Thursday, May 25, 2017

There's something about Charlotte

Charlotte has acute hearing when the top of a bottle of sparkling water is removed. She appears out of nowhere with eyes glistening and lips smacking together with the hope that she receives a tall glass of "Happy Bubbles"!

She is an intuitive young girl who always seems to know when she is most needed. Be it next to me at the kitchen island, hanging up and removing laundry or sitting next to me when I need a silent presence to gather my sanity.

Charlotte is an action speaks louder kind of daughter. She hardly utters "I love you", writes letters of appreciation for what I have done, every artwork she creates is dedicated to me and is most demanding of cuddles at bedtime - "100 cuddles please, mama."

This precocious child has the knack of reading people and me in particular. She is able to finish my sentences and has the ability to anticipate & plan. Charlotte has taught herself and her brother to lay their PJs on our bed after they have changed into their school uniforms / going out clothes so that "it is one less thing we need to do later" and she chooses the snacks for our car rides while delegating her brother to fill up their drink bottles. Just to name a few.

Beneath that young face, lies a girl wise beyond her years.

Most things come naturally for Charlotte and therefore she struggles with "failure". As such, one of the questions asked of the children in our car ride home from school is How have you failed today? 

Like her twin brother, Charlotte is a humble young lass who does not draw attention to herself and it is heartening to watch her thrive. She is not complacent and always strives to do her best. 
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SCHOOL AWARD FOR BEING A GREAT LEARNER
PRESENTED AT SCHOOL ASSEMBLY



HER FIRST PIANO RECITAL
She started learning to play the piano 8 months ago and was selected by her teacher to perform at her first recital. She was the youngest pianist at this session

We are very proud of Charlotte and especially the character traits of giving her best consistently, being considerate and kind to all around her.

Our wish is for her to follow her heart and mind in whatever she chooses to undertake and to continue doing it with humility and grace.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

There's something about Daniel

Daniel is the kind of kid who instinctively cuddles you when the chips are down. He is also the kid who says "I love you" without prompting. Loyal, loving and resilient are three character traits that are synonymous with him. 

From a young age, he suffered from countless ear infections which saw him in the years that follow, day surgeries involving grommet insertions in both ears. One of the downsides with those countless ear infections mean fluent language does not come naturally for him and we still read daily to him (and his sister) and used to attend fortnightly speech therapies for 1.5 years prior to schooling.

When he started squinting, we took him to an ophthalmologist who placed him under extensive assessment and prescribed Daniel with spectacles to be worn for the next few years. 

Last year, we noticed that he was challenged in the area of sequencing - he finds it difficult to follow 3 step instructions and above. An appointment was made with the Occupational Therapist (OT) for an assessment and the recommendation is for him to  attend sessions with her every fortnight with the focus on "Working Memory". The OT makes it really fun and he looks forward to each session with Charlotte and I in tow.

Despite his challenges, he is our quiet achiever. Even when the going gets tough, he never lashes out or draws attention to himself. Preferring to work through it on his own or with us by his side. Everyone who comes in contact with Daniel are drawn to him because he is polite, nice and friendly.

This year, his Year One teacher has told us on numerous occasions that he tries his absolute best in his studies and is a most lovely boy in class. She ensures that he sits in the front row and in the centre so that she can check in on him from time to time. Teachers like her are highly appreciated and we are very thankful for her. Recently, he was acknowledged for being just that.


STAR STUDENT OF THE WEEK


READING WITH THE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL

He is very proud of his recent achievements and rightfully so. Daniel remains a humble student who does not draw attention to himself. In fact, I only found out about them when I spotted a certificate in his folder and noticed the sticker on his jumper on another day! When I asked him about them, he stated as a matter of fact that he was happy and looked forward to reading more!

We are thrilled that our son is such a sensible boy at a tender age. Our wish is for him to continue embracing the trait of "giving his best" in whatever he sets his heart and mind to.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Oh my! 6 years old, already?!




Dearest babies,

I know you are no longer babies but I still love calling you that because you are and will always be my babies.

Charlotte and Daniel, you make me so proud to be your mummy and sometimes, you are my teachers. 

Both of you (sometimes) display wisdom and maturation beyond your years and other times, drive me insane with your age appropriate antics. Let's just say, we keep each others' on our toes regularly.

Charlotte, twin #1 as you often remind your brother, is a knowing, considerate and helpful young girl. Often planning your next move, considerate of the needs of those around you and can always be found by my side whenever I am in the kitchen whipping up meals. You are diligent with your school work and enjoy reading. Playing Barbie dolls, creating craft and accesorising yourself are your favourite past-times.

Daniel, twin #2 who gives the best cuddles is a loyal, loving and resilient young boy. You are an easy going kid who enjoys having family / friends stay over in our home. The one who has undergone surgeries, speech and occupational therapies - you are one resilient kid who always has a smile on your face. You always give your best with your school work sometimes with a few tears thrown in but never giving up. WOW. Playing with your trains, cars and bugs are your favourite past-times.



