Friday, November 30, 2012

Flashback Friday #20

16 July 2011: My 24th birthday celebrations! Had a 3D cake specially done for my 24th birthday with two rabbits and a tiger figure. Sean and I are born in the year of the rabbit, while Blake is born in the year of the Tiger J

Just look at how amused Blake is with the tiger figure!
Psst... can you spot the first sightings of his little tooth? Hehe.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Giving Birth to Nakayla Rose 王睿璇

The process is still pretty much fresh in my mind, so I thought I'd quickly have it all written down before I forget (like I did with most parts of delivering Blake).

I'll cut to the chase this time though, listing it down in point form. I had this all typed out after everyone who came to visit me left - Thanks for coming!!

1. Real bloody show at about 7.40pm on 20 November 2012, Tuesday. I called my gynae and he told me to monitor for contractions that are 15-20 minutes apart.

2. Contractions followed after but I totally ignored them. I didn't even bother to check if they were 15-20 minutes apart. I then got myself a big cup of cookies and cream ice cream. The only thought that was in my head then - if the baby's coming, it won't be another month or so till I can have this again!

3. Contractions intensifies after midnight, and I told myself to hold it out till morning, after sending Blake to school. I kept talking to Nakayla, asking her to wait.

4. I managed to wash up and get ready for bed, but I couldn't sleep the whole night because of the contractions. Eventually, the contractions became unbearable, and I didn't think I could wait any longer. The only thought that was on my mind was - I need epidural now! So I called my mom at 3am, and my dad drove all of us - Sean, Blake, mom and myself - to the hospital.

Blake was super tired. He was also in a complete blur as to what was going on.

5. We reached Gleneagles Hospital. Sean and I got off while my parents took Blake home to rest. They sent him to school when it was time, and he was really well-behaved according to them! :D

6. Sean and I made our way to the delivery ward, and we waited for Dr. Lim to arrive. I could not have epidural yet as I needed his approval. In the mean time, the nurses gave me laughing gas to tide over the pains from contractions.

Yes, I was still laughing and talking like I wasn't in labour then

7. Shortly after this, the contractions became more painful. Dr. Lim reached and did an assessment. He said the worst thing I could have ever heard at that point in my life - IT WAS TOO LATE FOR EPIDURAL. I was already in a lot of pain and under quite a heavy dosage of laughing gas, and when I heard that, I almost died!

8. Even though it was too late for epidural, it will also be a while before Nakayla was ready to be out. Dr. Lim then left the ward for a while, I vaguely heard him say he has another baby to deliver (I could be wrong. I was under a lot of laughing gas.). All of a sudden, the contractions intensified even further (who knew that was possible!?) and I started to scream and thrash around the bed. Sean and two nurses had to hold me down. I was apparently in distressed (that's what I heard in the almost comatose state).

9. One of the nurses did a check for me and saw the baby coming, she quickly paged for Dr Lim before returning to hold Nakayla in till Dr Lim arrived.

10. To stop me from thrashing around, they told Sean to hold the gas to my face and soon, my body went kind of limp, but the pain could still be felt! I was screaming and my hands were grabbing whatever I could, although I don't remember being able to move much. I do remember my grip on things though. I think I must have clawed and gripped Sean's arms like mad during this whole period.

11. As a result of my screaming, cursing and swearing, I wasn't taking in the laughing gas, so the pain got worse for me. Throughout this whole process, I could hear Sean trying to calm me down with his voice. Whenever I could hear him, in the state that I was in, I tried to do as he said. When he said to take deep breaths, I tried to stop screaming and concentrated on taking deep breaths. I don't think it lasted very long though.

12. After about two hours upon our arrival at the hospital, Nakayla was born.

It was the most painful thing I have ever gone through in my entire life, and it somehow felt like passing motion in a strange way - a really painful one. I could even feel Dr. Lim stitching me up. I even remember mumbling that I could feel some pain down there during the stitching (no strength left, you see), and they gave me another jab, so that that Dr. Lim could finish the stitching. Recovery seemed much better than when I had Blake though. I didn't manage to sleep at all, and I was surprisingly rather awake after I regained some of my strength some two hours later. I even began to post photos on facebook! Then, I was hungry, really hungry! My appetite was good, and I did not feel any nauseousness or anything!

I still cannot believe what I went through, and that I actually survived it. Now that it's all down in words, I wonder if I'll ever remember this day as clearly as it is now...

