Monday, November 26, 2012

Baby Ashton 3 months old

I'll be going back to work in exactly a week's time but Ashton is still far from weaning from the breast.
In fact, ever since we came back from Perth, he's been hanging on to my boobs for dear life, refusing any form of bottle. It's as if Ashton doesn't want Mama to ever leave him again.
Latex teats, silicone ones, Medela bottles, AVENT bottles, NUK bottles, cold turkey, spoon, we tried everything! but none worked.
The thing that worries my MIL most is, I'm not very bothered by it. As a matter of fact, I love breastfeeding my baby because it is such a special relationship which I will look back upon one day and miss all over again.

I'm really taking my time with this baby.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Jean Yip Junior: Adam's haircut

Adam needs a haircut every month, the rate at which his hair grows is simply alarming!
Jean Yip Junior at Tampines Mall does kiddos' haircuts for $15.
Considering it's cheaper than Junior League by nearly half, we're definitely sticking to the former.

Adam's coconut hair in dire need of a trim. 

His stylist Patrick - patient, good with kids, and handsome. Any takers?!

Wax styling after haircut. Why so suave!

After his haircut, we went into *cough* Toys R Us (again!) and he promptly chopped his Dad's cabbage head by purchasing some more Transformers.

Adam's Transformers collection

Hope you had a great weekend!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Merck Serono dinner symposium: Regent Hotel

Attended a medical symposium tonight with my wonderful colleagues.
The dinner was enjoyable with lots of chatter and some games, and provided me with an opportunity to catch up with my work mates before officially heading back to work.

my little blue dress tonight: from Tracyeinny (website)
Bangle: Hermes Clic Clac

Bag: Chanel flap
Watch: Hermes Kelly
Shoes: Christian Louboutin (not pictured)

Marvellous food served in an 8-course sit-down dinner.
Cuppies for everyone: The topic was on a new stimulation drug  device for women undergoing assisted reproductive treatment (ART).  In case you're curious, my job involves helping couples with infertility issues to conceive.

My wonderful team!

The dinner was held at Regent Hotel and I must say, if that's the kind of excellent service we get for a small medical symposium, then I wonder what it's like to attend a wedding here!
The staff were on the ball, efficiently clearing off used plates after every dish served, and even helped to proportion and dish food out for us. We are mighty impressed. Thumbs up for the pleasant dining experience.

And thank you too, Merck, for hosting this lovely dinner whereby no effort was spared in preparing the goodie bags, games, deco etc. It was truly enjoyable.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving: an ode to my family

Today is Thanksgiving, and I have much to be thankful for.

First of all, let me start with the baby of the family.
Ashton is an easy baby. He is the kind that will feed and sleep and hardly fusses. He is the kind that is every parent's dream.
Often times he just sits in his rocker or pram, looking intently at things happening around him, quietly observing. He has a way of tugging at my heartstrings.
As such, I am very fond of him.

I love Adam too of course, but it's just that I love my kids differently, and there's no denying that.
Adam to me, is everything.
He is the first human baby and I have many firsts with him. He is naughty but nice, silly but smart, he can be quiet but rowdy, attention-seeking yet independent, irritating but funny.
With Adam I experience both ends of the spectrum.
Which is why I say he is my everything!

Then there's my husband. Where do I even start with a man I've known for almost a decade?
This man is my soulmate, my best friend. Andy is very strong and I often seek comfort in him because I am emotionally rather weak. He is my pillar of support, and has been for the past eight or nine years!
He farts, he snores (loudly!), he annoys the hell out of me at times, but because the kids kinda like him and because he pays the bills and groceries, I've decided to keep him a little longer.

And for all the wonderful people in my life, I am grateful for your presence.
Happy Thanksgiving.
What are you thankful for this year?

Feeling accomplished today.

