Love Your Family Challenge: My little “Nemo”, my shining star

This may come as a surprise to many of you, as we’ve managed to keep it under wraps for the past few months. I guess fate has it that it’s time to share the good news. We were planning for a third baby, but didn’t expect it to happen THAT quickly. Nevertheless, it came as a pleasant surprise.

IMG_9659

Even before it’s birth, “Nemo” (a nickname given by Big Warrior) has already became the family’s shining star, guiding us to greater heights in life. This is the year where daddy will be embarking on a new business venture, mommy will be given more parenting responsibilities, and both the girls will be upgrading from one sibling-hood level to another. It will be an exciting journey ahead for all of us. 

IMG_9660

As if chasing 2 monkeys around isn’t enough fun, I must have been mad (or drunk, or drugged) to agree to a 3rd one. LOL. I’ve never in my life imagined myself having 3 kids, but it somehow happened, and surprisingly, I wouldn’t change it for anything.🙂 Even though they drive me up the wall at times, they melt my heart and touch my soul most of the time.  

IMG_9661

With the universe (husband), a moon (Big Warrior), a sun (Little Warrior) and a star (“Nemo”) by my side, I think it’s safe to say that my life is officially complete. Hopefully people will stop asking me if I plan to have another one. So I’ll say it again, “Nemo” marks the completion of our little family of 5. Unless of course something unplanned happens…. :p

IMG_9662

 What do you think? Are you team Mustache or team Pouty Lips?🙂

2030287696155814270116

Love Your Family Challenge: My Second Daughter, my sun

Unlike my eldest who is calm and easy, this little munchkin is a ball of energy and sunshine. She is the one I go to in time of stress and when I need some “soul lifting”. Always smiley and cheerful, one look at her and all my troubles melt away.

13699973_10154503937485312_2562340357823006201_n

My little warrior has always been an independent, happy-go-lucky and easy baby. She was born under water via water birth, so the whole birth process was very gentle and calming. I’m not sure if it’s coincidental, but compared to Big Warrior’s first month as a baby where it was filled with cries and discomfort (due to stiff neck and some not-so-gentle physiotherapy, not to mention the inexperienced parents trying to adhere to silly parenting books), Little Warrior mainly nursed and slept peacefully through the first year. She was always smiley and giggly. Her trademark sunshine smile melts hearts wherever she goes.

I’m blessed that both my daughters adore each other. Little Warrior looks up to Big Warrior and constantly wants to follow her every step. As a result, this cheeky little bubba began walking at 9 months of age, all because she wanted to chase and follow her big sister around.

12531152_1120814297931602_1119145602_n

I don’t know what I did to deserve such wonderful and amazing children, but I must have done something right. I can only hope that I can be the mother that they deserve.

12816908_1541267012833422_896581897_n(1)

How can you not go “awwww” with this face?

I love you, my little sunshine. May you grow up happy and healthy always.

2105721066441417100216

Love Your Family Challenge: My Eldest Daughter, my moon

13658999_10154501504485312_385342074331528514_n

There’s never been a day where I don’t count my blessing that Big Warrior is my daughter. Since the day she was born, she has consistently brought joy and love to the family.

Like the moon, she is calm and reserved by nature. Whenever the day gets overwhelming and fast-paced, all I have to do is to be in the presence of my eldest and my stress level decreases almost immediately. When I get too far ahead of myself, she helps keep me grounded and brings me back to planet earth. She brings much needed peace to my life, something that I love so much about her. As her father puts it, she is like an antidote to our stressful lives.

Having said all that, our parent-daughter journey was not an easy one. She was never the typical child. She wasn’t those bubbly giggly babies, she never really smiled. She had fears. A LOT of fears. Like, she had a fear meeting strangers, she feared the bath, she feared being away from the boobs, she feared anything that involved touching her head, etc. It was never an easy journey trying to appease the public perception that babies should be passed around, or that babies loved “peekaboo” games. I had to endure criticism from people, including some family members, that my child isn’t well taught or that my parenting skills were questionable. As a first time mom, simple criticism like that strikes hard. But luckily, with the ever supporting husband, I pulled through. Fast forward 4 years and the help of alternative healing, she’s now a strong, happy and cheerful child.

bb6df-img_5920-copy

I’m forever grateful that she is my firstborn, because she turned a new mother who doubted her parenting skills, into a strong confident lioness who is unafraid to protect her cubs in anyway possible.

Thank you for being my daughter, and thank you for being such a wonderful 姐姐 to your little sister. I will do my best to make your growing years as happy and positive as possible.

DSC00766_1

 

2105721066441417100216

Love Your Family Challenge: My Husband, my universe

I rarely participate in those Facebook sharing activities or challenges, but somehow this one struck a cord. I thought it’d be meaningful for me to keep a copy in my blog as well.

