This is a typical sight whenever we make the occasional trip to temples to pray for the new year. He would always demand for his own set of joss sticks and mimic whatever we do because he felt that since everybody was doing it, so should he. My mother-in-law has a small modest altar at her home and Xan is very familiar with her daily ritual of burning joss sticks and praying for the family’s good health and safety. He knows to bai bai (æ‹œæ‹œ) means to pray and wish for something good.
Somehow along the way, he decided he needed a sibling and would almost always, quite audibly even, pray for a baby.This fella (at that time) had no indoor voice at all. One time at a serene Buddhist temple, he asked me very loudly “How come the Boodah’s head look like a durian Mummy? Mummy? MUMMY?? Did you hear me?” *facepalm* I was too embarrassed to look up and see if anybody heard him.
One day, Xander eventually decided what our family lacked was a sister. It was all so logical to him.
Xan: Daddy is a boy, I am a boy. We have 2 boys.Â Mummy is a girl so the baby will be a girl.
Me: Don’t you want a brother instead?
Xan: *looks at me like I’m stewpig* Nooo. The baby will be a girl, Mummy! 2 boys, 2 girls! *shakes his head as he turns away to do his stuff far far away from me*
So there you go, ladies and gentlemen. This baby is Xander’s answered prayer. He will finally have someone to torment, play with and boss around everyday. He will be lonely no more.
The cashcard In-Vehicle UnitÂ seems like a mile away from your steering wheel.
Your belly starts to steer the wheel for you.*
You can no longer see the front of your car when you drive up a multi storey carpark.
You pray for big open parking lots because you cannot weave through cars like Christy Cheung. Then again, I think nobody else can lah.
Squatting cubicles with no side handles scare you.
Filthy, wet squatting cubicles with no side handles terrify you so much you mutter “I cannot give birth here. I cannot give birth here” while you pee.
You make your mardder so nervous with the squatter toilet story, she DEMANDS you to bring a whistle along when you go pee. Had to remind her that the handphone is easier and can call The Husband to break into the cubicle much faster than the whistle.
When doing laundry, the detergent dispenser drawer (on a front loader) is a deadly weapon.
When getting dressed, the reflection of your enormous belly shocked you into tears. “Am I going to explode today?”
You have to lasso your underwear to your leg in order to put it on.
After you lasso one leg in, you take 1 more min to lift the other leg through the other hole without tripping over yourself.
You have trouble wiping/scratching/inspecting your ass.
You hoist your belly up with your hands as you walk up 2 miserable steps. This would be fine if you are expecting multiples. Very dramatic sight when there is only 1 tenant in your belly.
Crocs sandals are the best thing since Justin Timberlake’s SNL Single Ladies performance. To me at least.
You no longer walk. You waddle.
People think you are taking a slow leisure walk when in reality you are Zumba-ing to the tune of Boom Boom Pow in your head.
The top portion of many of your clothes are always full of bits of food at the end of the day. Sometimes, you find food in your bra too.
You feel the need to scrub the toilets clean. Today. Now. At 3am.
You start to use your toes to pick up stuff you dropped on the floor.
You get really offended when people see you and say things like “WAH! SO BIG AH! You sure only 1 inside?”, “WAH! Must be anytime now ah?” Basically anything that starts with WAH will make me want to throw my shoe at the fella if I could bend that low to get it.
Your butt hurts when you sit anywhere or lie anywhere.
When your child tries to seek solace by running towards you to try bury his face into your belly, he end up bouncing away, holding his nose in pain.
I’m not complaining. Just sayin’…
*Disclaimer: I don’t let my belly drive me around. Seats can be moved back you know? I’m a very safe driver, just swears a little too much.
