Monthly Archives

November 2014

Becks Kao Family life as we know it Happy days Motherkao loves...

This Thing About Essential Oils, Part 2: All about the Zyto Scan

November 29, 2014

I shared in an earlier post about how we’ve grown to love the therapeutic essential oils from Young Living.

I don’t earn any commission (I have no downlines, by the way) for sharing this but as a mom, I just want to shout it out loud on my blog that MY KIDS HAVE BEEN MEDICATION-FREE for the longest time, and it’s worth doing a thousand happy dances for!

And if they ever do start sniffling or coughing, with these unadulterated, pure goodness from plants, they recover very, very fast. What usually takes them five days at least with medication now takes them two to three days with regular oiling on their soles and lots of TLC massages on their backs and chest.

I recently met a mom blogger friend, who also loves her essential oils. So much that she bought a Zyto Scan.

Say what?

Apparently, this healthcare device in something that healthcare professionals use all over the world. It’s a simple and painless process of putting your hand on the hand cradle and have subtle energetic impulses go into your body. The software records the responses and in as fast as 3 minutes churn out a biosurvey which records the change in the electrical properties of your skin.

And the Zyto Scan that Mom Blogger Serene from Xavvylicious brought to show me, was linked to the Young Living Essential Oils software (Zyto Compass), whereby the scan would address 76 biomarkers (a biomarker is a naturally occurring molecule, gene, or characteristic by which a particular pathological or physiological process, disease, etc. can be identified) in the body through the hand and tell you how many biomarkers are out of range and what are the oils that can benefit your body to adjust the biomarkers back accordingly.

Besides the whole process being so cool and state-of-the-art, the best thing about the scan is that it takes the guesswork out of supplements and essential oils.

Zyto_1

Zyto_2

Zyto_3

In other words, you don’t anyhow anyhow buy essential oils. There are things you know you can fix with the choices of essential oils we have just by using this scan.

So I made everyone – big and small – in the family go through it. And yep, the adults have tense muscles, no doubt about it.

Zyto_4

Zyto_5

And I’m sure you can tell my husband’s default way to soothe those tense muscles is always through a glass of wine.

What was surprisingly spot-on accurate was the bio-survey for Becks. She had the most out of range markers in the family, and her greatest need could be fixed by this essential oil blend called Gentle Baby.  It’s been formulated with rosewood, geranium, palmarosa, lavender, Roman chamomile, ylang ylang, lemon, jasmine, bergamot and rose to calm emotions. Becks out of range markers all pointed to how unsettled and unrested she was. And it was so, so true. She had been stirring and waking from bad dreams almost every night, and I was reminded that I needed to apply some essential oils behind her earlobes and give her some tender strokes on her hair and scalp to help her relax before bed. Gentle Baby is out of stock in Singapore, so I am now diligently using Peace & Calming, lavender and Citrus Fresh.

Zyto_7

Zyto_6

And thank God for the Zyto Compass that reminded me this little baby needs a lot more TLC.

