Category Archives: Life At Large

Carousell, a great way to buy

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When Carousell, a buy sell trade app, launched in Singapore, I paid little attention to it. Dealing and wheeling was not my sort of thing.

However when I got pregnant and we needed to set up the nursery, Carousell became really useful in many ways. You see, the baby room before it was a baby room, was my husband’s store room. Half of the things he brought over from his old place when we moved, was chucked into this room, “to be cleared whenever”. Which probably meant never if it had not been for the baby. tv with missing cables. Sound system with 2 missing speakers. Xbox 360. A hand held UV vacuum cleaner. So the best way to get rid of everything was to Carousell everything. 
I listed everything at $50. Some saw the good deals that they were and snapped them up without question. There were the handful of negotiators which I ignored. Some were mildly interesting. I had a baby cot which I didn’t find suitable so I tried to sell it off. The interested party was obviously a young mother who was totally clueless about how big baby cots can be. While asking for details about the cot, she asked if it’s something she could transport back on a motorcycle. I wanted to tell her perhaps if she lived in a village yes but not here. My friend suggested since the cot had wheels, she could tie the cot to the back of her husband’s bike and sit in the cot while he pulled her home. I thought that was a pretty good suggestion. 


It was also a great place to sell my husband’s many coffee machines. 

After the baby arrived I soon found Carousell to be god sent. I ended up buying baby stuff online. One can find pretty well maintained secondhand stuff for a good price on Carousell. We got our Bugaboo stroller from a lady whose boy had outgrown it. My freemie breast pumps  and Hana baby wrap from other moms. I even got 2 sets of brand new nursing bras at half the retail price. 

Out of these many transactions, I encountered the usual; those who ask for really low prices despite the already good price that I’ve listed the items for. There are those who expressed interest but end up not responding after that. Annoying as hell but there’s nothing to do about it. 

However out of all that I had one really good exchange. I was enquiring about a breast milk cooler bag and needed it pretty urgently so I searched for one within the vicinity. I then found out the seller was living in the very same apartment as I was! So we started chatting and we both realised we were fans of the same diaper bag brand Jujube and hung out in the same community group on Facebook! What are the odds of finding a neighbour on Carousell. What’s more, she was really nice and honest about the cooler bag, advising me to purchase another brand that worked better, even if it meant a lost sale for her. We both agreed that we should meet up and hang out one day. 

But for every good one you meet, there’s invariably one that kinda puts you off. We were at this lady’s house collecting our purchase when she realized we had brought our baby along. She first remarked that it was past his bed time (it was 815pm and we were only there at that time because she couldn’t get home in time to meet me). Then she commented that he was well past the age of having not started on solid food (he’s 7 months old in a few days time). And then she told him that he shouldn’t be putting his fingers in his mouth. We were so glad to just pass her the money and leave after that. I was tempted to rate her as “item in good condition. Comes with free unsolicited advice”.  

But this wasn’t the worse encounter I’ve had. I wanted to purchase a pouch from a seller who said it was being shipped in from USA. so I put in a deposit and waited for it. A few weeks went by but the item hasn’t arrived. Responses from the seller were slow and intermittent. Separately in another community chat room some ladies were discussing about the pouch and I realised they had all purchased from the same seller! After a little amateur sleuthing, we concluded that she was scamming us some of us pulled out of the transactions, demanding refunds. One of the ladies decided to make a police report. A few months later, she was charged in court for her scams and was sent to jail for a few weeks. Truly a hard price to pay for just a few dollars. 

So it seems Carousell is here to stay. There are a few annoyances about the people you meet on it but the positives do outweigh the negatives. As they say, one man’s trash can be another man’s treasure. And it’s a great way for me to declutter my home of my husband’s things. 

Liam’s first month party

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We celebrated Liam’s first month at Little Island Brewing Co at Changi Village on Saturday. According to Chinese customs, this marks the day that the child has survived the first 30 days of his birth and it’s a celebration of his good health (read more here). For us it’s a celebration of having survived the first 30 days of parenthood, with many many many more to come. 

  

Here I am posing maniacally with my son’s name. 

Many people ask why did I choose to host the party at a brewery. I asked why not. I’m not sure what’s considered a good location for first month parties. But as long as there food and shelter, it works fine for me. Also the first month party isn’t really for the child since he’s barely conscious of his surroundings as long as there’s a pair of arms cuddling him. So we picked the brewery mainly for our benefit. 

    

The guest of honour slept throughout the party, despite being passed around from person to person. I almost lost track of where he went and half entertained the thought of tying a balloon to him so he’s visible to my eye. When we first got there, he was screaming his head off, after having been removed from the safe quiet cocoon of his car seat and into the hot noisy afternoon of the outside world. I was so frazzled at having to hold a screaming baby in one arm while trying to figure out how to get the pram moving. Passers-by stare at me curiously as I struggled to calm him down while trying to figure out which button will get the pram to move. I looked so much like a first time mother that’s out for the first time with her newborn. 

