Health Detective Day by Parkway East Hospital

MEDIA INVITE

How many times have you nagged at your child the importance of washing their hands before meals or eating healthy? Too many to count, I know. Sometimes I felt like recording my nags into my phone just so I can play it back it to Xander whenever required. How to teach them good habits then? Benjamin Franklin had the perfect answer.

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

We were invited to participate in Parkway East Hospital’s Health Detective Day two weekends ago and it was certainly different from the previous Doctor for a Day we attended last year. Not only did Xander had the opportunity to learn and role-play the different occupations in a hospital, his grandmother (my mummy) also got to learn a tip or two about healthy eating, muscle strengthening exercises and she also had a cataract screening by experienced eye specialists. It would’ve been a real 3 generation discovery experience except that we didn’t participate in the Superchef Challenge. It didn’t matter because we all had fun anyway.

KIDS HEALTH DETECTIVE EXPERIENCE

Health-Detective-day-web

When you have children, getting to events on time is relatively unheard of. At least for my family. This time, we had the timing pat down yo! Even managed to have a nice lunch before the session. When its too good to be true, it usually is. When we reached the venue, I was wondering why was it so quiet and where were the rambunctious kids? As it turns out, we were at the wrong hospital 🙁 *facepalm*. A quick call and a 15 minutes drive later, we finally arrived at the right place, Parkway East Hospital (formerly East Shore Hospital).

Xander was reminded about the importance of personal hygiene and about those nasty germs and viruses in the General Practitioner’s room. The kids had to relearn how to wash their hands properly: front, back, between fingers, fingertips, etc. Pretty straightforward but the kids preferred the other 2 rooms more: Dietician and Radiologist.

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All hell broke loose when the little detectives were told to find food they think gives them energy in the dietician’s room.
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Burgers are good what. Got meat, got veggie, ok mah?

The Dietician room was a clear favourite among the kids because it was filled with so many props and they had to decide what are healthy foods and what are not. Thankfully, most of them had the right answers and the others, well, they had fun waving enormous pictures of burgers.

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I love the props in the radiologist’s room!

I was pretty tickled to see the mini MRI scanner in the Radiologist’s room. It was absolutely adorable! The little detectives were so excited to be given the opportunity to scan their patients and make sure they were in the pink of health.

ADULT HEALTH DETECTIVE EXPERIENCE


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Since we were the only participants for the Adults Health Detective experience that day, (the rest eventually turned up later), we all sat in for the session with Grandma and the nutritionist. She taught us about the food pyramid and went through with us what kind of portion for the different food groups is recommended based on the food pyramid.

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The young ladies in the Mobility room showed Grandma some simple exercises she can do at home to get those joints movin’ groovin’. It was like a mini dance class and she looked like she had fun 🙂

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Lastly, she was given a cataract screening by experienced eye specialists from the Eagle Eye Centre. According to the description of the screening given, “Eye cataract screening include visual acuity to establish one’s visual capabilities, intra-ocular pressure to detect glaucoma and eye health to evaluate the ocular health of one’s eye.”

My mum knew she needed some TLC (Tender Loving Care) done on her eyes so the diagnosis did not come as a surprise to her. However, The Husband and I felt the specialist could have been more sensitive with the delivery of his words. He wasn’t nasty or rude. Neither did he exaggerate her condition. He was just very blunt. I wish when dealing with elder patients, he could have been a little gentler and not keep repeating lines like “It is really really bad yah? You know right?” I felt so sorry for my mummy. Of course she knows its bad lah but it doesn’t mean she likes it. She kept a brave front and nodded at everything he said. Sigh. I attempted to diffuse the mood with nonsense like “Ya Mummy, after the surgery hor, you can see your 4D numbers a lot clearer liao wor! You will see more winning numbers even! Good ah? Good ah?” My own eye specialist (from Eye Hospital some more) is also blunt like that with me. He insisted “a chunk of tissue missing from your cornea” was just a medical term. *rolleyes* Lucky I young, I can take it and I shot back with a “That’s not funny”.

Anyway, I’m sure not everyone in the medical profession is like that and I have met some very warm, compassionate and with good “bedside manners” ones before. These 2 are just the rare few. I hope.

The Graduation (for the kids’ session)

Parkway East Health Detective Group Photo

At the end of the kids’ session, they were ushered into a closed room for their graduation photo and certificate. I was standing outside the room wondering why take so long and sounded like they took many times. THEN they ran out and I dug for the photo in Xander’s goodie bag. I burst out laughing when I saw it. He is such a ham in front of the camera! This has to be the best photo he has taken in an event this year. Haha!

