Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Stop complaining and be grateful for what you have!

Recently I've been complaining a lot about my life.. how tired I am and how I'm always rushing here and there, how Michelle being sick all the time is killing my spirit, etc etc... but today I was reading a few news that makes all my problems seem so small..

First there was the news about the 2 year old toddler in China who got hit and run twice, she died in the hospital. Her parents are probably too poor to send her to a daycare or to hire a nanny to take care of her while they are out working, and that's probably why a 2 year old toddler was walking in the street by herself. And there I was complaining about how I always have to wake up early to pack her bags, how daycare is making her sick all the time, etc when I actually still have a job that pays very well that allows us to send Michelle to daycare, pay for all the medical bills, and still have cash to eat out, buy things that we like, go on holidays whenever we want.

And then there was this story about this young girl called Charmaine who was diagnosed with cancer since she was 4 years old. She was fighting cancer for 2.5 years and she passed away last week. I only read the news today but actually her 3-day wake was held over the weekend and it was really near my place, could have gone there... Over the weekend, I was sending Michelle to her vaccination place and was lamenting about how she took so long to recover from her cough and also her eye infection. The mother of Charmaine probably had to quit her job to look after her sick daughter, spent lots of money for cancer treatment, and finally gave her up. She was literally bleeding to death and her mother actually prayed to God to take away her daughter, how painful that must be for her. I always think that the least thing that a child can do for his/her parents is to outlive them. I don't even know what I will do or how I will carry on if I don't have Michelle....

And then I was reading blog update from one of the craft blogs that I'm following, Lil Blue Boo. She must be a very brave and strong woman! She's also so positive that she can take all these in her stride and still feel so calm about it. This is about a woman who was trying to have another kid but now all her chances are taken away from her. While me, almost 2 years after child birth, still sometimes talk about how painful a C-section recovery was and still afraid of having another one.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Air conditioned daycare = germ hole!

Michelle has been falling sick so often ever since we sent her to daycare. On her first month there, she got infected with HFMD and then now she has bad cough! It's quite bad that even after 2 weeks of medication, she still has a bit of cough and when we went for follow-up check 2 weeks ago, the doctor mentioned that there was phlegm in her chest (sounds scary!!) so she asked us to rent a Nebulizer to administer some respiratory medicine for her.

Of course she cried the first time we tried to use it. The machine is so loud!!!

On the first week (yes, there's a 2nd week...) we didn't get to use it much because she cried so much, it was just so painful to see her like that. I guess at that point, we didn't really get the gravity of the situation yet. She ended up using the machine just once a day at night because we didn't really want to deal with a crying and throwing tantrum toddler during the morning rush.

So after the first week, we went for another follow-up check, doctor says that there's still phlegm in her chest and ordered an X-ray and blood test. This was her first X-ray and it was quite hard because we had to pin her down to the x-ray table and she was crying so hard because she was so scared (I guess it's because she didn't understand what was going on and what we were trying to do to her...and why are mommy and daddy grabbing me so hard and pinning me on the table?!?!)

Anyway, we went back to the doctor with the x-ray and blood test result and she was explaining to us (in Chinese! which I only understand around 80%) and at some point she was saying something that I didn't get "she doesn't have blah blah blah" so I was nudging my husband "what's she talking about?!" and he explained "She said there's no lung cancer" OMG WHY IS SHE SO DRAMATIC!!!! Of course she doesn't have lung cancer!!!! Her lung is pretty new and it was only used less than 2 years.. hmmpphhh!!! Anyway, she said to continue using the Nebulizer for another week and this time round we are doing it religiously. Besides, Michelle is getting pretty good at it now, perhaps she realized the machine doesn't actually harm her. She uses it while watching TV and the whole session lasts maybe around 15 mins so it was quite OK :)


Of course she can still dig her nose sometimes too :)


Apple Logo Softies

Last night, I was thinking of making whale softies for Michelle but don't have fabrics that I think is good fit, so I was thinking of making fruits softies instead. I ended up making other things, one particular one is a dress that ended up too small for Michelle :( oh well,.....

