Happy Lunar New Year!

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Here’s wishing everyone a happy lunar new year from the pangz!!

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p.s I gave up trying to get a nice picture of Aly smiling. This is her default expression anyway :p I hope she grows out of this soon!

{Thankful Tuesdays} – Bedtime

I have the privilege of putting Aly to bed every night. It has been the case since day one. I pat her to sleep, I nursed her to sleep, and now I sing her a lullaby and lie beside her till she falls asleep.

I have to admit that there were times when I was exhausted, and when I would be rather be in the living room watching tv, or spending some me time reading a magazine, or just lying down in the comfort of my own bed (instead of her mattress). There were times when I also wished I could pass this task to ys when I have to leave my dinner appointments early just so I can be in time to tuck my little one into bed. I am only human.

But I would say these occasions are rare. I do think these thoughts but not often. Most of the time, like tonight, I am grateful for the time I have with Aly before she drifts off to sleep. It is a precious time for me. I sing to her and hold her close for that familiar baby smell, which she is losing bit by bit each day.

It is a bliss to be able to wind down at the end of an exhausting day with someone I love so dearly. Today, I am thankful for this child, for being able to hold her to sleep and for being able to experience this joy.

Linking up with:

Aly’s first picnic at Botanic Gardens

It’s been a long time since Ys and I went for a picnic together. In fact, not since we got married! I guess it’s because it sounds like such a chore, having to prep for the picnic, and the weather in Singapore is either too hot or too rainy for pinics!

About a couple of weeks back though, we thought it would be nice to bring Aly on a picnic. We felt we had been spending too much time at the malls and indoors and wanted to allow her to experience the great outdoors. So last Sunday, we decided it shall be Picnic Day!

Honestly, I learnt that a picnic can be as fuss free as you want it to be! There is no need to prepare a feast for the picnic. For the picnic last Sunday, we put together a simple picnic basket consisting of baby yoghurt and baby biscuits for Aly, cheese sausages and bread (with a bottle of mustard) for Ys and myself, two bottles of ginger ale and a box of strawberries! That was it! It took us maybe only about 20 minutes to put everything together? Throw in a camera, a mat, and a bottle of bubble solution to keep Aly occupied, and we were all ready for Aly’s first picnic! Sounds simple enough, no?

We arrived at the Botanic Gardens at about 9.30am and I was concerned that it was getting a little warm but was quite pleased to find a huge lawn in front of the symphony stage which had a shaded patch. The place was already filled with families with picnic mats, dads and sons with their soccer balls, young couples playing catch with their dogs and groups of friends, by the time we arrived.

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The huge (shaded) grass patch in front of symphony stage

We chose a spot, laid our picnic mat, and started tucking in!

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Aly, pleased with her yoghurt and watching a family play ball

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Aly loves her strawberries

Aly was kept really entertained, just people watching. She was particularly excited about the dogs that were running around the grass patch. Lots of kids were running around and playing freely too, and it’s easy to forget that you’re in Singapore with all that greenery and space.

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Aly made a friend

We had a great time and look forward to more picnics at the Botanic Gardens. Makes for a great (and cheap) family outing! Aly obviously enjoyed herself and was all smiles that morning. Hope you enjoyed your first picnic, dear Aly!

All smiles!

So much fun!

Do you have a favourite picnic spot?

{Saturday Morning Snapshot} – Breakfast with Grandparents

Saturday has got to be my favourite day of the week and Saturday mornings are especially precious. I get to laze in bed and cuddle Aly for a bit without having to rush to somewhere or worry about getting something done. I wake up happy, well rested and all excited about the weekend ahead.

That’s why I thought the Saturday Morning Snapshot idea started by Wee Stories is such a great idea. Basically, you can take a snapshot of anything or anyone on a Saturday morning, upload it onto your blog and link up with Wee Stories. That way, the pictures tell a story of what happens every weekend and these pictures will serve as a reminder of good times. Do link up if you’re interested!

This morning, my parents came to pick Aly and I up for breakfast since Ys was working. We spent the morning having breakfast together and catching up, and laughing at all of Aly’s silly antics. I’m thankful that I have pockets of time like these with them. Although we do have dinners with my parents on weekday nights (when we pick Aly), I am often exhausted by the time I reach their house and we are always in a rush to leave to head home to wash up, put Aly to bed and get some rest ourselves. So it’s nice to be able to spend some quality time with them on a Saturday morning!