After the phototaking, we paid a quick visit to the carnival / organic market on the ground floor. There was also a health forum where members of the public could ask the specialists questions about various general health issues.

My thoughts

Xander enjoyed himself tremendously and it was certainly very different from the one he attended last year. He also remembered quite a bit of the information he was taught during the day and reminded me “Rice is energy food and I need to eat some now because I used up all my energy running around just now.” Orh, ok lor.

The programme is recommended for kids between 5-10 years old and if you want to participate in their future programmes, do visit their Facebook page for regular updates.

Disclaimer

We were invited by Parkway East Hospital for the event but all opinions are my own. 

Let’s go shopping with… Lazada.sg (Review and giveaway)

Review

Yvie started on solids a couple of weeks ago and I was quite determined not to rely on ready-made baby foods like I did with Xander when he was her age. Sure it is more convenient to heat up that bottle of broccoli purée and it is certainly not poison. I told myself if I can prepare most of her meals from scratch I would because there is nothing like home-made food made with fresh ingredients and with no preservatives. In order to do that, I needed a new blender/grinder but something simple and doesn’t cost an arm or a leg.

Thanks to The Wacky Duo’s post on Lazada, I found the perfect one and it was on sale for only FORTY DOLLARS! PHUWOAR! How to say no to $40?? I figured even when Yvie doesn’t need to have puréed food all the time, I can always use it to make frozen margaritas. For myself. Teeheehee! Wasting no time at all, I used the Lazada app to make the purchase and 2 days later it was delivered to my doorstep . Whee!

Now that I have the blender, what other nifty gadgets does one need when they have to feed a hungry messy baby? Here are 10 items I like that are available on Lazada.sg.

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Mother of Xander (and Yvie)’s Top 10 Baby (related) Products

1. BOON Gnaw Multi-Purpose Teething Tether

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We saw one of our friend’s baby using this during one of our meetups and we thought it was such a clever idea. It was so hard to find in the stores here but we found it eventually and it has served us very well. The BOON Gnaw Multi-Purpose Teething Tether ($13.90) holds on to teething biscuits pretty much the same way as the good old ancient Chinese finger traps. *gasp* Haha but it’s true! It held on to her favourite Healthy Times Maple Teething Biscuits very securely, kept my baby busy and my pocket happy because we lose fewer biscuits now.

2. Thermos Foogo Food Jar

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Instead of relying on ready-made jars of baby food, most parents in Singapore prefer to prepare their own. The Thermos Foogo Food Jar ($49.00) keeps the food warm for hours while on the go. When my son was younger, I used to pack his food into a similar thermos and it was so convenient to be able to feed him warm food anywhere we went.

3. PUKU Baby 3 in 1 Snack trap

Puku 3 in 1 Snack Trap

The PUKU Baby 3 in 1 Snack trap ($29.90) is great for toddlers who are learning to self feed and it helps to keep them busy while keeping the snacks in. The strainer lid is useful if you need to drain off excess liquids in your baby’s dinner.

4. Philips Avent Combined Steamer and Blender Value Pack

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If we didn’t have our current steamer, I would’ve definately bought this. Philip Avent Combined Steamer and Blender Value Pack (Special price $199.00) not only includes the ridiculously convenient steamer/blender, it also comes with utensils and storage containers you need when you are introducing solids to your child. You might tell me “What’s the big deal about this steamer? My wok also can steam carrots what?” After steaming the food, all you need to do is to turn the jar around and you are ready to blend. No need to transfer to another gadget and less clean up to do. So easy ah? I also say.

5. Philips Avent Straw Cup 260ml 12m+

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I like the design of the Philips Avent Straw Cup 260ml 12m+ ($19.00) because not only was it leak-proof, the twist-lid also kept the straw clean.

6. Chicco Chicco 360 Hook On Chair Lime

Chicco Hook On Chair

The Chicco Chicco 360 Hook On Chair Lime ($179.00) works on most tables but best with the sturdy hawker centre tables which are usually nailed to the ground. Not everyone I spoke to about hook on chairs agree on its practicality. Some said its a waste of money since it was only going to be used until the child hits about 16kg or until their chunky thighs can’t squeeze through the leg holes any more. Others said it was a lifesaver when they travel to places which don’t provide high chairs like most hawker centres in Singapore. I like it because the seat is removable for washing and very portable.

