Chubby Anecdotes | Singapore Parenting and Kids' Art Blog: August 2014

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Fun for Free - Punggol Promenade

I need to be frank, I am not an outdoor person. Really, mostly because I don't like to get sticky and smelly under the sun and I don't see why I should be sabotaging my efforts on whitening (ya know, all the beauty products and time invested to keep myself relatively fair). Not unless it's for the kids, and for my ears to take a break from my brood of 3 screaming, laughing and talking to me (all at the same time) in an enclosed hdb flat. Yes, outdoor, we will go. Sun, sand, water... as long as it keeps the 3 kids happy and occupied (pass me the sunblock, please!) :)

We pretty much go anywhere along the NEL (North East Line), because it is the most convenient. We frequent Kovan Heartland Mall, Serangoon Nex, and Plaza Singapura, but for some fun closer to nature, we'd head all the way down to the end of the line - Punggol. There are Punggol Waterway and Punggol Promenade - two great outdoor areas to choose from. We frequent both but I personally prefer Punggol Promenade. We had a couple of bad experiences with the waterplay area and sand pit at the waterway. There was once the sand pit was infested with centipede (or something that looks like it), but they are gone now. The water playground area seems to be always flooded and kinda slippery. The water playground is located next to the sandpit, understandably, proper drainage is a challenge as children tend to run between the 2 play areas, bringing with them the sand from the sand pit to the water playground.

Both Punggol Waterway and Punggol Promenade hold many fond memories for me and my chubbies.

This was Shanice last year. We were at the sandpit at Punggol Waterway. It was newer then, and before the 'centipede incident'. Just behind the sand pit is a pond.  
A heart in the sand at Punggol End. Renee drew this for me on mothers' day last year. 
This was Chubby on a playdate with Renee's friends. He was a little younger but a lot chubbier then.
Punggol Promenade is where we head to more often these days . Chubby is often the first to be ready. He would have his full gear on - shoes and helmet with his bike, all ready before everyone.

"I want to cycle, pleassseeeeee."

Yes, Cycling! 
Punggol end is a great place to cycle with kids - Fresh air, even tracks and lovely sea view.
Do, Re, Mi on wheels
"What's that?" 

"Look mummy, no hands!"

Cycling is lots of fun

Check out the view of Coney Island.
The Punggol Settlement is where you can grab rent a bike, grab some drinks from 711 or have dinner at the seafood restaurant there. 
Sand Playground
The girls on the swing! 
Chubby playing with sand. 
 If you are keen on some bubble fun, there's a stall near there that sells kits and bubble toys and other toys.

Shanice and her bubble toy! 
 Lily Pond
Where fishes and terrapins swim in. 
 Sea view in the evening 
Gentle breeze and lovely view.
We often stay till the evening before we head for home. I particularly enjoy the sea view in the late evening. There is something calming about being near the sea. The vastness makes me feel small and my troubles seem smaller. Even the children seem to be mesmerized by the view. 

Next up on Fun for Free SG is Serene of Xavvy-licious

Serene is a stay-at-home mom-preneur to a 6 year old pre-schooler and a 1 year old baby while sharing and educating the benefits of Young Living Essential Oils. 

She blogs to document down their growing milestones, homelearning & crafting journey, lifestyles as well as recipes for her homecooked dishes.

Want more FUN FOR FREE SG venues? This post is a part of Gingerbread Mum's Fun For Free SG Blog Train, where 29 mummy bloggers blog about our free play venues. Here’s the full list  for 31 days of free fun in Singapore! 

1 Aug: Tiong Bahru Park by Gingerbreadmum
2 Aug: Queenstown Heritage Trail by Princess Dana Diaries
3 Aug: Jurong Regional Library by Finally Mama
4 Aug: Singapore Maritime Gallery by Peipei Haohao
5 Aug: Singapore Philatelic Museum by Kids R Simple
6 Aug: Sculptures of Singapore by Gingerbreadmum
7 Aug: Fire Station by The Js Arena
8 Aug: Esplanade + Merlion by Prayerfull Mum
9 Aug: Bukit Batok Nature Park by Meeningfully
10 Aug: Lower Pierce Reservoir Park by The Kam Family
11 Aug: I12 Katong – water playground by Universal Scribbles
12 Aug: IMM by Mad Psych Mum
13 Aug: Tampines 1 Water Playground by Amazingly Still
14 Aug: Sengkang Riverside Park by Itchy Finger Snap
15 Aug: East Coast Park by Toddly Mummy
16 Aug: Sembawang Shopping Centre Playground by Joey Craftworkz
17 Aug: Animal resort by Raising Faith
18 Aug: Botanic Gardens by Mum’s The Word
19 Aug: Police Heritage Centre by Mummy Ed
20 Aug: Venus Loop, MacRitchie by Scrap Mum Loft
21 Aug: Road Safety Park by Miracule
22 Aug: Marina Barrage by J Babies
24 Aug: Changi Airport T3 by Mother Kao
25 Aug: Pockets of Nature by Mum in the Making
26 Aug: Changi Airport T1 by Growing with the Tans
27 Aug: Pasir Ris Park by Ingspirations
28 Aug: Gardens by the Bay Supertree Grove by My Lil Bookworm
29 Aug: Vivocity Play Area by Amazingly Still
30 Aug: Punggol Promenade by Chubby Anecdotes
31 Aug: Westgate Wonderland by Xavvylicious

