Letter to my 5 year old First Born

Dear Zai,

Your long awaited March have arrived and you are now 5 years old already. As Mummy look at you while you sleep at night, I couldn’t help but feel you are so grown up already. Your little feet is no longer little, they are as long as my hand. Mummy is also a little sad that I didn’t spend enough time with you. With the arrival of your DiDi its going to be even tougher. Well, the guilt of a full time working mummy.

Moment of you looking lovingly at DiDi.

But luckily you are in good hands. You have a great preschool that caters to your need to run outdoors. But you will still feign stomache on days just to stay home to play. However, Mummy is sure you still like school lots and wants to go back. Let’s just hope you continue this love for learning when you reach primary school.

In terms of academic, your love for reading and curiousity has make you on par if not better with most of your peers. However, you absolutely hated writing. Especially those boring repetitive writing training. You are more receptive if the writing involve some activities like counting and writing the answer. But after a few months of training, you are now getting better at it. I think you have resign to fate learned that you can’t run away from it. You use to have a comment “老師指導下完成” in your Berries workbook. But now there are lesser and you have even earn yourself stars. Mummy is really happy to see that. It shows that you have grown and know what is expected of you.

For physical growth we never have to worry much about you. You are not the tallest in your class but we think you grow well. You are not fat but neither are you skinny. And you eat well. On some days, you can finish a packet of noodles on your own. Your gross motor skills have always been good and recently you learn to ride on the balance bike that we brought you 2 years ago.

Mummy is quite surprise you can balance on the bike for a short while after playing with it a few times.

For emotional growth, you are still the boy who is full of emotions. You get upset easily when people don’t listen to you or follow your instructions. Mummy and Daddy is still trying to find a way to explain to you that the universe does not revolve around you. You are slowly understanding it, but can’t control yourself yet. You are also a sensitive boy. When we went to watch “Shaun the sheep” in the theaters, you almost teared when they were almost pushed off the cliff. Having say all that, you are still generally a happy boy. You get upset easily but you laugh easily too. And you are a good GorGor who love your siblings deep down inside although you fight with MeiMei often.

Being squash by DiDi and MeiMei but you are still happy.

You still enjoy pretend play which makes you popular among the girls in your class. Your favorite cartoon now is Octonauts and you hope that one day you can be an Octonauts to save the sea creatures. Well, that’s quite a good ambition. You like to be Dashi, the character in Octonauts who is a photographer. She is also the one who knows about the environment. So Mummy is using this to encourage you to read and write more.

You now have ideas of your own. You requested for the fruit cake and placing your Octonauts toy on top to suit the theme.

It has been a wonderful year for us and Mummy still marvel at your growth. Mummy hope that in the coming year your can learn to control your emotions better, learn to speak slower and have more patience. Stay a happy and curious boy. We love you always.

Love,
Mummy

Thoughts: Turning 35

I “celebrated” my 35th birthday a few days ago. Celebrated with inverted commas because there was not much celebration to begin with. It was like any weekend, sending the kids for their classes, going back to my parents place. The only “celebration” we had was a cake cutting at our home as my SIL bought a cake. But the cake cutting was more for the kids as they sat in front of the cake singing loudly and eager to blow the candles.

Am I complaining? Not really. I enjoyed the time I spend with my family. Fancy dinners looks good on social media, but I prefer good food and quality time spent with the husband. Which is why I opt for a bowl of good ramen the day before my birthday and told Chubby to save the money for next time.

35 years old. This officially means I’m no longer “youngster”. Contiki tours will not accept me into their tours. Ah~ I feel particularly old this year.

When I was younger, like much younger, I classify people who is in their 30s as middle age. And I think I will only live to 60 years old. Now that I’m 35, I start to feel 30s is not so old you know. Lol. And now that I have kids, I wish I can live till at least 75 (without much illness)? I do dream of the day where my kids become parents themselves. Ah~ this Mama is dreaming again.

In any case, now that I’m somewhat in my half way mark for my 30s, I like to look back and see how much I have achieve so far. Especially since my big 3 O.

I guess my greatest achievement is to marry Chubby and together we have our lovely kids. They are my greatest joy and motivation in life now. Maybe a little 小女人, but I stopped dreaming about being some 偉人 many years back when I know I don’t have the caliber.

