Saturday, May 28, 2011

No Fuss, No Tears!

Today, we took Kenan for a haircut. We've postponed this for a couple of weeks, because to be honest, we dread bringing him for haircut given the way he fussed and cried in the past. It's one of those occasions where we both felt quite helpless as parents. But with the hot weather and how easily he perspires, we gave in and finally brought him to the hairdresser.

Upon reaching the salon, I immediately took out his shoes and socks. This has become a 'must-do' at every salon trip because skipping this step will likely mean lots of hard work in removing the hair that's stuck on the socks later on (one hairstylist told us she had a client who would even remove the clothes for the same reason). Thankfully, I found an easy solution and need not worry too much about hair getting stuck on clothes or socks. It's to use one of those refillable roller sticky tape (we got it from Daiso) and we always have one in the car ever since.

So anyway, after taking off the shoes and socks, I was getting ready to sit in the chair with Kenan on my lap when the hairstylist suggested that I let him sit in the chair alone.

I objected to the idea immediately. "Oh, but he will cry", "He's still small, I don't think he know how to sit properly in the chair yet"... and while I tried to come up with more reasons to convince her it wasn't a good idea, she persuaded us instead, to give Kenan a chance. "It's ok, just let him try!" she said, confidence ringing in her voice.

We relented, albeit with much apprehension. The stylist put a thick cushion seat on the chair and we placed Kenan on it. When she startd putting the plastic cape around Kenan's neck, I immediately stood right next to him, expecting him to try pulling out the cape and began throwing a tantrum (that's what happened the past few times).

But boy, I was wrong! He sat very still in his seat and remained that way for the rest of the haircut! We were totally amazed. Seeing the serious look on his face and how well behaved he was, it felt as if he has suddenly grown up.

And kudos to the hairstylist. She was very patient with Kenan and you could tell she has a way with kids. I must really thank her for giving us the confidence to give Kenan a chance to be more independent.


Kenan is able to sit by himself for the haircut

Kenan takes a look to see how the haistylist snips his hair off

Having some distraction helps Kenan to sit still 

Thankful that Kenan got such a wonderful hairstylist today, who gave him a really nice haircut


Friday, May 27, 2011

Sweet Moments that Melt My Heart

Once upon a time, I was reluctant to have kids. I felt that having a child would hinder my career and the pursuit of my dreams. But when Kenan arrived, something deep in my heart began to change.

Sixteen months on, in spite of the tears, frustrations and sleep deprivation, I've also felt joy beyond anything ever experienced. You know, the kind of joy that you experience on a deeper level, the kind that stays in your heart for a long, long time to come. Like the very first time Kenan called me "ma-ma", or the way he plants tiny kisses on my cheeks at the most unexpected moment - such as stopping whatever he is doing, walks over to me and kisses me. These days, he also has the habit of making sure that he kisses both cheeks (and he does the same to the daddy) - he would point his finger to a certain spot on one cheek, kisses it, then points to another spot on the other cheek and plants his second kiss!

But I love the bedtime routine the most. We normally lie on the floor mattress next to his bed and say our prayer together (rather, it's me who's saying the prayers), then I'll wait for him to fall asleep before putting him in bed. But as he tosses and turns about on the mattress, he also likes to snuggle up to me and kiss me good night, or he would sometimes put his small hands around my neck to give me a hug. But I'll never forget those occasions when I thought he had fallen asleep and was going to carry him to bed when he suddenly turned around, looked at me with big round eyes that glistened in the dark and then called me "ma-ma" in the sweetest of voice. My heart melted instantly.

It's these many beautiful moments peppering this strange, sometimes surreal and definitely challenging journey as a mom that made me realised what a sweet gift motherhood is.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Family Lounge at PS

As a WAHM, I don't necessarily go out everyday. So hubby is normally the one who opens the mailbox.

Yesterday, he came home with a large pile of letters and ads. Guess because the GSS is here, plus the school holiday is starting this Saturday, so retailers are all out to woo the shoppers. I briefly went through the ads (some I didn't even bother to open up to look inside) and something in one brochure caught my eyes.

