Friday, July 12, 2013

[Media event] Baby Bjorn carrier One VIP Launch party.

As a parent, you must have heard of or personally experienced a child who resists sitting in a stroller.
Ashton is one such baby, therefore for the first time in motherhood, despite having another baby  before, I'm using a carrier extensively on Ashton. Bless my petite body!
Today, I am very honoured to be invited to the VIP launch party of Baby Bjorn's new carrier, the BABYBJĂ–RN Carrier One.

The many different ways of baby-wearing with this new carrier.

The ambassadors giving their opinions about Carrier One.

With one of the Ambassadors, Taufik, and his 13 mth old daughter.
Speech by Executive Director of Mothercare, Ms Pang Shu Min, on the evolution of Baby Bjorn carriers.

Live demo on the carrier.

Talk on body mechanics and common physiological problems in parents and children, by Paediatric physiotherapist Ms Aparna, from Physioinmotion.

Trying out the Carrier One on Ashton. He looks all wrapped up but he was actually very comfortable in it. I give it 2 thumbs up!

The event ended with refreshments for everyone.

Did you know that the first Baby Bjorn carrier was born 40 years ago? That's 10 years before I was even born!
As I was pre-occupied in the previous month working with VW for their photoshoot and launch of their new GTI, I missed the trial of Carrier One as one of its ambassadors prior to the launch. Pity!

Having personally used the Bjorn Active and Synergy, and now the all new Carrier One, I would say my favourite of the 3 is Carrier One.
Firstly, the weight is distributed on your hips instead of your shoulders and back so you do not feel the strain. Once the staff helped me prop Ashton inside, I immediately felt the positive difference!
I even walked around in it for a while to trial it.
Secondly, with the new function of carrying it with your baby on your back, it allows you to wear older children. As Taufik's wife, a work-from-home-mum (WFHM) shared with me, she said it was handy as she carried her daughter on her back hence she was able to bake her orders with ease.
I'm rating Carrier One's function 5 stars because it has surpassed my expectations of a baby carrier.
Previous Bjorn carriers allowed for baby to be worn in front, but Carrier One allows parents to wear their babies front- or parent-facing, as well as being worn on parents' backs.
It wears better than my current Synergy even with my 10kg, 10 month old baby in it.
The guideline states for use up to 15kg.
Not only it is made of the same mesh material as Synergy, it also did not compromise the aesthetics part of a carrier. To be honest, I love fashion, but the back panel of the Synergy creases my blouses. This Carrier One does not have the panel on the back, so that's definitely a plus!
The only thing is I wish they came up with other colours instead of just black. I would love to see it in White, or even bi-coloured.
Apart from colour choices, I also feel that the closure clasps of Carrier One do not give me as much peace-of-mind as the Synergy, in which the former uses snap-clasps VS the latter uses slot-in pins about 3 inches long to secure.
At a whooping cost of $289, not all parents can bear to part with such money on a carrier, especially first-time parents who do not know whether their baby would like being strapped in a carrier.
Same goes to buying anything expensive for our babies (Jumperoo, exersaucer, stroller) - it's a gamble.
Overall, I would still recommend the Carrier One for the following reasons:
- If you do not drive.
- If you often go out with baby alone and need hands-free to carry diaper/shopping bag.
- Traveling to not-so stroller-friendly countries like Hong Kong and Bangkok.
- Value-for-money carrier which can be used from birth to toddlerhood.
- Short trip to nearby mall / supermarket and do not want to block shopping aisles with your stroller.
- Convenience of not having to wait for elevators at crowded malls as you can easily take escalator while wearing your baby.
My only grouse is, why didn't Bjorn design this marvellous carrier 10 months earlier!


Saturday, July 6, 2013

My Saturdate at Park Royal on Pickering.

In the days preceding the departure of our helper, Hubby decided to book a spa appointment for the two of us at St Gregory, situated at Park Royal hotel on Pickering.
Such couple dates are much cherished, because God knows when we will be able to enjoy such dates again in the near future.
We arrived slightly earlier to enjoy the infinity pool.

The view was captivating.

I could do this all day!

Sipping bubbly and eating samosas, simply lazing around and whiling the afternoon away.
 The waters and perfect weather provided such respite.

Keeping it simple: beating the heat with my Raybans (matching with Hub's) and Hermes Oran slippers.
After that, it was time for our spa appointment where the skilled masseuse kneaded and pulled and pressed and tugged.

Thank you Hubby for constantly spoiling me. For loving me.

source: tinyme on Facebook.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

My week as a SAHM: Adam's new Nursery and maid updates.

I'm on leave this week - Yay!
Adam starts Nursery in his new school this month, so I decided to be with him the first couple of days.
This is our daily routine:
6AM: Wake up and get myself ready for the day.

6:30M: Ashton wakes up for milk.

7:30AM: Wakes sleepyhead Adam up to wash up and get changed into his uniform.
 7:50AM: Waits for school bus downstairs. Needs to hold Mummy's hand before boarding bus.
Love my Mama's boy so much!
8:15AM: The kids reach school. I arrived early on my own to wait for him since I'm not allowed onto the kiddy bus.
This is the canteen where the kids have tea break at 9:15AM - 9:30AM.
 8:30AM: Assembly and into their classrooms they go. This is their courtyard and classroom area.
Different classes take turns at the playground.
They have such large premises!
Surprise, surprise!! From my Facebook status, I found out my cousin's daughter, Noelle, is studying in the same school! But in another class in Pre-N.
Such coincidence! These are my cousin's lovely girls Noelle(3) and Nellie(2).

And since she's not working at the moment, we went for breakfast at Changi City Point la kopi and chatted for hours about our maids/ husbands/ children, while I whatsapped my Aunt about it.
Aunty-ism runs in my family.

