Happy 3 months old

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To my dearest son,

You turned 3 months old yesterday. You’re growing so fast and big, Mommy wishes time would slow down so you will remain her baby for a while longer. 
Day by day I watch you grow, and learn new things. Almost overnight, you suddenly stopped grunting at us and you’ve started squealing and chattering as if you had a lot to tell us. Every morning when you wake up, you like to tell me about your escapades in Dreamland. Every night I will tell you stories where once upon a time, there lived a boy called Liam who lived in a town called Liamsville, and the many adventures that he has.

In these three months, you’ve learnt a lot of new things. I watched you learn to hold your head up for as long as you can before flopping back down. I watched you push yourself up on you chubby arms to watch the world around you. You’ve learnt to recognise the people who love you; like mommy and daddy, gong gong and po po, and mama. On this day, you finally learnt to hold you head up without assistance, making mommy’s heart burst with pride as you’ve conquered this first milestone. 
Ever since you were born, our lives have change so much. The first eight weeks were really tough but we managed to pull through together. I learnt what it was that made you smile and what made you cry. As time goes by, we begin to enjoy each other’s company more and more. 

You are very dear to me, my child. My love for you grows each day. I am very glad to have you in my life, and I look forward to discovering more of you in the months to come. 
Lots of love hugs and kisses
Your mommy. 

Baby Outing: Takashimaya

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Every week, I meet my girlfriend Michelle so I can get out of the house and avoid going crazy from boredom. Yes there’s a lot to do when taking care of a newborn, but it’s the same day in day out, that if I didn’t go out and meet another human being that’s not my child, I may lose the ability to communicate with another adult. So my stay at home mom (SAHM) friend joins me every Tuesday mornings and we head out to show Kiwi the world.

Our choice of venues are very simple, as mentioned earlier it has to have air-conditioning (so Kiwi and I don’t die from heat rash), and a viable nursing or diaper changing room. In the forums, the nursing room at Takashimaya holds the gold standard. It is the Queen of nursing rooms and I had to check it out.

It is located on level 4 of Takashimaya where the children’s department is, at the far corner next to Burberry kids. The entire room is split into 3 main areas; the diaper changing room, the waiting room outside and the nursing room (access for moms and kids only). The waiting room outside can be used for moms who bottle feed their babies.

 

The diaper changing room is really spacious, so much so that you can probably squeeze in a ping pong table and play a round or two while waiting your turn. It has 5 stations which means the ping pong game won’t be too long. Each station has a buckle safety harness, and a roll of plastic bags which you use to throw your diaper in before throwing it in the bin. What I like about this nursing room is the diaper vending machine by Huggies that serves M and L size diapers. Never should one be worried about running out because you can always get a spare at Takashimaya!

 

This is the nursing room area, with 5 cubicles. Each cubicle has an armchair, and a changing table. It’s spacious enough to squeeze in one pram, 1 Kiwi, 2 women and a lot of gossip. When we were there just before noon, it was fairly empty so we could exchange mother-in-law stories without worrying about being overheard. However when I went back there at 1pm, it was at maximum capacity. There was a Takashimaya staff on duty who regulated the queue. They also placed 2 additional chairs along this corridor so you can nurse while waiting, because we all know a screaming hungry baby CANNOT wait. In addition to nursing moms, a fair number of pumping moms came in to express their milk.

Everyone was very  caring sharing in this room. When one of the rooms emptied, one of the pumping moms walked in, saw 2 of us moms outside feeding our babies. She then went to look for the staff on duty to ask her if she would like to get one of us to use the room because she didn’t need the privacy as much as we did. When it was my turn to use the room, with Kiwi hanging off one boob and my arms around him, the staff helped me push my stroller into the room, carried my bag in, and helped me lock the door.

This is by far my favourite nursing room to date. Trust the Japanese to get things right!

Baby outing: Brewerkz

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Kiwi’s daddy’s friends wanted to meet Kiwi so we are off to a somewhat Kiwi-friendly place which means air-conditioning and diaper changing station. We had originally planned to go to Little Island but I vetoed that because they had none of the above. Brewerkz is rather child friendly on weekend afternoons as it’s pretty quiet. I’ve seen father and son pairings where dad is watching a game of football or cricket while the son is playing on his iPad, while mom is probably off somewhere having a child-free party.

