I'm getting really excited for December because we will be shifting into our new nest and that is of course going to be a big change for everyone. Yes, I still can't believe it's happening so soon but it is! In this month's "Happiness is...", it's about making dreams come true.
So, I've been burning the midnight oil on many nights so as to draw up designs for our new furniture, go through laminates, take measurements, and then make a million tweaks along the way. Why? Mainly because we need to scrimp and save and thus we are not getting an ID; partly because it gives us a sense of satisfaction and achievement to be able to design everything from scratch. I don't know of what software or app I can use to draw, so we are doing it the traditional way - using paper and pencil. Haha. Let's hope I'm not in for a shock when the stuff arrives.
I've been meeting up and liaising with a few sponsors and I can't wait to share more when the time comes. You know, I don't know if the hubby is proud of me but this is the only way I feel more useful in contributing to the finances and helping to ease his burden a little. Yup, by blogging. And even though I have to lug the kids with me to meetings (which never fail to amaze the clients) and handle their tantrums or squabbles while working at the same time, I am still very thankful for every opportunity that comes. It does mean I have to continue burning the midnight oil for quite a long time but as long as I feel happy doing it, right?
Moving onto the new house, I've had queries from friends about it and so I thought I might as well share it here. Nope, this is not our floor plan because I'm not going to post it here, but here's an example of a dual key condo which is what we will be moving into.
Before you go, "Wah! So rich, stay condo!", I have to first explain the circumstances we are in. So we have three kids and I take care of my own kids, but my in-laws stay with us. Yes, that's right, many people ask me why but I can't exactly answer too, all I can say is my hubby is the epitome of filial piety and we have learnt to cherish close family ties and value harmony. So, in our 4-bedroom HDB flat, one bedroom is dedicated to the in laws, and we share the living room, kitchen and every common area. Now, my father-in-law goes out when the sun rises to the brother-in-law's house to help look after his kids and returns at night when it's nearing bedtime for my kids (he does help out with the laundry and ironing and I'm very appreciative of that). My mother in law works and when she is home, she rests in her room, doesn't do the chores and rarely comes out to interact with the kids. So basically, I do have my freedom most of the time and that is what I really need.
That said, as our brood expanded and the kids got bigger, I kept thinking about my dream to have my own house, my own fridge, my own kitchen. I mean, I do respect and love the parents but I do love to have some privacy with my kids and a home to call my own. After all, we have different mindsets and contrasting lifestyle habits, so while we have never gotten into conflict, we do have to try to compromise. At one moment in time, it seemed to be a dream that could never come true and I was told to give up on that thought. For some time, I felt quite shattered and that life was unfair. I mean, I would have been happy to stay in a 4-room HDB my whole life, if it meant that I had a space of my own with my kids. After all, I was born and raised in a 3-room HDB and I've never yearned to live a luxurious lifestyle, the hubby can attest to this. No branded goods, not much shoes, not much jewellery, just one kind of makeup, less than 10 bags in total (including diaper bags) - he once said 我很容易养。I guess quality time means much more to me than materials goods and it's been so all my life.
As the years passed, a flicker of hope ignited and we came to know about this dual key condo concept - which is basically two separate apartments in the same unit. You share the same main door, same foyer, yet there are two doors that lead into two apartments. One is a studio apartment which is perfect for the parents to live in - it even has a decent sized kitchenette, a toilet and a balcony. The other is a 2-bedroom or 3-bedroom apartment and is perfect for a growing family with kids - yes, perfect for us.
Sounds super ideal, right? Staying under one roof yet being able to maintain privacy. Yes, it's really a dream come true for me. That said, it does mean we have to be even more prudent and frugal in our everyday life because the mortgage is going to be hefty (so thankful that the hubby has a stable government job) and we will need to make ends meet. Right, which also means we are not going on holidays for the time being as we are trying to save on every cent. At the end of the day, I still think this is going to be a worthwhile decision and I hope that the in-laws will be just as happy about having a cosy, well-deserved haven of their own.
I've been trying to keep up with cooking though the packing makes me very tired on most days. Yes, so far I'm the only one (out of 7) packing in the family and I'm really trying to get rid of stuff that we don't need because guess what, our new house has NO storeroom (no maid's yard too)! Anyway, I tried steaming a whole seabass one evening and this seabass, which cost us only a little over $5, was so fresh that we all enjoyed it very much. One of my resolutions next year will be to cook more, bake more, and do more in the kitchen with the kids! Wish me luck!
It was also our first visit to Kidzania, thanks to a collaboration we did with Maybank. Woohoo! It was a super fun day for the girls, who became window cleaners, pizza chefs, photographers, nurses and candy shop workers all in a day. Their favourite station was the nursery where they learnt to carry a newborn, feed him, change his diapers and even burp him. How cute, right? I sure hope they will be better mums than I am when their turns come.
Art class continues for the girls and I love how they look forward to every class with their teachers. If there's any sign that I should continue with an enrichment class and continue to fetch them to and fro and lug the baby along, it's the big smile on their faces. I love this zentagon drawing that Angel did, do you?
As you know, we do love to go outdoors because I find it too cooped to keep staying home day after day. So we make it a point to explore new places, take in new sights or just visit some of our favourite places. I love admiring the skyline of our beautiful country, especially when it lights up at night, don't you too?
It was a wonderful evening for us when we made our way to the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay to check out the Merry Medley. We went at 8:30pm, just half an hour before closing time (that's the good thing about being members), and guess what? We almost had the whole place to ourselves. Woohoo! We posed, we ran, we danced and we even did a mannequin challenge. I'll see if I can post that soon!
We are continuing to explore newly opened playgrounds in Singapore and this month, we went to Happy Park at Waterway Point and Waka Waka at Annex@Furama. It's not easy trying to handle all three, especially if the hubby is not around. But I know things will get better once the baby is a little bigger and I'm cherishing all these outings I get to be with my kids and seeing all the joyful looks on their faces. Will share more soon about the playgrounds!
Anyway, we bought her a Sylvanian family set that she has wanted for a long time. This year, she agreed to do away with presents and instead ask for donations to charity at her birthday party, so we thought she deserved a nice present from us. She still received some gifts from the family members, got to blow a cake, visited a playground on her birthday and I hope she knows just how loved she is.
Talking about the party, we held a princess party for the girls at The Tiara Society and I can't wait to share more about that with you. It was such a blast and every girl who came got to dress up and be treated like royalty. So fun! See, we even had Elsa and Anna there to spend the day with us!
So yes, here's a toast to more happiness ahead of us and I can't wait to write my last "Happiness is.." post to end off the year 2016. Hope you had a great month of November too!