7. Paderno World Cuisine Spiral Vegetable Slicer

For picky eating toddlers, the Paderno World Cuisine Spiral Vegetable Slicer ($109.00) can create curly fries with sweet potatoes in minutes! You can also use it to slice zucchinis to create raw pasta! Mix it up with some light seasoning and serve the healthy dish to the little carnivores. They won’t suspect a thing! You could also use the fine blade to slice up some vegetables for Chinese New Year’s Lo Hei! Huat ah!

8. Morries 1.0L Electric Lunch Box

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Do you know you can cook your toddler’s rice porridge with the Morries 1.0L Electric Lunch Box ($33.90)? I can already picture you using it during your short trip to Bangkok. Pop in some chopped vegetables, rice and water. Go take a shower or do whatever morning rituals you need to do while it cooks. After it is done, pour it into the Thermos Foogo Food Jar and you are ready to conquer the malls!

9. I-ROVA Robot Vacuum Cleaner XR510A

Mealtimes with small children can be a real messy affair. I’ve tried lining the floor under the high chair with newspaper and plastic sheet but of course the kid will drop/flick/projectile vomit the food OUTSIDE of the safe zone. Sigh. Can you imagine having an I-ROVA Robot Vacuum Cleaner XR510A (Special price $685.00) in your house that will vacuum AND mop up the mess for you? Shut up and take my money already!

10. Krupp NDG Circolo FS Red

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Of all the items in this list, THIS, is the most important of the lot to me. Technically it’s not a baby product but many mummies around the world will agree it should at least be considered. Coffee! I love coffee! Hot ones, cold ones, cheap ones, atas ones, I can’t do without it. I never stopped drinking coffee during my 2 pregnancies either and I don’t feel guilty about it because my gynaes say as long as I don’t exceed 4 (or was it 5?) a day I should be fine. My babies turned out fine too. Hehe! Having to wake up every 2 hours every night to feed the baby, the first thing I would reach for before I start my day is a good, piping hot cuppa. Like my mummy once said “If don’t drink kopi at least once a day I will, dunno why, feel very blur blur leh.” Being a good daughter I am, I agree. Once the caffeine kicks in I’m as good as gold, ready to roll! The Krupp NDG Circolo FS ($339.00) can prepare hot or cold beverages at the touch of a button. No need to run to fancy schmancy coffee joints. Your kitchen is a fancy schmancy coffee joint now.

Shopping with Lazada, Southeast Asia’s Largest online shopping mall, is so easy and they have such a wide range of products, you will be spoilt for choice.

Do sign up for their newsletter to get $10 instantly (minimum spend of $50) and Like their Facebook page to receive regular updates on promotions and events.

November Special!

Check out Lazada’s Online Revolution Singapore on 11 November where they have 1 flash sale every hour! How about trying your hand at winning your shopping wishlist?

Especially for all readers of Mother of Xander!*

5 $30 shopping vouchers are up for grabs and you can win one for yourself just by following all 3 of the instructions in the Rafflecopter below. Don’t forget to take a quick read of the Terms and Conditions in the Rafflecopter too.

Contest ends on Sunday 16 November 2014 and I will announce the winners here on Monday 17 November 2014. Good luck!

Update (17/11/14): The giveaway has ended and Lazada.sg shall be in touch with you soon. Thank you for your support!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:
Mother of Xander received credits courtesy of Lazada.sg for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are my own. Prices are correct at time of publishing.

Let’s go shopping… with Agape Babies (Review and discount code)

Review

I don’t know anybody who doesn’t do on-line shopping of any sort these days. Even my mother bought hard to find spare parts for her pressure cooker on-line. Okay, so The Husband made the purchase for her and got it delivered to her place but she knew they were available on-line and demanded we do it for her. I will give her credit just for knowing about it. My mardder so clever hor?

I was never a fan of on-line shopping because I was very skeptical about the security measures these web-stores have with my banking information. You don’t know what funny business these hackers can do right? Then I was forced to stay at home during the last few weeks of my pregnancy with Yvie this year and I was desperately trying to buy replacement parts for an old breast pump before I pop. The only way I could do that without having to waddle around town with my huge belly was to buy them on-line because hitting the stores was an impossible task when you ballooned into the size of a whale.

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33 weeks only and I already looked like I was going to explode any time. Just look at that belly! Phuwoar!

Within weeks, what started out as just shopping for the tubes and breast pump flanges slowly expanded to other stuff like underwear, food, books, craft kits, second hand changing station and a foldable lounger thingy (For The Husband. So he didn’t need to sleep on our broken sofa for the entire 28 days of confinement). I went slightly mad with shopping in bed during my confinement month and almost bought a 3 seater sofa just because it looked “pretty”. Ya. Mad right? It was too damn easy to get carried away!

