Finding Nemo 2017

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No professional maternity photos for this pregnancy, this will have to suffice LOL

New Year is finally here, and guess what? 39 weeks today, and Nemo is still comfortably swimming in the fish tank. O Nemo, what art thou? Mommy and daddy, and both your sisters are eagerly waiting for you to come meet us.

Still apprehensive about coming out? Well, I just want to reassure you that you’ll be in good hands when you do arrive into the family. You see, I already have your 2 sisters as guinea pigs. Your sisters, well mainly your eldest sister Big Warrior, had to endure many ups and downs with me. What with the sleep training, flash cards, stressful toilet trainings, etc. I will forever carry the guilt of experimenting first time parenting with her, but I’ve learnt to move on and hope that she will forgive me one day. Through her, I made numerous parenting mistakes, I fell into a parental black hole and got lost, I stood back up, went against the tide, found myself again, and have since emerged stronger and more confident with my parenting choice and style.

Your second sister, Little Warrior, had it better. Although I still have a lot to learn as a mother (we learn something new everyday), I can see that she’s having a much better childhood than Big Warrior. With more parenting experiences and giving less f***s about what other people say, there’s less stress in the household, more laughters, and more enjoyable family moments around.

So you see, Nemo, you will probably have it the easiest compared to both your sisters. I promise you that you will never have to go through harsh Cry-It-Out sleep training (in fact, you will be bed-sharing with me until you’re ready to move into your own bedroom). I promise you will never have to learn how to hold your wees and poos at the ridiculous age of 1 or 2 (you will get there when you’re ready I assure you, and mommy and daddy will be with you every step of the way). You will not be forced into sitting in a classroom at freaking 6 months old to watch some silly lady flash 20 flash cards within 20 seconds. I will endeavour to make sure you will not have a mommy who is so depressed and stressed out during the first weeks of your life, just because everybody is invading her personal space and giving her unwarranted parenting advice on what she should and should not do (remind me again to thank your daddy for keeping me sane). I promise I will not let anyone harm you physically, mentally nor emotionally.

You will be deeply loved by your family. You will have as little interventions as possible to your birth and childhood, so that you will grow up as how it’s always meant to be. You will grow up with 2 big sisters who already adore you before they’ve even met you. You will spend your life in a household full of laughter and joy (with some tears and fights in between). You will take your time growing up, and bed share with your parents and siblings till you’re old enough to move into your own room. You will live your life as it’s meant to be, with us your family.

We hope to see you soon, our little Nemo. It shan’t be too long now till you arrive to complete our little family of 5, it is already 2017. Don’t take too long finding your way out of the fish tank. We love you.

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My darlings, it’s the little things that count…

My dearest daughters,

It’s Christmas Eve and we haven’t got any plans because mommy wasn’t in the mood to prepare anything as we weren’t sure when the stork planned to drop Nemo off to us. But it is the season to be thankful, and even though I’m thankful everyday for your existence, I still feel there’s no better time to let you know that I really really really appreciate you and that I’m truly blessed that you’re in my life.

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So… on this festive day where other children are running around playing and getting into the Christmas mood, we spent the morning cleaning the house, and washing the guest room bedsheets so that when your grandparents come next week, they won’t be stepping into a pig sty and that they’ll have a clean bed to sleep on. 😅

 

At a tender age of 5 and 2, I’m so proud and touched that you both have such good heads on your shoulders, and amazingly big hearts. You were so happy to help out with the cleaning, by taking out the sheets, sweeping the floor, throwing the dirty laundry into the wash, packing away your toys, etc, which made my whole morning of chores so much easier and enjoyable. You never once complained. Even though I silently think that it’s because you’re actually too young to understand what all the Christmas hype is about. LOL. But what touched me the most, was how receptive you were, helping me up whenever I had to kneel down to get stuff done. You knew it was difficult for me to stand back up whenever I’m seated on the floor (with Nemo growing big in my tummy). You would always try to lift me up with your tiny little bodies, fearing I would fall over because I seem to be out of balance most of the time. You would also both take turns sitting on each other’s lap because you didn’t want to hurt Nemo by sitting on mine.

