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Slept in room 240 and got up in room 646

Don’t worry, this isn’t a horror story.

We were in Bangkok last weekend and stayed at Four Points by Sheraton. Although it was our first time there, we immediately felt right at home. The kids had a lot of room to stretch while we checked in. I allowed my 13 month old toddler to crawl and explore the hotel lobby – I got a million stares from people and I’m pretty sure they were thinking ‘How could they allow their kid to crawl on the floor?’.

The room received a seal of approval from both our son and our friend’s daughter. Spacious, clean and comfortable.

For some reason, I smelt cigarette smoke in our room on the first day. I thought, no way. It’s a non-smoking hotel. I must be dreaming. But it got really prominent that night. I was really upset and couldn’t sleep so I emailed the hotel asking them to check if we were on a smoking floor. The manager apologised and held a room for us on a different floor so we switched rooms early the next morning. Our clothes smelt like we just came out of a night club!

When we got back to the room that evening, we were pleasantly surprised with a plate of cupcakes from Khun Warapon. She really went all out to help us switch rooms by briefing her staff to fetch our bags, getting the new key cards and even offering to pack for us.

This is the second time I’ve made my husband change rooms due to cigarette smoke. It can be really annoying and even dangerous with a baby. He told our friends the next day that he fell asleep in Room 240 but woke up in Room 646.

Monster’s Monster Party

I’ve been planning his birthday since he was 6 months old. I toyed with a few ideas but decided on the Little Monster theme for he truly can be a little monster. I admit that I was more excited about his 1st birthday party than I was about our wedding. This celebration was not only about our boy, but was for my husband and I – it certainly needed to be perfect.

The Invitation (sent out via electronic media like email, text and What’sApp)

Favours

I wanted the party favours to be fun for the kids and I wanted it to be stuff they could keep. I didn’t want to include the typical things like balloons, face masks and noise makers in the gift bags. Frankly, when I get those gifts from parties, I don’t know what to do with them and they usually end up in the bin.

I immediately thought of a friend I met many years back at a bazaar and asked if she could help make some little monsters in felt. She and I got extremely excited and she amazingly came up with the six monsters in the photograph below. I ordered 12 of these, gave 1 to each of the 6 kids who came, and kept another 6 for my son which were also used as decor at the party. My son was immediately drawn to the bright colours and cute eyes.

a. Monster tissue packs from Cotton On Kids, S’pore
b. Party gift bags from Daiso
c. Quality Check by the Birthday Boy
d. Little Monsters by Mr. & Mrs. Chang of Newsong08.blogspot.com

Other goodies in the party packs were raisins, rice crackers for the younger kids and teddy bear biscuits for the older ones. I hope they liked them, their parents surely did!

Venue

Wondermama, Bangsar Village I

Photographer

Jimmy and Frankie from Papito Photography

Decorations and cake

a. Some of the monsters I illustrated
b. The banner
c. 30 cupcakes and a small cake from Pinkies Cupcakes with fondant images of the monsters from Sesame Street
d. The birthday boy checking out his gifts after the party

Balloons in green and blue from the party shop along Jalan Telawi.

Guests

30 adults and 6 kids consisting of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and our close friends.

When we got home that day, our son was so tired but excited to be surrounded by so many toys. He checked each one out before he went to bed. Happy Birthday, baby boy. Mama hopes she made this day memorable for you.

Mothercare Sale 2012

This was my first time at a Mothercare Sale which offered an additional 10% on the final total to VIP members.

I needed to pick up a toy and a pair of shoes for my son’s upcoming birthday. I am bored of his toys and books and thought it’s time to add to his collection.

When I arrived at 11 a.m., boy was I in for a surprise! Mothercare BSC had never been that packed with people. And this is one of the larger outlets stacked with ELC and Leap Frog products.