Anyway, here are some photos taken during my stay at the hospital. I'm off to rest for my confinement now!

And here's our very first family of four photo! Taken the moment we all woke up. Hehe.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Flashback Friday #19

6 July 2011: Blake wearing his first pair of shoes! I had gotten these from a local online store. There were a couple more pairs, but before Blake could even get to wear them, he outgrew them!

Note to self: Never buy too many pairs of shoes for a growing baby.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Blake's First Parent-Teacher Meeting

Over the weekend, Blake's school held a Parent-Teacher Meeting. Sean and I attended, along with Blake.

When we arrived at the school, the first immediate reaction from Blake was  to cry and struggle. I guess he didn't quite like the idea of going to school on weekends. Haha. So Sean stayed within the school's playground with Blake, while I went in to wait our turn. Sean had tried to bring Blake in a couple of times, but the boy wouldn't have it. He struggled and kept saying, "Bye! See you!" to all his teachers. In the end, Sean had no choice but to bring him out of the school compound, and to playgrounds in the surrounding neighbourhood.

While waiting for my turn to meet with Blake's teachers, the school principal, Ms Elle, handed me a marker a big white plastic ball. It was the wishing sphere for Marina Bay's 2013 New Year wishes.

Here's what I wrote (and yes, I realized that there's no plural in positivity... there should be though!):

My first meeting was with Blake's English teacher, Mrs Teo. She told me that while Blake is improving well, his overall learning development in school is slower than the rest of his classmates. He is able to recite random letters from the alphabets, but is not able to recognize them. As for numbers, he doesn't seem to be very interested in them. He hasn't started to speak in sentences yet - that's one of her concerns, but she's sure Blake will start very soon. He also likes puzzle games and ball games a lot, but his attention span is relatively short. And as compared to when he first arrived and would run around the whole school like it's his giant playground, he has started to sit still during lesson time. She also noticed that how Blake responds in class depends very largely on his mood that day. If he's in a good mood, he will be the model student. But when he's in a bad mood, all hell break loose. This boy of mine...

After meeting with Mrs Teo, I met with Teacher Meng - Blake's Chinese teacher. Her ultimate concern for Blake was speech and temper. My boy has a bad, bad temper, but it's not always that he will throw tantrums. It's just that when he does, it scares the people around. She did, however, mention that it is clear that Blake is really intelligent and very expressive. He will never allow himself to get hurt in the process of throwing tantrums. According to her, it can sometimes be a hilarious sight, cos while most children will just go into tantrum fits, Blake will take a while to get himself into position (laying on the floor) before starting. He is able to express himself very well with gestures, body language, single words, and sound effects - something apparently not many of his classmates are able to do. Blake is also more active in her class, always finding the chance to run, a total opposite compared to English lessons.

My general take-back from this Parent-Teacher Meeting is that I need to teach Blake how to control his temper, motivate him to learn the alphabets and numbers, and to encourage him to start speaking in sentences (Teacher Meng say, chances are, he will be a very talkative boy the moment he speaks in sentences. Oh my....).

Once I've met with both his teachers, I left to look for Sean and Blake to head to our next destination. While I went to run some errands, Sean took Blake to even more playgrounds to play at, and we met up again to have lunch before heading home. We took a stroll through the park connector to get home, after getting off the bus. Blake couldn't be happier, but he was also very tired by then. Haha. After all, he had been playing non-stop from the moment we left home!

Ending off this post with a few photos taken at the park connector.

It's been a while since we last took a family photo! J

Blake's posing in this photo. Haha.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Flashback Friday #18

6 July 2011: We decided to buy a new stroller for Blake. One that is easy to fold, with one-hand operation, and light enough for me to carry up, and down a bus.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Kärcher Steam Cleaner Product Review

Sponsored Product

When I was approached to do a sponsored product review for a steam cleaner, I thought it would be an unknown brand that was new in the market. I totally did not expect it to be Kärcher!

Digressing a little, a few years back, we were shopping around for a vacuum cleaner; Sean did a lot of research on various brands, and he was most attracted to Kärcher. He had rant and raved about it for a couple of months before we finally brought our first Kärcher home!

Back to the present, I attended their briefing and demonstration session, along with five other parents. I was so psyched!

Great welcome gifts - Gummies from Haribo, in Kärcher's signature yellow! Hehe.