Friday, August 8, 2014

Pregnant and overwhlemed with guilt and uncertainty

It's a quiet night, the kids are sound asleep. I am restless, pregnant and still spotting at week 16 (why, o why?)

I started bleeding somewhere in week 12. Although there was light spotting before, but I thought those were normal probably due to implantation. I had some spotting when I was pregnant with Renee, and so I wasn't too worried about it. It was a heavy flow at week 12 (and then again at week 15) that got me frightened, very frightened. It was right after my OSCAR scan at Novena Medical Center. The lady helping me with the scan was rather rough, shaking my belly beyond my comfort as I watched Peanut jerked within me. She told me she was tickling him (a little), and that he was very active. She was trying to get Peanut to move into a position that was favourable for the scan. My previous experience with OSCAR scan at Thomson Medical Centre during my pregnancy with Chubby was a much better experience, I was advised to walk around until Chubby moved to the correct position, instead of being shaken repeatedly. Ironically, near the end of the scan she was trying to get Peanut to be in a relax position but her continuous shaking (or tickling) seemed to agitate him more. I had a bad feeling but trusted in professionals, after all, they should know better, right?

The trip home from the clinic was a traumatic one - I bled in the train and stained the seat. It wasn't spotting, it was heavy flow and I could feel warm blood gushing out of me. I called my Gynae's clinic and was advised to head to the hospital, which I later went to KKH. I was diagnosed with "Threaten Miscarriage" - a term that was really meaningless to me. They neither knew the cause of the bleeding nor where is the bleeding coming from (which part of the womb). I was given a an injection and prescribed hormones pills (twice daily for 2 weeks) to support my pregnancy. My Gynae check-up was in a couple of days and the diagnosis was the same. His best advise was for me to rest in bed. Something I couldn't afford much of. I checked with him if the "trauma" during the OSCAR scan had anything to do with the bleeding and was told that it was an unlikely cause.

My Gynae's reply offered me little assurance, I am overwhelmed with a mix of guilt and uncertainty. Was it the OSCAR scan? But he (the gynae) said it was unlikely. Could it be those blood cots formed in the beginning of the pregnancy? Was it the fall I sustained at about week 9? WHY AM I STILL BLEEDING NOW AT Week 16?!

I really want to snap out of this. This guilt-trip is affecting my sleep (which I am already quite deprived of). How can I get out of this? I hope I have a shut down button somewhere so that I can rest when I need to and not let these precious opportunities to recuperate slip away unproductively soaking my pillow and pulling my hair out. 

My little peanut, please be well, the doctor say we will know more about your health at week 20 after the second OSCAR scan. This time, I will call and request for another Sonographer, just to be safe. I am shelving these emotions here now, because they are not helping us. Be assured that mommy will do all I can to protect you. I am so so sorry that we started on a bad foot, but let's finish this on a good note, together. I am looking forward to receiving you in my arms.

I love you, you must know that.

Linking up with:

Monday, August 4, 2014

StarWater Ionizer - Healthy recipes using alkaline water

Have you heard of ionized water or (alkaline water for the matter)?
It was a couple of years ago when I first got acquainted with water ionizer that can turn water alkaline for various purposes. A friend of mine had got a new water ionizer from a Japanese company then, and was sharing with me the wonders of it.

Wanting the best for my family and myself, I was tempted to get one myself. Frankly, I would have purchased a unit home without much thinking if not for the price tag - it costs 3 to 5k *swallows hard*.

Since it cost this much, I thought it made sense to find out more before committing to a 12 months installment. But somehow, amidst my busy schedule, the item was shelved somewhere at the back of my mind and then forgotten along the way until I receive an invitation from to attend a cooking demonstration by Chef Anna of Anna Cooking Arts, using the ionized water.

Here are the yummy and healthy dishes demonstrated at the session I attended.
From left to right, they are Iced Honey Peppermint Lemon Cooler, Black Sesame Seed Rice, Herbal Chicken Soup (四神鸡汤) and Korean Pear Salad. My favourite that was 四神鸡汤. I am a soup junkie, so 四神鸡汤 wasn't new to me, but the version Chef Anna made was better than the one I had at home. 

