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Birth Story – of My #3

(Here are the Birth Stories of my First-born and Second-born if you are interested)

Our third baby was not a planned one. When I found out I was pregnant I was happy, but I wanted to cry too. I knew my hubby would be angry when he found out. I kept it from him as long as I could. But soon I had morning sickness and we were about to go for a holiday, so he was told. Throughout the pregnancy, all I wished for is that the baby would come out fast. I hated to be pregnant. There were so many things I couldn’t do. We didn’t find out the gender. We had a girl and a boy. Gender didn’t matter. Not knowing the gender made the pregnancy more fun, somehow.

Fast forward to 9 months down the road….

From 36 weeks onwards I was visiting the gynae every week. At the 37 week check up, baby was estimated to be about 3.2kg, which was korkor’s and jiejie’s birth weight at 39+ weeks! I started to go on a diet. Not really so much of a diet but I skipped all the snacks that I usually ate. 38 weeks check up. Dieting was a success! For me only though! I lost 700g, but baby gained 300g??!! So baby was already 3.5kg. My gynae was pro-natural though, so he said let’s wait one more week to see. Maybe baby will decide to come out this week. Well, not true. 39 weeks check-up came. Baby was (yes, to my horror) 3.8kg. Gynae then decided that maybe we should induce the baby before the baby got too big and risked emergency c-sect. So we made plans for it.

Friday morning at 12 midnight, I checked into the delivery ward to sleep as procedures will only be carried out at 6:30am in the morning. At 6am I was woken up to have the enema inserted to make me poo. The inducing drip (oxytocin) was then started at 6:30am. I was dilated 0cm. Cervix shut tight. (And it was super painful when the nurse checked it.)

7:30am – They checked the cervix again. This time I had dilated 3cm! So fast. My hubby was not in yet. He was on the way to send the kids to school. He reached the hospital at 8am.

8:30am – My breakfast was delivered. I was so hungry and so thankful that my gynae allowed them to serve me a full breakfast! I could feel the contractions already but they were still painless.

9:25am – I started feeling more pain and asked for the nurse to teach me how to use the gas.

9:30am – Waterbag suddenly burst! Maybe because I was trying to breathe in too hard from the laughing gas mask? No idea. They checked the dilation. I was still 3cm.

10am – The pain escalated and I asked for the thigh jab. I had no idea why they took forever to give the thigh jab to me.

10:15am – Super pain. Dilation check: 5cm. only??!! I gave in and asked for epidural. The nurses were smart though. They also contacted the gynae at the same time.

(no timings already as everything was a blur)

I kept grabbing the gas mask but it was useless and the mask came off several times.

They gave me the thigh jab. But later on I was told it takes 15-20 mins to take effect.

The nurses just put her fingers in my cervix during each contraction to see how I dilated.

First contraction at 10:15am was 5cm. Second contraction came, still 5cm. With each contraction the pain was worse. Third contraction came, I was so happy to hear her proclaim “Ok, She’s ready to deliver”.

At that same moment, doctor stepped in. (They had called him when they were trying to get the anesthetist as well. Good move. And also good thing his clinic was in the same building. He ran all the way to the delivery suite)

Next contraction, they told me I could push. So I did. I felt the head come out. And not sure if it happened in the same contraction or the next, for my second push, the baby was out. 3.9kg, with a small tear. My hubby suffered a scratch on the neck. Small harms done.

Born at 10:34am on 30th December 2016, weighing 3.895kg, 53cm tall. Thank God that baby is healthy, and that pain was short-lived.

It was a baby boy!


Welcome to our world Baby B! 🙂

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Newborn Photoshoot with Fion Boon Photography

[Sponsored Review + Discount + Giveaway!]

Fion Boon Photography is a husband and wife tag team who is certified and specialises in newborn and baby photography, doing shoots for babies up to 1 year old. Yes, that means the 1 year old cake smash as well!

What makes Fion Boon Photography stand out is that Fion has undergone an intensive course with Lorna Kirkby (a top newborn photographer in Melbourne) to learn all about handling newborns safely and doing newborn photography during her 3 years stay in Melbourne.