Jeremy introduced us to the Kärcher brand and the steam cleaner we’ll all be getting

And the model of steam cleaner we’ll be getting is none other than SC 6.800 CB *EU, their premium model! And yes, it comes with an iron too!

For their latest home line of steam cleaners, Kärcher has gone from their signature yellow to white so that it can fit beautifully into any homes. How thoughtful of them! J

Some amazing facts you need to know about their latest model of steam cleaner:
• Replaces the mop (no more carrying of buckets back and forth, and squeezing water out of the mop)
• Removes lint and odours on our clothes (especially good for those who wears blazers and business jackets)
• Comes with an iron to do steam ironing with (they also have a special ironing board to complete the whole experience)
• Steam cleans windows and mirrors with ease (no more stained hands from using water and newspapers)
• Uses only pure water (Good to use for any household with young children cos it’s chemical free)
• New and improved floor tool distributes steam equally and efficiently
• Can also be used to steam clean air-conditioners, bathroom floor and shower screens, kitchen stove tops, removal of wallpaper/stickers, and etc. (it’s almost limitless)

Do note the difference between a steam cleaner and a regular vacuum cleaner though. A steam cleaner emits steam to clean (and kill germs in the process!), while a vacuum does the reverse, it sucks up dirt (and nope, it does not kill germs in the process).

Jeremy showing us all the add-on accessories we’ll be getting too!

After learning a lot about the steam cleaner we’ll be getting, Kenneth gave us a live demonstration.
Hot steam ahead!

Now that I’ve shared the meeting with Kärcher’s Jeremy and Kenneth, it’s time to do my own tests around the house!

It’s here!
Jeremy very kindly delivered the steam cleaner and the add on accessories

The add-ons, from left to right:
Steam turbo brush, Multi-purpose accessory kit, Textile care nozzle, Microfibre cloth set (Bath)

Disclaimer: When I entered my second trimester (I was in my 37th week when I tried out the product, am in my 38th week now), I drastically reduced my household chores to the very bare minimum. So, I did not fully utilize the steam cleaner (for now, that is!).

BUT, I picked the ickiest and most neglected parts of the house to put Kärcher’s SC 6.800 CB *EU to the test – the full length mirror in Blake’s room, and my bathroom screens.

All following photos shown in the test are completely unedited. They have only been resized for easier upload.

Ok, enough blabber. I’ll let the pictures do the talking instead!

Full Length Mirror in Blake’s Room

Step One: Steam

Step Two: Wipe


Just look at the clarity! J

Bathroom Screens


After on the left bathroom screen, Before on the right bathroom screen
The vast difference is just amazing! J

The ease of using Kärcher’s SC 6.800 CB *EU is beyond words. The water heats up pretty fast and it was ready to use in a couple of minutes. And with the handy window wiper, all I had to do was steam, wipe and repeat till all’s clean!

In all honesty, using Kärcher’s SC 6.800 CB *EU was a lot less taxing (physically speaking) for my pregnant body. Part of the reason why these parts were so neglected was cos it's so physically draining to scrub them clean. I actually had quite a fun time just steaming the mirror and bathroom screens. I went over them again and again. Hehe. Seeing all the icky things coming off is such an awesome satisfaction, considering I’ve been living with them for months now (as I’ve said, neglected spots!). Of course, some tough stains that were there for months took a while to be removed, but all it took was steaming the spot a little longer compared to the other parts. No scrubbing effort required at all!

I'd say, a definite worthwhile investment for an easier time cleaning and sterilizing the house! Yes, you can steam clean all the children's soft toys with this too! Hehe.

Alright! Before I end this post, here’s some good news for all of you!

Kärcher is having their Year End Promotions now!

The white steam cleaner, model SC 4.100 C, is similar to the model SC 6.800 CB *EU, and accessories sold for this range of steam cleaners are compatible between the two. The main differences between SC 4.100 C and SC 6.800 CB *EU is that SC 6.800 CB *EU is larger in size, has a higher steam pressure and comes with an iron. So if you’re looking for a steam cleaner that is not too big (or hardcore), why not go for the SC 4.100 C? It’s on promotion now too! How awesome is that? Hehe. Otherwise, go all the way with SC 6.800 CB *EU! J

Know what’s the other good news?

For all avid fans of online shopping (like myself), you can shop online for Kärcher products, including items on promotion! Hehe. With just the click of the mouse, you can have your Kärcher purchases sent to you (free delivery for purchases above $100)! Awesome!

