10 tips on flying with young children

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Birthday marathon part 3. 

This little girl is one lucky babe! Since her birth, it seemed to be a ritual that we travel on her birthday. Firstly because it's off peak at work and secondly, well, it's her birthday! This year seems particularly draining for me and it just doesn't seem like we've been spending enough quality family time. There's so much on the plate and the hubs has been travelling quite a bit. This has turned me into an extremely disgruntled woman what with the many changes and shifts we've been having. The introduction of Small K is a joy but regretfully, I don't seem to be enjoying him more than I should. Not spending enough time with him explains why his favourite person in the world isn't his Mother! This little boy is such an ingrate. No, seriously, I was a bit of an emotional wreck when he chooses his grandmother over me every single time! He cries when he falls and I'll pick him up. Still, he would cry. But the moment his grandma (da mil) carries him, he stops! Geez. Thanks a lot son! Doesn't help that the MIL is constantly with him whilst I work. A blessing to have her help but honestly, I yearn to stay home more often! And it certainly doesn't help too, that da MIL tells everyone how her grandson sticks to her like glue! To cover up my emotional insecurities is such a challenge. 

So this trip to Hong Kong is really quite a long awaited and much needed one. It's our second trip as a family of 4. Ya, Small K is already 18months old and we have only done 2 trips?! Anyhoots, below are some tips when it comes to flying with your little ones:

photo credit: www.usborne.com

Tip number 1: Book at a time when they will nap. We had booked the 1:40pm flight and was pretty confident that they will snooze their way on board. Excite them with every detail of the journey. 

Tip number 2: Arrive early to let the kids run around. We arrived at the airport 2 hours earlier to check in and to tire them out. We wanted them to run around and expanse their energy so they could sleep on board the plane. 

They were very happy running around. At 1220pm, Big K decided that she needed to poop. 

Tip number 3: Remember to get the kids to poop and pee before flight
Unfortunately, I wasn't wearing my watch and keeping time. Big K took longer than expected. Following that, Small K decided to poop too and Daddy had to change him. Still, I wasn't checking on the time. Suddenly, the hubs dashed out of the toilet saying he received a call saying the gate was about to close and we were the last passengers to board!!! Imagine the panic! We grabbed the two kids and our handcarry and made a mad dash to the gate! Along the way, one of the ground staff "welcomed" us and took our boarding passes to check and informed her colleagues we were on the way! Yes, we were THAT late! Gosh the whole run made me realised how unfit i am. I was panting terribly and Small K thought we were engaged in some kind of game. Needless to say, the moment the plane taxi-ed, he ko-ed! Woohoo!

Oh, so Tip number 4: Wear a watch!

Tip number 5: Prepare either their milk (if you aren't breastfeeding) / water/ snacks/ if need be, pacifier during take off. It will help to ease the pressure. 

Tip number 6: Bring extra diapers and clothes. You never know what will happen!

Tip number 7: If you are someone who is adverse to gadgets like me, bring age appropriate toys. Puzzles are good for older kids and playdoh is a must for younger ones!

Tip number 8: Have the kids sit along the same row. Monkey see monkey do. If you manage to tame one, the other will be easier. We didn't manage to get seats along the same row and on our return flight, I was seated with both kids! Gosh, so this was how flying solo with kids felt like! I highly suspect that the hubs had it all planned! But, thankfully, I managed well. In fact, I was mighty proud of myself that on our return flight, whilst both kids slept, I ate my meal in peace, watched a movie, had a baileys on the rock and even a Hagen Daz ice-cream! ahhhhh Bliss. 

Tip number 9: If you child is old enough to enjoy the in-flight entertainment, prepare a kid-sized headphone as those provided by airline might not fit plus they may not have enough to go around. Ensure you have an adaptor too. For the record, Big K only watched half of "Cat in the Hat" before turning to me for more entertainment.

Tip number 10: If you flight is a short one, you may want to consider carrying the little one instead of putting him in the bassinet so as to prevent a meltdown. This is because the moment a turbulence happens, he has to be carried out. This is extremely disturbing to both adults and child alike. 

So, there you have it, my 10 tips for flying with young children! Have a safe flight! Bon Voyage!

Big K turns 4 (Part 1 & 2)

Friday, November 20, 2015

So. Not too long ago, I was pregnant. Not too long ago, a little girl, affectionately known as Big K was born. And, not too long ago, she turned four! yup, just like that!

This year is a little tricky coz I don't have my own nest to throw a party even if I want to. Staying with the in-laws is also a tricky affair when it comes to decorating the place to make the little one feel special (actually it's to satisfy my crazy yearn to craft). It's even trickier when the whole place is cluttered with boxes. I decided. It's depressing enough to be in such a situation! Hence, I took a wall an planned to do a small deco. I am very particular when it comes to aesthetics and even though it was an extremely small space which I'm doing up, I make sure I plan. I bought the materials in advance and reused my letterings. Got in some felt snowflakes as well to add in to the mood. And Tadah! A Photo Booth! These days whenever I ask the kids for a photo, they'll automatically stand against the wall. 

I didn't have to ask what Big K wanted as a theme for her birthday. I knew. Every year, the theme is dictated by yours truly. Tiger Mom eh? With all the hype over Elsa, it was clear she wanted a Frozen- themed party. She loves Elsa but thankfully not to the extent of wanting every single thing around her to be Elsa. Phew. I ordered her cakes pretty late this time but was very glad to have found two bakers who did a good job with the cakes. 

