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2013 in Review

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

On the last day of 2013, it's time to reflect on how the year has passed.

2013 has been a lot for us.

I was pregnant during the year. The pregnancy journey wasn't very smooth during the first trimester and it got us so worried. However it was a great relief that everything turned out fine and I had a smooth delivery.

The biggest change for us is the addition of Small J to our family. It was so wonderful to be a Mom again. I have to get used to breastfeeding, handling of baby and the sleepless nights. He's 6 months old now and during this short period, we witnessed many of his firsts. First cries, first smile, first laughter, first flip, first babble, first try to sit, first swim, first solid food and many many more. 

Small J when he was 2 days old and how much he has changed over the past 6 months

Big J is also trying very hard to getting used to having a brother. Although he was a bit reluctant that there is someone else to share his attention and love, he slowly accepted his brother and learnt how to love him too. We also tried to spend as much time as possible with him so that he will not feel rejected.

Brothers bonding

Another big change for Big J is that he has started school. In the beginning, he couldn't get used to a schooling environment. I was getting complains almost everyday when I picked him up from school. But I'm glad that he is slowly changing his behaviour. On the positive side, he is really learning a lot from school. He can speaks better and loves to sing songs. On the negative side, he got sick within a few days after starting school and also contracted HFMD. I hope that he will be more healthy in the coming year.

That's our 2013 and we are looking forward to a wonderful 2014.


The 'Terrible Twos' Powers

Friday, 20 December 2013

Big J is currently in his Terrible Twos stage. His daily training has gotten him some super powers. Introducing some of the powers that Big J has...

1) Running
...and super fast.  He can run real fast. Just put him down and off he goes. I usually can't catch him if he didn't stop to look back at me. I always wonder why someone so small could run so fast. And did I mention that I hate to run after him? I can feel the fats on my body trembling away as I chase after him. Super hate this kind of feeling.

2) Dodging
It becomes almost impossible to hold on to him or to catch him. When trying to catch him, he would try all means to shun. Squat or bend down, wiggle like a snake, moving in zig zag, jumping and all sorts of stunts to escape.

3) Huge Lung Power
I mean he can just cry and shout super loud. And can goes on and on without the need to stop and breathe. Don't he ever feel tired?

4) Creating a Beautiful Mess
This is what happens on a daily basis. My house always get typhoonised thanks to Typhoon J.

I'm sure these powers will follow him as he goes on to his Terrible Threes. I do hope that these powers will get down-graded and let it be a Terrific Threes instead.


Product Review: Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Electric Breast Pump

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

The ‘Breast’ start in life for the little one is breast milk – liquid gold as it is sometimes referred to. I am glad that I am able to produce enough milk for both boys. However, the journey did not start out smooth sailing. My milk supply came in late and was very little. It didn't help when both boys prefer to be bottled-fed rather than being latched on. So, I have to depend on my ‘breast’ friend, the breast pump.

Having to pump up to 8 or 9 times per day, there are certain aspects of the pump which is of utmost importance to me. 

1) Ease of Washing and Assembling
The lesser parts the pump has, the faster I can finish washing. I do not have a helper and do not want to spend my precious time standing in front of the sink to wash those pumps. I also want to be able to quickly assemble the pump so that I can start pumping straight away. Imagine an angry baby screaming away for milk while I am still fumbling with the parts.

2) Efficiency in Expressing
If you have a crying baby wailing away for your attention, you would wish to quickly finish up with the pump session and attend to him. Therefore, the pump must be efficient in getting a letdown and to empty the breast as much as possible. This is important especially during the initial stage when I am trying to build up a supply. 

3) Size and Portability
As a working mom, I would prefer the pump to be small and light so that I do not have to lug a big stone to work every day. It would be a bonus if the pump is able to operate on batteries as it might be difficult to find a power source if I am on the move.

My current pump has served me well but my only complaint is its heavy weight.

When Mothercare gave me the chance to review the Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature Electric Breast Pump, I am glad to be able to try out another breast pump.


The Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Electric Breast Pump is a single electric pump. My favorite is the soft silicone cup which is specially designed to mimic a baby’s natural feeding action to provide ultimate comfort while expressing. 

For this review, I will be comparing the Tommee Tippee pump with my current Medela pump.

Pump Parts
First up, let’s look at the pump parts. The Tommee Tippee has 8 parts while the Medela has only 4 parts. Frankly speaking, when I first saw the Tommee Tippee, I had a headache – there are so many parts to wash and it is not easy to assemble the pump. As much as I love the soft silicone cup, it is so hard to fix it to the funnel as it is very tight. Lots of precious time wasted.