Aly obviously really enjoys their company too! Here’s a picture of them, which was taken at my place after breakfast!

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Wee Stories

A photograph. A story.

“Take a moment to ask yourself what a portrait means to you. is it just a picture, or is it some small aspect of a person’s story that reflects a story of their life? assuredly there’s merit in nice-looking pictures, but a photographic portrait, a photograph of life, offers so much more. the difference can be subtle, but the impact is huge. a photographic portrait tells a story; it sings, it whispers, it’s something far beyond nice.” –Rachel Devine

This picture was taken on Aly’s first birthday. We spent a day at Sentosa’s underwater world and the admission tickets included tickets to the dolphin show. Aly woke up from her nap to find dolphins performing just a few meters away from her. And she got really really excited! She was waving her arms in the air and letting out her signature “Ooohs…” as she sat contented on ys’ lap. And at one point, she turned to face me and broke into a huge grin.

I pressed the shutter in time, and managed to catch that precious moment.

Now, whenever we look at this picture, we will be reminded of that happy day when we celebrated Aly’s first birthday together as a family. The picture has captured that gummy grin, and the way she wrinkles her nose when she gets excited. A picture like this is priceless and is one of my favourite portraits of Aly to date. It’s a picture that tells a story.

Party-1

New Year’s Day at Marina Barrage

We spent our new year kite flying (or rather, attempting to fly a kite) at marina barrage. It’s really a great place for a family outing for the following reasons 1) parking is free, 2) free entrance, 3) lots of open space for the kids to run about, 4) it’s really windy and 5) the view is gorgeous from the rooftop. As today was a public holiday, the place was PACKED with people who were there for a family picnic, kite flying or simply just admiring the colourful kites and superb view.

We arrived only in the evening because the weather would be much cooler (there’s no shelter on the rooftop) and headed straight to buy a kite (with an angelfish design) from a shop located on the ground floor at marina barrage. Just a tip though, it’s probably a better idea to purchase your kite before you head over. The designs of kites sold onsite are limited and prices are probably marked up. A friend recommended Passion Kites to me. The prices of the kites on this website are almost half of what we paid for our kite!

So anyway, it’s our first time flying a kite. Even my parents, who were with us, have zero experience in kite flying. So we spent about 30 minutes tugging and throwing the kite with all our might into the air, laughing at our failed attempts and basically trying to get our kite to fly. After a really really long time, we finally managed to get the kite up! I was holding onto the kite line when it happened and it was really an exciting moment for me. Somehow at that instance, I just intuitively knew when to tug and when to let go and the kite just went higher and higher and we were all super excited! Even Aly was excited and could identify HER (she’s at this stage where she claims everything belongs to her) kite in the sky. It was a pity that our kite got entangled with a few other kites and it’s time in the sky was rather short-lived. But we had a lot of fun and will most definitely return! In fact, I would say kite flying is rather therapeutic! I’m sure Aly will love it even more when she’s older.

It was also quite a sight because the sky was filled with kites in all shapes, colours and sizes. My favourite has got to be this huge purple teddy bear kite!

Here’s our day in pictures:

The colourful kites against the blue blue sky

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30 minutes of tugging and throwing…

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Success! Our kite is the pink one right in the middle of the top of the picture.

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Time for a family picture to capture the moment.

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My favourite picture of the day. Ys holding onto the kite and Aly looking on. ❤

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That’s the purple teddy bear kite!

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The gorgeous view from the rooftop.

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It’s also the perfect place to take an evening stroll.

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Look at how happy Aly was!

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Happy New Year from all of us! Hope you had a great one too!

{Thankful Today} 29 December – 2012

In all honesty, 2012 has been really exhausting. On top of having to cope and adjust with a new member in the family and the chores that having a baby brings about, we made the crazy decision to sell our matrimonial home, moved to a serviced apartment for 3 months and busied ourselves with the design and renovations of our new home. Imagine the amount of packing and unpacking we had to do, considering there was also a two week interval where we moved back to stay with my mum before our new home was ready.