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My little darlings, I don’t need multiple stars in your reward charts (thankfully this isn’t a practise at your school), or excellent Math grades on a piece of paper. Those aren’t important to me. What is important to me, and very honestly more important for you, is that you both have good hearts and strong emotional foundations to grow as a person. Have a kind heart, be empathetic, help others according to your capability, respect those who deserves it, and love those around you. Focus on these so-called little things, it’s how you are as a person that will bring you far in life, my children.

 

With your hearts full of gold, you will definitely go far and beyond. I can only pray that in your journey to adulthood, you’ll have more confidence to be kind, empathetic and being firm in what you believe is right (even if it means going against the tide). I pray that you’ll be happy always and not let anyone push you around into doing things that you’re unhappy or uncomfortable with (please learn how to say no, but that’s another story for another day). I pray that you will have the freedom to be able to chase your dreams, regardless of what society says. I pray that you will grow up to cherish your strong and amazing sister relationship, and don’t let anything come in between you, not even us, your parents.

 

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As I watch you both grow and blossom into beautiful strong young ladies, I couldn’t be prouder to call you my children. I just really wanted you to know that. And remember, it’s the little things that count.

 

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p/s Merry Christmas my little darlings! You’ve been such angels, I’m sure Santa has some surprises for you tonight. 😉

 

Eviction Notice

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Dear “Nemo”,

I hope you’ve enjoyed your 9 months stay at your current rental premise. This is to remind you that your lease will be expiring on the 8/1/2017 and you shall be evicted after that.

You officially still have a few more weeks to go, but I just wanted to let you know that I have another place set up, waiting for you when this lease is up. Seeing that you’ve been a really good tenant, I will gladly waive all charges for any damages you’ve caused to the current premise – water leakage, wear and tear from your late night partying, extra energy consumption, storage, etc.

Just remember to pack and take all your belongings with you as you will not be able to return to the current premise after you leave.

If possible, kindly give me one day’s notice so that I can prepare your new home for you in advance. If it makes it easier for you, I (and a few helpers) will be more than willing to help you move closer to the end of lease date.

Thank you for choosing to stay at “Mom’s 24/7 Air BnB”. I hope you have had good memories during your stay here. Take care and enjoy your next journey!

 

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Crossing the Rainbow Bridge

They say every school is the same. But I’m here to tell you they’re not. Waldorf stresses on the importance of childhood that it is impossible for outsiders to understand, unless you’re part of the Waldorf family.

Today, we got to experience a ceremony that celebrates Little Miss 5’s birth. The story that was told today, The Rainbow Bridge story, was absolutely beautiful. It is a blessing to be able to sit through the story of self worth, love, joy, and the pure sacredness of a child’s birth.

Once upon a time there was a Little Angel who was up in the heavens and she was very happy there. She looked at the beautiful colours and listened to the lovely music, and that was where she belonged. But one day the clouds parted in heaven and she saw the beautiful green earth below with all the people happily playing and working and she suddenly longed to go there and see what it was like. She saw all the rainbow colours of the earth, She saw butterflies visiting flowers and birds flying in the air. They seemed to be beckoning her. She saw fish swimming in the sea and all the different plants that covered the earth. She saw children climbing trees running and jumping in the meadows and walking through sand and leaves. It was all so beautiful!

So she said to her Big Angel, ‘Please, may I go down to earth now?” But her Big Angel looked at her and said, “No, it is too soon. You must wait a little while yet”. So the child went and was happy and soon forgot about the earth. Then one day again she saw a glimpse of the earth through the clouds again. She saw mother and fathers doing their work. She saw bakers and engineers and writers and farmers. She saw mothers and fathers loving their
children. Then she saw a beautiful mother with love and longing in her heart for a child and she asked her angel now, “May I go to her?”

The Big Angel said, “Soon, but you must prepare to go through the House of the Sun, the Stars, and the Moon, and over the Rainbow Bridge before you can go over to Earth.”

So with determination, the little Angel went to the House of the Sun, where she was given the gift of courage, which was placed under her heart. Next she went to the House of the Stars, where she was given the gift of Wisdom, which were placed under the soles of her feet. Lastly, she went to the House of the Moon, where she was given the gift of twinkle in her eyes, so that she might always see the humour in life.

Nearing the Rainbow Bridge, the Big Angel said to the Little Angel, “The gifts you have received from the Sun, the Stars and the Moon will help you with the work you have chosen to do on the Earth. Now you are ready.”