If you are interested in the recipes, they are included at the end of this post. These alkaline water is one of the ingredients for all the dishes. But if you do not have a water ionizer, normal water should be sufficient as a substitute (I believe) for normal cooking at home. 

Now what is the difference between our normal tap water and ionized water? Check out the PH colours charted out for the water and beverages below.

With reference to the PH chart below, the colours indicate the PH of the liquids from acidic (orange) to alkaline (purple). The first 2 glasses from the right, the one in purple (strongly alkaline) was ionizer water and the one in blue (weakly alkaline) was our normal tap water. The other beverages used in the test were isotonic drink, soft drink and bottled drinking water - all were acidic. 
Image taken from
Why is alkaline water better for us?
Here's an extract from Star Water website which sums it up:
Alkaline Antioxidant Water (AIW) gives you an abundance of anti-oxidants to reduce cells damages and helps to restore your pH balance in your body.
It also contains an abundance of ionic minerals, such as Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and Sodium that are essential for cellular functions. The Water is high in oxygen and is a powerful solvent to neutralize uric acids, cholesterol and acidic toxic wastes and flushes them out from the body. It hydrates your body many times more than any water and also helps to restore your body pH balance while giving you more energy!
The below extract from StarWater's brochure explains the benefits of ionized water.

Extracted from StarWater brochure
If you are keen to find out more about alkaline water, here's a page on StarWater's website which you may find helpful:

During the session, I was introduced to Star5 water ionizer. Check out the pretty and chic design!
Photo credit: StarWater
This little machine is may not be big in size, but it is big in benefits. 

The Star5 is able to produce 7 types of water from Acidic to Alkaline for various usage at home.
Orange: Acidic water - Ideal for cleaning. If you intend to cut down on detergents, acidic water is a good alternative for cleaning kitchen counter tops, cutting boards and utensils.

Yellow: Beauty water - ideal for showers and facial cleansing. The human body is alkaline by design, our skin however is acidic therefore mild acidic water is ideal for showers and facial cleansing. Acidic water removes oil and dirt from the face easily, reducing the need for cleansing products. Using acidic water when you shower reduces dryness, itching and discomfort that eczema can cause.

Green: For babies and people on medication

Level 1: For beginners - Suitable for new drinkers of alkaline water or those with sensitive stomachs.

Level 2:  For Daily consumption - Replenishes water in our body, reduces oxidation process and maintains a balanced pH level in our body.

Level 3: For coffee and tea - Removes the bitter aftertaste in coffee and tea and enhances the taste and aroma.

Level 4:  For cooking - Enhances the natural taste of ingredients, thus reducing the need for flavourings.

More information available in the brochure here:

************* Recipes *************

Herbal Chicken Soup (四神鸡汤) - 4pax
INGREDIENTS                                   QTY
Herbal Mix (四神料)                           1 pkt
American Ginseng (西洋参)                 10g
Red Dates (红枣)                                 12 pcs
Mushroom (香菇)                                 8 pcs
Sliced Ginger (姜片)                             6 pcs
Chicken Thigh (鸡腿)                         600g
Alkaline Ionized Water (电子离子水)   2500ml

Mushroom Powder (香菇粉)                1 pinch
Sea Salt (海盐)                                     1 tsp
Rice Wine (米酒)                                  
Sesame Oil (麻油)                                

4 HERBAL MIX - 四神料(Available in most Chinese Medicine Halls)
Lotus Seeds, Poria, Chinese Yam, Pearl Barley [200g]/Job's Tears, Euryale Seeds


  1. Soak to soften Mushroom. Wash and drain dry. Cut up Chicken Thighs into pieces. Wash American Ginseng, Red Dates and Herbal Mix ingredients. 香菇用水泡軟后洗淨.鸡腿折块. 西洋参,四神料,红枣洗净.
  2. Heat up some Sesame Oil in a work and fry the Sliced Ginger. Add [1] and Alkaline Ionized Water to simmer for an hour. 用麻油小火炒香姜片,加入[1]材料,水炖煮1个小时.
  3. Add the remaining seasoning (Mushroom Powder, Sea Salt, Rice Wine) in. 加入调味料即可.

