Audvertorial

Feel the Burn

2017-08-13_10-36-39

It could be always slouching over my phone….

IMG_5165

Hunching over my laptop…

2017-08-13_05-40-02

Rushing all over for Colony….

2017-08-13_05-29-30

Or all that lugging around 12-kilo children (sometimes two at a time)…

But it’s resulted in major back pains at times. T3T Mostly in my upper back, shoulders and even neck. *cracks neck

I’ve been dragging Fatty with me for massages recently cos sometimes it gets so bad my back aches lead to migraines I suspect. T3T Massages seem to help but ain’t nobody got the time (or pockets) to keep going for massages la. Crowdfunding meh wtf.

IMG_20170803_161221-01

Well, this is a great alternative! Hahahaha.

As a kid, I used to get “growing pains” (Fighter gets them now too FHL) where the bones in my legs seem to ache, especially at night. I used to rub Yoko Yoko over my legs and it helped, so I’m well acquainted with it.  Kept calling it Yoko Ono to annoy my mom and it worked hahaha.

Anyway, now adult also still using Yoko Yoko!  Because now Yoko Yoko also has a heat therapy back pad for pain relief on the back.

IMG_20170803_161344-01

Inside each box comes two heat pads, each wrapped in its own foil bag.  Once you rip open the bag, the air activates the pad and it starts heating up.

2017-08-13_05-02-26

The pad is has a 3 cell shape for better, more flexible coverage I suppose.  One side comes with adhesive with which you stick on the affected area.

IMG-20171019-WA0017

I’ve been using it on my lower back cos that’s where my pain comes from normally.  Each pad lasts very long – longer than I’d expected! I applied it in the afternoon and after dinner it was still warming up my back hahaha.

I gotta say – it’s awesome having a portable heater on you. Hahahaha. Heat therapy improves blood circulation, so by warming the affected area, the volume of blood flow increases, which in turn increases the supply of oxygen and the removal of metabolic waste, leading to less pain and better healing.

I guess that may be true – but the warm feeling on my back is just shiok la hahaha. Every time I lean back, the heat pad presses on my back and the heat intensifies and it feels SO GOOD omg hahaha.

IMG_20170803_161158-01

Yoko Yoko Heat Patch is not a cure nor a miracle of course. But what it can do is make you more comfortable especially if like me, you get aches and back pain often.

 

 

This post was written in collaboration with Ammeltz Yoko Yoko Heat Patch for Neck and Shoulder Pain.

AudBaby

The story of Fighter’s growth (height wise)

Sometime this year, Fighter has noticed that he’s smaller – much smaller, in fact – than most of his classmates.  For example, his best friend Chase is more than a head taller than him fhl wtf.

2017-10-08_11-36-47

Here he is with his classmates wtf.

He points out the fact pretty regularly now and  we’ve been telling him that everyone is different in their own ways and because he’s so small, he’s special.  One of his teachers even gave him a children’s book about how everyone in the world is different – different hair, different skin, different cultures and traditions – but we’re all still the same inside, to teach him the concept that everyone is unique.

Before he started preschool last year, I was worried that he’d be picked on for his size.  But I was clearly worrying about nothing cos his teachers tell me his friends love him cos he’s small! They all think he’s damn cute lolol.  His class teacher told me that once, she was demonstrating something to his class and for some reason, Fighter kept reaching out and messing up her things wtf.

She gently admonished him, only to have one of his classmates pipe up, “Teacher, please don’t scold Jude. He’s so cute.” Hahahahaha.  And I can see it myself!  His classmates are extra loving to him and Chase protects him; even the more boisterous boys slow down and take care of him like a younger brother hahaha.

But all that didn’t matter to Fighter.  All he wanted was to be tall.  He readily ate everything I put in front of him, hoping it would make him grow faster.  He hates eggs but tried his best to eat one every morning cos his Ah Kong told him it would make him bigger.  One day, we marked the kids’ heights on our bedroom wall with a pencil and every few days after, Fighter would run in, asking to be measured to see if he’d grown any taller.

He would pull at the sleeves of his school uniform and tell me that he was sure his sleeves were higher up his arms now.  He would always tell us that he’s bigger than Penny (even though Penny is really catching up with him).  And he’d tell me hopefully, “When I’m same age as Chase, I will be tall like Chase!”  Because he confused age and size, thinking logically that the older he was, the bigger he should be.

One day, on the way to school, he cried in the car.  I asked him why, and this is what he told me:

“I don’t want to be special, I want to be tall.”

