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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Time to start living

Recently, a link to an article titled “Your Life in Weeks” surfaced on my Facebook wall. Being (slightly) obsessed with order, planning and being in control, the article (which had an accompany picture of neat rows of boxes) naturally piqued my interest.

It turned out to be an attempt to sell posters (that anyone can create with their computer), but having the opposing concepts of a finite lifespan and an uncertain end presented in the graphical format really gave me a timely reminder about life.

When I saw the first chart with rows and rows of boxes (each representing a week of your life) in the article, I thought to myself, not bad! There’s lots of time left to play with - perhaps a new house at 35, a holiday in Greece at 40, and world domination by 45. Maybe I should fire up Excel on my laptop and plan out the next 10 years on a spreadsheet, like I did 10 years ago. After all, things did go largely according to that plan! How exciting would "My Life in Excel 2.0" be, I wondered.

Obviously not taking things seriously when asked by my employer to write a note to ourselves 3 years into the future. The note was kept in a time capsule in 2008 and only returned to us in 2011.

And then, I saw the same chart but with some famous deaths marked out according to the exact week that they passed on. John Lennon at 40 plus, Michael Jackson at 51 plus, Steve Jobs at 56 plus. Suddenly, I was at a lost. There isn’t a formula in Excel that could predict when my own end will come and automatically adjust my life plan accordingly. Life often just… ends.

How would I feel if my end came unexpectedly early. Would I be looking back at a fulfilling life, or would I be lamenting about what could have been if I had a little bit more time?

My thoughts were then interrupted by Aiden’s voice coming out of the bedroom. He was calling out for Mummy Cher to join him and read him some Chinese storybooks before he goes to bed. I switched off the laptop, went into the bedroom and offered to read him some storybooks.

"Daddy, you very long never read this book to me", he exclaimed at one point.

He enjoyed the first three books that I read so much that he asked for four more. Mummy Cher eventually read him three more before he called it a night.

Life may be short for some, and long for others, but with an ending that comes suddenly, there isn’t a better time to start living than right now.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My Greatest Joy As A Mum

Being mum to two kids is not an easy role. But when asked by my friends what’s the greatest joy as a mum, it’s without a doubt the moment my kids flash their widest smile for me when I return home to them. With my hectic lifestyle as a full time working mum, I often have to make a conscious effort to finish work for the day and return home to the kids.

I feel my stress melt away as I hold my baby girl close to me and see her toothless grin as I shower her with kisses. When I am not by her side, it is important to me to know that she is in the best possible care and is most comfortable and happy. This wasn’t the case a few months back when she was four month old. She often experienced nappy rash which left her bum red and sensitive to touch, making bath time a cry out session. This is no longer the case with the new Drypers Wee Wee Dry range. The new range has an extra absorbent layer that provides her with dry comfort as it effectively absorbs and distributes urine which keeps her skin comfortable and dry. We are so glad we made the switch and it’s really worth it seeing the smile on her face and how she enjoys bath time again. 

At 7 months old, Ava can interact better with us and she appears to be very excited and happy when we hold her in our arms. At this stage, she puts everything she can grab hold of into her mouth. She is also learning to crawl at this stage, and with all the wriggling about, it is important her diaper makes her feel comfortable and stays right on her but not too tight nor too loose that it causes leakage. With the new specially designed fastening tape accompanying the new Drypers Wee Wee Dry diaper, it allows for multi-refastening, making it easy for us to readjust the fastening whenever we need to do so. This makes it so much more convenient and prevents wastage, as we need not change to a new diaper when the fastener is no longer sticky.

While preparing for her baby cot bed, we shopped around for the best blanket to give her the most pampering and comfortable sleep. The same holds true when we select diapers for her. It has to be the softest, most breathable and best for her skin. When we discovered the new Drypers Wee Wee Dry diapers, we were pleasantly surprised it was made of 100% breathable soft cloth-like cover and did not hesitate to give it a try.

