Sunday, June 3, 2012

Tiffany-blue for a good cause

It's in the shade of the ever familiar robin-egg blue, it's sweet (I have a sweet-tooth for both pregnancies) and it's all for a good cause.
June is the Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, and all proceeds of the Canele limited edition Teal colored Macarons will go to Singapore Cancer Society.

in a shade of Tiffany blue which I love
After that, Andy & I attended a wedding at Crowne Plaza, Changi Airport.
I wore a salmon-pink maxi dress. I can't emphasize enough
my love for maxi dresses this pregnancy.
I'm a day short of being 28W.

Going into 3rd trimester in a week. I'm all nerves... My Obs doctor said I can try for natural birth if Baby No.2 isn't breech like the first - BUT - I cannot be induced due to the risks of C-sect wound rupture. Which means, if I opt for natural delivery, I have to go au naturale at my own pace without induction by drugs, and if the labour doesn't progress, I may have to be whisked off for an Emergency C-sect again.
Adam was delivered by Emergency C-sect because he was breech and my waters broke. When the midwife did an internal examination for me, I was already 4cm dilated when I reached Labour Ward and she could feel Adam's foot at the opening of my cervix already.
It was all drama and happened so fast, which had its pros & cons. I'm not sure if I'm up to a natural vaginal birth honestly. Guess we'll cross that bridge later.

Meanwhile, after much consideration and discussion, Andy & I have decided to engage a domestic helper to ease our chores. It's mostly Andy - he thinks I won't be able to cope with chores and 2 kids. Which frankly, he may well be right. I've grown up with under the care of my Grandma, Aunty LY, and for a short period of time my Mum had hired a maid. I've not had to do housework 99% of my life, even now that Andy & I have moved to our matrimonial home, the chores are taken care of by our Part-time helper.

Now that I'm hitting my 3rd trimester, my tummy gets in the way and it's really starting to take a toll on me, but for the other 6-days that my PT help is not in, I still have to wash bottles, bend, pick up toys/crayons/balls/books, etc. For my 1st pregnancy, I did EVERYTHING at my own pace - if I was tired I napped, if I felt like sleeping in I slept in late, after work I would just crash in front of the TV on the couch. If I felt like doing nothing I did nothing.
The situation is different now with a 3yr old and it's definitely causing a strain and I'm easily exhausted more than usual.
On weekends, I wish I can sleep in late but Adam wakes up sharper than a rooster so I hardly get any rest at all. He's an Energizer bunny who hardly stops once his engine is started. I'll have to keep him entertained and it's sometimes driving me bonkers.
I run the bath, we go to the playground, we read books, I put on the iPad, I'm basically running out of tricks from my sleeves!
On weekends, I find myself even more tired than weekdays. I sometimes silently start praying "Oh God, oh God, oh God.... " and I feel resentful if he doesn't nap.
Why doesn't this kid NAP?! Why doesn't he GET TIRED?!!!! I'm on the verge of breaking point.
I admit that these are times when I wish we had a live-in help. I'm no Superwoman afterall and I'm not afraid to admit that I want help. Thankfully, Andy is quick to pick that up and so we made a few enquiry calls to friends / agencies and today we made a trip down to an agency to interview some available maids.

We shortlisted one - she is 28 yrs old from Indonesia, can speak fair English, not as fluent as Filipinas but definitely better than your average Indonesian maid. At least this is an advantage because my in-laws can speak to her in Bahasa while we can still communicate to her in English.
I didn't even interview her much - I've had experience with my Mum's maid and know that all those interviews are mostly useless.
As long as she was Ok handling pork, not afraid of Maverick, and was Ok to take care of a baby and toddler, I'm really fine. The rest will depend on her aptitude and attitude towards learning.

There are some concerns I have - I'm not due till August, and I intend to keep all my leave as much as possible. So what will the new helper do in the meantime when Adam goes to school and we are all away at work? Also, she seems very quiet (general observation is that Indon maids are meeker than Filipinas) and she's quite petite, so I'm afraid that she might get bullied by Terror Tod Adam.

