Happiness is.... being grateful for busyness

Posted by ~Summer~ on August 12, 2022
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Living in a first world country like Singapore, we tend to lead a fast-paced life, do a million things a day and are always rushing from one place to another.

While I like to remind myself to slow down, take things at a leisurely pace and treasure what life has to offer, I am at the same time grateful for being able to lead this hectic life that takes me to places, allows me to dream and makes every day a fulfilling one for me.

Being busy as a parent means I have kids to care for, a home to look after, tummies to feed, wounds to heal and minds to teach. As a stay-at-home mum, I am always busy cooking, washing, tidying, cleaning and taking care of the little ones but I also like to think of myself as a fun-loving mum who isn't afraid to try new experiences, explore new places and one who likes to keep the child in me alive.

In this "Happiness is.." post, it's about being thankful for busyness and loving the life I am living.

We might not be planning for any vacation for the time being but that doesn't mean we can't go sightseeing and exploring around our sunny island.

Oh wait, what? Snow on a sunny day in Singapore? Yes, we had a wonderful snow experience with Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang! Our friends saw our video (go here) and thought we were overseas! Well, actually we were in Changi Airport T3 and it's not every day that you get to visit a snow hangout and experience real snow. The kids were freezing cold yet grateful for this brief but super cool experience.

It was a truly memorable mum-and-kids outing and one that left behind fond memories for a long time to come.

Gardens by the Bay is one of our favourite places to visit and while the hubby was busy working on one Saturday, the kids and I took the train to town and made our way to the Gardens to join in Children's: Around the World by Kiztopia. 

It was a pity that we weren't allowed to jump on the inflatables but the kids did enjoy the mini sports games and craft stations. I love how we get to try new things on weekends even though it can be a little tiring bringing the entire brood out. Thankfully, the kids can be quite helpful (when they are not bickering) and they are very accustomed to travelling by public transport too.

My parents have never been to River Wonders so I figure it was high time that we did so. We brought them to explore each and every corner, got us good seats for the Once Upon A River show and we also went on the Amazon River Quest boat ride. My Dad said it reminded them of the old one at Haw Par Villa and I remember that and wish we had more steep slides and fun rapids on the ride too.

Our journey with HeART Studio came to a finish in May after over nine long years. Yup, I remember Ariel was still a baby when the sister had her first lesson here and now, she is turning 10 soon and is a big sister to two younger ones.

We are very grateful to the teachers and it has truly been an enjoyable journey. But now that the kids have started learning Taekwondo and I am the parent who likes to limit their enrichment lessons to just a couple a week, something has to give. I still hope we can draw, paint and craft at home often though!

Oh and as for TWD, the kids all passed their second grading exams and are having fun as they learn. I like that this sport trains them to be disciplined and builds up their self confidence too, so hopefully we can keep it up!

Staycation time! We are always thankful for every staycation collaboration, even if it is a rushed 1-night stay or that Mama has lots of work to do on the same day and after checking out. It's something I get to work hard and 'earn' for my family and such rare offers are very much cherished. We had a fun-filled 2D1N stay at Village Katong Hotel and the kids enjoyed the line-up of fun activities including Nerf gun, movie marathon, hand painting and balloon sculpting. I got to eat Katong Laksa which I missed so much but too bad the kids can't really appreciate it yet, too spicy for their liking.

We also went on a exploration trail around Katong and to my amazement, the kids walked for two hours under the hot sun without much complaint. Well done, you all totally deserve the ice cream treat at the end. I think walking trails are actually very fun and serve as a good way for us to explore as a family and pick up some new knowledge too.

Feeding goats is one of the kids' favourite activity so we made our way to Hay Diaries one weekend. It's very far from our home so we only go when the hubby is around to drive us there. It wasn't Ansel's first visit but the last we came, he was still a baby in our arms. Now, he can walk around, feed the hay to the goats and even pet them too, much to his delight. Check out our video here.