Work wise there was growth and opportunities came but I let it pass as they are not my focus now. Will I regret? Seriously I have no idea. Maybe I will. But at that point I feel I’m not ready and I don’t want the team to suffer with me. The opportunity may not come again, but I think for now I still want to focus on my family. They give me more joy and satisfaction then work. One day the kids will not need me anymore and I may be too old to curve out something for my career. But nonetheless I’m glad I’m somewhat there for my kids formative years. That I’m their dearest and honey. I think this is something I will not regret.

And I’m also reminded that as I grow older so are my parents. I will wish to spend more time with them. But I don’t know how. As we are not a family that is use to do things together. Except maybe to watch TV. I hope maybe in the coming year or next we can go on an overseas trip together. Maybe to visit my cousin in Australia or another in Norway. So before that I gotta save up for the trip!

Birthday wishes? I hope for good health and good wealth for all my love ones and myself.

That’s from the 35 year old me…

Letter to my 3 y.o Girl

My Dear Girl,

You turn 3 a few days weeks ago! Firstly, Mummy has to apologize for not charting your development progress as frequently as I ought to. Sorry, my girl. But Mummy is really happy with your progress this year. Come let’s do a small recap shall we?

The day you turn 3! We had a field trip on that day.
The day you turn 3! We had a field trip on that day.

You went to school when you were 25 months and has been enjoying yourself at school since then. Mummy is very proud of you that you adapted well and has make some good friends in school. We can often hear you sing new songs you have learn from your teachers. And when there is something “special” that happened that day, you will always share with us. Like you just told me how you and K fell while trying to get off the stage. Yup, in a few weeks time you will be performing on stage for the first time. Mummy and Daddy is looking forward to your performance.

You also started enrichment lessons with GorGor at Berries since the beginning of the year. Both the teachers and I noticed that your Chinese language has improved over the months and you are now a willing participant in class! Good job my little girl. Mummy is happy that you are willing to speak Chinese now, although you have a very “cute” accent and sometimes slang. But it’s a big step we should celebrate!

We haven’t seen much of a change your character. You are still assertive of what you want. Mummy and Daddy is still trying to find ways to help you channel your assertiveness. We also notice that you are a very observant child. You tend to learn through observing others, especially your GorGor or other adults. And in an unfamiliar environment, you will tend to observe first before taking the first step to participate. This is not a bad thing, it shows that you are a cautious child.

On days, you can be so smiley and lovely. But there are days where you want to be heard and understand.
On days, you can be so smiley and lovely. But there are days where you want to be heard and understand.

You still enjoy singing, dancing and acting. Very often you will act out what you seen on TV. Your favourite “act” now is the part where Elsa from frozen sings “Let it Go”. You also enjoy mimicking “Igle Pigle” from “The Night Garden” and Peppa from “Peppa Pig”.

Your favourite author is still Lucy Cousin for now. You like her Maisy books most but also enjoys other books from her, e.g. Zaza’s Baby Brother. Mummy is happy that you enjoy reading more now. In the past you will just walk away when Mummy starts reading. But now, you will actually be happy to bring a book to school to share or requesting Mummy to read to you! Mummy hope your reading habits will bring you a long way.

You don’t like it when others call you a small girl. You were very happy the day when we announce you are tall enough to go into IKEA playground. It was like “coronation day” for you. And you use that as a benchmark to say that you are a big girl now!

Indeed, you are a big girl. Cause recently you just got yourself potty trained in the morning. This is a great achievement as Mummy didn’t really train you, but you learn them all by yourself! Your last hurdle was “poo poo”, where you simply refuse to sit on the potty or toilet bowl. However, we have overcome that too. So now you are potty trained in the day! Hip Hip Hurray!

This is your celebration in school. Frozen theme. Sometimes you act more like a 姊姊 than your bro...
This is your celebration in school. Frozen theme. Sometimes you act more like a 姊姊 than your bro…

But my big girl, you have to learn to give up your thumb sucking at night or before nap. Only babies need soothers you know. The day you give up your thumb sucking, you are indeed a big girl already. You still enjoy your milk a lot and even requested for milk feeds in the middle of the night. Not sure if it is because you always choose to eat very little dinner and hence you get hungry in the middle of the night. But I must say, this 2 weeks you have only woke up once to ask for milk and Mummy is keeping her finger cross that you will soon drop this milk feed.