Again, I think we have to cross the bridge when we reach it.
Now all we need to do is get the paperwork sorted out - Insurance, Levy, Employer Orientation Program, etc etc.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

June: School reports back

Before the school holidays begin, it's the bi-annual teacher-parent meeting session.
Yeap. Even for Pre-nursery grade kids also need to meet teachers. *stress*
What can the school possibly report for a 3 yr old Pre-nursery kid? you wonder.
If you're thinking the same wavelength as I, then you will be in for quite a shock.

Apart from diet and physical development, children as young as 3 these days are assessed on their:
- Social development (helpful & cooperative/ willingness to share/ enjoys company of teachers & peers/ shows care & concern toward others)
- Emotional development (confident/ has initiative/ independence/ expression/ verbalise feelings)
- Moral development (shows respect/ responsibility/ leadership qualities/ respect rights & properties of others)
- Intellectual development (Aural/ visual/ follow instructions/ understand instructions & requirements/ concentration / memory)
- Aesthetic development (music & movement / art & craft)
- Self help (eating/ wear shoes/ dress & undress/ use toothbrush/ verbalise toileting needs)
- Activities & Skills (Speech/ Story/ Reading/ Writing/ Math)
- Structured play (constructive play ie. Blocks / Puzzles/ manipulative play ie. play dough, beads/ Imaginative play)

So many aspects!! For a 3 yr-old???
No wonder my friends sign their kids up for all sorts of enrichment programs (additional classes apart from the regular childcare centre's curriculum, like Science, Speech & Drama, $100-$150 per subject per month. Yup. For as young as their 3 yr-olds).
To be honest, my brothers and I didn't even know any form of formal education until we were 5 and went to K1, but in our family, we managed to nurture 2 Hwa Chong scholars and I would consider my siblings & I as doing reasonably well in our own rights.

I feel sad for children of today's era.
They are clearly missing out alot on their childhood and are in my opinion, forced to grow up too quickly.
I wish I can strike a healthy balance between play and education for my own children.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Enrichment classes at GUG

Today is Adam's 2nd lesson at Growing Up Gifted (United Square), and also his first time joining an enrichment class.
Our classes are every Sunday, and he is in their Bilingual Playclub which is actually a 1.5hr drop-off independent program.
On our first lesson (which was last Sunday), I stayed with him throughout the entire session because he was wary/shy, and didn't want me out of his sight. He clung on to me like a koala bear, nevermind that I had a huge bump in his way.
Today, he was actually much MUCH better - he waved Bye bye to me at drop-off. However, when the other kids started streaming in and a new boy started wailing, Adam also started crying and looking for me.
The teachers and I had to keep assuring him that I'm not leaving him, I'll be waiting right outside his class.
And guess what happened next?? I started crying as well. Geesh... Must be the hormones, hormones!
Andy asked me "Hon what happened to you, what are you doing?!" and quickly led me away. What an embarrassment I was!
But when we picked Adam at the end of lesson, he was his chirpy self again and greeted me with a bear hug and showed me his art work. *Melts*
Besides, the 1.5hours away from Adam gave Andy & I some quality time together. We had a long, unrushed lunch at Boon Tong Kee! A luxury of the past ever since Adam came.

Ok, I digressed. At the Bilingual Playclub, they actually incorporate Music & movement, Art & craft, ZooPhonics, Numbers and Mandarin in the 1.5hour session. 1st hour conducted in English, the last half hour conducted in Mandarin.

We signed up for the whole term. I hope he enjoys the enrichment classes and actually gain something out of them. I really don't mind sitting in with him in the class so I can also learn a thing or two about childhood teaching but I think my presence will hinder his involvement because he'll be distracted and keep wanting to stick to me.
More updates next time. Meanwhile, any questions regarding GUG can be directed to me under Comments for other parents who are interested in signing their kids up for enrichment classes =)

Waving Bye bye to Andy & I

Saturday, May 19, 2012

First bike

About 20-odd years ago, I learned how to ride my 1st bike. I remember falling off the bike on a slope, grazing my knees, but getting up and soldiering on.
I was not the typical "Girly" type of girl (still ain't).
Now, I'm reliving all those bike-riding memories because my 3-yr old asked for a bicycle for his birthday. One of those Mommy moments that remind me that I'm a parent and I'm gonna do all those things my parents did with us when my brothers & I were little.