Agape Babies is one of these on-line stores that has everything you never knew you needed for your little ones. If you are looking for a gift for a friend who have just given birth, Agape Babies got you covered. They have a wide range of products to suit all budgets.

About Agape Babies

Buy California Baby Products on Sale at Agape Babies

Since 2009, Agape Babies has grown into a multi-store which carries over 100 brands and 2000 products in store. Agape Babies specializes in California Baby products and they also carry diapers and milk formula of brands such as Huggies, Mamypoko, GOO.N, Friso, Similac, Gain IQ, Pediasure and more. As if they are not busy enough, Agape Babies has also partnered with Sunshine Kids to bring in kids fashion and even started a parenting blog, The Agape Lifestyle which shares neat parenting tips and tricks. For someone like me who is starting my baby on solid food, the simple recipes shared in the blog were a huge help.

Right now, Agape Babies is offering free courier delivery with $80 spend and a free gift given with every $120 purchase.

Do sign up for their newsletter to stay tuned of promotions, contests and giveaways. Also, first time customers get to enjoy a $10 gift voucher upon each successful signup. Terms and conditions apply. 

You can find Agape Babies on Facebook as well as Instagram.

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Little lady looking mighty pleased with her new mat that was delivered to us yesterday. The playmat took forever to get to us (close to 4 weeks because it was out of stock and we had to wait for the new batch shipped directly from Korea) but it was so worth every (extra) penny.

Especially for all readers of Mother of Xander! 

Simply quote my blog name “motherofxander” to be entitled to a 5% discount! The code is valid for 4 weeks from 28 October to 25 November and it excludes breast pumps, diapers, milk and sale category items.

Agape Babies

Disclaimer:
Mother of Xander received some shopping credits courtesy of Agape Babies for the purpose of this review. As I had (obviously) exceeded the credit amount, I topped up the rest from my own little pocket.  All opinions are my own.

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Diwali!

2014_Deepavali

To all our Indian friends and family, Happy Diwali! May the light of Diwali bring you peace, joy and prosperity in the new year!

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Side note, Xander’s school celebrated Diwali/Deepavali last week with everyone in either Indian costumes or party clothes, some henna painting and they also got to eat some traditional snacks. A simple party no less but at least this very Chinese school made the effort to teach the young ones a little more about the festival.

Yoomi Feeding System: Review and Giveaway

REVIEW

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Yvie checking out the Yoomi Feeding System

I was recently given the opportunity by AT Marketing & PR Consultancy to review the award winning Yoomi Feeding System. It is the first self-warming baby bottle that gently warms baby’s feed to the natural temperature of breast milk in just 60 seconds. Say what? 60 seconds?? No, don’t bluff! Really lah, 60 seconds only!

Any parent (or grandparents or nanny or… you get the idea lah) would have experienced at least once trying to warm a bottle of EBM (expressed breast milk) or premixed FM (formula milk) with a bowl of warm water (takes about 6 or so minutes) or with a microwave (takes about 3 or so minutes) AND trying to pacify your little wriggly bundle of screaming joy at the same time. You would also muttered to yourself in the middle of the dark, in the room while bouncing the little screaming fella or in the car on the road somewhere “faster heat up leh, I’m going deaf from the screaming!” So not funny man. 🙁 Mother of Xander also had nights like that until we were introduced to yoomi.

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So hungry she ate her sock 🙁

What is Yoomi? The technical details…

Yoomi Feeding System

*no-fuss latch on: thanks to its natural breast-shaped and super-soft silicone teat which allows for a breast-from-breast experience

*transition sorted: thanks to the consistent breast-milk temperature feed provided by yoomi, babies have a familiarity they need to support weaning from breast to bottle

*reduced likelihood of colic: with its 6 anti-colic vents (most bottles have 1-4) yoomi is one of the best vented bottles on the market

*easy pouring and mixing: yoomi’s unique, wide-necked bottle makes pouring and mixing simple – as well as clean and tidy!

* convenience, always: being suitable for both expressed breast-milk and formula, and ideal for combination or bottle feeding… yoomi supports all baby’s feeding needs

*comfy grip: the ergonomically designed bottle makes yoomi easy to grip and more comfortable to hold during longer feeds

*safe: the yoomi range is 100% BPA free and meets the highest safety standards feeding

*beautifully simple: using patented technology, the yoomi pod enables warmers to be recharged in the microwave in just 2 mins using a ‘heat-shake, heat-shake’ method

* all you need:  the yoomi bottle can be used on its own or with a yoomi warmer and all yoomi bottles, teats and warmers are interchangeable across the range

How to use the yoomi warmer?