This morning when I logged in to my Facebook account, all my friends' status messages were "RIP Steve Jobs..." or something along that line *shocked!!* I knew he was sick and battling cancer but it was kind of sudden, especially since Apple just announced the launch of iPhone 4S, death just doesn't seem like something that was waiting for the founder of the company. But who knows right...

So instead of making apple softies, I decided to make the shape of the apple like the Apple logo, bitten at the side :)

Here's what I did...

  1. Use Google Image search for "apple logo" - there'll be plenty of it! Colored ones, black and white ones, etc. Print it (you can also enlarge) to the size that you want. For my case, I just set my printer setting to print the image to fully occupy my A4 size paper.
  2. Cut out the shape of the apple and don't forget the leaf too!
  3. Trace the shape to your fabric (folded because you need 2 pieces of each shape) using a fabric chalk or marker
  4. (the image and the instruction don't seem to match because I didn't exactly do it that way - I cut the paper with allowance and use it to cut the fabric, and then I cut the paper again to remove allowance, then trace it to the cut fabric, but afterwards I figured out that the other way is easier....)
  5. Cut the fabric with about 1 cm seam allowance for both the apple and the leaf
  6. Sew wrong sides of the leaf pieces together leaving a space of around 3 cm to turn the fabric around (also to insert your fillings), clip corners and curves.
  7. Turn the leaf inside out, put some poly-fil and slip-stitch the opening.
  8. Now put these in the following order from bottom to top (facing up):
    - Apple back piece right side
    - Leaf inside the apple (facing down instead of up... I should have taken photo of it but got distracted!)
    - Apple front piece wrong side
    (Basically we want to sew the wrong side of the apple pieces together while the leaf is stuck in the middle, make sure the leaf is using the correct orientation)
  9. Pin the sides along the apple leaving some gap for turning and to insert poly-fil
  10. Sew along the traced line on the fabric, clip corners and curves, iron the hem
  11. Insert more poly-fil and slip-stitch the opening
  12. DONE!
  13. Give the apple to an appreciative toddler


Monday, October 3, 2011

DIY Hair Clip Organizer

Not my idea again, I saw it from Craftiness Is Not Optional blog while I was browsing the blog a while ago... I found the tutorial on how to make it here because I'm lazy to write step-by-step how I did mine.

A few differences:
  • Instead of using batting, I used felt because there are quite a lot of them just lying around in my house.
  • I don't have a glue gun so I used fabric glue, let's hope it holds well :)

The photo frame that I used is from Michelle's Bambino studio photograph. I didn't quite like how the photo looks like inside that frame so I moved the photo to another frame that has black borders. And coincidentally, this white frame also didn't have glass cover. So here's the final outcome...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Blogger Dynamic View

Check out new Blogger dynamic views! It's so cool :)



And here's my blog using one of the dynamic views :)


Very tempted to use it, but decided to wait for now since it removes all my side bar widgets... hmm... :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Red Polka Dot Sundress

I finally finished another piece by using tutorial from Craftiness Is Not Optional blog. I got a bit disheartened when doing this project because I actually measured the bodice wrongly and made it waaaaayyy too big so I had to alter it and made it smaller, that's why there's pleats at the top.. It didn't come from my creativity, but rather I was forced to improvise! :)

I also realized that due to my choice of fabric, the dress looked a bit plain so I added a bow decoration on the chest where the pleats are :)


So here's the final front view....


Please try to ignore the fact that the skirt looks a bit distorted... and it's not as wide flare as the one in the tutorial. I think I miscalculated the width of the skirt. Oh well...

And here's the back view... oh yeah, I need to sew that button...


Can't wait to let Michelle try this on... I hope it fits!! :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My first bapron a.k.a baby apron

I happened to see someone's printout (at the shared office printer!) - It was a huge stack because that person was printing a blog post and the blog has a lot of contents like sponsors link etc on the blog and also comments on that particular post that she (I'm 99% sure it's a 'she') printed. The post is a tutorial on how to make a toddler dress. I peeked at it a little bit and because the blog's name is so catchy I actually remembered it (long enough until I reached my desk) and started to google it. This is the blog - Craftiness is Not Optional. The name is really catchy right??! :)

So I spent a lot of sleepless nights browsing from the latest post to older post - I think I manage to read the whole blog (isn't my stalking skill great?) - I just feel so inspired by this lady because she's so talented!! She knows how to sew so much stuff and she also bakes cake! That's with a toddler and baby at home. I really wonder how she manages to find the time. I'm forever going crazy trying to find time for myself nowadays even with just one toddler at home.