We’re still oiling, oiling away, but this time round, we’re getting oily more accurately, thanks to the Zyto Compass!

~~~

If you’d like Serene from Xavvylicious to bring the Zyto Scan to you, you can contact her at 9652 9653 or serene_seah@hotmail.com. For a token sum of SGD10 per scan (valid till 31 Dec 2014), she would get the scan performed at the place of your convenience and let you have the full bio-report for your reference.

Read about Part 1 here.

Disclosure: I believe good things must share, so here it is! Motherkao received no monetary compensation for writing this post and neither is she getting any commission for writing about Young Living Essential Oils. Her family is very happy to be oily, and she hopes yours would be too!

All this blog's PR Stuff Christmas happiness Getting all sentimental now Happy days Milestones and growing up The Kao Kids

Capturing a moment in time this Christmas with Orange Studios

November 28, 2014

Christmas is, without a doubt, our favourite time of the year.

It’s a time for reflecting, sharing, giving and loving.

It’s a time to take stock and to give thanks.

And it’s a time to look back at how much my children have grown.

2011: Christmas with family

2011: Christmas with family

2011: My little Santarina Becks

2011: My little Santarina Becks

2012: Keeping our tradition of getting a real fir tree!

2012: Keeping our tradition of getting a real fir tree!

 

2013: Look at the presents, and how much the kids have grown!

2013: Look at the presents, and how much the kids have grown!

This year, Orange Studios invited us to capture 2014’s Christmas through pictures we would want to keep for a lifetime.

Pictures like these, to remind us that time is but fleeting and every year is a year of change that must frozen in time by photography to be kept alive in our hearts:

Orange Studios Christmas_2

Orange Studios Christmas_1

Orange Studios Christmas_6

Orange Studios Christmas_3

Orange Studios Christmas_5

Orange Studios Christmas_7

Orange Studios Christmas_4

Oh, how quick my babies have grown!

Another year, another Christmas. Here’s to more happy times and jolly cheers!

xoxo

Just for Motherkao readers:

Orange Studios is offering a mini Christmas Photo Shoot so you will never forget this Christmas!

The following are the dates for the sessions:

Nov: 24 – 27, 30 (limited slots remaining for 30 Nov)
Dec: 2 – 4, 9 – 14

Quote [Motherkao] and for SGD180 (U.P $200) you will enjoy the following:

– a 30-minute studio Christmas photoshoot session
– all soft copy photos (8R resolution) returned with light edits

Terms and conditions:
– The above rate is for up to 4 pax. Top-up $15/pax for additional participants.
– Maximum 2 outfits.
– $30 surcharge for weekend sessions.
– Soft copy photos will be provided in a DVD, by self-collection. Top-up $4 for postage (i.e. normal mail).

Contact them at 8606 6950 or contact@orangestudios.sg for enquiries or bookings. Connect with them via Facebook for more updates!

Disclosure: We love Orange Studios, and were super stoked to be invited by them to share this offer. No monetary compensation was received for this post, and all opinions here are our own.

Becks Kao Ben Kao Family life as we know it Getting all sentimental now Nat Kao The Kao Kids

Letters sealed with love and just a little more

November 26, 2014

I wrote these to my children tonight.

Love letters to my children

Because?

Because one is learning to read, one is learning to identify simple sight words and one is learning to identify the letters of the alphabet and his favourite things.

Because they never fail to show me how disappointed they are whenever we open the mailbox and nothing is for them.

Because we just read Colin McNaughton’s S.W.A.L.K (Sealed With A Loving Kiss) at bedtime.

Because I know Nat would love to have me draw him a million green triceratops; Becks would love to colour some pretty flowers and Ben would love to be affirmed by my words.

And…

Because Mama has been missing in action this whole week being at work, and she badly needs to tell them how much she loves them.

In a way that means most to them.

Love envelopes

(Self) Examination Family life as we know it Getting all sentimental now Milestones and growing up The Kao Kids

Words.

November 22, 2014

To my dearest children,

These days on some mornings, what I see sometimes breaks my heart.

Have I been too harsh? Too unkind? Are you picking up this unkindness from me?

You are all waiting for a chance to pounce on one another.

Go away! Don’t disturb me! Get out! I don’t like you! Why?! What?! I don’t like you! I don’t love you! Ugh! Shut up!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At so young, all of you seem so agitated when things don’t go your way.

I know I have to give all of you room to resolve your conflicts and learn how to navigate your way through friction that’s experienced because you have siblings.