There are 3 ways to charge the warmer.

  1. Charge warmer in the yoomi pod for about 2 minutes in the microwave (750-1200 watts) using the “heat shake, heat shake” method.
  2. Place the warmer in a pan of boiling water (or steam steriliser) and boil for no more than 30 minutes.
  3. Place your warmer in an electric steam steriliser (no pod required) for 25 minutes continuously.

After charging, the warmers will be ready for use at any time. You can also put it in the bottle filled with milk into the fridge for the next feed. As with all things rechargeable, the yoomi can be recharged for up to 150 times but this is just a conservative estimate.

How do you know the warmers are charged? There should be a rattling noise when you shake it.

Important to note: Once the warmers are charged, set them aside for 60 to 75 minutes to cool down before you push the button to activate it.

What happens when you don’t wait? If you press the button too soon you could permanently damage your yoomi warmer. We got excited and forgot to wait before activation so the warmer warped 🙁 Fortunately for us, the kind folks at yoomi Singapore very quickly replaced it for us so that we can try the entire process again properly for the purpose of this review. So malu… I blame The Husband for not reading the instructions properly! *points finger at him*

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Over heated warmer 🙁

How to activate the warmer?

  1. To activate the warmer, just press the button and within 2 or 3 seconds, you will feel it warming up.
  2. Fill the yoomi bottle with the milk, assemble, turn it upside down and wait for 60 seconds before you feed the baby. Perfect temperature of 32-34ºC everytime!
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I had to transfer my EBM into the yoomi bottle.

Why so magical?

“yoomi’s clever integrated warmer is activated by simply pressing the button which causes the solution inside to generate heat. When the bottle is tipped and the baby starts feeding, the feed flows around the channels on the outside of the warmer which are cleverly designed so that the feed reaches breast milk temperature (32-34 degrees).” – Information taken off their press kit.

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Phuwah! So clever leh! – says Mother of Xander and The Husband.

Verdict of the review

60 seconds to warm the milk at the right temperature every time is a definite winner in my books! However, I’m not a fan of the microwave method although it is the fastest of the 3 recommended charging methods. Boiling it was the easiest for me. After 25 minutes, take it out of the water and let it cool. So simple. No need to heat shake heat shake so troublesome. Boiling it not only charges the warmer, it also sterilizes it. One stone 2 birds!

Yvie loves to hold her milk bottles during feeding time and would often do it until the bottle was done. The yoomi bottle however was a little heavier than normal so after a while she got tired of holding it and it landed on her face a few times. I guess the weight can’t be helped since the warmer has to be inside.

I would definitely recommend the Yoomi Feeding System to all new parents! Buy at least 2 warmers for your night feeds please because each warmer is only meant for one time use and will need to be recharged before the next feed. Your babies and your ears will thank you.

Who will find this useful? (updated)

I was asked since this is only a one time use warmer, who will find it useful? Despite that, I think this will be a great (starter) gift for new mums doing confinement. Since they will be at home the entire month, it will be easy to clean and charge after every use. You might not want to use the yoomi for regular 2 hour feeds but for the odd occasions like night feeds when the nanny or the daddy can help mummy out.

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One happy camper

ESPECIALLY FOR ALL READERS OF MOTHER OF XANDER!

The Yoomi Feeding System will be officially launched at the Baby Market Fair on the 2nd of October and Yoomi SG would like to share some good news for all readers of Mother of Xander!

(1) SPECIAL 5% DISCOUNT ON YOOMI FEEDING SYSTEM
(Redeem this promotion ONLY AT BABY MARKET BOOTH A26 by presenting the blog of the blogger)

Usual Price: $59.90
Launch Promotion: $49.90 + FREE 5oz bottle (worth $18.90)
Blogger Promotion: additional 5% on top of launch promotion. (Valid for purchase during Baby Market 2-5 Oct only)
Price after additional 5% discount is $47.40

(2) GIVEAWAY 1 (ONE)  FREE YOOMI FEEDING SYSTEM 8OZ (UP $59.90)*
*Ends 10 October 2014 and Yoomi SG will annouce the winner on 11 October 2014

3 Easy Steps:

Step 1) LIKE & SHARE  Yoomi SG page
(www.facebook.com/yoomisingapore)
Please set your post as Public so that we can verify the share.

Step 2) Comment on YOOMI SG PAGE wall with “ I Love yoomi / blogger code”
Example: I Love yoomi / motherofxander

Step 3) Tag 5 friends in comment box
Do note that Yoomi SG will have the final decision of the selected winner. GOOD LUCK!
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Disclaimer: We received a set of the Yoomi Feeding System and was compensated for the purpose of this review however all opinions are my own.

