Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Happy Half Birthday, Natalie! {A letter to my 6 months old daughter}

Dear Natalie, 

You're 6 months old now!!! :) I still can't believe you're halfway to your first birthday... I packed away your teeny tiny 0-6months old baby clothes last night and for once, I actually felt a sense of sorrow that time has passed so fast. You are my third child, my youngest child and quite possibly, my last baby.

I still remember the night when I was admitted into the hospital, all ready to deliver you. My waterbag started leaking that night at home and your papa wasn't around! He was out buying food with your big brother, Shayne. I called your papa immediately and your brother was the one who was all excited and kept telling me on the phone repeatedly that they'll be back soon. So I waited patiently at home (the contractions were not that painful yet) and after a few minutes, I heard running footsteps and it was your big brother who first appeared at the front door. He said "Mama, we are back!!" and even wanted to follow us to the hospital. I told him that we would call him once you were born and he was so upset. He really wanted to follow us and even said that he will not be scared when I'm giving birth to you. Haha! Nonetheless, we told him to stay at home and that he will be able to meet his baby sister in a few hours time. He agreed reluctantly and off we went, in a taxi, to the hospital.

After 4 hours, you were finally born! Your papa and I held you lovingly in our arms and you looked at us lovingly back. My heart swelled with joy and although you're our 3rd baby, it still felt like I was holding my 1st baby. :) You are our first baby girl, and most likely, our last baby girl too. So every moment that we spent with you is very much cherished and treasured.

Truthfully, there were times when I cried because I couldn't handle it all- looking after the 3 of you and answering business enquiries. It was really really tough initially. Thankfully, your papa and grandma will always support me emotionally and help me out whenever they see that I'm breaking down. It really does take a village to raise a child, and in our case, 3 children. I'm just extremely grateful for all the help that we've received these past few months (actually, the past few years) from our family. Without them, your papa and I would have gone mad by now. On most Sundays, we will gather at your Ah Ma's place for dinner and your cousins, Kayleigh, is completely smitten by you. She likes to "sayang" you and even talks to you (once, she told you not to show your armpits to others and even said "right??" to me after that. that was really funny :D)

Although my mind is filled with so many more words that I would like to share with you, some so overwhelming that are indescribable, I just want you to know that you're very much loved. You're very much loved by me, your papa, brothers, cousins, grandmothers, aunts and many more. :)

I'm looking forward to the next six months of your life, my precious baby girl. I look forward to your first crawl, your first teeth, your first words, your first steps, and all the joy that the future holds for you. You and your brothers are my love, and my life. I feel so privileged and lucky to call myself your Mother.

Happy half birthday, my little one. May you continue to smile and stay happy, always. :)


Your Mummy

Monday, June 20, 2016

3 Reasons Why I Love Being A Mompreneur!

Oh gosh, it has been nearly 7 months since I've last updated this blog.. Hahaha. Anyways, life has been pretty hectic and chaotic at times (well actually most of the time!!) but as weird as it sounds, I'm loving every minute of it! :) I'm just so thankful to be a Mummy of 3 healthy kids and wouldn't trade them for anything else in the world. I spend my days juggling between my work and kids, and truthfully, I'm glad that I'm able to run my business and take care of my little ones at the same time. It's an opportunity in life which I'm truly grateful for. :)

Being a Mompreneur certainly has its ups and downs. ("Mompreneur" is actually a term given to female entrepreneurs who build a business alongside raising a family.) Starting a business AND a family are two of the most challenging, but rewarding, endeavours one can have. Both are full-time commitments that demand lots of patience, perseverance, and love. Juggling a business and parental responsibilities is no easy task, but I'm trying my best and just like everything else, there are good days and there are bad days.

So here are my top 3 reasons why I Love Being a Mompreneur:

1) My kids can learn valuable, hands-on business lessons and work ethics.
The best thing about being a mompreneur is the message I'm sending to my children - that being an entrepreneur means hard work and lots of it.  My eldest son has seen how hard we have worked to make our centres successful and I want my children to understand that building a business is a slow process that takes time and energy. There are no shortcuts in life; you need to work hard. By running a business, I want my kids to learn that failure is only failure if you quit. Failure can be the best thing that happens to you if you pick yourself up, learn from your mistakes and persevere on. 

