Lunch Time Dates

I love lunch time dates!!  They give me a break in the work day and make me smile like no other things can.  So when Raewyn’s Mum asked me over for lunch, I jumped at the chance.

I had such a blast with Raewyn that I can’t wait for the next date.  The last time I saw her was at her one month.

The picture on the left is from her party and the picture on the right is from today 🙂 Look how she’s grown and into a real sweetie too.  She let me cuddle her, play with her, we even made funny faces together and let me take numerous pictures of her.  Isn’t she such a sweetheart?

It’s really easy to see why too.  Her Mummy, Tess is one of the gentlest soul I know.  I can’t wait to see this little one grow up into the fine lady I know she’ll become.  Till then, I can’t wait for our next lunch date little one 🙂

Lunch Time Toddlers

The last time I caught up over lunch with this little young’un was nearly a year and a half ago.  That’s pretty much half her lifetime.  Though I’ve seen her since then, namely during her Godma’s wedding and prep, it’s a long over due lunch date :p

She’s a little girl who’s a big sister now.  Just about 2 weeks ago, she welcomed her baby sister Mikayla into this great big world.  I love little sister pairing.  Guess I’m kinda bias because I’m one half of a sister pair.  Back to the Belle.  She may look like her Dad but she’s definitely got her aunt/Godma’s gene strong in her too.

Over lunch, her Godma and my dear friend, Gen said to me, “It’s like I gave birth to her.” I totally get it, this pseudo parenting that is slowly but surely getting more and more popular.  We don’t actually carry the babies and don’t fully adopt them but the love and connection is just as strong.  Here’s when I realise the saying that it takes a village to raise a child, makes so much sense.  Nothing replaces the bond a parent has with their child, it gives every child the fundamentals that they need and why good parenting is so damn important.  Aunts, uncles, grandparents, godparents, teachers, mentors, adult friends, they all play different roles that fill these children’s wells with more love, support, life lessons, guidance, direction and examples that they can reach into when life gets tough.  And life will get tough but they’ll keep learning from us.  Just like how we’re better from our parents’ generation, they will be better than us.

There is much hope for the world so have a happy Monday everyone as I take another shower to cool off from this humid heat in Singapore.


Not So Little Saffy

Today a little friend of mine turns 10 and I still remember going to her first month celebrations.  It’s amazing how fast time flies and how quickly the little ones in our lives grow.  Due to her family and friends being everywhere around the world today, we all got together a little earlier to celebrate in style with the birthday girl.

The neon theme party threw me for a slight loop till I remembered my very bright neon yellow sandals my sister bought me for Christmas.  I also forgot I actually have a neon pink top somewhere in my closet.  Oh well, there I was decked out in black with my neon sandals with my munchkins who will miss Saffy when she moves to New York.  They had a whale of a time.  For my nephew in particular, he usually finds himself in the minority with more girls than boys.  This time, he played rough, didn’t have to watch out for anyone because he was one of the boys and they were in the majority.

My niece had fun too and enjoyed hanging out with girls and of course, Renn.  It’s so nice to watch them grow up together.  Maybe they’ll stay friends and maybe they won’t but I do hope they get as lucky as I’ve been with friends.  It wasn’t always this way and in the past, I’ve had a couple of toxic friends myself.  Learnt the hard way and while they aren’t bad people themselves, I now know I can choose not to allow people to treat me badly.  Here’s 3 women, sans Lynn who we miss dearly (thank goodness for Whatsapp and FaceTime) and living it up in Maui.  So it’s actually 4 women who have showed me what real friendships mean.

In some ways we’re so different and yet in others so very similar.  I don’t know if they realise how much they’ve each inspire me to be better and that’s what real friendship means.  Supporting you when you need it most and being genuinely happy at your successes.  They’ve done it for me so often and for each other, showing that it is possible to put people who you aren’t related to before yourself. I’m so thankful for our seemingly inane conversations to quiet times when we lean on each other for strength.  Each time they make the difficult but right choices in life, they give me the courage to make the same hard choices in mine.  Our friendship always makes me think of this Dad’s advice to his children “Never ever let a friend down. I would bury bodies for my friends, if they asked me to . . . which is why I have chosen them carefully.”

So today on your 10th birthday dearest Saffy, I wish you a lifetime of wonderful friendships.  Happy Birthday angel!!

