Chubby Anecdotes | Singapore Parenting and Kids' Art Blog

Monday, October 20, 2014

Silver Cross Reflex Product Review: Peanut's New Pram

We've started preparing for Peanut's birth some time back. We've got new cot, new clothes and friends have started sending us pre-loved and new items. We are extremely grateful to friends and family for showering Peanut with gifts (you know who you are, thank you!), he is truly a very blessed child.

Lately, we've got a brand new pram fully equipped with newborn accessories for Peanut! And he is only 27 weeks in the bump!

Thank you Mothercare for the kind sponsorship. Chubby's old pram is pretty wore out (having survived 3 kids from infancy), so we are very glad to have a new pram for Peanut. Coincidentally, the pram is sand in colour, which goes very well with most of the stuff I've got for Peanut. I couldn't be asking for more, really. It felt like something just dropped down from above and fitted into everything - heaven sent :)

Usually, I would research before deciding on my purchases. So the first thing I did when we got the pram was to google about it. The process was nonetheless exciting, especially when it's such a sophisticated pram. Here's what I found on Youtube:

I went like "WOAH!". So cool! Even the kids were excited about it. It was like having a new toy to play transforming with. We couldn't wait to open it up and play around with it. So, here's what we did, we fixed it up and brought it up for a little walk around in the park. The girls got their first lesson in babysitting too :)

I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to maneuver this 4-wheeler. Even the girls didn't have any problems moving it around - It was a breeze!

Let's go for a walk!
What a sunny day! Let's cover the baby with the hood. 
Easily adjustable handles. I adjusted them to the lowest for the girls to wheel the pram around. 
Reclinable Backrest

The bottom flap is also adjustable to ensure comfort. 
It even comes with a night lights!
Now that the girls are older, I hope to get them more involved in baby care when Peanut's born.

Shanice swaddled the baby doll up and Renee carefully placed it into the pram. The girls were great at play-pretend. They even spoke gently to the baby doll and cuddled it every so often.
The newborn pack comes with a light-weight pull-up apron which makes a protective blanket for the baby.
Chatting to the baby doll while pushing it for a walk in the park
You can easily transform the pram so that baby faces you. 
Because it's still more fun to have a real baby in the pram, we put our youngest into it for a trial run too.
Chubby is 3 this year and it still fits well!
You can get a good view of your child from the little window on the hood.
Hello Chubby! Comfy right? Now, come out already. We'll save this pram for your little bro. But of course, as which most things we have. You can always share :) 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

27 Weeks Pregnant and Hunting for jobs

"What is a pregger doing here?" I could almost hear my reflection speak. I straightened my purple dress, took a deep breathe and pushed open the glass door before me. 

It wasn't my first interview. At 32, I have made a few good and bad career changes. I knew the rules of the game - I was a marketer on a mission to impress. This time however, it was different - I brought my resume, my certifications and letters of recommendation, along with my very obvious baby bump. I was 25 weeks pregnant. 

I was early for the appointment and spent 15 mins at the reception feeling rather out of place. Everything around seemed slick and classy and the lady at the counter wore smart uniform. I was a shouting and awkward contrast in a draped cotton dress, and a bright pink document bag that didn't match.  I would have opted for something smarter but none of my clean-cuts and straight jackets fit now. I tried to tie my hair up as high as I can to create a more professional look - it didn't work. My reflection on the glass panel disapproved me. "Maybe I should walk away", a voice in me said. But I didn't. I erected my bright pink document bag so it covered my bump, put on a little lip colour and stayed put. 

I wondered if they knew I was pregnant when they called me up for an interview. I've not blatantly mentioned it in the cover letter (of course!) but I've included the url to this blog in my resume and if the interviewers find their way here, they would have known, so I am not covering this up on purpose. I just want to have an equal opportunity - to start at the same footing as others. 

I've sent out 4 applications for freelance work and 2 replied. My first interview was with a dentist for a freelance marketer position. Technically, it was more like a meet-up with a potential client. 

I know fully well that I should be resting more and not piling myself with more work. I am in my 3rd trimester and the constant pain in my lower back constantly remind me of the state of my being. I would if I could, take things easily, but frankly, I can't. Simply because I cannot afford to do so.

With the my main work contract ending in December and no certainty if the position would still be available to me after my confinement, I need to plan ahead and be more resourceful. The only way I can at least stay home completely for a month or two to be with Peanut after his birth is to save up enough before Jan 2015 (EDD in late Jan). To ensure that I won't need to be painting at parities during my confinement and to save me the panic of hunting for new jobs after that, I have to work harder now. I've therefore started looking around for freelance opportunities to help me save up for what is ahead. 