It's a brochure from Plaza Singapura. The last time I was there was a few months ago for dinner and we didn't stay to shop because somehow, I just didn't quite like it there. Perhaps it was the layout of the mall or the mix of tenants, I just never have the shopping mood whenever I'm there. I also remember the nursing room in PS - it was possibly the worst I've ever used - old, dirty and smelly, I told myself never to set foot in it again.

So what was it that caught my eyes? The Family Lounge. Yes, apparently they now have a Family Lounge on Level 4 and comes with the following facilities:
  • Cable TV with the latest movies, sports and news updates
  • Fashion, health, parenting magazines, books and newspapers
  • Massage chairs and drinks
  • Toys, board games and Xbox for the children
  • Mobile phone charging and locker service
  • Wi-Fi and surfing stations
Shoppers can also loan baby prams from the mall and there are family parking lots on Deck 3.

BUT wait.. there's a catch. I called to enquire if shoppers need to pay to use the Lounge and found out that you need to spend a minimum of $50 to use the facility (can accumulate up to three same-day receipts). There are some terms and conditions for the use of the Lounge, you can read about it here (rules such removing footwear and wearing socks before entering the playroom, including adults; usage of the Lounge is limited to an hour and admits one adult and two children, children below ten must be accompanied by an adult etc.).

Honestly, I do applaud and appreciate the move of offering more family-oriented services. But I would be happier if we could use the Lounge without having to first spend $50. I mean, won't it be a good place to 'park' the husbands and kids while we women shop? If I have to spend first in order to use the Lounge, then I might as well get all my shopping done and then go off? But guess it's better than not having such a facility.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

From An Apple to Celebrating the Simple Joys of Life

Kenan loves fruits. He eats all kinds of fruits - including durian, which really surprised us. In fact, he seems to enjoy durian a lot.

The other day, I finally gave Kenan an apple to munch on. I thought since he now has two molars and with more erupting, perhaps he is able to eat the fruit without the need to cut it into tiny pieces.

He was thrilled when I took out the apple from the fridge and showed it to him. He watched me earnestly as I cut away the skin and kept saying "apple" with great excitement. He then held it in his two small hands like a precious gem as he walked out from the kitchen to the living room, before finally sinking his tiny teeth into it.





As I watched him chomp away happily at his apple, I am reminded again to be thankful for the small things in life and to appreciate the simple joys and beauty that God surround us with everyday.

I have learnt that often, it is the simple things in life that give us greater happiness than the material things we covet. The gorgeous sunset, beautiful smile on a baby's face, a tender kiss from the spouse, surprise call from a dear old friend, a book that inspires - small and insignificant as they seem to be, but isn't it usually these simple joys that has the special ability to touch our hearts and enrich our souls?

Monday, May 23, 2011

One Great Week: Food, Friendship and a Date

The past week had been a great one with some special moments I'm thankful for.

I caught up with two close girl friends over a nice afternoon tea at Fosters an English Rose Cafe.

Tucked away in a snug corner of Holland Village, the quaint little eatery offers a cozy ambience with its dim interior and dark furnishing that exudes an old world charm. I probably won't be wrong to say that the d├ęcor has largely remained the same in the past decade, which is something nice for a change, because everything in Singapore changes at such rapid pace.The first time I ate here was over 10 years ago, so the place naturally evokes some nostalgia and brings back many fond memories.

If you ever visit Fosters during tea time, try their popular Devonshire Cream Tea Set (S$10.50), which is available between 3 - 6pm. I spied a set of this at majority of tables when I was there on Tuesday afternoon, which was a public holiday and the eatery was fully occupied. 


The tea set consists of two sandwiches, a slice of fruit cake, two scones served with cream, strawberry preserve and butter, and a pot of tea. The best part of this? I would say it's the scones. Resembling muffins rather than scones, these fragrant creations with their buttery aroma were deliciously crusty on the outside and soft and flaky on the inside with a generous dose of raisins.

By the way, do you know that the proper way to eat Devonshire cream tea (originated from the county of Devon in England) is to split the scone into two, spread each half with clotted cream then top it off with strawberry jam (and no, there's no butter required). And do you also know that the Devonians and Cornish have been battling for years which is best way to eat cream tea (the Cornish way is the opposite of the Devonian way, which is strawberry jam first then clotted cream). You can read about it in this article.