Reflecting on the sale this morning:

  • Playtime with Auntie Nadia, a weekly event on Fridays  (10 a.m. to noon), is held around the ELC and Leap Frog toys. It was really difficult for parents and kids to participate without blocking the racks of toys. I managed to grab Leap Frog’s Alphabet Pal which I scouted the day before the sale.
  • The payment queue stretched pass the Melissa & Doug toys, the cribs and bassinets, all the way to the strollers. If you are familiar with Mothercare’s layout in BSC, your jaw will drop too. We queued for a good 35 minutes.
  • Only two payment counters – did they not anticipate the crowd? Customers spending thousands of dollars lining up with many products – there should be a better way to handle the special 3-day member sale.
  • A question of ethics – the lady behind me sent her maid to stand in line while she walked off to shop. Looking at the amount she picked up, it was like she was shopping for an entire orphanage! I felt really bad for the people behind her as she kept handing bags of toys to her maid while she scurried off to get more. Is this fair? If you have not started or finished shopping, should you send someone to stand in line?
I don’t have a maid to handle my child while I’m shopping. Neither do I have a maid to stand in line for me while I shop. I am however, blessed with an understanding toddler who played with his Alphabet Pal and smiled at other customers while we stood in line to pay for his goodies.

Sewing Project: A baby bib

My parents bought me a sewing machine for my 30th birthday! What more could a girl like me ask for?

I wanted to start with a simple project so I thought I would try to make a bib for my 10-month old son. After doing much research, I used the pictorial tutorial by Textile Trolley. I initially printed Chickpeastudio‘s bib pattern but the size was more suited for an infant. I sketched my pattern by tracing the outline of an existing bib my son is using. I used this cute helicopter print purchased at Cokottoshop and backed it with terry cloth.

Because I finished it within his nap hour, I had little opportunity to photograph it each step of the way like Textile Trolley so elegantly did.

Here’s the bib on my little model who was bribed to take this photo with apple oat porridge. I was so excited to use it that I didn’t iron or snip the stray threads!

A special thanks to my husband for funding all my supplies and turning a blind eye to the mess that is my work desk 🙂

Separation Anxiety

July 21st, 2012 goes down in my diary as the first night out for my husband and I since the arrival of our little one. We left our son under the care of my in laws. It all turned out well. I felt like crying when I dropped him off. My MIL handled him better than I imagined.

It didn’t feel right at the start but I was slowly at ease shortly after arriving at the reception. I couldn’t help but wonder what my son was up to and needed ample distraction!

Top of the food chain

I was sharing a story with my husband last night. I remembered part of it – standing in front of the classroom getting scolding from Mrs. Yeoh.

Mrs. Yeoh asked “What if I drew this and said it was you.” I kept quiet. Stupid Pui Lin, why did she have to go tell the teacher. “I’m going to pin this on your pinafore and let you walk around with it the whole day.” It’s Fido Dido! And I’d like to think my artwork was superb. I sat down. A little embarrassed from the scolding.

Then I recalled how I threw this girl’s schoolbag out of the window in kindergarten. If I remember correctly, her name was Melanie and she didn’t want to let me use her colour pencils. She cried of course. The teachers told my mom. She may have scolded me but I can’t remember.

Auntie Dorothy told me this years back that I used to pinch kids in supermarkets. I was maybe 5 years old when all this happened. My mom had a tough time as parents would walk up to her telling her that I pinched their kid.

I’m really worried now. I wonder what’s in store for me and how should I prepare myself to face other parents.

Uh oh.

How to keep your 7-month old occupied

Staying at home all day with a baby can be painful when they need to be entertained.

I was discussing this with Praveen today – we can no longer lay the baby on the bouncer or under his play gym for a good 5 minutes of quiet.

Our Little One now wants to roam. Everywhere. He crawls around commando style (I call it Saving-Private-Ryan style) and he’s learning to sit up.

And boy, oh, boy does he get bored easily. How do you keep a baby this age occupied?

