Friday, June 16, 2017

Letters to Myla Rae - Love is blinding

Open when- You think you've found the one
If I'm still alive, ask me to explain this pic to you.

Dearest Myla Rae.

So you're in love. You're tired of keeping your options open. Everyone else around you seem to be settling down and moving on to the next stage in life.

Before you commit to him, and decide that he really is THE ONE. I want you to know the reality of love, it is very very blinding... but only temporarily. It would pain me to watch you realize months (or years!) down the road that actually (when the blinkers come off) you made a mistake.

The thing is, we never really know, how much of our love for someone is due to that temporary blindness, our stubbornness, our desire not to let yet another relationship fail.

No matter how hard you try, the odds of happiness will never be in your favour if you choose to commit to a man who displays any of these traits.

If you're anything like me, you will be drawn to the alphas. I think this was why I was always attracted to older men (but younger men can be alphas too). Being an alpha male is great, in fact it's very attractive in a man. He is driven, intelligent, powerful and a good leader. Be with an alpha male, only if you rank high in his pack... he will fight for you fiercely, he will protect you.

But never mistake a partner who is aggressive towards you for an alpha. If he hits you, that's a definite strike out. GET RID OF HIM.

But also be wary of the passive aggressive man. He will take out his frustrations out on you. And he makes no apologies because he is never at fault, it's always due to something that happened at work, the slow traffic on the way home or maybe because someone shoved past him on the crowded MRT. But you will pay the price for it.

My girl, please do not end up with an angry spouse who will only give you a minimal level of love and caring. If you're smart, you will figure out what his trigger situations are and be able to avoid those (not successful all the time though), but it's not enjoyable living your life in a perpetually 'braced' position.

His interests only
It is human nature to be self centered... to a reasonable extent. But watch out if every movie you watch, every restaurant you eat at, every weekend activity is catered solely to what he likes/wants. You voiced your opinions, mentioned your preferences, but if it's not something he wants to do/eat/see/etc, then too bad, it will not be an option... ever.

He might be this way because of low emotional intelligence ... or he might actually be aware that he's being intentionally selfish and manipulative. Marry this man and you will end up with an unsupportive and unsympathetic husband. He will not be there for you during tough times.

Uses the Divorce word easily
When you're still dating, each time there is a small problem or disagreement he says he wants to break up (even though he doesn't mean it). Fast forward to being married...this will not change. He uses the Divorce word just as easily, often threatening to pack his bags and leave.. or worse still asking you to get the fuck out of his life.

And then the next morning, act as if nothing happened... expects you to carry on as normal and be loving towards him. He probably only said it to alarm you, get a reaction out of you, maybe he is immature like that.... or maybe he really meant it and then chickened out the next day. You will never know. And that shit will eventually take a toll on you.

So yeah, if he's always issuing ultimatums to you (or at work or to his friends/family)... take it as a warning sign of extreme immaturity.

He has debts
It's different if he has a home loan, or if he has a student loan (from university fees) to pay off. But if he's racked up a huge debt from either from gambling or spending beyond his means... then he has poor impulse control!

You know what other problems can come from poor impulse control? Drinking, having affairs... the list goes on.

So if he has a gambling debt, drinking debt, credit card debt... do not take your relationship any further, it's a big sign of poor impulse control. Similarly my dear, I hope you do not become one of those with poor impulse control and end up with like a Prada debt. I would turn in my grave!

I'm not sure how far along you are in your relationship but if you see that he has any of these traits, please find a way out. I want to say it's never too late to leave a man who is wrong for you... but I'm pretty sure when you're in deep, it may feel like there's no longer a way out so you just have to cope with it. I'll tell you what your grandma (G'ma) always told me when I was growing up and navigating the world of dating- Decide what you want, then just bulldoze your way through.

I hope you choose wisely,

Friday, June 02, 2017

Repurposing Old Milk Tins into Toys

I came across someone asking on my Facebook mummies group about what we do with empty formula tins. Some mums said they put them in the recycling bins, other mums used it for storage of other food items or for storing small knick knacks... but like me, most mums answered - I throw it down the rubbish chute.  :(   I felt so bad for saying that, but it was the truth...

