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Life

A new phase of life for my firstborn

Just like every other parent I know, there are some moments in life that are just etched in your mind forever. Like that first cry your child made at the hospital which made you cry too. That moment she took her first few steps, or when she babbled those semi-incoherent words that you swore meant something. Lately, I’ve been feeling a little emotional too, as my 5+ year old is now about to leave preschool and head on to her first year in primary.


First day at preschool

It felt like just a few blinks ago when she stepped into preschool, all scared and tiny. Being a December baby, she was just 2 years and 1 month when she joined the 3 year old class in January. She blossomed from a timid girl to a confident and intelligent child. In fact, going into year 1, she is not fearful at all, but really more excited than the nervous wreck I am!


Packing up on her last day at preschool, just after her Merdeka party

I just want to cuddle her close to me, never wanting this baby to grow up. But she has, and she will continue to do so…growing more and more independent as a person. It’s hard to verbalise this feeling, so bittersweet. So proud of her, and yet this tinge of sadness that her baby years are ending faster than I am willing to acknowledge. Soon, I’ll have a teenager with acne and boyfriend problems and then the day will come when her dad will have to walk her down the aisle to the man she loves.

But for now, I’ll just cherish these memories and be brought back through time with captured moments.


Gearing up for Year 1 on orientation day

Life’s Precious Moments

There were a lot of changes in my life over the past one month. On the 1st of May, while en-route on a company trip to Club Med, I got the news that my mom was struggling with her last breath at home. It was over WhatsApp that I said my goodbye to her. She was 81. Her death did not come as a surprise, because the month before that, my sister and I were going in and out of hospital, trying to rescue her infected toe that was turning into gangrene. Towards the last few weeks of her life, she had a lung and bladder infection, and the doctor basically just told us to be prepared.


My mum, looking very hip then! And the photo below was taken with my dad years ago when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Read a bit more about his journey here.

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Love Someone With Autism

Did you know that 1 out of 68 children are affected with autism? Autistic children face various challenges in life. We partnered with The Hope Project, the non-profit arm of Early Autism Project Malaysia to create a video about autism awareness.

So what is autism?

Autism is a lifelong development difficulty that affects how an individual relates, communicates and interacts with other people as well as how they perceive the world around them. In essence, they face deficits in social communication/ interaction and have restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour or interests. It is a spectrum disorder in which their symptoms and severity vary widely across the core characteristic symptoms. This means, while all individuals with autism share certain similar difficulties, these symptoms affect their lives differently. (extracted from EAP’s website)

If you would like to find out more about diagnosing your child, you can find out more information here.

Watch our previous video on how to create a successful environment for a photo session with an autistic child.

Credits:
Photography & Videography team: Chi Yin & Grace assisted by Abigail

Documenting the Different Phases of Life

How true it is that daily life filled with chores, workload and family concerns may seem long and tedious! However, when you look back at how fast the months and years go by you find yourself yearning for time to slow down. That baby you hold today will be a young man or woman in a blink of an eye. Here are some phases in life you’ll want to capture and cherish forever:

BABY STAGE

Whether it is a maternity, newborn or baby stage, it is usually a very special time for the parents. Documenting the natural glow and protruding tummy in the later stage of pregnancy can remind you of how you felt throughout the pregnancy. Capturing shots of your precious baby sleeping in her crib, breastfeeding her or those of a gurgling baby will remind you of the happy (and tough!) times as a parent in the early months. It is also a good opportunity to share the journey with your child when they are older!

TODDLER STAGE

This is the stage when your child starts to discover new things and experiences… like the joy of cooling off on a hot day with the water hose in the backyard, or doing hand-painting in playschool, maybe even digging in the garden with their plastic garden tools. Having keepsakes of them in the midst of these activities is what you’ll treasure later on when they have grown up a little.

PRE-SCHOOL STAGE

At this stage in life, your little one is developing in character and is capable of so much more. They’ll be selecting their own attire for the day, helping you make cookies, learning to cycle, going for piano or ballet lessons! The list is endless… and there’ll be so much to photograph.

PRIMARY SCHOOL & BEYOND

Time zooms by once they start school proper because life takes over and days are filled with ferrying them from one place to another. But don’t forget that even as they grow into teenagers, documenting moments like holidays and achievements will give you something to hold on to before they leave the nest to lead their own lives. As a parent, you’ll want to capture every milestone with your child. Sometimes, you may remember to whip out your handphone to snap a picture or two, but most times the moments just pass you by. It is a good idea to make it a point to get some proper shots of the family together, in various phases of life. You will not regret how it made you feel to be reliving those times again!

Tips for Planning Children’s Parties

When I was growing up, I remember the most epic birthday party I had was when I was 8. Growing up in Malacca in the 80s, it wasn’t really common to have major parties for children my age, but my parents had organized my birthday at the new McDonald’s restaurant (the one and only in Malacca at that time!). It was totally memorable for me, especially since my mom baked a gorgeous cake for me, and my friends and I packed into the walk-in freezer to see how long we could stand the cold. I am grateful to my parents for organizing such a party for me.

Now that I have a 3 and 5 year old of my own and with the growing influence of Pinterest, DIY groups on Facebook etc, I feel a little ‘pressured’ to do something fun. So last year, I organised 2 parties for my kids. Yup, a unicorn party for my 5 year old and a fireman party for my 3 year old. It was quite fun doing some of the DIY stuff on my own, but unlike my mother, I can only bake instant cakes from those pre-mixes in the supermarket. (Needless to say, I didn’t bake these cakes).

It was a little stressful, but after all that organising, here are some tips to share with other mums who intend to plan their own child’s birthday parties.

1. If you are not good at something, hire someone to do it.

I realised that I was putting additional stress on myself in making some of the decorations myself. I went shopping for goody bags, was busy sorting out the guest list, planning food, AND thinking of how to keep everything under budget. Unless you are the kind of mum who truly enjoys this process, the best way to avoid unnecessary stress is to hire someone to do things for you. There are many great decorators / stylists who are great at what they do! (For my son’s 1st birthday, I had an Up themed party and hired Moments). For his 3rd year party, all I did was call the local fire station, do a site visit, and then let the firemen entertain the kids! (You need to give a donation to hold the party at the local fire station. Some fire stations do not allow parties)

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