Damn near broke my heart ok. T______T

He continued, “Can you bring me to the doctor, mommy? I want to ask the doctor to make me grow taller.”

T__________T

So I scheduled an appointment with a pediatric endocrinologist.  Basically she specializes in children and growth, which involves hormones.

A year ago, I’d already asked our usual paed about Fighter’s growth. Cos he’s always 0% percentile on growth charts. T____T Our paed recommended this specialist but told us to wait until he was 4 or 5 cos by then we’d know if he’d have caught up with his peers. (he hasn’t.)

IMG_20171005_115954-01

Our appointment was on a weekday so I picked the critter up early from school and went straight to the hospital.  Here he is kuai kuai waiting for his turn while eating his lunch.

Basically we got in to the doctor and we went through his history, and our family background and heights.  This is what I gleaned from our conversation:

  • The cause of his size is most likely genetic cos duh half his genes come from me and the Ooi family.  Based on my height and Fatty’s and Fighter’s own current height, the doctor projected that he would reach this range of height, which isn’t very tall for a guy la.  This is if he were born a normal baby.
  • But he didn’t have a normal birth.  He had a very premature birth and prematurity affects a lot of things, including size.  Most premature kids catch up within the first few years, but 20% of them don’t.  The doctor thinks Fighter is one of those that won’t. T______T
  • Besides being premature, he also had a very low weight for his gestational age (31 weeks).  Ie. he was smaller than he’s supposed to be even at 31 weeks.  He was born at 1.1 kg which is like 2-3 times less than a normal baby so it’s like he has to catch up 2-3 times faster than normal.

All these factors combined will most likely result in him being a very small adult, possibly even slightly taller than me only.  When I heard this I had to work not to cry. T____T It hit me again that I failed to give Fighter the best start in life cos of my preeclampsia and malfunctioning placenta and he is this way cos of me.  (Had preeclampsia with Penny too so this is why I don’t want another child, bring another baby in to the world and give it a shit start to life for what wtf.)

The doctor told me there was a treatment available – growth hormone therapy.  It works best for children who lack the growth hormone (apparently Messi was one such case wtf) but for normal kids who are just born small, it won’t be as effective.  But the doc said that since Fighter was a preemie and had low gestational weight, he was a good candidate for it.

But the therapy is: injections. Daily. Which could go on for years depending on his progress. T______T

Monetary cost aside, are we really prepared to let our four year old endure injections every day for years? Until he turns 18 and finishes growing? Or until we feel he’s made enough progress?  It’s like being diabetic leh this treatment!

And that’s another thing — cos I don’t know the exact height he’ll grow to be if he doesn’t do the treatment, I will never know how much difference the treatment makes.  Whether the treatment was worth it.  Or whether it didn’t help at all and he would reach the height naturally anyway.

And what kind of message would I be sending to Fighter anyway? That size is so important until we gotta subject him to daily injections? And what if he ends up on the small side anyway?  Would he end up feeling that why go through all this suffering anyway if he still ends up short?

But on the other hand. What if he grows up really tiny…. and I regret not doing anything about it? What if he blames us for not taking the chance when we could?

(In case you’re wondering —

  1. Nutrition and exercise may make a difference but not much if he’s meant to be this size already.
  2. Peanut root soup better avoid wtf. Doc said it does contain hormones to grow but it also increases bone density and age which will shorten the period he can grow. )

That’s the dilemma we’re in right now.  But honestly it’s probably going to be a no go.  We are going back to see the doctor in 3 months anyway for her to monitor his natural growth.  Fingers crossed.

IMG-20170913-WA0015-01

AudParenting

How many extra classes should your child be attending?

So a couple of weeks ago, I was at a mommy’s dinner with the moms of Fighter’s friends.  There happened to be another group of girls there, some of whom were also moms from the same school. #momlyfe (I know I know before I became a mom I think I won’t even know so many moms walk among us WTF)

Anyway I was talking to this one mom whom I’ve seen around school but never actually talked to properly.  She showed us a photo of her 5 year old daughter’s writing in Mandarin.  I don’t know anything about Mandarin but dude those characters were complicated.  At five, this little girl was writing long fluent sentences in beautiful characters, in Mandarin.

While at four, my son can barely write the word ‘flip’.

2017-09-29_11-36-44
Lolol.

The mom went on to tell us that her daughter doesn’t have a rest day. O_O  Every day of the week (yep weekends included), she has a class or activity on, be it math tuition, English tuition, ballet, swimming, polo, or whatever. Some days she has more than one activity going on!

