The smell after it Rains…

p .  e .  t .  r.   i .  c . h . o . r

Do you love the smell of the ground after the rain?

I remember one childhood memory that I am so fond of , that is smelling the grass and the ground just after it rained. The air smells so good, so fresh after a drizzle or even a downpour. This  thing is  called -Petrichor.

After the rain,me & my cousins would run after each other and just stand in the street to inhale the grounds or smell the plants. We would pull the leaves still drizzled with raindrops. I love those times. Being carefree and wild. When it rained so hard, we would play in the puddle and make a man made-dikes to let the rainwater flows through it. I would even climbed into the roof just to enjoy the rain. Those were the happy days of childhood.

I didn’t know any scientific explanation about Petrichor back then, all I know is that I love it whenever I smelled it. When you were a child, you are more concerned about enjoying it, rather than learning what is it. But when I become an adult,  I knew that odors of the past triggers and brings back memories . Smells rings bells. It works like a magic like that. I don’t know about you, but this is one of the things I feel nostalgic about.

 “Petrichor,” lingers when rain falls after a prolonged dry spell. Petrichor — the term was coined in 1964 by two Australian scientists studying the smells of wet weather — is derived from a pair of chemical reactions. This is the scientific definition of this lovely word.


The Scent of nature ,incomparable to any perfume

Some plants secrete oils during dry periods, and when it rains, these oils are released into the air. The second reaction that creates petrichor occurs when chemicals produced by soil-dwelling bacteria known as actinomycetes are released. These aromatic compounds combine to create the pleasant petrichor scent when rain hits the ground.

I love these out of the spin- moments that I slip into the past while nature is at work. What a journey it might have been to be in the present right now, but still, the fond memories like of happy childhood, dancing in the rain, smelling the flowers, and the magical  Petrichor lingers on.

How about you, Do you have any childhood memory triggered by sniffing a certain smell?

What do you feel when it rains and its gone?

5 Words to say to your Toddler everyday

Natalie 1

I am here.

That’s wonderful!

You are doing a great job.

You are so beautiful.

I love You.

It is easier to build strong children, than to repair broken Adults. ~ F.Douglass

My Daughter is a TCK (Third Culture Kid)

” A Third Culture Kid (TCK) is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture.”

A third culture Kid 

My daughter, Natalie is a TCK . ( or better understood as Third Culture Country Kid.) She was  born in Kuwait  from a Dutch father, Filipino mother and currently being raised in not-so quintessential Arabic culture  in Kuwait. In a few more months, she will be attending  a Kindertagesstätte in Germany  where she will be stomping her feet with other kids and learn ABC   with other toddlers of her same age.  At her critical stage of language development, we hope that she learn Deutsch along the way.  Right now,at 18 months, she’s exposed to a bilingual home. Since birth, we  talked to her in English, but occasionally converse with her in Tagalog, Dutch & now German. I am not so sure which language will she eventually  be able to pick-up quickly,  Smorgasborg eh?

She loved to play with other Expat Kids in the parks &  playgroups. She interacts with multi-lingual children , most of them are 2-4 years ahead of her either speaking Arabic, Lebanese, Egyptian, Kuwaiti & American. In Kuwait, seeing a TCK is quite a norm. With the booming Expat community here, it’s no wonder that there are so many half-nationalities.It’s unlikely that my neighbor in the new building are French-Italian, Romanian-Lebanese, or Filipino-American. This diversity is coming hand in hand as Kuwait grows into a multi-cultural hub for Expatriates . She is exposed to Arabic culture and the norm of childhood here in Middle East.The other night, I had visitors at home and they were utterly surprised why she is watching nursery rhymes in German and Dutch children’s books.  They asked, what will be her mother-tongue? Hilarious but the child doesn’t know. At least not yet.

This is a typical part of common early childhood of  a TCK.  A child born away from her parent’s own culture have a unique childhood, even a special one. What they call home once they grow older might be confusing ,the dilemma is real but in a way, having an Expat parents gives them the  privilege to see the world in an expanded way. At an early age, TCK have the chance to have a cross-cultural competence or cultural intelligence : the capacity to function effectively across national, ethnic, and organizational cultures. I have touched this on my post about 10 Surprising things about Parenthood in Kuwait and the challenges I have faced as I adapt on new culture along with my child.

As a new mother, I am very concerned about this fact. Myself , as the parent, is the ultimate responsible for my daughter’s early development and the path she goes along her adulthood. For now, she couldn’t decide yet for herself. That is why its very important for Expat parents to consider the well-being of their young tots and not just the financial, social & personal reasons of migrating from one place to another.  As I engrossed myself on learning more about this, I am fully aware that my daughter could face challenges ahead, (which is quite normal ) . One of the challenges that  a third culture child could face  is developing a sense of belonging, commitment, and attachment to a culture. When you moved from country to country for work, relocation or personal reasons, you dragged your child into these changes. With adults, it is a different sense of adapting to a new culture, so as with the children. What happens in their early years of childhood has a definite impact when they grow up.

Now why am I talking about this? Because this is an Expat Blog & I am sharing from my personal experience  & my thoughts on this matter. I know that soon, when my daughter grows-up, it would be inevitable for the question “Where is my Home ? ” for her not to come across with. Maybe she would even develop a love& hate relationship for the question “Where are you from? ” 

I wanted to share a relatable documentary film that talks more about TCK. Aspiring film-maker Aga Alegra and her international, multi-cultural team are now trying to explore the lives of TCKs in the upcoming documentary “Where Is HOME?” which shows us different perspectives of people who have spent a significant portion of their childhood overseas. It has an ultimate purpose of understanding why Third Culture Kids struggle to answer the question of “So Where is Home? ” and the implications this difficulty has on their personal identity.

