Enhanced Marriage & Parenthood Package

Thursday, January 31, 2013

A silly thought just occurred to me of late. I've been reading many other mommy's blog but am wondering if there's actually anyone out there who is interested in reading mine. Not that mine is of much intellect or technical information. It's just mostly rants and marking of milestones. But hmmm many of those blogs put me to utter shame. They are so organised, and not to mention so lengthy!!! i'm quite a chatter thus translating them onto a blog shouldn't be such a problem, but the issue here is TIME! it's always not enough, especially when you are with a toddler and half the time the hub isn't around to help. So yeah, i'm always wondering WHY are the mommy bloggers so disciplined and where do they actually find time? Maybe I'm doing something wrong. 

Lately, the government announced the new Enhanced Marriage & Parenthood Package. Rejoice? Ha! not exactly. I honestly think it's a joke to use such a measly amount to entice a significant growth in the fertility rate. The government is aiming for 7million by 2030. That's when BB k will be 18. sweet. I hope she doesn't get pressured to get married and have kids then. The hub and I are definitely in favour of contributing to the total fertility rate especially after the birth of K who is bringing so much joy to our lives each and every day. However, the financial worries always put us, or at least, ME back. We earn a modest living and with the dependency ratio being 2:1 for me, it's quite a burden. How can working people harmonise their family responsbilities if both have to work? Yet if we don't work, how is K gona be able to attend preschools (which are freaking expensive these days! blame it on the area we are residing...too many rich fellows). Guilt pangs often hit me coz i don't wana be stuck in some other kid's home and missing the milestones in my baby's growing up years. I want to witness her first step (she's almost there, gona walk independently really soon) and not to hear that she could do this or that from her grandmother. I want to be there to cook all those yummy and nutritious stuff for her, instead of feeding her with instant cereals or porridge coz I'm too tired or pressed for time. But all these seems impossible with our high standards of living. The enhanced package doesn't seem to help in this respect. Giving one wk of paternity leave instead of what NTUC recommended -- 2 wks. Hmmm...That, I'm actually fine coz if it's 2wks, the hub will probably end up on the greens for one wk instead of frolicking in the water with his daughter. Yet again, look around you and it's not tough to find a handful of SAHM. Friend M is a typical example and she has been doing it for 6 years now. I've always asked her the secret and her answer was to be prudent in spendings and live within your means. Hmm, her means allows her to live in a condo and drive a Volkswagon. In retrospect, I live in a flat and drive a Toyota. Something is seriously wrong.

All the SAHP article that i'm reading never fails to make me feel guilty. I think that it is highly possible for a family to survive on a single middle income. But as with all, many material pursuits will have to be given up. The might translate to eating out less, staycations, less shopping and byebye branded bags. The thing about Singaporeans, like what a Bloomberg article wrote, we are a materialistic lot, always left wanting the next better thing. The reason I work, is that I love to travel. And we would never be able to afford loan payments on our house, car and be able to travel on a single income. I guess its not often discussed because economically, the standard of living here is pretty high. A family would have to think VERY HARD before deciding not to work. Problem with Singapore is probably we do not have the infrastructure to support all choices. But at least they are trying with the Enhanced package. It's unfair to compare with countries which do it better - OZ, the Scandis and so on - as they are typically fairly welfarist states, and one big reason they have that luxury is they have natural resources. At least we are taking the first step towards building a better infrastructure, they can't overhaul the whole thing in a day.

Motherhood is a curve ball, and I am still trying to reconcile that with my career.

When the bull's away, the cow & calf play

Friday, January 25, 2013

Ok, technically, i'm no longer a cow. Really reminisce those days!

The hub has been jet setting a whole lot since the start of 2013. Towards the end of 2012, it was France, then KL then in 2013, it was France, KL and Thailand. It's no wonder he got his Gold status within a year! Wish he didn't have to fly this intensively, but coz each time he's back, he's like Oscar the Grouch! He'd be so jet lag, all he does is sleep whole day and wakes up the next morning/ night saying that he is sick coz he is this sleepy. And when you try to strike a conversation with him, he'd be nonchalant. What a bummer. Total put-off when talking to him! Was just telling him how un-sentimental he is when i said that bb k is gonna b 3 next yr n that she's gonna be going to SCHOOL! his reply: huh. orh. Seriously darling, you can do better in the communication department to make the wife feel more loved! yet, as the woman behind the successful man, i do need to get my perspectives right and try to work around my emo self. That apart from the many chores n errands I have to undertake to ensure that the house still functions well.