I know I need to give all of you room to grow and understand what one another is like. And to accept one another for who he or she is. Every one is different. How everyone relates to everyone is different. And you have to live everyday learning that the world doesn’t resolve around you, and that there are people around your age here in this family that you would have to live with for a long time.

Kao Kids eating ice cream

The moment you wake up, you’re with a brother or a sister, or two brothers for you, Becks. You’re never alone.

And you start your day everyday just learning to share, negotiate, speak up and get along. Yes, I do also know you don’t have a choice.

May I suggest something, my babies? The world is already harsh, cruel and unkind out there. Let’s speak kindness. Let’s choose to love here, at home.

Don’t be too eager to pour out on your siblings what you hear outside or from the adults in your life – we have not been good examples and always wished we could be better. We have been busy, flustered and tired to the bones.

And deep down, we wished we could always have a kind word for you.

So my dears, love one another with your words always. Because one another is all you’ve got. Play together, learn together, navigate through the course of this life together. And if there are disagreements and when things go your way, choose the way of love.

Don’t ever say you don’t love one another, ok? 

Let’s not break each other’s hearts here in this family.

Kao Kids and Me Huddle

Loving all three of you to the moon and back,

Mama

Family life as we know it Milestones and growing up Reviews The Kao Kids

This Thing About Essential Oils, Part 1: Loving every minute of being oily

November 20, 2014

So this thing about essential oils is quite something. I’ve always had problems inhaling and using store-bought essential oils and aromatherapy products. I’d feel nauseous and get headaches, so you can imagine what a wreck I would be standing in front of those aromatherapy push carts that have multiple diffusers emitting all sorts of vapours. Same goes for entering the fragrance level of departmental stores.

Until I used therapeutic grade essential oils, and the ones from Young Living.

I’m not going to enter into any discussion with anyone regarding the various criticisms and schools of thought with regard to the various companies in the States producing essential oils and their business practices and structures (they are usually MLM). I always think the person with the testimony triumphs over the one with the opinion.

Suffice to say, I trust Young Living because of the company’s ‘seed to seal’ promise and support the founder’s vision of harnessing the potential of essential oils for healing and wellness in unadulterated ways. Until that proves otherwise, of course. As a Christian, I do believe there’s a time and place for oils and medicine and treatment, but Jesus is still our Healer.

The oils are featuring quite a bit in the family and something we’ve all grown to like very much. The kids love a good sole massage with the essential oils before bed and I use Thieves rather regularly to support their immune system. I find Peace & Calming a wonderful blend too to settle overstimulated kids, especially if they are tossing and turning or waking suddenly after a bad dream.

I’ve also shared before here that I absolutely need to rub some Peace & Calming behind my earlobes when I need to calm down.

I caught a chill recently and it happened the day before my 5-km GE Run. Knowing that I should never medicate before going for a run, I oiled my soles regularly with Thieves throughout the day and applied R.C on my chest and throat.

I felt better the next day, completed my run, and never felt better.

I thought since I’ve been using Young Living Essential Oils for quite a while now, I’d share a list here of some of the oils I absolutely need to have in my household.

These are my must-haves in the house:

Photo Credit: Fellow Mom Blogger and "Oily" Friend - Serene Seah, who writes at Xavy-licious

Photo Credit: Fellow Mom Blogger and “Oily” Friend – Serene Seah, who writes at Xavy-licious

  • Purification – for insect bites and itch; to diffuse when the haze is bad. Nat was once bitten by some unknown insect after the kelong trip which formed a huge nodule and this oil applied neat for 3 days cleared the pus and swelling away.
  • Lavender – for burns and cuts, for my scalp to prevent excessive hair loss
  • Peace & Calmingneed I say more?
  • Valor – I used this to rub over sore muscles after the GE Run and I stopped aching after 2 days
  • Orange – I apply it over the liver area over the kids (3 drops directly below their right ribcage) after they eat processed food at parties
  • Citrus Fresh – for fresh-smelling rooms and children
  • Thieves – to support the immune system
  • Lemon – to add to our water, for detoxification