"Put your highest foot down followed by the other foot"

Even Grandma is roped in as well?!

^"Mommy this is a faster way to get to the playground!"

^DIY paddling with his feet on the ground.. Alamak. 1st bike lesson - failed. LOL.

There goes our first session teaching Adam how to ride a bike. Both Andy & I become Hunchback already! Till next time!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

3 is fast, what a blast! Happy 3rd Birthday Adam!

Our dear son turned 3 today and we had a school celebration. It turned out well, he was super happy to be surrounded by his friends and teachers. Best of all, today is the only day of the year where his Dad & Mom are in school with him. He woke up in the morning beaming. What a terrific start. What a blast!

His birthday planner is HERE.

What's a party without balloons?

Gift favors for his classmates

More gift favours (for the younger kids from Play group)

Personalised bookmarks which double as fridge magnets

Adam's cake for his school party

Our boy is Happy:D

His favourite part of the whole celebration

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day cum Adam's birthday celebration

We celebrated Mother's Day and Adam's 3rd Birthday on Saturday, 12 May 2012, at Yan Palace.
I am 25 weeks pregnant in this photo

Adam chose the cake design himself!

Despite all the sleepless nights and "Oh my God you didn't just DO that!" moments, being a Mom is the best thing that has happened to me. Everyday I feel lucky and blessed to have Adam and a beautiful family.
Sometimes I come home to see a messy house, toys strewn around the living room, or dirty little footprints in the toilet, it suddenly hits me - I'm a Mom!! and I have a child!!
It's been (almost) 3 years since the day I first lay my eyes on a little bundle which the stork dropped us. Now the little bundle is turning 3 and it still feels surreal.

One day if you are old enough to read Mommy's blog, I want you to know I love you so much Baby Adam. You are mommy's forever baby and I hope you will grow up healthy.

Mom & Dad.

P.S. Adam's 3rd Birthday planner can be found here.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Booster car seat for Toddler Adam

I'm not sure why in Singapore we need law reinforcements for parents to realise the importance of putting their own children in carseats. In other countries such as UK, Australia and US, parents are BIG on child safety at all times. When we went to Australia, even our rented car comes with carseat rental option, and the categorise the carseats according to child weight!
I've ever seen expats put their babies in carseats to board taxis although they may not own a car in Singapore.
Yet, my own relatives and friends put their children/ grandchildren on their laps/ sit in the front/ climbing everywhere and leaving a maid to "deal" with them.
I think I will be shocked out of my life if I'm driving and have to deal with a toddler "on the loose"!

I posted about the plight of Adam's car seat few days ago.
Then I thought that since Adam is already getting too big for that infant car seat, I might as well get him a toddler booster and recycle the infant one for Baby No.2.

So in the end I bought this online:

I ordered from Aprisin and they delivered within 2 days. As a matter of fact, I got it today (Vesak Day), which is a public holiday. Quite impressed with their prompt delivery even on a PH.
It doesnt show clearly on my iPhone camera, this is how it looks like:

Adam seems to like his new car seat. He fell asleep in it soon after we got on the car.
It gives him the added height so the seat-belt doesn't cut into his neck. Not bad for a $69 purchase.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Maid or no maid?

When we found out about my pregnancy, Andy & I have discussed endlessly about the care arrangement of our kids.
With Adam already in full day childcare, we have the following options:
- Hiring a maid
- Me quitting my job to be a SAHM
- His mom will help with the baby while Adam is in school (this is my last option and if I can help it I wont wanna consider it)

Initially, Andy was quite against the idea of having a stranger live with us and suddenly there will be an "extra" mouth that we have to feed whom we are not even related to. It makes sense, because since we shifted to our own place, we have valued our privacy, and considering the only times we spend at home are to sleep (other than weekends). With us not at home 90% of the time, it really doesn't sound safe to entrust a whole new stranger to the care of our infant.
We've all heard of horror maid stories. It's not that there are no good maids around, but these competent and reliable helpers are few and far between. Besides, do I really want my child to be mothered by a stranger? I already feel bad enough that my MIL is Adam's "go to" person when the school calls up to say he's sick/ etc etc.