Today, I woke up with great resolve. I brought Ashton out with me on Adam's Christmas wish-list mission.
Because I was alone, I did the only logical thing - I popped the baby into his pram and commuted by foot and train to... you wouldn't have guessed - Vivo City!
All the way from the East to the West. Then back again. By foot and train.

The Toys R Us at Tampines Mall did not have a great selection of Transformers, so I had to make the trip all the way to Vivo City's outlet.

I finally found something which was what Adam wanted and promptly paid for it with what little monies I had and lugged it back, toy, baby, diaper bag and all.

See how HUGE this thing is? I couldn't even fit it into the pram's basket.

A fancy schmancy toy with lights and sounds and everything!

It's even Fold & Go and comes with a Fire Engine just like what Adam has requested for.
I am mighty pleased with myself.

I had wanted the Vtech Explorer Globe which they didn't have. Why liddat??
Mothercare is also having SALES... 15% off Melissa & Doug toys and various other discounts.
After shopping, Ashton and I then proceeded with our lunches in the nursing room - I bought Burger King and Ashton feasted on my breasts as I was chomping down my food.
My Aunt LY and Andy were surprised that I dared to venture out sans helper and with a baby, but the truth is I've never really depended much on my helper for taking care of my children.
Dwi has been with us for 6 months till date and she has yet to even bathe any of our two children!
I enjoy doing all of the Mummy-stuff, and Dwi takes care of the housework.
We are all happy this way.

99% of me enjoys the diapering, bathing, changing, feeding for both kids as I think it gives me an edge on my children. There's something Mummy can do that no one else can.

I never imagined myself to one day be able to tell different types of vehicles apart, from dump trucks to cement mixers to bulldozers, from Hasbro Transformers to Playskool ones.
I am constantly amazed by my little ones.
Now, I have to find that helicopter with battery-operated propellers.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What Adam wants for Christmas

Adam has duly informed me of his Christmas wish list as such:
- Toy helicopter with battery-operated propeller (to replace his broken one)
- Transformers Rescue bots, full set no less.
- Play-on-the-go Fire Station

And it's only November yet.
Dear son, you are highly encouraged to keep your wish list to the minimum as Santa's resources are limited, contrary to your belief.
at Sunday School

Friday, November 16, 2012

My two babies

Big baby.

Adam insists that Ashton joins him as he plays every night. He is very protective over his brother and I am very proud of him.

Little bubs.

Thank you God for being so kind as to bless us with two beautiful children. Every night I watch my babies sleep, the rise and fall of their chests as they breathe their soft breaths, my heart swells with so much love for them that it might explode.
Our home is now filled with toys, trikes and laughter.
I could not have asked for more.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Homeschool practices under 10 minutes.

We mummies are a busy bunch. We need to juggle work and our families and struggle to keep everything together. Even if you're a stay-home mum, it is a full time job altogether.
When time is scarce, or if you're perpetually tired like me, here are some home exercises that can be done in under 10 minutes.


Mazes, lacing, simple puzzles, shape stackers... they foster manual dexterity, hand-eye coordination,  problem-solving skills, shape sorting and visual discrimination.
When Adam was younger, he made a mess of his stacker toys, mouthing and misplacing the pieces.
Now he can better appreciate these toys and sort them over and over according to color, shapes, big to small, and small to big.

Memory exercises:
Right brain training anyone? Include picture cards, grids, mandalas...


I was lucky enough to purchase this Montessori spindle set for only $6. It was on sale!! *shakes  booty*
Right now I use it to teach Adam counting.
Not only can you do counting, this math set allows you to teach + - x as well.

ABCs and English:

When I first started teaching Adam the letters of the alphabet, I did the typical old-school way of "A for Apple, B for Ball..."
I have since modified my method by outsourcing the subject to Leapfrog.
This fridge magnet word builder is a supplement to our Letter Factory DVD.
Leapfrog produces an impressive range of educational toys and DVDs which I adore, not to mention they provide me lots of free-babysitting when I am lazy / busy. So brilliant right!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Buddha baby

Hi, my name is Ashton and I am slightly round.
I have a protruding belly and many folds on my body; even my armpits have folds.
As such, Mummy calls me her Buddha baby.

