Happiness is... cherishing family time

Posted by ~Summer~ on December 15, 2022
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I love school holidays because it means we get to spend more time together as a family. It doesn't matter if we do not travel overseas, all that matters is that we are creating precious memories, spending quality time together, and making the most of what we have.

This year seemed to have flown by with a baby turning into a toddler in the blink of an eye, a Primary 1 kid who had to adjust to a new school, a upper Primary kid who had to juggle her dance SYF and increased academic workload, and a Secondary 1 kid who made friends in a new environment and experienced the fun and stressfulness of this new phase in life. While the September holidays might be short, it was a good retreat for us. With all the hustle and bustle, we really ought to remind ourselves to take it a little slower in life and see the goodness around us.

In this post of "Happiness is...", it's about taking time off in our busy lives - we will always be busy with one thing or another - to spend it with the people who matter and cherishing every such moment.


We had booked a chalet getaway months before the September school holidays and I was very much looking forward to it because it meant that the hubby would be taking time off work to be with us and that we would get to indulge in barbecued food and invite our parents over for a gathering.

Indeed, it was a such a wonderful 3D2N time we had as we took a walk at the beach during sunset, sang karaoke, held a barbecue, played board games and video games, played badminton, watched movie and so much more.

The hubby was not free on the first night but we had our parents over and it was nice letting the kids bond with their grandparents too. My Dad played games with them while the kids also learnt to operate the karaoke system so they could help the grandparents to 点歌

I reminded myself to put my phone away more so that I could be more present when I was with the kids and just savour every moment we had. I told the big girl the same thing too now that she has her own phone and I hope my kids will learn that no electronic device can ever replace the kind of family bonding we have.

I see them so happy to playing with a balloon and hitting it to one another and it's the kind of simple joy I wanna capture in my heart forever. Hopefully, we will always remember that life can be very simple at times if we learn not to complicate it, and that happiness doesn't have to take much.

We also invited the extended family over and the kids are always very happy to gather with their cousins. The kids celebrated one of their cousin's birthday and played with a pinata which ended up spilling skittles all over the floor but it was the fun process that mattered.

In an effort to make our trip more meaningful, we also armed ourselves with tongs and garbage bags to do a beach clean-up. It was a sunny, hot day but we persevered and we were so appalled by the amount of rubbish we picked up and the kids couldn't comprehend why people had to leave so much litter, especially plastic, along the beach instead of throwing them into rubbish bins. Well, it beats me too but I think we should do this clean-up more often because every little effort counts, right?

We had a last minute staycation at Ibis Styles on Macpherson and the kids were only too happy and grateful to be invited back again. Staycations are a luxury so we never take any of ours for granted and I cherish such review opportunities a lot. I am also thankful that I get to do giveaways every now and then so I can spread some love and joy to my followers too and it's the least I can do to thank you for your support all along.

We tried out their new hotpot menu and it was nice dining by the pool at Chow Cafe. The place was peaceful and breezy and I enjoyed that meal with the kids even though we had to take turns to look after the toddler who is nowadays very energetic and can hardly sit still.

The highlight of the stay was a Junior Olympic pool contest and the kids had fun shooting ducks, finding eggs, sliding down and shooting hoops. It's one of our favourite pools so far and we could easily spend the whole afternoon here. The kids were so happy that Papa could be with us and being together as a family made everything so much more enjoyable.

Since this month is about making time for our loved ones, we decided to do something a little special and unique. That is to have a family painting session! We had a good time at Paintblush and spent a good few hours choosing our animals to paint and even added meaningful quotes too. This was a fun experience for the kids and I hope to put our paintings up on our wall soon.

The kids and I love to dine out sometimes and one of our favourite fast food joints is Jollibee! Yup, we all love the fried chicken and while the kids enjoy their spaghetti, I like the nasi lemak. The youngesr one has started on fries already - it gets harder to stop them from eating junk when there are elder siblings who like to enjoy a treat here and there - and while I try to limit it, I also let him indulge every once in a while.

In wanting to make the most of our holiday, the kids and I also went for a pasta making workshop at Pastamania. It was an eye opener for us and we loved getting our hands dirty as we made our very own cannelloni, fettucine and spaghetti. The cannelloni was finger licking good and we ate it heartily when we got home. Yummy!

The little one finally received his final childhood immunisation on at the polyclinic and we are done with needles and syringes for now, woohoo! With him being my last baby, I actually think I will miss this feeling as I enjoy such one-on-one mornings with him because we will go out for breakfast or grocery shopping after. Thank you for being a trooper when you take your jabs, baby Ansel, you don't kick up a fuss and your cries always stop promptly when I carry and sayang you.

A less pleasant thing that happened in September was that both Ansel and I struck lottery and were tested positive for Covid. It is his second time already and my heart really ached seeing him in pain. So despite the fact that I was feeling the chills and was super lethargic, I had to care for him and made sure he got well soon. It was a relief that the siblings could all go to school and come home on their own and together, we made it through those that tough, draining week.

Looks like a girl, right? Haha. I know, it's the hair but we love his hair and don't intend to cut it too short for now. We still get many comments from passers-by who call him 小妹妹 and it always makes us chuckle.

I can't describe how relieved and happy I was when I could finally bring him out to gai gai again! It was so nice to be out in the sun once more after being cooped at home for so many days. It was also a load off my shoulder to see that he had recovered and was no longer feeling feverish. It's never easy taking care of a sick child and these ordeals make us stronger as parents. 做父母的真的只希望孩子们能健康、茁壮成长。

September is also a time for us to show our gratitude for our teachers and coaches. The kids worked together to create DIY bookmarks which contained their drawings and personalised message, and we also printed out photos to put into frames for every teacher as a keepsake. I hope they liked our handmade gifts because they are always so much more sincere and heartfelt than store bought ones.

Ansel has been enjoying his weekly Heguru lesson and I love that I get to accompany him for his class every week. It is a form of parent-and-child bonding for us and I get to witness firsthand his development and share his every milestone. The fast-paced activities keep him engaged and I can see his gradual improvement in terms of hand-and-eye coordination, counting, memory and puzzle solving. I will share more of our journey in my IG so do keep a lookout or feel free to DM us if you have any questions too.

Last but not least, we also celebrated Mid-Autumn Festival this month with our family. Besides having a hearty home cooked dinner and different flavoured mooncakes, we kept our tradition of playing with sparklers and taking lanterns to walk around the neighbourhood. This was especially enjoyable as the kids were with their cousins and it was really a 月圆人团圆 evening for us. See our DIY lanterns? They have served us so well for so many years and are still going strong - except for a Mickey one that accidentally burnt a couple of years back. Maybe we should do new ones next year already, it would be fun to create something out of nothing with the kids.

So that marks the end of a fulfilling, fun-filled month of September that was packed with family moments and precious memories. I might be lagging behind in jotting down these "Happiness is..." posts but I will keep them coming so as to document our parenting journey and family life. Thank you for reading and I hope you will have a fabulous time for the rest of 2022, yeah? Till my next post!


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