And this is totally common.  Talking to my mommy friends, I realize that nearly every single child Fighter’s age (4 or 5 years onwards) goes to lessons outside of school – Mandarin, Shichida, soccer, gymnastics, even got phonetics class wtf.  This ranges in frequency at least a few times a week, up to more than one class a day, daily.  From school, they fly home for lunch before running off for their next class.  Some end up eating their lunch in the car because there ain’t not enough time between school and their extra classes.  And these kids aren’t even in primary school yet. :O

My kid on the other hand.  I take him (and Penny) home from school and they have lunch.  After lunch he takes a bath, then he takes out his Lego, his building blocks, or he draws on his blackboard.  Or he plays with Play Doh.  More often now that Penny is older, they have a lot of conversations and pretend play.  They take turns playing doctor and patient, or policeman and bad guy, or they gang up to make me toy food which I have to pretend to eat enthusiastically wtf.  Sometimes if I don’t pack them up and take them to work with me, or plan play dates, they go outside to play with bubbles or I take them to the pool for a swim.  This goes on until dinner and bedtime.

That’s it.  No extracurricular activities.  I did start him on swimming class once a week but I was thinking of more for survival chances if he happens to fall into a mining pool or something wtf.

My kid does nothing but play all day.  He can’t write, he can barely draw, he’s still illiterate, he can’t even balance on one foot WTF.  Although he can strike up conversations with strangers, debate with me and point out flaws in my argument wtf.  In comparison, his peers are making elaborate pictures on paper, playing soccer, swimming like fishes, and reading Peter and Jane.  They are so advanced it’s crazy.

IMG-20170518-WA0022
Fighter’s self portrait wtf.

So my questions are these, people.

I don’t believe there’s any one right or wrong way to parenting.  But am I too free with my parenting?  Should I be doing for my child to make sure he advances, if not on par with his high achieving peers, but at least not so falls too far behind?  I think my parenting style has always been slightly hippy – I believe in not pressuring kids when they’re so young especially, and letting them grow at their own pace.  But am I too chill until they’re not growing at all?  By not pressuring them, am I not pushing them to develop grit?

My second question was – and I actually posed this to the mom I talked to – how do you even find the time for all these extra classes!?  She confirmed my suspicion – that she spent most of her days in the car, ferrying around her kids from class to class.  But she has the privilege of being a full time SAHM. What about those of us who are working?  How to juggle? And do I want to spend the remainder of my free time (and my kid’s free time) rushing from class to class?

And thirdly, what about play?  I believe so strongly in free play for kids that it’s nearly my religion wtf.  Data shows that play helps children with socialization (which is actually my top priority but not the only one la), conflict resolution, creativity and a whole bunch of other good stuff.  Shouldn’t 4-5 year olds (who are still by definition, toddlers) be playing in all their free time?  Or am I being too extreme – that it’s okay to get them into organized activities and lessons even at 4? (I’m not talking about one or two classes a week ah, talking about at least several times a week.)

2017-09-30_01-27-44
Fighter and his beloved Lego.

I don’t have any answers.  But I’m opening up a forum to hear your thoughts!  Leave a comment!

 

AudVlogs

Fighter hates swimming class

I vlogged guys!

I had a lot of fun doing it actually – I think I haven’t vlogged so long that it’s stopped becoming a hassle and started being fun instead. And I feel like an A+ mom for capturing such good footage of the kids!

Anyway this was taken one Sunday when Fighter had his swimming class.

And he freaking hated it FML.

Watch!

Audvertorial

Bet you didn’t know these places existed in Japan

You know the funny thing about this article?

As you know, I’ve been collaborating with Hotels.com recently, about trip planning and that planning a trip is actually half the fun.

I tend to be very impulsive and disorganized so normally I leave the planning to my travel partners and just go along with their suggestions.  But writing these Hotels.com blog posts (HERE and HERE), I more seriously started to consider traveling to Japan by myself and consequently, started thinking of what *I* myself really want to do there.

If you’ve been a reader, you’d know that I looove Japan and have been there many times. I even lived there for a year when I was in college.  So I’ve been to all the usual touristy places and even experienced regular daily life, commuting to school, having homecooked meals with my host family yadda yadda.

So this time, if I do travel on my own, Imma dedicate my trip to exploring the more unusual and obscure sides to the country.  Maybe obscure isn’t the word, but maybe “less touristy” is.  Not the usual Tokyo Tower or Harajuku’s Takeshita Dori, but attractions more off the beaten track.