Taking a cue from raising our elder boy, we decided to have a bedtime routine for Ava. We would shower Ava in the evening, apply moisturizer on her skin and change her into comfortable clothes for bedtime. I would sing and hug her close to calm her down when she feels agitated. This has a calming effect on her and very often she lies on my shoulder and falls asleep. In the new range of Drypers Wee Wee Dry Diapers, four natural plant extracts, Vitamin E, Chamomile, Olive Extract and Aloe Vera are used and this helps to keep Ava’s sensitive skin comfortable. 

I enjoy being able to see her achieve little milestones as she grows up. Her joyful chuckles and curious eyes as she explores the world around her. This wouldn’t be possible if she didn’t feel comfortable.

Make the change today to ultimate comfort with the newly improved Drypers Wee Wee Dry Newborn, Drypers Wee Wee Dry and Drypers Drypantz.

Especially for all of you readers, here's a special treat for you!
With every purchase of 2 packets of Drypers Wee Wee Dry or Drypers Drypantz in Jun 2014, you will receive a $10 FairPrice voucher. Simply email your proof of purchase, personal details (nme, address, contact number, child's name and date of birth) to with the subject title "PriviKids".

So why are you still hesitating? Make the change today!

Disclosure: This post is in collaboration with Drypers Singapore. All opinions are my own. 
Saturday, June 14, 2014

Summer Time: June New Arrivals!

It's a rare cool Saturday here on our sunny island. Here are our top picks from the new arrivals this month at PriviKids.

Lift your spirits with this bright yellow dress adorned with bold floral prints. A surprising twist at the back with buttoned down white shirt material, and a bold contrasting ribbon tie. A bonus: Comes in such a light weight chiffon material, that's perfect for the humid weather.

This stylish t-shirt dress in dual tone denim is in a comfortable cut for a casual, laid back look. Love the vintage bronze zipper details at the pockets and light denim contrast trimmings.

Sweet, pastel pink with adorably cute mini dots. This mini dress can be worn as a top - rock it by pairing this with denim or a rugged pair of shorts.

A feminine chiffon white dress with a romantic pink ribbon tie at the waist. Swirl on like a ballerina.

Pick a bright bold shade for the energetic boy to reflect his personality. This comfortable bermudas in a refreshing summer hue is perfect for beach getaways, a fun day out in the Singapore sun or just chilling with a glass of juice.

Refreshing bright blooms in this comfortably soft, short sleeved Orchid Shirt for boys. Get him out of his comfort tee now!

Music makes the world goes round. The Beatles T-shirt makes a great gift for the kid who loves music. The soft cotton material of this top makes it ideal for our sunny shores.

Inability to sleep in

It's the weekend!

The kids decided to do us a favour and went to bed earlier yesterday. I went to bed past midnight after a long week (this is cummulative... and in fact have been a tiring period of a few months). But I naturally got out of bed at 8am and picked up where I left off for a couple of work tasks and household chores.

I miss my precious sleep.
Thursday, June 12, 2014

A peek into the after work hours of a FTWM

Rushing home from work to see our two kids after a long day at work, and zoning out a little from a full day of meetings and reports, who would have thought a BMW Z4 would crash into the cab while we were stationary for awhile at the red light, giving me a huge shock!

I was in shock and could not think straight for awhile. I was glad I wasn't hurt and thoughts of 'what ifs' drifted into my head. Life is too short and we only live once, and I want to make this one as fulfilling as possible. 

Thoughts of stopping work to be a stay at home mum has never crossed my mind when we first had Aiden. I enjoyed being able to carve a career in an industry I am passionate in and I feel good achieving results at work. It helped a lot, having supportive parents who helped take care of the kids while we are at work and occupied with other commitments, and I can't ask for anything more.

Starting out PriviKids early 2013 and with Ava joining our family last November, the very little time we have at night and over the weekend has to be spread out even more, and I feel very guilty for not being able to spend quality time with her. With two kids come its set of challenges as I need to be sensitive to the feelings of the elder boy. It hit me when I was cuddling Ava and telling her how much I love her and Aiden asked me in a soft tone 'Do you love me too Mummy?' 'Of course I do! I love the both of you so much.' I told him and immediately I could feel that he felt better. Reminder to self: Be sensitive to the feelings of both kids. As tough as it may get, be fair.

