Tempting Temptations

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

"I can resist everything except temptation."
Oscar Wilde
There could be a million and one reasons as to why people stray. Emotions and needs can overwhelm, and sometimes that desire to 'feel wanted' can seduce someone into doing something that would not be morally right. Emotionally, too... if your other half gets wind of it.

Why stray? Sometimes that extra effort needed to revive a staid and comfortable relationship can be a far less interesting prospect than being with someone new - and perhaps different in a lot of ways. Cloaked in secrecy, it beckons - and like the forbidden fruit, sometimes the hardest thing to resist is temptation.

Perhaps it seems to the husband that life suddenly just consists of poopy diapers, screaming kids, and a frustrated wife. He's surrounded by sweet young things (SYTs) who flash their winsome smiles and wiggle their obviously-have-not-been-pregnant bottoms or whatever parts of their anatomy that they normally employ to get their way at work.

And then there are the marriages which are falling apart. Perhaps the spouse has suddenly become too aggressive, irritable, demanding or will argue for the sake of arguing. So the husband has become unattractive, paunchy and unkempt, preferring to spend his time romancing that perfect doe eyed creature in a virtual city. Then there's that nice smelling dude at work who is leaving a cup of coffee at the table even before you step in.

It's happening everywhere I turn... now that I know where to look. It's a bit like looking for a ghost in a window, in those horror movies. Blink, and you've missed it.

Perhaps in the West it's all too common, and the success rates of office politics is measured by how much bounce you put on the (hotel) mattress - or in some cases now - public carparks at parks.

Down here its all very cloak and dagger. Very reputation ruining to be caught, high stakes, high risk. And once in a while heads of departments are caught with their cigars out and their pants down.

Whilst I can understand it all, I don't condone it. Just don't get caught.

I've told the husband that if he ever told me that he will stay faithful to me for the rest of his life, I'll take it that he's being condescending to me. It's not that I don't want to take him at words value, it's just that I've seen enough to know that people stray for various reasons, and usually, it's done by the people whom you think are least likely to do so.

So you gasp, and in horror, exclaim: 
"Oh my!! I wouldn't have thought he / she would be capable of doing that! And why? He / she seems to have a perfect family and an enviable relationship!"

I told the hubs - if you find yourself in contempt of your vows and feel that you made a mistake, just don't let me find out. Then I dealt him the ultimate blow: 

"Oh, and if you even contemplate straying, just remember that the moment you do... you have already put your entire family on the line. You must know that by entering into an illicit affair, you are prepared to give us up. If you're really committed to someone (and isn't marriage the ultimate commitment? aside from work) even if you can't seem to find a shadow of the woman who is beaming next to you in the wedding pics, you made the choice when you married me. Through thick and thin, sickness and in health. Don't let me even get started on how marriage has changed you!" (beatific smile)

Well then; here's my take on this:

Don't tempt temptations.

If that new intern in the too tight clothes and cleavage to put the valley of death to shame bends down a little too much in front of you - keep your eyes on her other less attractive features, like perhaps her jug ears. Keep your hands where everyone can see them - especially when you spy the usual rumour mongers doing too much unnecessary walking back and forth, via the open office door.

If marriage is turning into a routine, find something novel to do with the other half, that excites both of you. Perhaps a holiday somewhere exotic, perhaps... get some ideas from the immensely popular 50 shades trilogy.

If you don't want to cheat on your spouse, don't go out one on one with anyone tasty at work, period. It's really all about minimizing risk, and preventing scenarios of temptation from arising in the first place. Because, really, once you're both taking off each other's underwear in some seedy motel somewhere, it's rather too late to stop.

But that's where my argument breaks down.

The truth is that people here may not confess to it, but they DO want to cheat. As long as they don't get caught.

That's just how it is. We can't expect to still look at each other with the same starry eyed wonder and (innocence) as of the time when it all started. As much as we think they've changed, they've also made adjustments for us. We've changed too... to accommodate progressions in life.

To me, being in a long term marriage (or relationship) is akin to wearing a pair of comfortable, albeit worn out shoes. You wear them and forget they're there because they are comfortable and don't give you any trouble. It's a pair of reliable shoes, and will not cause you to slip and fall. Sure... it may not be the greatest looking pair available, but you know they won't hurt you. 

Once in awhile, it's tempting to think this way: "They may be functional, but there is nothing attractive to them. Others can see that my shoes are just my size and were designed for me. So if they are a perfect fit, then why do they look so tattered and unappealing?"

When that thought assails you, think of the countless times you have walked in those shoes, and the places you have been. Memories are what make your presence in the present, worthwhile.

