I am officially two weeks late to having a closing post to my 2016 and an opening one for 2017. Not that I used to do such things, but most bloggers do spend some time reflecting on the past year and sharing the hopes for the new one.
On resolutions- it is funny how I used to have New Year Resolutions written on my physical diaries and then blogs when I started one. As I grew older, I sort of gave up. New year resolutions make me feel that I am setting up the future-me for disappointments since resolutions are made, only to be broken later and then becomes evidence for my weak mental state.
In 2001/2002, I celebrated the new year with my secondary school friends at Downtown East. One of them asked what do I want for myself in the new year, and I thought being happy would be good. The 16 year old me then thought it was a simple thing(in comparison to getting a scholarship or something along those lines) to work towards to. Apparently, it is not that easy to be happy.
One of my tutors in junior college mentioned during class that as we grow older, we will realise that life never gets easier. Then, I laughed at her cynicism. At 32, I see how maybe those were words of wisdom. With every new year, I feel thankful that the year is finally over but I also worry(unduly) about the challenges that the future brings. I am an over-thinker and natural worrier. Sometimes, these negative(and needless) thoughts paralyse me so much so that I am unable to function in my daily life.
As a mother of three kids, I know I cannot allow myself the be consumed by any negative thoughts. Every morning, there will always be chores that needs me to fulfill- to make the breakfast, the lunchboxes, the simple activities with the children, the household chores, the food preparation, the school runs… The work that I do are menial and and have little meaning. 😦 Sometimes, I wonder why am I washing dishes for the n-th time in the day. The repetitiveness of the household chores is ridiculous and thankless. When I browse through Facebook, I inevitably compare myself with my good looking friends who are jet setting everywhere and here I am wiping food crumbs off the table and my tea is getting cold. *sigh* Does any fellow SAHMs feel like me?
The upside to my life is that I get paid in cuddles, in hugs, in words of encouragement and affection, adoring eyes, promises of loyalty and unconditional love. The little ones are young and I am their world now. There will be times of me, lamenting in soliloquy about my frumpiness. Immediately, Ryan and Gillian will say something along the lines of, ‘Mummy, you are the best’, ‘You are the prettiest, Mummy!’. Hahaha. Ohwells, at least the recipients of my hard work are my biggest fans! I dislike the ancillary work that comes with young children but I cannot deny how fortunate I am to have this opportunity to be there with them now. After all, they are only young once and they probably need me the most now?
While 2016 has been a tricky year, there has been some lovely moments.
Baby Megan is quite cute and I do have some talent in getting her to pose for my Instagram. Because of her, we got to collaborate with some brands. Megan was featured on a Youtube video for Mustela SG (click here to watch it). It is just quite cool to be able to tell her all these when she is older. (Hopefully, she won’t find it embarrassing instead.) It is a shame that I do not have enough time for it and maybe I am just not dedicated enough. My mother always call me half bucket of water. So true, not enough grit in me, I suppose. Boohoo!
Compared to 2014 and 2015, we travelled lesser around UK. We only drove out to Nottingham and Birmingham. Our normal weekends were spent mostly in London and surrounding areas. Plenty of things to do, especially on warmer days. There were many firsts for them in London- first ‘clubbing’ session at Rave-A-Roo, first play at Unicorn Theatre, first musical experience at Unicorn Theatre. We also went for the usual strawberry picking, potato picking, pumpkin picking and enjoyed the beautiful smells and scenery of the lavender fields at The Hop Shop. The outings had to be cut down when I realised that Ryan’s school work(i.e. reading) was lagging way behind. (-_-)”’It took us some time to get to a more suitable routine. I wonder how is 2017 is going to pan out.
We visited Amsterdam over the Easter holidays for the children’s birthday and spent our entire summer in Singapore!
I managed to fly alone with 3 young children under 5. It was a feat but I got to thank the fantastic crew and the friendly faces on the flight. It is amazing how strangers would go out of their way to make things easier for me. (I can’t say the same for our return flight tho. But that’s a story for another day.)
When we were in Singapore, Ryan had his tonsil and adenoids removal surgery. We were grateful that everything was done smoothly. There was family support to care for the younger siblings while I accompanied Ryan. In August, we got a family graduation photo done with my parents and siblings. It was nice to spend so much time with them. Interestingly enough, Ryan’s best friend from his school happened to be in Singapore for the entire 6 weeks of summer. We met up at least once a week and the boys had a great time at the play centers.