Freak Accidents

I don’t like them but every once in a while they happen.  Earlier this week, one of my Goddaughters, Nicole had a very strange one happen to her and I’m so grateful she wasn’t badly hurt.  Actually in the bigger scheme of things, she was ok 🙂

Here’s what happened, some how, no one knows exactly how but her earring got pulled into her ear lobe!!  Yes, where the stud/stone usually is, the front portion of the earring, it was pulled back into her ear lobe.  So much so her parents thought the stud/stone had broken off because you could still see the back of the earring coming from the back of her ear.  It wasn’t until the x-ray revealed this:-

That’s the stud of her earring actually intact and in her ear lobe!!  According to her doctor, this isn’t common but it’s happened before O_o  Makes me rethink this ear piercing business.  I still remember getting my ears pierced and I was only 3 at that time … that’s for a whole other post.  Back to Nicole who was as brave as one can be with an earring stuck in your ear lobe, which made me realise how much she’s grown since I first started getting to know her.

That little precocious toddler has given way to a considerate little girl.  There are still a couple of days when that spunky toddler appears especially when she feels she’s had made one too many sacrifices for her little sister.  Those days are rare, especially with me as she’s growing to be quite the kind and compassionate girl 🙂

As tween-dom beckons, the challenges of this new stage are slowly showing.  I’ve started to notice the insecurities, I remember so clearly in my own growing pains, appearing as she starts to navigate the world of friends and people outside your comfort zone.  Dealing with people who may or may not like you, trying to understand where people are coming from, developing empathy … these aren’t things that can be taught.  You learn them watching the people around you, parents, grandparents, teachers and other children around you.  It’s exciting and scary at the same time.  As a Godmother, I must admit, I do get nervous watching these little ones enter this new stage of their lives, only because I remember the complex terrain of it.

As they grow, I’ve to remind myself to give them space to find themselves.  I’m pretty sure I’ll keep trying to be that cool Godma/Aunt … at least from my perspective :p  I’m going to be right there holding their growing hands through this stage as I did when they were little toddlers needing help climbing stairs, going down slides or just walking along.

It’s when they go into teen-dom that I’ll really start to worry 🙂

More Lunch Time Dates

Yes yes yes, my lunch time dates are working out nicely 🙂  Last week this time I caught up with little Miss Su.

She got a little tired at the end of lunch, which explains the picture of her bundled to her Mummy who was trying to put her down for a little nap.  She tried but rather go for a wander around the shop where she got acquainted with old school toys like a paper ball.  After all, we were after having lunch at Old School Delights.  They sell toys from days gone by and served good ‘ole goodies like Laksa, Nasi Lemak, Chicken Curry, Chicken Macaroni, Mee Siam.  So what did vegetarian me have?

The chef nicely did a vegetarian hor fun for me 🙂  For that, they get a thumbs up from me!!  It also tasted decent.  Lulu seemed to like her chicken macaroni, no eggs please with a couple of carrots from Auntie Cherry and me.  We also had the chendol that was sweetened with gula melaka so in our books it was pretty authentic.

Can’t wait till my next lunch time buddy is up for lunch again 🙂

Lunch Time Babies

I think I’m going to do this more often, make lunch dates with little young’uns.  It breaks the day up and gives me a reason to smile 🙂

Carlene’s blog world, please meet little Mirabelle.  Niece and goddaughter to my dear angel friend, Gen.  The last time I saw Mirabelle, she was a tiny baby.  At nearly 20 months, she definitely has her family wrapped around her little finger.  She’s a cutie with a great laugh!! Godma Gen is no different from me though :p  It’s boot camp mentality or it’s back home.  Actually Gen and I have more in common than we realise.

Lunch was at Food For Thought Botanic Gardens, which has a branch just opposite my office so I’m well acquainted with their menu.  It’s veggie and kid friendly.  The Botanic Garden branch is a much better location.  Wider spaces and much better parking but the food is better at the Queen’s Street branch.  I’ll definitely be coming back more for my family oriented outings where the kids can run free with a playground to boot.  Mirabelle, her Godma and I had a whale of a time and I suspect we’ll be doing lunch again.

Meanwhile, I’m thinking about my next lunch time date buddy 🙂

New Babies

There’s something about new babies that makes everyone happy.  Ok, maybe not everyone but me for sure 🙂  It’s been awhile since Mummy Shools and I caught up.  Work and life has a way of getting into keeping in contact.  With the occasional text and news from common friends, we’ve managed to keep up to date but nothing beats hanging out for a bit.  To make things better I get to meet her second little angel 🙂

Isn’t she such a cute one?  She has a lovely lovely disposition … kinda like her Mummy and Daddy actually.  Shools and Mos are possibly one of the calmest couples I’ve met in my life.  I’ve worked with Mummy Shools and nothing seems to faze her and I learnt a lot from that 🙂

We caught up over lunch, talked about work, husbands, her girls, work and then some while little Kayleigh potted around smiling, fed a little and took a nap!!  Pretty perfect for a nearly 6month old.