To read her full story, click HERE.

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We were honoured to have Fion Boon Photography to come by our place to do a shoot for our newborn, Bradley, when he was a mere 12 days old. The shoot started at 10am but they reached earlier (prearranged) to do the set up at 9:30am. Immediately they set about discussing which part of my living room (pardon the mess) had the most suitable natural light for the shoot. When it was decided, they started putting up the backdrop and getting ready for the shoot.

Fion was very hygienic and responsible about cleanliness. She would be the main person handling the baby during the photoshoot. She washed her hands with soap and water and even sanitised her hand before asking me to pass the baby over to her when I’m ready. Yes, she brought her own hand sanitizer! With that, she also has baby wipes prepared and a baby shusher which was really useful to calm baby during the shoot. She was ALL PREPARED!

I was amazed at how professional she was when handling baby. She was so good with the baby that I asked her how many children she had. And I was surprised that she had none (yet!) The intensive course and mentorship she had in Australia allowed her to learn all about handling newborns. She was so experienced and knew exactly how to soothe my baby, carry my baby, and even knew how to put my baby to sleep! So throughout the shoot, she was the one handling my baby. And only had to pass him back to me when it was time to feed.

Fion’s hubby, photography enthusiast Elmer was really gentle and patient towards baby as well.  I found out later on that he too underwent the course by Lorna Kirkby on newborn photography. (No wonder he was also very professional, like an experienced daddy!) On top of that, he also went for a 1 day seminar by another Australian award winning newborn photographer, Natalie Howe. However, Fion would usually be the one handling babies at the shoots. I think they would make really good, loving and patient parents 🙂

Though Fion was the main baby handler, both husband and wife were involved as photographers. They were both very friendly people and made the whole photoshoot experience a very pleasant one. They were patient, chatty, and most importantly very experienced with babies. I was surprised that my baby felt calm as well and managed to sleep through most of the shoot! (My 2 elder ones hardly slept in their newborn shoots)

On top of all these, I really love the props that they had. They all had a very natural and rustic look to it. Most of the props were bought from farms in Australia.

Just by looking at the shoot itself, I knew the photos were going to be great! It didn’t take long for Fion to send me the photos to view. (Her lead time is 1-2 weeks so parents can have the photos in time for their full-month party.) Look at this: He smiled for only 1 second and they managed to capture it!

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Fion Boon Photography offers a few price packages for you to choose from. Although specialising in newborn photography, they also offer photography packages for baby’s photoshoot up to 1 year old, and they do cake smash too! The shoots can be done at their home studio at Sengkang or at the comfort of your own home (only for newborn shoots) at an additional charge.

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To get a quotation and to reserve a slot for your baby, please contact them via email at smile@fionboon.com, or pm them on their facebook page. Just quote “BeautifulChaos” to get a $50 discount off package prices. Alternatively, you can sign up as a group of 3 or more mummies, and each will get an individual discount of $60 per package selected.

Time for a giveaway! Giveaway will close on 3rd Feb 2017 12nn. Check out our instagram account for more chances at the giveaway too!

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The Story Behind Fion Boon Photography