As much as I want to be positive, I am not okay. Apart from work stress, demands of my 3 kids and body aches and strains due to my current pregnancy, I am also worried about finances with another addition in Jan. If there are any reasons to be cheerful about, they would be to see my kids growing up everyday and having their cuddles and kisses to fuel me up for the challenges ahead. These little ones have no idea how powerful they are - how they can turn my life upside down in an instance, yet turn my mourning into dancing in another.

The kids today, 18 Oct 2014.
Brought my brood of 3 to a story-telling session earlier in the afternoon.
Seriously, how could I not crack up laughing when I saw them looking like that?
I have promised Peanut that I will try to make things work. As much as possible, I want to be ready and well-prepared to welcome him. 

We are waiting for you to join us, Peanut. You jiejies and gorgor have been kissing my bump and talking to you. We all love you, alot. I am sure you know that :) 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Milk carton to shoe lacing sneaker in 10 mins

I made a milk carton sneaker for Chubby to practise tying shoelace. 
I got the idea from this Melissa & Dough Toy Sneaker:
Melissa & Dough Lacing Sneaker. Image taken from Melissa & Doug's Website.
It's actually quite reasonably priced but being me (typical aunty), I wondered if I could try to make one, ya know, have some fun making it while saving some money. 

I had a rough idea in mind and an almost-finishing carton of milk in the refrigerator. So I drank up the milk and tried making working with the milk carton. Frankly, I wasn't too sure if it would work - I didn't draw up a draft or have an exact idea on the execution. I just drank my milk, rinsed the milk carton and sat down with a pair of scissors. The experiment turned out to be a success and much easier than expected. All in all, it can be done in 10 mins (Yes! Not kidding). Here's how I did it:

Step 1: Open up the milk carton and cut along the sides. Take care to not cut through the bottom ends (see picture below). It really depends on the size of the sneaker you want to make - the bigger the size, the lesser you cut. 

Step 2: Bend in the sides and tape them together so that it forms a curve. This will be the back of the sneaker. Following the curve, cut off the bottom flap 
Bend in the sides and tape them together so that it forms a curve
Following the curve, cut off the bottom flap
Somebody can't wait to play with it already!
Step 3: Cut the top flap of the milk carton. This will become the tongue of the sneaker. 

Step 4: Cut a curve near the end of the carton on both sides (See image below).

Step 5: Push down the top flap and fold in the sides

Step 6: Punch holes along the sides 

And, you're done! No sweat!

Now, string in the lace and start having some fun with your toddler. :)

He looks like he is in love! lolx!
String it in...
That's right, and pull it out!
You can make one too! Have fun!

Linking up with:
Sakura Haruka - Wordless Wednesday
Dominique's Desk - Wordful Wednesday 
Fresh Mommy Blog - Weekly Link Up 
Feed me Dearly - Wordless Wednesday 
The NY Melrose Family - Whimsy Wednesday 137
A Happy Mum - CREATIVITY 521

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Making Bath Time Fun with Grohe Rainshower

What is it like to have 3 kids in the house?
Erm. Chaotic? That's by the way, an understatement. Apart from chaotic, the other word that comes to my mind is - Repetition. Yes, repeat after me, Repetition. Many of the daily activities (and challenges) at home are repeated a 3 times. We'd repeat the same drill for most routines, like getting the kids into bed, waking everyone out of bed (though most of the time, I prefer to keep them in for a longer time), and getting the kids to bathe.

Yes, bath time in this house is pretty much a bitter-sweet experience (most of the time).
Why so? Cos it takes what seems like a 'forever' to get them into the bathroom (sometimes not without a fight), yet it takes another 'forever' to get them out of it. Now, imagine repeating this drill 3 times!*argh*
Kids! I wonder why are they programmed this way.

When the kids were little-er, bath time was a lot easier. Little babies don't put up very good fights - they can't run out of the bath tub, play with toilet bowl (Chubby!!!), spray water at you or scream into your ears when soap gets into their eyes (even when the label on the shampoo bottle says "NO TEARS"!) - everything they do now.

Despite the challenges, we still pretty much enjoy bath time, after all, it's a form of water play, right?
Over the years and with every child, we bought toys, and inflatable pool, tubs, bathrobes and flavourful washes. It's alot of fun for me shopping for a good bath, sometimes I need to be reminded that I am not shopping for myself. :)

Our latest loot would be this Dusty Aeroplane bath toy we got from Nathaniel Toys at the recent Mama Bazaar. I made a point to visit the store for a toy for my Nathaniel. Lolx.

