Happiness is... treasuring each other

Posted by ~Summer~ on February 14, 2022
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2021 has been a year filled with ups and downs for me on a personal level. It was the year I gave birth to my fourth and last baby, and also the year that I bade farewell to my precious, beloved grandma. Life comes, life goes, nothing stays forever.

It wasn't hard to get through the grieving process - I still don't know if I've gotten over it - but having a newborn with me 24/7 made things a little easier to bear. I still look up at the stars every now and then wondering how Popo is now and I look at her photos every day too. Baby Ansel might have only seen her a couple of times but he now points at her photo every time I ask him "Where is Tai Po?", which is something very heartwarming for me.

December marked a whole month of school holidays as well as birthdays, graduations and many other milestones for the kids. I still want them to live life as happily and as fulfilling as possible, therefore even when I felt down or lethargic, I still made sure I brought them out for some fresh air, for play and for bonding time as a family. 

In this post of "Happiness is...", it's about making sure we cherish our loved ones deeply and never take life for granted. Give hugs, plant kisses, spark joy, make memories every day so that we will live a life with no regrets.


It's been a long time since we've been to media events and we are thankful for every opportunity that comes our way. Like I said before, it doesn't fall from the sky and I put in hours, if not days, of work behind the scene to rightfully earn what we received. Nonetheless, it gives me joy to be able to share our experience and makes me even happier when I get to do giveaways for my readers and spread the love.

Thanks to Changi Airport, we went for a 5-hour glam-party at Jewel Changi Airport (watch our video here) and I managed to keep it a surprise from the kids till we reached the venue, woohoo! Since two of them have their birthdays in December, I also brought along two small slices of cake so that we could have a unique cake-cutting ceremony in the comfort of our tent.

I think it must have been fated that our TV didn't work because we couldn't find the right cable to connect my phone. So we actually spent all the time eating, chatting, dancing, playing games and watching the Rain Vortex show. It was a truly fun and memorable evening for the kids and I know they are going to remember this day for a long time to come.

Holidays means outdoor time and I try to include sports and fun whenever we can. The kids are always excited to go to the park to roller blade, scoot or cycle. So even if it means I have to lug a whole bag of protective gear - most of our equipment are bought from Decathlon - I will still willingly do it just to see those big smiles. Oh, not to forget that the baby follows us everywhere we go too so it's no wonder my back has been aching recently, haha.

It's been a couple of months since the kids began their TaeKwonDo lessons and what started off as a holiday activity looks like it might be here to stay for a longer period of time. I have to once again say I'm so thankful for such PA courses which are highly affordable - each lesson is 1.5hrs and costs under $5 per kid in our case - because it allows mums like me to expose the kids to more sports. We don't mind that it takes place in a pavilion among the void decks instead of an air-conditioned studio and most importantly, the kids are enjoying themselves and having fun learning!

Asher graduated from kindergarten! Yup, we were very blessed and privileged to be able to attend a graduation concert that the school painstakingly planned in the midst of the pandemic. I heard most schools did it via zoom so I'm indeed thankful that we got to see our kids on stage in an intimate and cosy setting.

He danced, he gave a speech, he received his graduation cert, he performed in a skit, he read a Chinese poem and the whole night was a blast! I was so touched to see how far this boy has come and it still seems so surreal to know that he will be heading to Primary One in 2022. You did such an awesome job, dear Asher! I know, I need to find time to sit down and blog about your special graduation night as well as make you a video to remember those fond memories for life. And I will! Just give me some time, will ya?

Kudos to Ariel for being the emcee at the concert too! It's the first time she took on an emcee gig and she agreed without any hesitation when she was first approached. You looked so pretty and you spoke so eloquently, my love!

We've come to love staying home too and instead of feeling cooped up, I think it's up to us to find ways to inject some fun, creativity and joy into such days. For us, one of the things that never fail to bring smiles is having a home picnic! Yup, we had McDonalds right in our balcony and although it looks so straightforward in the photo, the fact is every time this happens, I have to spend a good amount of time clearing up the mess, shifting things to make space and cleaning up after. Still, it is definitely worthwhile and I hope we can keep the picnics coming.

We also love playing games and these include board games, card games, puzzle games or any self-invented games too. I think it's so important for the family to find time to come together and just have fun playing, don't you think so too? Be it a simple game of Uno or Old Maid, completing a jigsaw puzzle or having a round of charades, I think it matters that we give our time wholeheartedly to our kids and let them know that we are truly present beside them.

Many of you ask how do I handle four kids and still bring them to so many fun places on solo parenting days, and I always reply that practice makes perfect. Okay, it will never be perfect but it will get better over time. It also helps that my kids have a good age gap so my girls can help me to take care of the younger ones. It'll be totally a different story if I had quadruplets! 

Here are some of the things we did and places we went - just me and the kids. It's funny how my kids always tell me "You are the best Mum because you bring us to so many fun places" and I would teasingly ask "So I'm not a good Mama if I don't bring you out?" Of course, they would clarify and reiterate their love for me, and say I will always be the best no matter what. Still, I know they love hanging out with me and it's something I hope we will continue to do even when they grow into teens or adults.

We attended the movie preview of Sing 2 and had a blast at VivoCity the entire day, going to the arcade, shopping and having a nice lunch and dinner. As usual, it's not as easy as it seems, for instance the baby was fidgety for half the show and wanted to come down to walk along the aisle, or the kids would be throwing tantrums here and there. 不要怀疑, I face the same thing that you face too but I've learnt to look on the bright side of life, stay positive and be determined to make each day a good day as best as I can.

