Happiness is... enjoying a different kind of holiday

Posted by ~Summer~ on July 30, 2021

I think we've gotten used to the fact that come the month long holidays, we will not be heading for vacation or going out to explore much. With our nation being in P2HA for the first half of June, this meant that we stayed home most of the time in order to play it safe and do our part to reduce the risk of community spread.

While some people are said to have suffered from cabin fever, I am glad to see that the kids are generally happy to stay home and we don't feel cooped or confined since there is still so much we can do as a family. I always think that how we parents act and feel will in turn determine how our kids act and feel, so first and foremost, I had to make sure that I find my own joy so that I can pass it on to everyone at home.

In this post of "Happiness is...", it's about enjoying a different kind of holiday and how we made the most of what we had.

One good thing about staying home more is that we get to eat more home cooked meals! Although we can't dine out, we can still head to the supermarket to get our groceries and I think I much prefer to whip up simple meals for the family than to order food all the time. There's something heartwarming about sitting together to enjoy a home cooked meal no matter how simple that is and it's something that we look forward to every day. It's a good thing that the kids are not picky - or rather, I don't allow them to be picky since young - and they are always thankful for all the food we cook for them.

Are you a cheesecake lover too? Ariel and I love Oreo Cheesecake and she sweetly asked if we could make it together during the holidays. I have to say it's really hard to do it considering I have a baby stuck to me 24/7 but we managed to do it one day when he was having a nap and you could see the big smile on this girl's face. I think I need to find ways and make time now and then to fill up their love tanks and while it may be hard with four kids with different likes and dislikes, it's just something I have to figure out in this motherhood journey.

We had a very simple Father's Day celebration for the men of our family and I have to give thanks to the hubby and my father-in-law for cooking and to my Dad for bringing over a cake, drinks and fruits for the kids. Yup, we are very blessed to have all of you and I hope you love your handmade cards and gifts of love too!

The K2 boy had his major Show & Tell presentation in June and due to it being the HBL period, he had to do it online. The theme was on animals and he chose to do it on Frogs since we visited the frog farm not long ago. It was supposed to be a parent-and-child project and while I helped him with the Powerpoint slides and script, I was glad to see that he truly put in a lot of effort into reading the words. Yup, this boy is getting so big already, can you believe that he is going to be Primary 1 next year?

It's been years since we began our journey with Heguru yet the kids still look forward to their weekly classes. Thanks to the teachers, we could still have our lessons conducted online and it was a good way to spend our Friday evenings before we had our movie night session. Yup, Fridays are my favourite day of the week, how about you?

Staying home doesn't mean you can't be active, right? Besides doing yoga and having our family dance sessions, we also did archery this time and it was a sport that the kids enjoyed immensely. Yup, you can get this archery set from Decathlon for $40 too. We also love to have indoor camping and it's something I hope we can do later on in the year, even if it means we are just camping on the balcony or in the living room.

Ariel did something remarkable this month and that was coming up with a family activity called Animal Experience Studio where we got to play Bingo, hunt for animal figurines, play Win Lose or Draw and learn animal classification. She said she was inspired by my Halloween party last year which was really heartening to hear but you know what, hers involved lots of effort and I was amazed by her determination. Take for instance, the Bingo cards were all hand drawn by her and I can only imagine how much time it took. We made it to the news in Sunday Times where they featured us playing her game and they even published a banner that she designed on the white board. How cool is that? So you see, all it takes is some creativity and stay home holidays can still be very fun!

If you don't have time to design any games, then playing board games or card games can also be a fun way for the family to have a good time. We have been playing Uno, Monopoly Deal, Dos, Dweebies and our latest addition is Pictionary Air! The kids love it because they love to draw and guess, and it's really a good way to get the family to come together on a weekend. Does your family love playing games too?

Most of my time is still spent on the baby these days because he is a clingy little one, which is not surprisingly since his siblings were like that at this age too. He is starting to recognise us and at times, he only wants Mama to carry and no on else so I have to stop whatever I am doing to attend to him. That also explains why I have much less time to blog these days but I don't intend to quit so don't give up on me, yeah?

Oh yes, I gave him his first haircut this month too! I know many friends told us how envious they are of Ansel's thick mop of hair but it is also getting so long that it makes him perspire and gets into his face and eyes. So, I decided to trim it! It's not easy because this baby can't even sit properly yet. Luckily, I had Ariel who could help me to hold him while I cut. If you follow my IG, you might know that he also has some white spots on his neck and back so I am hoping that I can keep these areas cleaner and that the spots will clear up soon.

I brought the baby for his vaccination at the polyclinic and since Ariel was at home, she followed us too and was a great help in carrying the little brother. In fact, the nurses were so amazed by her professionalism at such a young age and we had a long chat on how old is she, when did she start carrying the baby, how she could do it with such ease and so on. Haha. I knew she was shy yet happy to hear the praises but she truly is a gem. I've said it before but I am thankful to have two daughters who can help me reduce the burden of taking care of this baby. He was a trooper during the jabs and only cried for a matter of seconds before he showed us his big, toothless grin once more. Yup, this boy is a happy boy who smiles a lot every day and that in turn makes all of us happy too.

Since it is now free to make passports for babies below one year of age, I tried taking photos of Ansel even though we will not be heading overseas for a long time to come. It made me laugh out loud because this boy just had so many expressions in a minute and some of them looked so hilariously cute. Haha. Awwww, having a baby just brings so much joy in so many ways. Anyway, I did find one which was suitable and yes, he now has his own passport already, woohoo! Let's see when we will finally get to use it.