Sometimes, I discuss business, trends and the logistics of running a business with my eldest child and although he’s only 8 years old, he will still voice out his ideas or opinions that he thinks may help in our business. Hence, he’s constantly learning valuable business lessons from us and at the same time, he’s gearing himself up for the real world outside school.

2) My children are my business inspiration.
To be honest, BrightMinds Education would never have started without our kids, or more specifically, without our eldest child. My husband and I started our learning centre as we wanted to start a business which would ultimately benefit our children. Hence, our children are our business inspiration. Our eldest child is currently enrolled in one of our centres and so far, he’s enjoying all the lessons! 

After 8 years of running the business, we were recently awarded as one of the Best Learning and Enrichment Schools of 2015/16. This definitely wouldn’t happen if I didn’t have my kids; they’re the driving force behind our success. (On a side note, I can’t wait for Shayne to attend our award-winning PSLE Revision Course once he’s a little older! I know he’ll benefit so much from it.) 

Furthermore, when we make a business decision, especially if it’s a tough one, our kids are always at the back of our minds. If it ultimately benefits them, we will go ahead with it. If it doesn’t, we will not go ahead or continue with it.

3) I become a better person.
I have learned so many things in regards to communication, business, leadership and going for the gusto to pursue something I believe in. However, my children’s health and happiness are by far more important than any business decision I will ever make. Their well-being puts all of the stressful business moments into perspective, which is invaluable. My children are and always will be my number one. The joys, the difficult moments and the challenges of full-time parenting prepared me for perseverance in my business. Parenting has definitely taught me the grace of patience, and the strength to deal with all of the ups and downs of running a business.

In a nutshell, the flexibility of being a mompreneur has helped me to a better professional and a better mom. By being an mompreneur, I hope my kids learn that with hard work, passion and tenacity, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Most importantly, I want them to know that it's useless to dream about success. You have to work hard towards it. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

10 Things I Want My Sons To Know

Decided to write a quick post for my boys before 2015 ends, and before their baby sister is born into the world! She's due on the 1st week of Feb 2016. :) Nonetheless, here are the 10 things I want my sons to know...

1.  Be kind. To each other and to yourself. Smile and be generous. Be polite and have manners.

2. Take responsibility for your actions. This is one of the toughest things to do in life and I know it can be difficult (and humbling) to admit you have made a mistake. That you have done something wrong or hurt someone. But being able to admit that you're in the wrong is one of the keys to being a strong, brave person.  Remember, it’s impossible to become a better person without first accepting responsibility for your own actions.

3. Find something to do that you’re passionate about. Don't ever lose that sparkle and zest for life. I hope both of you will continue to find joy in your every day lives, no matter how young or old you may be.

4. “You don’t have to attend every fight you’re invited to.” — James Lehman. Remember this saying for life. You're not a wimp just because you've walked away. Sometimes it takes much more courage to walk away — to control your emotions and to not fight at all — than it does to throw a punch or say something hurtful and cruel. You have the ability to decide for yourself whether to join a fight. You have the power not to join it, as well.

5. Being popular is not the same thing as having true friends. True friends are the people who will be there for you no matter what, and who care about what happens to you. They’re happy when good things happen to you and listen to you when you’re going through a tough time. Being popular might feel good, but it’s fleeting and never lasts. Good friends will be with you for a lifetime.

6. Your uniqueness is a strength. Maybe you don’t like the same things as everyone else does and that's okay. Keep doing what you love to do. Don't succumb into peer pressure or follow the crowd/trend just because you want to feel accepted. What makes you unique is also what will give you strength in life.

7. Don't ever give up. There will be all kinds of challenges in your life, but I hope you'll never ever give up. There are many times when I've felt like giving up, but sharing my worries with your father and my siblings makes it much easier. Talk to each other, that's the reason why your brother is there for you.

8. Life is not always a bed of roses. Good results and relationships don't just happen overnight. They take lots of time, effort, commitment, patience and hard work.

9. Don’t be afraid to hug. There's absolutely nothing wrong with hugs! Boys (or men) who are able to hug and show affection are also strong and comfortable in their own skins.