  • I’m impressed at how he can spend time with books. He may not be reading them. Instead, he’s looking and talking to the pictures, colours, feeling textures, biting the pages, knocking the board books, etc.
  • His sippy cup has been extremely amusing to him. He pushes it, it moves a distance then he moves a distance 🙂
  • Knocking and scratching surfaces.
  • He enjoys reaching his hand into the box of tissues. I turn it to see how long he takes to find the opening (not long. This trick or game doesn’t last a minute!)
  • Cuddles with him on my lap while I tell him a story or sing.
  • Walks around the house, to the pool, to listen to the birds, watch the squirrels and enjoy the breeze.
  • Finally, when all else fails, I give him this (not for Prav’s eyes!)

When Papa’s not at home, all the remote controls are belong to us! Wahahaha!

Wordless Wednesday – Boys and Toys

I found him in the middle of his play mat chitchatting with Loopy Loops.

Click here to link:



A Day in the life of a SAHM: Day 218

iPhone front camera’s don’t produce the clearest shots

These days, I not only wake up to a hungry little 7-month old baby, I have the task of prepping his daily porridge. Like a zombie, I am up at 6 a.m. to wash, soak and cut the rice, barley, sweet potato, green beans, carrots, you name it! I must say I really enjoy thinking up new meals for my son. He’s been very patronising with my cooking, just like his father.

After fiddling around in the kitchen, I try to have breakfast with my husband. Try. I usually fall back asleep and wake up again at 9:30. Yikes!

I put my son down for two naps (if I’m lucky) throughout the day and while he’s sleeping, I’m usually chatting away with Amelia online, working on something interesting with her (I kinda miss work), surfing for recipes or window shopping.

Play time is really fun these days. My son is amused by my peek-a-boo stunts whether I’m hiding behind my hands or he’s hiding under his blanket. I point out colours and objects whenever it is clear, and in the evenings we take walks around the pool. He is drawn to the voices of children playing in the pool, the swift passing of birds, or the sways of the coconut trees. The past three weeks included 2-3 evening swims a week as there were three older kids who practically lived in our condo pool! Although he was too young to play with them, our son would kick and laugh while watching the older kids from his float. Sadly, his friends have returned to Chennai and our swims have now reduced to once a week.

I hold a list of people that I talk to – my close friends who I need to speak to everyday to ensure I’m sane, some friends who I check in on since their lives are different from mine and it’s nice to break away for a moment (these are usually the ones who are getting married since weddings are fun!), my parents and in laws who I make it a point to forward a photograph of their grandson every now and then, and my sister because I love her even when she annoys me.

In the evenings, we make a call to Praveen to see what time he will be home. You should see my son’s face light up when he hears his dad’s voice on the speaker. He smiles and laughs as if his father could see him. I smile too knowing it won’t be long before he’s home.

My 2011

Dear son,

They say you become a mother the minute you find out you are pregnant. We were in Bangkok when I found out we were expecting you and from that moment on I immediately monitored my every move. I slowed down the pace of my walk, I watched each step so that I wouldn’t fall, I was afraid to get a foot massage and I started heading towards the children’s department each time I walked into a mall.

My 2011 was spent nurturing you in my belly, making sure that everything was perfect. I’d get upset if the someone coughed near me, I did ample research when in doubt of eating something, I made sure my body filtered everything before it got to you. I wasn’t superstitious yet I insisted we wait till I was 3 months pregnant before we announced it. And everyone close who knew were sworn to secrecy!

When you arrived, I dug a moat around our house and summoned the dragons so no one would see you till you were ready. Till I was ready. Yes, I am a protective mother. Protective, paranoid, and not afraid to admit it. I had a great mother and I aspire to be a great one too. Your father jokes saying you were like Michael Jackson’s kid, we were hiding you from the outside world.

You are 8 weeks old on the first week of 2012. I look at you today in your crib energetically kicking your legs, stretching your arms, glancing at me when I speak to you, cooing and smiling when you watch the animals on your mobile rotate, and I can’t help but fall in love with you over and over again.

2012 is going to be an exciting year – it’s the beginning of our lives as a family.

Love,

Mommy

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