Tag Archives: birthday

A letter to 8-year old C

<This started as letter to C for her 8th birthday, and for some reason, it was not posted.> 

Dear C,

Time flies, and in a blink of an eye you’ve turned 8. Ever since you’ve started primary school, the clock hands seemed to turn even faster. It’s a mad rush everyday… 5am mornings, homework, music practice, bedtime. With all the activities going on, it’s easy to miss how quickly my little girl has grown.

The change was gradual… then one day, you complained that your uniform was getting too short and you couldn’t fit in most of your pants(!) It was then that I realized that it had been quite a while since I had restocked your wardrobe. I guess that subconsciously, to me, you always remained that little girl who fit into the smallest sized uniform. 

Then, there was the day when you came up to me, proudly showing off your neatly tied ponytail (you had practiced for days by yourself).

I teared. My little girl had grown up. 

You still believe in magic, but I’m starting to sense some skepticism about the existence of a tooth fairy (“Why does she have the same handwriting as you, mummy?”). You used to say that everyone is your friend, but now in our daily chats about school and friends, the word “enemy” has popped up. You ask about world affairs, and have found that google is a way to learn new things. You’ve started the habit of keeping a diary (“a real diary, mummy, no one else is supposed to read it.”) We discuss my work at the office.

I’m trying to cope with the changes. On some days, it certainly feels like you are eight-turning-eighteen.

Yet, with all these changes, you remain a pure-hearted, generous, kind-hearted soul. Your tenacity and perseverance never fails to amaze me. I hope these qualities will remain constants as you continue to bloom.

I’ll always be proud of you, my dear daughter.

With lots of love,


8-year old C




Happy 4th birthday, G!

Dearest G,

In a blink of an eye, you’ve turned 4!

I must say that the journey the past year has been a roller-coaster ride.

Truth be told, I had never really experienced the “terrible-threes” with your sister, so when other mums spoke of it, I could only nod in sympathy. Now, I can proudly say that I am a survivor of full-blown tantrums, one that only a toddler going through the terrible-three phase is capable of.

I’ve sat with you for an entire hour outside the classroom, because you decided that you didn’t want to go in (you were excited about the class, until the moment you stepped through the door). I have held you when you had major crying fits, because things didn’t go the way you wanted (the zip wouldn’t work, the blue crayon did not colour red, the teacher looked at you in class). Yes, we survived that together, my strong-willed little boy.

Thankfully, the tantrums tapered off as you grew in eloquence and maturity. You are no longer the shy little boy who hides behind my legs when you meet strangers. Now, you proudly announce your name, age and “this is my mummy” to complete strangers. You are no longer hesitant to belt out bthe entire, extended version of  “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” at the top of your voice in public.

Your ability to express yourself has improved by leaps and bounds over the past year. I’m already starting to miss your “I so much to see you!” (This has been replaced with a grammatically correct “I miss you so much, Mummy”) I’m always amused to see you narrate your own stories – where the 3 little pigs ride off in a car leaving big bad wolf in the dust, or where Dora is helped by the Paw Patrol in the forest when she falls down, or where Jack climbs the beanstalk at Old MacDonald’s Farm. Your creativity never ceases to amaze me.

Yet, you still remain the sensitive and loving little boy who showers hugs and kisses to all near and dear. I love it when you picked up my hand and started kissing it during our class at Heguru (much to the amusement of the teachers), when you give great big hugs when I return from work, and when you say “I love you, Mummy” at random moments. You’re the one who asks if I’m tired, or upset, and tries to cheer me up by offering your toys or a sweet.

You are such a happy little boy, who never fails to make me smile with your cheeky grin, even when you are up to mischief. Your beautiful soul is reflected in your colourful doodles… and this latest self portrait is one of my favourites because it reflects exactly who you are, complete with a big, wide smile on his face.

Self-portrait by G (29May2015)

Self-portrait by G (29May2015)

I pray that you will always keep this rainbow inside your heart. Happy birthday my little boy. I love you lots!


Cheeky G

Cheeky G

Happy 7th birthday C!

C turned 7 on the 14th of July.

Dear C,

You’ve been looking forward to your birthday celebrations since the beginning of the year, counting down first by the number of months, then weeks, and finally by the number of days. Not because of the presents or party, but because you’ve been waiting to take that teeny-tiny step towards adulthood.

The day has arrived, and you are now officially a 7-year old. “Almost an adult,” you declare, proudly showing off the gaps in your teeth where two adult teeth have started to show. You can’t wait to grow up, but I wish for time to slow down, just a little.

You’ve grown so much over the past year. Sometimes, I forget that you are only 7.