So the Little Angel travelled over the Rainbow Bridge that stretched forth from heaven to earth, and straight into the strong loving arms of her earth Mommy and Daddy.

She opened her eyes, and mesmerised everyone around her. It was then she received her first gift on earth, the gift of her name – Leann, which ironically means Angel, or one of sheer perfection.

There are many versions to this story. But this is the closest that I could remember from today.

How many of us have had such meaningful birthday celebrations at school? I know I didn’t. I know my husband didn’t. But I’m glad our children will be able to experience one of the best childhood there is on earth through their school, and that is to be surrounded by pure love and people who truly appreciate them as they are.

 

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Starting the day with a smile

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Or maybe not. LOL

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How gorgeous is this cake?

Definitely a birthday to remember…

 

 

Reblog: A day in the life of a Waldorf kid

The Waldorf playgroup on Thursdays morning at West Coast Steiner School starts off like this…
A small playground in the school yard
All classroon signs are beautifully handmade or drawn
We are greeted with a different scent every week – lavender, rose, etc…
All toys are made from natural materials such as wood, logs, ceramics…
Wooden instruments…
Wool and knitted soft toys…
cloth and handmade dolls…
Parents who attend playgroup are required to bring a piece of fruit each to cut them up and share it during morning tea
Playgroup is not only a place to play, but a place to bond and get lots of cuddles
How cool is this little guy’s toenails? LOL
One of our favourite moments of the day, bread making!
Our lovely Playgroup Coordinator, who’s been absolutely amazing at guiding us through playgroup with the Waldorf philosophy
Each parent is also given a task to do for the day
It’s a tradition to light a candle to give thanks…
Morning tea time outside the class garden. Table and stools all made out of wooden logs. How awesome and nature friendly!
Our share of fruits for morning tea… yums!
Little NAPB enjoying her fruits “kampung” style! 😉
 Mommy R & Little R
Thank you for being such an inspiration to me to want to be a super mom
Kids get to take part in daily chores to their interest and abilities
All in all, the Waldorf playgroup is an ideal place for parents to grow together with their children, it’s about connecting with your child as a whole. It’s very cosy and family orientated, compared to a Montessori playgroup, where independent play is more encouraged. Waldorf keeps the children’s mind opened and promotes willingness to learn through their own initiatives, which is what I’m hoping for Big Warrior. We’re already seeing some positive changes in Big Warrior’s attitude towards socialising, hopefully she will continue to blossom and flourish as time goes by.
*This was written in 2014. Fast forward 2016, Big Warrior’s been with the Waldorf School for almost 2 years. And the difference we’ve seen in her is just amazing. She may not be learning her ABCs and 123s in school at the moment, and won’t be till she’s in Year 1, but the little things that been cultivated into her as a person is undeniably valuable. Learning to share her load with house chores, being a team player, showing kindness and empathy, reaping the harvest that she helped sow, etc… these are things that the common public education do not put emphasis on. However, these are the important building block of being a successful human being. I’ve never pushed her to learn academically, but even without me (or the school) teaching her, she’s already well-versed with her alphabets and can count up to 30, which to me is a big surprise because she did her own learning through listening and observing.
I will be forever grateful to have stumble upon a Waldorf Steiner school for my children. My only hope now is that they will cherish their blessings being a Waldorf child and growing up without unnecessary social pressure.
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Reblog: A Wonderful Family Getaway: Lilly Pilly Cottage Farm Stay @Gidgegannup, Western Australia

I can’t believe it’s been 2 years since we’ve been to Lilly Pilly! We’re seriously missing this little quaint cottage, and fingers crossed we’ll be able to make another trip there before Nemo is born. Anyway, here’s a recap from our wonderful experience there is 2014.
Nestled in a secluded farmland among towering Jarrah trees, the Lilly Pilly Cottage embodies the spirit of an ultimate Australian Bushland experience.
This homely, fully self contained little cottage has three comfortable cozy bedrooms, catering up to eight people. Since there were only five of us (one being a toddler), we had plenty of extra space to, well, waste. It’s a pity that in the midst of all the excitement, I actually forgot to take pictures of the rooms, but I did manage to take one of the lounge, which is equipped with a fireplace! How awesome is that?
Within the hundred-acre land, only thirty-five acre is utilised as a farm, an organic vineyard and two cottages; the rest of the sixty-five acres are kept in its natural form of Australian bushland. In the farm you will find a flock of sheep, some horses, cows, alpacas, and chickens. Patrons are encouraged to join in during feeding time every morning and evening. That particular activity quickly became Little Miss NAPB’s favourite time at the farm getaway.