Built in 1979, the Toa Payoh Dragon Playground was one of the most iconic fixtures in the established town other than than the observation towerÂ in Toa Payoh Town Park. The building, Block 28, behind it has been barricaded and will be torn down for redevelopment but the playground will stay because it is one of the few precious vintage playgrounds left in Singapore. Read about it here. Heng ah! Since 1993, playgrounds in Singapore were no longer constructed from scratch but purchased from overseas. They are now made from lightweight plastic and rubber, no more retro tiles and cement liao. When you fall on the ground, you probably won’t even see blood. What’s the fun in that right? So sterile…
Even though my secondary school was just a stone’s throw away, I don’t have many memories playing at this playground in particular but I definitely had fun at other sand filled playgrounds at my old ‘hood. Nothing beats playing and getting your toes all dirty in the sand. I watched the boys play marbles (because they said girls cannot play with them *rolleyes*), threw sand at each other’s faces, get bullied, became a bully, so fun! Even found some real money while pretend digging for treasures! HUAT AH!
Recently, there was a documentary series on TV that focused on places and things that make us Singaporean. One of the episodes was about these playgrounds and the producers also interviewed 2 daddy bloggers and their families in the show. You can watch the episode here.
We visited the dragon playground just before Chinese New Year after driving past it a few days prior. We saw some folks getting their wedding photos shot there in the middle of the night and we also noticed it looked a little different at the back. Being the big kaypohs we are, we simply had to go back to check it out ourselves.
The playground was in such a sorry state. It was taken over by big angry ants,Â weeds, dried leaves and litter. The rope swings were damaged, slides were very dirty, the paint on the body of the dragon was peeling, even the branches from the trees nearby were dangling precariously over our heads. This was such a far cry from our last visit there a few month before! So sad leh. None of my complains seem to bother the 2 boys and another family of 5 who were there before us, from having fun. They were climbing everywhere and going up and down the slides. I was happy to stay on the ground and away from the creepy crawlies.
Soon it was time to go. I hope the next time we visit, the redevelopment works would have completed and the playground all cleaned up. It would be such a shame to see the dragon get destroyed from neglect. I am going to hunt down the rest of the cool vintage playgrounds around Singapore with The Husband and Xander before the government change their mind and suddenly decide to tear them down.
How about you? Do you have any fond memories at a particular vintage playground? I would love to hear them!
What’s a Chinese New Year celebration without a trip (or two) to Chinatown? We don’t necessarily go to buy new year goodies but mostly to join the hustle and bustle of the activities and ok, maybe buy some unnecessary fattening snacks and knick knacks we don’t need. Please lah, it is impossible not to get sucked into the pointless consumerism when you are in Chinatown.
There is chinese new year music blasting from everywhere, hawkers shouting and clapping to get shoppers to stop at their stalls, seductive smell of barbecued bak kwa, squid, giant prawns and chestnuts in the air, dripping cold Taiwan jelly being distributed by overly enthusiastic dudes on stools and getting jabbed in the belly by excited aunties rushing to get free taste of butter roasted peanuts. Welcome to Chinatown!
I usually avoid going anywhere near Chinatown during festive periods because of the crowd and the noise. I wasn’t like this in the past though. You would never find me at home and I would always be at some crowded hotspot with my friends having fun. Now that I’m a mummy and in my 30s, I no longer find joy in mosh pits and (butt)cheek to (butt)cheek dances (aka being in crowded trains or places).
The Husband’s office is pretty close to Chinatown and Xander knows it. Whenever he and I go pick Daddy up at the end of the day or when Daddy needs to work late at the office, Xan will always beg me to bring him to Chinatown for a walk. This boy has the ‘I am so å¯æ€œand cute’ face pat down so of course we simply had to make a quick trip to the night market lor.
After a quick dinner, I told Xan to look out for small decorative stuff we could buy to dress up the pussy willows he and Daddy bought from Ikea a few days prior. Give the boy a mission and he was kept busy the whole night.
We ended up going back a second time with Daddy over the weekend. He was very fascinated with the preserved leg of ham with the hoof. Xan kept mimicking the hoof with his hand, “Mummy! See! Same ah?”
Most of us who have little boys will agree that it is very difficult to find decent, stylish clothes for them that are also affordable in Singapore. This is especially tough for ages between 5 to 7 years old who are no longer babies but not quite big boys either. What you normally see in the market for this age group are plastered with cheesy graphics, corny text or passé comic characters. You could always order online from overseas sites but the delivery time often take so long and I don’t like to wait.
