Monday, 31 August 2020

Breastfeeding Baby #3: The 18th Month

My personal view on how long to breastfeed is this: my baby must be fully 100% breastfed until 12 months old, after which to continue depending on the willingness of mother and baby. 

Hence, for all my babies, they were fully breastfed till they were 12 months old. My firstborn decided she wanted to continue, with no signs of stopping, until she turned 18 months old as I had started work and my supply probably dipped to nothing (I didn't pump at work). My boy decided to stop latching when he turned 13 months old and I decided it was not worth the effort to continue pumping at work so I stopped. As a result, I have never breastfed for longer than 18 months.

My littlest girl is nothing like her sister and brother. She does not have a favorite pillow and does not like the pacifier. The only thing that brings her comfort and helps her to sleep is my boobs, which are both the pillow and pacifier to her! 🤱

My 18-month-old littlest baby girl

At 18 months old, the littlest baby is showing no signs of stopping. When I'm at home or in the room, the littlest can only sleep when I nurse her. And with Work From Home being the default arrangement these days, she now has 24-hour access to my milk! I hardly ever use my breast pump anymore!

However, this also means that almost every night, I am rudely awaken from my slumber very often. Maybe it's a bad dream or teething pains; but she often wakes up in the middle of the night wanting to breastfeed. After 18 months of sleep deprivation, somehow my body has learnt to survive on disrupted sleep! 😴


Nevertheless, I know from experience that this is only a very short episode in my journey of motherhood. Very soon my baby will not be a baby anymore and when I look back, I will miss the time when my baby only wanted me and no one else! What a privilege it is to receive the absolute 100% pure love of a child! 😍

My little cutie 😍

Many people have asked me out of curiosity on when I am going to stop breastfeeding. Frankly, I don't know. I've never had to force my kids to stop before (they have always decided when to stop) so this is new to me. I'm torn between wanting to continue being the comforter to my girl and also wanting back the freedom to wear my favourite dresses that have been collecting dust (quite literally) since I got pregnant! But I don't think I have the heart to tell her no when she wants to breastfeed. I'll just have to take each day as it comes 😊

Saturday, 1 August 2020

Staycations at Sentosa (Part 1): Resorts World Sentosa

When you think about staycations in Singapore, most people will think of Sentosa because it feels most like you have left the country :D 

We have stayed in 3 hotels in Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) and here's our experience.

Resorts World Sentosa

[1] Hard Rock Hotel

In the year that RWS officially opened, the hubby booked Hard Rock Hotel to celebrate our wedding anniversary. The price has increased significantly and hence we have not stayed since then. I wouldn't mind staying there again as I have very good memories of the hotel and loved the huge pool!

Hard Rock Hotel in 2012

Our room

Shower and toiletries
(love the guitar holder!) 

Look at the large pool outside!

Slide and water play area

Look at my eldest when she was just 2 years old going down the slide with daddy!

Loving the water
(my eldest girl really resembles my littlest girl!)

The best thing about Hard Rock Hotel is the pool! Hence, I found it the best of the 3 hotels we stayed. 


[2] Festive Hotel

The mum, sister, kids and I stayed at Festive Hotel for our girls (plus 1 boy) staycation last year. 

We bought a package for 3D2N that included tickets for USS, SEA Aquarium and Adventure Cove Waterpark. On hindsight, I totally regretted it because it was so expensive and we ended up not utilising the aquarium and waterpark tickets due to lack of time. 

Festive Hotel in 2019

Our room was meant for 4

There was a bunk bed that kids can sleep and a sofa that can be converted into a bed. However, we had to set up the bed ourselves and the sister said the sofa bed was so uncomfortable! 

Shower and toilet

The hotel provided us with a baby cot for the littlest baby, thankfully! She quite enjoyed sleeping in it. 

Group photo before our swim!

Enjoying a splash in the water play area!

Having fun in the water

The pool, while enjoyable, was nowhere as nice as Hard Rock Hotel's pool. I also found our overall experience not very worth the price we paid. 


[3] Hotel Michael

The moment hotels in Singapore opened up and staycations were allowed, we jumped on the opportunity and book 2 rooms at Hotel Michael. Our staycation package came with USS tickets, $50 credits per room and breakfast. 

Alas, I don't think RWS was ready to welcome guests, especially big families. First, they ran out of baby cots (which is fine, I know it happens) so I requested for a room with a king bed so that my girl has a place to sleep without falling off. The front desk staff struggled to find one and when she did, she explained that they needed to clean the room and that we should wait in the room next door while it was being cleaned. Ok, fair enough, since I did insist for a king bed. When I asked whether she needed to see my RWS Invites card so that I can get points for this booking, she said no need. Wrong answer. When I later inquired on why my points was not deposited into my account, I was told that she was supposed to take my card and log in my points but she didn't 🙄

It was about 5.30pm by the time I was done at the front desk, so we decided to just head to the room that was ready for us. 