Performance
After fixing up the pump, it’s time to try it out to see how it performs. There are 4 settings to choose from – light, low, medium and high. It is recommended to start with the light mode to encourage milk letdown and changing to a higher setting according to what feels right for you. I choose the high mode and can’t feel anything. I checked the bottle to make sure that milk is really flowing, and there is really milk flowing through. I guess it is too comfortable that I did not feel any pain. Thumbs up for this. 

I used my Medela on the other breast to see which pump is more efficient in drawing more milk. Both are almost on the same par. 

Size and Portability
Lastly, let’s look at the size. Tommee Tippee is so much smaller and lighter than Medela. This makes it so much easier to carry the Tommee Tippee out on a trip. 



Despite its small size, the Tommee Tippee can’t stand on its own when it is empty. The head of the pump is heavier than the body and it keeps toppling over. Even placing it on its stand also doesn't help most of the time. 

The Tommee Tippee is able to run on batteries. No more rushing into a nursing room and realize that there is no power source available. You will also be able to move around in the house to multi-task on other chores. For Medela, I am stuck to my table as it must run on a power source.

The Tommee Tippee also comes with a Microwave Sterilizer Box. You can put the parts inside and throw the box into a microwave oven to sterilize the parts.

Verdict:
1) I would not recommend this pump for Mommies who need to pump frequently, due to the fact that it is a single pump and the amount of parts that need to be washed.

2) Good for mommies who latch on most of the time and might need a pump to empty the breast occasionally. 

3) Ability to run on batteries makes it good for shopping trips when you are not sure if there is power source available.

4) I love its soft silicone cup for its comfort during expressing. 


Disclaimer: The Js Arena is given a complimentary set of Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Electric Breast Pump for this review, courtesy of Mothercare Singapore. All opinions are 100% mine.


Review: De Hygienique - Mattress & Sofa Cleaning Services + Discount

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Who else shares your bed apart from your family members? Yes, dust mites. And millions of them. Do you know that dust mites are the main culprit of asthma and allergies? Eww… sounds scary isn’t it? If you have young children, like I do, you would not want these to hurt the health of your loved ones. Regular cleaning of the mattress helps to remove the dust mites and dust particles and hence minimising the risks of asthma and allergies. 

The same goes for the sofa. Little J loves to jump on the sofa, leaving his dirty footprints behind. Not forgetting the vomit, milk or food stains he left behind too. Regular cleaning helps to remove the dirt and dust particles. Stains are also easier to remove. 

Although we do clean our mattress and sofa regularly, it is beneficial to engage the professionals to do a thorough cleaning and sanitising once every half-yearly. I am glad to have the team from De Hygienique to help me clean and sanitise my mattress and sofa.

Mr Fendi Zhang and his team arrived at our house and before they start the cleaning process, Fendi gave us a detailed explanation of the process and also a short demonstration of what is going to happen.

Mattress Cleaning

This is the machine that is used to clean the mattress. It produces high frequency vibrations to loosen the dirt particles in the mattress. These loosen particles are then sucked away by the industrial grade vacuum.


At the same time, the machine uses UV radiation to kill bacteria and other microscopic germs.


Look at the amount of dirt. This is only over a small area of the bed.

The machine is able to suck out particles up to 4-inches deep. After cleaning the top side of the mattress, they will flip the mattress over and do the same for the other side. Lastly, the mattress is sanitised with the Potema sanitising spray, which is made up of disinfectant alcohol and organic orange oil. The organic orange oil helps to retard the growth of dust mites and gives the mattress a refreshing smell. The whole process took about 20-25 minutes.

Our mattress is now certified clean


Sofa Cleaning

Moving on to the sofa, the cleaning process starts with a light vacuum to remove surface dust. A high speed rotating brush is used to infuse shampoo foam onto the sofa. This foam will traps the dirt and crystalises after which they will be brushed off. The shampoo solution is odorless and is pH 7, which makes it safe for kids. Lastly, the sofa is also sanitised using the Potema sanitising spray. Depending on how soiled your sofa is, some drying time is required. In our case, they recommend us to let it dry for 2 hours before using the sofa.



Our Verdict

Pluses:
- The team is professional, friendly and provides great service. 
- We like the fact that the mattress cleaning uses UV radiation which our D******* vacuum cleaner is not able to do so.
- We love the Potema sanitising spray.
- After the cleaning, we tried out the mattress and sofa. They indeed feel more refreshed and have a 'cleaned' feel.

Minuses: 
- The drying time required for the sofa.


We are pleased to share that De Hygienique is offering a 10% discount to our readers. To enjoy the promotion, appointment bookings must be made by 31st October 2013. You will need to inform their Customer Service that you get to know De Hygienique through The Js Arena. 