There were the times when I was impressed by the maturity of your speech and actions. Did I tell you that I was extremely proud to hear that you stood up to the bully to protect your friend? Or how comforted I felt when you offered to keep your brother busy when you saw that I was tired so that I could rest?

Then there were the times when I’m reminded that you are still a little girl, one who still believes that the tooth fairy and book fairy is real. I try my best to keep that belief alive, by staying up late to write that note on behalf of the fairies, so that you are not disappointed when you wake. That sparkle in your eye when you see the letter is worth it. I hope that you will always believe that magic exists, in one form or other.

It was not so long ago that I woke up at 5am for your morning feeds. Just the two of us awake, you suckling quietly at my breast. You were a tiny baby then, dependent on me for your every need.

Now, 5am mornings are part of our daily routine again. Just the two of us awake, getting ready for school. But now, you do not need me to brush your teeth, or get changed – you can do that yourself. Then you sit quietly, sleepy and blurry-eyed, while I tie your hair.

You’ve been asking me to teach you how to bundle your hair in a ponytail. I’ve seen you standing in front of the mirror, trying to figure out how to do it properly. I will teach you, and you will keep on practicing till you get it right, just like how you learnt to button your own shirt and how you learnt to feed yourself.

Have patience, my dear daughter. I know that you can’t wait to grow up, to be fully independent. But before you get there, there are so many things that I hope you will learn. Not only to tie your own hair, but to learn from mistakes, to act with grace and humility, to be a person with integrity.

In the meantime, I will put off teaching you how to tie your hair for a little longer. I know that I will miss doing this little task for you, just like I miss the times when I helped you put on your socks, or when I fed you your rice cereal. So, I’m holding back, I want to keep tying my little girl’s hair for a little while longer.

Happy birthday, C!



Happy 3rd Birthday G!

G turned 3 on 31st May, so this post is almost 2 months late (gasp! Where did the time go??)

Dear G,
Last year flew by in a blur. You’ve grown so much over the past year. Your verbal skills have improved by leaps and bounds, and you’re able to express yourself well, be it narrating your own story, recounting your day in preschool, or complaining about your sis :p 

You love to sing, and I would hear you humming to yourself while playing. Your favourite songs? Eensy-Weensy Spider, Alphabet song, and of course, “Let It Go” from Frozen. You’ve also started to learn to play the piano, and your best (and only piece) is Hot Cross Buns. I hope that you will always enjoy music, and be able to sing your heart out whenever you feel like it (like you do when you start belting out Let It Go at midnight in the dark)

You show an affinity for the written word. I would catch you pointing out words in books and street signs, and you love learning how to spell (magnetic letters are one of your favourite toys now). You’ve learnt to spell your name, and simple words like milk, toy, dog. I would often catch you “reading” to your toys at bedtime 😉

G reading

G reading

You’ve progressed from a little boy who was afraid of going up the trampoline, hesitant to jump into a ball-pit or even try the balance-beam, to a little daredevil who leaps off into the ball-pit (or off the bed) if given half a chance. Although mummy is so proud that you’ve come so far, try not to give me too many heart-attacks, ok?


Leaping in with wild abandon

You’re such an affectionate little boy, giving us warm hugs when you sense that we are upset. I love it when I get home from work every evening, to see you running to me shouting “Mummy, you’re home! I miss you!” I miss you too, everyday at work.

You really look up to your elder sis, parroting her words and imitating all her actions. I’m so glad that you are such a loving little brother, missing your sister when she is not around, giving her hugs when she is upset, offering to share your sweets with her whenever you get some. Always, always remember this bond that the two of you share.

Sharing a special bond

Sharing a special bond

Of course, there are the tantrums. Terrible twos and threes were not named by chance. You have a stubborn streak in you that drives me up the wall sometimes, yet I can’t stay upset for long. All it takes is “I’m sorry, mummy. Are you still angry?” and a big hug from you. And who could resist that cheeky grin? Please grow out of this phase soon, though. It’s really no fun. I have the proof on video, and I promise to show it to you when you are older.

I know that it’s not easy being the second child, and you have limited time alone with mummy because she has to work and spend time with your older sis for her school work. As a result, you’ve grown up to be more independent, playing quietly by yourself when everyone else is busy. Sorry my dear G, I will try to spend more time with you. And take lots more photos and videos.

Happy birthday my dear G, mummy loves you lots. Stay happy and healthy. Laugh lots, and I hope you never lose that twinkle in your eyes 🙂

Happy birthday G!

Happy birthday G!



Another year, another life lesson

Good morning, everyone!