So…. I’m meant to post photo(s) of my family for 7 days to celebrate Family Love. And naturally, my first post is dedicated to my soul mate, my husband, my universe.

There’s a reason why he’s always the first one I thank or think of when it comes to “giving-thanks-to-those-who-made-a-difference-in-my-life” kinda thing. He surpasses everyone and anyone, simply because he is the only one who has really taken time and effort to love me for who I am, and not what he hopes me to be.

DSC00122_1

He’s been there through my emotional ups and downs, and stood by me even when I wasn’t the easiest or nicest person to be around with. Years of unresolved and bottled up feelings are never easy to let go, but he never once gave up on me. Instead, he has always encouraged me to be better, and to learn to just, live and let live. It hasn’t been an easy journey, but it is more manageable and doable with him around.

He is supportive of everything that I choose to do, even when it goes against the norm, like going into the water with me during my water birth session with #2.

10371464_10152975627780312_7055602766015877507_n

He makes parenthood and marriage joyful and satisfying because he’s hands on, and never thinks of himself above me. He treats me with equal respects as I do him. I’m not saying that our lives are perfect. There are times when we argue or have bad days, but he always make sure it doesn’t go unresolved before the night is over, and apologises first (sometimes) even when it’s not even his fault.

I could go on and on with this. But I’m not going to, because I’m not here to persuade anyone else to agree with me as to how awesome he is. As long as he knows that he is loved and appreciated, that would be all that matters.

I’m forever grateful to have found my soul mate this lifetime. I would be blessed if fate brings me back to you for all the other lifetimes to come. I love you hubby and thank you for being my universe, holding me up whenever I need you.

13631587_10154497198650312_6569150881288401465_n

The best decision I ever made, was to say “Yes, I do”

2030287696155814270116

*Pre-wedding image credit: Daren Chong Photography

I’m no Tiger Mom, and that’s okay

This particular article below was taken from Jacq SunYoga’s Facebook page:

 

————————————————————————–

Parents, do read this.

My third son Jack has Sensory Integration Disorder, which is on the autistic spectrum. He went to a school that pushed him to go to University, though I fought with the head of sixth form on many occasions, telling him that Jack went to school for the socialisation and sports, not damn A’s. Anyway, Jack was influenced and wanted to go to University (because everyone else was).

I tried to make everything as smooth as possible for Jack. During exams, I made sure he had good breakfast, I made sure there was petrol in his car, I made sure he knew what he was supposed to revise, and I made sure he knew the time and date of every exam.

He scraped enough grades to get into a second rate University back in the UK.

And guess what? Because I was not there for his first year finals exam, he missed a crucial paper. And then he went on a downward spiral after missing one paper. To stay on the course, he would have to repeat the whole first year again. He dropped out, demoralised.

I had to spend a year rebuilding him and put him back on track. Today, he works for the Haywards Group and earns a six figure salary doing a job he loves without the degree that his school pushed him into just so that the school looks good on the league table. I unfortunately played my part and became a helicopter parent in Jack’s case.

Helicopter parenting does not work. Because what happens when you stop? And when will you stop? When your child is 18? 21? 25?

My 16 year old should’ve been in an exam this morning but we last saw her on the football pitch at 9.30am. Maybe in her infinite wisdom she has decided not to sit the paper. Who knows but she.

If you want to see Jack’s work, go to this website. He is the one who does the house designs.

————————————————————————–

 

Reading Jacq’s post on education prompted me to jot down my own feelings toward this subject.

 

Many people ask me why in the world would I put my children into Waldorf, my answer is simple. Mainstream education interferes with their learning. I’m no Tiger Mom, my children don’t need to know their ABCs by age 3, nor do they need to know programming by age 8. They only need to know the joys of learning, without social and peer pressure.

 

Why not let them be children? Let them climb trees, walk on balance beams, draw with a stick on the sand, or water the garden. There’s always something interesting to learn from these simple activities – watching that praying mantis camouflage among the leaves, putting your hands out can help balancing easier on a small plank, a shorter stick is easier to draw with than a ultra long stick, water helps the plant grow, etc.

 

10978513_10153215973085312_304122036851790411_n

 

Learning doesn’t have to come from books. Learning comes from the heart, it comes from what you see, hear and feel around you. There’s always something to learn about anything, anyone, and anywhere.

 

I came from a typical “mainstream” life. That includes schooling, social life, and well, life. But I won’t talk about social life and life in this post, I’ll leave that for another day. I went to mainstream education, had tuition (thankfully not all the time), studied enough to pass through all my subjects. Key word here being studied. Because quite frankly, I never really understood what I was studying. It wasn’t a requisite. I wasn’t encouraged to make sense of it, I was only programmed to memorise what I’m suppose to “learn” in order to pass my exams. It was peer pressure that I went on to Science Stream, because you were considered “smart” if you were in it. Once my exams were over, I would literally forget about them. Looking back, what was the point of learning my algebra, history, geography really? It’s something I never understood.