10. Above all, love each other deeply. <3


Good night, my sweethearts <3

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Life Lately, in 12 photos

Just a quick update before I head off for my lunch! Here are some photos which I've randomly snapped a few days ago...

Reminiscing our Hongkong holiday trip (March 2015)... And Nathan looks like a baby Star Wars Jedi in this photo :D
Again, whenever I look at our various fridge magnets, I can't help but think of our previous holiday trips... So many good happy memories. :) We're not going on an overseas year-end holiday this year, but we'll do so next year and I can't wait! Travelling overseas with 3 kids.. it's definitely going to be chaotic but yet exciting at the same time. ;)
Some of our books. The newest addition to our collection is the Maze Runner's "The Death Cure" and I need to read that soon!!
Shayne was elated when we bought this Star Wars encyclopedia for him. He knows almost all the characters in the book (I didn't know that there were so many characters until I read this book) and he can't wait to watch the Star Wars movie this December. ;)
Anakin Skywalker and R2-D2
Nathan's chubby arm and hand :)
Hello handsome little mister! :))
That little chubby tummy of his which I can't get enough of <3
"Don't take my photo!!" Haha too late, Shayne :P
Deciding which soft toy to give to his younger brother..

27 weeks baby bump <3
Last but not least, have a wonderful weekend with your family and friends! :)

Monday, November 2, 2015

A Traditional Halloween: Trick-Or-Treating @ Woodlands!

 Last Saturday evening, we did our very first trick-or-treating as a family of four at Woodlands Woodgrove! It was our first traditional way of celebrating Halloween, and I'm happy to say that we had fun! :) Luckily, the kids weren't afraid of the ghosts, zombies and monsters.

Just a short background of the Halloween Event at Woodlands Woodgrove:
Every year, on 31st October, there will be a massive Trick or Treat happening in Woodlands Woodgrove, Singapore. This is probably the only place you can truly experience a traditional Halloween Trick Or Treat in Singapore. Thousands of people from every age from all over Singapore come to Woodgrove estate in costume to Trick or Treat. We saw all sorts of characters; bloody zombies and ghosts (which were the most popular), Harry Potter characters, Disney characters, even *ahem* Daddy's Naughty Girl and many more.

This event is privately funded by the generous families living in the Woodgrove estate. The residents pool their money together to hire security and apply necessary permits to block off the streets so that visitors to the neighbourhood can have a maximum Trick or Treat experience. These families spend hundreds on candy and security for visitors to enjoy the Halloween night.

Nonetheless, here are some of the photos taken that night! ;) I didn't manage to snap many photos as we were too busy walking among the crowd..

A quick family photo before we left home for trick-or-treat! That's Papa and Shayne in their Super Mario costumes, and Nathan was in his mushroom costume. :D
We parked at a small alley, about 15 mins walking distance away from the Woodgrove estate as there was a traffic jam.

My Mario boys!!! All ready to receive their candies :D :D
There were many kids receiving candies and it's strongly advisable for a parent to follow their child during trick-or-treating, otherwise there's a high chance someone will get lost...

Headless zombie!
Make way for the headless man...
A quick snap with Shayne, outside a haunted house...

3 happy teenage robbers?!! Haha
Collecting more candies

Can you spot Papa Mario? Lol
A man with his magical-like glowing jellyfish
Can you spot the boy sitting on top of the house's pillar? He was doing all sorts of weird funny hand gestures.. Haha
Bleeding zombie?!!

3 children and burning pumpkins beside them. The fire was actually quite big in real life!

More scary characters...

Mario + Unicorns ;D
These are my favourite costumes of the night!!! Peas and Bananaa! Hahaha just too cute!
Just one of the big furry animals walking around... They must be sweating so much in that outfit.
....Ghostly Halloween decorations everywhere...
Mario + Princess :)
After 2 hours of trick-or-treating (yes, the woodlands woodgrove estate was that big!!), we decided to call it a night and returned home...
Last but not least, a photo of me! Hahaha. I intended to be a pregnant bleeding zombie but I think I should have painted or poured more blood onto my body. Oh well, I shall try that next time. ;) It was a great traditional trick-or-treating experience in Singapore, and it was really cool to see everyone getting into their Halloween costumes and characters. Definitely a night well-spent and I'm looking forward to it next year! ;) Hope you had a great Halloween weekend too!

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