It’s pretty quiet in here because I’ve been busy with life in general. Since C started primary school in Jan, I’ve been getting used to 5am mornings and early bedtimes. We’ve been working on brushing up C’s Chinese and G’s reading (more updates in later posts)

So, it’s been a year since I posted this list of 37 life lessons. Many things have happened along the way, and if there’s anything I’ve learnt, that’s:

38. Be prepared for change
Changes are inevitable. I can choose to accept and make the best out of it. Or I can choose to resist and be miserable. I’ve learnt that it’s ok to go with the flow (sometimes).


Have a great day everyone. I’m off to celebrate the first day as a 38-year old 🙂

Happy birthday dear C

Dear C,

Today is the day that you turn 6! You’ve been looking forward to this day, because it means that you are one step closer to adulthood. It also means that you’ll be able to drive that car in Legoland, and take the rides by yourself. You can’t wait to grow older, because you want to be an adult just like me. Trust me, when you come to my age, you would wish to be a child all over again!

As I write this letter, I’m looking through all the photos and videos of you taken over the past 6 years. You’ve grown so so much.

I remember the day you were born. Two failed attempts to induce, and 16 hours of active labour – the gynae said that you were too comfortable inside and didn’t want to leave my tummy. I guess you had a mind of your own, even back then.

When you finally decided that it was time to see this world, you were the quietest baby in the whole ward – only one loud cry to announce that you were out, followed by immediate silence when you heard our voices. Right from the start, you were an alert and observant little lady, preferring to remain silent while you took in your new surroundings. As you grew older, I am constantly surprised by the casual comments which reveal the detail with which you perceive the world around you.

You’ve always been independent. I recall the first day of pre-school – while the rest of your classmates clung on to their parents, you sat right in front of the class by yourself. There were no tears, simply a smile and a wave when I said that I was leaving. During the recent camp, I knew that my worries would be unfounded, and that you would do just fine (although it doesn’t mean that I would not worry).

Many times, I’m in awe of your determination, perseverance and bravery. I watched as you practiced playing the violin for over three hours, trying again and again until you got it right. I watched you climbing up a rock wall,  a petite little girl going up and up until you reached the top. I watched as you cried in fear when asked to jump into the deep end of the pool, but gritted your teeth and did so anyway. Many times, you showed me that there was a tough little girl beneath that sweet exterior.

Yet, you have a kind and gentle heart, always willing to forgive, always generous. You display a maturity beyond your years, so much so that I tend to forget that you are only six. You are a fantastic big sister to G, and it warms my heart to see how much you care for your little brother.

My dear C, I want you to know that I’m terribly proud of you. Know that I love you simply for being who are. Remember to believe in yourself,  and to be kind not only to others, but to yourself too. Remember the way you climbed up the wall, slowly moving up despite the scrapes on your knee. Remember that your favourite rainbows appear after the rain.

Happy birthday my little princess.

With love,

Happy birthday dear G!

Dear G,

Time flies… you’ll be turning 2 today.

I remember when I held you in my arms two years  ago, after 12 hours of induced labour. I recall the panic I felt when I was told that you had the umbilical cord wound around your neck, when I saw your purple face. The relief when I heard you cry out loud. You were really tiny then, having arrived 3 weeks early.

Since then, I watched as you first learnt to flip, to cruise (you crawled only for a day before you decided you preferred to be on your feet), then learnt to walk and now to run and jump. You were always a determined little person who never gave up, who seemed always to be able to find ways of getting around problems.


G at 6 months

You are cheeky and mischievous, with a ready smile for those near and dear. It’s your smile and that sparkle in your eye that gets you out of trouble most days; that, and the adorable way you go “uh-oh” after each episode of mischief. I cannot resist hugging you when you do that.


G at 18 months

I love how you dance to music, turning round and round, bopping up and down. You love numbers and colours, and never fail to point them out every time we go out. I always chuckle when you go “Awww… man!”, done with a flourish of your hand, just like Swiper in Dora the explorer.


You have learnt to say “Cheeeeeese” for the pictures

There is a sensitive and sweet side to you, which we see from time to time. You sit quietly beside your big sister when she is upset, and try to comfort her with hugs and little kisses. When you run out of ideas to comfort her, you run to me for help.

I know I will miss the way you cling on to me when strangers approach you, tugging on my skirt and hanging on tight. The way you turn my face towards you when you want to talk to me. The way you pat my back when I carry you. The way you call “Muuuuuuummmmmmmyyyyyyyyy, night night” at night in the dark, just before bedtime. I cherish every moment that I get to spend with you: smiles, tantrums and all.

