Thoughts: Reviewing 2014

As the last day of 2014 approaches, I couldn’t help but want to do my yearly habit of reviewing the year itself. I have been thinking if there is one word that summarizes for our family this year, it has to be “nature”.

Natural Places
We went traveling as a family twice this year. First to Australia Melbourne, then to Malaysia UK Farm. Oh, I’m still trying to write about our Melbourne trip, it will come, albeit a little behind time. Lol. Hopefully it’s still relevant to those who wants to visit Melbourne. This two places are not all natural, but I like to think they are closer to nature then visiting the cities and doing shopping or visiting Zoos.

Back in Singapore, we also started exploring the Bukit Timah Nature Reserves. We usually wake up early in the morning and start our “hike” when it’s dark. But by the time we reach the summit, it will be bright.

The boy feeling very at ease at Bukit Timah summit
The boy feeling very at ease at Bukit Timah summit

The boy really enjoys the hike as he get to observe the different animals in nature and of course play with torchlight. We were very fortunate to spot the pangolins on top of the usual monkeys and squirrels when we were there. For me it’s also a big step. I’m a city kid who grew up in concrete jungle. I hate creepy crawlies and is scared of animals except for small and cute pets. But both Chubby and the boy has taught me how to enjoy the nature more. I’m less afraid of them now. It’s just a pity that when we found such a gem, it’s closed for “renovation” work. We hope to be back soon.

Natural Remedies
Actually this started last year. We went on the road of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) for the kids and even ourselves. We are seeing the results now.

The boy has sensitive nose, he is always having some kind of “flu”. My SIL calls him 鼻涕王, which means the “King of Mucus”. There was a period where we went to the TCM regularly and he was really “well” for a few months. No mucus, no snoring. However, when we stopped the regular visits, it came back but we do notice that mucus were significantly lesser, and he appears healthier. Less likely to suffer from “real” flu which he easily catch from his classmates last time. There was also lesser bouts of fever.

The girl has all along been the healthier one. She didn’t “suffer” much even when she started school. I’m not sure if the TCM has helped her build up her immunity.

All in all, comparing the western medicines the kids need to take especially Paracetamol, we would say the amount has reduced significantly since we embark on the natural TCM route.

And recently my Sis and SIL introduced me natural essential oils. I was a little skeptical, however, after trying for a few months I cannot deny it does help. I bought a breathing roll-on for the boy and it does help him sleep better at night. The breathing were lighter. Recently the girl caught a cold, so I had been applying essential oil for her plus some off the shelf TCM medicine, she seems to be on the road of recovery.

Please note that I have nothing against western medicine, it’s just we hope to use it when things get really serious. We want to go the natural way as much as possible. As nobody knows what are the side effects of having so much chemicals in our body.

2015
2015 will be another year of change for us. Chubby will be starting his masters, which means we are less likely to travel for the coming year. Nonetheless, I hope we can continue our road on nature discovery. Maybe explore more nature reserves in Singapore. Or make shorter trips to nearby countries.

There is lesser activity post this year on the blog because the boy had enrichment lessons on both days of the weekend morning. We have decided to take him off one of the classes so we can keep one day of each weekend free. With this hopefully we can do more activities as a family and the boy will have more time for himself. Something which we both believe is healthier for his development. And hopefully that translate to more post on the blog.

So we had a natural 2014 and is embracing the new 2015. How about you?

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Thoughts: Reflecting 1st Quarter 2014

The blog has been a little quiet as I was a busy with work, managing the house while my helper goes home and we just got back from a family trip to Melbourne.

As we pass the 1st quarter of 2014, I’m doing a little reflection of how things are thus far and how to carry on with the road ahead.

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Kids
I can see my boy growing up. He has almost abandon his toddlerhood and is a young boy now. He still give us his innocent moments but always leave us in awe with the things he learn and remember each day. I really wish to do more for and with him to maximize his full potential, but I’m clueless as to how.

He still have his bad times. Especially during the trip he is still testing some of his boundaries and can be really disobedient at times. I must learn to be more stern and persistent on what I need him to do.

Zai @ 4 y.o and Loi @ 29 months
Zai @ 4 y.o and Loi @ 29 months

The girl is giving us a rather hard time with her terrible twos. On days she can be sweet like an angel. Like that night when I was unwell and vomiting, she woke up from her sleep and patted my back. On days she can be so insistent on what she wants and will not listen to us. We need lots of patience to deal with her and I’m still unsure if the harsh method works. I think we still need to explore a little more with the girl.

At the same time, we are still considering our 3rd one. It will be nice to have. But can we afford the time?

Us
Both of us have been under a lot of stress lately, from work and kids. Some days we have shorter patience and will snap at each other. Especially me. I’m trying to control my temper better and learn to think in his shoes. I’m still trying.

I also hope we can have more “we” time together. It has been a long time since we caught a movie together. I hope we can have date nights at least once a month. I’m still hoping.

We are also planning to work something out together. I just hope I can assist him well, and our relationship can reach another level through this.

littlemom.com
I’m also reflecting on the future of this blog. I have been thinking why I’m still blogging when my readership has not increase much over the years. And if I’m revealing too much about myself and my family, especially the kids. I really envy those bloggers who have a fair amount of readership and also when they get to review things for free. Truly speaking, I wish I am like them. But I know, my language sucks and I couldn’t really write well. So why should I continue this blog?

I tried recalling why I started blogging. Back then really it’s the “in” thing. And when the kids came along I want to record their progress and also to share the things I learn along the way as a parent and as an individual. I asked myself again, has this change? No, I still like to share information with anyone who wants to know. So does it matter that my constant readership is not high? Maybe not. It also doesn’t matter that I don’t make something material out of this. I just hope that the information I shared here will provide some form of help to those who found it. So yes, I will continue to blog.

Work
Something I can’t run away from. It hasn’t been a good time at work for the past quarter. In fact, since Q4 of 2013. There were uphill tasks, unfortunate events and bad news. I’m beginning to doubt my ability and wonder if I’m cut out to do the work. A part of me feel like running away from all these, but another bigger part of me wish that I could resolve everything and not just escape from the responsibilities. I may not get anything material in return, but it will be a good learning lesson for me.

Health
Although I passed my health checkup with flying colors last year, I do feel my health has deteriorate the last few months. My gastric is making me nausea on and off, and I know it will be worst once I get pregnant. So I’m trying to find ways to strengthen it.

My lower back has improved for a while and now it’s coming back. I think the trip to Melbourne may have worsen it again. I guess I have to go back to my stretching exercises every night.

My sinseh also recommend me to do more exercises to improve my general health. I dunno if my legs can take the impact of jogging again. I think I should start something from next week, probably a short jog with Chubby for a start.

Reading
I’m still in my March issue of my parenting magazine. And it has been many months since I last pick up a proper book to read. I want to go back to reading, but there is just too many distractions and too little time. How?

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Looks like it wasn’t a fantastic start to 2014, I’m just hoping it get better over time. And I believe it will be so when I start doing some of the things here. So wish me luck and hopefully I can achieve some of the things here by end of Q2.

How has your 2014 been thus far?

Hope your 2014 will be full of sunshine and happiness (that you need shade).
Hope your 2014 will be full of sunshine and happiness (that you need shades).