Advent calendar

All done!
Finished stuffing every pack with something
There was more chocolate than anything else
Hiding their designs
Don’t look mama!

My eldest wanted to make her own advent calendar this year. Not that we have ever been making them all these years. She just decided she wanted to make one this year. Mind you, we are not religious. So much so, that this year is the first year we have a Christmas tree at home. We just never got round to it before. We were usually never home anyway for the holidays. But we are doing it this year for the kids.

I bought all the items needed and got them to design their own boxes. It took them 3 days to finish colouring everything. Then one morning when the girls were in school I packed and stuffed each packet with stationery and chocolate.

Now every evening after school, they will run to the boxes to open their surprise for the day. Sometimes it is fun but sometimes they fight. Kids! Though I put in the same things for both boxes but because they get to choose their boxes everyday, they both get different items each time.

What most interesting about this whole thing was that M doesn’t know what an Advent calendar is? I looked at him incredulously and laughed. I mean, he is the Christian in this house and he doesn’t know what an Advent calendar is! Now he knows. πŸ˜„

This is our Advent calendar adventure. Our first, and I see it, the first of many more to come.

Toodeloos!

Isolation activities..

Snow White the Disney Princess

Last 2 weeks, J and I were in isolation. A classmate of hers was or maybe still is as he is not back in school yet, is positive for Covid-19. Unless you have been living off the grid with no access to civilization or maybe on another planet, you will know that Covid-19 is not a trifle thing. The whole of 2020 can surely be remembered in the future at Covid 2020. The year the whole world was brought to their knees.

Anyway, I digress. So, since she was to be home the whole day for 2 whole weeks we set about getting some activities to do to pass our time. I have seen this particular activity but I have never done them. When M brought the first one back J couldn’t wait to start while I was dreading the possibility of the millions of coloured plastic pins all over the floor. ButΒ  I managed to stop her and coax her into starting on them bright and early the next day when I had more time to organise and do it with her.

The next day we started on the first one. The first set was a set of Disney portrais of Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Daisy. In the pictures you will see that the whole piece is made up of 4 smaller pieces put together. So we had a portrait piece if each character. When we started, it took us a while to get the rhythm going. Also, it was not that easy for J to push those little pins into the holes piercing through the paper design on top. After a while she got the hang of it. She stops once in while to rest her little hands or when she gets carried away in her thoughts while chattering away. She chatters non-stop. I had to play the ‘game of silence’ which she loses every time, just to catch a respite from her constant chatter. πŸ˜…

How the picture is made up
The paper design that it comes in

We finished that in 4 days. I limited it to one a day. It was actually enough cause each one took us about 2-3 hours depending on how chatty or distracted we are. You could probably guess that I did most of the work but she was just so cute!! I found this avtivity to be very relaxing and cathatic. I didn’t have to think, like in board game or a puzzle, which we also did in that 2 weeks. Just grab a pin of whatever colour we working on, from the bowls I have prepared and just stick it in wherver I see the corresponding colour. Easy peasy! We finished it in no time at all!

Then, M got this one. This set came with 2 Disney princesses and we had to choose. We could only do one. The choice was between Snow White or Rapunzel. You can safely guess which one won. πŸ˜‰ This took us 4 days too. I can truly say the outcome is really beautiful! So much so that we are thinking of framing it! Though I joked to M that it would probably cost more to frame it than to actually buy it. It was €12 for this set. The frame would probably cost us at least €50. πŸ˜…πŸ˜…

After we were done, i told J to hold it up as I wanted to tale a picture of her with it. She gave me a cheeky face as I took the picture. I don’t think she intended to posr like Snow White but it turned out to look like she did.

Posing like Snow White

I am glad we did this. I liked it so much that I am thinking of getting another one. Something to do for when I am stressed or in need of some distraction? How about you guys? Has anyone tried this? If you haven’t, you should. Then you will know what I mean by it veing relaxing and cathartic.

Actually, now that isolation is over and i am back to work, I don’t know if I will have the time to do this again. But for now, I am glad that we are healthy and that J is back in school. Freedom!! πŸ˜†

Am off to get some alone and ‘me’ time. Till next time! Ciao and Toodeloos!!

Caught between a rock and a hard place…

Of course there are a few reasons for my lack of blogging. No time. Nothing much is up. No inspiration. So on and so forth. It applies to my Instagram and Twitter posts as well. I have to admit though, the main concern for me is the fear and respect for my children.

I chose to write, photograph and post about my life but my children didn’t. Or at least, have not decided for themselves yet whether they would like to or not. Then there is this online paedophile concern that lurks in the corners every time I think I want to post a picture. I don’t want anyone to be using my child’s photo for anything. Not even a meme. But once it is out in the world wide Web it remains there forever. Even with all the security measure we put in, it can still get out. After all, we are all only connected. Just 6 degrees of separation separates us all.

Which means the moment I share a photo in Facebook even with friends only setting, it can and will be shared with others if anyone of my friends liked the picture or commented on it. It pops up on their friends’ feed telling them that their friend has just liked a photo. All this ease has put a stone in my shoe, so to speak, making me uncomfortable. Makes me think twice before posting.