Sometimes, I wish I could stop the clock, to hold on to every moment. If only I could keep everything on videotape. I know that some of these memories will fade, to be replaced by others as you grow. So I’m writing some of them here, in the hope that I’ll be able to read this with you in the future.

Happy birthday my dear little G. I love you.



All puckered up to blow out the candle

Birthday thoughts

its my birthdayToday is my birthday. It’s usually around this time that I pause for a moment to take stock of my life.

I’m 37 this year. Not that old (to me!), but not too young either. So far, life has been pretty good to me – 2 beautiful kids, a supportive husband, parents and siblings who help out, friends whom I can count on, and a stable job. I’ve a lot to be thankful for. 🙂

That said, life has not always been smooth-sailing, but with every bump, I take with me a life lesson. Here are 37 things that I’ve learnt along the way, in no particular order:life_lessons

1. Laugh a lot
I’ve been called a joker’s joy for the fact that I laugh easily and heartily. Corny jokes? Bring it on! Seriously, finding something to laugh about everyday lightens the heart.

2. Rest
Take time to relax and recharge.

3. Don’t regret
Learn from mistakes and move on. Stewing in regrets and what might have been hold you back even more.

4. Appreciate what you have
Find something to be thankful for everyday. Put it down in writing.

5. Slow down
My secondary school principal used to chide late-comers: “Wake up early so you do not need to rush. Rushing everyday will give you a heart attack.” It’s true, slowing down your pace consciously does help you to relax.

6. Say thank you to family
More often than not, we take family members for granted. Showing appreciation by saying a simple “thank you” goes a long way.

7. Family is always priority
Work is work. It will never be done. Family comes first.

8. Be kind, not right
Sometimes it’s better just to be kind, even if you are right.

9. There is no perfect parent
We are all learning. No one knows for sure (even those who write parenting books!).

10. Life is short – make each moment count
We often go through life thinking that there will be another day. Sometimes, there won’t. And you would probably not have advance notice.

11. Listen to your children
Stop to listen to your children when they want to tell you every little detail. If you don’t have time for them now, they won’t have time for you when they grow up.

12. Sharing is caring
Be generous. What goes around, comes around.

13. Cry if you need to
For me, holding back tears is one of the worst feelings. Have a good cry if you need to, it releases pent-up emotions. Then wipe your tears, smile, and move on.

14. Take pictures, and videos
Take loads of pictures with loved ones, not only of your children.

15. Try something different
Do something different, take a risk. If you don’t try, you’ll never know.

16. Play like a child
Being an adult doesn’t mean that we cannot have fun. Indulge in simple joys.

17. Ask
Don’t be afraid to show that you do not know.

18. Be prepared to work hard
Nothing comes free. If you want results, you need to work for it.

19. Listen to your heart
Trust your gut feeling. More often than not, it’s telling you what you need to know.

20. Break down actions into small steps
And celebrate each achievement, no matter how insignificant it may seem.

21. Stick to your principles
Do what you think is right. Don’t compromise.

22. Don’t judge by appearances
As the adage goes, appearances can be deceiving. I’ve worked in a bank. The person who was dressed most humbly had the biggest bank account.

23. You don’t need to follow the crowd
I’m old enough to think for myself. I do not need to have to do something just because the rest of the world is doing so.

24. Don’t trust everything you see/hear on the internet/tv/FB
Sensationalism sells. Take all information given with a pinch of salt.

25. Drink more water
I was given the advice to drink at least 2 litres of water every day (plain water, not coke/coffee/tea). It really helps to detoxify.

26. Trust people
Open your heart. It’s sad when you find that you are not able to believe in anyone.

27. Apologize
Say sorry, and mean it.

28. Say what you feel
Don’t expect others to read your mind. If it matters, voice it out (or write it down).

29. Learn to say “No”
You can’t please everyone all the time.

30. You do not need many friends, a few good ones are enough
You don’t need thousands of friends on Facebook. Know who are the ones you can count on.

31. Enjoy your food
I’m a foodie, and I live to eat. Savour your favourite food (in moderate amounts of course).

32. Don’t compare
You don’t really know what they have gone through to get there.

33. Time heals
Yes, it does. Even if it doesn’t seem so now.

34. Save for rainy days
Put aside a fixed amount each month. Spend wisely, but don’t forget to indulge yourself once in a while. 😉

35. Don’t procrastinate
Just do it.

36. Learn from mistakes, forgive yourself.
To err is human. Just make sure not to repeat it.

37. Love yourself
You are special. Love yourself, and treat yourself right 🙂

Of course, these are but a few of the lessons. I’m still learning everyday!

What are some of the life lessons you’ve learnt?