So one of the tutorials that she has on the blog is a baby apron. It's such an ingenious idea that I really really have to try because Michelle always refuses to wear bibs and I always have to handwash her clothes before dumping them into washing machine - so much work, no time for beauty sleep! Since Michelle is so vain, I figured that if she finds the fabric cute, she'll probably want to wear it but I'm really betting my luck on this one.

Since the bapron is not my idea, it didn't occur to me to take photos of the process until I was almost done - was pinning the binding to the bapron at this stage..


And this is the final outcome...


I also tried to put it on Michelle - she has been wearing it for more than half an hour now and I'm very happy :D


I'm a beginner in sewing so each project takes me so long to finish, but I find that every time I started a new project, I learn many new techniques. BTW, the bapron is not actually my first project - shall blog about the rest soon :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

If he was here today....

He would turn 23 years old today... I wonder how he would be like... :)

A Brother Is
Author: Unknown

A brother is someone
with fun-loving ways
with wit and good humor
to spare.
He does thoughtful things
without any fuss
and when you're in trouble
he's there.
A brother is more
than just part of the family..
he's also a friend
through and through.
And that's a description
that certainly fits
a wonderful brother like you..

Taken from this site.

wish you were here...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hand Foot Mouth Disease (HFMD)

Last Friday, there's a student who was reported with HFMD in Michelle's daycare and that student is from the same class as Michelle. From the note that the teacher put in the communication packet to parents, it sounds like that particular student didn't even come on Friday but I tried to read up more about it online and found that the incubation period of the virus is 3-7 days so your child might be infected already but the symptoms are not showing.

I kept on hoping that Michelle won't get any rashes etc, but my worse fear came true on Sunday night! First I saw a small ulcer at the tip of her tongue, and then when I changed her diaper, I saw some rashes on her butt :(

So we didn't bring her in on Monday to daycare but instead we went to her PD but the doctor can't really confirm if it's HFMD. The location of the ulcer on the mouth can be because she accidentally bit it. There's also no rash or blister on her throat like what usually happens in HFMD cases.

So..... WFH..... quarantined at home.... keep on monitoring.... :(

I noticed that I've been complaining a lot about "motherhood" in general, all the constant worrying so here's on the lighter note - something that I posted in my FB status message the other day:

The joy of motherhood: Huge lizard hiding in our house somewhere and making scary noises. I faked a cry and Michelle quickly rushed to my side and gave me a hug and patted my head to comfort me. When did she learn to be so sweet like this!! :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Michelle's Second & Third Weeks in Playgroup

SECOND WEEK

We went to Desaru, Johor for the National Day holiday so we skipped Monday & Tuesday for the second week. We also agreed that since I have been taking leaves and working from home for the first week, my husband should take over for the 2nd week so he dropped him there in the morning (while I wait in the car) and picked her up around 3PM. Surprisingly, nap time wasn't a problem for Michelle. I was quite worried about it because my friend told me that her daughter didn't want to sleep at daycare for 2 weeks.

There was tears on the 2nd week but she wasn't as resistant (read: trying to climb all over us) when he tried to pass her to the teacher. She reluctantly agree to be carried by the teacher while waving bye bye and sobbing at the same time. However, when he picked her up, she always appeared to be cheery and in good mood.

Weekend of 2nd week was really hard and emotionally draining for me. First, I was so pissed off that my husband had to work on Saturday when we were actually planning to bring Michelle for vaccination. So I was kind of moody and somehow Michelle was exceptionally naughtier and clingier than ever. The teacher warned about her being more clingy because of being sent to daycare, but she didn't mention anything about naughtier. In short, whatever I told her not to do, she'll purposely do it for e.g. swinging the hanging mirror, pouring her food from her bowl to the table, etc.