Dr Lily’s All Natural Aloe Vera Gel: Review and Giveaway

Review

I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up, aloe vera was like the go-to plant for all sorts of problems:

Kena splattered by oil from frying chicken wings despite standing 2 metres away and holding up the wok cover? Grab an aloe vera leaf!

Longkang (Malay for drain) appeared from nowhere and swallowed you in thus causing scraped knees? Aloe vera!!

Fell asleep at the beach while listening to Jason Dovonan serenade you on your discman and you kenah very ugly and painful sunburns? *loud chants* ALOE! ALOE!

Such a versatile and underrated plant, this aloe vera. 🙂

I was introduced to Dr Lily’s All Natural® Aloe Vera Gel by a friend 2 years ago when I complained on my Facebook wall that Xander’s persistent eczema was bothering me. Although his rashes weren’t terrible, they just didn’t seem to go away. My friend said instead of relying on steroid creams constantly, why not give Dr Lily’s aloe vera gel a try because it is all natural and contains no harmful preservatives and chemicals. I bought a tube, tried it and the rashes went away quite quickly.

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MUMMY! So itchy! *sobs*

Fast forward 2 years and a new baby later, the dreaded eczema problem popped up again. Poor Yvie inherited our sensitive skin gene and she will break out into rashes all over her face and body quite quickly whenever the weather is hot or when we carry her in the baby carrier a little too long. My friend reminded me “Oi! Use the Dr Lily’s aloe vera gel lah! Babies can use also!” Oh yah hor?

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The aqueous, clear gel is very easy to apply and this is especially awesome when you have a very squirmy baby who wriggles away at any chance. Squeeze a good amount in the hand and slap it on the baby before she make a run for it. I could never do this with other skin care cream because they don’t spread as easily and I would often have more cream on the bed than on the baby. We would normally apply the gel on Yvie after her bath and I will apply the excess onto my embarrassingly ugly and dry elbows and knees. Don’t waste good stuff mah.

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Would you like to try Dr Lily’s All Natural® Aloe Vera Gel for yourself?

Especially for all readers of Mother of Xander from 1 to 7 September! (Giveaway has ended)

Dr Lily’s is giving away 1 set of goodies to ONE LUCKY READER! It includes the following items:

  1. 1 x 100ml Dr Lily’s aloe vera gel
  2. 3 x mini jars of Dr Lily’s aloe vera gel with random essential oil
  3. 1 x Dr Lily’s recycle bag

How to win?

Just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter below. Come back again for the results on 8 September.

UPDATE (8 September 2014)

Congratulations Yu Meiyi! I will be contacting you via email today. Thank you everyone for your support!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

That’s not all!

If you can’t wait to get your hands on a tube of Dr Lily’s All Natural® Aloe Vera Gel, all readers of Mother of Xander can enjoy 15% discount* off your total order amount! When you send your orders to friends@drlilys.com, please remember to quote ‘Mother of Xander‘ in order to enjoy the discount!**

Validity of discount code ends on 30 September 2014.
**A flat $5 courier fee will be chargeable regardless of the the number of items purchased.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!

Disclaimer: We received 2 tubes of Dr Lily’s All Natural® Aloe Vera Gel for the purpose of this review however all opinions are my own.

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Dr Lily’s Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/DrLilysUSA
More about Dr Lily’s at http://drlilys.com/4401.html
More about Dr Lily’s All Natural® Aloe Vera Gel at http://drlilys.com/4201.html

Let’s go to… the Singapore Garden Festival 2014

One of my friends had texted me a few weeks ago to ask if we were interested to visit the Singapore Garden Festival because they had a couple of tickets to spare and thought of us. How sweet right? I thought since I haven’t seen this friend in a long time, we arranged to go to the festival together on the 1st day.

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We saw all sorts of flowers that day. Rare flowers, common flowers, big flowers, teeny tiny flowers and even Old Flower Eyes (老花眼. Chinese translation of Presbyopia). I was told many of the exotic flowers were specially flown in just for the event and designers from top garden shows around the world were invited to create special themed displays during the festival as well.

