Celebrating Chinese New Year 2018

Each time we celebrate the Chinese New Year, I’m always reminded of how important it is to regularly meet up with our family and relatives. That kampong spirit and sense of belonging never fails to fill my heart with a warm fuzzy feeling each time we go visiting and take turns gathering at one another’s homes.


We put in effort to prepare meals and snacks for our visiting relatives and make sure everyone is comfortable and take pride in sprucing up our homes to welcome our guests. I actually think it’s such a great thing to do at least once a year to declutter and maybe change things around in our living space.



CNY is also that time of the year when we get to wear our traditional cheongsam and follow certain traditional activities. It’s always such a joy being able to share about our culture and tradition not just with our little ones, but our friends from other cultures as well. 
And one of my favorite things about celebrating CNY apart from the fact that we get to spend more time with family and friends whom we don’t see very often is the FOOD! I lost count how many tubs of pineapple tarts I’ve eaten and platters of Yu Sheng that we’ve consumed. And despite knowing the nutritional content in these less than healthy morsels…. I can’t help but savor and appreciate these tasty morsels that I only get to enjoy once a year. 
So all the more I have to make sure that the kids and I stay healthy and fit at this time of the year when we actually eat more, sit more and sleep less.

Happy Chinese New Year everyone! Stay healthy and well and may the lunar new year ahead be one filled with peace, joy and great experiences for all.

Your source of purpose

What is your biggest source of purpose for what you do? Is it family, religion or even your work. When we have meaning in what we do it buffers us against burnout and exhaustion. 

As a working mother, on most days I only get 4 to 6 hours of sleep but getting to do what I love and having a meaningful impact on those I interact and deal with just energizes me and I feel better able to handle the difficult stuff. And it harder for me while my other half is stationed for years overseas for work.
There is more than one way to look at a situation but when you give meaning to what you do, notice how everything changes.

No matter how tired I am, the thought of heading out to play with these guys and making memories just works better than 4 cups of espresso.

Family is definitely one of my main source of purpose. ❤️

Disneyland with my Dudettes

I remember when I came to Disneyland the first time when I was a kid, the second time just after getting married, the third time after having 2 kids and now this fourth time we’re back here again with 4 kids. And it never gets old ❤ Disneyland is for kids and the inner child in all adults. 

This time though the older kids are definitely enjoying the rides more and although the lines can sometimes put our bladders to the test….. seeing the faces of our kiddos light up makes it totally worth it. 
And I’m so grateful that the hubs booked a hotel for us that’s just a short walk away from Disneyland and Adventure Land so we can easily walk over to the theme parks for the next 3 days. Thank you Daddyman! Xoxo 
 

   

Vegas baby!

I’ve lost count how many times the hubs and I have been to Las Vegas, but over the years since 2001 after we got married till now, we’ve travelled here numerous times as a couple, with two very young children, while I was pregnant with Number 3 and now with 4 kids. And each time the experience is a little different. 

Timing pee stops is definitely something we have to do while on this sort of road trip 😂 and obviously managing our shopping because otherwise we would just go stark crazy and end up not having leg room left in the MPV (yes it’s happened before). 
One thing I appreciate about #thatdadoffour is how he would make sure the kids have entertainment in the car during the long drives. Games, music, riddles…… Yes it’s way better than in-flight entertainment. Ha!
Visiting Vegas with babies does limit what we can do and the types of shows we can watch for sure. And it also means we often walk around with a sleeping child or in our current case….. sleeping children! So we end up having to carry kiddos while we go about town. Thank goodness for all that training.
Still….. there’s so much we’ve done. Visiting the Grand Canyon, taking the rides, catching the shows, taking in the sights and eating way too much. 
I can only hope that our older kids will remember these moments and keep them dear to heart ❤️ 
 
On our last trip here to M&Ms World in 2011 and I was over 5 months pregnant with Number 3.

 

Back when they still had the lion’s habitat in MGM hotel.
   

That First Road Trip with Four young kids

So it’s been almost 6 years since the hubs and I embarked on a road trip with the kids. The last time we drove across the different states was when we only had two kids and a baby in my belly. Now there’s four of them aged between 10 and 1 so it’s definitely a very different experience.

Well for one thing, the number of bags we have to pack along and the size of the cooler box have to be upsized!
Spending hours on the road also means keeping entertained in the car. And I must say the older kids have been nothing but helpful when it comes to the caring of the baby and being amazing travel companions. 
 