On one occasion, my nerve got the better of me and I just hit the back of her hand so hard that I can see my own finger mark there! I feel so bad afterwards that I just kept hugging her and crying at the same time. My poor baby.... :(

These 2 weeks have also made me think about my friends who are full-time moms. Basically they face their children day and night and most of them do not have helper. I also think since they are not working, their husband will expect to be "let-off" from the parenting duty. I wonder how they keep sane when the children are misbehaving or refusing to listen!

Sunday was much better though. I guess crying can really clear your mind, and even though it's never my intention to hit her, I don't think I want to do it ever again. I think if you hit a child, you'll get used to it and when you realize that hitting doesn't work, you'll hit harder which can get really bad. Patience is a virtue (that I don't have!).

On Sunday, we wanted to go out but when we were trying to change Michelle's clothes, she resisted. It seems that she taught we were going to send her to daycare so she refused to wear clothes. But after much persuasion (wear new shoes and perfume.. she's vain!), she was fine to wear her go-out clothes. So we went to Vivo, managed to have a good dinner and go on the Sentosa Boardwalk and had a good time there to de-stress and unwind. Michelle also seems to be back to normal and not as naughty as before :)

THIRD WEEK

We are attempting to send Michelle to daycare full-day for the third week. I carried her on Monday to the daycare and while she hugged me tight when walking to the center, she didn't cry when I passed her to her form teacher. When I picked her up around 6PM, another teacher told me that Michelle didn't cry at all that day :)

It seems that things are getting easier for her, perhaps she meets more friends and gets to do more activities now. I was fretting over nothing in the office! :)

I also dropped her at daycare on Tuesday and I'm pretty convinced that she doesn't like her Chinese teacher because when she came to take Michelle, she quickly hugged me and tried to climb all over me again but when another teacher came to take her, she was fine to go to that teacher. I'm not sure if that's because the teacher bullied her or was it just because the teacher doesn't speak English or maybe she sounds fierce? Anyway, when I picked her up around 6PM, she was all ready to go back. I brought her back to my office (which is walking distance but can be quite a killer when you are carrying a bag which feels like 10kg and a toddler about 12kg!!) because we were going for Korean dinner with my colleagues.

Dinner went fine, she behaved really well except for the few times she poured her drinks to her plate and then put her rice to her cup. Haha actually I thought that was fine because she was just playing there on her own and didn't make a lot of fuss but my single colleagues must have been scared of babies now LOL :)

We took cab home and when we were at the lift landing, I realized that I left my keys in the office!!! *CRY* So we went to the nearby playground and waited for my husband to come back which was around an hour. I think Michelle was happy that I forgot my keys though... she got to play at the playground and even bought ice cream :)

Wednesday also went fine, dropped her in the morning (no cry) and picked her up around 6PM. This time round, I tried to take the bus to go from my office to daycare but it seems like there's no bus from the bus stop near my office to somewhere near the building so I have to walk to the bus stop after Capital Tower which is about 5 mins walk and then stop at the next bus stop. We were also going to have dinner with my colleagues so we have to go back to my office and this time round I'm smarter than the day before, I took CAB!!! :D

Dinner went fine in the beginning but Michelle started to get bored so she refused to sit in the high chair and insisted on walking around in the restaurant, which is of course not a good thing. I just got so fed up but I know that scolding or shouting at her will just encourage that behavior. I think one of my colleagues just didn't get it why I'm not scolding her. Oh well... I think I should stop bringing her out on my outings with my colleagues, or at least reduce the frequency.


Throwing tantrum...

I wish my husband can start coming home from work earlier. Right now his definition of early is 9PM (yeah I know WTH right...) and even when I complain to him that it's too stressful to me to juggle my work, cleaning up after Michelle, and dealing with her mess all the time so I need him to also do his 50% part, or at least be there when just need some time to cool off. When he had to worked late (as in 5-6AM on some days) and weekends due to warehouse move, his boss gave him bonus. How I wished that he could tell his boss on his face: "I'm not really short in cash, just give me a month off."

On Thursday, I dropped Michelle at day care again and she was fine to go to her teacher, albeit reluctantly. At least she doesn't cry anymore when I dropped her in the morning. It's really heartbreaking when she cries because she doesn't want to be left there. Every time she does that, I feel like taking the day off and just bring her home. And I didn't have to figure out which bus to take or walk there under the sun because my husband can pick us up! YAY! So he picked me up in my office then we both went to daycare and I picked Michelle up while he waited in the car. We then went for dinner near our house, but he had to go back to work because of some issues in the office.

