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Playtime! – Rochee the Friendliest Cockcroach

Esplanade Presents PLAYtime often Organised highly subsidised plays that are suitable for children. We first watched “The Bird who was Afraid of Heights” and instantly fell in love with PLAYtime plays for kids! 

This time, we were invited to watch Rochee the Friendliest Cockroach! 


The show was just as interactive as expected, which was the main reason we fell in love with their productions. Kids are not required to always sit down still and keep quiet. They will have tasks to do and will be involved in the play itself. 

The setting of the stage is different from the usual. We will sit on the floor in clusters and action could be ANYWHERE in the room! 

Before the show, we were taught some dance steps so we could be part of the play later on! 


Rochee the cockroach starts the show by singing and inviting us to sing along with it. 


As you can see in the photo below, we were sitting at the right back cluster and could still have full view of the front (photo below) and back (photo above). The play requires you to look to the left sometimes, and right sometimes. The cast is always moving around and this keeps the little children engaged. 


During another interactive portion, the  kids were all required to pick up the blue balls that rolled out from the sides of the room into a large container. (What did this represent you may ask? Watch the play to find out!)


This required everyone to get off their feet to complete the task. 🙂


And the same thing happened when we all had to stand up to move around. Was the cockroach dancing? What was everyone doing? 


All in all, my Son (turning 4) was very engaged by the show whilst my Daughter (just turned 2 yesterday) was a bit afraid and so she did not want to participate in the action. It was fine too. You could just sit there as well. 🙂 It is of course not expected that all the children will participate. Parents will know that it all depends on the child’s mood on that day. 


Rochee the Friendliest Cockroach will be running at the Esplanade until 05 March 2017. Tickets are at $20 each and you can purchase them here. Sensory-friendly performances are available too!


Follow them on their Facebook page for more information and updates on other plays. 


This was us at the play. :). Hope you enjoy the show too! 

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Meiji Run 2017

Meiji Run 2017 is coming! The World’s Most Delicious Race, is back to bring you more fun and healthy activities in a full-day event! There will be a 800m Kids Dash, 5km Fun Run, 10km Competitive Cash-back run and Meiji Yoga. Meiji Run features delicious snacks and drinks. Finishers from both the 5km/10km run categories will receive delicious treats in the Meiji Snack Hamper (worth $20) and the customary Finisher medal when they complete their run. There will also be a Mini Japanese F&B Fair, Movie Screening & Other Fringe Activities on the day itself.

Date: 20th May 2017 (Saturday)
Time: 3:00pm – 8:00pm
Venue: Sentosa (Palawan Green)
Early Bird Tickets (Before 14th April 2017):
5km Fun Run – $45/Pax
10km Competitive Cashback Run – $55/Pax
800m Kids Dash – $35.90/Pax

Get 5% off by using this code: MEIJIXBEAUTIFULCHAOS

For more details and for registration, visitwww.meijirun.sg today!

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Earn Cashback when you shop at Honestbee with ShopBack

We were invited to try out and review ShopBack and here is our experience with them!

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What is Shopback? ShopBack is the region’s top cashback website. When you spend online through ShopBack, we are given a portion of our purchase back as Cashback, in cash!This means extra, unlimited savings whenever we shop online! Perfect for an aunty like me, who always seeks for cheapest deals around!

Here’s a youtube video to see how Shopback works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiefeRdoKwk

Online Shopping

To start off, you will have to register for an account at Shopback. Click HERE to sign up and get a $5 cash immediately, and another $5 cashback on top of your cashback for your first purchase! Free $10 just to sign up and buy something!

Shopback is really useful when you are doing online shopping. There is cashback when you buy groceries from Honestbee, buy clothes for your children from Carters, buy various items from marketplaces like AliExpress, or book hotels for a holiday from Booking.com. All you have to do is go to these websites via the links given after you log into your Shopback account, purchase the items, and the Cashback will be automatically credited into your Shopback account!

To view more stores and products that are related to Mothers and children, you can look at the section for Kids, Babies and Mothers.

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Coupons

Not only Shopback gives you cashback, they also give discount codes for many of the online shopping websites. An example is that you can buy tickets with Expedia discount codes.

So remember, all you have to do is register for an account at Shopback. Sign up and get a $5 cash immediately, and another $5 cashback on top of your cashback for your first purchase! Free $10 just to sign up and buy something!

Have fun shopping! 🙂

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Breastfeeding Woes (Or Not!)