For more information about De Hygienique’s service and pricing, please visit their website.

Company information
De Hygienique (Asia) Pte Ltd
Address: 53 Ubi Avenue 1 #03-44 Paya Ubi Industrial Park Singapore 408934
Sales email: enquiries@dh-asia.com
Phone Number: +65 6749 1950
Fax: +65 6749 1179


Disclaimer: The Js Arena is given a complimentary mattress and sofa cleaning service for this review. All opinions are 100% mine.


Baby J - 3 Months

Monday, 30 September 2013

Baby J has turned 3 months. I have only 2 more weeks of maternity leave and will be back to work. I will be missing him so much. Miss his smiles, his cries and his hugs.

Some of the major events during his 3rd month:
- Attended his first wedding.
- Had his first baby bash with 40 over other babies.
- Went to the bird park.
- Had his first swim.
First swim
First baby bash

He also picked up some bad habits. Hope that he will kick these habits soon.
- Loves sucking his drumstick fist. It's so delicious that he always makes the 'zu zu' sound.
- Hates tummy time.
- Crying for cuddles.
- Can't stand being left alone.
- Milk strike.
Sucking his favorite durmstick
Hates doing tummy time. I really need to give him more practice.

He is growing so much and has achieve these milestones.
- Smiles readily. Especially when someone talks or smiles to him.
- Loves looking at faces.
- Loves to talk. Able to make sounds like 'Oo', 'Ah', 'Eh', 'Gu'.
- Able to hold his head up while seated with support.
- When put in a sitting position, he will try to kick his legs to push himself back.
- Loves looking around. Especially at his Kor Kor playing.
- Holds his milk bottle momentarily.
- Sleeps longer period at night. About 6 hrs before asking for milk.
Holding his bottle for about 10 sec
Here's his 3rd month report card.






WW : This Week in Photos #2

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

This week in photos (18-24 Sept): 

1. The old boy and the little boy bonding at the playground. After a tiring play, both decided to lie down for some sky gazing.

2. We visited the Jurong Bird Park.
With the Penguins
Waiting patiently for the show to start
Had his first lollipop
Sleeping soundly
The highlight of the day for Little J - Water Play

Can't wait to jump into the water play area


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5 Reasons to Visit the Rise & Shine Expo 2013

Friday, 20 September 2013

Have you heard about the Rise & Shine Expo 2013? Taking place on the 27th – 29th September at the Suntec Convention Hall 401, it is the ultimate event for the whole family. If you have not decided whether to visit the event, here are 5 great reasons for you to consider.
 
 
1. Lots of great buys
 
Admission is free! There are more than 120 exhibitors featuring more than 600 premium brands, many of which are offering great discounts. You will definitely find something for your family. Check out the participating brands here.
 
2. Parenting seminars and workshops
 
There will be many parenting seminars, workshops and talks by renowned speakers throughout the 3 days. Check out here for a list of seminars and workshops.  If you are looking for enrichment classes for your kids, you can join in the trial classes conducted by top schools.
 
Sign up for any of the parenting talks, hands-on workshops or kids enrichment trials to receive a complimentary doorgift worth $50.
 
3. Stage activities
 
If your kids love characters from Dora the Explorer, Go, Diego, Go! And Ni Hao, Kai-lan, be sure to bring them down for the Meet & Greet session with the characters. Details can be found here.
 
 
4. Lucky draw
 
Stand a chance to win more than $10,000 worth of prizes in the Sure Win Lucky Dip! Details over here.
 
5. Goodie bags
 
Who doesn’t love goodie bags?
 
Pre-register here and be the first 500 in line each day to get a goodie bag. The goodie bag contains all the best stuff, ranging from nutritious breakfast food for your child to dermatological care for mothers. 50 Drypers Jumbo Packs are also up for grabs each day.
 
 
 
For more information about the event, visit the Rise and Shine Expo webpage. Don't forget to like their Facebook page for more updates on great deals and promotions.
 


WW : This Week in Photos #1

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

This week in photos:

1. Attended a Mid-Autumn Festival celebration at our neighborhood. Here's the little boy with his rabbit lantern.

2. My smiley baby. He was in a very good mood this morning. Can't stop smiling away and keep calling for me to play with him. 

3. The little boy having a haircut. This is his first haircut by someone else. Usually I'm the one cutting his hair. The final look didn't look really great. I could have cut it for him and save the $22 for something else.

4. Coffee, tea or me? Sorry, you can't choose me because I belongs to Daddy and Mummy.


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WW : Shots of Baby J

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Some shots of Baby J before his bath. Babies are always full of expressions.
 





