The missing mum

I must admit I’m not quite fond of taking photos.

My hair’s usually in a mess and sometimes I don’t smile properly. It doesn’t help that I’m vain, and the little imperfections that show up on screen get to me.

I suspect that this entire blog has less than 10 photos of me. It’s usually the kids, or one of them plus daddy, or both and daddy.

I think that’s pretty appalling.

I’ve been feeling the need to let go of my tight reins on the camera, and to encourage the man to take more pictures of me and the kids.

So at a recent wedding we attended, we managed to pull off some decent shots.

I love photos with lots of greenery and sky in the background. They seem to help make everything more beautiful and natural.

This is just a start. I hope we do more. What’s a blog if you don’t have photos of yourself with your favourite people on earth?

I don’t want the kids wondering next time, why is mummy always missing from our pictures? What’s up with that?

I certainly don’t want them to be missing from my photos in future when I’m old and wrinkly.

Would you take the challenge with me this weekend, and capture more shots of yourself and your family? Hint: Instead of focusing on getting that perfect picture, let’s just enjoy the moment, and let the photographer take care of the rest. ūüėČ

Have a good weekend, friends.

A surprise visit and learning to love nature

We woke up one morning to find a pair of tree squirrels scampering up and down the trees in our estate, and skipping gracefully across some temporary electricity cables.

I know squirrels aren’t exactly a rare sight in urban Singapore, but we were excited to see them up close and personal.

(This is our second sighting of something remotely wild in our neighbourhood. The first was a barn owl who had stopped by our neighbour’s house, and perched on their window-sill for an entire morning of sleep.)

From this encounter, JJ¬†learnt a new word. “Skeechel,” he kept repeating, while pointing at his new furry friends.

It also made me wish that we stayed in a less urban environment. A place where perhaps the kids could get to meet with little furry or feathered creatures on a daily basis.

Singapore is a beautiful and well-planned city, and I’m always thankful for the abundant parks and green belts that are just a stone’s throw from where we live. Every weekend, we make it a point to bring the kids to the parks or gardens, to help develop their love for nature.

I especially love bringing my boy¬†out for nature walks. He’s curious about everything and roams like a ranger out hunting for treasure. He acts like every twig, leaf, and flower is calling out to be touched.

I guess the boy could be a nature lover. (Or perhaps all boys are?)

He’s always digging his grubby fingers into the dirt, bushes, leaves, sand and water. I used to think he’s a naturalistic learner, but it could be that he’s just curious and likes the great outdoors because it gives him space to run and tumble. Still, he does seem to be interested in trees and flowers, and especially, sand…

really diggin' this

Oh, and let’s not forget water.

fort1

When the kids are older, I’ll probably start getting my own fingers dirty, and learn how to pot some plants and herbs at our balcony.

I reckon it’ll be fun too, to bring them painting in the great outdoors, so they can draw the trees, skies, flowers, and birds, and whatever else catches their fancy.

Do you think it’s important for kids to be close to nature? How can we try to incorporate nature into our daily lives?

5 things for your weekend

Ahhh…the weekend.

I’m looking forward to rest, play, and bask in the warm sun. Hopefully there is ample and yet cool enough weather. (I am wishful, I know.)

It’s the last few days of Chinese New Year, so here’s hoping that everyone gets to finish off your favourite new year goodies.

This week ahead, me and the man will be celebrating our 5th anniversary. (Gosh. Has it been 5 years already?)

If you find yourself with some minutes on your hands this weekend, you may want to explore some of these ideas / places.

1. Learn how to make a pinwheel (by Lisa Leonard Designs Blog). I tried it and it was fairly simple to do. Now the challenge is to fill up the rest of this rather empty wall with photos and other pretty things.

wall-in-progress

2. Design your own special lovey-dovey or crazy-funny ziploc bags (by ScissorsPaperStoneBlog)

3. Hoping for a simpler, more fruitful life? Read this post I wrote for World Moms Blog: 7 Ways to a Simpler, More Fruitful Life

4. Check out the new library @ Chinatown. (Heard it stocks a wide selection of Chinese books!)

5. Mull over this quoteTreat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them to become what they are capable of being. (Johann von Goethe)

I thought the quote is exceptionally applicable for parents. When we believe in our children and treat them as unique individuals, help them articulate their dreams and give wind to their sails, we help them to become what they are capable of being.

What an awesome thought…

May this weekend be filled with new inspiration for you, new discoveries, and lots of soaking in nature. May there be surprise pockets of time for you to tune in to your heart’s desires. Have a joyful weekend!

5 essentials for a perfect weekend

Weekends are important to us. We usually try to get it off to a good start by heading out for a nice big brunch on Saturday. Complete with coffee for daddy and mummy. And sometimes a muffin treat for Vera.

Done right, there are lots of laughing, shrieks, and babbling on weekends. But when things go awry, there can be unsightly tears and red noses too.

Here are our top 5 essentials for a perfect weekend.

 1. Playground time. Even better if there are swings! 

{The above picture was taken on a playdate to the classic choo-choo train playground at Tiong Bahru Park. We had such a lovely time, even I can’t wait to go back!}

 2. Cheap home entertainment Рsuch as these coloured ice sticks

{These are easy to make; just mix a few drops of food colouring into water and freeze. Don’t you think they resemble mini light sabres from a certain angle?}

 

3. Green, open spaces for kids to run wild

{plus friends who are willing to run wild alongside them}


4. Coffee + journal break (for mummy)

{Ahh…I must say that a coffee break and some journalling time, even if it’s just for 10 minutes, never fails to make the day immediately perfect for me.}

5. Water moments

{My babies are water babies. They are game for a splash any time, any day.}

To be honest, if we had any 3 of these on a weekend, it would already make it a very very good one for us.

May your weekend be all-smiles and very-little-tears. May you discover something new about yourselves and your little ones. And may you gets lots of sunshine, greenery and fresh air in your blood, and be rejuvenated for the tasks that lie ahead of you.

 What are your essentials for a perfect weekend?

Look!

The curiosity of children never fails to put a smile on my lips. Well sometimes they also bring frowns especially when the curiosity brings them to places dirty or dangerous.

JJ is at a particularly curious and touchy-feely stage Рeverything is explored through touch and taste and grubby fingers. He loves to show off his new finds by stuffing them in your face, eagerly waiting for your eyes to light up and match his own.

The kids’ curiosity is contagious. It affects us all as a family, and nowadays we often find ourselves stooping by water ponds or under big sturdy trees just to check out the creepy-crawlies or big black ants going about their everyday busy business.

They have opened my eyes to a beautiful and different world. My world is bigger now, and I daresay it’s because of them.

Kiddos, I pray that your curiosity will grow with the years, and be accompanied by wisdom so that you don’t go poking your noses into places where you shouldn’t go. May¬†you always keep your eyes open, keep asking questions, keep exploring new ideas and insights. May you always ask “why” and never accept an answer that does not satisfy.

Have a curious weekend exploring your neighbourhood, friends!

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