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

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Week 28 Pregnant: Time for a checkup

Yesterday was my week 28 checkup. I see my gynae once a month to have a look at how Peanut is doing. I always look forward to these monthly checkups because I can catch a glimpse of the little fellow from the ultrasound screen. :)

Coincidentally, Chubby was playing with the set of doc tool toys we got from Mount Elizabeth Hospital yesterday morning. Chubby listened to my baby bump and reported that "Peanut is doing well!"  Awww. This boy, he always seems to have the right words.

Our gynae visit in the evening wasn't that great though. The gynae reported that peanut was underweight (30-40% pencentile). I went like WHAT! I put on a good 10kg and this little fellow is only weighting at 1kg at week 28!!! Why?!

So, I was advised to sleep on my left, which is an issue for me because I have severe backache that spreads to my left hips and tights making it at best uncomfortable and more often than not, painful to lay on my left. Nonetheless, I'll try. 

A friend suggested that I drink more milk. So after work today, I went to get Peanut and myself pregger formula. I shall try to get more rest too (this is tricky but I'll try). Whatever helps.

The hubs was saying that perhaps Peanut is more alike to Renee. See, Renee is the tiniest baby among the 3. She was slightly over 2.5kg at birth and she is the only slim person in the house. The hubby reckoned Renee must have inherited his skinny genes...

But, what skinny genes?!

I really hope Peanut would put on some weight.  O please, please not be lighter than 2.5kg. I cannot imagine my little boy in an incubator.

Hey peanut. Please ah, be a good and suck in more fats! I really don't need so much, you can have them all!!!!

Thank u in advance.

Your fat but loving mum.

Linking up with:
Sakura Haruka - Wordless Wednesday
Dominique's Desk - Wordful Wednesday

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Week 27 Pregnant - Look How Far We've Come

Emailer from BabyCenter

We are on the home stretch!
O, yes! After those apprehensive and stormy days, Peanut and I have finally reached the home stretch.

Week by week, Peanut and I have braved much - From the initial uncertainty of having a 4th child, to embracing a new life, and then a twist of event that saw me bleeding for weeks and crying my heart out over a blood clot... after the turbulence, we are finally entering the 3rd trimester! As I read this emailer from BabyCenter, I cannot help but swell with pride for my little bun in the oven.

When I first found out I was pregnant. I was in a state of denial. The second line on the test kit was rather faint. "Maybe, not" I thought. But I rushed down to the nearest clinic immediately. I guess I already knew, just didn't want to accept it then.

At the clinic, I did a urine test and the doctor confirmed I was pregnant. The conversation with the GP started with congratulatory then took a slight twist when she found out that I was pregnant with my 4th child. She went, "I don't know how are you going to manage." And, I know that she meant no malice. Having 4 kids is not going to be easy, it is a reality we both know first hand as mothers of more than 1 child.

We chatted a little further and I found out that I do not need the child's dad's consent to abort this baby if I wish to. I won't even need to go through counselling. All because I already have 3 living children. It is as if the system auto-recognises that a 4th kid may well be an accident- how convenient, yet so disturbing. The hubby wasn't too keen on having a 4th child initially. Frankly, I wasn't either, but the thought of aborting a child (my child!) was too daunting. So, after crying into my pillow for a few nights, I decided to see a Gynae.

Peanut's first photo
Ultra-sound taken on 27 May

I visited the Gynae alone. I needed that space to think independently. After the check-up the doctor explained that there were blood clots in my womb - which in some cases cause miscarriage. In view of that, and since it was only the first trimester, we (the hubs and I) kept the news of my pregnancy to ourselves. Up till that moment, I was still not sure. Having a new baby now would mean risking my regular income. I am on 3 months renewal employment terms with my current employer. I am not sure if they would wait a month or 2 for me to recuperate from childbirth. Big and difficult questions overwhelmed me - What if I become jobless after I deliver my new baby? How are we going to cope with another child at home? How am I going to afford for Chubby to attend childcare? It took me another week to firm up my decision - I'm keeping my baby *sings*.

Peanut at week 12 on 12 July
At week 12, I experienced a major flow while commuting on the mrt. Frightened by the volume of blood that stained the seat, I headed to KKH for treatment later that day. I was prescribed med and ordered to rest. The diagnosis was "threatened miscarriage".

Though the flow subsided, I continued to spot until week 15 when there was another major flow. Again, we turned to KKH and returned home with the same med (higher dose) and same diagnosis. I continued to spot till week 19, then it suddenly stopped.

I entered week 20 with much relief. The week 20 scan however, showed that there was a 4cm blood clot near the birth canal. Despite assurance from the doctor, I was worried.

All this while, while I was living in fear, our family and friends have been praying for us. My sister even attended a miracle healing service to pray for our healing (Yes, I have great siblings!)

Then at week 24, the doctor checked and reported that the blood clot was gone! WOW! Thank God!

Some people say, you never knew how much you wanted something until you feel the threat of losing it. There has to be some truth in this, 'cos the whole roller-coaster experience has taught me to cherish this little life more. I cannot adequately explain how much joy it brings me to feel his movement in my womb. This child, my child, he is a fighter.

His conception may be unplanned but he isn't an accident. He was conceived despite our birth control measures, and through this winding journey, he has never gave up. Even at this very moment, he is kicking me from within - as if assuring me that he is growing strong.

Entering into the 3rd trimester is both exciting and worrying (what a worry whore am I!). I am racing against the clock to earn and save as much as I can before Peanut's birth. I want to build us a safety net (just in case). Working and painting (I run a facepainting business too) with a big belly isn't a walk in the park. Often after a tiresome day, I would pet my baby on my bump and say to him "Well done, boy! We are in this together."

You know what? My baby is a fighter, so am I.

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