 
Though we’ve been to several of the pit stops below multiple times, the kids have obviously forgotten many of them and are seeing these places with a fresh set of eyes again. And it makes my heart sing to see them being so happy looking at snow capped mountains…… herds of cows grazing and canyons. Can’t wait till we get to Vegas and bring them to see the Grand Canyon again! ❤
 
 
 
 
 

Take a picture!

Those who know me very well would’ve had in many instances heard me scream “take a picture take a picture take a picture!” And I oftentimes get teased by them for that…… 

Yes I do take a tonne of pictures and videos especially those of my kids, and I’m really happy that I have these home videos and pictures to share with them about their childhood. Sometimes my girls will just randomly ask me to show them videos of our life back in France or the USA when they were riding horses, picking blueberries and cherries, baking with me, camping at Yellowstone Park or just spending time at the beach making sand castles. 
 
Nya horse-riding on the Oregon trail
Memories truly are important and even though I had been blogging for over 5 years before a hiatus and only very recently did I return to blogging again, I’m so glad I printed my 5 years worth of blogging into books that my kids happily flip through once in awhile.
 
One of the several blog books that I got printed eons ago.
You hear people say this a lot “look back on the happy memories”. I’m just happy that I don’t have to rely on just my aging brain to churn out those memories and special moments. I’ve got videos…. pictures, photo albums and books to help me ❤
 
Nyla learning to fly at the Zoo
 
At the Pumpkin festival
 
Catching Kiki (aka #4) in the act when she’s getting told off for playing with sharp pencils and running around. This does this “ostrich burying her head” thing.

Number 2!

Number 2……. Also known as Medium, The Wild Child and Mini Dawn.

For the first year after she was born, it felt as though I hadn’t given birth because she would be wrapped against my chest while I did all the chores, practiced, took care of her and Large and of course shopped for groceries. 
When we later moved to the States, I remember how shopping for groceries was such a breeze not just because you and your sis would hold my pockets while I pushed the trolley….. but really because even at a tender age of 3 you could remember where some of the items I needed were located. Thanks brainy.
Always the first one to race me up a tree and roll out the mat to practice together, stalk wild iguanas and snakes or just hang out (upside down) on our hammocks….. Medium has always gotten the hang of things at breakneck speed with a smile on her face.
If only she could do that when it comes to finishing her meals 😂
Love you baby cakes ❤
 

Number 1! Large….

Meet Large. Also known as Goody two shoes and the unpaid babysitter 😂

My firstborn who taught me the most about what is it is to be a mother, how to love someone else more than I love myself and how to catch vomit with my shirt like a hammock before it ends up all over the carpet.
She’s always amazed me with her heart of gold and thoughtfulness towards others, always ready to give and think about the impact on those around her.
Ever since I was pregnant with her second sister 10 months after she was born, Large has always been there to help me and cheer up….. even helping me fetch the diapers and wet wipes for her sis when she was less than 2 years old. And 10 years on, this has not changed. She still does all this and more 
Thank you for letting me be your mommy. And finish your vegetables! 😂 
Love you baby.
 

Number 4

Number 4, The Baby Thing…….. also known as Miss Kiki.

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She’s the boss in the household and one “ehhh!” has us all scuttling to fulfill her demand. Ha! Well sorta.
At 1 year and 5 months old, she’s climbing up and down beds, sofas and coffee tables like a pro and I can’t wait to take her tree climbing with her sisters and I when she’s ready. 
Yoga and group hugs get her sprinting to us and just like her 3rd sister, Miss Kiki is showing signs of being a bottomless pit. Her favorite snacks include seaweed and blueberries. 
Enjoy your time as our boss while you can Fatty Pants!
 

Number 3

Number 3…… Also known as Miss LaLa.

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This is the one who still believes in magic and fairies….. and of course the possibility that she can grow up to be a Princess of the world.

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This little girl has a knack for making friends wherever she goes and most recently has been nominated as Mayor of the heartland at my mum and dad’s neighborhood. 

I still find it highly amusing that on her way to school and back, walking past the market and banks, she will insist on greeting Mr Yong Tau Fu man, Mr Ice Cream stall man, Uncle Mat Yo Yo who runs the Malay food stall at the market and Uncle Wanton Mee. Oftentimes they will offer her packets of food or snacks from their stall to take along with her. ❤

She truly understands and lives by that kampong spirit. 

Don’t grow up so fast my darling…..


 

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Photo credit: @eena_eyes .

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