Anyhoots, mostly, when he's away, I'll meet up with friends and explore new food haunts with bb k. This time, it's to the widely blogged: Riders Cafe which is nestled in loads of greenery & Brussel Sprouts @ Big Splash

K was walking a whole lot at Riders. Insisting that i climbed the stairs with her! Oooo my aching back! I couldn't enjoy much of my meal coz she was too busy exploring.

My Happy Darling!

What a bummer that it was raining the whole day.. Thankfully the ride was smooth and it wasn't too tough to find our way there.

Having a nice stroll amidst the lush greenery. Taking in a big breath of rejuvenating air! Ahhhhh

The egg bene was really good! Spinach was refreshing and eggs poached to perfection.

Miso cod was good too, albeit a little small in portion.

After our meal, I brought k closer to nature. She was so intrigued by the horses and pony. But pony ride came at a hefty price! $10 for a mere 100m or so! Do i look like a sucker?

Dinner @ Brussel Sprouts was Awesome!! We had Chilli Crab mussels and White Wine sauce mussels. Free flow of fat fries to go along. I even ordered a plate of kids friendly penne for k and she loved it! Towards the end, she was a tad fidgety coz once again, she wanted to walk around and explore. This time, the kitchen!

Me & the gals. Spot the soon to be mama!

We are in the news. Again =)

Pity the hubs was flying, AGAIN. else it'd be a complete family portrait.

K was really cooperative during the photoshoot. She was showing her cheeky face to the photographer the whole time! Thanks ST for the interview. =)

2nd Family Trip To Down Under Perth

Thursday, January 17, 2013

It's really quite strange that it's already halfway through the first mth of January 2013 and I'm still living and writing 2012. I guess I've heaps of unfinished business and it's bugging me now. 

Looking back, the highlight of last year must have been the two trips we took with BB k. First to Hong Kong in June and then in November 2012 we went to Down Under Australia. The whole trip was pretty successful and definitely deserve a huge serving of thankfulness and a dollop of satisfaction.

chillin by the beach cafe. the baby sure knows how to enjoy too! And She's one lucky baby too! Mummy only stepped on the Aussie land at the age of 33 and she's barely 1 at the point of this trip!

I can seriously get used to this! Look at the trees! look at the clear azure blue skies!
BB k is one smartie pants. Back in Singapore, I brought her to East Coast Beach twice and though she had her sandals on, she refused to put her feet on the sand. Somehow, she sensed that the sand isn't too fine. However, on Cottlesloe beach, she was happily digging the sand!

the flight there was really great. She was one happy and energetic baby but she managed to nap a lil but the trip back was quite the opposite. I had to carry her up and down the alley praying she'll sleep but to no avail.

Even the fruits are so darn fresh!!

Famous Hot Chocolate from Koko black

Fresh Oysters from Frementle Market

Famous Fish & Chips at Cicerellos @ Frementle.Saw a few gps of Singaporeans whilst dining there. The fish was really good! but the sauces were exp!

On our last night, we decided to spoil ourselves and dined at Rockpool over at Burswood Casino. Not that we won any money there though coz we tried to smuggle the baby in (using a carrier) but was stopped shortly after. Food @ Rockpool was overrated in my opinion. Definitely not worth the price. But if you are steak lover then okay, go try!

Awesome big pork bone with a whole lot of other stuff soup @ a Chinese restaurant!
My fav -- Egg Bene

Calamari from Ciao Italia. The queue is amazing every single day of operations, thus we decided to call for delivery.

Another MUST TRY at Ciao italia. The tiramisu is also very good.

hommmmmmm...practising her yoga @ Harvey Hills Dam. We did a 2D1N farmstay at Harvey Hills and had a good time cooking our own breakfast the next day. Sue, the host, was a nice and cherry lady. Only problem were the annoying flies! It was really a nice ride in the evening as we caught sight of kangaroos hopping around and cows lazing and grazing on the hills. Sometimes getting away from the hustle and bustle really does good for the soul.