Next up on my to do, plan a play date with Kayleigh and her big sister Kaitlyn 🙂


I think being an aunt is one of the more fulfilling experiences I have had.  Most of my friends are Mums and not many understand this as clearly as Cherry who is an aunt to two sweethearts of a niece.

Unlike Mums, aunts get away with a lot more 🙂  I always thought I’d be a Mum by the time I’m in my 30s but it doesn’t look like it’s happening soon and I’m slowly realising why.  Being an aunt has widen my perspective to parenting and helped my heart to grow bigger.  As a parent, it’s easy to fall in love with your own child.  As an aunt, you actually don’t have to fall in love with your charges but when you do, it is just as magical.

It’s a magic that I can see when I hang out with little Ms Smith and even little-er Ms Su and their Aunty Cherry 🙂

Like I said, as aunts we get away with a lot more.  They don’t give me as hard a time as they give their parents, especially with my nieces and goddaughters.  I think it’s simply because we know our parents will love us no matter what and we can’t expect the same with our aunts or godmas … but but but … when our aunts and godmas love us in spite of our flaws, that’s the same magic.

I’m still pretty young … in the bigger scheme of things and life can disappoint you.  I may be all cynical reading this post when I’m in my 80s but I have a hunch I’ll still be smiling.  Simply because I’m betting on love.  As I grow older, I realise when you love without asking for anything else back, it’s hard to get disappointed 🙂  That, I think, is the key to parenting.

This non-Mum/aunt is practicing loving-without-asking-for-anything-else-back with all the kids around her and can’t wait for the next time she gets to practice with the Choo nieces again!!

Hello There Sam

Yesterday, little Samuel Tay decided that he was ready to come into the world!!  With the hospital just a skip, hop and a jump from where I live, I dropped by to say hi back 🙂

I’m still in awe of how amazing Mummy Daph looks.  Completely relaxed and calm, even when Sam was fussing, she was a picture of calm, which I knew if I were ever in her shoes … I’d probably be rather anxious :p  Daddy Dan was impressively nurturing too 🙂  Grandma was enjoying being there and catching me up on confinement ladies of the past and how mothers are so different today.  While I was there, our other friends, Les and Alina popped by too and with them was their little girl, Sophie who I haven’t seen she came into the world some 3 and a half months ago.

She was sweet, playing so very nice and oh so smiley!!  You know, just like her Daddy and Mummy 🙂  Lucky me to get all the baby fix I need in one visit!!

It’s going to be a little while before Sam will be out on play dates but I’m sure big brother Jonah wouldn’t mind a distraction or two.  So see you soon Sam!!  Meanwhile, here’s his parting shot at me as he was being wheeled to get his vaccination shots.

Yah, buddy I so know how you feel … I wouldn’t want a needle anywhere close to me too >_<

Sunday at the Birdpark

If it wasn’t for my munchkins, I would NEVER go to the bird park.  One, I’m not crazy about birds.  Other than penguins, birds really do nothing for me.  In fact, some are so hideous that I can’t help but think they are out for my blood.  Two, I have some issues about zoos and enclosing wild animals in a somewhat domestic situation so it was a little heartbreaking seeing birds static in a small spot and not soaring through the sky 😦

However, with my munchkins and the Tays, I did manage to have a good time at the bird park yesterday 🙂  Like I always say, it really isn’t where, it’s whom you share it with that’s important.

My nephew does not share my disinterest in birds.  In fact, he loves them!!  So much so when his tooth fell out, he wasn’t too frazzled about it, which says quite a bit about my nephew and the the ability of birds to distract him :p

Watching the three of them wander around the water park amazed me and made me think about how fast they’ve grown.  When they first met, my niece, Mabes and Jonah were still in diapers and barely spoke, much less to each other.  They are all fond of each other and like all friends, they get into fights every now and then.  They also make up and have really fun days like today, which makes it especially nice to watch them grow up and hang out with each other 🙂

So if they asked to go to the bird park again, I’d say yes!!  Also, beside penguins, I have to say the owls are pretty cute too.  I just might be brave enough to watch Legend of Guardians now.