Talking about food, you are a junkie girl like Mummy (whoops). You love junk food and has very little interest in rice. You can eat the meat, veg, fishes but don’t like to finish your rice. You are better with noodles and porridge. When it comes to junk food you absolutely love. Even if the junk food is a little spicy, you can still take it well. But my love, junk food is not good for you. And Mummy will be reducing the stock at home for all our sake, ok?

Wow, that’s an exciting year isn’t it? Not every year will be like this, but isn’t it good that we had one before? In the upcoming year, you will be progressing to Nursery, where you are expected to learn your alphabets and do writing. Mummy hope you will continue to find fun in learning even as things get a little deskbound. Mummy wish to work with you and GorGor to make learning as interesting as possible, but do give Mummy time, ok?
Mummy wishes good health in your coming year. And hope that you can stay your cheerful self throughout your life.

Mummy wishes you all the best in the upcoming year!
Mummy wishes you all the best in the upcoming year!

Love,
Mummy

Loi 2nd Birthday

For Zai 2nd birthday, we had a staycation at Sentosa. We wanted to do the same for Loi when she had her 2nd birthday last month. Alas, we were too busy that we didn’t manage to book a hotel in time. So we have to settled for something else. After much thought, we decide to just book the BBQ pit below our block and hold a BBQ party for her.

Deco
The girl favorite at that time was Disney “Sofia the First” princess. However, Sofia is still not widely popular in Singapore yet. Hence I had to order the decos online.

Sofia deco for the girl 2nd birthday.
Sofia deco for the girl 2nd birthday.

I got the two Sofia balloons from Amazon. Got my sis to help bring it to Bugis to pump helium and bought a bunch of pink and purple balloons to go with it (Total cost for the helium gas and balloons from Bugis is SGD19). Quite happy with the quality of the Sofia balloons. The balloon continued to float in the air for about a week!

The Sofia figurine was for the girl to put on her cakes since we can’t find Sofia theme cake. Besides, after the party, the kids can still play with it as a toy. Better than sugar base deco. Got this from Disney store itself.

Food
Most of the BBQ were bought off the shelves.

BBQ food for Loi 2nd Birthday Party!
BBQ food for Loi 2nd Birthday Party!

For the kids, we air-fried mid-wings from CP and sotong balls, which goes well with the fried bee hoon my MIL prepared. My sis boyfriend also kindly helped us prepare the angry bird and bear fish cake which was pre-boiled and heated at the pit. He also help make children friendly otah by wrapping fish paste and salmon in banana leaves.

The kids enjoying their food at the party.
The kids enjoying their food at the party.

For adults, they had satay and again “upgraded” otah from my sis boyfriend. The otah was a hit and lots of guest were asking where we got it from.

For dessert, the kids get old school potong ice-cream while the adults have coconut jelly sponsored by Chubby’s aunt!

Loi enjoying her old school potong ice-cream as birthday treat!
Loi enjoying her old school potong ice-cream as birthday treat!

Fun Factors
For the kids it was fortunate that the BBQ pit was just beside the playground. Hence, they played before the food arrive and continued playing after food. This explain their sweaty look in the pic above.

Loi having fun at the playground during the party.
Loi having fun at the playground during the party.

Cake(s)
We got our two “cakes” for the party as we were afraid that one is not enough for the crowd.

The "cakes" for the party.
The “cakes” for the party.

We ordered an apple crumble and a carrot cake, both from BatterWorks. Most find the apple crumble a little too sweet but the carrot cake is nice.

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The girl 2nd Birthday party was a simple affair and rather budgeted. However, we were happy that the kids had fun and Loi enjoyed herself too. She has since been found near tables with birthday cakes trying to take over the cake cutting. Think she enjoys the attention and the fun. We will see how we will celebrate her birthday next year. Base on GorGor, it would be an even simpler affair though.

Zai Terrific 3 Birthday – Part 3

As mention, we visited the SEA aquarium the next day. The day didn’t start well, we ran late for everything. By the time we were outside the aquarium it was near to Zai’s nap time. So he was a little grouchy and sleepy. It doesn’t help that there is a huge queue at the ticket counter. Luckily, I got 2 tickets with me friendly from a colleague who got it from some credit card promo. So I decide to bring the boy in while Chubby stays behind to queue for the rest of the tickets.

Once inside SEA, the boy is less sleepy and is ‘mesmerize’ by all the different sea creatures.

