Defining 2013: a year to remember

Yes, this post came a tad late as we are well into the first week of 2014 already. The donkey in me has been procrastinating a lot, preferring to read and laze around instead of blog whenever I had the time. In fact, December was really hectic – with the Toddlercalm course, school term break, Christmas celebration and friends visiting from Malaysia.

Nonetheless, a very HAPPY NEW YEAR to all. May your 2014 be filled with good health, much gratitude and abundant joy!

For me, 2013 was an eventful year to remember. It came and went in a swish, so much so that I find it hard to believe that my eldest will be 4 soon, and that we have been in Dubai for almost a year.

Here’s a summary of my 2013’s best and worst moments:

Happiest moment– When we finally settled down and moved into our current home. Also when E and Xan started to enjoy each other’s company.


Bravest moment – When we decided to break out of our comfort zone and moved to the Middle East in search of a better quality of life and education for the family.

Most tear-jerking moment – When E ran into Hubby’s arms upon seeing him at the arrival hall of Dubai International Airport after being apart for 28 days.

Most grateful moment – When our family of 4 gathered for a Thanksgiving dinner and started a tradition of jotting down what each of us was grateful for on the tablecloth.



Most life-awakening moment – When E shoved a parenting book to me after a squabble with him, saying “Mommy, you need to read this book on how to be a better mommy”

Saddest moment – When Hubby didn’t plan much for my birthday and our anniversary. He made up to me by throwing a very memorable post-anniversary celebration.

Most guilty / depressing moment(s) – When I yelled and spanked my kids.

Proudest moment – Flying back to Dubai with two kids on my own. Also when I drove to Abu Dhabi with them. Never knew I had such courage!

Most “I’m a woman, hear me roar” moment – When I fired my first driving instructor who thought it was funny to intimidate women.

Most embarrassing moment – When E walked past a plus size woman in the park and said “Fat lady!” He didn’t mean to be rude or mean, just innocently honest. I had to apologize profusely to the woman whom thankfully, was a good sport. She just laughed it off.

Most shocking moment – When we discovered that one year of E’s nursery fees in Dubai could put a person through the entire degree course at a local university in Malaysia!

Most confusing moment – When we were hunting for a school for Ewan. The process of registering kids for schools here is tedious and expensive, with no guarantee of enrolment as the waiting lists are long. It’s almost like a gamble!

Most stressed out moment – The days leading up to my final road test to get a driving license here. Also a job interview which I completely screwed up! Time to get in touch with my career development.

Biggest achievement – Learning to cook a decent, wholesome meal for the family. I knew I have made it when my father-in-law, who was rather choosy with food, complimented on my cooking. Joey can cook!

Most fulfilling pet project – Planning Xan’s 1st birthday


Biggest new possession – My spanking new Honda Jazz 2014 model that Hubby bought for me as our second car here. Small, sleek and smart!


Best discovery – Apple cider vinegar! I used it as a hair conditioner and a facial toner. Also for consumption whenever I came down with an infection.

Newly adopted hobby – Balcony gardening


Biggest unnecessary spent – The courier charges spent to get Xan’s party printables over from KL to Dubai. It was a miscommunication between the supplier, Fedex and I that cost us quite a big sum.

Most important lesson learned – Always have the terms & conditions agreed and understood by both parties before accepting a freelance job, even if the company belongs to a relative.

Best 3-step parenting tips on how to be a good mommy – As taught by Ewan: “1. Be happy with Ewan; 2. Play with Ewan; 3. Don’t be angry at Ewan”

Wisdom words of the yearI choose LOVE.


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