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Visitors were especially attracted to the Orchid Extravaganza which housed several award winning orchids in the Flower Dome. Everybody wanted to get closer to the orchids and take multiple macros of the same bloom in the same position. They were also waiting to get into the 10-metre column which I heard had a nice surprise insideThe line into the special area was so long that we had to give it a miss. I mean, we can still see it from the perimeter. Just not close enough to take nice macro shots of the gorgeous blooms. All of these special blooms were on loan from private collectors and external vendors. There were even medals and plaques displayed quite prominently next to the flowers. Next to these medals and plaques, you will see Do Not Touch signs. In fact, these signs can be seen all over the Flower Dome. Even the hardy succulent zones had signs to remind visitors not to pelt the poor plants with the stones that were scattered around them. People don’t understand these cactuses can DIE one. I saw a kid threw some small stones at the plants for fun and his parents did nothing. So irritating.

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You would think at the Orchid Extravaganza area with so many ‘caretakers’ and signs people will understand right? Nope. I saw a guy trying to pull some orchids closer to his wife so she could use her puny iPhone to take shots of it. Come on. Don’t act blur when told you are not supposed to touch the flowers ok? A simple Sorry or Ok is good enough. Don’t pretend and say “Oh I nair say the sign” or “I was just taking photos” or worse “No, I nair touch!” You so big size, how not to see your big burly hand tugging on the delicate flower leh? Look! It was still swinging from side to side when you suddenly let go of it lor. *rolleyes* Luckily, the ‘caretakers’ were very polite and friendly, unlike me, so there was no drama after minor confrontation.

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We were wandering around the tents in The Meadow and came across some students showcasing their works made from recycled materials. One in particular caught our eye and we went closer to take a look. While we were watching the student demonstrate how she used a plastic bag to make into a flower, a lady decided she NEEDED to record the entire process on video with her camera. She shoved Xan (who was standing right next to me) aside saying “I want to take a video of this.” HARLOW? I told her “Hey! He was here first, don’t shove him around!” It was as though I was invisible because she didn’t seem to care at all. I wanted to tell this auntie her camera has this thing called the Zoom Lens and that if she looked down she will realize she has feet and can use them to move around my child to take her video. Why must be at that particular spot leh? Wah lau. *grumblegrumble*

I wished I was able to spend more time to see all the flowers properly especially the 10-metre column. It would’ve been nice to take a picture of the inside. Oh well. Kids and babies are not made for long walks in crowded spaces. Maybe next time I should go on my own. It is impossible to take clear photos with a wriggly baby strapped in front of you.

Today is the last day of the festival and in case you decide to go take a look (I highly recommend you should), here are some tips I want to share with you:

  1. Try not to bring your strollers. It will be very crowded and trying to manoeuvre your tank through the sea of people will be tricky. If you simply have to bring it, bring lor. Don’t say I never tell you ah.
  2. There are very few resting spots at the festival so if you are bringing your elderly parents (such fillial chewren you are! *clap clap*), go slow and seek refuge inside the air-conditioned tents frequently.
  3. Bring a hat and sunglasses because it might get really hot and sunny.
  4. Limited carpark lots. You might be better off taking public transport.
  5. Don’t touch the flowers if they tell you not to touch them! Some of the plants are very sensitive to the oils on your hands and will DIE! Admire the flowers with your eyes and cameras only please ok?

Do hop over to Cheekiemonkie and Princess Dana Diaries to read about their experiences at the festival.

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Venue: Gardens by the Bay (in case you didn’t know)
Show Opening Hours: 10am to 10pm daily
Conservatories Opening Hours: 9am – 10pm daily

SGF 2014 Ticket Pricing

Let’s go to… Dong Po Colonial Cafe

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I was having the strangest cravings the night before and really really needed to get myself a slice of old school butter cream cake. I normally avoid butter cream at all costs because it tastes so…buttery. I guess all the breast feeding had caused me to have weird cravings for fattening, sugary treats that I don’t normally like.

I’ve read about Dong Po Colonial Cafe from a couple of blogs like ieatishootipost and A Juggling Mum so I knew the retro cafe serves very affordable treats ($2 per slice of cake!) and most importantly, butter cream cakes! Since we had some time before dinner, we headed there for a quick bite.

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Look at the table!

As I was laying everything on the table, a kid from the next table saw that we had also bought the same cookie she had moments ago. She turned around, looked at me dead in the eye and said “It tasted like medicine.” Xander nodded enthusiastically and I was slightly embarrassed. Her mother also chipped in and said “Kids can’t lie.” Oh boy…

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Clockwise from top to bottom: 3 Hole Cookie (Xan calls it the Traffic Light cookie), Almond Finger, Apple Aloe Slice Cake, Strawberry Butter Cream Cupcake and Bread and Butter Pudding.