Fion Boon Photography specialise in photographing babies around 6 – 14 days old. Fion is personally mentored by one of Melbourne’s top Newborn photographers (Lorna Kirkby). She uses only natural light, and her photography style focus on neutral coloured props and materials for the sets, creating simple and organic feel to the photographs. All of her woolen materials / props are 100% sheep wool from various farms in Australia.
Here’s the story behind Fion Boon Photography, written by Fion herself.
I moved to Melbourne and lived there for about 3 years, working a corporate job in an MNC. However, climbing the corporate ladder has never been what I wanted to do and I didn’t enjoy it.
I’ve always loved the arts – especially painting & taking abstract photos. Before I moved to Melbourne, I dreamt of doing something that is related to photography and kids in Australia. When I was in Melbourne, I was exposed to the Australian style of Newborn Photography and was immediately drawn to the beauty of it. I never knew that infant photography could be so creative! I began to be obsessed in researching for various Newborn Photography styles and photos. I also tried looking for newborn photography specific courses / mentors and zeroed down to Lorna Kirkby, a well experienced Newborn Photographer who lives in Melbourne too. Initially, Lorna rejected my request for a mentorship 2.5 years ago because I was not well equipped with technical knowledge in handling a DSLR in manual mode. So I spent about half a year figuring out how to handle a DSLR manually, trying out different settings and shots before going back to her again. The course was an intensive one which focuses on handling an infant (8 to 14 days), posing the baby in various set-ups safely, styling a photo shoot, business aspect in baby photography, etc.
I brought what I had learnt from her back to Singapore in May 2016 and started exploring ways to market my service. I’m very thankful for helpful friends and family, my works began to slowly spread through word of mouth. A significant rise in bookings came through after I spoke to John if I could advertise in the 2016 SG Mummies and Daddies group. He was kind enough to help me with a kick- start without charging me by sharing my work in the group. I’m very thankful that it really helped to create awareness of my works within the mummy group.

I hope to set my photography style apart from the rest of the photographers in Singapore by creating one that is uniquely mine. I tend to gravitate towards a more natural / rustic looking style that can be evergreen. I do not do overly vibrant colors on newborns or dress the babies up into cute characters/animals or insects. My signature style will always include lustrous natural English Leicester sheep fleece in various colors which are 100% natural wool from a small sheep farm in Victoria, Australia.
My husband, Elmer, is very into photography and had just recently moved back to SG from Melbourne to join me. We decided to give the husband & wife tag team a go and it has been great so far. We’re moving to our new home at Seng Kang in March and will be converting the living area into a home studio.
If you want to find out more about them and their rates, you can contact them via facebook messsage at https://www.facebook.com/fionboonphotography. You can also check out their website at http://www.fionboon.com/
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[Review+Giveaway] EZPZ Happy Mat

So when I first heard of the EZPZ Mat from my fellow mummy group friends, I was really skeptical. After all, with 2 kids now and a 3rd on the way, I have tried out various brands of suction bowls and toys, and NONE will stick to the surface if the kid tries to pull it off. And pull if off they will, with the force they have to apply to pull the suction off, the food goes projectile onto themselves and everywhere else. So no, no suction bowls for me anymore. Maybe when they are below 12 months old? But none after.

Thanks to Mumspick, who is the exclusive distributor of EZPZ in Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines and Malaysia, we received a EZPZ Happy Mat to try out. And I was certainly impressed!


The EZPZ Happy Mat is an all-in-one placemat + plate made from high quality silicone that captures your kids’ mess. It suctions directly to the table, making it difficult for tiny hands to tip over. At a height of 1 inch, the bowl is perfect for a variety of foods. The mat is made from FDA approved 100% silicone; BPA, PVC, lead and phthalate free and designed for infants and toddlers above 6 months old. The EZPZ series is easy to clean with warm soapy water (silicone doesn’t support the growth of fungus, mold or bacteria), dishwasher and microwave safe (WOW!), and built to last (silicone doesn’t corrode or deteriorate).


When my helper first served my 22 month old her dinner in the EZPZ Happy Mat, she was so excited she started eating her rice which is something she doesn’t usually do!


With the height of the plate being about 1inch, she is able to scoop up the rice easily. Unlike the usual plates with compartments, it is not easy to scoop up things.

After her rice she moved on happily to her egg and brocolli. (yes, she eats meat as well but we feed her fish/chicken/pork directly.)

If you noticed, the mat is actually larger than the ikea high chair table. You might want to try happy bowl or mini mat for it to fit better. Alternatively you can just remove the Ikea high chair tray and push the table nearer to the table, so the child eats from the table as well, together with the parents. Anyhow, it does not affect the movement of the placement. it is still JUST AS DIFFICULT to move it. She is unable to pluck the plate from the table. She is unable to shift it left/right (I can’t either). She needs help to move it away from her before she starts on her next course of dinner, soup.

So what makes it so difficult to move the mat? It doesn’t have suction cups at the bottom of the mat. It is just made of very good antislip material. As you can see in the picture below, it is slightly glossy. And this glossy silicon practically STICKS to any table surface.