I think when I'm in good mood, Michelle's mood also seems to be better as in she'll cry less and not throw temper. She happily oblige with me when I asked her if she wants to color and watch Hi-5 on TV. She even forced herself to stay awake watching Hi-5 while I folded her laundry. I hope I can be as calm like that everyday, I know I'm really not a patient person...

On Friday when I dropped her at daycare, one of the friendliest teacher there came out to greet us and to take Michelle in. I really like this teacher as she's always perky and I think she's really good with children (maybe that's the benefit of being young). I think Michelle also likes her because she happily went to her and even smiled when she was waving bye-bye. That was the first time I don't feel bad for leaving her there.

My husband was supposed to pick us up at around 6, but come 5:30 there's still no needs from him. It was so hard to call him as his line was engaged every time I tried to call, and there's no reply from text message. Sooooooo irritating! And when we finally talked, I asked him why didn't he let me know earlier if he was going to be late, his reply was "I forgot..." At the end, I walked to the daycare and took cab to a mall near our house to settle dinner with my sister and her husband. I really feel like a single parent!! Every day I'm the one responsible to make sure somebody remembers to pick her up, pack her school bag, wash her bottles, wash her clothes, get her ready for school, etc! Every morning when I wake up (an hour earlier at least!) I feel like as if I've just got beaten up!!

And then of course he HAD TO work again on Saturday AND Sunday! And he didn't even bring the stroller home (it was left in his car) so it was really hard for me to go out with Michelle. At the end, his friend brought back the stroller for us but by then it was quite late (after dinner) so we just walked for a short while to buy groceries. On Sunday, I managed to almost finish Michelle's quilted blanket. Actually it can be used already buy I want to quilt the panels more. Final result in another blog post soon because I need to go out to buy quilting thread! :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Iljimae

Another nice Korean drama. I just happened to find it online and started watching it and then I realized that I actually have the DVD!!

The story is about this young boy who witnessed his dad getting murdered. He ended up living as someone else's son and when he grew up, he became a robber like Robin Hood in order to find his dad's murderer.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Michelle's First Week in Playgroup

Day 1
Mom's tears level: 4/5
Michelle's tears level: 0.5/5

We reached there around 9AM and there were a few other kids "checking-in" there. I think for first-days, they have teachers especially assigned to the kid to make sure the kids can settle in well. So Michelle's teacher helped to take off her shoes, put them in her designated pigeon hole, and then started to bring her in. Michelle didn't even say bye to me! She was so curious looking at all the stuff inside there, and she didn't even realize that we were gone. I asked the teacher what time is good to pick her up, she suggested around 12PM. When we went down to carpark, tears started rolling and I was contemplating bringing her back (that's like about 2 minutes after I dropped her). And going to the office with red eyes... not so cool... and quite unglam too!!

So 12PM come.... When I reached there, she didn't want to leave as she was playing Thomas the Train with her new friend.... bleh.... she even cried when I carried her because she still wanted to play slide.... OMG....


Survived first day of daycare - yay!

Day 2
Mom's tears level: 4/5
Michelle's tears level: 4/5

We reached the center about 9:30AM and most of the kids have already checked-in. There was this Chinese speaking teacher (who can't speak English) who greeted us and she took over Michelle from me. So while I was talking to another teacher (an English speaking one), to tell her what time I'll be picking Michelle up today, the Chinese speaking teacher was standing next to me. When I turned to look at Michelle, I saw her crying silently and was trying to reach to me so I quickly hold her again. I think I heard the Chinese teacher saying to the other teacher "She shouldn't take her back as this will make her even harder to adjust" something like that lah... wah lao can she don't be so heartless?! If she's crying and I was just trying to comfort her, what's wrong with that? It's not that she's a crybaby or anything. I know that she was anxious because she knew that I'll be leaving her again there. Once I pointed to the slide, she was fine. So I passed Michelle back to the teacher and she was OK from then... I picked her up at 1PM and she was still playing the slide. Her form teacher said that she didn't eat much for lunch. So we went to the Google cafe and ate there afterwards :)