Hotel Michael, just a few weeks after reopening in 2020

The first room with twin beds

The second room with king bed
(photo taken after it was ready) 

The toilet was quite spacious but there're no proper doors

Toilet design was quite interesting but shower is just divided with a thin shower curtain. Does not feel like we are in a 4/5 star hotel. 

We tried to book a slot in the pool but was told that all slots were fully booked till the next day 6pm! I couldn't believe my ears. Then we waited until 6pm, called to find out why our second room was not ready, and found out that they had cleaned the wrong room! By this time, we were so upset that we demanded an explanation from the manager. To appease us, the manager said she will allow us to use the pool at Crockfords Tower as they had an empty 8am time slot. By the time we got our second room, it was 8pm! 😒

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Finally a #staycation! But the experience for us was not great. We were given a 4.30pm check-in time and were told we could only book the pool via the room's phone. But by the time we got to the room, it was already 5plus and we were put on hold on the phone for about 15mins before we were told the pool was fully booked till the next day 6pm! They also made a mistake with our 2nd room, which was only ready at 8pm after our dinner 😕 . The only redeeming factors are the free USS tickets, breakfast and $50 dining credits per room we got with the room package. Oh and the bed was super comfy. Hopefully we have a better experience at USS today 😊 . #madpsychmum #rws #hotelmichael #mpmfuninsg #girleejay #withthemerlionbeforeitsgone #sentosa #familytime #mpmstaycations

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Our room faced the soon-to-be torn down Merlion, so we took the opportunity to take photos with it

We tried to forget the terrible start to our staycation and had our dinner at the Malaysian Street (using our hotel credits). Food was very expensive but was free with our dining credits and tasted quite good. 

Family photo at Universal Studios globe! 

#RWSmoments

After dinner, we shopped at Candylicious, which was having mega sale for their candy! 

Yummy candy going for cheap!

The next morning, we got the kids to wake up really early to head to the pool for our 8am slot. As each slot was only 45 minutes long, we arrived 5min early to make sure our kids had ample time to swim. However, there was no attendant and there was a cleaning machine still in the pool! A RWS staff finally arrived at 8.15am and we had to help her to remove the cleaning machine because no other staff came and she did not allow us to swim with the machine in the water. By the time we finally stepped into the pool, it was 8.30am and the sky looked like it was about to cry. And 5 minutes later, it did! 

We only managed to take one family photo before it started raining

The kids had fun for the short 5 minutes we were in the pool 😞

We were so disappointed with the whole experience! We decided to collect our breakfast sets and bring it back to our room to have our breakfast. There isn't any ala carte breakfast at RWS. You can only choose between Western or Asian set meals. We choose 2 of each. 

The Western set

The Asian set

The food was ok but I would have preferred to be given a choice of food like the breakfast at other hotels. 

After we checked out (which again wasn't a great experience, but I shall not elaborate), we headed to USS. USS was probably the only good thing in our entire experience so far. 

Still love the Transformers ride and always will ❤️

Kids had fun taking pictures

Treasure hunter ride

Littlest girl enjoying the ride! 