To add on to that, the sides are tapered. Which means I have to use my fingertips to pry the mat off the surface. Habit makes me want to shift the plate sometimes, but it is impossible to do so and I have to pluck off the mat to move it somewhere else. If an adult has to do that, imagine how stable it is for the kids to use it! 🙂

Mumspick sells the EZPZ Mat series in many colours, eg. Coral, Lime, Blue, Grey, Pink, and their latest limited edition Berry. You can browse their collection here.

One thing to take note of though. There are many counterfeit, fake EZPZ products in the world. EZPZ works hard to maintain the highest and most rigorous standards for safety, non-toxic materials and quality. If you do not see the EZPZ brand name, there is a high chance the product is sourced from another manufacturer. This manufaturer may not be compliant with regulatory requirements. So do take note. Fight false products to keep our children safe!

Discount Code:

Use  code BEAUTIFULCHAOS16 for 20% off when you buy from Mumspick! (code expires 8th Jan 2017)

Giveaway time! (ends 10th Jan 2017)

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[Review+Giveaway] LOL Playland @ JCube Mall

Thank you to LOL Playland for the invite to their spanky new playground! Located at JCube Mall Level 3, they just had their grand opening a week ago and all the equipment and facilities are very new and clean. In the post you might notice that my boy is wearing a sweater. We had prepared jackets as we found out this place is located near the ice rink in JCube. However, the temperature in the playground was just right. If you intend to have a meal on Level 3 after play though, please bring a jacket. It is really cold outside!


On the left side is the play structure for toddlers, in the middle are 3 rooms where they can play dress up and role playing, and the main playground and climbing 3-storey structure is on the right side.

The main play structure is made of 3 storeys. There is ample space in it for adults too. I stand at about 1.72m tall and can walk upright in it. There is a main 2-storey 2-lane slide, a trampoline and a ball-shooting area amongst the usual climbing structure.


The toddler area is made of only 2 storeys and is smaller sized in general for the little ones. On the first floor is a Role-playing kitchen area. Second floor is where the ball pit and the slide are.

The role playing stations are made up of a hospital, police station and a fire station. There are costumes and props inside for the kids to play around with.


My boy (3.5yo) really loved the shooting alley, the ball pit, and simply climbing everywhere.


And my girl (1.5yo) enjoyed the kiddy rides and role playing at the kitchen.


For the parents, there is a little rest area for you. Or if you are going to climb everywhere with your kids, you might want to put your valuables into the lockers provided. If not, you can chill at their mini cafe which sells drinks and some small snacks. There are also beanbags provided around the playground for you to laze on and watch your kids. There is also a nursing and diaper room but it is undergoing construction still at the moment.


Or maybe the beanbags are for the kids after they are tired of running around?


Here are the price packages for the playground.


There is also a party room. You can contact them for the party packages that they offer.


Time also for a giveaway!

We have 5 entry passes to LOL Playland to give away! 🙂

Just enter via this link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/471d31df14/

All you have to do is Like Beautiful Chaos and LOL Playland Facebook pages! Additional chances if you like our instagram as well! Giveaway will close on 14 December.

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Helper’s Urgent Home Leave Procedures

So, our helper (transferred) has been with us for 4 days (with one day off already, so technically worked for 3 days) and she suddenly told us her mother has passed away and wanted to go back for a week. If you were in our shoes what would you do?

No qualms about it, Hubby and I wanted to send her back. After all, her mother had passed away! Yes, many around us were asking whether this was true or not. But we had to give her the benefit of doubt. It helped that we knew that her mother was ill before we employed her as her previous employer had told us about it before.

The question now, was, how?

It was a Tuesday morning when she told us about it. The funeral was that very Saturday.

We called up a few agencies. Some did not want to do the procedure for us at all. Some did but said that procedure can only be completed in 6 days. SIX DAYS??!!? And one, who quoted us $285 for the procedure said we can send her back first, they will process documents for us (6 working days), and we will have to courier to her (another $50 and another 5 days or so) the documents so she can come back. This was actually our best bet at that point in time. 3pm on Tuesday.