E and I got our food cravings sated.
✔ Changi Village breakfast (at least thrice)
✔ Salted egg crabs + Black Hokkien Mee at Big Eater
✔ Tai Kwa Bak Chor Mee
✔ Afternoon tea (The Queen’s Cat Cafe, Pollen)
✔ Spize dinner (twice)
✔ Nasi Briyani
✔ Indian Rojak
✔ Cze Char from Yam’s Kitchen
✔ Japanese from Chikuwa Tei(shame that Chef Peter left.)
✔ Supper from Blk 85 Bedok (twice at least)
✔ Angmoh Chap Cai Png at some place where my fitmama friends recommended.
and loads of kueh kuehs, bubble teas, home-cooked delights. The kids enjoyed their daily swimming sessions with Er Jiu. E and I went for foot massages at Dong Lin and we had lovely meet ups with friends. However, we did not manage to go for as many date nights as we would like since Megan is/was very attached to me. By the end of the trip, a good 5kg were left on my hips. Ohwells. We will be heading back for a short trip during Easter this year and I hope to have some good yukiniku at Aburiya.
In September, Gillian started her nursery! With proper navy blue pinafore and all. The initial days were hard but now, she is okay with school. Not really excited and raring to go everyday but she doesn’t mind attending school. No tears at least. She also had her first ballet concert and did all right. She was more interested in the pre-performance portion- make-up and all.
As a SAHM, I became more interested in baking and cooking. I think I started putting in more effort in Ryan’s lunchboxes(not just for taste, but also the presentation) and he, in turn had better appetite. Lunchboxes always came back wiped clean and he always sang praises of the food that I made for him. For the initial weeks, I even spent time taking photos of the food I prepared for him to put in Instagram but as usual, I got lazy. Ha! Anyways, here are some photos of the lunch boxes that I made for him. Do follow me on Instagram if you want to catch snippets of my daily life(the better and curated parts of my daily life, of course!)
If you want to know, I did spent some time in September/October trying to write a short story and submitting it for a contest which I did not win. Well, I was bummed but when I read the story again, I thought it was shallow and not authentic as I would like it to be. Maybe I should spend some time revising it and see how it goes. Ohwells.
If you don’t already know, two of the best things that happen ind 2016 were my parents’ baptism in Singapore as well as our family’s baptism in London. When we came to London, we did not expect to attend a church(since we did not really attend on in Singapore), so baptism was something unexpected for our family. So many things happened to us in London and there was truly periods that are trying, doubting and dark. But, all I have to say is that God is faithful to me and my family. One of the things that I appreciate about our journey with Christ is how my children are able to tell me little things that I need to know about God during unexpected times. I feel proud of them but yet humbled as an adult(who is supposed to know better). Here’s one example:
During one of those car conversations with Ryan:
Me: Ryan, how was school today?
usually, he will go on and on about the same boys he play with. But that day,
Ryan: I played with my friends. But X(this boy whose parents I have an incident with) told me that he won’t be inviting me to his birthday party. (From some parents that I know, X goes around to tell fellow classmates that he won’t be inviting them to his parties for unknown reasons. If you ask me, I think it is just to emotionally hurt other party. I have no idea why X would want to even mention about his birthday since it would not take place till at least 6 months later.)
Me: Are you sad? Why are you sad? We are not even going to his party if he invited us. (At that point in time, I was actually getting mad with Ryan.) The next time when he says such nonsense to you, just say we are not going even if he asked. Just say, no, not going at all.
Ryan: Mummy, that is not a nice thing to say. I will just say no, thank you.
Me: Why are you thanking him? Just say no!
Ryan: Mummy, I am just going to say no, thank you. It is not nice to say no.
I don’t mean that Ryan is this absolute sweetheart who is sensible and all. He is a typical 5 year old who is cheeky, can be lazy and playful. But he has these small moments that remind me that I can be nicer, I can be kinder. I cannot think of a better reason of this happening except of how God/the Holy Spirit is working in them. In some way or another. I can only pray that 3 of them will continue to grow in Christ’s way to want to listen to His Word and His Will.
Okay, I am out for now. Look out for my blog post tomorrow! Hope you had a good start to 2017. If not, the best is yet to be.