It's the most wonderful time of the year...

Friday, 28 December 2012

We had a great Christmas, and we hope you did, too!!



Cheers to a Happy 2013!
May the year ahead be filled with much
Love, Happiness, and Joy.

- DaddyMoo, MummyMoo and BabyMoo -



Water for Life: Give the gift of clean water!

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

In Singapore, we are fortunate to be able to have drinking water straight from the tap, but in a lot of other countries, clean water is not so readily available. Water is essential for life, and especially in young children whose digestive tracts and immune systems are still vulnerable to bacteria, the lack of clean water can pose dire consequences to their well-being.

When we were in Indonesia for a family holiday last month, I was cautioned by my Mum and relatives about ensuring that we don't drink directly from the tap, and that all of BabyMoo's feeding paraphernalia has to be washed in boiled water or the sterilised water from the dispenser. Most homes have a water dispenser, and any drinking water or water used in cooking is sourced from there.

In many remote areas in Indonesia, clean water is considered an expense that many families are ill able to afford. When we came across this Water for Life initiative, I knew that I had to do my part in not only giving the gift of water to the children in these areas, but to raise awareness for this cause.

Metro for Children, together with Pioneer Junior College, is raising funds for the Water for Life (Lamongan) project by the Singapore International Foundation. This project aims to provide clean drinking water for 50,000 children and adults in Lamongan, Indonesia through the installation of 150 membrane water filters over 3 years.

The donation booth at Metro Paragon, manned by a savvy and very personable student from Pioneer Junior College.
You can donate toward the cause either in-store, or online.
We agree. There is no reason why children have to fall sick due to the lack of awareness or hygiene issues. These are the things which we can control.

Please click image above for ways that you can help!
Give the gift of water now. It's a precious gift which can hardly be measured, and let's do what we can to ensure that these children are able to have a carefree and healthy childhood.


Linking up with:

new button    My Little Drummer Boys   

'Virtual' vs 'Actual' Friendship. Is there a difference?

Friday, 21 December 2012

In this technologically advanced age, a lot of our time is spent on the internet, be it for research, work, or entertainment. As in real life, numerous communities have formed, attracting like minded people into their folds, people who are drawn together by a common goal, and at the same time, seek advice for problems faced or simply just to communicate.

Bonds are formed among members of on-line groups, and friendships can be forged by people who have never met one another in person.

Can we really form plausible friendships on-line? Why is it that in many instances, we can feel so close, or have a connection with people whom we have never met?

Perhaps the anonymity that the world wide web offers is a strong influence. Opinions are more strongly expressed, and it is all too easy to share experiences without having to deal with 'instant reactions' which we have to face, should the same discussion be had, face to face. We can complain about the things in life which affect us in a community, without fearing any backlash from those who know us. It is a solace ground of sorts, where we rant and rave, and be comforted in the fact that many others may face the same problem, or are worse off than we are.

Best of all, if you begin to feel awkward, threatened, or feel that you do not share the community's views - you are free to leave these virtual groups, as easily as you joined them.

I am fortunate to be a part of the Singapore Mom Bloggers (SMB) group, where I have had the opportunity to get to know a fabulous group of like-minded moms. We have shared problems and worries, and celebrated milestones and victories together. We are as diverse as a community gets, but we are united by a common goal: We only want the best for our children. 

We share trying times, and be comforted by those who have gone through the same. We laud little moments which make motherhood worthwhile, and be enveloped in genuine warmth from others because they know exactly how it feels like.

While some may say that virtual friendships are as fleeting as a click of a button, and can be terminated simply by the X at the top right hand corner of the screen, I am glad to have had the opportunity to take these virtual friendships onto a real life presence. We look forward to these meetings, simply because it's always nice to place intonations to the words on-screen.

We take time off mothering, work and life, to take a breather and be ourselves, for ourselves. I'm glad that I am able to stop referring to these ladies as my 'on-line friends'.

They are now, simply, just 'my friends'.

An awesome part of Singapore Mom Bloggers:
Clockwise from left: Jean (Jeanstitch), Sandra (SANses), Amie (Mamanie's Thots), Jennifer (DinoMama), Pc (simply us)
ME!! and Adeline (The Accidental Mom Blogger), with Megan, her lovely daughter.
Female versions of Larry, Curly and Moe. Make a wild guess which one of us is which!


Water takes the path of least resistance.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

I think we're all guilty of it. Perhaps the 'path of least resistance' is what human nature is apt to follow. Sometimes we realise that we're doing it... at other times we complain about other people doing it, most of the time we try not to do it, but at the end of the day, I suppose that's how we usually get by.