Day 3
Mom's tears level: 3.5/5
Michelle's tears level: 5/5

I prepped her this morning and told her "Let's be strong today and not cry at all ok!" She seemed to understand what I was talking about. I carried her down the stairs (the center entrance is at B1) and once she saw the gate, she froze and started hugging me. I told her to press the bell (something that she likes to do - press the bell, press the button for the lift, etc) and she refused and kept on pointing to the stairs asking me to bring her away from there. She started crying when I entered the center (at the waiting area), and when I tried to take off her shoes, she cried even louder (this is tough!!!!). So I sat down with her on the chair and told her that it's going to be OK, point to the slide (didn't work this time) and promised to pick her up at 1PM. I was asking her teacher perhaps it's better if I play with her for a while so she can settle in then I quickly sneak out but the teacher said actually it's better to just firmly say bye and then come back again later.

I called the center around 10AM and was told that she's not crying anymore. Once the assembly starts (singing & dancing together), she was fine. I hope tomorrow will be better... :)

I picked her up at 1PM and this time round she wasn't so indifferent when she saw me. She ran towards me but still refusing to leave, she was just happy to let me wait for her playing the slide.

Day 4
Mom's tears level: 0/5
Michelle's tears level: 0/5

We skipped playgroup today!! Yay! :p

I was feeling so exhausted in the morning. I woke up but just couldn't do anything and I can feel my flu slowly creeping back in, so I told my boss that I'm taking sick leave and Michelle can stay at home with me :)

Day 5
Mom's tears level: 0/5
Michelle's tears level: 1/5

I got Andrew to drop Michelle off at the center while I waited in the car. Either Michelle is already getting the hang of going to "school" or she forgot about it because she didn't cry when Andrew dropped her in the beginning. She only started to cry when Andrew was waving bye bye to her, but she wasn't crying violently or trying to run back to him. Or perhaps with daddy, it's not so emotional? Heck... next time he should be the one doing the dropping-off!

I picked her up at 1PM and as usual she didn't want to leave because there's still more things to play at the center. After more coaxing, she's finally OK to leave. See you next week!

Conclusion
  • The week ended pretty well for Michelle who has never been taken care of by a stranger before. I think it helps that she's always around my friends, my mom's friends, etc because now she's not scared of strangers at all.
  • Perhaps there's a lot of sacrifice to be stay at home mum (career, income, etc), but having to work and also care for your own kid is really tiring. And it's also heart breaking when they are crying and trying to reach you while their teacher carried them away.
  • The last and best part of this week: It's fun to WFH half day with Michelle at home because I get to be fed snacks while working on tickets :D

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Korean Drama Dong Yi

I'm currently addicted to this Korean drama :)



The story is about this commoner girl who entered the palace to clear her dad's name and ended up being liked by the King. That's the main story line I think... plus all those scary politics inside the palace to make the story more interesting :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Angry Birds on Chrome

Now you don't need to have an iOS or Android device to play, you just need a Chrome browser and then you can download the app from here

I just tried to play it today.. it's definitely much better to play it in big screen compared to my puny Nexus S monitor!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Oh man I'm 2 years outdated!

When I was a teenagers, my friends were into boy bands like Boyzone and Backstreet Boys but I didn't really like them. I like their songs but not them. I don't find them cute or whatever, maybe I was too mature for my age at that time? haha :p

Anyway, I like Celine Dion at that time because I thought her voice is so nice. Particularly, I used to like the song "To Love You More" a lot. Maybe because I was secretly liking a boy or what lah, I cannot remember already.. but I remember listening to her songs, particularly this one, a lot. I even had her album "Falling Into You" - it was already in CD, and not cassette! haha :D



Recently, I watched a movie about her. I think it's called Celine Through The Eyes of The World. It's something like Michael Jackson's "This is It" but I think less publicized coz I never heard of it before!!! ugh..

So I started searching for her new songs in YouTube and there's so many new songs!!! I also found out that she used to be performing nightly in Vegas since 2002. I think it lasted until 2008 because the contract was extended to 6 years. Which means that she was performing when I was in Vegas and I didn't watch it!!!!! Ugh... now then I think about it again, I went to watch a circus... arrgghhhh.... I should have watched her concert man! I feel so cheated to watch the circus instead of Celine Dion now.