So lately, instead of throwing the empty tins away, I've come up with ways in which I can turn them into toys for Myla Rae. It doesn't take much effort, yet it gives her hours, days, even weeks of fun with each project I make.

Here's a look at some of my favourites:

Bongo Drums

Wrap the tins with pretty wrapping paper and some felt or cloth. Decorate with strings to help LO grip onto the Bongo and do include some beads for added sensory and tactile play. Let your toddler have a great time banging away. Try using different sized tins to make a combination of different sized bongos!

Barrel Climb
I got this idea from going to an indoor playground where there is a climbing section for toddlers. So I came home and used our empty formula tins to create a mini climbing obstacle for Myla Rae. Stack 3 or more large tins together and fasten them with tape and epoxy glue (make sure you fasten them properly and won't come loose, making the structure dangerous). I used 2 x empty 1.8Kg Friso Gold tins. Fill the tins with something heavy like sand. You can even fill some with bells or beads which will make sounds when moved around.

When stacking, you can use your creativity... the object is to make them like steps. The more empty tins you have, the more elaborate your creation can be! I shall add on to this in the coming months because she enjoys it so much. Always supervise your toddler's play time, and of course don't go nuts and create an obstacle course that is too high and dangerous!

Coin Slots

Cut slots into the plastic lid and with some huge plastic coins it will become a piggy bank where baby can practice fine motor skills. Friso tins come with an additional metal lid to lock in freshness, I discarded that as it's not safe to cut into that. Just using the soft plastic lid will do.

To learn more about how you can give your child more fun play experiences as they grow, check out these articles and resources from Friso. There's so much you can do. Have fun!

#frisosg #frisostronginside #frisoexperience 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Ramadan Bazaar IS for everyone

There's lots I want to say and share with you but I've been apprehensive about crafting blog posts over the past year because I usually don't have the time to sit down and give things 'extra' thought in order to articulate my opinions the best way possible.

I squeeze this one out while my toddler watches 10 minutes of TV. I want to share with you what I feel because I think that the outrage and anger that people feel is due to the fact that they feel they have been wronged (but really it is not so), and the purpose is not to offend.

I've seen so many FB rants lately about the Ramadan Bazaar in Geylang. This bazaar is usually on during the Muslim's fasting month, leading up to Hari Raya. And the gripe this year from quite a few of my Muslim friends is that there are stalls at this bazaar which are not Halal.

I understand the displeasure. I mean the bazaar is called Ramadan Bazaar, you would expect that the stalls within this bazaar all be in line with Ramadan and hence be halal.

However, your choices are- to just not go to this bazaar since you deem that most of the stalls are not suitable for you .... or to still go and enjoy the atmosphere and be selective in the stalls you patronize. After all, there will be halal stalls there in need of your support. Right?

There is no need to play the victim.

You see, it's all about money... everything nowadays is getting more and more commercial and profit driven. I'm not saying that it's great thing, but it is however a necessity. The person who is organizing the bazaar is not doing it for the spirit of Ramadan, he is doing it to capitalize and make the most profit possible. You have to understand that. If you don't want it that way then you take the financial risk and organize the next one.

And this (commercialization and the loss of 'authenticity') has been happening since way back. Count yourselves lucky that it has only started to affect your religious holiday only now.

For instance, our supermarkets have a Halal option in their Christmas food menu (the packages you can pre order for your Christmas meal). I mean like what the fuck for? It's a Christmas menu.... Christmas... the Christian festival celebrating the birth of Jesus.  *big confused eyes*

This kind of thing has been happening since way back, it's just that we didn't choose to bitch about it on Facebook and play the victim card. It is what it is.. we still have the choice to order the Halal Christmas meal, or not to order it and get a proper Christmas meal with traditional smoked ham etc.

It's all a business. And the way our society is (multi racial) there cannot be exclusion. I was very shocked to see comments on Facebook about how the Ramadan Bazaar should be for Muslims and/or Malays only. Have you never shopped at a Christmas bazaar/sale?