My pretty cousin and my niece Nellie!
After school, Adam reaches home at 12:30PM. He has his lunch, drinks milk and watches his iPad, then naps for 2-3 hours.
During this time, if I'm lucky, both kids are asleep and I get to do my blogging / reading etc.
In the evening, we go to the nearby playground:
Ashton #likeaboss. Dig ears and kar-kui kui, watching his brother play.

Back home, at about 9PM, the kids play a bit before bed. By 10PM, I chase them into their room as I'm quite ready to collapse.
By the way, as I was telling you about the topic of my Indonesian maid in the previous post, she dropped the bombshell that she does not intend to extend her work permit and that she would like to go back.
Her WP is due to expire by 31st July 2013.
That leaves us less than a month to have the admin sorted out - closing her bank account and getting them to stop sending her statements to our residence, booking her flight, cancelling her WP, asking our agent to find a replacement maid, etc.
Andy & I browsed through several Biodata but have yet to come across anyone suitable (1 Burmese is a Bach of Arts holder but English is rated poor; the others are either asking too much or do not fit our criteria).
All new candidates request for 2 days off per month. Weekends are the busiest period for us and without the help on 2 out of 4 weekends, it defeats the purpose of my hiring a maid really.
Bottom line: It's hard to get good help these days!

So here I am, stranded with 2 under 5 and still very much holding my full-time job.
Thankfully, Andy & I are alike in many ways. We share the same attitudes toward finances, holiday choices, and most other things in life.
He's Ok with me either decision I make - and I intend to go maid-less for the time being and enjoy some of the privacy we lost over the past year. Until we throw in the towel, that is.
It sure feels great not having an extra mouth to feed/ person to clothe/ pay $600 per month for.
The only downside is: we get no babysitter when out for meals with family & friends. A bit overwhelming when both kids demand attention at the same time!
Let's see how long we can go maid-less.
To all the working Mums out there managing your household without a helper, you rock!
I would also love to hear tips from you.


Monday, July 1, 2013

Doing our share to preserve our Earth for our children.

When you're a Mom and you keep reading about pollution, man-made disasters, war and animals nearing extinction due to over-hunting for ignorant use of their parts, you start worrying for your children's future.
Recently, the Indonesian forest fires sent our Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) soaring to 400, sending our people into a mask-buying frenzy.
My family & I walked around in masks and I was worried how long the haze would last.
Relatives and friends approached us for masks because firstly, pharmacies and shops ran out of them, then there were unethical people hoarding masks and re-selling them at atrocious prices. Which made me realise, in times of adversity, you know how strong a nation is by the way her people react.
Countless animals died and their homes were destroyed forever.
This photo made me want to cry.
Did you know that in our home, only food waste and diapers make up our trash?

Everything else is recycled - boxes, empty cartons, plastic, paper, glass bottles, so on and so forth.

We also use biodegradable and natural products as much as possible, from washing liquids to our shampoo and bath soap.

We also do not subscribe to any newspaper or magazine subscription because we are seldom home and we prefer to read the news online.
Here are a list of other things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint:
- Switch off the power mains of whatever electronic device you are not using. By doing this, you are also saving on your electricity bills.
- Bring your own reusable bags when you do your marketing/ shopping. Nowadays, many places sell reusable bags which fold up nicely like these that I have, so you can easily dump them into your bag.
- Use recycled plastic bottles and paper.
- Look out for the sign when you purchase things from the supermarket:
- Choose energy-saving light bulbs and electric appliances such as air-conditioner, refrigerator, and washing-machine. Use LED bulbs and look for the number of ticks on your appliances:

- Use a napkin and fabric bib at meal times instead of tissue paper and wet wipes to clean up after your children.
- Don't leave the shower running when you are applying soap or shampoo.
- Adjust the temperature to about 18-degrees when you turn on the air-con, otherwise, use a fan.
- Do you know that vinegar and sodium bicarbonate is an effective and natural way of cleaning stains in your home, as compared to harsh chemicals and detergents?
I've used this home-made formula ever since I had a Sheltie with chronic skin problems.

- This is a simple but important principle which I learned from Nursing school: Clean to dirty.
Always do the clean things followed by the dirty things is not only hygienic but also reduces the need for excess use of soap and water.
Eg. Clean the mouth after feeding, then change a diaper. Clean the milk bottles (clean) then use the detergent to wash pots/plates/utensils (dirty).
Mop the cleaner part of a house first and any dust or spills last: this way you don't have to wash and re-wash your mop or cloth several times as in if you cleaned the dirty parts first.
My aim of using organic and earth-friendly products is very simple: I love our Mother Earth for all she has given me and want to preserve her for our future generations to enjoy.
Do your part today and do not destroy our children's future.



Cousin Sebastian's 1st Birthday!

 If you live in a huge family like ours, birthdays and gatherings are a big thing!
Hubby's nephew (Hub's cousin's son) celebrated his 1st birthday last Sunday at NSRCC.
Mickey Mouse themed party, much to the delight of Adam!

So much effort in the party set-up.

Birthday boy Sebastian with Cousin Cindy and her Hubby.

Difficult to get a decent photo with children! They either don't smile or don't look at the camera.

My rascals with the life-sized Mickey balloon.

Self-made gift favours. I love DIY favours, adds a personal touch for the guests!

Having thrown countless parties for my own kids, I know how tiring it is to put a party together: the guest list, the venue, the caterer, small but important details like will the guests have enough seats, general age group of guests, most importantly,who bakes the CAKE! Geez...
I'm now having mental checklists about Ashton's party already! Stress.
Thanks for inviting us, Cindy!
May Sebastian be blessed with good health and always be a joy to your lives.