Me? I steer clear of uncapped soy sauce bottles. I wouldn't want to risk losing what I have in a moment of folly. As much as the hubs and I disagree on a lot of things, we also agree on a lot more stuff. I nag at him because he never puts things back to where he found them. He chooses to ignore my quirks and idiosyncrasies, because (I quote): "You wouldn't be who you are, without them".

MummyMOO


Carrots, Eggs, or Coffee: Which one are you?

Monday, 25 February 2013

"A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose.

Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, "Tell me what do you see?"

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they got soft.She then asked her to take an egg and break it.

After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The granddaughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma. The granddaughter then asked. "What's the point,grandmother?"

Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity--boiling water--but each reacted differently.

The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her granddaughter.

"When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I?

Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff?

Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level?"

- author unknown -

***

I read this earlier, and it got me thinking.

Our path in life is governed by our attitude, and the choices we make. So it's really up to us how we choose to live life.

Never dwell on how unfair things are, or how bad things have been at this present moment. Never blame it on the stars, or how riddled with misfortune your year has been. There are times in our lives when we feel so trapped in a bottomless void... that we can't seem to find a way out - it's those moments in time when all else stands still, and you would feel that you don't have the strength to go on.

It's in these darkest hours that our soul is replenished, and given the strength to endure and go on.

Every phase of our life is an endless battle of emotions within ourselves - we seek, we learn, we discover. As long as we persevere and make the best out of each and every situation, all of us will emerge triumphant in the end, regardless of the conclusion.

Even though at times it may feel that we cannot see how a situation will turn out for the best, our choices will determine the path we would take in life. If we allow ourselves to be swept away by the rising tide, we will ostensibly drown; but as long as we fight, never give up hope and believe that things will work out for the best - we will find the strength we need to smile again.

We can always attain whatever we wish, but we must always remember that it would involve sacrifice, perseverance, and facing our innermost fears. We are stronger than we think.


www.ajugglingmom.com


Stickygram: Photo Magnets (Review and Giveaway!)

Friday, 22 February 2013

When I was first introduced to 'Stickygram', I was admittedly, rather sceptical. It all looked so simple - if you already have an Instagram account, you are all good to convert any of your images into 2" x 2" magnets. I wondered about print quality, and the general 'finish' of the products.

I asked my friends: "What do you think of making your Instagram photos into magnets?"
Their general answer: "Where?! I also wan!" and proceeded to drill me about sharing with them the site and the procedure. Which is actually so expected, because most of my friends are mums, and we all know mothers can never have enough photos of the kids!

So I proceeded to try Stickygram out myself, and promised to share the entire experience.

1. I went to http://stickygram.com/



Yes - you read it right. Free shipping - worldwide!


2. Since I have an Instagram account (@reginamoo), I connected and was prompted to log in into my account.

3. As all my IG images loaded up... I remembered thinking: "Wah! So easy! Just drag and drop!"




4. The hardest part of all - choosing only 9 images!

Yes, there are 3 repeat images on the sheet - one for my Aunt in Indonesia, one for my mum fridge, and another for my in-laws!

5. Payment can be made either via paypal or any credit card. It's that simple!

I couldn't wait for my magnets to arrive!

I was given an email acknowledgement of the order a short while later, and was informed that I should be able to receive the magnets in 7 to 14 working days. If you are in the UK, the wait is much shorter at 2 - 4 working days, Europe will take 4 - 7 working days, and North America will take 5 - 12 working days. The magnets are made within 24 hours of order placement.

Eight days after I placed the order, I received my magnets!


I was really impressed by the magnets. They had a matte finish which gave each photo a 'classy' look, and highlighted the filters used.



I am so pleased with the photomagnets... I think the fridge door looks so much happier now! My Mum saw the magnets, and snatched 4 pieces to put on the fridge in her room. When I whined about her taking them, she told me to order more on her account. (Yay!!)

The popularity of Instagram has taken over the world by storm... and photo sharing with friends and family has become as easy as 'Snap, Shoot and Share!'

What if you DON'T have an Instagram account, or you would like to get some magnets done as a gift?

Here's how.

1. Create a separate Instagram account. It's free.
2. Make sure that this 'dummy' IG account is marked 'Private'.
3. Upload the images you would like to make as magnets to this account. If they are someone else's images, view on their IG feed, right click and save each photo of choice to upload on your dummy account.
4. Link that account with Stickygram, and you're done!

Before deleting the dummy account in IG, please make sure that the magnets have been made and are on their way to you (they will send you an email once it's shipped)

***

So... as the title of the post suggests - here's the GIVEAWAY!!!