Privikids is a new kids’ fashionand lifestyle blogshop run by a young stylish family who takes pride not only in the simple, stylish togs they sourced from overseas but also have big hearts for underprivileged children. How many retailers do you know would take the trouble to collect preloved (in good condition please) children clothes from you and personally deliver them to the charities of their choice, The Salvation Army as well as Movement of the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS)? Exactly, not many.
Privikids’ select line of hip clothes not only look good but also very kind to your budget. When I was given the opportunity to write a review about the Privikids’ fashion line, I didn’t know what to choose! Had to text The Husband “Oi! Which one nice ah? That one that one and that one very nice hor??” In the end, we managed to select some and here they are!
The Butterfly Print Shirt matched with Cargo Bermudas in Navy Green are part of the new collection Privikids had brought in especially for the festive season. It is so light and comfortable, it is perfect for our insane Singapore climate and our always sweaty boy.
Then The Husband spotted the Parrot Print T-shirt and told me we simply MUST have the t-shirt. I was skeptical. Got birds and flowers leh, Xan will like meh? You sure he won’t say “I dowan! Dis one for girl!” The Husband was very confident that Xander would love the parrot print and he was right. No need to convince the little one to try it on at all. Look at Xander! This boy ah, cannot sit still one. Lucky the t-shirt is as stretchable as the wild monkey child.
Lastly, we chose the Rwar! T-shirtÂ and matched it withStraight Cut Pants in Orange. These were my clear favourites! I wish there were adult sizes because all of us loved it so much! Every time I see this t-shirt, I feel like singing and head bob to this song.
Navigation around the website cannot be any easier and the preview images are big enough for folks with ‘old flower eyes’ like me to see quite clearly. The only difficulty you may face while shopping on the site is which one to buy. Haha!
The sizes usually range from 1 to 8 years depending on the design and style. You just have to click on the individual thumbnails for more information on the selected styles.
Remember to check their New Arrivals page! Aiyoh the new dresses are really very cute! Perfect for Chinese New Year yet not too ang kong kong (overwhelmingly, blindlingly red) hor?
You would think having 5 years of working experience with kids for in-house fashion shoots (I used to work for a kids’ apparel brand 5 years ago) and having a child of my own, I shouldn’t have any trouble taking control of them on set. *snigger* Please lor. Telling the kid to stay in one spot and pose nicely like giving them a huge bowl of their favourite candy and then tell them “Don’t Touch”. Impossible. These superstars will test your patience especially when you tell them you are on a deadline/hungry/need to pee. Mine was no exception. He just wanted to kungfu fight the leaves in the background and dig his nose. *facepalm*
Other than the 200 standard blurred shots, these are some other photos that didn’t meet Mummy’s standard but cute enough to want to keep. Dunno where he learnt the pouty pose but seems like it’s going to be a regular thing.
Especially for all readers of Mother of Xander!
Privikids will be giving away 1 set (1 top + 1 bottom or 1 dress) to ONE LUCKY READER!
How? Just follow these 4 simple (and compulsory) steps!
Contest ends on Sunday, 26 January 2014 at 11.00pm. Results will be announced on my Facebook page so you must to LIKE my page to know if you won ok?
We have a WINNER! Congratulations ROBERT SIM! We will be in touch with you soon. Thank you everyone for your support!
That’s not all!
All readers of Mother of Xander will enjoy 10% off regular priced items until 28 February 2014! Steady boh? Just nice for Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day right!!
Just remember to key in ‘MOTHEROFXANDER‘ before you Checkout your purchases!
Playgrounds with sand in Singapore are so rare nowadays because they are now mostly replaced with rubber mats. Although I am not a fan of sand (messy lah, sometimes got big red ants also you know?), I cannot deny the fact that the sand adds that extra fun touch to the playground. Sometimes if you are lucky enough, you might even find real treasures in them! As a kid, I loved digging into the sand and have always found coins! Really! I no bluff you! I used to come home with coins from the playground or notes on the way home. Now that I’m older, such sightings are rarer.