Like this Ninja Restaurant!!!

  1. Ninja Asakasa

Photo Source: Weird Japan

OMG this place looks awesome. Just look at this waiter hahahahaha how can you not!?

When I was studying in Kyoto I went to this prison themed restaurant but this ninja restaurant looks ten times better!

Photo source: Atlas Obscura

Food also comes in a bento box with dry ice for that mysterious factor HAHAHAH.

HAHAHAHAHA.

2. Wisteria Tunnel

Photo source: Atlas Obscura

Located in the Kawachi Fuji Gardens in Kitakyushu, this passageway of wisteria blooms during Fuji Matsuri – early May or late April. Means if I gotta get my butt over then la! Or else it’s apparently just a ‘mass of twisted branches’ hahahaha don’t want la.

But this place is sooo beautiful, I’m not even normally a fan of scenic locations and I’m dying to come here.

3. Brasserie Kyushoku Toban

Photo source: Atlas Obscura

Guys. Lest you think looking at this pic this is some sort of child labor institution, it’s not hahaha. It’s a cafe that supposedly gives you Japanese elementary school lunch experience.

Photo source: Atlas Obscura

You apparently sit in an interior that looks like a classroom, and true to Japanese fashion, a hot cart travels up and down the aisles serving noodles or rice, fish or pork, soup, flavored milk, and a healthy fruit dessert.  It also apparently serves whale meat O_O for that nostalgic factor cos they used to serve it back in the day.

4. Nakagin Capsule Tower

Photo source: Atlas Obscura

Photo source: Atlas Obscura

I’m not sure if this is actually open to public but I read about this capsule tower recently. It was built in the mid 20th century and consists of two separate towers which serve as support to 140 prefabricated capsules. Each capsule is one self-contained tiny apartment. Each apartment is furnished with the latest gadgets (at the time anyway) and was targeted for bachelor salarymen. But the project flopped cos everyone just thought it was too depressing to live in tiny capsules (guess they never saw Kowloon).

There’s talk of demolition for this place since it’s located in prime area Ginza. So if I go, must be ASAP before it comes down!

What about you guys? Do you have any tips as to where I should head to if I make this solo Japan trip?

I was gonna focus on attractions in the Tokyo/Kansai area only to maximize my travel budget. Which would mean potentially striking off Wisteria. T3T

But! Hotels.com wants to save us. ^^ Hahaha. The Hotels.com Rewards program is a loyalty program that gives members instant savings on their hotel bookings, plus free nights later on – one free night for every 10 nights stayed.
Screen Shot 2017-09-16 at 11.10.25 AM

Source: Hotels.com website

Screen Shot 2017-09-16 at 11.13.12 AM

Source: Hotels.com website

There are also Secret Prices to be unlocked if you’re a Hotels.com member, as well as mobile app exclusive prices.  For more info, check out the Hotels.com website.

Screen Shot 2017-09-16 at 11.13.31 AM

Source: Hotels.com website

And what’s better than getting a discount when you head over to their website? Use this special code 8OFFHTFOTMY to enjoy 8% off your next trip with Hotels.com.

For more info, check out the Hotels.com website.

This post was written in collaboration with Hotels.com.

 

 

 

AudBaby

The critters have a social life

Now that the critters are threenagers, their social life damn packed ok. Hahaha.

IMG_20170902_202251-01

Here’s them on a weekend trip to Singapore last week!  Got their own room and everything – we pushed their beds together so they wouldn’t fall off in the middle of the night wtf.

I’m serious though!  When I was a kid their age I don’t remember having friends WTF. The earliest friend I remember was in Standard 1 and she didn’t friend me WTF. #consideredactuallynofriendsla

But I am really liking how this year Fighter seems to be getting really close to his classmates.  He tells me about nearly all of them regularly so it sounds like they’re really close knit and just friends without any ‘adult’ considerations.  Besides Chase, he used to be close to girls only *cough* but teacher told me this term, he’s also mixing well with the boys!  Can tell also cos he mentions boys’ names now a lot more hahaha.

Penny is still quite oblivious la but she consistently mentions… Mia’s name hahaha. Mia is Chase’s sister and she’s the only kid Penny’s age whom she sees regularly. So I think she adopted Mia as her best friend already hahaha.

IMG-20170826-WA0019

Here’s a very happy Penny.  Fighter was staying over at his grandparents’ so it was just me and her!  Decided to take her out for a mommy daughter shopping date.