 

It is because of my own educational experience that has led me to parent my kids differently, to show them that there is a different route in life that they could take. They need to know that there is always a choice when it comes to life. Mainstream schooling doesn’t allow that. There is no choice. You either excel or you fail, and the ones in between just get through life doing what they hate, but don’t have the courage to pursue what they are truly passionate about.

 

B5TgS

I’m no helicopter parent either. Because if I was, Big Warrior wouldn’t be attending Waldorf, where she gets to jump on muddy puddles, plant gardens, climb trees, bake bread, and draw on the pavement with chalks. I’d be too worried about the dirt, the height, the lack of academia. But I’m not, so we’re good. Soon, Little Warrior will follow suit. I want them to enjoy the process of learning, to know that there’s more to learning than just text books. They learn how plants grow by actually witnessing the growth process from seedling to plant because they were the ones who dug the hole and placed the seed in to the ground. They learn how they reap what they sow. They learn that it’s okay to share their harvest, because they have the necessary skills and knowledge to source and grow more. They learn that it’s not the end of the world if there’s no TV or iPads, because Waldorf children are not encouraged to have any gadget or technology time during Kindy and Primary years. The earliest they can use a computer for their home work is when they reach high school. As a result of all these, my children are never dependent on technology to keep them entertained (they do get to watch movies on the weekends but they never demand for it), and they can be just as happy just playing in the garden looking for dandelions. For that, I’m forever grateful.

 

 

I get that I’m no tiger mom, and that’s okay. I don’t seem to have that urge to push my kids academically at this point (or ever, but we’ll see). I’m not so much of a helicopter parent as well, and that’s also okay. I let them fall, cry and pick themselves up, because the world isn’t always sunshine and rainbows and they need to understand that. I’d like to think I’m somewhere in between, somewhat of a lazy parent. LOL. I let them figure out how to entertain themselves when I’m busy, but I also try to spend time with them when I can. We co-sleep because I’m too lazy to sleep train them, and because I believe that they will eventually move out into their own room in due time. I still breastfeed my 18 month old because I’m lazy to wean her. I let them eat by themselves even though my Little Warrior still makes a mess most days because I’m too lazy to chase her around to feed her.

 

Being a lazy mom is tiring, and adhering to Waldorf teachings can make it even more tiring, because I can’t rely on the idiot box to babysit my kids. But this combo works for me, and the results are so worth it. My girls are happy, and that’s the most important. They are blossoming in their own way, and they are doing it beautifully.

 

Having said all that, as tiger parents, helicopter parents, lazy parents, we all just want what’s best for our children. If it feels right to you, and your children are thriving, then you’re on the right track. Have faith in your judgement and your parental instinct. After all, it is our human instincts that have allowed our species to survive for so many years.

 

 

2030287696155814270116

 

The Mother’s Day I was hoping for

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!

 

I’ve been slacking in the updates department, but I reckon that the blog deserves an update on this special day.

 

I woke up today not expecting anything, really. Because really, my everyday life isn’t so bad that I had to wish for something to only get it during special occasions. But I was silently hoping for, I don’t know, maybe just some peaceful moments alone where I could put my feet up and read my book? Or maybe some breakfast in bed? Or just a whole day lazing in bed doing nothing? You know, a day where I don’t have to nag at the 2 little monsters running around the house, a day where I don’t have to crack my brain (or what’s left of it) to find the answers to Big Warrior’s questions about life and what not. lol.

 

However, in reality, I woke up to 4 not-so-tiny-anymore arms around me and a snoring husband in bed. Ah, life is so blissful… not. As I was contemplating waking up to prepare breakfast for the household, Little Warrior opened her eyes… and smile. Darn those motherly hormones, who would have thought one could be willed to do anything with just a simple smile in the morning?

 

We chatted for a while, her blabbing really, and me asking her what she wants to eat and telling her about what today is. She then decided to sit up and pointed at the other 2 sleeping beauties and proceeded to wake them up. Little did I know that the husband was actually semi-awaked, observing us through his tiny slit of groggy eyes. He smiled when I looked his way, and wished me Happy Mother’s Day and told me he’s going to cook me breakfast. I looked at him, happy that he was trying to start the day off doing something special for me. I didn’t need any superficial gifts, I could have gotten whatever I wanted whenever I wanted and he knew that (thanks to Gary Chapman’s 5 Languages of Love, we managed to identify what clicks for us). Mine were words of affirmation, acts of services and physical touch. A simple greeting, an offer to prepare brekky, and a hug would have been just what I needed.