What I have learned from watching this documentary is that TCK ‘s life can be the best life that your child could have.It doesn’t need to complicate things. When your child is exposed to early realities of life then these values can strengthen their character as they learn these things along the way. We, as parents need to guide them to have  the ability to feel at home anywhere in the world and the ability to easily connect with everyone on this beautiful planet. To pass on to our children what we have learned  to recreate a sense of community for ourselves with each move . To be there for our kids when they feel that they  are generally the odd-ones-out in each new community. We need to be on guard , to quickly find common ground in order to understand those around us so we can be a better example for our children. Remember, no matter where you go, your home is the only place your child feel that she’s accepted, belonged, safe & most importantly, Loved.

But as of now, I am ready for this ride, I don’t know yet what the future might brings to us after our move to Germany  but  I am excited for all the new things that we are learning in our Expat life, and with our TCK toddling away with us. I know there would be more challenges, but I also remind myself  there are also more fun &   that’s what makes life fulfilling. Every stamp on our passport does not mean travel, it means Life.

Can you relate on this post? How about you, how  are you coping as an Expat family and your child as a Third Culture Kid?

Do you have any unusual stories being a TCK?





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7 Books to read with your Child

If you have read my post about “Raising a Book Lover in your Child “ then you might also be interested to know what’s in our bookshelf for books to read. Whether you want to update your selection of books or curious what other books you want to read with your children , then this post is for you. Here’s my daughter’s favorites . We love to read these every single day .

1.The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle 



One of the  greatest Childhood’s classics . This book is renowned Bestseller ! It is story of a caterpillar who eats its way through a wide variety of foodstuffs before turning into a cocoon & eventually  turning into a beautiful butterfly . My daughter loves the “holes “in the pages of the eaten food , it’s unique pages ,colorful drawings  & simple ,appealing writing. It’s hardbound and compact so it can fit to your tiniest baby bag or purse . This book is a useful tool for you to introduce healthy eating habits to your Little one.

Other book by Eric Carle that has become our favorite was the Touch & Feel Playbook.

51Zd5Eoi+VL._AC_UL320_SR312,320_We love his books because its full of color and aids your child’s discovery skills.The first concepts in learning are introduced with different textures ,words & pictures.

These are really perfect for Books to play with ,& toys to read to your babies & toddlers.




2. My Friends by Taro Gomi 

 I love  the simple words  and bright illustrations of this book. It tells about the wonderful adventure of a little girl’s friendship with animals and learning life skills through them .Our favorite part was the last page where I substitute the word “BABY “from the phrase   “I learn to love from a FRIEND like you “. This always signal my daughter to shriek & hug me whenever we finish reading and closing the book .

3.Goodnight, Gorilla by Peggy Rathman 

 Goonight, Gorilla is a modern classic . Our favorite bedtime cuddle book. A simple picture book that always makes every bedtime stories magical , even humorous .They’re colorful, with the animals drawn in an adorable rotund manner, and simple. I find them very fun to look at and I happen to love the simplicity.

goodnightgorillaThe little details too add a wonderful touch. Look for the mouse faithfully toting around a banana from page to page and a pink balloon that bobs about in the background. Children will have no trouble identifying the animals either, in the giraffe’s cage, there’s a toy giraffe on wheels, in the elephant. Teach your child to point on the subtle things found in the pages like the pacifier ,balls & balloons.

4. That’s not my Lion… by Usborne touchy-Feely books 

51qmrC4bo8L._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_This is my daughter’s first touchy-feely book  before Eric Carle’s playbook.

She loves to run her fingers through the rough paws & the hairy mane of the lion .It carries EU Toy Safety Directive ‘CE’ logo. This is a bold, bright  book for babies containing beautifully designed high-contrast images that are easy for newborn babies to focus on as well as touchy-feely patches to bring the pictures to life. In it, each picture contains a tactile element to help very young children develop important sensory skills. This padded ‘soft touch’ hardback is perfect for sharing or can be propped up for babies to see. They have so many series to choose from.

5.Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

809849My daughter loved the Lift-The Flap pictures on each page.This book has an  appealing story with simple,bright animal images .

As you lift the flaps in search of an ideal pet , a host of different zoo animals will be revealed, until the right pet is finally discovered. Simple, stylish and highly interactive, this book invites constant re-reading. The sturdy flaps are perfect for small fingers to lift, and children will still love this book when they are ready to start school.

She also love another book by this author ,“The ABC Zoo “.She always have fun flipping up the Flaps and discover the fun by herself.

6. The Frog prince -by Ulf Stark & Silke Leffler 


Written by famed Swedish author ,Ulf Stark with collaboration with the amazing illustrations of Silke Leffler , my daughter was immediately attracted to its colorful pages .In The Frog Prince, your child can  learn about the special bonds of friendship when Prince Karl is turned into a frog and Princess Klara did  everything to save her friend.

This is the type of book you really need to read aloud with your child and letting her run her fingers through each character displayed .

Also ,the characters in this book can be found in the soft toys section in Ikea  so if she get attached to it ,you can get her the toy itself..what a threat while reading !


7. Gonnie gaat varen by Olivier Dunrea

9789025756147Gonnie gat varen is a Dutch water book perfect for babies & toddlers fun reading during bath times . I try to encourage fun while reading and this lovely book is her best companion during lazy tub times. This is a story of a Gosling’s adventure while sailing .With  his friends Gijsje , Eddie & Teun  sailing becomes fun. My daughter loves to munch on the pages as well .




We love to discover new books , what’s in your shelf ? Do you have any favorite set?

Hope you are having a wonderful time reading !