2017-09-09_03-55-05

Mochi’s happiest days are always when she has me to herself hahaha.

2017-09-09_03-44-53

Poney just launched at Pavilion so we went to check it out and go shopping. See this girl so big already can pick her own clothes and insist on carrying it herself.  Not bad leh her taste!  Love this print and style.

IMG_20170826_133511_1

Mini shopping buddy #2.  Hahaha very fun actually! Me and Sieu Ee shop together a lot but this is the first time we brought the two girls out with us solely to shop.

This Lollipop enjoying her lollipop lol.

IMG-20170826-WA0029

The two girls checking through their haul (also checking to see if mommy’s wallets got enough cash wtf)

IMG_20170826_143149

After that… French Sole it was. :X  Ok so the story is I decided to implement a clearer dress code for the Colony team.  I made a list of things that would not be allowed in the office – ripped jeans, shorts, open toed shoes – and realized those are 90% of my own wardrobe WTF.  Shot myself in the foot there hahahaha. But I must also be professional la! And I wear my French Soles to death so I wanted to pop by and see if got any sales wtf.

Here’s Mia and her mommy shopping and drinking (bubble) tea. Am I a good photographer or what!? Although my Instagram feed would beg to differ wtf.

IMG_20170826_143512

This Penny saw us taking shoes to try on and she also wanted to follow. *sheep.

Then she proceeded to choose the ugliest shoes in the shop HAHAHAHA. Seriously!!! French Sole has really nice shoes but this is not one of them. And out of all, she managed to find the most off looking pair hahahahaha. The shape damn bad la!

Good taste in clothes but not in footwear apparently wtf.

Meanwhile, Fighter’s outing…

Backstory: Over the school holidays, one of the moms wanted to arrange a movie date for the class.  She suggested movie, then lunch and play date at one of the child friendly cafes.  For the first time in my mom life I was like  because I cannot ponteng work the entire day la hahaha.  I thought I cannot take Fighter already but my savior and Everything Buddy TM said what’s the problem she’ll just take Jude along with Chase.

So before work, I dropped him off at their place.  Below are photo updates from Sieu Ee.

IMG-20170830-WA0001

Having a midmorning snack before the movie with Chase and Mia.

IMG-20170830-WA0002

Strapped in their car seats and ready to go!

I love the friendship between these two boys. T3T  Every time they see each other, they’re super joyous T3T They’ll hug each other and jump up and down then they’ll both hold hands and run off together hahahahaha.  How come this goes away when they grow up T_____T Stupid men and their machoness wtf.

IMG-20170830-WA0004

Getting more snacks with Auntie Sieu Ee before movie starts.

IMG-20170830-WA0005

Hahahaha these two *hearts in eyes

IMG-20170830-WA0019

Met up with some of their classmates already. Why this photo like so full of love one!! T____T

IMG-20170830-WA0016

Never see each other a few days only must hug until like this or not…

IMG-20170830-WA0008

All ready with their chips and popcorn. ^^  They were watching Cars 3 btw.

IMG-20170830-WA0010

I swear to god Chase is the most kuai child I have ever known.  He takes care of Jude soooo well I think even better than me WTF.  He’s feeding Fighter chips here. (whereas confession: when my kids take my fries I feel like fighting them for it WTF)

IMG-20170830-WA0032

At the kids’ play area at lunch.  Bumped into their Chinese teachers in Benbino and they rushed over to play with the kids.  Such dedication T3T If it were me, Imma be like eh why school holidays also want me to work meh hahahaha. Lao shis genuinely love them I think. 🙂

I wish I could have been there to witness for myself the interactions between Fighter and his friends.  But all the other moms told me he was so easy to care for, and I think he really enjoyed this taste of independence, going out with his friends without his mommy around.

My babies are really growing up. T_____T

IMG_20170905_141746-01

But luckily they still want me.

AudSlave AudVerbalDiarrhea

What Colony is teaching me

OMG never thought I’d see the day where I’d be writing about work hahaha. Can add more to my AudSlave blog category already wtf.  Not to say I’m a slave la wtf I just created that category title as a (bad) joke wtf.

2017-08-27_11-40-25

 

And not to say I didn’t think I wouldn’t learn anything working at Colony wtf.  But I’m finding it quite interesting to see the path my learning is taking at work.

Anyway I don’t know about you but I don’t particularly wanna read about other people’s jobs HAHAHAHA *self centered.  So go ahead and click the X if you gotta, but Imma write this as sort of a diary entry to myself la.