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I’m no food expert but I will tell you how I feel about our experience at the cafe. The kids were right, I wasn’t a fan of the cookie. I did however enjoy the cakes. They weren’t exactly the old school type I was hoping for but they didn’t taste too bad.

When we were there, it was quite busy and the air-condition wasn’t very strong. I was sweatin’ buckets while drinking my teh peng (iced milk tea). Yvie wasn’t too happy either so she was fussing quite a bit until The Husband had to bring her out for a wee walk until she fell asleep. Pampered lah my kids. We always have the air-con turned on full blast at home. 😛

Never mind them. I enjoyed myself nevertheless and will go back again to try the other stuff during their off peak hours.

Oh yes! These posters were the ones I was referring to in my earlier post that inspired my new blog look. I forgot to take a shot of it myself lah.

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There is always time for a brother sister photo.

Dong Po Colonial Cafe
56 Kandahar Street
6298 1318
S198904 
Tue-Thurs 930am-830pm
Fri-Sun 930am-930pm
Closed on Monday

FOX Little Fashionista Styling Workshop

Earlier this month, we received an invitation to attend the FOX Little Fashionista Styling Workshop with fashion stylist Evon Chng. I was super excited and told The Husband “Let’s do this! Sounds fun!” You might be asking “Kids need styling meh? Chin chye wear something comfortable and easy can already mah.” True but why not wear something comfortable, easy AND stylish at the same time? I’ve been a fan of FOX for a long time so I know the clothes not only look cute but also super comfortable. I used to buy a lot of FOX tees and pants for Xander when he was a lot younger and he would wear them almost everyday. Besides, it won’t hurt to pick up a tip or two from a professional stylist.

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Evon sharing some fashion tips.

Evon and her team had already set aside some outfits for both Xander and Yvie (as well as for the other kiddie participants) beforehand. She had selected some really cute pieces from FOX’s latest Fall Collection and showed us how to mix and match them to create different looks. Psst! I tell you a secret! I am lousy at mixing and matching. My solution for the kids’ style is very simple: must have prints and no ironing required. Why MUST have prints? If the kids get themselves into a mess, it won’t look too obvious mah. Ya lah. Lazy style lah. But you must admit its true. There is nothing more irritating than a milo stain on a nice plain yellow tee. Can’t bleach it, can’t hide it, can’t stand it. I’m a bit OCD that way. Sorry I digress. Back to my fashionable chewren.

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Here are the kids all styled up. Not bad huh?

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So what did we learned at the end of the session?

1. There is more to life than MONOCHROME.

Sometimes it is good to mix it up with 2 to 3 colours at the same time. Not too many colours ok? You want to turn heads not rolled eyes.

2. Pile up in LAYERS.

Evon taught us that similar to adult fashion, with kids’ fashion we can not only mix and match colours, we can also try layering different textures together. Xan wore a plain white long sleeved tee under a bold orange, short sleeve tee and the classic berms.

As for Yvie, Evon matched her nautical inspired tee with a pair of grey leggings and layered that with a pair of denim skorts. She later added the Minnie Mouse sweater from the Fall collection to create yet another look. So cute can?

3. SIZING it up

When your clothes don’t fit well, you won’t look good. Kids grow really fast and parents tend to buy clothes 2 sizes bigger so that they will last longer. I get that. But when your kid is swimming in his outfit he will end up looking really sloppy. Simple logic. Get the right size and your kid will look a heck lot better.

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Xan and his skateboard.
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Yvie with her gummy smile.

Do check out Fox Fashion (Singapore)‘s Facebook page for regular updates, promotions, fashion and parenting tips.

Disclaimer: We received these 2 sets of outfits for the purpose of this review however all opinions are my own.

Another milestone! Well done, Yvie!

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At 5ish months, my funny little girl can sit up unassisted and she is feeling mighty proud of herself! Silly girl has also started to lick and gnaw on anything in sight. Fuzzy blankets, the clothes I am wearing, soft toys, plastic toys, metal chairs, dirty tables, whatever she can reach, she will lick ’em. I’m amazed she hasn’t gotten any rashes around her mouth or experienced diarrhoea yet. *TOUCH WOOD*

Xander also had a taste for strange things when he was a lot younger. He used to chew the headboard on our bed. I didn’t know it until I saw the little teeth marks on the edges many years later. I’m such an observant mum, eh? What was the strangest thing your child has ever tasted?

Here’s a short Instagram video of Yvie doing her usual cute stuff at home. Sorry if I’ve been posting too many pictures of her. Can’t help it lah 🙂

In case you would like to see more, you can follow me at http://instagram.com/motherofxander.