This applies to a lot of aspects in life. Work, family, socials. Especially with mundane or inane everyday things or chores, as long as there is an easier way to do things, or there is someone else to do it, we tend to simply ignore it, or (hope / take for granted) that another person will do it.

It takes a concerted effort and a strong realisation that we would not want to be treated as 'the other person' to take on daily tasks, especially those which can be so easy to walk away from.

A friend of mine was telling me that she could not for the life of her, understand why her colleagues simply choose to leave empty wrappers inside the office communal biscuit tin. Worse still, they are known to take the last piece of biscuit, and leave the empty box at the pantry. After finding one too many empty tins and having to throw them away despite not having consumed any biscuit, she is, understandably, rather angered by the entire situation. It may have been a simple biscuit tin in question, but her point is - is it that difficult to simply take the tin / wrapper and throw it away, instead of just leaving it on the counter? It doesn't magically disappear - someone else has to throw it away.



I told her that I experienced the same thing as well while I was in the operations side of F & B. I find that it makes work so much easier when the restaurant is operationally ready in terms of side preparations. This includes ensuring that there is sufficient cutlery, napkins, serviettes and side plates, just to name the basics. Throughout the course of the evening, I am apt to find empty serviette boxes, which was the result of the staff who took the last piece of napkin, simply leaving the box and not bothering to open a new one. Imagine you're running around, serving a full house - and these little details will undoubtedly add on to time wastage, not to mention make you pretty fed up when you reach in, only to find no serviettes.

Sure - someone else will have to replace it, but it isn't going to be them.

Could this also be the reason why there are so many helpers taking care of the kids at indoor playgrounds? To my understanding, having a helper would mean someone to help a parent out in ensuring that the daily chores are done, or if a family has more than one kid - to share in the task of keeping an eye on all of them. Perhaps it's so much easier to just ask the helper to play with them and pick up after them, because she is paid to do so? Where then, does that leave the parents time and opportunities to bond with the kids?

Maybe I'm too critical of this situation, and I know I am in no position to judge what goes on in any other families or other parenting styles, but no matter how tired I am or how BabyMoo can really test my patience, I make time for him. To play, laugh, learn and grow together. I want to be involved in his formative years, even if it means having to pretend that I am washing dishes from a tap with invisible water, or having to look like a drenched rat because the boy wants to go down the water slide with me.

I don't get someone else to do it for me, (even though I have a helper) simply because I am perfectly capable of doing it myself, and because I want to. After all, there will be plenty of time when BabyMoo is all grown up for me to catch a movie with the hubs, have dinner (and eat what *I* want instead of what the boy wants), settle down for a much needed cuppa without having to entertain a 2 year old, travel to far flung places and eat from roadside stalls.

So what accounts for the diversity of how we do things? We all have different ways of doing things. Most of us do things (especially chores) because we have thought about it, and come to a realisation that we don't want to be on the receiving end. As adults, we try to show our kids the right way to do things, but in an adult environment, do we do the right thing when we think that no one is looking?

Water takes the path of least resistance.
For as long as there is someone else to do it, there is no urgent need for you to do it yourself.


MummyMOO


City Square Mall: A Chuggington Christmas Carnival!

Monday, 17 December 2012

BabyMoo loves trains. Absolutely, and totally in love with all manner of trains, perhaps enhanced by a throwback to the time when we didn't have a car and he used to ride the MRT with Daddy to come pick Mummy up from work. He has a particular preference for Chuggington trains, and will always prance around to its theme song. He will sit quietly while the DVD plays... and I have to admit that I almost always use that distraction whenever I need to get things done around the house!

So when we were kindly invited to a Chuggington 'Live' show at The City Square Mall, I knew that it was going to be a treat for him. I think I was more excited than him, because it was going to be our first time at a mall 'Live' show!

Brewster, Koko and Wilson made their appearance, and BabyMoo sat, transfixed... until he (unwittingly) did a little bop. He turned, gave me a sheepish smile, and after that... there was no stopping him! He jived and moved to the happy songs, and clapped with glee.

Morgan, the chief mechanic at Chuggington
Koko, Wilson and Brewster, The Chuggington Trainees!
City Square Mall takes pride in being an eco-friendly mall, and hence the Chuggington feature aptly centres around the concept of recycling. I think at the end of the show, not only are the kids familiarised with the concept of recycling, their parents were also educated on the different colours (for disposing of different types of materials) used to differentiate the recycling bins at the mall!