Therefore, Andy has suggested to me that I can be a SAHM if I want to.
My only memories of being a SAHM were during my maternity leave with Adam, which was 3 years ago. Other than that, I was a SAHM after I resigned from my job and stopped work for a few months mainly to oversee the renovation of our new home and running errands because Andy couldn't get away from work. That's it. I claim no credit in being the true SAHM that some of my friends are.

I'm lucky that Andy allows me to choose what kind of mom I wanna be, a working mom or a stay-home mom. In Singapore, with the standards of living sky high, most couples do not have the option to stop working. Throw in a car, house loan and monthly expenses, many couples don't even want to have children! Those people we know with kids have to solely rely on childcare centres or their parents.
It is really not easy.
As such, I am grateful that my husband is kind enough to shoulder all the financial burden and let me decide what I wanna do. Afterall, we are talking about his offspring as well, not just mine.

Right now the question I've repeatedly asked myself these few months - Maid or no maid? Can I stand up to the chores and expectations of being a SAHM??

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

More art & craft with Adam

Did some more art & craft with Adam this week due to the Labour Day PH and my being on leave.
Here he is applying glue to a paper roll to make a sheep.
Materials needed: paper roll, cotton wool, glue, googly eyes, crayon.

This is the end-result :P

Today, Andy brought Adam out so I can gather some rest at home.
He Whatsapped me this photo which made me more than just a little bit nervous.
Adam is not in his carseat! That's because 2 day's ago, he had too much to eat for lunch and threw up his food all over himself and we had to bring the carseat upstairs for washing.

I was secretly nervous about the 2 boys going out alone without me, without Adam in his carseat. But a while later I received a call from Andy to say he managed to get his grocery shopping done and now they are going Longkang fishing at Pasir Ris farmway and reassured me I should get my rest. Pheew!

My boys never fail to amaze me!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Baby Expo 27-29 April 2012

There's a Baby Expo going on this weekend at Expo Hall 5. We decided to check it out to see what supplies we can get to prepare for Baby No.2's arrival.
Unlike previous fairs we have been to, which in all honesty is not that many, this time round it is rather sparse and not many booths were there.
Definitely no Huggies, even though I was thinking of stocking up on their wet wipes.
Oh well, luckily Expo is only a 5 min drive away from home otherwise it wouldn't have been worth the trip down.

Adam has claimed the rocker as his, because he decided to swap birth order with his sibling and become the Baby instead.
No problems with me, as he promised he will share it with his sibling when the time comes.

I recently bought some California Baby products from this website: which sells CB products at least 20-30% cheaper than retail price. Top up $3 for next-day doorstep courier service. Thumbs up, I say!

Adam is a naughty boy tonight.

Whenever I hear people around me complain about their mothers-in-law, I secretly feel lucky that I do not have a MIL from hell. Though she is not the best MIL in the whole wide world, she has treated me well and even help us look after our son without any complaints.
Sometimes, I think the way she brings up my child is the polar opposites of how my Aunt/ parents brought us up, but I accept that she is my husband's mother and whatever discrepencies I feel, I make it a point to discuss with Andy instead of quarreling with my MIL.

Tonight, we went for dinner with Andy's parents and brother as per any other weekend, but unlike the usual dinners, Adam was exceptionally impossible tonight.

He misbehaved himself at the table. He wouldn't stop banging the utensils and plate, and basically he did the exact things we told him not to, and this tested Andy's and my patience.