Anyway, I think this is one of the nicest song of her new"er" album. Title is "I Drove All Night".



The female model in the video looks like Lindsay Lohan... but I'm not sure if that's her...

Ok, now going back to catching up on what I was missing.....

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Singapore Paternity Leave

Recently, there's this talk about the government revising the baby bonus scheme, etc to encourage citizens to make more babies since the current scheme that they have doesn't seem to be working as there's no increase in the birth rate. I came across this article today in Yahoo News.

They are proposing a 2 weeks leave for new fathers and some of them propose converting the mother's last 1 month of maternity leave to parental leave so that she can transfer it to the father. I think a 2 weeks paternity leave is quite a good improvement of what we have right now. My husband only got 2 days paternity leave, and he wasn't even properly on leave as he was working on his laptop while he was accompanying me in the hospital. I was there for 5 days so his paternity leave was over even before I was discharged from the hospital!!

I am always jealous of the spouses of my male colleagues because male Googlers get 1 month paternity leave when their wives give birth, so these guys can stay at home to take care of their recuperating wives and new babies, while I had to bring my mom over to take care of me! And my other friends had to hire confinement nannies to take care of them. If they really give 1 month paternity leave, I think lots of people will really consider having more kids man.

In my company, I also see a lot of people taking extended (unpaid) maternity leave and their managers are totally OK with it and when they come back to work, they still get the same job back. I'm not sure how they do it, but I think this might not be easy to implement in other companies. But this is really good to have :)

My own idea on how to make more babies:
  1. 1 month (or more) paternity leave
  2. 4 months maternity leave (with options to extend it to another 2 months unpaid)
  3. Help companies that have more than x numbers of employees to setup child care services near the office
  4. Subsidize hospitalization fee for people giving birth in public hospital
  5. Free education like what Australian schools have for Singaporean
  6. Implement lights-out day in Singapore so that there's nothing else for Singaporeans to do except to make babies hahah
  7. Lower down HDB prices as now they are almost as expensive as condos, and where do you supposed we should put the kids if our house is so small?
  8. Cheaper doctor's fee for the kids - vaccinations are expensive!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Trip to KL January 2010

My mom went back to Jakarta from 11-25 Jan so we thought instead of taking leave and just staying at home to take care of Michelle, we should go for another holiday. Since we are on a tight budget, we didn't want to take airplane and of course the most obvious destination is either Johor or KL. I don't really want to spend 4 days just to stay in Johor so we opt for KL instead. Shopping here I come!!!!

We left home quite late because we are waiting on news whether my brother is going to get his new job (too long story to tell lah..) so anyway I think we left home about 5:30 or maybe that's the time we reach Singapore custom (can't remember lah!) and we reached KL at about 11 PM.. hahaha.. latest ever loh!

The next day, we went to a mall near our hotel for brunch... the food looks good but somehow I think they lack of taste, like the sukiyaki not sweet enough, the chawanmushi is too plain, etc.


Pictures are deceiving.. hahaha.. I think the mall name is Fahrenheit (if I'm not wrong) and one of the floor in that mall sells accessories (lots and lots of them) and I nearly went crazy buying all sorts of hair accessories and things to hang on bags!

At night, we also goes for supper. Or rather supper comes to us because my hubby is the one who walks to Jalan Alor to get the famous BBQ chicken wings! Those wings are super yummy loh, I think I probably ate about 10 of them throughout my whole stay in KL... yucks chicken hormone overloaded!

First day is dedicated to shopping, so after lunch at Fahrenheit, we.. ahem.. I, must go to Pavilion. My main mission is to buy some skincare and make up stuff from Shu Uemura because their price is about 15% cheaper compared to Singapore! So I always get them from either Johor or KL... save money lah... but the Shu Uemura counter at Pavilion was so crowded. I'm not sure if that was a special day in Malaysia but there were a lot of people getting makeover done there. So I told my hubby perhaps I would get my make-up stuff from the KLCC outlet instead.

Some photos at Pavilion... my hubby looks so guniang in the flowery picture LOL!