So when I first started work on Colony, my role was the conceptualization of the product itself – how we wanted it to look, the kind of facilities we wanted to include, etc. I learned a lot about design from Katrine and even Hui Wen who brainstormed with me at the beginning!  I also learned about the more technical side to renovation and remodeling, and how chauvinistic (some) men in construction can be hahahaha.

2017-08-29_11-33-01

Anyway with the space completed, I was supposed to move on to marketing which is what I’m used to, and I did.

But then we realized that we had something else equally as pressing that we needed to work on.

That thing is hospitality.

When we started Colony, we wanted to give people a way of working that would enable a good work life balance. So we came up with all these facilities – massage rooms, nap rooms, nursing room, kids area, pool and gym all.  But we realized that all that is for nought if our service cannot make it wtf.

I happened to be talking to one of our clients, who moved to Colony from a serviced office.  He said that our space is fantastic but our service wasn’t as good as his previous office.  D: I probed further and to my awe, I realized that there were so many things I’d never considered. Little things that we could do that could make a client’s life easier.

And that’s why I’m forced to learn and change.

I am the most chinchai and self absorbed person I know.  I literally don’t see a problem with 99% of things.

I am the kind of person who would pick up my daughter’s dropped chocolate and give it back to her to eat, ignoring her stunned disgust.  If she doesn’t want it, I’ll eat it wtf.  The kind of person who if they saw trash on the floor of their own house wouldn’t even give it a second thought because it’s not bothering me. Who would put on a wrinkled shirt without a second thought.  Someone who if she loses things (which is nearly every day) would just calmly get a replacement. I’d already considered getting a replacement birth cert for Penny before Fatty found the original in our safe.

I am that kind of easy going, happy go lucky until borderline gross and bo chap type of person.

The challenge I now face is that to me, most things are acceptable because I am so chillax. A crack on the wall or balled up paper on the floor doesn’t bother me at all, while my mom, mother in law and Sieu Ee would go crazy wtf.  Now I am forced to really think what would be acceptable or unacceptable for the standards of the hospitality we want to give our clients.  And those standards are high!

So I really have to try. I’ve walked all over Colony multiple times over the past three days, looking for flaws that I’ve missed. Even so I miss things, and something only sparks in my head when I overhear someone else mention an issue.  I went around the office armed with a list of companies that work out of our space.  I knocked on countless office doors, went in and formally introduced myself and struck up conversations with so many people whose names I forgot in the next second.  To figure out what they want, what they need, and even what they need but don’t realize yet.  And taking furious notes because my mom brain is a sieve these days.

And what I’m learning these days is…

To stop procrastinating. I used to (and let’s be honest, still do) put tasks off just cos I can’t deal with the details.  It’s a horrible habit please. But now if someone’s aircon isn’t working I have to get it fixed asap or else the fella will get damn angry la! Eh if it’s me I’d go find some employee just to wipe my sweat on them ok wtf.

To really focus on the small things and stop looking big picture.  I find this extremely difficult because I have never been good with details. But it’s like working an unused muscle; eventually the more I practice I should get there.

To be more considerate of people. Not like I shove people out of my way when I walk wtf, but I tend not to think of other people’s needs unless they’re super IN MAH FACE.  Then yea la I’d help of course. But if it’s say, your tea cup needs refilling, you fill yourself la got hands right. I also fill mine myself LOL.  That’s always been my mentality but suffice to say, that doesn’t work in hospitality. So I’ve been trying to put myself more in the shoes of others to try to anticipate their needs.

It’s really damn hard la! All you detailed, teliti people – you guys are so good.  I swear my brain feels like it works slower than usual when it comes to things like this. T3T  But I will persevere! Because I think this is actually helping me grow, professionally and personally.

Me right now.  頑張ります. Hahaha.

 

 

AudBaby Audvertorial

The diaper history of us

MamyPoko, it has always been you.

From Day 1, even before I had my first child.  MamyPoko was the first pack of diapers I bought and stored at home, waiting for the day when a Fighter would pop out and start using them. Lolol.

I don’t even remember why out of all diaper brands, I chose MamyPoko. I probably heard good things and went with it.  It also probably helped that MamyPoko is from Japan and I’ve always thoroughly approved of Japanese products hehehe. And although I do use different diaper brands and found some to be really good as well, I still always fall back on MamyPoko — it is still our default diaper brand.