I was really happy for the meeting. As a mom, especially a WAHM, it means a lot for me to be able to get out of the house and spend time with my good friends. Because sometimes it can feel really lonely being a WAHM, without getting the kind of social interactions that full-time working moms get in their offices.

Then last night, the hubby and I managed to tuck Kenan to bed early and then went out for a date. Our initial plan was to have dinner at East Coast Park hawker centre then head to town for coffee (where I hope to read a book I've been wanting to read for a long time) and to watch Pirates of the Carribeans: On Stranger Tides. But after being caught in a bad traffic jam for almost 45 minutes, we decided to skip the whole hawker thing and go straight to town.

We ended up at TCC for a really late dinner (at about 11pm!) but managed to get to the cinema in time for the midnight show.

Crisp Club Sandwich (S$13.80) -Yummy! The triple decker sandwich comes with eggs with mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, bacon and crispy chicken patty. I love the wholemeal bread, it has nice nutty fragrant to it. The sandwich is big; really value for money.


Watched Pirates of the Carribean 4 at the newly opened Shaw Theatres


Except for the little unhappiness at being caught in the traffic jam, it turned out to be a really wonderful evening spent with the hubby - and without the kid in tow. We need more of this!

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Special Brunch

Yesterday we had brunch at The White Rabbit; husband said it's an extended Mother's Day celebration. I was touched. Coming from someone who is more practical than romantic, the gesture is so much sweeter for that reason.

While I often wish he could be more romantic, I am thankful for the unwavering support he has unconditionally given me all these years. Because of his support, I dare took the leap of faith and quitted my job three years ago to pursue my dream of being a writer and more.

I hope that Kenan will grow up to be the kind of husband like his daddy (and hopefully more romantic!).

Here are some photos of our wonderful day to share.

Menu, The White Rabbit

A staff gave Kenan some crayons for him to draw and play with. We were pleasantly surprised by the thoughtful gesture.





My order: Eggs  Benedict - consists of poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, toasted English muffins, choice of honey baked ham or smoked salmon. This one is with smoked salmon, which they served by mistake.

The staff came back with the right order - honey baked ham. Yummy!

Husband's order: English "Fry Up". It comes with sunny side up eggs, bacon, sauteed mushrooms, tomatoes, toast soldiers in cast iron skillet


I tried to create the old world feel with some of the photos to match the ambience of the restored chapel which The White Rabbit is housed in. Think I am successful in my attempt?

Kenan and Veggie Printing

Last week, I finally got down to letting Kenan try some art work. I got the idea from fellow mommy blogger MamaJ and took some leftover lotus roots for Kenan to do some veggie printing.

Making prints on the paper...

Curious about the lotus roots...

Kenan showing that he is having fun...

From printing on paper to printing on the highchair...

Showing mommy his dirtied hands and asking to be cleaned...


Kenan's masterpieces after about 15 minutes of 'hard work'


I have been postponing this activity for the longest time, knowing the mess it will create, but when I saw how much fun he was having, I was so glad I overcame my reluctance.

Mommy promised him there will be more such activities in the future! And thanks MamaJ!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Looking for Space-Saving Furniture

Before Kenan came along, I have a study room where I get to work in peace and quietness. Now, the study room has been converted into a bedroom for the helper and my current work space is just a small corner of the dining table in the dining area. No longer can I enjoy the quietness I used to have - which is so important to me as a writer and sometimes, this really frustrates me.

So now, I am exploring the possibility of recreating a work space in the bedroom that was previously the study.

A while back, I saw a video clip on a friend's Facebook account that showcased some really cool space-saving furniture. I was especially intrigued by what are known as wall beds. As the name implies, the bed can be folded and tucked away in a 'wall' or cabinet. You can see the video here.

I began looking for something similar here and found one company that produces what they call the 'hidden wall beds'. I sent an enquiry to them and they responded quickly with a call followed by tonnes of photos of  projects they did for clients living in HDB flats and private condominiums. I thought I'll share some of them with you, starting with this single-bed with attached cabinets and table:



Here's another one; it's a queen-size bed and I certainly prefer it in white.


This one shows two single beds, it's a good idea to have it flushed against the wall:

However, I must admit I'm not really excited when I see these local wall  beds, after being so impressed by what I saw in the video clip. The design and finishing of the European furniture are really so much more sleek and stylish, but of course, the prices will imaginably be equally impressive.