Before I start on this post, I have to say, YES!, I am an ardent supporter that all mummies should at least try to breastfeed their babies, and that all mummies have sufficient breastmilk for their kids (provided they latch fully or pump regularly day AND night, and drink 4-6litres of water a day). However, that being said, many do not realise that breastfeeding is NOT easy. We always highlight all the good things about breastfeeding like free milk, bonding with child, full of nutrients and antibodies, etc. But we always neglect the fact that it could be a difficult (but worthwhile) journey, especially to first time mummies. So, kudos to all mummies who have breastfed their babies, whether it is weeks or months or years! And kudos also to all their colleagues/bosses and friends/families for understanding our desire to provide for our babies.

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Just some background information, I have breastfed all my 3 babies. (Currently feeding my #3 who is 1 month old.) For these 3, I have had countless times of engorgement, milk blisters, mastitis, sore nipples, stinging pain, just to name a few. I had to pay to see the LC and the Massage Aunty. (So actually Breastmilk is not free). I have struggled to pump during work. Woken up to latch every hour etc.

What I have learnt though, is that all these are problems that CAN be solved or even, prevented, and your supply can go back to normal again, your breast will feel normal again. So I will try my best to offer remedies to 10 (selected) difficulties that you might be facing for breastfeeding and hopefully it will make your journey an easier one than mine.

1. Sore Nipples

This is the first thing that you will have once you start to latch at the hospital. To help to lessen it, pack along in your hospital bag a tube of nipple cream, and apply after every single time the baby latches. My favourite brand is Medela Purelan. It is very thick and works well for me. If you already have sore nipples, after latch slab on the nipple cream and air the nipples. Yes, air meaning go completely topless to air. No bra no t-shirt. If there is a need to be modest because there are other people in the house, buy breast shields. (I use the avent breastshields). Breast shields and nipple cream are God-sent for sore nipples. Just for info, i had sore nipples for the first 3 weeks after birth and had to apply nipple cream after every latch. They only toughened up after that!

2. Engorgement

Most likely you will get this when your colostrum is converting into milk. And countless times later when you skip a latch/pump (please try not to do this), or when you wear wired bra (don’t do this too), or just have no idea how but it just happens. Tell tale signs are when part of your breast still feels hard even after pumping or latching, or it hurts when you press it. You can try to clear it by taking a warm shower. Whilst in the shower, soap the engorged area and use a large teeth comb to comb towards the nipple. You will have to apply some pressure. After bath, pump as much as possible to empty. Latch baby after that. If by doing this it doesn’t clear, it is time to call in the massage lady or LC to help you with it. Do not delay or it could end up being infected, leading to Mastitis, or even worse, having to have the blocked and solidified infected milk removed via surgery. Certain foods may also cause engorgement. For me, avocado and durian thickens my milk, which is not a good thing because apparently my milk ducts are very narrow. So if i eat those foods, I will get blocked ducts. If I want to eat, I will have to take Lecithin too, to thin the milk!

3. Mastitis

Mastitis starts off as an engorgement. But if the engorgement is either not noticed or not cleared fast, it will lead up to Mastitis. Mastitis comes like a viral fever, where you feel achy all over and weak. Fever can go up to 39+ degrees Celcius. Your breasts may or may not feel hard (because the blocked duct could be very deep inside) and there may or may not have red patches on them (maybe due to the same reason too). The question when I first got mastitis was, who do I see? LC or Gynae or GP? Well I decided to go to the Gynae as I was totally clueless. She did give me antibiotics for the mastitis, but was unable to clear it for me and so I had to visit the LC anyway. Gynae charged quite high for the consultation and LC was of course not cheap as well. (I like to go to the LC at Mount Alvernia. $80+ if you did not deliver there, and $60+ if you did). Subsequently when I got mastitis, I would go to the GP to get the anti-inflammatory pills and paracetamol (for the fever and pain), and call the Massage Aunty in to massage for me at $50-60 per session. Tip: take a dose of Panadol 1 hour before the breast massage.

4. Milk Blister

Once I got an engorgement that I was unable to clear using the methods I shared above. I then realised there was a white dot on my nipple and when I squeezed the engorged portion, the white spot seemed to grow bigger. On closer inspection, I realised then it was a piece of skin that grew over a milk “pore”, which was preventing all the milk from that duct to be expressed out. That was a milk blister. You can use a sterile needle (run hot water over a needle) to poke a little hole in the blister, and the problem is solved. Pump the milk out after that and then apply nipple cream. Some massage ladies told me that you can also use a cloth to rub the blister until it burst. But to me, that sounds more painful than the needle.

