Happiness is... taking a leap of faith

Posted by ~Summer~ on December 31, 2019
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The year end has always been a busy period for me because of the kids' birthdays, school holidays, family vacations, hosting parties, BBQs and family gatherings, getting ready for the new school year and so on. Frankly speaking, I haven't even turned on this laptop much in the past six weeks because I just didn't have the time or energy and even when I did, I chose to spend them on the kids and cherish the time that we have to enjoy the carefree holidays together. Finding joy and being together, that's what holidays is all about, right?

Two big highlights of November this year for us is the firstborn turning 10 and us going on our first mum-and-kids holiday! Yup, these were huge milestones for us and I still find it hard to believe that I've been in the motherhood journey for ten years already. It's like I still feel so new at it on some days and I know I still have so much more to learn as we go along. Having a tween is vastly different from having a toddler or preschooler and truth be told, I find the former very much harder to deal with but that is also because it's all so foreign to me and I am trying to better myself every day too. The backtalk, power struggle, resistance and tantrums happen too often and I find myself losing my cool more often that I'd like. So what we do now is to try together, fail together, try harder again together in the hope that we will be able to understand each other and overcome all obstacles. Together. I have to let the kids know that no matter what, our love for them never fades. Unconditional love is just too important and they need to know that it is something that stays, yeah?

I also brought the kids on our first 6D5N adventure without the hubby and we went on a very exciting, fun-filled and non-stop action cruise with Royal Caribbean. I will be sharing our experiences in a much more detailed post next week so stay tuned for that if you are keen to know what we did. Was it all smooth sailing? Well, the ship was but for us, of course we still had to deal with lots of tears, fights, bickers, disobedience and the norm. Haha. I guess I nagged a lot but hey, I kept them safe and we had tonnes of fun at the activities and during the shore excursions in Penang and Phuket. The kids said they loved the trip so much and wished it didn't have to end, so I think we did good considering this was our first mum-and-kids-only holiday.

In this "Happiness is..." post, it's about taking a leap of faith and believing that things will work out somehow. Never be afraid to try, don't worry unnecessarily, be able to pick yourself up when you fail and trust yourself enough to leap into the unknown. Yup okay, we watched Frozen 2 (not once but twice lor) but you know what I mean.

The big girl was definitely excited about her special day. I mean, it is a huge step turning double digits and it was a reminder of how fleeting childhood can be. She didn't have much requests for her big day except to watch Frozen 2 together. So I let her dress up as Elsa - yes, it's sweet that she still loves to dress up and I would let her do it for as long as she likes - and we made our way to the airport for a day out.

We had a treat at Din Tai Fung because she loves the xiao long baos (gosh, they are not cheap) and went for frozen yoghurt after that (Frozen theme mah, right?) where we stuck a candle in the yoghurt so we could sing her a birthday song. Loved it when the siblings planted kisses on each side of her face. It was also our first visit to the Dreamers Theatre at Shaw Jewel but let's just say we don't intend to go again and would rather stick to the usual theatre. Why? There were lots of kids, as expected, but the thing was they were chatting, or shouting, throughout the show and some of the taller ones stood up too and blocked our view a little. The only good thing was the beanbags which were comfy to lie on but since they are at the first row where the play area is set up, that means you will be constantly surrounded by little ones. We ended up watching the movie a second time because 1) we love it a lot, 2) the hubby wanted to watch too (seriously!) and 3) we wanted a quieter ambience this time round. The funny thing is while my girls were touched, they didn't shed a tear but this emo Mama had tears rolling down her cheeks not just the first time but second time too. Aiyoh.

As for her birthday party, we kept it small and cosy as usual and invited a handful of her closest friends to spend an afternoon with her in our humble home. There were simple games and activities and just a small spread of finger food and desserts, yet all the girls who came said they had lots of fun and thanked us profusely too. Awwww. I will share more about the party in another post, just let me catch up with blogging in the meantime and get over my holiday mood. Haha.

The grandparents also love celebrating our kids' birthdays so that means in addition to a friends' party, I also plan a family party for each of my kids. Fwah, jin bo eng hor. We had our parents and our brothers' families over for a BBQ poolside party so that the cousins could have a blast and splash around together while the adults could tuck into the yummy food. Thanks to the hubby for always providing support when it comes to the food so I can focus my efforts on the activities, decorations and setup. We make a good team!

And so, she turned the big 10. When it comes to parenthood, it's still a trial and error journey in many ways for us and I'm still learning as we go along. You know, I can already foresee we are going to have more problems and I will have bigger headaches when she goes into the defiant teenage years and while I'm not particularly looking forward to it, I'm also trying to get myself ready for the inevitable and start building up the confidence in myself that I can do it well and be a good mum to her. It ain't gonna be easy but that is just why it is called taking a leap of faith, right? In the first place, we all already took it when we decided to have kids and no one ever said being a parent is gonna be easy peasy, right?