Since the trip is a little bit longer, we also got to try the facility in the hotel, mainly the swimming pool. It was super duper cold but my hubby wanted to try it and we also brought Michelle's swimming stuff but I think they swam for less than 10 minutes hahaha icy cold water lah! It is indoor swimming pool, and they should have warm up the water or something...


Michelle also got special treat during the trip.. chocolate!!! I didn't have fun washing the bibs afterwards! But I feel so smart that I made her wear the bibs, otherwise I would be washing her top and overall!


We also had a chance to drive up to Colmar Tropical. My hubby wanted to drive to Cameroon Highlands (which is another 2 hour drive from KL) which I think is a nightmare because Michelle wont sit still in the car and I will have to entertain her for 2 straight hours! Anyway, Colmar Tropical is really nice if you're into very relaxing kind of holiday and not the shopping or city-sightseeing kind. It looks like those kind of place which has everything and so you just need to stay inside there the whole time. It has a kid playing place like Timezone but they only have kiddy rides.




We also went to Malacca just to go to Jonker Walk.. never take photos though coz too busy shopping. My slipper bottom layer came off when we were walking there so I bought a pink Facebook slippers :D

Anyway, shopping is so fun! I wanna go again!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New Year Cruise

Happy Belated New Year!

Ok lah, so I'm very slow in blogging nowadays. This is because not only I have a baby, the baby is now a toddler which requires more of my time "supervising" her to make sure she doesn't injure herself.

My in-laws were in town during the new year period and my hubby got this "lobang" for New Year cruise because someone canceled their bookings at the last minute so he got 2 balcony rooms in the cruise with special rates! I was quite worried that I might forget to pack something because we won't be able to run to the supermarket to get it.. cannot take the rescue boat and go to NTUC mah! But everything turned out fine. We all get to enjoy the holiday and best of all, Michelle went to try the jacuzzi! :D

Here are some photos from the vacation.

The first night (New Year's Eve) and we are at their cafe (drinking hot chocolate... yumzz!!)



Next day, exploring the ship... they have this huge slide. I didn't try it.. scared! I guess old age come with sensibility.. haha! They also have a helipad but no helicopter tried to land there lah..


The interior of the ship is quite nicely done too, all the deco are just so classic! And also because it was near the Christmas holiday, there were a lot of Christmas decoration inside there.. that explains the bling blings...


At breakfast with my in-laws.. I think they kinda like this trip because they get to spend time with Michelle. And that little girl, she's not even teenager yet but she already likes talking on the phone!


The last few hours before our ship going to "land" in Singapore. We were just admiring the views and I'm just taking more and more photos of Michelle (as usual..)

Overall, the cruise was really fun but I think it could be better if we had gone somewhere instead of just to international water. The money is well spent though. We checked the usual rates afterwards and realized that we got a really good deal on this one considering we got the higher class room and also it's New Year (peak period).



Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I ♥ Shutterfly

We ordered Michelle's first year Shutterfly book like a month ago and one of the books were meant to be for my in-laws, who were supposed to go back to Taiwan on Jan 24th. The books were supposed to reach us by 14 Jan but we haven't received it until very late and we were wondering if they will reach us before my in-laws go back to Taiwan.

So I emailed their customer service and told them that the order might be missing. Their customer service person responded very quickly and told me to reconfirm my shipping address and order number. The next day, the order arrived! Of course, these are the original order and not the ones they quickly send again after I send an email. However, the corners of the books are kinda squashed and one of the album has ink stains on it so I emailed them again and said that now the orders are here but some of them are in less than perfect condition.

The person replied again and asked me whether the defects are in 3 albums or just 1 or 2 of them. I told them that all 3 of them have squashed corners but only 1 is stained. They responded swiftly by putting a reorder at no cost! I must say that I'm really glad that they do that! It's not like as if the original 3 albums are very damaged, we can still see the pictures inside but we totally appreciate the fact that they care about how much we treasure those books. And yeah, the books are so pretty :)

I think I'm going to continue making future photo books with them :)

For those of you who don't know what Shutterfly is, go visit their website at http://www.shutterfly.com or follow them on Twitter at @shutterfly

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