  • Lemongrasslove, love, love the smell when applied on my wrists (apparently that helps lower cholesterol levels) and when it’s diffused
  • Di-Gize – for stomach and digestion woes. It works amazing for the kids whenever they have unexplained stomachaches (those they say are painful and they can’t poop it out) and I use it to replace the Ru Yi Oil we used to use
  • R.C – to replace the way we apply Vicks VaporRub when we have a cold; to rub on the children’s chest and throat when they are sneezing and down with a chill
  • Oregano – for the husband to combine with Thieves to support his immune system
  • Frankincense – we pour a few drops on our palms, rub our palms together and cover them over our eyes; it does help relieve tired eyes and solve ‘floater’ problems
  • Peppermint – to get rid of terrible smells

The oils have been speeding up recovery and maintaining the well-being of the children, and we’ve been going medicine-free for a long time now. We’ve had many, many happy stories of the essential oils working well for us on occasions where the only known thing was to medicate or rush to the doctor. The kids now know that when they have a bruise, a cut, a rash, some sores, ulcers or pain in their body to say a prayer, and look for Mama to apply some oils.

I am really glad to have invested money in these oils because it’s way better than having to deal with the side-effects and after-effects of medication. We’re all now very oily, happy people!

Disclaimer: I’m not doing this MLM thing nor am I into this MLM thing, and I am not sharing this to get downlines. I get questions sometimes from readers and friends who ask me about the oils I use and what I use to to oil my kids for their wellness, and I’d thought this sharing might help.

Coming up in the next post: This Thing About Essential Oils, Part 2: All about the Zyto Scan

All this blog's PR Stuff Everyday fun! Product Reviews Reviews The Kao Kids

Ready, Doh, Shoot! [Review of DohVinci]

November 15, 2014

I think I say it out quite loud that anyone who gives my kids Play-Doh becomes my enemy.

I’ve nothing against dough play for kids; in fact I firmly believe that they need to knead, model and shape dough to strengthen those fingers to prepare for writing. Monkey bars do the trick too, but if that isn’t accessible, it’s always easy to prepare homemade dough and get the kids to knead away. With my kids a little older now, these days we knead dough for pizza more than we do it for play.

I digress anyway. It’s packaged, commercial Play-Doh I’m talking about that annoys me greatly – they have a funky smell and stick to your clothes and shoes and furniture. They give my children that illusion that whatever they make can be eaten with the play that’s associated with it, like ice-cream and candy making. And they also leave a sticky, gunky feeling on your hands. I tell you if you’ve tried making DIY dough at home it really wouldn’t feel the same.

So boy am I glad that Hasbro has finally heard the criticisms from this fussy mother and thought of something ingenious, and on top of that, divorce it with pretend-food-play and associate it with craft.

Enter DohVinci.

DohVinci 1

Bright colours to inspire the inner artist

This is a clever product that amalgamates Play-Doh, 3D creative design and the concept of crafting which comes in deco pop tubes that fit into a styling tool similar to a squirt gun.

DohVinci 2

Ready, aim, shoot

So technically, you don’t need to handle dough with your hands and fingers (read: no funky smell, stains, feel and stickiness) and you can doodle with something safe unlike the professionals who do it with plastic.

The Kao kids were invited for a crafting session at Food for Thought at the Botanic Gardens last weekend to experience what it was like crafting with DohVinci. If you know my kids well, the word “dough” stirs up extreme emotions of excitement and exhilaration, simply because they know that it’s something that sometimes annoys me which I keep away from them. And the thought of being able to touch it, feel it and smell it at someplace else not our home makes them really eager and happy.

It’s the same feeling on my end too, if the mess is not mine to clean.

So last Saturday, they were found at a huge table squirting, squirting, squirting away. They were invited to be DohVinci Designers, and although we all know it’s all tongue-in-cheek with Da Vinci, it was quite regrettable that no one acknowledged that.

Hey, it would have been great if the kids were given some information of how diversely talented this Italian man was (painter, sculptor, architect, writer, engineer, mathematician, geologist…), and why his name was even borrowed for this product. Afterall, this great person that ever lived was described as having a “feverishly inventive imagination”. Just saying.

DohVinci 4

The organisers even gave the kids a red beret to get them into the artist mood

DohVinci 3

My DohVinci Designers

Anyway. The designers got to work, and were rather engaged.

