Raising Noemi

Hi, I'm Noemi's mom, the one blogging, ambitiously I wanted this blog to be written in 3 languages. But then I figured there was too much work to it, and in the end, I chose English over Mandarin and Italian.

This blog journals how I, as a mother learn to raise a child the peaceful way. Through trial and error, through laughter and tears, through adaptations.

** Reblogs allowed, however saving pictures are not.** Thank you!




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Un-victimizing Noemi

Noemi was invited for a play date with two other girls who are a year older than her. And because these girls are closer to age, they naturally played closer with each other, ran a little faster, swam a little faster, shared more interests and had a lot more things to fight about. Noemi on the other hand, always seemed a little left behind in their games.

Whatever the girls were playing, Noemi did not have a say, though she didn’t mind going along with their commands leads. However, there were times that she’d express she wanted to be the one who hides, instead of always being the one who seeks. There were also times she’d express that the girls did not share certain toys with her.

So what was I to do?

I acknowledged her wants, and gave her the tools by letting her know how she could express her wants for a turn with the toys/games. Bringing my understanding to her point of view, I said "I see that you want to use the violin, and [Other Girl’s Name] is using it. When she’s done using it, you can ask her if you can use it." Noemi used the tool I gave her, and got her turn for the violin. I thanked the girl for her kindness.

I did not however victimize Noemi. I did not tell Noemi she couldn’t use the toys because they weren’t hers, I did not tell her that it was okay for the girls to not want to share, neither did I blame the girls for not slowing down to involve her more, nor did I keep my precious little baby by my side to protect her feelings from being hurt by the bigger girls. Simply because, she’s not a victim in my eyes.

There was an instance where Noemi had dirtied her dress with chocolate ice cream, the older girl saw it and went "Your dress is not pretty anymore, it looks like there’s poo-poo on you!” The girl’s tone of voice was close to how one would speak in order to make the other person feel bad/sad/hurt. I paused, said no word, and observed Noemi… She stood for a second and responded "Poo-poo!! (Laughs) She said poo-poo!!". Noemi was laughing at the word being used. Seeing her not feeling like she was the victim in such scenario did something to my heart… She did not feel like she was being attacked, she did not feel like she was being hurt, she did not feel like she needed to run away for protection. She handled it with a big heart, a laughter and emanated them back into the space.

In this world full of hate and violence, I’m so glad that I’m beginning to see my capability of injecting some kind of peace through this little human being.

A lot of times, it is how we view our children that make them who they are. When we seize ourselves from labeling our kids, they obtain full ability to become the kind of person they really are… 

When we label and tell our children that they are shy/ugly/passive/weak, they believe what we say about them, and grow up internalizing those qualities as who they are. When we label them with good/pretty/strong/smart, we put them in boxes of expectations, leading them to constantly proving themselves in order to fit in those boxes.

Once I understood this, I have learned how to let Noemi to just be herself. If we un-box our kids (either as victims / bullies) and let them become who they really are, imagine what the world would be if we un-box every single person we know/meet around us.


Photo not related to the story.. taken prior to turning 3. I’m loving her carefree smile. :)

2014 Summer in Italy

OMG, it feels like it’s been forever since I last blogged. Things are a little handful at the moment. Since returning from Italy, we are getting back to work, getting a car, getting Noemi ready for nursery, well basically just adjusting ourselves back to reality.

It was really good to be back in Italy though! Noemi was spoiled rotten, whatever I said no to, she went straight to her grandparents. Endless gelato, chips and Peppa Pig on screens… She was living la bella vita (the beautiful life) just right for a kid like her.

I really didn’t mind because after all, my in laws were only going to see her for a month, and the most I could do was to let them love her the way they do.


This year’s summer has decided to briefly pass through Italy. Out of 7 days, there were only 2 days perfect for the beach. But when we went to the beach, Noemi had the time of her life swimming in the open water. She couldn’t stop herself from exclaiming "I’m like a fish!"


The sand on the beach was so fine we had to make sure that Noemi got a bath instead of a shower to rinse off all sand in between delicate parts.


Because my husband works most of the time, Noemi did not get a lot of chance to speak in Italian. This holiday back in Italy has kicked Noemi’s Italian language skill up a notch. By the time we left, Noemi was speaking Italian in sentences. When she saw her grandfather crossing the road she said "Attento Nonno! La machina!" (Be careful grandpa! The car!) When she wanted to play, she said "Zio, vuoi giocare con me?" (Uncle, do you want to play with me?) She still speaks Italian at home; even though grammatically wrong, she is putting in her effort to form sentences with the words that she knows. I just have to speak more in Italian since I’m the one who’s home most of the time with her.

We celebrated her 3rd birthday, we also celebrated my mom in law’s birthday by going to the best pizzeria in town.

Noemi made new friends that she still counts as her best friends today.


