Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Painting At Home: Ding! Ding!

Those two Ding! Ding! in the title meant score points.

It was a lazy Sunday afternoon. I decided to stick two pieces of mahjong paper on the floor, bring out the paints and brushes and let the art come out of my girls. Totally won them over. And mummy got some quiet time. Mummy:1 / JBabies:1.

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Recently, the girls have been very into painting. Even for Jayne who is still learning how to hold a brush properly, she’s enjoying herself doodling. =) I’m happy to let them do it of course. Nice to let them cultivate their artistic talents and creativity.

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The great thing about doing painting at home is that you can get as dirty as you like, from head to toe, because the bathroom’s just a few steps away. Using paints that’s non-toxic and water soluble would make it a very fuss-free activity to do anytime.

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Observing how the two kids of different ages do their painting is an interesting thing. Jayne is coming to 3 years old, and she is into ‘sweeping’ art. All she wants to do is to fill the space with colours and she is very focused on putting paint onto the paper to eliminate the white spaces. But Joey would plan what she wants to portray in her painting. She decided right at the beginning that it was going to be a beach scene, so she drew in a crab, butterflies, sand, sun and blue skies. Along the way, she’d explain to me what she drew. =D This has got to be one of the most amazing things about parenting. I discover so much along the way, at each step of their milestones in life. Very rewarding.

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See that expression on her face? I love it when she’s so focused and attentive. My baby is not a baby anymore! Boohoo.

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Another great benefit of painting at this point is to help the girls learn about colours. Jayne would ask me to refill her paints when they run out, and along the way, she;d remember what each colour was. As for Joey, it helped her remember which colours mix together to give her the colour she wanted. What a great learning activity, isn’t it?

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Thankfully, both my girls are not cleanliness freaks. They are ok with having paints on their hands. In fact, Jayne had paint on her entire body at the end of the painting session.

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The final products by The J Babies. =D

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Kids-Friendly Dining Venue: Zaffron Kitchen

Parents with young kids are constantly on the lookout for dining options that are kids-friendly. It’s survival instinct basically – If we want to be able to digest our food properly (achievable by not having to shout, scream or threaten anyone), we need to dine at a place that’s entertaining for the kids as well. It’s unreasonable to expect kids to sit still on a chair for 30 minutes without stirring up any mischief.

And so, since I was craving for Indian food (read: naan) on Sunday, we brought the kids to Zaffron Kitchen. This is a restaurant that serves modern Indian food. This is not the first time I’m blogging about this restaurant, but it’s my kids’ first time there. And the reason why I brought my kids there is because there’s a playhouse in the restaurant, and free popcorn for everyone!

Check out the interior – Modern & contemporary! Definitely not your usual Indian restaurant.

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Their specialty dishes include Masala, naan, bryani and all kinds of curries of course. =)

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This is the play area for kids. It’s not big, but enough to entertain the kids for a while before the dishes arrive.

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I ordered what I think is their signature drink – Lime with plum. Very refreshing! And the popcorn was really a nice dessert after a lovely meal. We have several servings, and they even gave us a cup to take away. =P Good service!

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Zaffron Kitchen does not have a kids’ menu, but rest assured that many of their dishes are kids-friendly. I ordered a roti prata with mushrooms for my girls. You can also order murtabak, burgers with fries etc. Though most Indian dishes are spicy, they have several selections that are non-spicy as well.

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My hubby ordered the Dome Chicken Bryani. The bryani was hidden under a sheet of naan-lookalike.

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I order Butter Chicken, which was very mildly spicy and very appetising. I absolutely loved it!!!

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And of course, we had to order their naans. I love the garlic naan, while Hubby nommed on the plain naans. They went so well with our curries! Among us, we were served three different kinds of curries, so I liked every one of them.

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I didn’t know I like Indian food so much! Haha!

Zaffron Kitchen is located at 135/137 East Coast Road, opposite the road from Katong Mall.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Flea Market At Pasir Ris Park

I am a lover of flea markets, and I especially like to bask in the vibrant and happy atmosphere at flea markets. So I brought the kids and my parents to the once-a-month flea market at Pasir Ris Park over the weekends. The Mundi Market happens on the last Saturday of every month, 3pm-9pm and is supported by NParks. It’s located at Aloha Lawn (Nearest carpark is Carpark A).

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I enjoy bringing the kids outdoors, even when the weather’s hot. Kids should be allowed to roam freely in nature. Haha!

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I must say the flea market is very small, but what I enjoyed was the very friendly faces of the stall-owners as we walked past. Everyone was in a relaxed mood, and that was really nice to see on a Saturday evening. =) And look at what greeted us as we approached the venue: Picture perfect. =)

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The thing that most attracts me about a stall is the labels they use to name the items on sale. I love such stuffs! This stall sells Japanese products – some were really interesting: Brown sugar with dried plum lolly! =P

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Joey almost succeeded in getting me to buy the Hello Kitty shaped macaroni! Too cute! =X

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We settled for some Jap jellies instead. =D A lot cheaper, thank goodness.

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Some high-priced items could be found there too. =) Would you buy a $2000 bike at a flea market?

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You can even find cupcakes and little pastries to fill your stomach as you shop around. Feels like a Farmers’ Market – Nice.

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What I really liked was this area where you could buy drinks and snacks and just sit & relax. I did that with my parents, and it was such a good soul time sipping our drinks, chatting and watching the sea waves.