While the kids still enjoy bouncy castles, we also like to attend any Jumptopia events because they always have such a fun time jumping here and here. We went to the newest outlet at Gardens by the Bay early one Saturday and it was worth the trip because the kids had lots of fun! The good thing about having more kids is that they can play tag with each other even if we don't bump into any friends, haha.

We also visited Jewel a couple more times and this time, we had A&W, visited Canopy Park and Changi Experience Studio too! Even if we've been to all these places previously already, the kids were still ecstatic to get a chance to play and it makes a huge difference having the baby too - they are always eager to carry the baby and introduce him to all the new, fun things!

I might not be posting my Creativity 521 posts these days but it doesn't mean we don't craft at all. It's always fun trying to do some creative projects with the kids and in December, we made use of our inkless pocket printers from Poooliprint to make birthday cards. Read my review to find out how it works and get a 15% discount code too.

Just so you know, we have built up this habit of making birthday cards for each other and the kids also do cards for all of their grandparents on their birthdays every year. Yup, without fail. It might be a simple card but it always speaks volumes of love and I'm proud to see them put their heart and soul into decorating and writing every single one.

We've been cooking less this month since we go out almost every day but when we get the chance to, we still do because nothing beats home cooked food. Chef Ariel helped me out with making prawn noodle soup one day and it's awesome seeing how she enjoys being in the kitchen with me. Let's hope we can continue to do so even when she goes to upper Primary!

Many of you have been following us since Ansel's birth and witnessing every of his growing up milestone too. So yes, here are more photos of this baby who has turned 10 months old just before Christmas! I know, how time flies, right? He is getting bigger by the day but is still the cutie pie who makes me laugh and the bundle of sunshine who makes my day brighter.

What is his current favourite snack? Without a doubt, Gerber puffs! We call them star biscuits and I can only say they are a lifesaver at times because they calm him down and make him happy. Yup, I'm glad to see you enjoying your food at mealtimes, my dear.

This boy has a truly contagious laughter and he never fails to make all of us chuckle too whenever he starts to laugh. It's amazing how he can chase away the blues, make me forget the fatique and just turn a horrid day into a happy one. And the thing is, he always laughs at the simplest of things and is my constant reminder that 幸福其实很简单.You are such a precious gift to our family, dear baby Ansel, and we love you to the moon and back infinite times. 你的笑容是我前进的动力!

The kids and I also dressed up and had a truly yummylicious Christmas feast (see our video here), thanks to NTUC Fairprice. Well, it might have been a sponsored collaboration and one which took lots of hours to set up and prepare behind the scene - in between caring for the kids - but I think we all enjoyed that night and went to bed with full stomachs and happy hearts.

The end of year marks the start of another and in preparing for the big changes coming in 2022, including a kid going P1, one going upper Primary and the other going Sec 1, we've been busy with getting the school essentials like books and uniforms too. I always like to involve the kids so they have to chip in with the book wrapping and writing of their names too. Yup, even the boy did it and I'm proud to see how he tried his utmost to be neat.

Birthday celebrations this year have been kept fairly simple and since it's tough getting guests over to our home due to the pandemic rules, I let Asher and Ariel each decide where they wanted to visit on their birthdays. Yes, I need to write about this in depth soon but here's a quick summary.

Asher loves the cable car and since it's been so long since we went, he wanted to go on board again! The thing about having a family of six means we have to split up in most places and in this case, while I brought the kids on the cable car ride, the hubby made his way into Sentosa on his own - not that he was complaining because he got peace and even managed to nap. We then made our way to S.E.A. Aquarium and it was fun getting up close with marine life and even touching sea stars and sea cucumbers too.

As for Ariel, she decided that we should visit the Bird Park which was a welcome choice since we have the Friends of Wildlife membership. Her favourite activity is bird feeding so weeks before the big day, I had already booked the feeding slots to ensure that we could participate in the highly popular sessions. We fed the lory birds, penguins, pelicans and African treetop birds - which was as much as you could do in a day.

Instead of a cake, she also said we could just have a banana split at home and so we did - using bananas, strawberries and existing ice cream in our fridge. Thank you for being so easily contented and I hope you enjoyed your special day, Ariel. 希望你永远能知足常乐!

Christmas, for us, is a time to spend with our family and let them know how much they are loved. While the kids were thrilled to receive gifts from Santa as well as friends, we were just happy to see their big smiles. Oh, the girls and I also went for our first salon haircut together and it was a girls' date that we thoroughly enjoyed while the hubby took the sons to shop.

My parents never celebrated Christmas when I was a kid but I'm glad to see how we have come to love this season of giving. It's also a time for us to come together as a family and more than the presents, the presence is really what matter. Yup, we might not celebrate this season for spiritual or religious reasons but we do it so that the family can get together to enjoy a home cooked meal, catch up with each other and feel the love and bliss in the air.

With that, we say goodbye to the year 2021 and I'm truly thankful for all the good things that made me happier and also the bad things that made me stronger. Every year will be filled with ups and downs but I wish to look forward to 2022 with a thankful heart and positive mindset. 

Thanks to everyone for following this blog and our humble happenings in the past years and may 2022 be a wonderful year for all of you! Happy, happy new year!


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