Do you know of any fun places to go or activities to do for free? Join Adora (GingerBreadMum) on Instagramand help build up the database of fun, free places to go in Singapore by adding the hashtag #funforfreesg to your photos! Ah… Since you are there hor, you can add metoo!!
You must have seen this video floating around the internet quite a lot last year. The Husband and I were so amazed with it but wondered if it will ever be available in Singapore. This has to be the coolest toy we have seen. Like EVER!
You know what? IT IS AVAILABLE IN SINGAPORE NOW! Pardon my excitement but yeah, I’m excited!! The Kinetic Sand is available in Singapore through the good folks of Pupsik Studio who also specializes in awesome baby and parenting products.
Pupsik Studio was very kind to provide us with the 1kg pack to review and we (namely Mummy and Daddy) couldn’t wait to rip off the packaging to play with the cool sand. Yes, Mummy and Daddy were way more excited than our child. Hahaha!
“Sand play stimulates and develops children’s fine motor and creative playing skills. Kinetic Sand is the perfect material for open-ended, non-directed play. It leaves no sand or residue on your hands and is great for sensory therapy. Kinetic Sand is also great for kids with allergies – it is wheat, gluten and casein free and 100% safe and non-toxic.”
According to Mother of Xander,
If your kid loves the beach and you hate the sun, this might be a good compromise. He gets to play his sand, you get to lounge around in cool air-condition comfort in your house and with minimum cleanup afterwards. Win-win situation!
At first glance, the Kinetic Sand looks like any regular fine grained sand you might find on the beach or in stores. Even though clean-up is relatively easy, the sand can still get everywhere if your kiddo is the fidgety or active sort. We found a bit of sand in his hair, on the floor and under his feet but nothing a quick vacuum couldn’t solve.
Xander loves to play at the beach and with sand. but we haven’t been able to hang out at the beach very much last year because… I don’t know why actually. We just never got round to it for some reason. When I showed him the box, he thought “Oh how nice, sand in a box! Gimmegimmegimme! Open now!” We then showed him what the Kinetic Sand could REALLY do and that got Xander even more excited. He wasted no time and immediately attacked the sand completely ignoring us for a good hour and a half. I need to mention that Xander has sensitive skin and whenever he plays with regular play-dough or sand, he will always end up with some rashes somewhere on his face or hands. I am pleased to say he had none of those at the end of the day. Phew! If your little tike accidentally gets some in their eyes or even swallowed some, don’t panic. Just grab water to flush their eyes or drink some water. Easy peasy!
Naturally, Daddy got into the action with the little one and made some masterpieces of his own as well.
My verdict of Kinetic Sand is an honest and completely unbias BUY IT! Not only was it great for my 5 year old, even my 30 something year old was thoroughly entertained by it.
Exclusively for Mother of Xander readers! Pupsik Studio is giving away a 1kg pack of Kinetic Sand to ONE lucky winner! a Rafflecopter giveaway
Come back to this page on Monday 20 Jan 2014 to see if you are the lucky winner.
Congratulations Pavalamani! We will be in touch with you via email soon! Thank you everybody for your support!
If you can’t wait to get your hands on the Kinetic Sand, Pupsik Studio is offering all readers of Mother of Xander a 15% discount on the Kinetic Sand as well as the Bubber Smart Shape set in the month of January! Just key in the discount promo code of “MOTHEROFXANDER” before you Checkout.
The Kinetic Sand is available from Pupsik Studio and it is suitable for ages 3 and above.
For pricing and other product information, please visit their website or Facebook page.
I was inspired by one of Dinomama’s recent post on The 52 Weeks Money ChallengeÂ about saving a little bit every week for 52 weeks. At the end of the 52 weeks, you will be rewarded with quite a substantial sum. Not quite millions, but good enough for a family of 4 to go to Penang eat, drink and sleep at least. We shall see if I will run out of steam halfway… Hahaha!
