Happiness is... cherishing now while looking forward to the future

Posted by ~Summer~ on November 18, 2020
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October was a busy and happy month for us. Despite it being the exam period for the girls, we made sure we still injected plenty of fun and joy into our lives. Yup, I never did believe in cramming for exams at the last minute and keep telling the kids that it's the consistent work that matters most. Well, let's see if we can still keep to this mindset and continue to stay tuition-free when the big girl goes to Primary 6 next year. 

We've also been eagerly looking forward to Phase 3 though no one knows yet when it will actually commence. That is because it's been so long since I brought my parents or grandma out for a meal since our family alone already hits the maximum quota of 5 people. Yup, it would be nice to hang out as a bigger family and not have to sit at separate tables or avoid mingling whenever we are out. That said, we are very thankful to see that the pandemic situation here has come under control and to even be in Phase 2 and know that our loved ones are safe and sound and well-protected, that is already a huge blessing. 

One of the biggest highlights of October was revealing to friends and family that our family is growing! Yup, baby #4 is currently on the way and we held gender reveal parties for the kids (check out our piñata video here) and for our parents too. That was so fun and memorable! While I am definitely excited and a tad nervous about the arrival of the baby next year, I am also reminding myself to treasure the weeks left as a mum of 3 and make sure I let the kids know how much I love them even if another comes along. The good thing is they have been feeling so positive about it and are super excited to meet their baby brother. Yay! Now that the school holidays are nearing, I still hope to be able to bring them out for some outdoor fun, nature walks and explore parts of Singapore that we've never been before. Walking and exercising is great for preggies, right?

In October's "Happiness is...", it's about cherishing all that we have now while anticipating and looking forward to what the future holds for our family.

This photo above was the one we used in the pregnancy announcement which went out on my social media on 8 November. I was 20 weeks pregnant at that time and I think up till that point, we actually kept the secret pretty well and not even our close friends or family, except the parents whom we told a fortnight before that, knew about it yet. The kids and I went shopping for the number balloons which I thought would look cute when arranged in such a way. I got them all dressed up and voila, this memorable photo was born and I love it so much.

Most of you should have seen our DIY piñata by now and I'll be sharing more about how we did it in a Creativity 521 post soon! I think it was an awesome idea to get the kids involved in making it with me and they were such a great help from start to end. Besides giving them a sense of participation, it also made all of us excited about the reveal day and the kids couldn't wait to find out if they were gonna have a baby brother or sister. Awwww, I guess this is likely our last gender reveal project which made it all the more special.

As for the parents, none of them even suspected a thing despite that I was 17 weeks pregnant and we still met up regularly. I guess my bump was not that obvious underneath all those baggy clothes and thankfully I don't have morning sickness so I could still go about my day sending the kids to and from school, buying groceries, cooking, cleaning and doing all the household chores.

We started off by asking them to guess "How many weeks?" and told them the one with the correct guess would win an ang pao prize. Alas, none of them got the hint though they kept throwing numbers around the table. Haha. We had to give them more and more clues, for instance the hubby said even he didn't know how many weeks and I was the only one who knew followed by saying guess how many weeks is Summer already, before they finally realised. 

The funny part was my Dad did an obvious facepalm when he knew we were not joking and said "Three not enough ah?" I actually know what he meant and it all boils down to the fact that he dotes on me and knows that I am already having a tough time handling the trio especially since the hubby is often away or works late pretty much 5 days a week. He later messaged me telling me how happy he was to have another grandson and told me to remember that if I ever needed any help, just holler. He knows it is not my style to ask for help when it comes to my kids yet it is calming knowing that the village is there if I ever need them.

We then gave each of them an ang pao each and told them to open it. I made it a HUGE ang pao which contains a smaller ang pao and then another smaller ang pow. Haha. Then there was a picture of the baby ultrasound picture with the words "好字成双". And when they were still confused, we told them to open up their own ang pao to see if there was a blue $50 note or five red $10 notes. Yup, that was when everyone knew we were gonna have a baby boy and the night ended on a happy note.

I always insist on giving the kids something small but handmade on Children's Day. This year, I decided to make origami animals for them as we've been talking about it recently. The bottles were recycled jars and all I did was print a personalised label with their name and picture on it. Easy, right? Yet, this gift made them feel so loved and it warmed my heart greatly to see their smiles. I think it is very important to love and appreciate the present moment because it never comes back again, don't you agree?

For this year's Mid Autumn Festival, we took out our DIY lanterns, which took me ages to find because I couldn't remember where I kept them, and went for a night walk after dinner. I surprised the kids with a whole box of sparklers and they were so excited because it has been nearly a year since they last got to play with these. The smiles, the joy, the innocence - these are the things that make up childhood and I hope to preserve them for a little longer and let my kids take their time to grow.

As usual, we've been keeping up with our homecooked meals and enjoying the simple dishes whipped up in our kitchen. I like it when the kids get to play a part and this meal was one of our favourites which we made together - homemade pizzas with fresh butter corn and bacon wrapped asparagus. Yummy!

Despite Primary 5 being a tough year which was made even harder due to the disruption of lessons, this girl took it in her stride and handled it well. She even told me she didn't feel stressful when exams were nearing and I was thinking if I should praise or chide her, haha. To me, a little healthy stress is good and I would still hope she can push herself to reach further and maximise her potential. Still, the fact that she has been doing her work rather independently all year round and that we remain tuition-free even up till now (she says she is likely the only one in her class and I am not surprised), I think I gotta give her the credit and have faith that she can continue to do well and enjoy her primary school life. 