Photographic evidence 1. (Fighter wearing MamyPoko Extra Dry)

Photographic evidence #2 (Penny wearing also MamyPoko Extra Dry)

IMG_20170813_143955-01

When MamyPoko’s Air Fit range hit Malaysian stores a couple of years ago, I immediately snapped it up.  Did you know that MamyPoko Air Fit is the flagship line for MamyPoko, and won No. 1 Mom’s Preferred Choice for 3 consecutive years? Now you do hahaha.

Air Fit is different in that it’s made in Japan and imported directly to Malaysia.  I was in a supermarket when a MamyPoko promoter girl approached me.  She handed me an Air Fit diaper to test and ZOMG the softness of it!? I was sold. :X

I bought two packs and have never looked back since wtf.

IMG_20170813_144005-01

Air Fit diapers are always printed with Disney’s Winnie the Pooh which is damn cute and pretty can. They come in two colors – pink and blue – so these are obviously Penny’s haha.

IMG_20170813_144032-01

The inside is cottony!  It’s softer than Extra Dry (blue packaging) and feels really breathable but works great to keep babies’ bottoms dry.  It’s also designed with wide leg gathers (see the top of the diaper) so no gap is left behind i.e. no leakage. These gathers are also soft and comfortable enough on babies’ skin.

My kids wear these Air Fit pants to sleep (and they sleep 12 hours straight) and we don’t have a problem with leaking either. ^^

IMG_20170810_185755-01

Penny showing off her Air Fit before bedtime hahaha.

IMG_20170813_151704-01

Penny and her Air Fit diaper peeking out HAHAHAHA.

MamyPoko is giving away 1,000 Air Fit Love Gift Packages which include a tape/pants diaper pack and other goodies! Just like the MamyPoko Singapore Facebook page and fill in your details in the link HERE.

Promo ends 6 Sept!

This post was written in collaboration with Mamy Poko.

AudTourist Audvertorial

Where are you going next?

In my previous blog post, I mentioned that if I were to do a solo holiday, I’d go to Tokyo in a jiffy, it being a city I’m very familiar with and therefore comfortable enough to travel on my own.

So I searched Tokyo on Hotels.com.  And wow the types of filters they have are mindblowing!  Instead of just sorting places by stars or pricing, the website also sorts out hotels by distance and landmarks which I found pretty interesting. If you’re going to a new place, you might not know where everything is in geographical terms, so choosing a place according to landmark is genius.

Screen Shot 2017-07-20 at 10.59.41 PM

Source: Hotels.com website

Here’s some of their filters.

Screen Shot 2017-07-20 at 10.12.24 PM

Damn detailed can. Predictably impressed with ‘childcare’ and ‘cribs’ hahaha.

Screen Shot 2017-07-20 at 10.12.41 PM

Accomodation type filter also very detailed! Cottages!? Ryokan!? Yes please.

Screen Shot 2017-07-20 at 10.12.53 PM

Wah got romantic some more. *puts on sunglasses

But not golf thanks

And then I fell in love.

Screen Shot 2017-07-20 at 11.07.33 PM

Source: Hotels.com website

Tokyo got this kind of hotel!? I want to redecorate my room to look like this please hahaha.

Screen Shot 2017-07-20 at 11.07.53 PM

The gorgeous, gorgeous lobby.

I got really into it and decided to check out other more obscure places. Hotels.com has literally thousands of hotels listed so I thought ok I’ll challenge it hahaha. Fatty might be going with his forum mates to Bhutan next year (how cool is that!?) so I searched it up.

bhutan 1

Source

OH MY GOD.

I would kill to stay in a place like this!!!

bhutan 2

Source

Rooms are nice too.  It’s described as a luxury hotel and the going price is RM2,000+.  On the high side, to be honest, but I figure Bhutan probably doesn’t have a lot of supply in the way of luxury accomodation.

bhutan 3

This hotel looks cool too.  But when I saw the price tag, I nearly fainted. RM15,000 for a night! Are we buying up the whole hotel or what!? Hahahaha.

 

Since I was on it, I decided to get wishful and started googling for nice kid friendly hotels for our next family vacation (don’t know when).

Decided to go for the happiest place on earth hehehe.  Searched for Anaheim, California.

Screen Shot 2017-08-02 at 11.31.36 PM

Wow. The attention to detail is wow. I like that we put in the kids’ age for Hotels.com to filter accordingly. 🙂
D1

Source

This is the Anaheim Hilton, close enough to Disneyland.  It’s only going for RM400+ a room I seriously feel like booking it ASAP.