Korean Pear Salad (雪梨沙拉)
INGREDIENTS                                 QTY
Korean Pear (雪梨)                             1
Red Dates (红枣)                                 2 pcs
Mixed Salad (沙拉综合菜)                  50g
Wolfberry (枸杞子)                              1 tbsp

Yuzu Salad Dressing (柚子沙拉酱)                
Lemon Juice (柠檬汁)                                    
Korean Yuzu Honey (韩国柚子蜜)                                         

  1. Wash and remove skin from Korean Pear, slice them into strips. Remove seeds from Red Dates and slice them into strips. Soak and strain dry wolfberries. 雪梨洗净,去皮切幼条状[400g]. 将红枣去子切条. 最后将枸杞子泡软,隔干.
  2. Plate up [1] and drizzle salad dressing on top. 将[1]端在盘中,洒上沙拉酱即可.

Black Sesame Seed Rice (黑芝麻糙米饭)
INGREDIENTS                                   QTY
Organic Rice (有机糙米)                     200g
Alkaline Ionized Water (红枣)              300ml
Toasted Salted Black Sesame Seeds (沙拉综合菜)
  1. Wash and soak rice for 4 hours, strain dry. 
  2. Plate up [1] and drizzle salad dressing on top. 将[1]端在盘中,洒上沙拉酱即可.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Bleeding during pregnancy - week 14 and 5 days

It's half past 5am now and I am wide awake. O the peacefulness of the wee hours when the kids are all asleep. The gentle snoring beside comforts my troubled soul. How I adore my chubby little boy.

It's a pity I can't seem to go back to sleep cos I know full well that I am so going to pay for this when the kids are awake. It's Sunday! No work for me today but I'm not expecting much rest. My helper is on leave today so I'd better be prepared. After an incident last Sunday, now i look towards Sundays with much fears.
I was out with hubby and kids last Sunday, doing our usual grocery shopping at JB. We usually plan outings on Sundays cos with the kids out, it means less cleaning at home.

Last Sunday wasn't a regular Sunday. I usually have 1 or 2 face painting gigs to attend to. My gigs are usually no longer than 2 hours so I still have time with the kids. But it wasn't just unusual that business has been bad lately, something else happened - I was bleeding excessively and suddenly. The flow came when I was helping Chubby with his diaper change. It caught me totally unguarded. We were in a restaurant and our food had yet to arrive!

The flow came with cramps which wasn't helping the situation - 3 hungry kids and 2 helpless adults in a foreign land. We fed the the kids, stuffed some food down our throats and rushed to the causeway.  Thank God, the jam was manageable, we were expecting worse situation as it was eve of Hari Raya. Sam hurried home and left the kids with out helper (she was home by then) before sending me to KKH.

It was our second time there is 3 weeks. I was bleeding (but not as heavy as this round) at about week 12 and was hurried to KKH too. I was given injection and hormone pills then.

The doctor examined me and I couldn't be happier to hear the baby's heartbeat. The diagnosis - no active bleeding at that point, baby's heartbeat found (pew), cause of bleeding unknown (puzzling). All in all, it was known as "threaten miscarriage" same diagnosis as the other time. No injection needed this round, I was prescribed with 3 doses of hormone pills daily for 2 weeks and given 3 days MC. 

The 3 days MC wasn't utilized. I work from home most of the time which was manageable and the following day is a public holiday. But there was a meeting scheduled on Tuesday which was rather important. Not wanting to miss it, as it would impact the project timeline, I went anyway but went home after the meeting.

After what happened last Sunday, no outings were planned for today. We will try as much as possible to stay in. And I shall try (again) to get some sleep now before the kids wake up.

Wish me well  :)

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Peanut - A new chapter

I've got news to share - I am expecting!

For those of you who know me personally, this should be quite a surprise (in a good way, I hope).

It took me a while to summon enough courage to break the news to many. Ya know, I am not so sure what sort of reactions to expect from people around. When I was expecting baby no. 1 and 2, most of my friends and family were very excited. By the time Chubby came along, most of the excitement had faded, apart from congratulatory, I was also presented with questioning glances (How are you going to provide for so many kids?) and some interesting suggestions (some on birth control. lolx). Most of them meant well, many laughed with me, a couple pissed me off (bad), but only a few people saw my struggles.

Frankly, 3 kids and working isn't a breeze for me. Though I do not often exhibit my fatigue, I am in no way a super mom. Just a regular one living a day at a time. So if u ask me, having another child isn't the plan, not in a couple of years.

So, I'd say I need to be insane to have another child now (and I still think so). But well, some people are worth going crazy for. And a new life, a child, my child, is definitely worth it.

What's ahead? I am not all too sure but I am full of expectations - expecting more sleepless nights, more work, a messier house, a new baby and a lot, a lot  more love and joy.

Here's an ultrasound image of my new baby.

Peanut at week 09. I am 15 weeks pregnant now.

Affectionately known as Peanut at home. We have yet to find out the gender to choose a better name, so "Baby Peanut" it will be, for now :)