I guess that is also why I give her quite a lot of freedom to read, play with toys, watch movies, do crafts or just idle in her free time. Yup, we can't be studying all the time and finding time to unwind, relax and indulge in a hobby you like is very important too. Don't get me wrong, I still nag at her aplenty and have to answer many of her questions on homework or help her to google for answers when we don't understand a concept. Yup, she says I'm her tuition teacher but then again, I find what I am doing very minimal and feel thankful to have this independent, meticulous and hardworking girl.

The same goes for this little sister and she has surprised me by doing so well in her Primary 2 year. Besides performing well academically, she also got into the dance CCA that she wanted after doing a choreography, took part in a story telling competition (in chinese!) and got a bronze award and has been selected to go for the school captains interview. I was always worried that I would need to spend more time to supervise and guide this girl when it comes to schoolwork but it seems like she has risen up to the challenge and I can only hope that her positive attitude will continue. 

It's so awesome having these two daughters and I know they will be great role models for their little brothers in the future. Awww. Yup, that reminds me, we are gonna have two girls and two boys, how blessed are we.

As for the boy, I'm really treasuring these last few months of one-on-one time with him before the baby comes along. It is still incredible to think that he is gonna be a big korkor very soon because he is still my baby in so many ways. Every morning, I'm the one who takes him to school (he doesn't want anyone else to) and I will be waiting for him outside his school when he dismisses too. We would give each other tight hugs, hold hands and then walk home while trying to spot snails along the way. It's our special moment together and I'm so glad to have had these precious five years of bonding with him before my time gets taken up by another newborn again. Like I said, I do look forward to the exciting future but I am also cherishing every day I have to spend with the kids now.

Besides making the piñata, we have also been finding time to craft and do more creative projects. Check out what the girls have been doing on their inkless pocket PoooliPrinters here and if you are keen to get one too, quote "SUMMER15" for 15% off when you purchase here.

Another project that we have done is making our first ever resin art accessories! Thanks to Happy Hands Can, the girls did a series of earrings, pendants and keychains and were mighty pleased with the results. This was so fun to make and it's something new to us too. I will be sharing more on my social media soon and if you are keen to win a set which will make a wonderful holiday activity for your child, stay tuned, yeah?

Weekends are of utmost importance to us which is why I still insist on keeping them free as much as possible so that we can spend precious family time together. The kids are always excited knowing that Papa is home and although they can drive him crazy within a day, I think he is still very happy to be reunited with us. Haha.

We would travel further to go for walks and try out new eateries from time to time too. Yup, having a secondhand 7-seater car is great because it takes us to new places that would otherwise pose as a challenge for me to bring these three to. That said, our car needs to be scraped early next year, uh oh. Yup, it's gonna be tough on the pockets with a need to look for a replacement secondhand car and the birth of our baby in the same period. That means we are actually thankful to be saving up on travel this year and maybe even next because we don't foresee going on a family vacation anytime soon.

On solo parenting weekends when the hubby is busy, I still make it a point to bring the kids out because hey, there's no school and an abundance of sunshine waiting for us, right? We went for a run one morning (yup, preggies can still run!), went scooting another morning and we also found time to swim and to visit the neighbourhood playgrounds too.

It's been long since we visited any indoor playground because I don't see the need to since there are so many fun outdoor ones which are for free! Come this year end school hols, I am determined to bring them to check out even more fun-filled playgrounds, especially those tucked away in the heartlands or the further ones that we've never been before. I think that will keep us pretty busy and happy already, right?

We remind ourselves to enjoy the little things in life, be it enjoying an ice pop with our loved ones or just inventing and playing silly games with each other. For instance, we came up with this fishing game whereby the kids will pretend that the goggles are the fishes and then hook them onto the pool noodles one by one. Being the strongest swimmer, Ariel is always the one who will dive down to hook the goggles and she would even shake the pool noodle to let the rest know that the fish had taken the bait. They decided to pretend each goggle was a different fish and even gave them names and scores. How cute and creative!

It's been months since we went to the arcade and seeing the $100 for $100 bundle top-up deal at Timezone, I decided to let them have some fun. Yup, $200 credits can last us for many visits and probably more than a year since we don't stay too long each time. The kids know that when I say it's time to go, they will have to listen and that we can only enter the arcade when Mummy says okay. Haha. Yup, Mama's word is king in the house for now (that is because I take care of you all day in day out, okay?), let's see how long that lasts before they decide to rebel. Lol.

Last but not least, our first ever DIY Halloween party had to be one of the biggest highlights of our October! I'm so glad I managed to plan and execute it despite being pregnant because all of us had a blast and made so many precious memories from that night. The kids still keep talking about it up till now and the big girl was so thankful because the party happened right in the midst of her year end exams. The little sister, who loves Halloween by the way, was so appreciative that we still celebrated this occasion despite the pandemic and said it was her best party ever. Awwww. All those smiles, they made everything so worthwhile and I would do it again in a heartbeat just to bring joy to their faces.

So that concludes the last month and I think it was a well-spent one, not just on books and revision but also on family time filled with lots of love. Let's see what November brings, woohoo!


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