Creatures from SEA Aquarium
Creatures from SEA Aquarium

It helped that he was watching ‘Finding Nemo’ and ‘Little Mermaid’. So he is able to identify some of the sea creatures.

Kids @ SEA Aquarium
Kids @ SEA Aquarium

Look at how happy he is. But alas, tiredness caught over him. So I found a spot right in front of the biggest fish tank (can’t remember what is that area called), plop down and let him take a nap. He fell asleep looking at the fishes. Ah~ such a bliss. I told Chubby that I will wait for him there and they can slowly explore the area. When he reach, the girl has also fallen asleep. We continued on after they woke up.

Seriously, I didn’t think that the SEA Aquarium is fantastic. I thought the Hong Kong Ocean Park is much better, with more sea creatures. So I doubt we will go back to SEA anytime soon, would rather save the money for other attractions.

Zai Terrific 3 Birthday – Part 2

Finally time to continue with his birthday celebration.

After the celebration we held in school, we went back home to celebrate it again with his cousin.

Zai Celebration @ Home
Zai Celebration @ Home

We didn’t get another cake but we set aside some cupcakes that we brought for the school celebration. The “lotus flower” you see at the backdrop, is actually a candle that plays the “Happy Birthday” tune and opens up with sparks in the center. The boy was really happy to be able to blow another candle. And was fascinated by the sparks though he did got a “shock” when the sparks first came out.

That marks the end of Day 1 of his celebration. Up next on Day 2, we visited the S.E.A Aquarium!

Zai Terrific 3 Birthday – Part 1

This post is long over due. We celebrated Zai’s third birthday a few weeks back. As his birthday falls on a Sunday, we had a series of celebration starting on Friday in school.

I asked the boy what birthday cake he would like to have for his birthday party. He couldn’t give me an answer. So I decide to go with the “Mickey Mouse” theme since I saw online a few months back on how to make a Mickey Mouse goodie bag and he does like Mickey Mouse. However, in the end we didn’t pack a “goodie” bag but decided to get some crayons for the kids.

Crayons for Zai's Classmates
Crayons for Zai’s Classmates

However, I still tried to wrap the crayons into Mickey Mouse. Here is the final product.

Gifts for Zai's Classmates
Mickey Mouse Wrapping

I must say I underestimated the effort required to do the wrapping. We brought 25 boxes and it took us about 5 nights to cut the paper and wrap it up. My fingers were sore from all the cutting and wrapping. But when I showed the box to Zai, he was able to recognise Mickey immediately and can’t wait to get his hands on it. But sorry my boy, its for your friends.

As Zai has a classmate that is only 1 day older then him, we decided not to buy a big cake as we are quite sure the class won’t be able to finish them. So in the end, we decide to get some cup cakes like last year, so the kids can bring back home if they didn’t eat it. Thanks to some Mommies from SMB, we found out about Whips Cupcake. Look at the cute and yummy cupcake they baked for us.

Mickey Mouse Cupcakes from Whips Cupcakes
Mickey Mouse Cupcakes from Whips Cupcakes

We opt for the mini size cupcake instead of the normal size since its for young children. The total cost for the 30 mini cupcakes with the Mickey Mouse fondant costs us SGD100. I wouldn’t say its cheap, but it certainly was a hit among the kids (The photo below is a good proof). Hence, I will say its money well spent.

Birthday Boy and Girl
Birthday Boy and Girl

Coincidentally, the Birthday Girl requested for a Minnie Mouse theme from her Mummy. The big chocolate cake with the Minnie Mouse candles were for her.

Family Photo w Cakes
Family Photo w Cakes

A family photo before they started singing their birthday song. Look at the smile on Zai’s face. I’m very sure he was really happy that day. I heard from his teachers that before he went for his nap, he told the teachers he is going to have “Mickey Mouse birthday”. His mood was so good that he ate one cupcake and 2 slices of cake that afternoon. Not very usual of him.

Zai enjoying cakes
Zai enjoying cakes

I was really glad that he liked his birthday “cake” and the little presents for his friends. It took some effort on our side, but the smiles on his face are well worth it. And we are also glad that most of his friends enjoyed the cupcakes too.

Like what Chubby mention, the most important thing about a birthday celebration is how happy the kids are. Especially the birthday boy/girl. So I think we shouldn’t over indulge but look at what really makes them happy. A simple cake design and time spent with them may be all that they are looking for.