 

 

 

 

 

“This is how you feed the chickens, daddy!”

Say “ahhhhhhhh”

 

“You gotta open your mouth before eating, Baa Baa Sheep”

Poor Baa Baa Sheep getting impatient while Little Miss Perfectionist attempts to sort out the hay, LOL

Such a proud moment for us that Little Miss NAPB was brave enough to be in such proximity with the animals

Being the farmhand of the day also meant that Little Miss NAPB had to help out with raking and transferring of the haystack prior to feeding the cow and bull.
A huff and a puff… Stacking the hay sure is hard work!

And some random shots of the cottage’s surrounding…

The organic vineyard
 
Overall we had an awesome and memorable experience at the cottage, and would absolutely love to return again. But perhaps not till sometime later in the future. It’s not exactly cheap at roughly AUD$550 for a two night stay, but I guess if the accommodation was shared between two to three families, it would definitely be worth it. Of course, if you were to stay for a week, the price per night would be much cheaper as well.

Thank you, Farmer Ray, for your generous hospitality. We will definitely meet again!
And thank you Goong Goong and Popo for the treat to this amazing getaway!
Lilly Pilly Cottage
Gidgegannup, Western Australia

Reblog: Great Expectations

Most parents have great expectations of their children. But many don’t expect the same from themselves. Ironic, isn’t it? Parents expect their children to treat others with respect, to know how to share, and to act accordingly during playtime and sleep time (and all the time). But the real question is, do you (as a parent) even practice what you preach?

I’m a firm believer that all children are born pure and good. It is under the guidance of their parents that will eventually lead to the flourishing of goodness in their little big hearts. If you practice what you preach, chances are your child will follow suit.

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Don’t just tell a child to be kind, sharing and all things good; show them and lead by example. If you’re always arguing with your partner on who’s right, or snatching toys away from your kid when he refuses to share, you’re indirectly telling him that it is of utmost importance who wins in the end (in an argument or a fight), and taking things by force is an acceptable thing to do when things don’t happen your way.

Actions speak louder than words. When you portray negative behaviour in front of your child, they will learn. And trust me when I say, they will learn FAST. At two years of age, my little munchkin is absorbing her surrounds like a sponge. Children learn best by imitating you, the parent. And whatever that you do on a day to day basis will indirectly be how you mould your child’s character and behaviour. As Clarence B. Kelland said, “My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived and let me watch him do it.”

Don’t expect a kid to know the meaning of respect if you don’t raise him with respect. I’ve seen parents who smack and “publicly humiliate” their kids for the littlest of things. That’s not just disrespecting your child as a small human being, that’s just uncivilised in my humble opinion. You wouldn’t smack your friend over some small issue, but you don’t hesitate to do just that to your own child, that’s just stupid.

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You can’t teach a kid the concept of sharing when the first thing you do is to snatch away his toys when he refuses to share it, with a stranger. Yes, you might be good friends with a fellow mother, but don’t expect your child to naturally be long time friends with her kids. And don’t expect him to be as willing as you are to share, because heck, even you might not be that willing to share your stuff with someone you’ve just met. So no, don’t expect something from your kid when you might not even be able to live up to that expectation yourself. Or like Sarah W Caron says, “Don’t be a hypocrite, mama!

And how do you define appropriate behaviour? Expecting a two year old to sit through a two hour dinner is like expecting a medical student to sit through a mathematic convention. If your kid can actually sit in his high chair quietly and obediently for two hours and not put up a fuss, that’s not normal, I’m serious, you probably need to get him checked. That maybe an appropriate behaviour for an adult, but it is not for a kid. Appropriate behaviour for a two year old is to want to run around, explore and parallel play. That’s normal. And really, even you might want to walk around to socialise with your friends during dinner functions, why would you deny your kid the same benefit?

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Seriously, parents, enlighten me will you? I know many of you aren’t like that, but I have come across some who are. Why in the world would you expect so much for a person who’s been around for less than two years, yet expect so much less for people who’ve been around for at least thirty to forty years? Cos I really don’t understand it at all. Ugh. Bleh.

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