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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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. :)

"Oooh, pain! You need stickers to protect your feet!"

- Noemi upon seeing my hurting toe. Yep, bandaid is a sticker that protects.
But Mom! Won’t I Ever Get Rewarded?


Not that you actually asked this question, but I foresee that you might someday.

About why other kids get an ice cream when they listen to their moms, and you don’t.

About why other kids get a trip to Disneyland when they do good in school, and you don’t.

About why other kids get a kiss with "Good Girl/Boy" when they are told to share their toys with you, and you don’t.

About why other kids get a sticker when they’re done painting, and you don’t.

About why other kids get a brand new toy if they shut up and stop crying, and you don’t.

My dear daughter, it is because you are not a puppy in need of training.

Some different-minded-clueless-persons might think there are no difference between the two.

Well, they can’t be entirely wrong, because, to some extent, a small person like you and a little puppy do have similarities.

That both you and puppy need to see us happy in order for you to be happy; that both you and puppy need our approval in order to feel good about the things you do; that both you and puppy need clear signals from us that screams 'we love you'.

You are so dependent on our love that it becomes the only purpose of your lives.

But, a puppy will not grow up one day and face the world on its own - without the owner by its side. For this puppy will live its whole life for its owner.

Not you.

You will one day grow up, and realize you no longer need my approval for things that you do or do not do,

you will no longer want me telling you what to do or what not to do.

you will no longer care about getting a sticker/ice cream/Disney trip/new dress/new toy/new car/new tools/new gadgets…

When that day comes, what would you do?

When you could no longer be moved by my rewards, what would you do?

Would you seek rewards from others?

Seek approval from others? Especially from the ones you like or would like to please or even love or think you love?

Without a single doubt, I would go to the end of this world to find one way or any way just to make my rewards work again.

But you know too damn well, that you only want rewards from the ones you want rewards from - For this was the way you were raised.

I’m not saying that people you love or you think you love don’t or won’t reward you.

And I would be scared if and when these people do.

What do they want from you giving you that Tiffany’s?

What do they expect when they give you that flight tickets with a week stay on that private island in Fiji?

What do they ask of you when they told you you are to be made famous?

What do they really want from you when they emotionally or physically pushed you into a corner with no escape and told you that you are beautiful, and that you are the only one they want, and all that they do is for you and that they love you?

Devils would eat my brains, and I would be damned to hell if you would give in to these rewards just because these are the people you want to please.

So NO!

I will NEVER reward you for shutting up when what you really need is a good cry… but I will listen.

I will NEVER reward you for doing something you enjoy doing… but I will acknowledge your effort.

I will NEVER reward you for giving me the much needed cooperation… but I will thank you.

I will NEVER reward you for being yourself.

I will NEVER reward you for the reason that I LOVE YOU.

Love, is unconditional - My love is.

When a reward gets in our way, my love for you loses its meaning.

A reward from me would tell you that I only love you when you do x, y, and z.

A reward from me would tell you that I only accept you when you perform a, b, and c.

So there.

It is because you are true to yourself, that I love you.

You will get them stickers, ice creams, toys and trips - every now and then, when the limits to these pleasurable things are understood.

You will get my hugs, my kisses, my cuddles - at whatever times, at whatever expense there may be, whether you are happy or sad, excited or mad.

And about rewards, here’s what I can tell you:

Your rewards will come to you when you paint with all that you see in that crazy mind of yours. That satisfaction of translating your creativity, your meaning across your fingers or toes or mouth and onto a canvas.

Your rewards will come to you when you dance with your heart. That satisfaction of transmitting your soul through the movement of your body.

Your rewards will come to you when you share your happiness, sadness, madness, all of your Noemi-ness, openly and freely with me. That satisfaction of knowing that I’m there for you no matter what.

Your rewards will come to you when you act, speak or dance, that they have meaning on their own. And even when I will no longer be needed or when I will no longer be here, your satisfaction and rewards will come…

from within YOU.

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