Friday, April 17, 2015

Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day

I heard about B&J's FCD from a fellow mum at school. I contemplated bringing Nathan on a special one-on-one date when Noah was attending chinese class. I knew it was something he'd enjoy and yet I was thinking twice as it meant leaving the baby home with the helper for a longer time... Ever since the baby was born, I find myself rushing from place to place and trying to be home as quickly as possible so as to relieve the helper from baby care duties. At the same time, I do feel guilty about not being able to spend more time with the older boys. After much deliberation, I decided to make the detour after picking Nathan up from his enrichment class. I didn't tell him where we were going... I was thinking of abandoning the plan if I could not find a place to park or if the queue was too long. Didn't want him to be disappointed should that happen. Thankfully we found a parking space near the tents that they had set up for FCD. It was only after I had stopped the car that Nathan asked me where we were going. "They are giving out free ice-creams. We can get one if the queue isn't too long". His eyes lit up and he gave me a big smile when he heard the good news.

We made our way to the tents and as he saw the signages from a distance, he said, "over there mommy!"



With a skip and a hop in our steps, we headed for the queue... Nathan looked me in the eye and said, "thank you mommy". Those three words did it for me.  On days when motherhood is taking a toll on me, that was all I needed to hear.










Thank you B&J! It was a simple date that refueled both our love tanks. :)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Newborn Photoshoot

I love holding babies up close. I love the smell of their skin, I love having their tiny hands around my fingers, and I love looking at those tiny toes. They are only tiny for a bit. In a blink of an eye, they'd double their birth weight, and be tiny no more.



I did not engage any professional photographers for my first two babies and I wish I did. I do not have many photos to show of those early days... At that time, we were struggling with being first time parents and were just living from one milk feed to another. I hardly had the time nor the energy to take many photos. When Nicodemus was born, Orange Studios contacted me to ask if I'd like to do a photoshoot for Nic. I jumped at the opportunity. It is recommended that the photoshoot be scheduled within two weeks of baby's birth. Babies put on about 200g a week in the initial months, and hence, you can imagine how much they change in a short time, appearance wise. Nic's photoshoot was done when he was 12 days old.

Orange Studios brought all the props that were required and the photoshoot was conducted at home. For us, the shoot was conducted in the living room where there was natural light streaming in.


A behind-the-scenes shot of Ryan at work

With the shoot conducted at home, I did not need to pack and bring along a big baby bag and could feed my newborn in familiar surroundings when the need arises. Ryan, the photographer, went about setting up the backdrop and calibrating his camera to suit the lighting conditions, while I tried feeding Nic. We wanted to give him a full feed so he'd sleep thru the entire photography session, but Nic had other ideas. He just wanted to sleep. Oh well... so we went ahead with the shoot. Wini, Ryan's trusty assistant, went about swaddling Nic in earth tone wraps and Ryan started snapping. Not long into the shoot, Nic decided that he had enough sleep and wanted some milk. And so we took a milk break... then a pee break... then a poo break. And then, I tried getting him to sleep. But this time, he decided that he wanted to stay awake. Oh well... the shoot wasn't proceeding as I had liked it to. But Ryan and Wini were extremely patient. They waited while I fed him and cleaned him up. The entire shoot took slightly over two hours including break time. The Orange Studios team took the cue from the baby and the session didn't feel rushed at all.


Another behind-the-scenes shot taken in my garden

These are some of my favourite shots from the session...






And when the little prince decided that he had enough of lying down, and wanted to be cuddled, we did some mommy and baby shots...





The Orange Studios team managed to capture a good number of shots despite a less than cooperative baby, and this collection of photos will serve as precious and timeless memories for us.

Are you planning a newborn shoot? Here are some noteworthy points:

1) When is the best time to do a newborn shoot?
The best time for a Newborn photoshoot session is when your baby is under 2 weeks old, to capture those very precious moments when he/she still has the "newborn look". After 2 weeks, they look  very different!

2) What are Orange Studio's charges like? Any additional charges for sessions conducted at customer's house?
We are currently offering an SG50 promotion in which you will get to enjoy a free Maternity photography package (worth $300) when you book a Newborn session with us. You will enjoy a total savings of $550.

For just $350 (U.P. $600), you will enjoy the following:
- pre-photoshoot preparatory/consultation call
- 3-4 hours Newborn studio photoshoot session (outfits, props and backdrop provided)
- one 8R professional print
- four 5R professional prints
- free delivery of professional prints
- $100 credits for use on our products

Above promotion is for SG50 babies (born before or on 31 Dec 2015). Terms and conditions apply.