We caught up with some old friends, ate the best gelato almost every single night, danced at the piazza…

Me and my husband finally went on dates without Noemi.


And had the best Italian food there ever was for the cost of nothing.


Since Noemi is going to nursery soon, it’s decided that she was going to have her hair cut, so that it would be easier to manage. There were voices of pity whenever people heard that Noemi’s hair was going to be cut, I almost hesitated my decision for cutting her hair, but I’m so glad that I didn’t change my mind.


It was a month of time well spent with family, friends, food and nature..

How is it going for your summer? Parts of Europe has already gone in autumn, while Dubai is hot and humid as ever.

As much as I would love to, I sometimes drop off from blogging, so if you’re on Facebook or Instagram, come and stay in touch k!


Preghiamo per un mondo di pace… 🙏

Our hearts are broken by recent tragedies. It makes me realize even more of how important it is to raise little humans in peaceful homes. These yet to be grownups will one day be responsible for the peaceful/violent energy emanated into this little world of ours… #PeacefulWorldStartsFromPeacefulHomes


Un bacio da Noemi? Non c’è nessun bacio a nessuno, ma allo schermo si! 😙

Here in Italy, everyone wants a kiss when they greet. It’s been more than a year since we left, Noemi no longer remembers all those faces she meets on a daily basis. And well, I really don’t push Noemi for kisses that she doesn’t want to give or receive. She has the autonomy of her own body, she will kiss and be kissed as she feels. Who cares about disappointed Italians? How my daughter feels is more important to me than how I will be judged. As long as I do my part in greeting these passionate people the Italian way, Noemi will one day learn to greet the way I do too. 💋

回到来意大利,每个记得小糯米的乡亲父老一见面就要给糯米亲一个(或五个!)。可是我们毕竟迁出意大利也一年半了,当时候才一岁7个月的糯米已经不记得诸位乡亲父老、姨妈姑姐,哪来得这么容易给亲呢?热情的意大利人都因为亲不到小糯米而感到失望,说以前怎么样抱啊亲啊都可以,而现在就只有躲而避之。我不怕人说我糯米妈不教小孩用意大利人的方式(或任何方式)来打招呼,我担心的是女儿意识到妈妈怕给人说不是而牺牲她自己的意愿、意识到自己的意愿一点都不受重视,然后慢慢地失去坚持、强调自己意愿的本性。话说如此,这也并不意味着我不打算教小糯米打招呼,小孩是多以模仿的方式来学习,所以只要我做好我本分给意大利乡亲父老、姨妈姑姐热情地打招呼,仲有一天小糯米也一定会有她预备好给大家打招呼的日子。*记得等等* 💗

4th of July. An important date not only to the Americans, but for me.

You chose to be born on a date that will either be remembered with ease, or be forgotten with ease.

For a 3 years old, you are way ahead of your age - you are able to tell which are the kind of people who deserves respect, you follow and honor your instinct and are not afraid of saying no. For you, my love, you are true to what you feel, and who you are. A proud mother, indeed I am.

3 years into motherhood, I want to thank you for making me a better person that I am today. I am much more patient, I became a person so confident I can walk the earth with nothing but my essence, not giving a damn to what others might or might not think, I became a person who dares to speak because I am who I am, and not take judgements personally, I grew to be a person that I really don’t need much to be happy because I have you.

Happy 3rd anniversary my baby.

P.S.: Hope you all had a good 4th of July! :)

When we moved out of Italy, we couldn’t take this teddy with us, and I was particularly thinking how excited Noemi would be when she would see the huge bear we left behind.

When I got it out, the bear had shrunk so much it no longer fits to be described as ‘huge’.

Top - 3 months
Bottom left - 17 months
Bottom right - 1 week shy of 3 years

One of the reasons as to why I’m super happy to be back in Italy is that I get to work Noemi through my very unprofessional lenses. I mean there’s just something so special about the natural lights and the rustic houses here…

Although capturing Noemi is not as easy as the last time we were here; she has her camera shy moments, and somehow I just have to be lucky to be getting some OK shots.

This flight has got to be the best flight I’ve ever flown with Noemi! Now that she is old enough to enjoy cartoons, the flight was so smooth as if there was no kid in tow. How cool was that?

Gotta be thankful for that inflight screen, I tell you! If you’ve followed this blog for a while you would know that screen time is restricted for Noemi, but hey there are times that you can make some exceptions, no? And I believe it’s because of her limited screen time, it became precious when it’s allowed; 7 hours of flight meant 7 hours of nonstop in flight screen in Noemi’s face (…and ours’ too)!!

By the way, we were flying back to Italy for the summer holiday! It’s so good to be back.

It’s about time to brush up Noemi’s Italian, and well, most importantly fill the grandparents’ house with laughter, hugs, kisses and love. :)

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