D2

Nice hotel some more for that price!

D3

And this is the kids water play area. *hearts in eyes*

Browsing Hotels, I’m so tempted to turn this solo trip idea into an actual plan. Japan is after all one of my favorite places – if not the favorite and it would be awesome planning a trip by myself to just do what I want to do, and capture the person I am besides being a mom.

After all, planning a trip is half the fun. Maybe next year? 🙂

In the meantime, I have a little surprise for you guys! Give Hotels.com a go today with this special code 8OFFHTFOTMY to enjoy 8% off your next trip with Hotels.com. If you’re planning a trip and trying to decide where to stay, Hotels.com is your travel buddy.

AudTourist Audvertorial

My quirky travel habits

So ever since I took my very first solo staycation a month or so back, I’ve been thinking – maybe I’m ready to level up and take a solo trip overseas by myself.

I don’t think I really posted any updates but remember this post? Well, one of the things I did in pursuit of happiness (or at least some peace) was one weekend when Fatty, my husband, was away for his marathon, I sent the kids to my parents’ house and checked into a hotel by myself.  There, I ordered room service, went for solitary swims, slept a lot and binge watched Netflix.  It was absolute bliss.  Nobody yelling for Mommy. No doing what other people around me wanted.  I only did what *I* wanted to do which honestly was a bit tricky cos I’ve nearly forgotten how to make decisions for myself. :X

Anyway it was just refreshing. So much so that I think I will make it a point to do solo stays or trips by myself maybe once or twice a year just to rejuvenate.

So I logged on to Hotels.com to check out hotels.  And it occurred to me that for the first time in years, it was up to me to decide where I wanted to go, and how I wanted to stay.

No need to think of kid friendly places, or double beds and cribs for us and the kids or if they serve suitable meals for under 6s. Whether there is a baby pool, and so on and so forth.

IMG-20170414-WA0011-01

No more not-ready photos!

It also occurred to me that I’ve forgotten what I myself want when I travel.  To me, half the fun of travel is planning because as you plan your itinerary and place to stay, you’re already halfway there and you’re just living in anticipation of the actual trip.

So in an attempt to rediscover myself wtf, here’s a list of things I must have in a hotel.

  1. It must be 4 star at least! Not about being atas (i.e. high class) but I’m very particular about this because…. one time I went to NYC on a whim, and just walked into the cheapest hotel I could find on Times Square, which has all time won the Fourfeetnine personal award for Worst Hotel I’ve Ever Stayed In.  Ended up getting my first ever UTI from that horrible hotel because the bathroom was filthy. T_T  Then a year later I found out that hotel was voted worst hotel in the USA  and had the most murder cases and dead bodies found there. T____T

HTFOT 1
HTFOT 22. It must have decent shampoo, conditioner and hair dryer. HAHAHAHA. Sounds damn diva right! But I’m too lazy to lug shampoo and conditioner bottles around and god knows, my hair needs conditioner. So I really appreciate a hotel that supplies quality hair products that actually work.  Hairdryers are important too – none of that namby pamby hair dryers that feel like someone breathing on your head. I demand real dryers with power!

HTFOT 3

3. Crisp white sheets and feather pillow.  Okay la yea this is diva for sure hahaha but I feel like a proper hotel experience must come with fresh white sheets (preferably made from Egyptian cotton)

HTFOT 4

HTFOT 54. Free bottles of water or free access to water.  Some hotels are just annoying – providing like two bottles of water and then forcing you to boil water or drink their mini bar Evian.  But to be fair I haven’t noticed this in recent hotels so maybe the trend is changing.

Okay the above list is actually quite nitpicky la hahaha. But we all have requirements when it comes to choosing a place to stay when we travel, and the beauty of Hotels.com is that while it has thousands of choices on the website, it also provides so many detailed filters to sort out exactly what you’re looking for.

For example, I was thinking if I do a solo trip, it would be to Tokyo hehe. Since I’m so familiar with the city, I feel comfortable and safe enough to go by myself and I can go shop as much as I want without fearing Fatty will get bored. Plus if I go eat alone, nobody will judge cos a lot of salarymen eat by themselves too lolol.

What are your quirky travel habits?

For every weird hotel preference, I’m pretty sure Hotels.com will have you covered.

Check them out for your next travel destination and use this special limited time promo code to experience the fun: 8OFFHTFOTMY!

* Terms and conditions apply. For more information, please log onto here.