DohVinci 5

Artists at work. Do not disturb. Squirt, squirt, squirt.

I have to say that stylus was made for an older child with muscle strength in his arms and fingers. It was almost impossible for Nat and Becks to be using it.

Nonetheless, the kids had fun changing colours and going creative designing their own Christmas trees, embellishing them with sequins, buttons and glitter. Guess who ended up being the extended hands of Little Miss, since she couldn’t be squirting the DohVinci herself.

DohVinci 6

Becks getting busy

It felt like I was frosting cupcakes, and well, it was good practice for me.

Practising swirls

Practising swirls

The little designers were presented with certificates after the session, and were left to savour that moment of pride of having designed something unique – their very own masterpiece.

DohVinci 8

Ben and his masterpiece

DohVinci 9

“I’m a DohVinci Designer!”

DohVinci is now available at Toys ‘R’ Us and all major departmental stores. Check out the DohVinci website for more details of their various products, like the vanity kit and easel set.

***

So what happens after the craft session is over? Want to know?

My kids squirt Play-Doh from the DohVinci stylus gun and play with Play-Doh using their hands.

DohVinci 10

How can Play-Doh not be touched with hands, these kids ask

DohVinci 11

And so they got busy again squirting worms and rolling eggs

There’s just no stopping them. It was too inviting.

And although we did return home with dough stuck on our clothes and shoes (sigh), I was glad the mess was not created in our home.

Disclosure: We were invited to the Designer Workshop organised by DohVinci Hasbro. No monetary compensation was received for this post. All opinions here about Play-Doh are mine, including all the remnants and bits we’ve amassed over the years from people who gave them to us. For the record, no one is my enemy yet. Friend-friend, still, k, friends?

(Self) Examination All this blog's PR Stuff Happy days

I did 5 km in 50 minutes, and I’ll do it again in a heartbeat

November 10, 2014

You’ll never, ever hear me say this before 9 November 2014.

But today, post Great Eastern Women’s Run, I’ll tell you that I’ll run 5 km all over again.

The day has finally come and the moment I’ve signed myself up for has arrived. Prior to 9 November, I’ve had an awesome time being in the #RunToLiveGreat Programme as an influencer, working out once a month with non-runners like myself to prepare for the big day. For my personal training, I’ve only jogged around my estate when the weather permitted once a month as well, and that usually meant doing 1 km in 20 minutes.

S-L-O-W, I know.

You’re talking about someone who doesn’t like running. This same person would clock 32 minutes for 2.4 km in her NAPFA test in JC and fail that miserably.

But like I shared in a previous post, after much prodding and encouragement, I’ve decided to do something for my health and fitness this year.

So yesterday, in the cool of the morning (after heavy showers that fell upon our land), despite being down with a cold and a bad throat (down after three weeks of overnighters for work), I ran my first ever 5 km at the GEWR 2014.

What a lovely morning it was, yesterday

What a lovely morning it was, yesterday

And what a wonderful feeling it was, and still is.

It was a wonderful feeling to be amidst a sea of red  – amidst a sea of women wearing the red, fiery race tee. Having people around you helps to keep you motivated. Having motivated people who’s charged with adrenaline around you keeps you even more encouraged. You don’t warm up alone; you don’t run alone; you don’t wave your hands up in the air and cheer alone. You are with people. With people like you. And that makes it all together so inspiring.

It was a wonderful feeling to start the race being next to my mother. Who is 62 this year. She is an inspiration, I tell you – being 6 decades old and running the first 3 km, then brisk walking the last 2 km. She finished the race 1 minute later than me. And I am 33.

This is my mother, who is probably fitter than me

This is my mother, who is probably fitter than me

It was a wonderful feeling to experience what it’s like to accomplish something your mind sets out to do. Halfway through the race at the 2-km mark I thought I saw a quote by the kerbside that read, “Your body achieves what your mind sets out to do” and I was pumped. Before the race, I’d told myself I would start walking at the 3-km mark because I was afterall, unwell, but after reading that quote I never could convince myself to give up or start walking. I wanted so badly to focus all my energies to finish the race jogging it – all 5 kilometres of it – and finishing it well.

I proved to myself that the power of focus is powerful indeed. And if I could do this running, I could do this for anything.

That’s why I would do this again in a heartbeat.

To experience this exhilaration all over again.

