Tag Archives: love

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!




A pleasant surprise

Today C presented us with this card:


With a message for me inside:

Message to mummy

Message to mummy

And daddy wasn’t neglected too:

For daddy

For daddy

Apparently she wrote it when we brought G for his Heguru class. When asked why she made this card, she simply said that she wanted to show her appreciation.

She made my day 🙂

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


Recent events have reminded me about the importance of perseverance, that it is an essential quality that I want to develop in my children.


Scrat from the movie Ice Age – his perseverance to get that acorn is admirable!

Frankly speaking, I’m not sure which is the best way to do so. How do I instill the value of perseverance? It is not something that can be learnt from a textbook. I googled, I read parenting books, I sought advice from other mothers. Then I looked at how my mum did it.

I know that as a child, my mum had never allowed me to give up. When I was growing up, she had always emphasized the importance of 有始有终 (carrying things through, or perseverance).

Two incidents come to mind:

I started taking swim classes at a young age. I was very petite then, and was easily the youngest and smallest of the entire swim class. As part of the test requirement for water survival skills, I had to swim 20 laps within a certain time limit. The laps were grueling, and I dreaded going for the weekly classes. Often I would cry or feign illness but it never worked. My mum simply picked me up, asked me to change and we would travel by bus to the swimming pool. There, she watched me struggle through my laps and would wait for me at the end of the pool with a towel when I climbed out exhausted. Stopping halfway was not an option. All I remembered was her telling me “做任何事都要有始有终,不可以半途而废” (you need to persevere in all you started out to do, do not give up halfway). I passed that test.

In secondary school, I joined a uniformed group as an extra-curricular activity. It was tough – I had to march under the hot sun for hours, sleep late because I had to polish my boots and iron my own uniform, then wake early for training the next day. Push-ups and laps around the track were common (think military boot-camp, you’ll get the idea). Friends dropped out with their parents’ blessings. My mum? She stayed up with me while I polished my boots, and woke me in the morning in time for my training. When I wanted to quit the group, she told me that she would respect my decision, but reminded me that I made the choice to join – she didn’t want me to give up halfway (again, “不可以半途而废”). I chose not to quit and I’m glad that I didn’t. I met my best friends during that period.

My mum never scolded or punished me. Each time the going got tough, she stood by silently, giving support. When I wanted to take the easy way out by quitting, she simply stated her firm belief that I needed to persevere, to try harder. When I look back at my childhood, I don’t recall reading books on perseverance, rewards, or excessive praise. It was just her presence, her words and her smile when I succeeded.

I guess my mum’s method worked – as an adult, in face of difficulty, my first instinct would still be to push on.

So I’m going to do what she did – stand by my kids when they face difficulties and remind them not to give up.

I leave you with a song C learnt in school (sung to the tune of Oh, My darling Clementine):

Perseverance, perseverance, perseverance,
We must have
Working hard and not to give up
This is how we succeed

Not to give up, not to give up
We must never say: “I quit!”
Slow and steady, ever ready
This is how we persevere.

How do you encourage perseverance in your children?

Big sister

It’s not easy being a big sister. Especially when you have an active and mischievous younger brother like G. I’m sure there are days when C feels like the little girl in the picture, but over time, I’m starting to see her assume her role as a teacher and protector to her little brother.


Last night was one such occasion.

The kids were playing just before bedtime. In the excitement, G decided to bite C on the arm. Hard. The result? A full set of angry-red teeth marks and a little girl screaming in pain. Thank goodness he bit through her pjs, else it would have been worse.

No pictures were taken last night – I was too busy separating teeth from arm, and comforting a sobbing C.

After I had cleaned and applied antiseptic cream on the wound (G had chomped down hard enough to leave abrasion marks!) I asked C in jest if she wanted to pull G’s teeth out. Her immediate response? “No! It would be very painful for G. He’s too young to know and I have forgiven him. It’s no longer so painful now. Mummy, don’t scold him ok?”

As I walked off to put away the cream, I overheard her saying solemnly to G: “Didi (meaning little brother in chinese), teeth are meant for chewing food, not for biting people. I will forgive you this time but don’t do it again, do you understand? No biting, biting is bad.”

Spoken like a true big sister.

Mummy’s note: No hard feelings after this incident. Both hugged each other to sleep.

Valentine’s Day


It’s Valentine’s day today. My husband and I don’t have any grand plans for tonight. Well, we did go to a movie yesterday (I can’t remember the last time we went to the cinema, think it was probably 5-6years ago?), and maybe a simple dinner together tonight.

Looking back at our relationship over the past decade (yes, it has been that long!), it’s interesting how our notions of romance and Valentine’s day have changed over the years:

During the initial dating period, 14th of February meant expensive gifts (think flowers and diamonds!) and dinner at fancy restaurants. The day would be marked prominently on our calendars, and it would be a BIG event that we eagerly anticipated (ok, maybe it was only me, my husband was anticipating a big hole in his pocket).

After marriage and before kids, it was long walks, going for a theatre performance/concerts, me trying to cook Valentine’s day dinner. Gifts were still somewhat extravagant (jewellery, but no flowers).

Now, two kids later, we don’t go out of the way to celebrate. I’ve also decided that it’s safer to eat out instead (did I mention that I’m a lousy cook?). We prefer having a simple meal together at a restaurant/café in the neighbourhood, where we can just relax, enjoy each other’s company and laugh out loud (not so advisable in a posh restaurant!). Gifts, if any, are thoughtful and practical: “Here’s a white dress watch, I know that you’ve been eyeing one for some time”. “I bought you a new computer since the one you have is getting quite old and slow”. “I got you a replacement strap for your favourite watch.”

Both of us have agreed that Valentine’s day is a clever (and very successful!) marketing ploy started by a florist/chocolatier/restaurant/Hallmark. Roses at $10 a stalk and a $200 Valentine’s day dinner anyone?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that we will denounce Valentine’s day. It’s just that we have moved to a stage where we are comfortable with each other, with no unrealistic or overly romantic expectations of how Valentine’s day should or should not be celebrated.

For me, Valentine’s day celebrations should continue, not for the gifts or the fancy dinner, but for an additional reason to spend some time together as a couple.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? What will you be doing today?

Hand in hand


Walking hand in hand

A photo I took yesterday. G wanted go somewhere unfamiliar to him, and had instinctively reached for his sister’s hand. Grasping her hand tightly, he strode on purposefully towards his destination.

Sister and brother, hand in hand. I hope they will continue doing this for a long, long time.