For Newborn home sessions, there is a surcharge of $150, as Orange Studios will be transporting all their props along, including a large bean bag for your baby to rest on during the photoshoot session.

3) Anything for parents to note; any preparations required?
Orange Studios provide outfits and props for newborns, hence parents do not have to prepare any special outfits for their babies. We would love for the parents to have a relaxing and comfortable experience, hence they do not need to prepare anything special. They just have to take note of a few things: - ensure they bring enough milk if their baby is bottle-fed, to last through the long session - bring along magazines, books or snacks for themselves while waiting during the session - come dressed in layers as the studio will be very warm (comfortable temperature for newborns), so that they can remove the outer layer(s) if they feel warm in the studio. Other than that, just come and enjoy the session with their family!

Orange Studios is offering one free Newborn photography session worth $200 to one lucky reader of The View from Mama's Desk. It consists of a 3-4 hours studio photoshoot session for an SG50 baby. Baby must be less than 2 weeks old at the time of the photoshoot.

To take part in the giveaway, readers would have to: 
b) leave a comment telling us why you want to win this prize
c) leave your email address so we can contact you if you win
Submit your entries using the Rafflecoptor below!

Giveaway closes 26 April 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Embracing Motherhood

It has been about 3 weeks since I became a mother of 3, and it has been tiring to say the least. I have always found taking care of a newborn challenging... The sleep deprivation, the engorgement and other breastfeeding issues, the cries of your newborn, the emotional roller coasters... It was tough with my first baby, tough with my second and now with my third, not any easier. But the day they look you in the eye and give you that first smile, all tiredness melts away and you feel like the happiest mama on earth.

As a little girl, I have always dreamt of marrying the man of my dreams and having children. But I never knew what being a mom entailed, until I became one. The first month with my first born was probably the most trying period of my life. I was knocked to my knees and I found myself asking God for strength and wisdom for the parenting journey. There was so much to worry about and so much beyond my control, the only thing I can do, is get on my knees and pray. Thankfully, the first month went by in a flash and the subsequent months parenting an infant was easier. Baby started sleeping thru the night and I got the sleep I craved. Baby started making eye contact, cooing and gurgling as you sang, and letting out squeals of laughter as you made funny faces... What joy! I went back to full time work when my maternity leave ended and coming home to my baby was what I looked forward to after a long day at work. In that first two years, we experienced many firsts... First smiles, first steps, first hospital stay, first words, first tantrums... Along with it, we experienced joy, anxiety, sadness, excitement... And life was so much fuller with the addition of a little one.

Even though I never quite enjoyed the newborn phase (especially now that I am going thru it again), I have enjoyed every moment of being a mother. Truly, "the days are long but the years are short". On days when I'm exhausted and running on reserve energy, I wish nap time would come by quickly so I can take a much needed break... But when my children's birthdays roll around, I find myself holding back tears as I sing them a birthday song, just cos I can't bear to have them grow up so quickly. Not wanting to miss out on their growing up years, I made the decision to quit my full time job three years ago, with my husband's blessings. Being a stay home mom has been truly rewarding and I wouldn't trade it for any other job in the world.

Motherhood is nothing I imagined it to be, but everything I want it to be. I am thankful for these three boys who call me "mommy" and I pray daily that God will help me be the mother that He has called me to be.


Children are a heritage from the Lord,
    offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.

- Psalm 127:3-5

This post is part of a Blog Train hosted by Dominique at Dominique's Desk. Hop on the train to hear other mums share about embracing motherhood.

   

Next up, we have Christy who blogs at Kids 'R' Simple. Christy has 3 young lovely children and she wants them all to know that motherhood is no easy task. She wrote down her thoughts and struggles of being a mom, and wants her children to know that being a mother is not about sacrificing everything and losing her identity as a woman, but it can be an enjoyable journey if they follow her list. Every mother has her own set of advice for her children, stay tune tomorrow at Kids 'R' Simple to find out what is Christy's list of things that she wants her children to know about motherhood!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

You are 4!

Dear Noah,

We have been counting down to your birthday and it is finally here! You have been looking forward to turning 4 and when you woke up seeing the "1" on the clock in your room... You exclaimed, "look, 1 on the clock. It's my birthday today!"



I think the best present for you this year is a baby brother to call you "Kor Kor Noah". You have been the sweetest Kor Kor around... Asking "when is baby going to come out", as we waited for baby's arrival; wanting to hold baby Nico so often and singing to him when he cries; being patient with mommy when I couldn't attend to you as I was busy with baby Nico; and playing quietly by yourself when I needed to take a nap. You make a great big brother and I hope the three of you will always enjoy growing up with one another.