My #RunToLiveGreat buddy and me - she did 21km, I did 5!

My #RunToLiveGreat buddy and me – she did 21 km, I did 5!

Ben Kao The darndest kid quotes and antics What to Expect... As a Mother

Welcome to Ben’s world – turning 6, and spouting nonsense

November 7, 2014

Ben Kao

Is 6 the age when your child starts to say all the things you never taught him to say?

Ben is turning 6 in February, and starting to say many, many things which I have never introduced.

Like “what the…”

And “bloody hell…”

And “ne ne pok”

And “ah bu neh neh”

Best of all, he doesn’t even know what all these things mean. He tells me, “My friends say so I say lor.”

I asked him the other day when he said, “I can see your ne ne pok!” where exactly are the “ne ne pok” and he didn’t even know where to point. I asked him if he knew saying “ah bu neh neh” was derogatory and he didn’t even know it was referring to people.

He thought it was some poem.

I think he also thinks that hell is a bloody place.

*facepalm*

I think I’m going to be facepalming a lot when he goes to primary school.

jpg_PIM0110

Becks Kao Ben Kao Going Out! Learning fun! Milestones and growing up Re: learning and child training

What my kids caught which can never be taught when it poured

November 2, 2014

One of the perks of being a blogger, at least for me these days, besides getting the usual media invites for events and product samples for review, is to be invited to exercise.

Which by the way, is great, because I so need to do so.

We were invited by the good people at SPRG (the same good folks that invited me to participate in the Great Eastern Women’s Run as an influencer) to join in the inaugural Hello Kitty Run 2014 at Sentosa as part of the feline character’s 40th birthday celebration here in Singapore. Since Becks, my little girl, is such a fan, they say.

But it’s 5km! I say. Her royal highness is not going to be able to make a 5km-run, not when her mother hasn’t even done her maiden 5 clicks yet.

It’s a FUN run, they say. And it’s perfectly ok if we walked and enjoyed the scenery.

So we said ok. Because her royal highness is such a fan, and she got excited by the thought of being in a run with me. And with Hello Kitty, or so she thinks.

And so we joined 17, 000 other fans yesterday at Sentosa, to participate in the first run of our lives together – me, Becks and Ben.

Hello Kitty’s mega 40th birthday surprise comprised a bouquet of flowers presented by Dear Daniel, a 33 inch cupcake and a birthday song sung to her by all 17,000 race participants. (Image Credit: SPRG)

Hello Kitty’s mega 40th birthday surprise comprised a bouquet of flowers
presented by Dear Daniel, a 33 inch cupcake and a birthday song sung to her
by all 17,000 race participants. (Image Credit: SPRG)

It was a madding crowd, I tell you. Local and overseas fans turned up in full force – men, women, boys, girls alike – tattooed with red ribbons and donning everything that screamed Hello Kitty from headbands and spectacles to shoes and shimmering pink skirts.

Sandwiched all the the way at the back in the huge crowd - but first, a wefie! (Look at her royal highness' grumpy face - too hot and stuffy, she says)

Sandwiched all the the way at the back in the huge crowd – but first, a wefie! (Look at her royal highness’ grumpy face – too hot and stuffy, she says)

We had to be flagged off in waves because there was such a swelling human crowd. The jostling and heat, plus the threat of a stampede, were just too much to bear.

Just look at how crazily packed it was at the starting line.

17 thousand people, folks. This is how it looked like! (Image Credit: SPRG)

17 thousand people, folks. This was how it looked like! (Image Credit: SPRG)

And then the terrible happened.

This was how the sky looked when we finally got close enough to the starting line

This was how the sky looked when we finally got close enough to the starting line

And there were still a whole lot of people in front of us!

Look at the dark clouds covering the skies. And there were still a whole lot of people in front of us!

The moment the fourth wave was flagged off (and that was us), the rain started pelting heavily on us.

It was like all the Chinese compositions we’ve ever written in school that always read “突然间下了倾盆大雨… 我们都像落汤鸡一样” came to life (loosely translated: suddenly, it rained cats and dogs and we looked bedraggled like drowned rats).

And I was torn between running back to seek shelter and hailing a cab home from Vivocity or continue walking in the rain with my five-year-old and four-year-old. So many people with young children were walking past us with their kids and babies strapped in carriers and strollers in the opposite direction anyway. Nobody would blame us for not being able to continue the race.