Then, comes the part that maybe my children won’t like their antics to be splayed out for all to see. Especially when they hit their teens. By then, it is too late to say sorry or to retract. What is done is done. It cannot be undone.

Now cones the crux of it all. Since becoming a mother my life revolves around them. Almost every picture and thought I have, have them in it. Scroll through my phone and all I see are my two angels looking back at me. Then when I am with them, I don’t have time for anything else. My hands are full. Even if I take a photo of something else, I have no time to organise my thoughts and make a blog post even if that what the intention when I took that photo.

Or maybe I am just lazy. I still work and am lucky that my time is flexible. Household chores are done to the minimum. I get a lady in to do the heavy duty cleaning. Maintenance is key. Whatever time I have to myself now is late at night, which usually doesn’t happen as by the time I put them to bed, I would have fallen asleep too. Or the time I have the babysitter who is an angel with Z and now I have to get J used to her for an hour or so, so that I can get some gym time in, is my only “me” time. J like Z before her is with me 24/7. There is always tons of laundry to get through. So many older clothes that don’t fit “growing like weeds kids” have to be routinely sorted and stored or given away. That in itself is a chore! Then I have a threenager now who will wear only what she wants regardless of the weather outside. I think she is made for warmer weather. We are living in the wrong country! πŸ˜“πŸ˜ Just the other day, to counter this I thought it was wise to start her early on her choice of clothing for the day. We took 5 hours to end up not looking like a hobo and be adequately dressed for cold rainy spring evening. Don’t forget loads of screaming and tantrums and threats of “if you don’t get dressed, we are leaving without you!”. I just don’t have the energy after everything. Then I just procrastinate. 

I would love to blog more. I just have to find my balance which I have yet to find. Maybe until then you will hear from me sparodically. Unless I have something else to write about that doesn’t involve my children. 

On another note, it is still surreal that I am now a mother of two! Surreal even after 3 years….

Good night! 

Newest addition…latest happenings..

It is a little early to write about winding down 2016 but I think should get it in before December begins and I will be in the flurry of end of the year activities and will definitely not have time to write.

The last I wrote was back in March and besides having a new venture, I was carrying another bun in the oven at that time. Fast forward months, Julie joined us on the 19th Of September. So now, we are a family of four!! She is gorgeous and a total darling. Of course I am bias! She is my little girl after all. πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€


Being pregnant with her was totally different from her sister. I didn’t put on as much which is a plus! I also felt less heavy with her till the last 2 weeks. I put on 2kgs in the last 2 weeks!! The stretch marks reared its ugly head in the last 2 weeks too and it was going so well…sigh. I guess it can’t be helped. I was pregnant, after all.

She turned out to be quite a big baby, literally. Born a healthy 4.11 kg. A head full of hair like her sister. They even look alike!! Which can only mean that they will grow up and look like their dad. Sigh…oh well, the huge eyes, long eyelashes and hopefully not a flat nose like mine and great hair colour is a good trade off. ;P

I don’t remember the last time I stayed in Malaysia for so long. This time I think it felt longer only because my daughter made it feel longer. Not in a bad way but because she misses her dad so each parting when he has to go back to work is a struggle. She also has her moments where she sniffles and cries when she misses her daddy. It breaks my heart each time. 😦

We are dealing with this because I can’t fly after a certain and I need and wanted to be back in Malaysia when I give birth. I don’t have as much support in Italy as I do back here. Also, for Chinese we have a confinement period where someone is hired to help you out with the baby and recovery for a whole month to 40 days. Been back since mid July and boy, when you have 3 kids all under 3 years of age and no school all under one roof, morning till night is like a war zone at home. I do understand that children are like that but in my pregnant state and constant screaming, laughing, running, crying and fighting for about 14-16 hours a day is not something I want to repeat any time soon. Though it is great that Z has someone to play with and I really like it that she can bond and get to know her maternal grandparents and uncles, aunts and cousins better.

So each time daddy comes to visit, is a time of great joy as Z is daddy’s little girl and each parting is met with crying and screaming of “I want daddy!!” sniff!! T_T

I like that she goes to school here too. Her English has improved and the best part of it all? Her Manglish!! Cracks me up!! I enrolled her in school or rather nursery here for the few months that we are here so that I can have some sanity and some time when J comes along to bond with her and recuperate. It was also important that she has something to do and learn something new and mix with children her age and not be cooped at home the whole 5 months that we are back. I think it has benefited her. She has celebrated Deepavali and today is the early Christmas celebration in school. Since it is an international school and being in Malaysia, she got to mix and learn about other cultures as well. In Italy, she would just be celebrating Christmas, Halloween and Easter. Here, she gets to celebrate all of the above and more. If we stay on, Hari Raya, Chinese New Year, Deepavali and even Wesak day.

J is crying for my attention now, so I have got to go. Hopefully I get to update soon. Getting the hang of being a mother of 2 though I still can’t believe that I am a mother at all! Still so surreal..it has been close to 3 years and now 2 children on, it is still surreal. ok…ok…got to go. Signing off just like that.

Till the next blog post….toodeloos!