They say that when it comes to motherhood, the days are long but years are short. Judging by how nearly 13 years have passed me by yet I still remember the very first day I became a mum, I can see the truth in that saying and sometimes, I do wish I have the power to make time slow down.
You see, even the days feel short to me and 24 hours just doesn’t seem enough for me to achieve all that I want to. The days, weeks and years seem to fly past me and every time I look back, I wonder where they had all gone to. I guess I will never know but all I hope for is that I had done my best to cherish time while time was still by my side.
This kind of stay-at-home mum life that I love so much won’t last forever, I know. One day, which is sooner than I know, the kids will be moving out of this home to start families of their own. I will be looking through photo albums and our videos filled with baby laughter, kiddy activities and family moments, and I will be missing those times so badly that my heart aches. Yup, I am a very emotional mum but it’s not something I wanna change.
So while the four kids still call “Mama” a dozen times a day, I am more than happy to attend to every of their needs and let them know that I am always here for them. As we busy ourselves with daily chores, school work, play time and enrichment classes, we are also making time for family and building up a bank of memories so that years down the road, we will have tonnes of these happy moments to look back on. In this “Happiness is..” post, it’s about treasuring the short days and making sure each of them count.
I’ve been cooking a little less because it can get very tiring and cumbersome on some days, especially with all the washing up to do. So whenever I whip up a home cooked meal, there is an immense sense of achievement and the kids are very happy to know that Mama made the effort to cook for them too. These are the flavours, the smells, the moments that stay in our growing up years, right? I still remember what my mum cooked for me as a kid and I hold those memories tight.
We also like to dine out and one of the kids’ favourite eatery is Genki Sushi! We love the food here and of course, the moving train just makes everything so much more fun for them. I saw the four of them talking and playing before the food came and this scene of them placing them hands together to do a whoooosh – you know, like how we cheer before a game – warmed my heart so much, especially when Ansel smiled widely and asked to do it again and again. You are a good team and will always be, my dears, must remember to love, protect and support one another, okay?
Desserts are also very much welcome and the kids can never get enough of frozen yoghurt at Yole. We love to buy two medium cups to share and they always enjoy every mouthful of it. See, even Ansel is starting to like it too! We will just find an empty bench to sit around and these kind of family moments are so simple yet so full of joy, don’t you think so?
All of us are very accustomed at taking public transport and the kids love being in a double decker bus, especially if they can get the front seats in the upper deck, they will be very happy because it is like a mini roller coaster ride. Haha. Yup, being 知足常乐 will take us far and fill our lives with joy, 懂吗? I love taking the bus with you all too, kiddos, even though sometimes I have to stay at the bottom deck alone because of the pram. Seeing, and hearing, you happy makes Mama very happy too.
Being a mum of four is awesome because I get to witness all the sweet sibling moments. Sure, there are fights and bickers too but if you see beyond that, the bond they form and build up since young will hopefully be something that will last them for life. I see how the three older ones dote on the toddler with all their hearts and it’s really something I cherish deeply. This boy also makes us laugh every day with his silly antics and new tricks. It’s like, even if we’re having a bad day, seeing his happy face just makes everything better. He is our sunshine baby, our light at the end of the tunnel and our rainbow after the rain.
We found this cute Tigger hand-me-down for him and thought he looked so adorable in it! Yup, we are biased, I know. We always say he is the cutest and sweetest baby boy in the world even though other babies are just as adorable too. Haha. Well, 那是因为他是我们的宝贝 and nothing will ever change that. He is growing so much taller now and getting heavier by the day, so I keep telling the elder ones to carry him more before they can’t do it anymore.
The kids were having a swim when suddenly they kept laughing and then I realised it was because Ariel looked like incredible Hulk when the air got into her swimming top and inflated it. It was a funny sight and they just kept doing it again and again just to make everyone laugh, and I couldn’t help but chuckle too. Awwww, these moments, I heart them so much. Life feels so simple and carefree at this very moment and whatever that comes after, we will deal with it together.