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WW : We ran. We laughed. We sweat.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

It's been so long. First it was pregnancy, then now busy taking care of the newborn. Finally I got the chance for some exclusive time with him! We enjoyed ourselves to the max.

We ran. We laughed. We sweat.



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Baby J - 2 Months

Thursday, 29 August 2013

I could not say more how tiring it is to take care of a newborn by myself. He loves Mommy's milk, so I have to work extra hard to produce more milk for him. He loves cuddles, so I have to carry him or else he will cry the house down. He loves people to talk to him, so I have to keep talking to him. Never mind what the content of the conversation is. He wakes up for night feeds, so in addition to pumping, I also have to feed him at night. Each night I could only manage a few hours of sleep. 

Those aside, how could I forget the wonderful moments. The way he looks into my eyes. The way he smiles. The way he coos back as I talk to him, as if he really understands. The way he swings and kicks his limps with excitement.

How fast! He's already 2 months young! Here's his report card.



A little update about me. Apart from looking tired, I am still not able to shake off the excess fats on me...Argh!!


One Month On - Things That Matter

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

It’s been more than a month since Baby J was born. Before he was born, I was still very worried about how I am going to divide my time between the two boys. I do not wish Little J to feel neglected as Baby J joins the family. One month on, I am glad that the boys are getting on pretty well. Little J likes to give Baby J hugs and kisses but he still does not know how to control his strength so we have to be very careful. 

With a newborn and me being a new mommy again, there are so many things to do. Laundry, feeding, expressing, housework, bathing, playing and the list goes on. Time is never enough and each day just flew by without warning. So it is important that we spend time on the things that matter. Precious moments like these last only that few minutes or even seconds. I certainly do not want to miss them.

I could just spend my whole day looking at him

Precious bonding time

Diapering is the last thing I want to worry about. How often have we heard about leaking diapers, diapers that are too harsh on baby’s delicate skin and explosive poo!! With the improved Drypers Wee Wee Dry diapers, I do not have to worry about such problems. 


Baby J’s bum reacted well to it. There is no redness or any diaper rash thanks to the 4 Botanical Extracts which helps to moisturize the skin. 

It also has a Zip Dry Core that helps to absorb the urine better. This means I do not need to change the diaper that often. This is especially important at night so that he can sleep longer. Of course, this means I can get more beauty sleep too.

Changing diapers also has to be fast and easy. Baby J can really wiggle. He loves to kick and move his legs around. It is really hard to keep him still to wear the diaper properly. With the new Flexi-Tape, I can easily refasten the tape, multiple times. 


Do you feel like trying out the new and improved Drypers Wee Wee Dry? You can request for a sample at Drypers Singapore Facebook Page.

“More time for things that matter.”




Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by Drypers Singapore. All opinions are 100% mine.

Baby J's Birth Story

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

It was 29 June 2013, the day Baby J finally hits 38 weeks. I knew he was going to be born anytime soon. And true enough, on the very same day at 5:30am, I felt the first contraction. Thinking that it might be a false contraction, I continued to monitor the situation while trying to catch more sleep.

6:30am: Contractions were about 15-20 minutes apart. Ok, this should be the real thing. I woke hubby up and told him I am having contractions and we started to get ready to go to the hospital.

9:00am: Contractions were about 10 minutes apart. Just to be very sure that I am really going into labor, we decided to visit my gynae first. Gynae checked and I was 2cm dilated. She told us to get something to eat and go walk walk before checking in for admission in the afternoon.

12:30pm: Admitted for delivery. Strangely, contractions seem to have slowed down, 30 to 45 minutes apart. Not good.

3:00pm: Gynae came and I was only 3cm dilated. We decided to break the waterbag. Gynae said that baby has pooped in the waterbag. This is a sign of distress and after some discussion we decided to put on a drip to speed things up. Initially I hope that I do not need any drip. But for the sake of baby, I had no choice.

Things started to get moving. Contractions were coming one after another, fast and furious. I was determined not to take epidural and choose laughing gas. As time passed, the pain started to get more unbearable. I started to scream like a mad woman, screaming my lungs out. I could feel that baby can't wait to come out. The nurses keep telling me to stop screaming and to breath in as much as possible. With the effect of the laughing gas, I was not too sure of what's happening. At one point, I heard hubby telling me that baby's heartbeat is dropping. I braced myself and tried to take deep breaths. 

5:46pm: Finally I had dilated to 10cm. After a few pushes, Baby J is born!! Seeing him, all the pain seemed to amazingly disappeared for a while. I could feel all the muscles in my body relaxing. Seeing the sight of him makes everything worthwhile.

Hello!!
Peace to the world
Sleeping like an Angel
Didi gives Korkor a gift
Our first family photo



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