I'm sorry that your Ramadan Bazaar isn't like what it used to be. But a Ramadan Bazaar isn't what your Ramadan is about (I think I am correct in assuming this). Just like Cold Storage selling a butchered version of 'traditional' Christmas meals isn't what my Christmas is about. It's just business.

So don't let hate in.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Letters to Myla Rae: Happy Mother's Day To Me!

Open when: You wonder why you're an only child

Dearest Myla Rae,

It's Mother's Day today.
I just wanted to use today to let you know that you are absolutely the best thing that has ever happened to me. The most important. The most valuable.

So you're wondering, if having a child is so great then why didn't I do it over and over again and give you siblings???

Main reason is... this is the picture of a perfect family to me.

Which is strange because I super enjoyed having siblings growing up, in fact, for my whole childhood and most of my teenhood, my brother (your godpa) was my best friend. We are still close, but not like before where we would eat together, watch tv together, play the same video games, watch NBA and WWF together, read Lao Fu Zi comics, invent our own games (Houston kita ada problem!... haha I'll tell you about this another day), we would share toys (his Centurians made really short boyfriends for my Barbie dolls), talk talk talk, and look out for each other.

But now, for my own family, I always picture parents and one child as the perfect family. Maybe because I've an introverted nature and I like things under control, I don't like chaos. I'm not sure why it's perfect, but it is. I cannot picture having more kids, like I don't even think of it, let alone desire it. Some people might think it's selfish of me? But everyone has their own ideas of perfection, some might want a huge brood, while some might not want any children at all. Not one choice fits all.

I especially don't want to have to divide my attention. I only have 24 hours in a day, and even that is mostly taken up by sleep, washing, ironing, cooking, errands, writing, etc. So when I imagine having more kids, and each of them having even less of my time. It puts me off. I would feel like I was short changing them. You will always get my 100%.

We are also practical with finances and resources. We are not going to spoil you rotten with luxuries but we want to be able to see you all the way to university and beyond without you having to worry about money or having enough to meet your needs. That said though... even if we were filthy rich, I would still just want one child.

After we got married, I wanted you so badly but it took me an awfully long time to convince your father to start a family. So I bet my last dollar there is absolutely NO WAY he would say okay to another child.

Before I had you, I used to get so envious and sad when other people were pregnant or had babies. But now when I see people announcing that they're expecting a second or third etc child on Facebook, I don't have a single ounce of envy or sadness. It's actually very nice to feel this way. I feel complete. You are perfect to me. You complete our family.

So that is why you are our only child.

I hope you build and treasure loyal friendships which will see you through good times and bad. I hope you grow up to be a good person. Most of all, I hope to always be here for you for as long as I can.

Mum xx

Happy Mother's Day to me :)

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Eeek. People are so Self Centred

You know, when I was on my own, I would hold doors open for others and let others enter the lift first etc, that sort of thing. I wouldn't even think of it, it's just a regular thing. It doesn't cost me anything (hardly a few seconds of my time) to be polite/considerate.

But now when I'm with Myla, either I'm pushing her stroller or carrying her in my Tula plus bags of groceries... it's made me aware that wow people are quite inconsiderate and only care about themselves.
Just today, I was in the lift with Myla in her stroller. Then half way down, another woman enters with her daughter around 7-8 years old, and she's pushing a stroller with a toddler about 3 years old inside it.

When the lift door opens on the ground floor, her daughter and her move out first. Which is fine, they're closest to the door anyway. And then I'm following behind them, we are all heading to the condo gate.

Now this gate is pretty heavy, and once u press the unlock button you have a few seconds to swing it open otherwise it locks again. But I always manage to unlock it, hold it open and then swing Myla's stroller through, just struggle a bit.

Well anyway, The woman unlocks the gate, her 7-8 year old walks through, then she seems to struggle to get her stroller through. So I park my stroller next to the gate (on the inside), and I go and hold the gate open for her.

