19 August 2016, by Lim Peifen

Luke turns one

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Love this picture so so much. All my babies looking good together! And that pun! Lol.

We did a cake smash photoshoot prior to Luke’s first birthday party, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It wasn’t Luke’s first professional photoshoot, so he had no trouble getting comfortable in the studio. Judging from this and other pictures, the boy revelled in his first intimate contact with a cake. He probably had more fun playing with the cake than eating it though.

luke_cake_smash_068 Mummy, this doesn’t taste like milk…

Being a parent now is very different from being a parent a generation ago. Back then, our parents battled issues that were more basic, such as making ends meet, a child’s physical health and/or proper education. Many of our parents had to work long hours, leaving little time for family. Many mothers who stayed home to care for their children did so not by choice, but because infant care and child care back then was underdeveloped, and they could not afford domestic help. In addition, the traditional Asian way of strict discipline left little room for the concept of family bonding.

Today, as parents we face similar challenges, but there are also more complex ones compared to those that our parents’ generation encountered. Higher standards of living, higher standards of education, faster pace of life, mental and emotional well-being of a child, TV/Internet/tech gadget addiction…On the bright side, we understand the importance of family bonding, we have so many more ways to enjoy parenthood by enhancing the parent-child bond.

The activities that parents and children can participate in together, as well as the facilities for these activities, are numerous and continue to increase. I’m grateful for the time, ability and resources to create happy shared experiences with Luke, be it just a simple walk in the park, a cake smash photoshoot, or playtime at a baby gym. Actually, we don’t even have to go out. Not too long ago, I made some edible paint using overcooked, thickened barley water and food colouring, and the white wall in our bathroom became a huge canvas for Master Luke to express his artistic flair, or, more realistically, make a colourful mess.

My version of edible paint was more of a case of recycling: I had forgotten to turn off the slow cooker and overcooked my barley water, resulting in a really thick liquid. If you are interested in making some for your little one/ones, here’s a better recipe:

Ingredients: Flour, Sugar, Food Colouring

Method: Add 2 tablespoons of sugar and one-third cup of flour to a saucepan. Mix with two cups of water, whisk until smooth. Heat the mixture and continue stirring until it thickens. Pour mixture into plastic cups, one for each colour. Add a drop or two of food colouring and stir to mix. As the colouring is quite concentrated, you may want to add slowly till you achieve your desired tone. Let cool completely before allowing your toddler to use.

Original recipe from http://www.momtastic.com/diy/171489-edible-homemade-finger-paint/

Yes, there are many distractions in the form of digital entertainment and the Internet, but there are also many ways for us parents to build that strong bond with our children first before these distractions start taking effect. I am going to try my very best to make these early years really count, by being present, growing and learning together with our baby.

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Mummy, can I mess up this cake? No? But why? You let me do it the last time!

Luke’s first birthday party was an informal and cosy affair. We had a buffet lunch party for close friends and family at the condo function room, and a simple cake cutting ceremony at the end. During our preparation for the party, Hubby and I got into a small debate about birthday celebrations. He didn’t see a need to celebrate every year, but I did. After some convincing and compromise, we established our first family tradition: every member’s birthday will be celebrated at home with a cake, every year, to the best of our abilities. Also, we will take turns to be in charge of the next birthday celebration.

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My wish for Luke as he progresses into his second year of life? To be healthy, to grow and learn happily, and to always be surrounded by real love, in the real world.

Posted on : August 19, 2016

Filed under : New Mums & Dads

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