We posted queries for help on Facebook groups and on our Facebook timelines. Most comments were not useful and most just said we should not be sending her back or she will not come back already. Some even told us to get a replacement immediately and she was not worth the trouble. However some kind angels were really helpful. Many gave us drips and draps of information, and told us it was possible for THE EMBASSY to expedite the procedure.

We called the embassy and got most of our answers. So basically, we needed to make something called the OEC, which costs only $3 at the Embassy. The problem was that documents were needed and you also need to make an appointment to have it made at the embassy.

Making appointment at the Embassy to make the OEC
You will have to create an account with your helper’s name and information HERE. You will need her details like name, address, mother’s name, child’s name etc. So it would be good if you have her passport and herself planted next to you to do this directly at your computer.Only after you have filled in all the details will the button pop up to allow you to make the appointment. We made the appointment for the very next day, Wednesday 9am.

What to bring for the OEC appointment

  1. Helper’s Passport
  2. Employer’s IC
  3. Work Permit (The card. Not the temporary letter. The problem with ours was that her work permit was still not ready. We had to long in with our Singpass on MOM website, WPOL to check when it would be ready. And it stated Wednesday 1-6pm.)
  4. Standard Employment Contract and Undertaking of Employer (Download and fill in the forms from HERE)
  5. Foreign Maid Insurance (Cheapest was from NTUC at about $70. You can just call them to make. It is instant.)
  6. Your Helper

What is done at the Embassy
At the embassy, they will help you to apply for 2 things before applying for the OEC. OWWA membership and authenticating the Contract. You will also have to show them all the documents mentioned earlier. And say that you need the OEC immediately. We even got a copy of our helper’s mother’s death certificate thinking they might need proof to expedite the procedures but they simply did so without asking for it. Our work permit was only ready that very afternoon so we were unable to collect the OEC on the spot though normally you could collect it within an hour or so. Thus we had to wait until the work permit was ready, collected it, and went back to the Embassy to collect the OEC. Your helper need not go back with you for the collection.

Total Cost of all Procedures = $269.19 

  1. Foreign Maid Insurance ($71.69)
  2. Authentication of Contract ($59.50)
  3. OWWA Membership ($35)
  4. OEC Processing Fee ($3)
  5. POEA BM Processing Fee ($100)

 

Once the OEC was collected, we proceeded with the booking of air tickets.

Most of the helpers from Philippines do not stay at very big cities. Thus not many airlines fly to their hometowns. For ours, only Cebu Airlines fly to her hometown. We managed to get her a flight that very night at 3am. Air tickets cost about $460 for a 2-way flight. She had to change flights at either Cebu Airport or Manila Airport. 

Yes, we were uncertain when we sent her off. She did tell us she will come back and that we shouldn’t worry. But how not to? But one thing we were certain of. We wanted her, a daughter, to attend her mother’s funeral.

Yes, one week later, she came back. 🙂

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Playground @ IMM

Many do not know but there is a large playground (with waterplay features!) on level 3 of IMM. It is outdoors and you can exit near Long Beach restaurant or Hai-Di-Lao.

The best thing is though outdoors, the playground is sheltered so the kids can play even when there is a light drizzle.


There are sections of the main play area that are suitable for both the younger kids and the older kids. The purple slide (in the first pic) is actually very high. So parents do need to be around to ensure safety of the younger ones.

Right beside this play area there is also a waterplay area. This area though is not sheltered so it can be pretty hot in the daytime.


The waterplay area’s water is turned on at certain timings of the day. So do not expect to go early before it gets hot. The water sprays only turn on at 10am. Not sure why they made it that way. The first time we were there at 9am only to be disappointed that the water has not started yet. Here are the opening hours:

Monday to Friday: 10.30am to 9.30pm (Closed every Thursday from 7.00pm onwards for events and on the first Wednesday of every month, except PH for maintenance)

Saturday and Sunday: 10.00am to 9.30pm

There is also a shower area at the playground. So it is very convenient if the kids were to play at the waterplay area.