I like Brewerkz because it’s not very crowded during lunch time, and it’s dimly lit, perfect for babies and for those nursing a hangover with more beer. It’s also not too noisy for a baby, yet not too quiet that when Kiwi protests for milk, it generally cannot be heard by the next table, hence I didn’t have to suffer stares from other patrons. We were seated in a corner of the restaurant which was great as that meant little human traffic in our area, so our stroller didn’t get in the way of anyone, and I could nurse Kiwi in public.


Here’s Kiwi at the diaper changing station within the handicap cubicle next to the restrooms. The room is clean and smells okay, with bare necessities such as the changing top, paper rolls and running water. It is the Japanese capsule hotel of changing rooms. As you can see, Kiwi is moderately impressed.

Packing my Jujube diaper bag

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We are off to grandma’s!

 

Oops, maybe after naptime.

This is my Jujube diaper bag, which I bought even before Kiwi was out. I was introduced to this bag by my sister-in-law and I got hooked pretty easily, seeing that they have a number of Tokidoki x Jujube collaborations that are so cute and irresistible. However here you see one of Jujube classic lines called Blooming Romance, which is where they first introduced their new bag Be Classy.

 

All Jujube products start with a “Be” something. All Jujube bags come choke full of parent friendly features such as being waterproof, easy to clean, and my favourite – oodles of compartments. It almost seems as if the entire bag is made up of compartments. There’s a compartment for everything imaginable. From your mommy shades to your bub’s water bottle. And if the compartments weren’t enough, they have smaller pouches and purses for you to zip all your stuff in!

In the launch of the Blooming Romance x Be Classy, they upgraded the existing Better Be bag into the Be Classy. The Be Classy is a tote bag with stiffer material which gives it a more structured feel that I like, but somehow makes the bag heavier than it really needs to be.

This is a close up of the Blooming Romance design. See how pretty the pink flowers are in contrast to the green against the black background. I used to joke that the day I start liking designs with large flowers is the day I enter aunty hood. True enough, my 60 year old aunt saw my bag and she liked it!

The first compartment at the front is what is known as the Mommy Pocket. Here’s where Mommy keeps all her stuff; her wallet or purse (here I’m using the smallest of the 3 purses in the set piece from the Be Set to store my cash and cards), sunglasses pocket, 3 pockets for whatever – I used one to keep tissues and wipes, and the main compartment where you can store practically anything.

 

this is the main compartment of the bag. there are 4 side pockets, which I use to stuff

  1. Oatmeal cookies for when I’m feeling snackish
  2. baby wet wipes
  3. nursing cover
  4. swaddle cloth

in addition, I have here 2 Be Quick pouches which I use to store Kiwi’s stuff.

The back pocket is where you keep the changing pad that comes with the bag. Here I stuff my Kindle in for easy access.

 

There are 2 external sides pockets with zips that you can use to store bottles. here I have Kiwi’s bottle and 2 servings of formula milk powder.

Here are all the pouches you can fit in a Be Classy’s main compartment. In the first 5 weeks, I was still new to the idea of bringing Kiwi anywhere so I brought everything out. Even though Kiwi is breastfed, I have formula milk on standby and even brought my breast pumps, which of course I don’t do so anymore. From left to right: Dream World (Hello Kitty x Tokidoki collaboration) Fuel Cell, Dream World Be Quick, Fairytella Be Quick.

In the Dream World Be Quick, I store Kiwi’s diapers x 6 pieces, a tube of nappy rash cream and a face towel.

In the Fairytella Be Quick, I store a set of Kiwi’s clothing which was massively handy when he started transitioning to moderate poops every few hours to large poops in the daytime. To date, there have been about 4 times I’ve whipped out this pouch for a fresh set of clothes.

 

 

Here’s what’s in the Fuel Cell. The fuel cell is very handy and can be used to store a number of things. For most mothers, they use it to store their bottles and formula. Some use it to store breast milk and ice packs. I use it to store my portable Spectra S9 breast pump and Freemie suction cups. I’ve another Fuel Cell which I use to store my Canon Selphy portable printer.

So here’s a quick look at what goes into a mommy’s diaper bag. Before Kiwi, I used it as a work bag and the only things I carried were my Fossil sling bag (which holds all my cards and cash), make-up pouch, Kindle and a lot of air. You can see now that things have changed a lot, namely I don’t carry my make-up pouch anymore ha! But yes, most of the items in my Jujube bags are now for Kiwi.

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.