I have 2 magnet sheets (9 magnets each) for 2 lucky readers!

(contest is open worldwide!)

Simple steps to qualify for the draw.

1. Follow me on Instagram (@reginamoo)
2. Leave a comment on this post with your Instagram account (so I can follow you back!), name and email address. Please note that your name and email is mandatory to qualify.
3. Post a pic on your account with your interpretation of a SMILE, and make sure that you use the following hashtags: #stickygram  #stuckonmoo  #smile

This contest ends on Tuesday, 26 February 2013, at 2359hrs. Plenty of time to take some smiley, happy photos over the weekend! BabyMoo will choose the winner - based on the 2 photos he likes the most!

Good Luck!

DISCLAIMER: We received a set of Stickygram magnets for review. All other opinions are 100% my own.

***


GIVEAWAY RESULTS


I printed out all submissions to #stuckonmoo and cut them out to exact magnet size. I then asked BabyMoo to help us decide the two winners by picking out which two Instapics he likes best!

BabyMoo was so excited! When he made his choices, he kept on waving the photo about - so much so I couldn't get a proper shot! Please excuse the grainy photos, snapped these using the mobile phone!

HERE ARE OUR WINNERS!!

Should I be surprised that he picked 2 girls?!
Well... at least we know he's got his preferences right :)
Here are our winners! Congratulations!

Congratulations to @mummybean and @missustay!

I will be contacting you via PM for your Stickygrams!

***

Thanks for your support!

The Way We Were

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Kids are a privileged lot nowadays. They are treated as individuals, and are given most things which we only could yearn for back in our days. How many times have we heard: "Next time, maybe when you're older."?

We looked forward to new clothes and new shoes during the Chinese New Year. We believed that Santa dropped by with a bagful of wishes come true. We learnt not to speak unless we are spoken to, and when there are adults around, children should be seen and not heard. We believed in everything that our elders told us, and never thought to question them. It is the way it is, because mummy / daddy said so.

It's a lot different now. Children are encouraged to question, to wonder, to exercise their minds and flex their imaginations. They are given guidance, and not merely told what to do. Baby talk hardly exists, except perhaps done by their grandparents and the older generation. They have new clothes or shoes to wear every other time Mummy spots an irresistible offer, and who needs Santa when there are indulgent parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles every day of the year?

With advancement in education levels, technology, and awareness, children are no longer only treated as assets in the household, or an extra hand to help around the house. Well... they are 'assets' in the sense that they are extensions of their parents, a symbol of their union and are borne of love. Further to that, they are neither seen as a 'financial retirement plan' for their parents, nor expected to contribute their dues to the family.

Back then, it was pretty normal for families to have a large number of children, regardless of whether you were wealthy or otherwise. For the rich, the ability to provide for a large family was a status symbol. Better still - have more than one wife to add on to the brood. For the poor, extra hands means extra income for the family, when kids are sent to work as soon as they are deemed able to.

As much as we teach a child to be independent, to observe, and to be his own little person, I do believe that there are a lot of core values that we were taught back then that still applies today.

Respect: 

For elders, for others, and for oneself. It all starts at home. When children are exposed to an environment where respect reigns and everyone's opinion is valued, they take it as a given and a way of life.

Manners: 

To mind our P's and Q's. To ask nicely, rather than demand. To listen without interrupting, and to be attuned to the needs of others. Teach them to care, and be empathic to others. To apologise when they have done something wrong or have caused hurt, even though it was unintentional.

Sharing:

As much as we teach our children to grasp the concept of sharing, we have to understand that we are all born to be selfish. As adults, we learn to fine tune this trait into what works in our favour, but in the kids' world, they are yet unable to control this emotion. Sharing is taught in preschool, and as parents, it is also our duty to emphasise this at home, although in a one child family, this can be extremely challenging. When we practise this at home, it will be much easier for them to then understand that they should be generous and share.

Honesty and Integrity:

We all learn to lie, at one point or another. Be it white lies, or full blown ones, or lying by omission. It is, however, important to teach a child that honesty does not even need to come into question when they have not done anything wrong. If we explain to a child the importance of honesty and assure them that we will always be there for them to listen in case they slip up, they will be encouraged to approach you during those times. There are also consequences for their actions, and it is also essential to explain to them that they have to be responsible for their actions. Never issue empty threats. If you don't follow through with what you say, they will see you as being dishonest. If you are dishonest, they will think it's ok to be dishonest too.