Charlotte and Daniel. What a formidable pair you are. May your sunny dispositions, beautiful manners and love for life follow you wherever you go. 

I love you both to the moon and back x infinity.

Happy 6th birthdays, babies!

Always your #1 fan,
Mummy 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Cruising with the family



One of the highlights from our last holiday in Asia saw us cruise from Singapore to Port Klang (Malaysia) and Phuket (Thailand) for 5 days 4 night on board "Mariner of the Seas" by Royal Caribbean. 

Allow me to dispel this myth that cruising is boring and only for older people because our experience is far from this! It was fun, exciting and I even took afternoon naps so that I had enough energy for the evening activities.

Entertainment
You can go all out - run around and attempt all the activities on offer / pick and choose / lounge around the pool and not do much. There is really something for everyone.

The daily 'live' stage shows are certainly not to be missed. We were blown away by the high production values - we were enthralled and for the twins, it was unlike anything they have seen and experienced.



Accommodation
We had an interconnecting room with my parents and that meant the sleeping arrangements were very comfortable. Each twin took turns sleeping in our room and my parents' room. Absolutely perfect. 



Day Trip to Phuket
We had two opportunities to get off the cruise to explore. Port Klang and Phuket. We decided to stay on board for the first port and enjoyed the many facilities on the cruise. Phuket was the second port of disembarkation and we jumped at the opportunity. 

As we did not have any Thai Baht on hand and had no intention to purchase anything, we walked the busy streets, swam in the waters and soaked in the Thai hospitality. It was a carefree afternoon of just being together in a foreign country. We loved it.




Time certainly whizzed by very quickly on this cruise holiday and we wished it were longer. We were wined and dined impeccably (including the twins), attended all the 'live' game shows and even participated in them, went to the jazz bar, the husband & i joined fellow passengers and raved in the 70's party held along the main promenade and concluded a fun evening in the disco with more dancing...we did feel young that night and it's a feeling we haven't felt in 20 years!

We all agreed that we would like to go on another cruise with many more nights! That is how much fun we had. It was a holiday to remember for many reasons.



This cruise holiday was a gift from my loving and generous mummy. She is unconditional in her love for me and my family. When she first brought up the idea of cruising and paying for all of us, I was very touched by her generosity and told her that we should be paying for them! She declined and told me that it would give her immense joy to spend it on us because we are a family. WOW. Thank you so much mummy for this wonderful gift so that we are able to enjoy each others' company and create memories together.

Monday, January 23, 2017

First Day of School: Year 1

After 6 weeks of fantastic school holidays, we are all slowly easing into reality. Last week, the parents were back at work and today, the children head back to school.

They are no longer preppies like the previous year and are YEAR 1 students! Quite a few operational changes in their class as they no longer have a teacher aide, are expected to be more independent and have their own stationary tray.

Daniel was overwhelmed by the busyness of Day 1 drop offs, new teacher, new classroom, new classmates, etc. I would too! He bawled his eyes out when it was time for me to leave them. His teacher took his hand while I slipped away very quickly. Never linger.




I look forward to catching up with them at the end of their first day of school. 
Here's wishing all parents, carers and children a most fantastic academic year.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Authenticity is undervalued



** The following post was written while I was on vacation**

Being on vacation surrounded by unconditional love and stoic support of family and closest friends have prompted me to inquire about how I am living my life, so far.

I have been blessed with life and it is entirely up to me to live it simply and purposefully or in strife and disarray. Ultimately, it is my responsibility to live a life worth living.

Many of us mask our vulnerabilities effectively (most of the time) by channeling our energies towards pursuits / relationships that presents us in positive light. This can get rather tiring too.

Living an authentic life is confronting and liberating as it requires us to accept the absolute truth about ourselves and in particular, our shortcomings. Like the saying goes, "The Truth Will Set You Free".


Friday, December 9, 2016

We did SO GOOD!

Earlier in the year, this happened. They entered Primary School before turning 5 years of age and as their parents, we hoped that they would socialise well, enjoy school and engage in learning. They excelled in all three areas and we are so proud of them.

As a family, I think we have done exceptionally well with our endless juggling of careers, household chores, school work, after school activities and trying our utmost in keeping on top of other commitments even though more often than not, we feel like the wheels are falling off the wagon!

I am particularly grateful that I have been a participant of school activities that my children are involved in:
  • Fortnightly school assemblies
  • All excursions
  • Spent an entire day at school on their birthdays
  • Mother's Day Afternoon Tea
  • Sports Day
  • Swimming Carnival
  • School break up party

It has been a huge year for us and looking at the following photos, they too have undergone growth spurts!

I hope the year has been good for you and your family too!