Happiness is... appreciating the freedom

Posted by ~Summer~ on June 01, 2021

April, being a special month for me, was a time to celebrate. Besides my birthday, it also marked our 13th wedding anniversary and the end of my confinement. Woohoo!

That means I could now go out more often, bring the baby out, take baths, wear shorts, don't wear socks, go to air-conditioned places, eat the food I have been craving, drink cold and fizzy drinks, eat ice-cream, all without feeling in the least guilty. Haha. Shiok to the max!

I definitely loved regaining my freedom and was all ready to bring the kids out whenever I could. If I had known that Phase 2 (HA) was going to hit in May, I would have treasured that freedom and those times that we were able to eat out and head out as a big family even more.

In this post of "Happiness is...", it's about appreciating the freedom and learning to better cherish the simple joys in my life. These include being able to wake up to a smiley baby every morning, eating out with my kids, having a peaceful movie night, having home cooked meals, and having a family to care for. Well, I don't even mind waking up a few times a night and needing to pump, breastfeed and change diapers because I know deep down, that is also a blessing in itself. Read on for more of our happenings in the month of April.


On the evening of my birthday, I brought the kids out on my own and it was one of the first few times I was out as a mama of four. Did it feel good? Yes!!! We had a yummy dinner in a nearby restaurant and I treated myself to a huge bowl of laksa for having worked so hard to deliver and take care of the baby in the past month. Haha. Well-deserved, right? 

Anyway, it's a good thing that my girls are much older because they are the ones who can help me to carry and soothe the baby when he fusses. A reader saw us dining in this restaurant and texted me after, saying she saw how Ariel was adept at carrying the baby and even managed to make him sleep. Yup, I guess that is also how I can manage my days without a helper or our parents, because my kids are my best assistants. Phew.

I've already shared my thoughts on turning 38 and how we had a simple celebration as a family on that day. It wasn't anything lavish or fanciful but I enjoyed it because it was my first time being surrounded by not one, not two but FOUR kids. Awww. How blessed am I to have this troop who gave me handmade cards, who made sure I never had a dull moment and who love me to the moon and back.

We have not been visiting the cinema like how we used to, no thanks to Netflix or the pandemic. Yup, we used to go once or twice monthly but now it's like an annual visit only. Nonetheless, we made a trip there to watch Godzilla vs Kong and it was Ansel's first experience too, not that he will remember it since he slept through three-quarters of the show in my arms. Thank you for letting me sit back and enjoy the show!
Back at home, it's been tough trying to keep up with home cooked meals but we do try our best to whip up at least a few meals a week. Even if they are simple, at least I feel that they are healthier and not to mention cooked with love. The hubby also tries to cook a soup or help marinate some dishes when he has a bit of time before going off to work, which really helps to ease my burden because I am usually alone with the kids all the way after that till they go to bed.

Having to juggle chores and a newborn also means I had to step up on my multi-tasking skills! Haha. Luckily, this is not too foreign to me since I've been through it a couple of rounds already. I can do the laundry with a baby on a chest, I can buy hot food from the food court and carry it back to our table (sometimes I don't have a choice because the girls are not around, the baby is crying and Asher is too young to do it on my behalf) and I can also cook while making him sleep too. Practice makes perfect, yeah?
You know what gives me motivation to take care of the baby, despite the need to be with him 24/7? Well, it's the baby too. Haha. I love seeing how he is slowly learning to smile, I love seeing his cute little face, and I love feeling his warm body against mine as we cuddle to sleep. Every time I feel tired or frustrated, I just need to look at him and I will say "You are worth it, my dear" and then I keep going and going.

I think I would have been less exhausted if I didn't need to pump every couple of hours, but the fact that the baby still couldn't latch properly gave me no choice but to keep doing it. No way was I gonna give up on feeding him my breast milk so I just had to hang in there and do it while hoping that things would improve over time.

Every time I managed to pump more than what he needed, it gave me a sense of accomplishment and motivated me to keep going. Seeing how well he took to the bottle and finished every last drop also made me feel thankful knowing that he loves my milk. Hee. I love feeling his fingers grip mine tightly whenever it's feeding time because it makes me feel loved.

That is also why I have been trying lactation brownies, lactation tea, milk powder for mums and lactation meals too. Anything that can help to boost my milk supply, I don't mind taking it. I am so thankful for the sponsors who have stepped in to support me on my breastfeeding journey, it does make me more confident to go on and not give up. My hope is to breastfeed this little one for at least three years, which would mean that I would have breastfed my babies for a combined period of over a decade. Woohoo.