I went to the website of the company that posted the video clip to find out more. I saw one that I love - it comes with a single bed, a wardrobe and table. Here are the pictures:

picture from Resource furniture

picture from Resource Furniture

What's really great about this one is that when you bring down the bed, the table gets tucked neatly underneath without having to remove the things placed on it! There's also more storage space by the side of the bed, in addition to the wardrobe on top.

I really wish someone would bring in these European furniture. Singapore's apartments (HDB and private ones) are getting smaller and smaller, these furniture will help solve our space shortage problems. And I rather pay more for the better design and quality. 

Oh, while I was researching about wall beds, I found someone sharing about his renovation works in a forum and this person actually flew all the way to Italy to buy a wall bed and then arranged for it to be shipped back. Wow, I wish I have that kind of money to do such a thing! He bought a simple wall bed, without all the additional cabinets and storage space, and got it boxed up so that it flushes with the wall. If you have time, go through his thread and see the amazing transformation of his entire apartment. I was super impressed, and  he's got lots of cool, high-end stuff in there!

Anyway, back to the local wall beds produced by the eponymously named company Hidden Wall Bed. The price of a basic single/super single wall bed ranges from about $2,000 to $2,400 and queen beds are from about $2,400 to $2,800. Prices exclude mattresses. Additional storage cabinet is charged by per foot run.

I probably visit their showroom to check the beds out. But how I wish I can have one of the European wall beds!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Too Tired to Celebrate

Over the weekend, we had a nice dinner to celebrate Mother's Day. Managed to take some photos with the little boy with him looking at the camera. Perhaps he knew it was Mother's Day and cooperated with us for the photos.





Then midway through dinner, the little boy, who didn't have a wink of sleep the whole day, fell asleep on the highchair! He didn't even finish his dinner! And he slept on and on, and even when we got home, he was still sleeping. Guess he was way too tired, plus he hasn't recover from his cough and running nose yet.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Project Nursing Rooms: Raffles City (Level 3)

Since I stopped breastfeeding, I seldom make use of the baby rooms. But this weekend, we were at Raffles City and had to give my boy a change of diaper, so we popped into the nearest one, which was the one on the third floor.

This baby room is located just next to Lift Lobby B and on the way to the washrooms. The last time we were here, there's someone else in the room so I didn't get a chance to take some photos. But on this occasion, despite it being a Saturday afternoon, there was no one else around and I got a good look at what's available here (it's usually very crowded during weekends).


There's only one nursing room, which is at the far left corner.
There are also a baby highchair, a wooden chair, four changing tables, and a sink.

There's also a cushioned bench.

A close up of one changing table. All except one has the attached toilet roll and covered wastebin. I like the convenience of this design!


Above are two chairs found inside the nursing room; besides these and the mirror on the wall, there's nothing else in here.

The entrance of the baby room.


There was a strong poo stench when we first went in but the cleaning lady came and sprayed some air freshener and it was fine.

It would do better with hot water dispenser and a more comfortable chair inside the nursing room.


Ratings
Cleanliness: 3/5
Amenities: 3/5
Ambience: 3/5

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Loving the Toy Stores

My little boy started walking independently at 15 months old. Since then, he's been enjoying his newfound mobility more and more. But it's not exactly good news for us though, as we have been feeling more and more tired from going after him.

Some of his favourite places to roam are the great outdoors.... and the toy stores!

Wow, there are so many toys here.. let me check this one out...

.... and this one too....

Oh look! There's more over there!


Sometimes, he got so engrossed with the toys that if we were to carry him off, he would cry the most pitiful cry, and made us look as if we had ill-treated him.. haha.

So once, we decided to trick him and say we were going off, hoping that he will be scared to be left behind and obediently follow us. But it didn't happen the way we planned. We hid ourselves a corner and waited to see what happens.

We waited... and waited. Then when our boy finally emerged from behind the shelf, he merely poked his head out to see where we were, and when he spotted us, he happily went back to the toys!


Needless to say, we had to carry him off. But we thought he looked really cute peeping out the way he did! Ah, the frustrations and joys of parenting!

Care to share what things your little ones do that never fail to put a smile on your face?


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