Forgiveness:

If children are not taught to learn to forgive, they will most probably grow up to be bitter individuals. There are different people who make up the world, and along with their different traits. There will always be instances where people do wrong, or may cause them pain, be it physically, or emotionally. We can't protect our children forever, so the best that we can do is to show them the importance of being compassionate by being forgiving. Sometimes the best way to deal with hurt is to encourage them to be the 'bigger person' and forgive, because if we carry the hurt inside, we tend to become perpetually spiteful and angry.

Above all this, we teach them Love.

I grew up surrounded by people who care for me and love me, and I think that this has made me who I am today. I will teach my child love and compassion because he was borne of love, and it is important that he knows love. When we love life, people and things around us, we are happier people because love fuels passion. With passion, we have the drive we need to propel us higher and achieve more.

As parents, we are their role models and we have the power to steer them toward the right direction. Our ancestors have adopted the 'yield and obey' method, and the challenge for us in this day and age is to inculcate these values in our children while still encouraging them to develop their own personalities.

We dream of changing the world, one child at a time. The change begins with us.


MummyMOO


Sentosa Flowers 2013 - Joys of Spring

Friday, 15 February 2013

Sentosa Flowers makes a comeback this year with 'Joys of Spring!', which promises to showcase a variety of spring flowers artfully arranged in a natural setting. This year's event is held at Palawan Beach.

We decided to brave the crowds on the 2nd day of the Lunar New Year because I felt that my in-laws, being nature lovers - would enjoy the experience. I would say that Sentosa did a wonderful job in controlling the expected huge turnout right from the time we passed the toll booths by directing all cars heading toward the venue to the Cove carpark situated at the opposite side of the island, and providing shuttle buses to and fro.

Shuttle buses were plying the route every 10 minutes, and we waited in line for less than 5 minutes before we boarded the bus to Palawan Beach. The queue to purchase tickets was slightly longer, though, but it was orderly and moved surprisingly fast.


There was only one ticketing booth, but thankfully, the lady manning it was extremely efficient. We managed to purchase our tickets without much delay.


I didn't like the idea of being tagged - but since we were made to wear one... we complied like the good Singaporeans that we are :)


There were clusters of pretty blooms on each side of the road, but I wondered why some of the flowers already looked 'droopy and sad', given that it was only 3 days into the 9 day display.


From what I observed, the people actually treated the flowers with respect, and I didn't see anyone manhandling the blooms even though there were no warning signs. Perhaps the erratic weather didn't really help the conditions.



iPhone pics, so the quality could be better!

There were a lot of shutterbugs, but honestly, I was rather disappointed at the flower selection on display. I suppose I expected much more than just flower beds with marigolds and a smattering of vibrant hued additions.

This was my favourite, and the most 'noteworthy' flower I saw there.


BabyMoo loved the Snake made entirely of sand, though... and kept wanting to climb into the enclosed area!


Other than that... what did BabyMoo think of the entire experience?



Ticketing details:

Standard Ticket: $5
Advance Ticket: $4 (available online at least one day in advance)
Kids under 12: Free

More info: http://flowers.sentosa.com.sg/
Getting there: http://flowers.sentosa.com.sg/getting-there.aspx

It's that time of the year again...

Thursday, 14 February 2013

...when it seems a sin to not be in love.

I suppose anyone reading this would think that here goes another sour one who would rant and rave about the existence of Valentine's Day and all the hype surrounding it.

Another jaded old phart who have been hurt too many times to not believe in love, and who hates just about everyone who walk in a cloud of perpetual happiness.

Think again.

Whilst I have never been into Valentine's Day for reasons that would only make sense to myself - I would never scoff at or discourage anyone who wants to show their loved one how much they're loved on this designated day. Sometimes we forget what was it that made us fall in love with our partners, and it's all too easy to take each other for granted just because they're... there. I suppose Valentine's would serve as a reminder, and let us think back on that first smile, the electricity shooting through your being as you first held hands, and the magical first kiss shared. Even though all that may be a tad 'old-fashioned', I do believe that the best romances start off slowly... sometimes without the both of you even realizing that things are progressing at a comfortable pace.

Love is magical. It's something that I would never bar out of my life simply because I have found (to my consternation!) that it's probably the only thing that would readily put a smile on my face... it's the feeling that makes me grin for no particular reason, and make my heart skip a beat just with the prospect of meeting him. Of course, I've been on the sharp end of love's sword as well - and perhaps, even up till now, I'm still feeling the effects of the gaping wound... but the memories are what keeps me believing. As much as love can hurt, the happiness it gives when the right one comes along - can never be described.

A million words can never sufficiently describe the feelings that love can evoke, and there are no explanations nor reasons for love. We can deny it all we want, but there is no denying the fact that all of us have been touched at one time or another - by that magical fairy dust of love.