If you do want to give this a try, you can go to her postand print out the easy to follow chart. I got impatient and created mine from scratch so mine looks a little different from hers.
Bubber looks similar to any regular play dough you might come across in the market because it’s colourful, it’s soft and mouldable. That’s where the similarity ends.
Bubber is allergen free because it isÂ wheat, gluten and casein free and 100% safe and non-toxic. It is also smell free! This is perfect for Xander who has sensitive skin and nose like his mummy and daddy. For once, he was not a mucus-y mess while playing with something. A definate nice change for all of us!
It never dries up! Say wot? I don’t know what funny technology is in this thing but it really doesn’t dry up! We pulled it apart into many small pieces and had it scattered all over the table in an air-condition room for more than an hour. The Husband said there was a bit of shrinkage but definately not dry.
Bubber is great for sensory play which is great for young children.
Bubber is the world’s lightest moulding compound. I was stunned when I picked it up, it weighs virtually nothing. Why ah? I also dunno. This funny technology the Swedish engineers came up with is so weird but so wonderful!
The texture was very smooth, dry and leaves no residue. When you tear it up, it breaks into tiny particles which will get blown away just by a sneeze. But when you slice it with the Bubber knife or the cutters provided, you get clean, sharp edges that are not possible with regular play dough. You can also pick up the individual cut pieces and stack them up without them sticking to each other. How cool is that?
The most unusual use for the Bubber that I discovered on the Internet is that you can use it to make moulds for plaster casts! This I’ve got to try!
Â Why choose Bubber instead of play dough?
You are free to choose play dough or even go make your own of course. I dread pulling out his play dough sets because they always leave a huge sticky mess everywhere after he is done with them. Experienced parents will agree with me it is especially annoying when the kid accidentally drop bits of it on the floor, gets some stuck under his feet and starts walking around leaving colourful flattened bits all over the house. And the smell! Oh the smell! *gags* Also, if you want to save money and buy cheap play dough, those always somehow end up super soft and gooey after a few plays. Xan is allergic to most play dough and I always know whenever Xan had played with any in school because he would come home with rashes in between his fingers and on his face. I don’t enjoy slathering him with medicated cream every time it happens so I rarely let him play with it at home. Ya, he was a bit deprived when he was younger.
I think the biggest draw for daddy was that cleanup was super duper easy! Just smoosh the whole thing together with your hands, put it in an air tight container (Bubber doesn’t contain moisture so it will not dry out for months but an air tight container can help to keep dust Â and dirt away) and you’re done! No need to bring the play table to the bathroom and scrub off the colourful paste, no more stepping onto rock hard, dried up play dough in the middle of the night and wake your family with loud expletives, NO MORE! I no bluff you! It’s true!
Bubber Smart Shapes Set comes with:
4 packs ofÂ BubberÂ in Red, White, Blue and Green
9 Smart Shapes geometric molds
1 Bubber Knife
A guide with 15 templates with 3 different levels of difficulty.
I thought the templates were useful for parents like me who is most of the time “sibeh boh idea” (trans. very no idea). He was able to figure out the shapes required and position them according to the templates. He even directed daddy to “cut this, cut that, put here, put there”.
Sure it’s a bit on the costly side but the thought of not having to scrap off dried play dough from strange corners of the house, not having to scrub stained clothes (sometimes even their underwear) and no more digging out the irritating dough from under your child’s fingernails is just pure joy. I will replace all theÂ play dough with Bubber when my #2 is born for sure.
If you can’t wait to get your hands on the Kinetic Sand, Pupsik Studio is offering all readers of Mother of Xander a 15% discount on the Bubber Smart Shape Set as well as the Kinetic Sand in the month of January! Just key in the discount promo code of “MOTHEROFXANDER” before you Checkout.
The Bubber Smart Shapes SetÂ is available from Pupsik Studio and it is suitable for ages 3 and above.
You can also purchase more Bubber and accessories here!
For pricing and other product information, please visit their website or Facebook page.