Good day and see ya around!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I found a baby Mynah!

Was walking to my in-law's place from Tampines MRT when I saw a bunch of young children playing with a baby bird.
Another guy who witnessed the incident went over to stop the kids and a very busybody me went over to pick up the bird.
It was too dangerous leaving it where we found it because the kids might come back for it, but I tried leaving it at a nearby grass patch and observed from afar, other adult mynahs started pecking and attacking it.

Conclusion: I brought it home.
The whole time, it just stares at me like this

and this.

I quickly googled and found out that baby birds with feathers are called Fledglings.
And that I should be feeding it pellets and fruits.
My biggest problem is that it won't gape for food at all, so I've resorted to force-feeding it with some papaya and using a syringe to feed it water.

Now what should I do with it??
Any bird enthusiasts who'd like to adopt it?

Edit to add:
The next morning, the mynah fledgling has died. R I P.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sleep, elusive sleep.

When I adopted my sheltie Alice 10 years ago, the lady who rehomed her made me bring her home to do a few days' trial to assess my readiness in keeping a dog.
I was also interrogated with a million questions - Was I a student or was I working?
If I'm a student, who is paying for the upkeep of the dog?
Did I have any prior experience in keeping dogs?
Who was I staying with? Did my parents approve of the dog?
Did I stay in an apartment or landed property?
Were there young children or other dogs in the household?
Did I have time to walk her daily?
Likewise, when Andy & I purchased our border collie Maverick, the petshop person passed us packets of sample dog food along with a laundry list of vets and dog training schools categorised according to zone (North, Central, East, West of Singapore).

Having a baby seemed less work than having a dog.
Throughout both my pregnancies, not a single person asked our housing type or assessed if we were emotionally and physically prepared to have children. Nobody asked if we had our home baby-proofed and that we used only products that had passed stringent safety standards. BPA-free? Safety gates? Socket covers? Nobody wanted to know.
No one cared whether we had qualifications in early childhood education or if we were CPR-trained.
We could be serial killers living in slumps and they wouldn't have guessed.

Nobody said parenting was easy, but I didn't know it was gonna be this tough, and nobody warned us.

Tonight was Andy's weekly soccer practice and as Murphy's law would have it, both kids decided not to sleep early tonight. It's a weekday night and I am desperate to get them both to sleep because God forbid they do this when I'm back to work.

The baby attacked my boobs fiercely and the minute I put him down he started crying.
The 3 year old couldn't stop fidgeting about and asking me his wh- questions.
I thought I was about to go insane so I promptly sent some expletives to Andy's hp, and asked him to kindly come home (get your bloody ass back home IMMEDIATELY you bloody jerk asshole!!!)

I had looked up parenting books for sleep advice and diligently followed every instruction. Putting a child down for nap? Draw the curtains, dim the lights, quieten the room to reduce stimulation. The result? I have a toddler who is the lightest sleeper on the whole planet.
Sleep scheduling your infant? Allow your infant to self-soothe and if the crying doesn't stop, gently pat him and coo to him in soft, reassuring tones.
My infant didn't care to "self-soothe", and neither of us could hear my reassuring coos from all that screaming.

Who comes up with such advise?! Are people who write parenting books, parents?
Fuck sleep training, whatever that means anyway.
If sleep didn't elude any parent, I'd have 8 more kids.

Presenting my two monsters:

Adam says Ashton is his best friend forever, and that I'm naughty (because I scolded him) so I am not his best friend. Horror of horrors!
Well, at least my life isn't boring.

Life as a working Mom

Clocking in my last month of maternity leave, I'll be returning to work in December, which is quite a scary thought right now.
I wonder how I'm gonna cope with work and the night feeds.
Ashton is still far from sleeping through the night, which is the part I'm dreading most.
May God save me.