Ending this post with a video from KärcherTV for their Steam Cleaner model SC 4.100 C.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Flashback Friday #17

4 July 2011: When my elder sister came back to Singapore for her holidays (she was studying overseas then), she took my younger sister, Blake and me out for a Pizza Hut treat for my birthday! We had to celebrate earlier as she will be flying back on the weekend of my birthday party.

While waiting for our orders to arrive, my little boy got hungry! He had his baby cereal, and the timing was great. By the time he was done with his baby cereal, our pizzas arrived! :)

After lunch, we went back to my mother's place to play! My elder sister was making a lot of funny faces while taking photos with Blake, but I decided to put up the least funny of all photos. I know, I'm so nice, right? :P

And here's one more with my younger sis:

* All photos taken from my elder sis's camera J

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Blake’s First School Excursion

*Super long post ahead!*

On the morning of 25 October 2012, I woke up earlier than usual. I was too excited! It was Blake’s first ever school excursion, and we are going to Jurong Bird Park!

We quickly rushed out of the house, as we had to be in school earlier than usual, and my dad was already waiting for us downstairs, along with my mom and sister.

Blake knew that there was something special going on that day, and he was excited to get to school! Perhaps it was all the talk I have been giving him days leading up to 25th. I kept telling him about a place we were going to see a lot of beautiful and colourful birds! I had given him his school’s excursion backpack to carry around, and he got even more excited. Hehe. In his little backpack were his raincoat, my disposable poncho, and a set of his clothes.

When we reached his school, Blake could not sit still. He wouldn’t sit to have his breakfast, and was in a “why am I waiting?” kind of mood. He was restless. He kept saying, “Bye! See you!” , throughout the time in school, while we waited for all the other children and their parents to arrive. During this period, the teachers and kitchen staff were all busy packing our lunches too.

When we were finally lining up in the school’s front yard, waiting for the buses to arrive, Blake got even more excited, and rushed towards the gates.

He really couldn't wait any longer. Hehe.

But it was a while before we boarded the bus, as we took the second bus, and were the last to board. So in the midst of all the waiting, photo-taking time! J

Blake’s teacher took this shot for us. Hehe.

Finally, we boarded the bus, and we’re off! Blake was so excited, he wow-ed at everything he saw outside the window. Hehe. Lucky bugger got the window seat.

Halfway through the journey, Blake got bored and he started to play with the curtains on the bus. He was playing peek-a-boo with the world outside the windows. That entertained him for quite some time, and before we knew it, we’ve reached the bird park! J

While waiting for the school’s principal to get all our tickets, everyone lined up to take photos with ‘Birds of Play’ signboard. According to one teacher, “This is proof that we came to Jurong Bird Park!” Haha. It was quite funny.

The littlest of the lot. Hehe.

With their form teacher, Teacher Meng

Me and my baby! J

When the principal returned with our tickets, the whole school was more than ready to invade the bird park in their sunshine school uniforms! Hehe.

First stop, the penguins!

Blake saying, “Hi!” to the penguins

Teacher Meng was so-called assigned to assist me whenever I needed help cos of my heavily pregnant belly.

We then moved onto the owls. Blake refused to walk on his own through his section, not cos it was dark, but because he couldn’t see the owls! I was wondering why he asked me to carry him all of a sudden! I had thought it was the darkness and eeriness of the place, but he was doing fine when we were at the penguins’. But the moment I picked him up, he turned to where the owls were at, pointed at them, and went, “Wow!”. Haha. That’s when I knew.

After two cooling attractions at the start of our bird park outing, we braved the sun and heat to look at the other birds.

Yup, being carried cos he couldn’t see the birds. Haha.

When we reached this particular section, Blake struggled to get down.

And the reason behind the struggle to get down? He could see the birds clearer, and freely, when he’s on the ground. Haha! He was so excited at this attraction that he ran up and down, left and right, yelling, "BIRD!"

After this, the children were starting to be a little tired and hungry. So we headed over to Pools Amphitheatre, where everyone can sit down and have their lunch, while waiting for the show to start.

With his trusty water bottle, patiently waiting for something to happen

Snacking away from the goodies the school packed.
And yes, silly mommy forgot to remove his backpack until halfway through the show.