Ava at 5 months old, her curious eyes and fast reflexes (stuffing into mouth)
A typical day for me looks like this (but I have long dismissed the idea of 'typical days' as I shared with Daddy Darren recently. Kids have their mood swings and we see a different side of our 3 year old toddler daily and sometimes within the same day):

7.00am to 8.00am:
Wake up to prepare for work
Wake Daddy Darren up to prepare for work
Wake Aiden up to prepare him for school
Leave our place to school and to work

9.00am to 6.00pm:
Work meetings, reports, emails
Events (sometimes after work events, so it would mean 6.00pm to 9.00pm)

8.00pm to 11.00pm:
Dinner at my parents' place
Playtime with Ava
Playtime with Aiden (he gets to dictate the top 3 things he would like to do when we get home and we get through these, followed by bedtime stories and off to slumberland. This often stretches to 12 midnight and this is when patience runs thin and he gets scolded when he's still actively awake.)

12.00am to 3.00am or 2.00am to 5.00am (if I dozed off earlier):
Follow up on to do list for PriviKids
Completing work that's outstanding for the day

I wished there were more hours in a day, and more time for catching up on precious sleep. More time for doing the things I enjoy doing. More time for Aiden. More time with Ava. More quality time with Daddy Darren.

Here's how I survive being a full time working mum, juggling the many different roles I play:

1) Celebrate little milestones

I celebrate the little achievements on a daily basis. Being able to get out of the house with no tears (from the boy) as we prepare him for school is an achievement itself. Arriving at home early enough before Ava's bed time so I get to snuggle close to her and see her toothless grin. Stepping out of the house in one piece and be on time for our appointments is also a challenge nowadays.

Her first smiles
2) Relax and go with the flow

Sometimes I can be quite controlling especially with Aiden. I realized that the beauty of letting him take the lead at times (with control of course), would be a happier toddler and that means lesser tantrums and melt downs and quality time spent together. I allow him to jump into the shower with me, snack at night, do art and craft near bed time - all so he would enjoy and go to bed contented. He also lets me have my way, reading books with him and lying down in bed as we fall asleep together.

You win some, you lose some
3) Strong family support

I would not be able to pursue my passions today if not for my parents and Daddy Darren. They take care of me and the kids in all ways possible and keep the kids happy while I am occupied at work. Picture updates in the family group chat never fails to put a smile and sometimes a tear to my eye when I know that I would rather be there instead of churning reports or being at a business meeting. The smile on their faces motivates me and drives me on.

4) Working through the wee hours of the night

Sleep is one sacrifice every parent makes whether you are a working or stay home mum. I am really lucky to have my parents' help in caring for the kids and Aiden and Ava are both not giving us sleepless nights. So why am I up at 3am? Deciding to spend a little more time reading to Aiden, a little more time playing with Ava, the only time left to complete outstanding tasks for our business and my work would be after the family goes to bed.

5) Delegate tasks

I am not good at keeping the household clean and the part time help we engage regularly really helps free up our time for the kids and our own interests. Some mums insist on doing the household chores themselves, but for me, I think any extra time with my loved ones and to grow the business is more essential to me.

I am amazed at how other FTWM manage their roles and there is so much to learn from one another. It is not an easy choice to make between staying at home and working and both choices come with their own set of sacrifices and rewards. I am happy at this stage, and in time to come, I would be sharing more about some changes taking place.

This post is part of a blog train hosted by Christy from Kids ‘R’ Simple on “A Peek into the After Work Hours of a FTWM“. Read about how 21 FTWMs from Singapore Mom Bloggers handle their kids and household everyday from 1 June to 21 June. The aim is to give other working mums motivation, ideas and support to deal with the everyday demands of juggling work and family while keeping sane. We will be happy to hear your story, tips and even an encouraging word will make our day! Share your thoughts in the comments!

Next up on the blog train is Jacqeline, a FTWM to 2 kids age 4 and 2.5. She is grateful that her current job gives her enough work-life balance so she can spend a few hours after work each day and the whole of weekend with her family. She blogs over at where she records the fun activities she has with the kids and her husband.

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