Another highlight of November was the boy performing at his first concert ever! To be honest, I wasn't exactly sure if he could do it. Unlike his sisters who love to dance and naturally shine on stage, he is shy, timid and basically still a koala who needs support and lots of love. Even though I've spoken to him countless times to prepare him for his big day and he had already gone through the rehearsals with his teachers and classmates, he still told me things like "I don't want to go on stage", "I am scared", "I want Mama on the stage with me" and "I am not going to perform" and was super insistent about it.

Who knew, when the day came, he did it in style and did it with a big smile on his face. Awwww. He danced to not one, but two songs and remembered his moves from the start to end. I was so touched, so amazed and so relieved to see him enjoying his time on stage and flashing that cute grin at me, and glad to hear him singing his heart out at the finale song "You Made Me Glow". You did a great job, dear Asher!

November also marks my mum's birthday and we always bring her and my Dad for a yummy treat. She chose to have steamboat at Golden Mile this year which was also the place where she first met my hubby over a decade ago. Look at where we are now! The kids drew their own cards for Popo and these always bring smiles to the grandparents. It might have been a simple meal but our hearts, and tummies, were full.

To show our support for the navy hubby, we also made our way to Navy@Vivo and the kids had fun taking part in the activities while learning more about Papa's job on the boat. While it might not be easy to look after the kids and home when he is away, we are still very proud of what he does every day and we know we can never take peace and safety on our shores for granted.

You know how we like to be spontaneous and how we always tend to make last minute decisions on where to go, right? This was a totally impromptu visit to Gardens by the Bay and we drove over after attending a birthday party nearby. It's one of the few yet-to-expire annual passes we have left so we are trying to make the most of it while we can. Loved all the yuletide displays in Flower Dome, they reminded us of our days in Scandivania.

Oh, talking about annual passes, we made it to visit the Bird Park on the very day that our Friends of the Park pass was due to expire. Yup, just in the nick of time! The kids always look forward to feeding the birds and this time, even the boy joined in when it was time to feed the mealworms to the birds. Yup, he did it! Even though he insisted that he could only take the small small thin thin ones, at least he was brave enough to do it! The big sister, as usual, didn't squirm at all and was comfortable to pick up and sayang all the big, long and fat wriggly worms (I have no idea how she does it because I can't) while the little sister went for the medium sized ones. Haha. Very fitting for these three.

As for me, gosh, the kids kept on asking me to do it with them! I don't like worms and will never do, you know. But just to show them that I could do it too, I chose a teeny tiny one and did it with them. Argh. That took courage.

The funniest incident was when I was filming the three of them holding the mealworms together and tossing them to the birds, the boy swang his arm so high and hard that he nearly made a full turn and thus instead of tossing the worms to the birds in front of him, he threw the worms right back at the photographer (ME!) which naturally drew deafening screams from yours truly, much to the amusement of my loved ones. Haha, thanks ah, everybardee.

We drove by this scenic spot near Mandai Road and decided to stop there on the spur of the moment so we could eat our takeaway dinner there while enjoying the beautiful sunset. It wasn't planned but it was oh so pretty and enjoyable. Never mind the ants that were crawling on our table or the fact that the kids were too distracted and kept wanting to find insects in the grass, it was an evening that we would find it hard to forget and we made a promise to return to this place and explore more together soon.

Last but not least, here's sharing some a sneak peek of some photos from our cruise! I will be taking you on a tour of Quantum of the Seas in my upcoming post, share in depth about all the activities you can look forward, give you some tips and advice as well as tell you more about how we had a blast on our trip. Going on a cruise was definitely the best choice for our first mum-and-kids vacation and overall speaking, I think it wasn't as tough as I imagined it would be.

On a personal level, I also went for many firsts including my first iFly, first swinging trapeze and first Flowrider experiences. Yup, I wanted to join in the fun too because how could I miss out on all the action, right? Well, I even used tampons for the very first time just because I wanted to make sure I could go on the Flowrider, you know. At 6am on the second day morning, I was trying to fix a clogged toilet and trying my best to figure out how a tampon works just so this stubborn and somewhat adventurous mum could let her kids know that while she might have turned 36, she is still young at heart and loves fun and thrills too.

Would I do it again and bring the kids on a vacation on my own? You bet I would.

Till more updates in 2020! Here's wishing everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR and may it be a year of abundant hope, joy, peace and good health for everyone!


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