YELLOW is for paper, BLUE is for plastic, and GREEN is for metals!

At the end of the 20 minute show, the atrium erupted into cheers and exclamations of wonderment as 'snow' drifted from the upper levels onto centrestage. I was impressed... and I think the adults enjoyed themselves as much as the kids did! It was certainly a very well organised show, and BabyMoo was very, very disappointed when it ended.

Oooh!!
We were given the opportunity to 'Meet and Greet' the trainees after the show, but the boy wasn't very happy... and it showed.

Sulky face, because he was so sad that there was no more singing and dancing!
The Chuggington 'Live'show ended its run yesterday, but you can still head on down to take a photo with the trains!

Pose for a photo with the Chuggington trainees!

17 - 30 December
1pm, 4pm and 7pm daily
Venue: L1 Atrium Stage, photo opportunity with $10 spent at participating shops in the mall.

***

We were then ushered to another section in the mall where BabyMoo was given a Chuggington balloon and posed against a Chuggington backdrop for an instant photo as a memento. He was still sulky... and reluctantly did so.


Check out the 'I'm upset cos I want more chugga chugga choochoo!' face.
He cheered up a little bit when he was shown to a small table and given some colouring paper. Well... at least I thought so, until I realised that he was entertained more by the screen showing a Chuggington DVD within the enclosure!




Shop & Redeem your Chuggington Holiday Fun!

11am – 9pm daily (till 30 December)
Enjoy colouring fun, receive a balloon and bring home a photo memento with $100* spent.
$80* spent for UOB Credit/Debit Cardmembers. (Limited to first 200 children per day)

***

BabyMoo was also given a Chuggington tote bag and a pencil case set, and I think it's such a nifty set to keep all his crayons, markers and even trains!



Traintastic Promotion (till 30 December)

Redeem an exclusive Chuggington tote bag and pencil case set with $200* spent. 
$150* spent for UOB Credit/Debit Cardmembers.

***

BabyMoo saw this train... and of course, after the Chuggington show, wanted a ride! He kept on going ChooChoo! the entire time, and was absolutely thrilled to bits!




***

There are also other activities in the days leading to Christmas at the mall. Do check it out.

It’s Snow Time!

Now till 30 December, at 7.30pm daily

Venue: L1 City Green (Park)
Check out the Chuggington Christmas tree, and have fun playing in the 'snow' at 7.30pm daily!



Come Sing The Yuletide Cheer

21 & 22 December, 6.15pm
Venue: L1 Atrium

A choir sings familiar Christmas carols, to lend a festive air and spread the greetings of the season!

There is also a Christmas party just for the little ones. Be entertained with Christmas carolling, Santa meet and greet, balloon and magic shows and more! Check out Mother & Baby magazine (Dec issue) or email m&b_promotions@mediacorp.com.sg to pre-register by 18 December.

***

We actually really loved City Square Mall... and appreciate that not only is the mall eco-friendly (in terms of water and electricity usage, etc) - they have also taken the trouble to make it a very family friendly place. Parking is a breeze, and if you're lucky, you can park at one of the huge family lots located very near the entrance / exits from the carpark leading to the mall. There is a designated 'walkway' at the carpark as well, which is useful when you're pushing a stroller, trolley, or a wheelchair, and a safer option when you're walking with the kids in tow.

What's not to love?
I love these posters, placed just near all the restrooms. No more going on a wild goose chase with a poopy baby!

Pssst...! There is also a water fountain located at the basement... and it's flanked by The Coffee Bean and MacDonald's! Perfect for a cuppa while the kids play :)

DISCLAIMER: We were invited for a Traintastic Chuggington Live! Show. No monetary compensation was received, and all opinions are 100% my own.

12 Things I'm thankful for in 2012.

Today I'm over at The Gingerbread Mum's blog, sharing the 12 things which I'm thankful for - in 2012. there are so many things which I appreciate, and these are just the pick of the lot.

This year has been kind to me... cheers to a brand new year ahead, and another chance for me to 'get it right!. Another year to make new mistakes. make glorious, amazing mistakes. To make mistakes nobody has ever made before.

Whatever it is that I may have stopped myself from doing, lest I 'make a mistake', I'll just go ahead and do - in the coming year(s). Life is much too short for regrets.