He soon quieten down when we reached the relatively soothing atmosphere of the brewery, but not without having to bounce him around a bit more under the cool gaze of the patrons at a brewery, probably thinking “why on earth would you bring a baby to a brewery?” Well I don’t know, because maybe his parents still had their lives to live and maybe would like a pint or two thank you very much. 

After 3 solid hours of running around getting our guests sorted out with their food, answering questions about how it has been (it was tiring at the start but it’s getting better – was my default reply), and feeding the baby in between, I was exhausted. All that human interaction wore me out plenty, especially for an introvert. While my husband was busy flitting from table to table being the social butterfly that he is, all I wanted to do was to was to sit there and stare at the wall. At times I was having two or three conversations simultaneously while different groups of people came up to gawk at the kid. Perhaps next time I’ll prepare a FAQ and distribute it beforehand. 

But in all I was glad to see my friends and have some human interaction and conversations that didn’t involve asking when was his last feed and if he had pooped yet. It was tremendously hilarious to go into detail about your breasts to your younger colleagues who cringe at your very many details. Only my two male colleagues who were also fathers were nonplussed. 

Also the kid doesn’t say more than EHH at this age.
    
        
   

Daddy’s boy

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The other day my husband asked me if I’ve fed the kid. I said yes and that he’s probably sleeping now. My husband pouted in reply, “aww! You mean I don’t get to play with him?”

Aww!

My first baby shower

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My friend Sunitha sent me a text message one day and invited me to her place for tea with the rest of our ex-colleagues. Thinking that it was a party to celebrate her birthday belatedly and an early Christmas one, I readily agreed, looking forward to tasting her cakes and cookies as Sunitha is a great baker! She spends her weekends baking muffins, cupcakes and cookies, and she even won last year’s Simply Hers baking contest with a delicious looking birthday cake for Simply Hers birthday celebration.

When I arrived, she was shocked to see me on time, because it turned out that it was a surprise baby shower for me and everyone else was not there yet! What a wholly unexpected yet pleasant surprise! And the best bit was I bought her a tea set as her birthday present! We ended up exchanging gifts as she had bought children’s story books to start the kid’s library going. I was really pleased with the present as she knew me well!

 

One by one, the rest streamed in, surprised to see me there already. I had thought that I’d surprise them with my belly but turned out they had already known about it while secretly planning this tea party. Everyone bought a snack and soon the table was filled with yummies. Many thanks to everyone who showed up with food, especially Pauline who bought buttered popcorn to satisfy my craving, and Lavi who endured Saturday nightmare traffic at Orchard Road to get me the best pastries any pregnant woman deserves.

Sunitha knew I was lactose intolerant and took a lot of effort to make sure she baked something I could eat. These are white chocolate (she knows I don’t eat the usual brown chocolate) with vanilla. She made Bee cupcakes for the Mum-to-Bee! Isn’t that cute?? The cupcakes were so yummy!

 

Blueberry cake with raspberries. We told her to quit her corporate job and set up her own business.

Tuna croissant and Beef pastrami with sun dried tomatoes croissant, lovingly put together by Lavi who waited 1.5 hours to get a cab home from Orchard.

   

  

Cheers to great friends and happiness! It was such a great way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon with much laughter. I never thought I’d have a baby shower because it’s not a common thing in Singapore. Thank you friends for organising it!

Food cravings

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This is written at week 22.

For the past 2 weeks, my baby belly has become rather obvious, thus surprising many friends, relatives and colleagues when they meet me. Invariably, they ask these three questions:

  1. How many months?
  2. Any nausea?
  3. Food cravings?

For the first 20 weeks, I can proudly say “not really” to the last question. My husband and I had always planned our meals around what I felt like eating, since I’m a fussy eater, so I didn’t think that was that big a deal. However, as we entered the 2nd half of the pregnancy, baby decided that he wants to taste very specific things out there in the world. Like one day, I suddenly had a craving for prata, which isn’t usual for me since my university midnight supper days. This was then followed by masala tea, which was easily satisfied with a trip to our favourite Nepalese restaurant Everest at Chander Road. Then while sitting in the Grand Chapiteau of Cirque du Soleil during intermission, I was bombarded by the smell of popcorn and sat there craving for salted popcorn with melted butter (which they weren’t selling). I spent the next three days going to cinema halls and Garret popcorn looking for the elusive butter popcorn, which I still haven’t found.

Today, baby wanted to eat fruit tart, of all things. Luckily we were in the vicinity so we popped by Drips Bakery Cafe at Tiong Bahru and bought two beautiful fruit tarts, one mango tart, and one raspberry blueberry tart. Now baby is dancing happily around inside me. I think I should set up a list of cravings and places to find them and turn it into an app. Sure as hell would make most husbands’ lives easier.