I thought you were showing signs of being displaced when you started asking to be carried, to be fed, and wanting mommy / daddy to take a shower for you. Know that you always have a special place in my hearts, and mommy and daddy loves you all the same.

Some things about the four year old you...
1) Your favorite superheroes include spiderman, Incredible Hulk, Michelangelo and Luke Sky Walker.
2) Thanks to daddy, you know quite a bit about Star Wars and enjoy flipping thru ur Star Wars encyclopedia by yourself.
3) You love eating strawberries, kiwis, dragon fruits. You requested for a chocolate cake with strawberries for your birthday cos Kor Kor likes chocolate and you like strawberries. You are thoughtful in that way... Always thinking about the ones you love.
4) Your eyes sparkle when I praise you for a job well done. I believe "words of affirmation" is your love language just like your daddy's.
5) You enjoy story time and wouldn't go to sleep until we've read you a bedtime story. You can read simple readers by yourself (from memory) and love reading to mommy, daddy or kor kor.
6) You never fail to amuse us with your wise cracks, surprise us with your Lego and origami creations, and exasperate us with your 101 questions.

It has been a joy raising you and I continue to pray that you will grow in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Happy birthday Noah Baey!

Love,
Mommy



Saturday, February 14, 2015

2014 in pictures

When I wrote 2013 in pictures about a year back, I had grand plans of drafting out this post that I'm currently writing and updating it month by month so I'd have something ready by the time 2015 rolls around... Well, that grand plan did not materialise, and now... in the middle of February 2015, I'm finally ready with this...

January
The biggest change to the start of the year has to be Noah starting N1. Thankfully, he settled into the new environment and new routine really quickly and looks forward to going to school everyday.

My baby brother is in St James too!

February
A month of celebrations with Chinese New Year, Valentine's Day and my birthday.

Dong Dong Qiang!

Valentine's Day picnic at Garden's By the Bay

March
We celebrated Noah's 3rd birthday with a short staycation at Rasa Sentosa. This boy loves hotels and bath tubs and this was a present he really enjoyed.

Building sand castles with his brother



We also celebrated daddy's birthday the same month with a cake that the boys helped to bake.

Happy birthday daddy!

April
Nathan started swim lessons at the beginning of the year and passed his first swim test this month. He looks forward to swim class every week. :)

WOO HOO! I passed!

May
Every Mother's Day, I'm reminded that I'm so blessed to have these boys in my life...





That same month, Nathan performed in a violin concert. I am one proud mama.

June
It's the school holidays and we spent almost two weeks in Macau and Hong Kong. Family holidays are precious... I like how it takes us away from our daily routine and distractions, to spend time as a family...

Cable car ride to Ngong Ping

Dong Dong Qiang!

Family devotions

Napping on the go...

Planning our route

Disneyland :)

Riding a flying elephant

Meeting Pooh bear

Holidays are so much fun!

And because holidays are so much fun, we went on another one with our church friends. Bintan we went...

The sun, the sea and the sand with a great bunch of friends

July
We celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary and found out that we were expecting baby no.3!

I thank God for you every single day!

August
We managed to get tickets to the National Day Parade Preview. Woo hoo!



September
It is always a bitter sweet feeling for me, when my boys' birthdays roll around. I can't bear having them grow up so quickly! Nathan's 5th birthday...

Celebrating Nathan's birthday at Legoland

October
Two milestones for our just-turned-5 Nathan.

First, he learned to cycle on two wheels.

video

Second, he scored a distinction in his first violin exam.

First Violin Exam

November
Seems like the school year zoomed by so quickly. This photo was taken on the last day of school. Nathan's done with K1 and going on to his final year in kindy. Noah's done with his first year in kindy, and moving on to N2 next year. We're so thankful that the boys enjoy school and look forward to it everyday.

I love my brother!

December
A busy month with the highlight being our family holiday to Koh Samui. We admired God's creation, rode on an elephant, soaked in bath tubs, built sand castles, basked in the sun, and swam naked (just the two small boys) in a private jacuzzi.

Intercontinental Hotel, Koh Samui

Bath tub buddies


Dearest D,

Reflecting on the year that has gone by, I am once again filled with thankfulness for God's manifold blessings on us. It is my third year as a stay home mom. It is such a joy, privilege and blessing to spend almost all my waking moments with our boys, and I am convinced that my calling this season is to be a stay home mom. Thanks for working so hard so I can fulfil my calling as a mother. Know that you are greatly loved and appreciated.

Yours,