 

So after brushing my teeth, I headed out to the kitchen to be greeted by this, and a hug. My 3 love languages officially checked for the day.❤

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 9.11.21 PM

 

It might not seem special to anyone, because it’s really just scrambled eggs, but it was special to me. You see, my husband makes the yummiest scrambled eggs in the whole wide world. And this time, he was trying to make it into a shape that resembled a rose (he admitted to checking out a few youtube channels yesterday night lol), how sweet is that?❤❤❤  Darn wifey hormones, oh wait, is there even such a thing as wifey hormones? Gah.

 

To be very honest, it would have been a major challenge if he needed to come up with something every special occasion. He already cooks half the nights in a week, he’s the breadwinner of the house, he helps me with the kids every day, he lets me buy whatever I fancy (to our budget of course) even when it’s not Mother’s Days or birthdays. So really, I’ve been lucky to have been showered with love most days of my married life. Thank you hubby, I know I don’t say it often enough.

 

10296801_449963138528409_698172146_n

 

The day proceeded as usual, with an extra small treat in the evening. A specially prepared Young & Living Peace & Calming infused bath by the hubs, while he took care of the kids’ bath and sleep time. He even found time to help finish off my left over laundry.❤

 

image1-1

 

Today was perfect. Even though it wasn’t much far off from our usual routine, because I still had to nag the kids to pack away their toys, tell them to be nice to each other, prepare dinner, do the laundry… But it was still perfect. Plus, Big Warrior has been going on with her current phase of “Mommy-ah! *waits for me to look at her direction* I love you!” the whole day, so it was kinda sweet. Annoyingly funny, but sweet. I know I don’t show it enough as well, but my little darling rascals, if you ever get to read this post 10 years down the road, know that even though mommy might seem mean at times, I still do love you very very much.

 

 

Now the kids are sleeping, and I walk into the room thinking, what was I really hoping for on Mother’s Day? And then I realised, the most ideal Mother’s Day, would actually to have a day like every other, where I get to spend the day (and night) with my beautiful family, because deep down, that’s all that really matters.

 

2030287696155814270116

Have a blessed Easter, everyone!

11373997_596756487149775_668479407_n(1)

Big Warrior proudly holding her gigantic Easter egg painting, and her Easter egg basket, complete with a hand-made chick and an egg. I can’t even begin to express how thankful I am that she’s attending a Waldorf school. The educators there make everything so meaningful and precious. They take the time to explain to the children the meaning and origins of Easter. It’s not about egg hunting, or chocolate bunnies, their school is never superficial in that sense. It’s about rebirth and new life. So instead of making the kids go on an egg hunt, they plant new seeds and bulbs around their school yard, and give blessings on new life. Each new plant carries new life from within, and slowly and steadily, it grows onto full blossoms in Spring. Doesn’t that sound much more meaningful than just gobbling down chocolate eggs?

And then there are the yummy hot cross buns, a symbol that represents the rock which was rolled across the opening of the cave in which Christ’s body was laid. The recipe for the buns are essentially Sultanas mixed into a bread dough, which relays the bread and wine aspect of the Last Supper. I’m not a Christian, nor am I a religious person, so I’ve always known Easter to be just a day for chocolate binging. LOL. But now knowing what I know, even I can begin to appreciate the beautiful meaning behind Easter.

IMG_8647-2

 

If anyone is keen on making some hot cross bun, here’s a recipe from Collette Leenman.

HOT CROSS BUNS

1 teaspoon dry yeast

1 cup slightly warm milk

1 beaten egg

1 teaspoon mixed spice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 cups fine wholemeal flour

50g butter

50g brown sugar

1 cup sultanas

Stir the yeast into the milk and add the egg and 2 tablespoon flour. Mix together and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, rub butter into the flour and mix in the sugar, spices and sultanas. Combine this with the yeast mixture and knead well, adding a little more flour if necessary to form a soft dough. Leave in warm place, covered with a damp tea towel for an hour.

Grease an oven tray and divide dough up into buns to place on tray. Leave room between each as they should nearly double in size when baked. Leave for another 10 minutes in a warm place. Make crosses on buns using a white flour and cold water mixture of thick glue consistency, which can be applied with an icing forcer. Bake at 190 degrees C for 15-20 minutes. While still hot, brush with a glaze made from 2 tablespoons of white sugar dissolved in 2 tablespoon boiling water. These buns are best eaten hot.

Overall, it was a wonderful long weekend for us. We’re grateful for friends who’ve made effort to keep us entertained and fed while Duke’s away for work. They’ve helped keep me sane for longer.🙂

And not forgetting a picture of Little Warrior (gotta be fair, hey), waiting patiently outside my shower while I took a quick buffalo rinse. I must say she did look quite comfortable there, don’t you think? LOL.

12070750_1003126963134003_774856371_n

 

Ahhh, what can I say, I’m blessed to have such wonderful children to keep me entertained.

 

2030287696155814270116