Guess who is the best swimmer in our family? It's Ariel! She took her Silver Swimsafer test and passed it with ease. The baby and I accompanied her to the pool while the rest stayed at home. Seeing her gliding in the water and waving to me whenever she could, my heart swelled with pride. You go, girl!

It's been harder to find time on weekends to go to nature parks because om some days, the hubby is not free, or I am just too tired, or we need to attend events, or catch up with the parents. Right, they all sound like excuses now that I think of it. Anyway, we did make a trip to Sungei Buloh and we saw so many pit vipers there that day!

The baby started walking at 14 months old and nowadays, he loves to walk around to explore, look around, touch everything he sees and be curious about the world around him. It's harder to look after an active toddler rather than a baby who can't move around much, right? Thankfully, I have the others to help and they are always only too happy to carry him, hold his hand, play with him and look after him. It's truly nice to be the youngest in the family and know that there are so many people who love and dote on you. You are blessed, baby Ansel!

The youngest has also embarked on his Heguru journey with Heguru Education and I am happy to accompany him for this weekly class. It's the only class he goes too and although it lasts only 50 minutes or so, the lesson is jam packed with lots of learning and fun activities for him. Judging by how it has benefited his elder siblings, I can't wait to see how far he goes in this journey. Check out my IG highlights to read more yeah.

With four kids, it's never easy to find one-on-one time, especially since the baby sticks with me 24/7 and follows me no matter where I am. Still, I know the importance of carving out such sessions and I was glad to have spent some precious bonding time with the big girl over a cheesecake and iced chocolate while the baby was sleeping in the pram. She is turning into a teenager soon and I hope she will still love hanging out with me no matter how old she grows. Mama will always have time for you, yeah?

Do you love to visit neighbourhood playgrounds too? We do and like I always say, we are so lucky to have so many playgrounds and fitness corners to visit in Singapore. It's fun for free and a reminder that you don't need to spend a bomb to make kids happy. In fact, we haven't been to indoor playgrounds for a long, long time because they are too expensive. However, I love to bring the kids out to scoot, roller blade, cycle and just let them play catching at the playgrounds.

See? Even the little one loves to scoot these days. Haha. Thankful for having the elder ones to help push him along if not Mama will be even more 腰酸背痛. But those smiles, those big bright smiles, they remind me that every tired day is so worthwhile, you know what I mean?

We received our Hamilton Z1 stroller and it's our first sponsored one, woohoo! Probably last too, haha. Asher was even more elated than the little brother because he saw the wheeled board and knew that it was for him. Yup, pretty cool, right? The baby stays snug in the pram while the older one sits behind and tags along. It's a little harder for me to push but oh well, anything for my boys! Looking at these pictures, I realised I've lost weight recently and the thing is, I didn't even exercise because I don't have time to! The power of housework, haha.

On the day that June holidays began, I brought the kids to Tampines Hub for a fun-filled family event and they got to go on bouncy castles and slides, play tag, chase after balloons and go on carnival rides too! I took Ansel with me on the robot and UFO ride and they were way cool! Yup, I keep telling myself to remember to play WITH the kids instead of just letting them play on their own, to keep the child in me alive and to show the kids that you are never too old to try new experiences or let your hair down to have some fun.

Family means everything to us and no matter how busy life gets, there is always time to have a home cooked meal with the people who matter. It's nice that we get to bring our parents together for gatherings knowing that they get along well. I always remind the kids that they are blessed to have four healthy grandparents who dote on them and love them. Growing up, I only had my beloved Popo and now that she is gone, the hole in my heart still feels so empty.

May also marks the hubby's birthday and we had a nice meal in the Soup Restaurant and the staff even gave us a plate of yummy 寿桃. He might be very busy working on weekdays but that is also why weekends are so precious to us because it's family time. Even if we just idle at home to watch a movie, go for a swim or have dinner at the kopitiam, what matters is that we are together as a family.

That concludes our month of May and I still have so many happenings to share with you soon! Yup, being busy can be a good thing and it's something I am learning to be grateful for instead of complaining about. Till the next post!



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