I was also very worried about the kids catching a cold. They have never, ever been drenched like this in their lives, and if they ever got wet because they were at water playgrounds, we always made sure that there was a warm shower facility and fresh change of clothes available. I didn’t have a brolly or poncho in my bag. I had packed light for the run – there was only a water bottle, two hand towels and two singlets to change out in my bag, plus keys and some money.

I stopped with the kids to hide under some bushes near Sentosa Gateway and asked the kids a few questions to gather information about their state so I could make a more informed decision:

Me: The rain doesn’t look like it would stop. It may get heavier and we would soon be wet to our socks, shoes and underwear. Shall we run back?

Ben and Becks: *silence*

Me: If we run back now, we can make our way home. Then we won’t be so wet.

Ben: But you said if we start a race, we finish it. That’s what people do when they race?

Me: Yep, I did say that whether we are comfortable or uncomfortable, wet or dry, we don’t give up once we start. But it’s a long way ahead. Sure you want to continue in this?

Becks: I don’t want to go home. I want to continue.

Me: Ben?

Ben: Yes, continue. We don’t give up.

Me: Alright, let’s press on to get our medals.

Ben & Becks: Continue! *with a glint in their eyes and smile on their face*

And so the decision was made. We continued to have a similar conversation in the rain at the 800m mark, the 1.6m water point and the 2.4km toilet break, and every time I would ask, “Shall we seek shelter? Can we take a break? Shall we wait till the rain becomes a lighter drizzle?” and the answer from my two determined children would still be the same.

“Let’s continue,” they would say. “Let’s not give up.”

And never did we stop once in our 5-km walk to hide from the rain or to rest our tired legs or to whine. Ben and Becks saw it as a chance of a lifetime to be indulging in free flow water play, and I saw that they were considerably cheerier as compared to the looks on their faces while we waited in the heat for the race to start.

They were happy to be skipping in the rain, wringing out water from their shirts and splashing in puddles.

Playing with raindrops at our toilet break near Palawan Beach

Playing with raindrops at our toilet break near Palawan Beach

My bag was soaked through and there would be no more dry clothes and towels, but was so glad I had a ziploc bag for my phone - hence this photo!

My bag was soaked through and there would be no more dry clothes and towels, but was so glad I had a ziploc bag for my phone – hence this photo!

The rain made being in the race uncomfortable physically for all of us but it lifted the spirits of these children.

Around the 1km slope uphill we also experienced kindness. A lady walked past us as we chanted “Never give up!” and swiftly removed the towel Ben had on his head with a beret she was wearing. Without saying a word, she waved goodbye and we were left to savour the act of kindness speechless in the rain.

What an awesome moment. Which I am sure would be remembered by Ben for a long time.

We also experienced kindness at the Sapphire Pavillion after the finish line from three lovely ladies who helped me protect my kids from the squashing and mayhem that was unfolding before our eyes as everyone pushed and shoved to collect their medals. Because it was still pouring and the only way to exchange our race bibs for our medals was in leylong style (the organisers should have thought of a more systematic way to queue, or maybe they did but everyone was in such dire need of shelter that they just kept packing the space resulting in the human jam), the kids and I were compressed by the people all around us till it got difficult to breathe. It was then we meet three friends who helped us out. Two of them formed a human cordon around my children and the last one grabbed our race bibs and edged forward to exchange for the medals on our behalf.

For that I remain forever grateful to the good Samaritans I met last morning.

Last morning, I was reminded of Philippians 3:14. We were literally pressing on towards the goal to reach for the prize.

Last morning, my children learned something that can never be taught by words nor bought by attending an enrichment class.

And we finished the race!

And we finished the race!

Last morning, they walked all 5km of a race from start to finish on their own. No strollers. No carrying. No breaks.

Last morning, they learned what it meant to never give up, and that the medal was every bit the prize they had worked hard for that they deserved.

It would have been otherwise difficult to learn this precious lesson had it not been for Hello Kitty and the rain that fell on us.

Our well-deserved medal!

Our well-deserved medal!

Disclosure: We were give media slots to participate in the Hello Kitty Run 2014. All opinions here are ours, including the lesson we learned and the exercise opportunity we gained. We endured wet clothes, shoes, socks and underwear to bring you this post.