It seems like June was packed with milestones for the littlest one, isn't it? He also went for his first dip in the pool after I managed to find some hand me down swimwear in Asher's wardrobe. I think he was a little scared and curious at first but I have no doubt he will soon love to be in the water like his older siblings. Yup, I'm definitely looking forward to bringing all of them to the pool more often!

One-on-one breakfasts are rare yet awesome and we were glad to be able to finally eat out when P2HA was over. Since school began a week later for this girl, we found time for a McDonalds breakfast when the rest were in school and the baby was fast asleep. She is always very happy to have some time alone with me and doesn't hide her joy. All I can hope is that they will still love to hang out with me even when they become teenagers or adults.

On the last week of the June holidays, I took the kids to watch Raya and the Last Dragon since we had free movie passes from Shaw Theatres. Yup, it was me vs four kids. Many people asked how I do it but the answer is because the kids are used to watching movies (we have weekly movie nights at home, remember?) since young and it seems like Ansel is getting to be good at it too and cooperates most of the time by sleeping or just being quiet. Haha. It was a good outing and everyone was happy though we got home late.

Right, more baby pictures again! Haha. Well, I guess he is the centre of attention for now and we've been taking photos and videos of him whenever he does something cute, unexpected or new. The siblings call him "the best gift ever" and that is really sweet to hear. In fact, although he came right in the midst of the pandemic, I think he joined our family at a good time because he lightens our mood, cheers up our day and brings so much joy to our hearts. It's a feeling I can't describe but I am just really, really glad that he is here with us. Watch his 4th month video here and hear his goo goo ga gas.

Having a bunch of kids at home definitely makes it rowdy, messy and chaotic and I have battles to fight every single day. But, there is also this intangible, priceless reward of seeing them bond, protect and care for each other. We always give each other good nights hugs and kisses and just seeing how they would kiss each other every night, that warms my heart and makes me grateful to have each and every of them. 拥有你们,是我的福气。

We are thankful for all the media drops, sponsorships and collaborations in the past few months. They keep me super busy yet gives me a purpose in life too. It makes me feel like at least I am contributing a little more to the family other than cooking, cleaning and doing laundry, you know what I mean? Yup, every little bit helps and every little bit counts. I have also done a good handful of giveaways this year and hope to keep it up so that I can bring a little joy to some of you too. If you are reading this, thanks for supporting this blog all this while!

Whenever our babies turn four months old, we will have a food ceremony for him/her whereby he/she will get a taste of a chicken drumstick, a prawn, a biscuit, an apple and brown rice. On the very day that Ansel became four months old, the siblings and I were so excited to get this going. Yup, it might be my fourth time doing this yet it still felt so special to me. Watch the full video here. From the looks of it, it seems like this boy will be one who loves to eat and I definitely hope he will learn to enjoy his food! I know I will be even busier once I need to start cooking and preparing his food but I'm also looking forward to this new journey with him too.

When it was safer to head outdoors, I decided to bring the kids to the zoo on a weekday where it wouldn't be crowded. Yup, it was me vs my diaper bag, stroller, drinks and snacks, fruits and the kids. I guess the age gap is a reason why I am so confident and comfortable with bringing the whole troop out because I know the elder ones can help and will be able to listen. Okay, that doesn't mean they don't bicker - in fact, they do very often - but at least I am quite sure that I can handle everything that comes my way when we are out.

It was Ansel's first trip to the zoo and a memorable one for us. We took the tram, we walked up the slopes, we saw many animals including giraffes, baboons, meerkats, penguins, rhinoceros, zebras, white tigers, lions, babirusas and wallabies too. We also took the tram and while it was a little hard having to fold the stroller and handle everything, we did it together and had a good time with our animal friends.

Wait, the day hasn't ended! In the afternoon, we hopped over to the River Safari so that we could have the best of both worlds in one day, woohoo! I like coming here because it's sheltered, we get to see Kai Kai and Jia Jia, we like to admire the huge tanks with all the marine animals and the kids love spotting every of them.

I think it was pretty amazing that we stayed out all the way till the parks closed at 6pm and that means we walked quite a fair bit for the day. It will definitely be a memorable day for all of us, like how it was our first time having KFC takeaway on a bench and in the nursing room.

While we prefer to stay away from crowded places like shopping malls, one place that we will make it a point to visit is nature reserves! So far, we've visited Chestnut Nature Park, Thomsom Nature Park, MacRitchie Reservoir, Coney Island, Windsor Nature Park, Upper Pierce Reservoir and the latest one we headed to was Hampstead Wetlands Park. My kids are always fascinated by the living creatures - yes, we prefer animals to plants - and love coming up close with them. Not only is this a good way to keep them engaged, it is also a good way to bond, to learn and to stay healthy too.

We didn't expect to find a saga seed tree there so that was totally an unexpected bonus. These kids are always happy to pick up love seeds and it's hard to stop them once they start. So we spent a good amount of time under the sun as they picked up seed after seed. I remember doing that as a kid too and all the joy it brought, so I am glad that such simple acts can bring happiness to my children too.

The kids also had fun in this aeroplane playground after our visit to the park and we let them because it was sunny that day, meaning not crowded, hee. The girls might be getting bigger and taller but it's nice to see that they still love hanging out in such kiddy places with the brother and the three of them still have lots of fun together. That is something that I wish will stay no matter how old they get and it is my hope that they will always enjoy each other's company.

That sums up our June holidays and I think it was a pretty fun and happy month for us even though we stayed home most of the time. I sure hope you had an awesome one too. Till more updates in July!


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