Brought bb k closer to nature at Caversham Wildlife Park. She loved the animals and had a blast

Spot the proud lama

Taking a stroll at Swan lake River Park. Wonder why is K so glum.

Touching the Kangaroo! Eeeks!

It was really good bonding time as a family and I really appreciated the moments. I especially appreciate it as the hub has been having crazy jet setting schedules in 2012. Hopefully 2013 would spell more time as a family. The lil one is growing oh so fast, i really dread that she is brought up thinking that Daddy is in the phone all the time. 

The love of a family is life's greatest blessings

Bb K turns one!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I haven't been up to date with things and this 2013, I shall set things right (at least I hope to). Starting with being more organised and decluttering! I've been doing so in anticipation of the Lunar New Year. I must have thrown away 10 bags of clothes and lots more bags, but somehow the wardrobe still seems full! Strange phenomenon. The hub complains that i'm not ruthless enough and that i'm only discarding 10% of my entire collection. I beg to defer. Well, perhaps if you've got any tips to share on decluttering or being ruthless, please share!

It's cliche i know, but time has zipped by terribly fast! This blog was suppose to record the various milestones in life and yet, since bb k's arrival, i've been trying to juggle things and catching my breath. Without a maid, a jet-setting hubby and crazily scheduled full-time job, i can't help but to give myself a pat on the back as this is the greatest achievement in my life yet! Thinking back, the memories of the day K was born is vividly etched in my mind. The 27 hours of pain! Who could forget that? Her entire body looked squished as a result of her journey in the cozy womb. Her dark brown eyes seemed to be twinkling in delight, her nose squashed and there were patches of red on her face. The interesting looking newborn had perfect wrinkly skin; her diminutive feet looked pigeon-toed as they rotated inwards as she was curled up snugly in the womb for 41 weeks. And today, looking at her, makes it all worthwhile. Round face, rose-coloured cheeks and a pair of sparkling blue eyes that seems iridescent. That describes my baby Kaelyn.    

The first birthday party was a close-door affair with invitations extended to only both parents and siblings. enjoyed a feast at the famous Royal China @ Raffles Hotel and had her cupcakes specially made by Charlotte Grace

nom nom nom...let me try my birthday cakes

Celebrating birthdays, just two days apart.

It's like she knew it was her first birthday. She was exceptionally coorperative and happy that day.

Grandpa is superbly meticulous!

Happy Bear-day!

To mark this important occasion, we also did a photoshoot. The hubs didn't think newborn shoots are such a great idea (he thinks it's a rip off while I m so so keen in capturing THE moment). Fortunately, we didn't spend a bomb then. I can't imagine K pulling through the shoot coz mostly she's fussy. Anyhowz, our photoshoot was done at Hort Park. 830am. Gorgeous weather albeit tremendously warm. The fireball shone mercilessly later at 10am and by then, bb k and Daddy liew were grouchy. Fortunately, some beautiful shots were captured by Edwin Photography.

 Who can resist this sweetie pie?

DJ K is in the house

Anyone in need of a child model? Please contact the mommy at janicewong27@gmail.com =P

my favourite family shot. we were trying to get K to look up at us kissing, but i guess she didn't want to be involved in the RA scene.

MCYS if you are interested in the perfect family shot, please do not hesitate to contact me at janicewong27@gmail.com! haha

Daddy's favourite shot. K's famous "ehhhh" look. She does this each time she wants to be carried. She has since outgrown it thank goodness. It's kindof unglam! Wonder where she learnt it from.
Here's K's developmental update thus far:

Health, Diet & Feeding

  • He’s still breastfed by latching on directly in the day when i'm with her and at night. On wkends, she's exclusively MINE! After her birthday, I started weaning him off. She has been doing organic goat's milk (Karihome) at 6mths but doesn't seem to be crazy over it. In fact, she drinks very little. each feed is between 2oz to 4oz. Thankfully, after weaning from the breasts, I put her on Organic cow's milk (Bellamy's) and she has been demanding for milk. Though each feed is still approximately 4oz, it's no longer a pain to bottle feed her and she'll hold her own
  • For her solid meals, he started showing preferences for cheese and rice. Thankfully she likes her cheese as it's packed with calcium! Other than that, it's sometimes a pain to feed her as she'll take anywhere from 15mins to an hour to finish her meal with heaps of fussing in between. Now that she has 5 baby teeth, the options in food has extended to beef stew and letting her bite her own fruits. She loves her Fish and soup thus if i were to cook a healthy lunch, i'll share it with her.
  • She loves finger-feeding herself  blueberries and bread!
  • She’s still rather petite, in the 25th percentile.