5. Falling Sick

If you fall sick, yes you can continue to breastfeed. Latch would be even better. When the baby sucks, and the saliva is in contact with the nipple, we will produce the appropriate antibodies in the milk for the babies to drink. So amazing right? If you do go to the GP for medication, do let the doctor know that you are breastfeeding so they will prescribe medication suitable for breastfeeding. The only illness when I think you should not latch is if you have contagious by contact illnesses eg HFMD, Chickenpox.

6. Baby doesn’t want to latch

I always advice my first time mum friends to make sure baby can latch before getting discharged from the hospital. Ask the LCs at the hospitals to help you with breastfeeding as much as possible. A good latch will kick start your journey in breastfeeding. A bad latch will make it more difficult. There is help for inverted nipples or short nipples. For inverted, there is a tool which you can use to correct the nipple. It can be worn everyday under your bra. Ask the LCs about it when you go to the hospital for your pre-natal lessons or gynae visits or scans. For some with short nipple, nipple shields can help also. My friends have used the nipple shields at the start and transited to direct latching later on. In any case, if there is a problem latching, go and visit a Lactation Consultant. I highly recommend Mount Alvernia’s LCs. You can call up their Parentcraft Centre to book appointments. If you gave birth there, the fees are about $60+. If not, it would be $80+. House visits will be about $150-160+.

7. Nipple confusion

Nipple confusion can happen if you give the bottle to the baby too early on. (before about 3-4 weeks old). Babies tend to prefer drinking from the bottle as they do not have to wait for the letdown for milk to come and also it takes less effort to suck from the bottle. Sometimes though, the baby needs to be supplemented with fm due to jaundice or breastmilk not coming in yet. The hospitals can do cup feeding. I had to supplement a feed during my stay at the hospital. And the nurse asked me if I wanted cup feed or bottle feed. I chose cup of course. There is a special cup (by Medela) that can be bought to feed babies before starting on bottle later on. So if you intend to feed at home, you can buy the cup. It costs less than $5.

8. Rejecting the bottle

This can be prevented by starting the fully breastfed baby on a bottle feed daily from about 3-4 weeks old. Remember to give frozen breastmilk once in a while too if not that could be another thing that the baby might reject. After all, fresh ebm taste much better than fbm! If baby has already rejected the bottle, read a full post on how to get the baby to drink the bottle HERE.

9. Weaning off the breast

Making the baby take the bottle is one thing. Stopping the baby from latching is another. Babies do not only latch for food. They latch for comfort as well, which is why it is so difficult to wean from the breast. You will have to decide when to do it. When baby is older, you can pre-warn the toddler that when he/she turns 2 years old, that he cannot drink from mummy anymore. If baby is younger, the cold turkey method works the best. However, replace the boob with lots of hugs and cuddles instead. When I weaned our #1 off the breast, we converted to co-sleeping so he could still feel the closeness then.

10. Low supply

I believe that all of us are able to sufficiently feed our babies, provided we are hardworking about it. If you have what you think is low supply, check on the following. Is baby only a few days old? Maybe you are still producing colostrum. Most PDs will tell you that there is no need to supplement baby with fm. However, if you really want to do so, latch first, then supplement with about 10ml of fm. Use cup feeding to prevent nipple confusion. Your gynae can also prescribe you with Motilium. This would help you start producing milk sooner. Also, are you drinking enough? A breastfeeding mummy should be drinking 4-6 litres of fluids a day as breastmilk is made up of mainly water. Fluids can be in the form of water, red date longan tea, soups, milo, juice, etc. Plenty of rest and as little stress as possible is important too. That’s why it is good to get a confinement nanny to take care of all your needs while you rest (and produce milk). Some milk boosters for foods are fish(eg. salmon, threadfin, cod), spinach, black fungus, jin zhen cai, oats, brewers yeast, flaxseed, avocado, durian. Some milk killers and foods that might cause baby to be gassy are caffeine, chocolates, brocolli, alcohol. So try to have as much of milk boosters in your foods every meal and as little of milk killers as possible. Supplements like fenugreek can also help with milk supply. That said, it is very important to latch and pump regularly to build up the supply. If you are fully pumping, then pump every 2-3 hours day and night. If latching, latch on demand day and night. Latch even if baby ask you for milk every hour, because that might be a growth spurt which helps you to increase your milk supply. You are advised to only latch one side per feed to ensure baby gets to the hind milk. To increase supply, you can also pump after every latch. Or pump in between latching if your baby latches at a very regular interval. Or use haakaa to pump one side while you latch the other.

Breastfeeding might not be the easiest thing to do, but it is definitely very fulfilling. Let’s all press on together to give the best to our babies! 🙂

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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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