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What were my kids doing while I had soul time, you must be wondering? ArtSense Studio set up a stall there, and we happened to bump into them there! So, the girls were busy doing art along the beach! So cool, right?? =D (You can read about my girls’ experience at ArtSense here)

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It was not overly crowded, so it was nice and peaceful. It was a perfect way to spend our Saturday evening before dinner. =)

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Can we have more of such flea markets in Singapore, please? =D

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Friday, February 24, 2012

“Hi Everybody, I am 34 & I Am A Mom.”

I’ve always wanted to be a mom.

But for some weird reason, while growing up, I’ve always had this morbid fear in me that I can’t have babies. After I became a Christian, I kind of got a hold of myself in this area, but there was always this nagging worry that I might grow old without having a kid of my own. It’s weird because I certainly didn’t have girl friends who thought the same way as I did. In fact, quite on the contrary, some of my friends were worried about getting pregnant instead, if you know what I mean. =X

So when hubby and I decided to try for a baby 3 years into our marriage, I wasn’t expecting to get pregnant immediately. I thought that we probably had to try for a year or so. Because, come on, who gets pregnant so fast? Haven’t we watched enough drama serials of people who try for years before they could have a baby?

But thank God we didn’t have to try long. The pregnancy took place during one of the biggest transitions in my life – I left my comfortable government job of 7 years and joined my church as a full-time secretary. I was grappling with so many different changes that I didn’t even realise I was pregnant till the first trimester was over. =P The pregnancy was very easy and smooth with no morning sickness or loss of appetite at all. It was truly God’s grace.

I didn’t feel like a mom until much later. I saw my baby only on the second day after I went through a complicated birthing process. I was 40 weeks pregnant with no signs of giving birth yet. Gynae induced me, broke my water bag after 15 hours and I was still not dilated. Eventually, I was pushed into the operating theatre for an emergency C-section at 12 midnight. After Joey was delivered, I couldn’t see her because she was placed in the NICU (Intensive Care Unit) as I was having fever during the final moments before the operation. When I did meet Baby Joey the next day after a night of sleep, I didn’t connect immediately with her. To me, she was the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen, but the truth that I had become a mom did not sink in. Thankfully, as I plunged into my motherhood duties with much gusto, the realization did occur eventually. I AM A MOM.

The second time I went through my pregnancy was less easy because I felt nauseous most of the time until the second trimester. Overall it was still considered smooth though. I had no issues with my health, and I didn’t feel overwhelmed having to cope with a child and a baby in tummy. The birth process was uneventful of course because I went straight for the C-section. The first time I saw Baby Jayne though, the feeling was different. I felt the intense love of a mother inside of me. It was much easier the second time round to fit into my role.

Am I glad I chose to become a mom? I certainly did. Not everything was rosy and easy, but motherhood has brought a whole new dimension to my life. It’s true I lost my freedom, my sleep and my dreams of travelling around the world. Yet, the rewards were much greater than all that. Do I think I make a good mom? On some days, I think so, but on others, I feel I suck at it big-time. I must have mentioned this before - Motherhood is a journey with the most emotional roller-coaster rides. It is definitely not for the faint-hearted. But I can confidently say it’s something I would do all over again if I could live my life again.

For those of you reading this and trying to have a baby, I pray that your heart’s desire will come to pass very quickly. Children are blessings and inheritance from God, and I truly believe that God, being faithful and good, will give you that blessing & inheritance. Keeping believing!

This is one of those many times I am thankful I started this blog. It’s documented all my ups & downs as a mom, and every big & small thing my kids have gone through. A mother’s journey is worth documenting every step of the way.

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Thank you for staying on this journey together with me. =)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

MILO® Easy Cool

Sponsored Review

Milo is a favourite drink for many people, including myself!

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Not only does it make a good perk-me-up energy beverage, it’s yummy with a strong chocolate taste. In a country like Singapore where the climate is hot & humid most of the time, many of us like our Milo chilled & cool! Except it’s a little troublesome because we have to add warm water, then ice-cubes or cool water to chill it. Most of the time, we end up with neither-hot-nor-cold Milo. Don’t we all love ICY COLD MILO?? =)

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The good news is that Nestlé Singapore has launched a new product - MILO® Easy Cool! As its name suggests, you can now make a cup of cold Milo without the need for ice cubes! Just add cold water to a sachet of Milo, and viola! A cup of refreshing cold Milo to quench your thirst! =D Both my girls are big fans of Milo. So when our complimentary pack of MILO® Easy Cool arrived at our house, Joey & Jayne can’t wait to try it for themselves!

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We also received a lovely Milo tumbler for us to shake our cold Milo in. It’s so easy to make a tumbler of Milo, that even the kids could do it themselves. No hot water involved, so absolutely safe! =P

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Just Pour, Shake & Be Cool! =D

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Now, we can enjoy our cold Milo anytime, anywhere! =D Not only does MILO® Easy Cool pack a convenience’s punch, it is also endorsed by the Health Promotion Board’s Healthier Choice Symbol and contains healthy goodness such as:

  • Actigen-E (a combination of B Vitamins and Magnesium)
  • ProtoMalt (a special malt extract made from malted barley grains found only in a MILO® drink)
  • Glucose, maltose and complex carbohydrates ( which gives you longer lasting energy)
  • Vitamin C and Calcium
  • Milk, cocoa and essential vitamins and minerals

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Go get your packet of MILO® Easy Cool today! =D

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