Of course, people who read my blog should be well aware of Aly’s notoriously bad sleeping habits. This means I haven’t had undisrupted sleep for an entire year (other than the 4 nights in Hong Kong). Work has also been busier than ever before. So really, I can’t even begin to describe how physically exhausted I have been.

That said, 2012 also saw me through the proudest moments in my life. These are not my moments. These are Aly’s moments, the first time she flipped from her back to her tummy, the first time she sat up on her own, the first time she pulled herself up to stand, the times she said her first words. Those moments were priceless and because of Aly, 2012 has been amazing in its own ways. I was allowed to experience the immense joy of motherhood in 2012, which has left me excited about what 2013 would bring.

It is not possible for me to exhaustively list the things I am thankful for in 2012, but here are a few.

1) For making it to the two year mark and resisting the urge to kick each other in the ass amidst all the household chores, packing, unpacking and moving. We celebrated our 2nd year anniversary in October this year with a simple art jamming session! I’m glad we keep to our weekly date nights and are committed to spending time alone as a couple. 2012 hasn’t been easy but I’m glad we kept trying to make things better. We have definitely grown as a couple and for that, I’m thankful.

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2) For our first family photoshoot. We thought it would be a good idea to have a shoot in our matrimonial home since it was where Aly was born. The photos turned out great!

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3) For being able to celebrate Aly’s first birthday. I’m really thankful that she’s a happy and healthy baby.

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4) For our new home. When we first decided to buy this place, it was more of a practical decision in that it checked all the right boxes. I wasn’t that crazy about it, but now I have fallen in love with this place! I’ve always thought we wouldn’t put in the same amount of effort for the interior design given that it’s already our second home but much to our surprise, we were even more involved in the conceptualising of the home design as compared to our previous home. The result is a cosy, comfortable home which truly reflects our personalities.

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5) For being able to grow my passion in photography. I’ve always liked taking pictures but I think in 2012 I finally decided I wanted to do more than picture taking. I wanted to take better pictures and I wanted to learn more about photography. Thankful for the camera that YS got me for our wedding anniversary. Now I just have to be more disciplined in the editing and saving of photos!

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6) For Aly. Need I say more?

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2012, thank you for all the good times.

Christmas Eve dinner

We had our annual Christmas Eve dinner at our place this year, since our table can sit more people! It was great as usual. What can be better then enjoying the company of people you love over good food and wine? This year is also extra special because Aly is able to join us in the celebration.

Merry Christmas from the pangz!

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A Christmas Tradition – Setting up the Christmas Tree

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I must have said this many times, but I love all things Christmasy and in particular, Christmas trees. There’s just something about the tree, the fairy lights, the shiny and colourful ornaments and that star right at the top of the tree that intrigue me.

I was thinking the other day, what family traditions would I keep for the Christmas season. My family had never really celebrated Christmas other than the usual dinner party we have on Christmas eve. Now that I am married, and have my own family, I would also want to start my own family traditions for this season.

Aly has just turned one, and it is not quite possible to involve her in anything significant this year because she is simply too young to understand what is going on. That said, we thought we would involve her in the setting up of Christmas Tree, since she’s just as excited about Christmas trees as I am. And so we did. Of course she couldn’t really help out much, but we did allow her to pass us a few ornaments and we held her hand to put up the star right at the top of the tree. Most of the time though, she was just going “OOoooooo” at all the shiny ornaments we were pulling out of the box, which was pretty amusing. The loudest “Oooooo” came when we turned on the lights. She got really excited!

So, I decided that from next year on, the whole family will set up the Christmas tree together (with Christmas songs playing in the background). I will have Aly help to hang up the ornaments, and each year, someone will have the “honour” of placing the star at the top of the Christmas tree. I will also start a collection of ornaments (on top of the usual matchy ones) from all the places we travel to, or whenever I see something special in a shop. When Aly is older, we shall diy our very own ornaments!

This will give us something to look forward to every Christmas (I hope)!

Monkey face

Objectively, this is a really ugly picture of Aly, but it is too funny to not share. Even ys and I burst out laughing on the spot because she just came up with that monkey face when we were taking a self portrait using the iPhone.

Last night was a good night. We spent a lot of time laughing together and at Aly, while enjoying dessert and coffee. It’s been a long time since we both have been so relaxed!

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