When everything seems so much clearer, and nothing can ever bring you down. When we care enough about another person, so much so that we would want to see them happy, it hurts us when they're sad, and every minute spent with them is to be treasured - that's love.

Valentine's is not only for lovers... it's a celebration of love. Among friends, family, and whomever else in our lives that have touched us in some ways; maybe even our enemies.

Henry Kissinger once said: "Nobody will ever win the battle of the sexes.There's too much fraternizing with the enemy."

Perhaps I still believe in love because I still believe in my dreams.
In love and in dreams...nothing is impossible.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day



Linking up with
www.sanses.com
SANses.com's Talkative Thursdays

Lunar New Year 2013: Year of the Water Snake

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

We leave the Dragon Year to enter the Snake Year, and after a year within the 'Yang' forces, the Snake is considered the 'Yin' to the Dragon's heat. Which goes to say that there will be highs and lows again this year. While the Snake may be more subtle than the flamboyant Dragon, it is by no means mediocre, and can choose to make an impact as and when it wants to.

We welcomed the Lunar New Year with family and close friends, as always with good food and great company!

New clothes for the New Year!
Shirts from BabyPixie
Reunion Dinner 2013


First 'Lo Hei' of the Year!



Visiting family and friends on the first day of the Lunar New Year.


BabyMoo gorging on Pineapple Tarts and goodies!

From our Family to yours:

Gong Xi Fa Cai, Gong Hey Faat Choi, 恭禧發財!

Happy lunar year of the water snake!



Linking up with:

new button    My Little Drummer Boys    

Jurong West Aquatic Centre

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

We are constantly on the lookout for new places to bring BabyMoo on weekends, because the usual recreation places got a tad tiring after awhile. Last weekend, we asked the boy where he would like to go, and he answered with gusto: "WoferPuck!", so we decided to take advantage of the bright and sunny Saturday to indulge him.

We initially went to Changi City Point, but when we reached there, to our surprise, the water wasn't switched on at full blast. It slowed down to a trickle periodically, and coupled with the blazing sun - made the ground literally baking hot. After barely ten minutes, we decided to call it a day, and look for another place instead.

BabyMoo has a breather from the heat with an ice-cold mug of Root Beer, dressed in his swim robe - while we search the net on our mobiles for another place to go.


I stumbled upon the 'Jurong West Aquatic Centre' located in the Jurong West Sports and Recreation Club, and we decided to head there after a quick lunch. (If you aren't familiar with the area, please use a GPS - because the roads can get confusing after awhile)

It's a huge, sprawling complex, and we saw many kids heading in for their swimming lessons.


BabyMoo got really excited at the entrance... and could hardly contain his glee while we purchased our entry tickets.


Being totally uninitiated about public pools now, we were not aware that we can actually use our EZ Link cards to gain access as well!


The water park was huge, and there was plenty of room even though there was a sizeable crowd there.



At this point, a lifeguard very nicely stopped me from taking pictures of the 'facilities', but I am welcome to take photos of family members. Ok... I wasn't aware of this, but I suppose the policy works on so many different levels.


BabyMoo took the slide down, and the lifeguard very kindly waited for him at the end of the slide, and made sure he didn't take a tumble into the water.


The current pool goes around the whole complex, and the float is really necessary. The undercurrent is strong, so please keep a watchful eye on the kids. The float is available for rent at $2.00, with a returnable deposit of $3.00.


BabyMoo wanted to slide down the big slide, but he's 1cm short of the minimum 1.2cm height. Daddy cannot ride tandem with him, so we had to convince him repeatedly that he will be able to slide down when he's slightly older.


We had a fabulous afternoon at the water park... and best of all - it was good fun at a very, very reasonable price!


Pool Information

Address: 20 Jurong West St 93 Singapore 648965
Contact No: 6515 5332

Operating Hours: 8.00am – 9.30pm (Wednesday to Monday & Public Holidays), closed every Tuesday

Facilities Type:

  • 1 Sheltered Competition Pool
  • 1 Teaching Pool, 1 Lazy River
  • 1 Jacuzzi
  • 1 Kiddy Pool
  • 1 Slide

Seating Capacity: 465

Entrance Fee:
WeekdayWeekend
Stored Value Card
Adult$1.50$2.00
Child$0.80$1.00
Senior
SwimFIT 55+
Single Entry Card
Adult$1.50$2.00
Child$0.80$1.00
Senior$0.80$1.00


Linking up with:

new button    My Little Drummer Boys     Wordless Wednesday by David

 

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