There was a family seated just behind us, with a toddler who looked about Adam's age, and he was totally well-behaved and oblivious to the whole ordeal because he was concentrating on an iPhone.
We were EMBARRASSED out of our wits!!! and I think that family must've felt sorry for us and thanked almighty heavens for a well-behaved child.
We told Adam nicely, we scolded him, we threatened him but nothing worked and his bad behaviour continued, which made Andy lose his temper and smacked Adam on his hand.
The smacking made Adam cry.

At that instant, Andy's mum immediately stood up and rushed over to Adam's side and wanted to whisk him away. Mind you, Adam was seated in between Andy & I.

Furious, I told her not to interfere when we are disciplining our child, and I said to her "Is he our child or your child?!" those were my exact words to her.
As I was already very stressed by the whole dinner affair gone awry and the embarrassment of everyone at the coffeeshop staring at us, I flared up and didn't bother to keep my voice down so I think everybody around us heard me scolding my MIL. My FIL, being the sole-breadwinner, chauvinistic kind of man, glared at me.
Well, to make things clear - this is not the first time my MIL is rushing to Adam's rescue everytime he cries/ fusses. She doesn't even bother to ask us to stop scolding/ smacking Adam, she just takes it upon herself to barge in between us and whisk our son away! And everytime, it's Right at the moment when we discipline him.

In the end, my dear husband had to ask his parents and brother to go home once they were done eating and leave us (Andy, Adam & I) alone to deal with it as a family (our nuclear family).

The moment we got home, I called Aunt LY and texted my Dad and brother to tell them what happened and seeked their opinions. Was I in the wrong??
Their answers were - all of them thinks my MIL is wrong in interfering with our child-disciplining, but Aunt LY thinks I was also in the wrong for having talked to my MIL in such a rude manner in public. My Dad and brother think I didn't mince my words but they thought getting my true feelings across to my MIL was the right thing to do otherwise more negative feelings will be harboured .

As for my dear Hubby?? After I tucked Adam to bed, I had a talk with him regarding my behaviour tonight and he said matter-of-factly that I should probably apologise to his mom and at the same time reinforce to her that she had no business interfering with how we discipline Adam, now and in future.
While I am truly grateful to her for helping us look after our child, on top of cooking and washing and all the chores without the help of a maid, I would really appreciate if she left the parenting as that - to our child's parents. ie. US.

What happened tonight made me develop a newfound admiration for my Husband - for standing firm on his belief, for being the man I need in my family, and for taking "right" sides on this matter.

Monday, April 23, 2012


The week that just passed was horrendous. Adam contracted HMFD and was home-bound for the entire week.
He missed school and was cranky due to being confined at home all day, everyday.
One morning, Andy called his mum's place and Adam answered "Good morning, Teacher Loh".. LOLsssss.. Poor kid.
Poor us.

As a result of his illness, I hardly had enough rest and missed work for 3 days.
I did the graveyard shift and made him milk feeds several times a night because he couldn't eat much due to pain from his mouth ulcers.
During the day, if I was lucky, I got to nap 1-2 hours.
On top of caring for Adam, I was worried about getting the disease myself especially since I'm pregnant.
I nearly died.

At home, to keep him occupied, I read books and doodled with him.
We also did some craft work using cardboard, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes.

Can you guess what this is???
It's actually Adam's Incy Wincy SPIDER! (unintentionally disguised as an alien).
I helped him to trace the circle shape, and draw the spider's mouth. I asked him to draw the mouth but he said he doesn't know how (read: lazy). But he was very keen on using glue to stick on the eyes and legs.
He insisted that his spider has 4 legs and if you notice, its legs are actually 3D instead of equal number on each side. He decided where the legs were supposed to be and asked me to help staple them in place.
To be honest, I'm not at all worried about his imagination. Alarms will be ringing only if he could sing the entire ABCDEFG~Z song not knowing what anything meant. So for now, Adam is free to be creative and if a car has only 2 wheels or his spider has only 4 legs, so be it.

Anyway, it's kinda ironic but I'm gonna say - Thank God it's Monday!
The terrible week is finally behind us and Adam is fit to go back to school tomorrow!
As for Mummy Me, I need a pedicure, a spa and some pizza~!