<Please click pic for full entry>


Photo *Heart* Friday: Merry-Go-Round

Friday, 14 December 2012

“You don't really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around - and why his parents will always wave back.” 
- William D. Tammeus
It's interesting how we interact and connect with our children and loved ones. Perhaps there is a basic need to bond, and to be assured of contact. While it may not make sense for a child to wave each and every time he spots his parents when he goes on a merry-go-round, and it makes even less sense for the parents (more excitedly, in most instances) to wave back, I see it as a truly raw and unadulterated method of love and assurance.

The child is spinning round and round in a circle. He isn't going anywhere... but he's having fun, and is enjoying the ride. He wants to share that feeling with the people he loves. He wants to show them that he's happy. He shares with his parents his happiness, and his joy at always being able to see them round the bend.

We, as parents, want to assure the child that he is safe, that with every turn, he will always be able to spot the people who matter most in his young life. We will be there when he gets off the ride.

We will always be there for them at the end of each journey, no matter how perilous or arduous; wherever they go, regardless of how old they may be.




Wordless Wednesday: Forever Young

Wednesday, 12 December 2012


No matter how much we grow taller, grow older,

we are still forever stumbling...


Forever wondering,

Forever young.



Linking up with:

new button    My Little Drummer Boys   

JED Packs: Let's get organised!

I used to insist on keeping a pristine bedroom. My sheets need to be crisp and fluffy, and the covers have to be pulled tight so that you can almost bounce off its tautness. Perfume bottles are arranged according to shape, and there are no knick knacks which will clutter any available space. I need to look forward to coming home after a long, hard day, and having the room in disarray will only make me upset.

Of course, as all Mums will attest, I have had to make major adjustments to my expectations and habits ever since the boy came along. Trying to keep everything neat around the home with a curious 2 year old is like brushing your teeth while eating an Oreo.

When some clever storage options were introduced to me by JED Packs, I was extremely excited, because it would mean that I could at least maintain a semblance of 'neat-ness' in some aspects of life!


A wet bag essentially holds spare diapers, soiled diapers, a change of clothes, swimwear, towels, water bottles, feeding supplies... basically anything which you would like to keep against soiling other things in your diaper bag. It's fully lined, so wetness does not seep through, and all JED Packs' wet bags are machine washable and dryer safe.

BabyMoo loves tractors and trucks, and this is such a perfect bag for him. I use the wet bag to keep his spare change of clothes.

Happy prints make a happy boy!
Fully lined interior. Bag is 100% cotton.
I love how the bag within a bag fits perfectly, and comes in extremely handy to keep soiled items separate. Most importantly, it's stylish enough to be carried out on its own. Perfect for trips to the pool or to the beach!

Oh... and I absolutely adore the fairies' print for the girls!




Bumkins reusable snack bags are the eco-friendly alternative to single-use plastic bags, and are machine washable and dishwasher-safe. They also can be used to store other things apart from little bites, such as pacifiers, nail clippers, food scissors or utensils for feeding on the go.


BabyMoo loves cookies and biscuits, and asks for a snack when he isn't too busy playing when we're out. I like that the snack bags are zippered so that I don't have to worry about finding rubber bands or having the biscuits spill out of the original package.


He loves the prints on these... and could even be persuaded to sit in his stroller (no mean feat) while having a snack, just to be able to hold the bag himself! 



Check out all the cool stuff available at JED Packs!


To celebrate the festive season, JED Packs! is giving away 2 sets of Bumkins Dr. Seuss' Snack Bags for 2 of our lucky readers!
“And this mess is so big 
And so deep and so tall, 
We CAN keep it clean,
There is a way after all!” 

Winner will be chosen by JED Packs! representatives. Contest is only open to those residing in Singapore.

Simply do the following:

1. "Like" JED Packs! on Facebook
2. Leave a comment on this photo (on JED Packs page) on why you think a snack bag will be the perfect addition to your diaper bag.
3. Share the post which you commented on.

Please note that winners with no email option on the Facebook pages will be disqualified, and another winner picked.

Contest runs from 12 December 2012 - 19 December 2012 (00:00).
Winners will be notified via Facebook message.

Good Luck!

UPDATE

Congratulations to
CAROL LIM MEI MEI and CRYSTAL NG!

You have each won a set of
Dr. Seuss Snack Bags!


Kindly contact JED Packs at info@jedpacks.com for details.

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DISCLAIMER: We received a Wet Bag and a set of Snack Bags for review purposes. All opinions stated are 100% my own. This giveaway is in NO way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. Information collected is NOT collected by Facebook. In signing up for this promotion, participants release and indemnify Facebook from all liability.
 

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