Ok now, here's the surprising part....I hold the gate for her and she pushes her stroller through, and off she goes. I was kinda expecting maybe she would park her stroller at the outside of the gate, and then hold the gate open for me so I could go get my stroller and push it through as well.

It's not like a BIG problem, I just reached my leg out and hooked my stroller with my foot and pulled it towards the gate opening. Maneuvered it through and went on my way. But I was just surprised that she so didn't-give-a-shit about me, right after I had helped her.

Then I went to the MRT station. A husband + stroller and his wife were waiting alongside me, for the lift. The lift doors opened, the wife held the Door open button. And her husband + stroller went into the lift. Then instead of letting me get in next with my stroller, she just let go of the button and went in right after him. And both of them didn't bother to press the door open button from the inside, they just stood there, bochup. So I pressed it on the outside (cos I scared it might shut on the stroller) and then quickly pushed the stroller in.

Why are people so like that?

Monday, May 01, 2017

Everyday Play Experience

Myla Rae loves to play... she loves her books with sounds and textures, she loves her puzzles like the shape sorter and hoops, she loves her Leap Frog lap pup which is like a baby laptop that plays music, and she loves going to indoor playgrounds. While all these keep her entertained, I noticed that she has a keen interest in what we adults were doing too.
So I incorporated our adult everyday things (which we take for granted) into a play experience for her. She gets to feel like a BIG person (she loves being just like us!), these things improve her fine motor skills, it's fun for her, she's learning without feeling like it's hard work and it doesn't cost me much at all!

Here are 2 of our favourite " everyday" play experiences.

1. A Wallet

Everytime we were out and I would pay for things, she would have a keen eye on my wallet and my actions. Then my husband started giving her his wallet to hold and play with while we were out because it kept her busy and contented in her stroller. However, she's still just a very young child, and would often throw his money or cards on the floor as she's playing, so we'd have to keep a sharp eye on her the whole time.

So finally, I took an old wallet we didn't need anymore, and slotted it with cards which we didn't use anymore. That's her wallet now, and she absolutely loves it to bits. It keeps her entertained for a very long time. She loves removing and slotting her cards into the individual compartments, this is a great fine motor exercise. I haven't given her any coins yet, but will add those in later on when she's older and won't accidentally swallow them.

And most adorably, when the waiter comes to us with the bill (or even if someone at the next table is paying their bill), she will take her wallet and stretch out to try to hand it to the waiter, saying "TA!!".

2. A Laundry Basket

A good part of my week is spent doing the laundry and ironing. So I've made it part of her play experience as well. Grappling with the laundry basket (sometimes heaped full of clothes), is great exercise for her. The large physical movements (when she reaches into the basket to sort and pick stuff out) are great developing strength. She also enjoys climbing in and out of the basket, which develops her problem solving skills (she used to fall in head first lol). And I'm using this laundry activity to develop her language skills. I am usually ironing very close by while she's in her play yard with the laundry basket, and when I'm done with one piece, I will ask her to fetch me another shirt to iron. This is a good way to teach colours too.

So if you haven't already incorporated "everyday" play into your tot's day, you could start with an unwanted wallet and the laundry basket! You'll be amazed how fun (and educational!) these items are for them... and best of all, it makes your chores more fun too!

For more tips and ideas on how you can give your child more learning experiences as they grow, check out
Friso's Learning & Experiences page for useful articles and resources. I picked up lots of good tips and a better understanding of toddler development from the site.

Be sure to include some outdoor time in the fresh air and sunshine for your little one's play experience. Must share with you! Free Gift from Friso! It's a Friso Powered Luggage which doubles up as a remote controlled car. Both Myla Rae and I love it, it gives us the opportunity to play together outdoors and bond. It has storage space inside, a handle to pull along, remote controlled, with rechargeable battery. 
Spend $389 on any Friso participating products* to redeem your FREE Friso Powered Luggage worth $189. (* Exclude infant formula from 0-6 months) You can download the redemption form here:

#frisosg #frisostronginside #frisoexperience