The idea of resigning and being a stay-home Mommy ever crossed my mind, but then I subsequently decided against it.
First of all, laundry and scrubbing toilets do not feature in my Top Ten list of personal achievements.
Secondly, whoever said kids need your time and not your money?
As far as I know, my kids need my money. Lots of it.
School fees cost money - the teachers need to get paid.
Groceries and diapers cost money.
Organic stuff cost more than normal grocery.
And when the time comes, tuition and enrichment classes will cost money.
To top it all off, we have a live-in helper who is very high maintenance and cannot drive.

I need to work. I want to work.
The financial freedom is a bonus for my lifestyle, not just for my kids.
Moreover, working allows me to stay relevant, and gives me the opportunity to engage in conversations that do not involve bum cream and nappy rash.

So yeap. I'm going back to work. Soon.
Going to embark on an all-new journey as a full-time working Mom with two young kids, a Hubby and twelve Kois.
What a scary, scary thought.

My Buddha baby

Why this Buddha baby got double chin??  

With a face like this, he can get away with anything!

I chose this photo for Ashton's passport application. Yeap you heard right - we're making his passport.
Some parents just don't learn do they? Taking on the world with 2 pesky children now.

As an aside, I would like to share this amazing video with you.
It's about a family with young children travelling and experiencing the world.
Not that we're gonna trade our comfy beds to live in tents anytime soon, but this is truly inspiring.

Right brain exercises

I introduced Right brain exercises to Adam last week, in addition to our daily routine of doing mazes, counting and learning the letters of the alphabet.
Considering both Adam & I have the attention spans of goldfish, this is a major achievement.

Photographic memory:
I used picture cards from his Brainbox, but actually just about any picture or flash card will do.
I use the sand timer from the Brainbox (which runs 10sec) to allow Adam to memorise as many details of the cards as possible within the time frame. I will then ask him questions related to the picture cards.

I found out this is not as easy as it sounds. Initially, Adam lacked concentration and could not focus on the cards long enough, because he didn't know what was expected of him. After I did some demos and examples to show him, he eventually grasped the concept of this memory game and could answer some questions correctly.
As an added bonus, he sometimes even opens the Brainbox and initiates this game.

Memory grid:
I printed grids of 3 and 4 and slotted the papers into clear plastic folders.
I also realised I have picture cards which fit nicely into the grids. Brilliant!
I started him off by using grids of 3. First I arranged the cards onto the grids and asked him to memorise the sequence of the pictures.
After 10 seconds, I turned the cards over and asked him to replicate the sequence on his own grid sheet (the picture cards I bought come in pairs so there are 2 sets of every same picture, which is superb).
When he is done, I flip the cards on the answer sheet over and see whether he got them correct.
This is easier than the Photographic memory exercise and as Adam gets the hang of it, I will move on to grids of 4.

Seriously, learning with your child is highly encouraged. Imagine all the money you can save from not having to go for enrichment classes.
By the way if you are interested in doing some homeschool exercises with your children, you can go read up on a fellow Mummy-blogger's site: Mummy's Homeschool
She has many brilliant ideas on homeschooling, so do check it out.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Port of Lost Wonder

It's been years since I last set foot on Palawan Beach at Sentosa.
Back then, I was still single and went there for suntanning and beach volleyball.
Now?? Married with two kids and become Aunty already also go Palawan. 厉害吗? (li hai mah?)

There's a pirate ship water play area with foam party that's been set up just for kids, or so I've heard.
Gotta check it out for ourselves!

What: Port of Lost Wonder
Where: Palawan beach, Sentosa
Entrance and parking: $7 per vehicle, parking available at the beach.
How much: Kids go in for $8 per pax on Weekdays / $15 on weekends. Adults go in for free.

Me and my little Botak.

 Like Zoukout like that. Kids nowadays more happening than their parents!

Gotta enjoy this cutesy phase while it lasts.