Littlest girl really likes the Minions and Gru! 😄

Look, it's not like I have anything against RWS. If I did, then I wouldn't have paid to sign up as a RWS member! But I really felt let down and disappointed. To be honest, unless it is Hard Rock Hotel, it is unlikely that we would stay with RWS ever again. I really do hope that you have a better experience than we did! 


~~~~~~

This post is part of our Family Staycations collection, which documents our staycations in Singapore!

 


Click each staycation destination below to read about our staycation experience:

        

        

       

You can also stay up-to-date with our staycation experiences on Instagram via the hashtag #mpmstaycations

Friday, 29 May 2020

Home With 3 Kids During Circuit Breaker

When it was announced by the government that Singapore was going into Circuit Breaker mode and people were not allowed to leave their homes except to go to the supermarket, many Singaporeans made one last dash to IKEA before all the shops closed. Our family did the same, but at less crowded places.

Our last meal at a restaurant before Circuit Breaker

How did we survive at home with 3 very active kids and nowhere to go?

It was hard, really really hard! See I love my kids but I really don't need to be with them all the time. It's why I chose to work full-time and never felt guilty for it. My mental health meant that I was a better mum when I am actually with them.

During circuit breaker however, the kids were with us 24/7 and we couldn't get a mental break at all! Honestly for me, an extrovert who loves to bring my kids to explore the whole of Singapore, it was extra torturous 🙁

[HOME-BASED LEARNING]

The mother of all torture during Circuit Breaker was none other than HBL. It was tough for teachers but definitely way tougher for parents (teachers who are also parents, man I don't know how you do it...😓).

I have 2 kids in primary school who needs to be supervised to do their HBL. Thankfully we are blessed to have many laptops at home so I try to be efficient and have them both do their HBL together while I did my own work.

Me trying to work while supervising the kids with their HBL

Efficiency, maybe. Painful, totally!

"Mummmmeeeee! The page is not there anymore!" (and this is after I had painstakingly logged in and clicked everything for him).

"Mummeeee! Di Di and Mei Mei are disturbing me! I can't concentrate!"

"Mummeeee! I can't hear! Where to click? How to type? Teacher says must draw, how to draw?"...... 😵

I have to say, the more enthusiastic the teacher, the more annoying for me as the parent because it meant more work for me to do. Things like recording a video or taking photos of their homework and uploading, it's really unnecessary to me. I get that you want to think out of the box and make it fun for the kids but I really don't have time for it. Plus, it's for P.E. Are you serious? I'm sorry but I have to prioritise examinable subjects over P.E. Maybe a Zoom P.E. lesson is a better idea. So no, I won't upload any videos, sorry 😐


Come to think of it, I don't know which is worse: intense pain of dual 'headaches' at the same time or prolonged pain of one 'headache' after another? 😂


I rejoiced together with all parents on the day that MOE announced the kids could return to school. HURRAY!!! 😄


[MY SELF-CARE]

Self-care is important for all mums but even more so for a full-time working mum of 3 like me with very limited me-time. Not being able to enjoy my usual self-care like travelling, facials, shopping, etc was really tough. 

The only self-care that I can do at home would be watching TV and painting or crafting. I didn't manage to paint because of the sticky baby/toddler but I did complete my pin display project that I have been wanting to do for a long time! 😊

My pin collection finally displayed! 
I've been collecting pins since my schooling days and have always kept them in boxes


Also managed to build some Lego, which I had to safeguard from my girl the Lego Fanatic (who wanted to 'help' me build them). 

Super cute Harry Potter Lego pieces

My awesome colleagues also sent me food to brighten up my days when they heard that I was grumpy from being stuck at home. 

Traditional ice-cream, like those you would get from the ice-cream truck around the neighbourhood
Yummy dessert

I'm so blessed ♥️


[ENTERTAINMENT]

With 3 very active kids stuck in a HDB flat, we needed to find things to do. We played with boardgames, LEGO, xbox and whatever toys they have around the house. 


Bought some boardgames to play! Can't wait till the boy is old enough to play the more challenging games
The doting Mum-in-law bought this Expert set for the girl because ordinary sets are too easy for her. She finished it in 2 days 😐
Left: Kids playing together in the play pen passed to us by the sister-in-law;
Right: interactive play on the xbox! 

We felt the most bad for our littlest girl, as the moment she learned how to walk, she had to be confined in a small space with nowhere to practise her newly acquired skills. The best we could do was to let her climb whatever she can find around the house. 

Climbing up and down the stairs of the kids' bed and the stairs outside our home

Daddy bought a makeshift pool for the kids to play with water


[CELEBRATIONS]

My Birthday
I also celebrated my birthday during circuit breaker and was actually thinking that I might not have a cake to celebrate with. But my awesome family and friends sent me so many things! 

Left: My mum-in-law cooked the annual longevity noodles for me;
Right: I made the hubby queue at Alexandra Village to buy my favourite Ang ku kueh and avocado drink 😋
My husband's idea of a birthday cake: crabs from Mellben Seafood 😋
Cakes flowers and food from my sister and bff
My favourite has to be my birthday cake, the biggest I've ever gotten! It was so yummy I ate half the cake by myself! 😋
Love my awesome colleagues for sending it to me!


Kids made cards and presents for me with whatever they can find around the house 😁


I feel so blessed! Thank you everyone 🥰


Our 11th Wedding Anniversary

The hubby and I also celebrated our anniversary during circuit breaker. We were supposed to be at W Hotel Sentosa for our anniversary staycation but it was cancelled due to the circuit breaker 😒 We had to make do with a mini celebration at home. 

Hubby splurged on premium meat since we can't spend on anything except food
Home-based BBQ 😋
Family photo 😊

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On this 11th Wedding Anniversary, I decided to do a compilation of all our celebrations from the very first anniversary till now to remind us how far we have come. As you can see, we are usually at some restaurant/staycation/overseas, but we could do neither of those during this circuit breaker (we actually booked W Hotel for this year too, so sad 😭). To cheer me up, Hubby promised me a mega make-up staycation after CB. He also went and got super premium ingredients such as the high quality grade olive wagyu steak for our BBQ! So yums 😋 HAPPY ANNIVERSARY DEAR! Thanks for always making me fat and saying you don't care if I'm fat (even though i know u do) 😂 love u 😘 . #madpsychmum #weddinganniversary #girleejay #boyjlee #girleejan

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Mother's Day

We also celebrated Mother's Day! 

Kids wearing their masks and super excited to be out of the house

The kids were experiencing such a bad case of cabin fever that we needed to get them out for a while just to keep their spirits up.

I'm so glad that our country finally moved into Phase 1 and 2 where everyone is allowed to go back somewhat to normal! Circuit Breaker was really very tough for everyone and I'm just really gfateful that we survived it. I really hope we don't ever have to go through it again! 🥺
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