We love exploring new playgrounds too and this was one that we had never been to before. It’s lovely that they can form a team and play catching together and I usually don’t even need to follow the little one because they will help to lift him, carry him, slide with him or play see-saw with him. Yup, Ansel darling, 你很幸福, 有这么多人宠爱你！
If you know me, you will know that I treasure family gatherings a lot and we make it a point to hang out with our parents regularly. We celebrated National Day and watched the parade on TV together – even though we already brought them for the NDP preview previously – and even though the house was rowdy, I guess that is better than being quiet and lonely, right? Celebrations are always so much fun and I cherish these opportunities very much because you never know how many more you can have. I sincerely hope my in-laws and parents will be 长命百岁 and we can continue our gatherings for many more years.
I cherish my one-on-one time with the kids very much and now that the toddler will be turning two in a few month’s time, I especially treasure this very cute and very sweet phase before it’s over. He is a joy to be with and I love that we spend some quality mother-and-son time on weekdays when the siblings are all in school. Awwww, I’m gonna miss you so much when you go to nursery, dear Angel, but let’s just wait a couple more years before we let that happen, shall we?
One of our highlights this month was visiting River Wonders to celebrate Le Le’s first birthday! There were many fun-filled activities and we got to interactive with animals and see the panda mascots too. It’s a different experience visiting the park at night and we totally enjoyed the cool night breeze and each other’s company.
We love the hands-on activities and this included terrarium making, tote bag stamping and creating a one-of-a-kind lightbox. The kids drew Kai Kai, Jia Jia and Le Le to put
inside the lightbox and this happy family portrait speaks volumes to my heart.
Movies are very much enjoyed by everyone in our family and the kids have been avid moviegoers since a very young age. We love going for movie previews and are thankful for every opportunity that comes our way. Even though it is easy and convenient to watch movies on Netflix on Disney+ these days, I still love bringing the kids to the cinema every once in a while because it just feels different this way and every movie outing is greatly cherished.
With Teacher’s Day round the corner, we also started designing, printing, cutting and laminating our own DIY bookmarks. Ariel took charge of this project and spent hours on it, including drawing pictures of her teachers and coaches which really made their day. It’s so easy to buy gifts these days but a handmade one can never be replaced and the meaning, love and sincerity it carries is unlike any other.
I hope our family dance sessions will continue going strong even though it’s seemingly harder to find time to do it as the kids get older. It’s still something we enjoy and it’s a form of bonding for us so I’m reminding myself to make time for this no matter how busy life gets. Well, I highly doubt the kids will still wanna do this when they are all grown up so while they are loving it, let’s just dance on!
Yup, my kids have eaten cup noodles before and they actually love it and see it as a rare treat! Haha. That is because they probably only get to eat once or twice in an entire year and it’s usually when we go out for events till near midnight and come home feeling hungry and in the mood for supper. We went to the petrol kiosk to let them take their pick and just check out their big, wide smiles here. I guess it’s okay to just close one eye every once in a while, right?
I also like to take my kids to the pasar malam because I used to love it as a kid! The yummy food, the loud music, the carnival games – these are things that form a part of my growing up years and I’m happy to see that the kids are loving our visits too. We ate 卤肉饭，Ramly burger, kebab, orh ah mee sua, Taiwanese sausages, tutu kuehs and more!
Well, we couldn’t resist but play a few carnival games too because these are always so much fun – if only they can be cheaper, haha. We had a go at the seemingly impossible ring toss, we played ball games and the younger ones and I even went on a ‘jet ski’ ride which was so much fun!
When the kids are all grown up and look back someday, I hope they felt my presence and know that Mama was very involved in many of their fun moments. Instead of just watching or filming them like I always do to keep for memories, I also make sure I join them because something tells me that there won’t be many more years for me to keep doing this. My kids are gonna grow up into adults before I know it. That is when we will bid farewell to kiddy rides and games and hopefully, the memories we have left behind will last for a lifetime and the joy will always be felt when we reminisce these good old days.
Cherish, just cherish, while we still can.
Till the next update on my simple take on happiness. Have a great school holiday, people!