the ones who took the initiative and suggested that they wanted to make cards, a gesture which greatly warmed my heart, and I'm just happy to see the effort they took to bring joy to someone they love.
Birthday parties are always something worth looking forward to, and we are thankful to have friends and families who invite us over to join in their special occasion. Check out the girls' face painting, which is something that always thrill them and they can never resist getting some colour on their faces!
Spare time is golden nowadays, but I try my best to treasure as much of the little time I have with each of the kids. I've been teaching Ariel how to write her Chinese name (see our tips here) and that is going quite well for now. I really hope she can keep up with her love for learning and always find delight in gaining new knowledge.
Friday movie nights are still happening in our household and I'm kind of getting accustomed to bringing the kids out on my own for a show. It totally shocked a friend I met at dinner when I told her that we were going to watch Storks, haha. Just so you know, I do arm myself with snacks, drinks and biscuits (especially for the baby) just so we can sit through the show. The girls don't pose any problem for now, so it's more of keeping the baby occupied and happy. We ended off our happy movie night playing at the playground and I taught my big girl how to hang upside down from the ropes, which only excited her and made her keep going and going!
Last but not least, we had a weekend getaway to LEGOLAND where the kids had a blast at the Halloween Brick-or-Treat party! Read our experience here. I was surprised, and relieved, that things went quite smoothly and we shared so much fun and laughter. I love seeing the three of them sitting side by side with wide grins on their faces, hearing the chattering and laughter in the air and feeling the warmth in my heart.