The big girl will be taking her PSLE in less than half a year's time and I'm not sure if I should be worried or not but she seems to be pretty chill about it. I mean, we don't have any tuition and I sometimes wonder if she would lose out but it seems like she is loving the freedom that she gets since she is mostly free after school and on weekends. She plans time to do her own revision, she spends lots of time playing with her siblings, she takes care of the baby and she still gets to go out with us every weekend and watch weekly movies too. I have trust in this girl and if giving her her freedom to do what she wants means she is more motivated to work harder in return, then we shall just keep up with our lifestyle even if we are in the midst of exams.

Besides being a great babysitter, she also surprised me one day by saying that she could go out and dabao food for us. I was half expecting her to say "No" because she is usually hesitant to try new things but this time round, she sprung into action when her siblings were in bed, wrote my food orders on a piece of paper, took her TT token and some money, and skipped out of the door to go to our nearby mall to get chicken rice and fruits for all of us. Awwww. Thank you my dear, that was truly awesome of you and I am so proud that you did it.

So I mentioned that we've been going out more regularly now that I regained my freedom, right? There was something that I've been wanting to try but never got the chance to because of the long queues. It so happened that we passed by one day at a non-peak timing and we finally got our chance to try out Jollibee! Woohoo. It was so yummy and satisfying. The auntie there was so nice to find us an outdoor seat - which was far in the back and obscured - upon seeing that I had three kids and a baby. That's the perk of going out alone with them, there are usually nice folks out there, including those who give up their seats on the MRT for my kids. Thank you all very much!

An indoor picnic? Yup, that was what we did and not once, but twice in the month of April. It would delight the kids every time and they would always be happy to sit at our balcony while eat and chat at the same time. I know, we are truly lucky to get these meals as media drops and it's something I don't take for granted but work hard in return for too.

While I still had three hours of me time on weekday mornings when the kids were in school, these are now gone and in its place, I have three hours of one-on-one time with the baby each day. While I do miss watching my Netflix dramas, doing exercise, scrolling through social media or reading news in peace in the morning, I also know jolly well that this precious phase will soon pass and I had better cherish it while I still can. So yes, baby boy, Mama is truly happy to have you to herself every morning before we go pick Korkor after school, thank you for not letting me be lonely!

Weekends are for family and we always celebrate our Friday with a movie night followed by heading out as a family on Saturday and Sunday. It could be just a walk in the park, an arcade session, trying out a new hawker stall or exploring a nature reserve. As long as we were together, that was all that mattered.

On some days, the big girl would be reluctant to join us as she had lots of homework to do. I always remind her that a family sticks together and no matter how busy we are, we still need to eat, to relax and to spend time with our loved ones. I hope that my nagging works and it's good to see that she takes the initiative to pack her homework into a backpack when we go out. It might be naive thinking but I'm hoping that my kids will still wanna hang out with me even when they are teenagers and adults. That is why we need to build up the habit since young, right?

We had an advanced Mother's Day celebration, thanks to Suntec City, where we had a yummy dim sum treat at Tim Ho Wan. To be frank, I felt stressed as the kids and hubby were famished and I had to stop them from tucking in straightaway in order to get a family shot. The hubby gave me a disapproving look and I was thinking that I should not take up such collaborations in future. But then again, it was a chance for me to get a sponsored meal for my family and my chance to be of a little use and earn something as a stay-at-home mum. So how? To do or not to do? Oh well. We shall just take things one step at a time and I am still very thankful whenever an opportunity comes knocking at the door.

We were also lucky to catch the right timing at the Fountain of Wealth and the kids were excited to walk around and make their wishes. The baby was so fascinated by the water jets and lighting and kept staring upward at them, so cute!

If you follow me on social media, you will see that I've done a good number of giveaways since the year began. To me, that is a way to give back and to spread love to some of you, so I really hope I managed to bring smiles and joy to those who have won goodies in my giveaways. I don't deserve these sponsored items anymore than you do so it's always a blessing to be able to share the love. What I love most about blogging is having this little space to write what I wanna write and say what I wanna say. So thank you for supporting me for so many years and sharing our humble story.

Last but not least, we also celebrated our anniversary with a simple cake bought by the hubby. The girls were so sweet too to remember this date and they made a special card along with a glass jar of origami hearts - one for each of us. They even asked us to sit down on the sofa before walking out to present this to us while saying in unison "Happy Wedding Anniversary, we love you!" Thank you, my dears!

That marks the end of a simple yet special month of April for us. This also means that the baby is no longer considered an newborn already since he turned two months old. Yup, how time flies! Well, one thing is for sure, I'm definitely relishing being a mama of four and I can't wait to see what adventures lie ahead of us. Till the next update!


Post a Comment

Yoohoo, thanks so much for reading my blog and leaving your comment! I am feeling the love! (^.^)