Another notable addition to our bathroom would be this: 
I came home one day and saw this lovely pot of flower on my study desk and went "Ooh lala!". So pretty right? Wait a minute, what's up with the hubs? He hasn't got me flowers for 3 years! (erham!) The last time I smelled flowers was when I gave birth to this boy...
Happy Chubby in his happy Pooh bathrobe. It's my favourite!. So cute right? I always pull his "ears" when he wears it. 
Upon closer examination, well, not from the hubs. Not surprising -.-.
Mr Foo, if you are reading this post, please do not send flowers to the maternity ward this time round. Those flowers you sent when Renee and Chubby were born were lovely but they are gone. All that's left are photos. Since Peanut would be our last baby, I demand a real push present - something that sparkles and lasts would be good :) 

Now back to the pot of flower...
It's not just any pink flower, it is a Rainshower Flower Handshower from GROHE! And it's O So Pretty! Naturally, the it attracted much attention from the kids. Shanice wondered it it was some toy they could explore, but when I showed them that it was a handshower, they couldn't wait to try it out! So, it shall be remembered, how this pink handshower, saved me a 'forever' that day. Although, it wasn't their bath time *ptffff*

This new handshower has been with us for a couple of weeks and has proven to be a pretty as well as handy addition to our bathroom.

It makes a perfect mini fountain for Chubby and he loves it!
It's almost the size of the younger kids's head so washing shampoo off their hair is a bliss with this handshower. 
Thanks to the gentle "soft raindrop" flow, the water pressure is well controlled and not too harsh for the kids. 
I was told that the handshower comes in various colours! I am glad they gave me a pink one :)
Thank you GROHE, for sending us such a lovely gift!

If you are interested to find out more about the new range of GROHE Rainshower Flowers, here are the urls to their website and FB page:

Monday, October 13, 2014

Recycle Craft: Cereal Box and Milk Carton Ukulele

It's been a while since I last blogged on art and craft. I figured I need to start blogging them down before they get buried too far down in my directory of folders then slowly fade into archives and eventually forgotten. So here am I trying to do a little catching up at 1am. Yes, it will be a quick post so I can go grab some sleep before the new week starts :)

Some time back (maybe a few months ago), I made a ukulele for Renee out of cereal box and milk carton. It was an impromptu activity. We looked into our recycling bag and randomly tried to make something out of the items we have. There were plenty, so I took up some, mixed and matched and figured I could make a ukulele for Renee because she had been barking me to buy her one.

This is one craft that I am pretty proud of. It's easy, mess-free and lotsa fun!
All you will need is:

  • 1 cereal box
  • 1 milk carton
  • 1 ice cream stick
  • rubber bands
  • scissors and lots of tape
Here's how it's done: 

Step 1: Cut out the bottom of the milk carton and flatten the sides

Step 2: Cut off a portion of the sides of the milk carton. If you are wondering how much to cut off. It really depends how long you want the neck of the ukulele to be. I just agar agar cut of a length of it. While the portion you cut can be arbitrary, please make sure that both sides are equal. so you won't end out with a lopsided neck.

Step 3: Cut a hole in the center of the cereal box. If you have more time (and patience), you can be creative here and cut out other shapes.

Step 4: Join the neck and the body together with lots of tape.

Step 5: Tie one end of the rubber bands round the ice-cream stick

Step 6: Tape down the ice-cream stick then tie the other ends of the rubber bands together and fasten them with the milk carton cap. And, you done!
Tadahh! A ukulele! 
Now, music please!

Renee only got to sit down with her ukulele for a while before her little brother came begging, snatching and crying for it.
The originally intended owner of the ukulele. 
Well, Chubby sure knew who he was dealing with. Cos, Renee had a soft spot for him (and he knew it) so... yup, he got want he wanted pretty easily.
The very serious hijacker who was easily forgiven.
Well, if the jiejie allowed, I couldn't stay angry for long, right?

Chubby playing the make-believe ukulele with all his heart. Mummy's however, feeling nonetheless serenaded.
"Look baby, that's a paper moon!"
I am always thankful for Renee's giving nature. She is often the one to give in a little so everyone can have more fun together. It's no wonder why she is the center of the 3 pieces - she glues them together. It gets me a little worried sometimes. I fear she may get bullied easily. It's an irony (I know), how I encouraged the kids to give and share, yet when they do so too easily and too often, it makes me wonder if this is indeed the way to go. I also fear that she may be spoiling Chubby (further). I need a strategy to keep her sweet and sweeten the other two. But that is another story for another day.

For now, I am enjoying the joy of having them playing together in harmony.
My very own rock band! 
Linking up with:
A Happy Mum - Creativity 531

Saturday, October 11, 2014

25 Weeks Pregnant: Nesting

Hello Peanut

I hope you had a good time in my womb today. I can feel you moving more often now and that makes me happy knowing that you are well and growing strong.

Thanks to you, our house is filled with excitement and anticipation today. We fixed your new cot this evening, which got your siblings all excited - It was like the count-down just began. Think fixing up the Christmas tree and counting down to Christmas Day... Yup, something like that. The girls couldn't wait to have you out of my womb and into the cot, while chubby reckoned he could sleep in it first (nah, no way!). 