I bought her this dress a month before and had to hide it from her. She adores it so much, she insist on wearing it almost every time we go out!

Part One of our birthday marathon. The first cake we had for celebration with the family was an ombre cake from The Cake Shop. Now, I did say that the cake was good, no doubts about it. They had real strawberries in it and the old folks commented that it wasn't too sweet. Yay! I scored. But what made me extremely upset was that I had to go all the way to Admiralty to collect on the morning of the celebration! (PS: I live in the East just so you know) You see, after confirming the order, I was not asked what time I would like to collect. Ok, my fault too for not informing. I am usually quite on top of such things but lately, too much is happening. That said, shouldn't the onus be not the seller rather the buyer? I mean, it's service right to at least inform the collection hours no? I happily assumed that I could collect it from the Funan branch during opening hours. They open their doors at 10am and I thought, Perfect. Coz celebrations was at 11am. The day before, I dropped them an email to confirm my collection and informed them that I'll be collecting at 10am. Alas, at 4pm that day, an email stating that the earliest I could collect from Funan was 11am came in. You could imagine my horror! Plus, I only managed to read that mail at about 6pm. After which I immediately called them up for help. They had my number, so why didn't they call me direct? I told them my function would be starting at 11am and hence I will collect at 10am. Which part of my email did they not comprehend? The event was the next day so things were kind of urgent isn't it? So, long story short, nothing could be done. I had to go down to their production house  at Admiralty, which opens at 830am, to collect. I was late for the function as a result as after collecting the cake, I had to run other errands as well. 

Our party packs. I'm quite anal when it comes to how things look and what went in. I really do not like junk and tacky packaging. I started strategising a month before and slowly got on to making the bags. I got the characters printed and cut. The paper bags were bought from Daiso. The names were also painstakingly cut out from self adhesive felt gotten from Daiso. I enlisted Big K's help on pasting the the pictures and the foam snow flakes as well as the names of her classmates. Through this activity, Big K was able to learn the spelling of her friend's name. Killing two birds with one stone! 

This snowflake cookie was one of the items in our party pack which was in line with the theme. Others include an art and craft set to make a Xmas Tree ornament ball, a sewing kit with characters like reindeer and snowman as well as a kit which "grows" snow. Pardon the screenshot. Am too lazy to do something about it!

Part 2 of the celebrations was in school. Yup, I had to order ANOTHER cake. This time, I got it from Megan's Cuppies. This, is worth a mention. It was a pullout number cake! Something I've always wanted! In case you don't know, to do a number cake, most bakeries would need a substantial weightage. With the number of little guests we have, I often have a problem. So I was delighted when Eliz from Megan's Cuppies said she could do one with 18 cupcakes! Woohoo!! The snowflake cookies and the cupcakes were both from this talented baker. You can "like" her on Facebook here.

It's really a party to remember albeit a small one. Kids these days are so lucky! All I got when I was young was a pandan cake from Bengawan Solo!

Review: Playbear steamer

Sunday, November 1, 2015

I've been feeling extremely lazy of late. My sink has been swamped with dirty dishes and more often than not, most of those dishes aren't used by me or the hubs. You see, we are now temporarily staying with the in laws (7 people in a small place amongst boxes) and each time, I'm the last to sleep hence, the onus is on me. I mean, seriously, how to turn a blind eye when all the leftovers are on the dining table where I'll do my work every night? Plus, I need to get best (only) daughter-in-law award right? And the mountain of clothes waiting to be folded is becoming Mt Everest. I'm oblivious to this all. Indifferent. Not sure what's happening because it isn't my peak season. Too overwhelmed perhaps by the fact that the kids has been falling ill. To the extent of Big K being admitted into hospital. That was followed by Small K who had bronchitis. Seriously knackered and don't know how i pull through each day. On the kitchen front, things have also been pretty laid back too. The dishes whipped up aren't exciting, but they are still nutritious and edible. I'm unable to visit the wet market or stock up stuff I'd like to cook hence, dishes have been pretty mundane. Since I'm so unmotivated to wash tons of pots, I decided to invest in a new toy. The following were what I've been cooking for lunch:

Soya sauce chicken stewed for approximately an hour; mixed brown rice steamed for 30mins of which during the last 15mins i paused to add in a tier of cod fish. In between, i was busy doing other chores and entertaining the kids.

#throwback in the old place. Everything except the soup was prepared using the steamer. Soup was easily cooked using a slow pot.  Egg was a tad pockmarked as I had forgotten to put a cover to it.

Tadah! This is the machine which I'm raving about! There are presets for stuff like cooking rice. You can also set your own timing. What you need to note is to ensure there's sufficient water. The technology works the same way as a milk warmer. It is really compact and for once the hubs was supportive of my purchase! Often he'll roll his eyes as kitchen stuff are usually pretty bulky. Not this! N it seems to be very popular amongst OLs as well.Not surprising as it's really healthier to cook your own lunch rather than to dine out. N by having this little gadget, the risk of burning down the office is low. And at home, it's a great help as i wouldn't need to check on the fire and can set it to cook as i bring the kids down for some playground fun. This baby is definitely here to stay!

*No monetary compensation has been received. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and written according to my experience in using the product.