Potty Training

  • K has actually been potty trained since 3 mth old. She'll give us cues and instantly when we whip out the potty, she'll poop. when she was 6mths old, she knew how to tell us that she wanted to do it and does it periodically once in the morning when she wakes up and in the evening. However, since we got back from Australia, she completely forgotten and has been pooping on her diapers without telling us. URGH regression! At times she'll hide in a corner and once we see that guilt-ridden face, we knew it. The poop i must say, has become tremendously pungent! Hopefully with consistent efforts, she'll be back pooping on her potty. this definitely spells a longer period to diaper independence!
  • She is cloth diapered in the afternoons whilst at my MIL's and generally at home she'll be in Huggies disposable diapers. I've recently switched to the pull-up pants as she is becoming very mobile and active.


  • The fussing to suckle every 2 hourly at night was tremendously trying. I tried various methods (singing, talking, walking, rocking etc) but things still didn't look up till she was almost 10-11months old. It was a nightmare prior and during the weaning period. At the very beginning, she was waking up every half hour before midnight (mind you she sleeps at 10pm or later)..this happens all the way till approximately 2/3am before she finally settles down and wakes up eventually at 7am! Gosh, that's not a lot of sleep baby!
  • During the wk of weaning, it was extremely painful and i didn't have the heart to reject her at the beginning. She'll wail her eyes out and slap me on my breasts for milk. She will say "milk milk" and screams incessantly when i tell her "no more". at one point, she was holding on to me, crying and I was holding on the hubs, Crying! Thankfully, all this was over in about a week and I'm not liberated after 13.5mths! Now at 14mths, our supply of EBM is down to the last 6 packs. All those efforts in pumping in the car under the blazing sun and sometimes the scrutiny of foreign workers have paid off. Bb k though, petite, is healthy and has good immune system.
  • Naps are bad too prior to weaning. We'd be lucky if she does a stretch of half an hour. 
  • Fortunately, it's getting easier and she's now taking 2x1.5hours naps. One mid-morning at about 1030am and the other at around 430pm. Her bed time now is approximately 1030-11pm. I'll settle her in by 10pm and she'll toss an turn for half an hour or so and will typically wake up for a dreamfeed at 430am before returning to sleep till 8am.She resists the hubs when it comes to going to bed thus I have to be the one popping her to bed the moment I'm back from work.


 Bb k is really babbling a whole lot these days and below is her repertoire of words:
  • Mama
  • papa
  • popo (my mil)
  • Ah Ma (my mom)
  • Ber Ber (my bil and her favourite relative)
  • Gong gong (She vibrates her lips for that)
  • Bear
  • Bird 
  • Bread
  • Lion (ok, she roars)
  • Panda
  • Egg (she says dan dan)
  • Cat (she calls it Mao)
  • there
  • rabbit
  • banana
  • bag
  • duck
  • apple
  • eeeeee (when she sees something dirty)
  • eat
  • mum mum
  • milk 
  • Ngg Ngg (poop)
  • 怕怕 (means scared)
  • 辣 (she'll point to the bottle of medicated oil)
  • 美美 (means beautiful)
  • 姐 (means sister)
  • Beat 
  • Snake
  • Cow (she'll moo)
  • up
  • five (coz we live on the 5th storey)
  • bye bye 
  • star

    As much as I'm one giant ball of sleepiness, I relish the moments I'm with K, watching her grow and meeting her milestones. Baby, Mummy Loves you!

    Yeah! First post of 2013 out of the oven! Great start! 
    Resolution: No more procrastination and Better organisation skills!
    Happy New Year Everyone!

    The start of 2013!

    Tuesday, January 1, 2013

    It's the first day of 2013 and i just have to do this to remind myself of my resolution! TO BLOG MORE! not that anyone is interested except for perhaps my children who may/ may not be reading this. Anyway, HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!!!

    took this off the Net, hope the person doesn't mind =P

    Another reminder to myself that how fast time is slipping by! Look at my baby! She's a toddler now! Awwwww