It's a tiny cot that doubles up as a bed-side sleeper. Your dearest Auntie Ven found this cot on sale on Qoo10 and I jumped at it because the price was right. I was rather concerned about our sleep arrangement. With 3 other not-much- older siblings around and all demanding to be sleeping with a parent in the room, we need to plan carefully. Tentatively, chubby will sleep with me on the bed while you will sleep in the new cot beside me so that it's easier for me to breastfeed you in the night.

The cot looks plain. That makes me a little sad just looking at it. But it's practical, and that's more important. I hope to cheer it up a little with a mobile toy and decent bedding. I badly want it to be prettier and comfortable to welcome you. 

The mattress that comes with the cot seems too hard for my liking. Daddy has offered to buy a new mattress for you and I cannot be happier. I've spent so much money at the recent baby fair, I am feeling rather broke and insecure. Frankly, can't wait for the next pay cheque to be in. 

Apart from the new cot, mummy also bought a new breast pump, sterilizer, some new infant clothes and nursing wear. I estimate I spent slightly over 1k in total. I am not sure if I am being wise with my expenditure when I should be saving up more. But most of the items we have are from Renee's birth, some are in such bad condition when I unwrap them from storage, I couldn't bear to imagine starting a new life with these. 

Most of my work contracts will end before your birth and with me getting bigger and clumsier by the days, I suspect I may need to cut back on face painting pretty soon too. Money (rather, the lack of it) will be an issue if there isn't enough savings to tie us through the confinement month after your birth. With much consideration in mind, I've started hunting for more freelance jobs to help fatten our piggy bank for what is ahead. Hopefully, I would have set aside enough for a month or two to stay home completely with you. 

I am not certain what the future has in store for us. But don't worry, mummy will make things right. I will try - this I can promise. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Learning to write with Creative Horizons

When Shanice was little, my hubby and I agreed to let her play as much as she can and delay signing her up for tuition for as long as possible. We both held full-time jobs back then and time with Shanice was limited to the couple of hours in the evening and weekends. Not wanting to lose more precious time with her, we kept enrichment classes to the minimal. 

After all, we are average folks, holding average jobs, of average IQ, not exactly book-smart, and all we hoped was for our kids to be the best they can be and hopefully fall within the average band. Shanice however, seems to aspire to be more than her average parents - she studies hard and loves to write. One of her ambitions (there are about 10 of them by now :) ) is to be an author. I recall when she was 4ish, she'd point to the small prints on the cover of her story books and ask me how to pronounce those words and if those were the authors' names. So this is my little girl, an unexpected bookworm. 

Because of her interest and keen desire to write, I've been toying with the idea of getting her some writing classes. Like many other ideas I have, I'd leave it shelved somewhere at the back of my mind amidst my crazy schedule. But when I got the email invitation from Creative Horizons for Shanice to join them for a term, it went like EUREKA! and I jumped at it. 

4 July: Shanice took the entry test at Creative Horizons and started class that day. 

She has a phobia for new things, so naturally wasn't receptive to the idea of joining a new class. But with a little encouragement from mummy and a huge amount of patience from the school, we sent in a frowning (and tearing) child for lesson and saw a beaming girl at the end of the first day.

After a couple of lessons, the shy little girl has become less resistant. Here's a photo taken on our way to class. I think it was before her 3rd lesson.

The learning journey wasn't an easy one for Shanice (and mummy). There were much adapting and catching up for her.

While she does well in her school work, she wasn't doing as well in the beginning at Creative Horizons. She was a little discouraged initially but with much encouragement from her teacher, she showed improvement.
Record low grade of 12/20 
"Insight" is a series of worksheets with a focus on current affairs and science. The children pick up interesting information widen their knowledge while working on their vocabulary.
There were good days ,there were not-too-good days and there were SUPER days - like when her work was displayed at the centre's window :)

While Shanice attended writing classes, I would loiter around outside the classroom, help myself to the books on the "Book Chain" Shelves or knit my time away on the bench jus outside the centre. 

My view from outside the classroom. I could see Shanice's participation in class from the scores on the whiteboard. 

Her teacher conducting a lesson. 
Book Chain is a programme by the centre where they reward students for reading. The kids are free to borrow the books from the shelves and are rewarded 10 points for every book they read. Shanice's a Rainbow Magic Fan so she was really thrilled to have a selection of her favourite books to borrow from. 

The Book Chain reward chart

Our experience with Creative Horizons was a pleasant one. As a parent, I cannot be more thankful for the patience and dedication Shanice's teacher has showered her with. Shanice and I would like to thank her teachers and everyone at Creative Horizons for the opportunity to learn and grow with them. 

Disclaimer: Shanice was offered one term lessons for the purpose of this review. No monetary payment has been received or offered. All opinions are my own .