I didn’t take any photos of the show as I was too busy attending to Blake, and feeding myself. Haha. I was initially gearing myself up to struggle with a crying toddler (the last time we went to an animal show in the zoo, Blake cried so badly we had to leave), but Blake surprised me when he sat through the whole show, enjoying every moment of it! He let out cries of, “Wow!” when the birds flew past us, and clapping whenever the crowd clapped. I was thoroughly amazed, and proud of my little boy. Hehe.

After the show, it was time for the activity that all the children were waiting for – Water play!

We made our way to the water playground, found a nice shady spot to put our things and get changed, and it was off to the waters!

The water was definitely a huge welcome on such a hot day, and with Blake so in love with water now, he couldn’t be happier to see the water playground!

The teachers were all pretty taken aback by Blake’s enthusiasm in water play. They came up to me, one by one, telling me how great it was to see Blake in his element. Hehe. At one point, a few of his teachers surrounded Blake, and begin to splash water on him. Blake was laughing non-stop!

The teachers kept egging Blake to run towards them, and to play with them. Blake happily obliged, and had so much fun with all the teachers!

Madam Teo (his class’s assisting teacher) had came to tell me that Blake was such a delight to have around, because he doesn’t splash water on anyone on purpose, not even when the other children attempted to provoke him into doing so, or when the teachers told him to splash back, in the name of fun! Haha. Definitely a proud mama moment for me there J

When children started to leave the water playground to wash up, Blake’s school principal, Ms Elle, came to me and asked if Blake had gone onto the slides. I told her I couldn’t bring him up as it was kind of dangerous for the both of us. The staircase leading up to the slides had been taped off, and the only other way up was to climb up a net structure – not exactly something a heavily pregnant woman with a toddler should be attempting.

Ms Elle then offered to take Blake up, while I waited at the bottom for him. She said it would be such a pity if Blake didn’t go on the slide at least once, seeing how much he enjoyed everything else at the water playground. I agreed readily, cos Blake had been trying to get me to bring him up the slides, but I kept dragging him away.

Blake was more than happy to have someone take him up to the slides, and with another teacher catching all the students at the bottom, I managed to take a video!

So glad Blake had so much fun, and so super happy that the teachers were all more than happy to get themselves all wet (none of the teachers brought any change of clothes!), just so all the children can have all the fun J

After Blake washed up, we played for a little bit at the dry playground.

Then, Teacher Meng approached us, and told me that there is a cooler spot to play, and that his classmates were all waiting there. So I picked Blake up and walked him over to the shaded area. He was super happy with this place, cos not only was it much cooler, but it had all his machine ride-ons! Haha.

There was even a mini arcade, which Blake kept trying to push the door open to get into. I let him in, only because there was air-con. Something we both very much needed. Hehe.

When everyone was done washing up, it was time for the tram ride. We waited to get a whole tram to ourselves, and we named the tram “The Honey Tree Tram”!

Blake started to become cranky at this point as it was time for his afternoon nap, so I popped his pacifier into his mouth, and carried him throughout the rest of the journey.

Tried to get everyone within the two rows in, but Blake was too low, and two of the children behind got blocked by me…

After the tram ride, everyone was exhausted, but we still had 30 minutes to go before we could leave. We had to wait for the buses to arrive.

I took this time to bring Blake to the souvenir shop, to get a little reward for him. He behaved so well, I was so proud of him! That and because, I cannot leave anywhere without buying anything, when I’m determined to buy something home. Haha.

I got Blake two soft toys (he chose them) in the form of a Toucan and a Cockatoo. I had planned to get only one for him, but this boy of mine liked these two so much, he wouldn’t let go and carried them all around the shop. He did put them down when I told him to, though. I had to find Teacher Meng before I can make any purchases, as she was carrying our bags (so sweet, right?). So as a bonus reward, for not struggling or throwing tantrums when I put the toys back and left the shop, I got them both for him. Haha.

While Teacher Meng watched him, I went into the shop quickly to make the purchase, and returned to surprise my boy.

Look at how smitten he is with the Toucan

Blake fell asleep shortly after he got hold of his new toy

Soon, the buses arrived, and we were on our way back to school.

Just before he laid down on my lap to rest on the journey back to school

When we were back in the school, Blake drank his milk while waiting for my dad to pick us up. When he was done, my dad called (perfect timing!), and we left for home.

Blake’s new feathered friends

Ending this super long post are more pictures of Blake with his new feathered friends, and his duckie, the morning after our first school excursion: