Thank You, Mums and Dads 6 May, 2013Posted by dear1dear2 in Dear2, Food & Beverages, Slice of Life.
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It’s the time of the year again for eating expensive.
There’s Mother’s Day (this Sunday), Father’s Day (next month), Mother’s Birthday (in June) and Father-in-Law’s Birthday (end of May). 2 parents each for Dear1 and Dear2, plus Dear1’s grandmother, so we have many many festivals to celebrate every year just for the elders (groan….…).
Every year during this season, we will take the respective family out for a restaurant meal, or in recent years, been ‘coerced’ into the meal by our younger but more generous siblings. After years and years of dining, it has become a dread, cos:
1) The restaurants are super crowded during the Father’s Day and Mother’s Day peak. Why can’t everyone just have a sumptuous home cooked meal at home!?
2) We’re paying expensive amounts for just a meal!? (I’ll never forget that $400 bill for 6 pax on a Mother’s Birthday celebration. I don’t even earn that much in a day!!!)
3) The dining experience is really just pure eating for us. Occasionally we’ll chat with the siblings (ermm sorry, the parents just can’t fit into the conversation)
4) Times 4 meals within a short span of 2 months. Omg, the BIG hole in the pocket $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
It was with much much reluctance in recent years that Dear1 and I participate in the yearly rituals.
This year however, suddenly my perception changed. I actually dun mind bringing the Mum out for her yearly reward, and I even proposed to organize the Mother-in-law’s Mother’s Day meal. Hmm, what got into me….?
It has been a hectic year this past year. Mum has been taking care of our little newborn Baby2 daily since birth, now already 7 months old, and before that Baby1 until Baby2 came along. And Mother-in-law is helping to bath and feed Baby1 after childcare every day too, freeing up precious energy for Dear1 and I.
Somehow, the new parents of this generation expect our parents to help out with the kids, perhaps because we ourselves were raised single-handedly by our grannies. Granny probably cooked and bathed and took care of a few cousins at the same time back then. But apparently our parents don’t feel the same now. Childcare centre, nannies, maid, SAHM, relax and enjoy own retirement years – I think our parents really do prefer these than having to stay home all day and babysit.
So, looking at how our own parents sacrificed their ‘happiness’ and be occupied and tired every day from looking after our 2 girls, I think they do deserve a nice treat. It’s just a meal in that 365 days, but that’s a little way of expressing our thanks to them.
We brought Mum out for dim sum last Sunday already, and are planning for a dinner for Mother-in-law next Sunday (read, avoid the actual DAY!).
Have your made your reservations?
New Year Resolutions 2013 31 March, 2013Posted by dear1dear2 in Dear1, For Him For Her, Slice of Life.
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Oh no, it’s already the end of March and I’m just starting to write our new year resolutions?! Haha… Well, yes and no.
Yes, I’m writing and posting it today, but no, we’ve this planned out on our yearly retreat last year. Sigh… We used to do our yearly retreat at a holiday but now, with our busy schedule, we did our retreat at Ichiban Sushi at Jurong Point over lunch (with Baby2).
Ok, here’s the big list.
- Continue looking at property
- Create new $1200 in dividend income per annum
- Join a vertical marathon
- At least 1 date per month
- Visit Legoland, Hello Kitty Land, Little Big Club
- Change job
- Write at least 1 post per month
- Do skipping at least once per week
- Spend less time on mobile phone
- Lower my expectations and be more patient with Baby1
- Target 55kg
- Get poached
- Write at least 1 post per month
- Kiss dear every week
- Do 2 face mask per month
That’s it. Jiayou jiayou!
Our new routine with 2 babies 15 February, 2013Posted by dear1dear2 in Baby, Dear1, Slice of Life.
This is a follow up of a post that I’ve written some time back titled – Our work and baby routine.
So now that we have 2 babies in tow, it’s time we post an update of our routine.
6.30 am: Dear2′s alarm clock rings. Usually Dear2 will be able to hear it and wakes up. Oh, Baby1, Baby2 and Dear1 are all KO. It’s good that the kids are asleep at this time. Hopes Baby2 don’t wake up.
6.45 am: Dear1 wakes up and if Dear2 wasn’t already up, then wake Dear2 up as well. Dear1 goes to the kitchen to prepare breakfast and wash up all the used milk bottles from the night and sterilize them. Dear2 packs Baby1′s bag for her nursery school/childcare. Dear1 and Dear2 sits down for some morning coffee and breakfast. Hopes Baby2 don’t wake up.
7.15 am: Time to wake Baby1 up. Cuddles her a bit and gets her ready for school. May involve some bargaining as Baby1 will often declare her reluctance to go to school. Makes milk for Baby1. Dear2 goes to bath and prepares herself. Hopes Baby2 don’t wake up.
7.45 am: Target time to leave the house which we’ve never been able to meet. Mad rush to get ready everything, change Baby1 into her uniform, bring Baby1 to toilet now that she’s almost fully toilet trained. Dear1 prepares himself for work. Quick tidying up of the house. Feeds medicine to kids if any. Hopes Baby2 don’t wake up.
7.15-8 am: Sometimes, Baby2 does wake up. That means someone has to attend to her. That also means our ‘workforce’ is 50% paralyzed. Makes milk for Baby2. Feeds milk to Baby2. Keep Baby2 from crying. Mad rush becomes madder.
8-8.10 am: The time we actually step out of the house.
8.25 am: Arrive at granny’s house to drop off Baby2. Don’t even have time to properly kiss Baby2 goodbye.
8.35 am: Arrive at Mulberry to drop off Baby1. More bargaining. Waves goodbye.
8.40 am: Drops off Dear2 at Chinese Garden MRT station.
9.10-9.30 am: Dear1 and Dear2 arrives at work.
6 pm: Dear1 and Dear2 sets off from work promptly.
6.40 pm: Dear1 meets Dear2 at Chinese Garden MRT station.
6.45 pm: Arrive at Mulberry to pick up Baby1. She’s usually the last few students left before the school closes at 7pm. So poor thing.
7 pm: Buys dinner from the market.
7.20 pm: Arrive at granny’s house. Finally get to see Baby2 again! Yay… But no time to really play with her. :’( Starts eating dinner and feed dinner to Baby1. Pack up all the daily stuff and goes home.
8.15 pm: Reaches home with Baby1 and Baby2 after a long day. Dear2 plays with Baby2 while Dear1 baths Baby1. Then Dear1 goes to bath first, then Dear2 goes to bath. Unpacks Baby1 and Baby2′s stuff. Feeds medicine if any.
9.15-9.45 pm: Bedtime for the kids. Baby1 and Baby2′s bedtime needs to be closely matched so they’ll both go to sleep and not affect each other. Usually, this means Dear2 starting Baby1′s milk feed first while reading her a bedtime story in the bedroom. Meanwhile, Dear1 will start feeding Baby2 in the living room. All lights except the bedroom will be off. When Baby1 starts to doze off, the bedroom light will off. By then, Baby2 will be dozing off and Dear1 will bring her into the bedroom where she sleeps in her cot. Yes, all 4 of us sleeps in the same room.
10 pm: Baby1 and Baby2 goes to dreamland and Dear1 and Dear2 finally have some time for themselves. But all is not done. Dear2 wakes up to dry her hair. Dear1 washes all the bottles from the day (~8 bottles) and sterilizes them to prepare for the night. Also, complete the daily housework such as washing dishes if any, packing up the house, washing clothes, keeping clothes, folding clothes, etc. Dear1 and Dear2 chit chats a bit.
10.30-11 pm: Time for bed.
2.30 am: Baby2 usually wakes up for milk around this time. Dear1 will quickly carry Baby2 out of the bedroom to prevent Baby1 from waking up too. Dear2 prepares the milk. Dear1 feeds Baby2. Dear2 goes back to sleep.
3 am: Dear1 and Baby2 goes back to sleep.
6 am: If Baby2 wakes up again, repeat everything at 2.30 am.
6.30 am: Dear2′s alarm clock rings. Usually Dear2 will be able to hear it and wakes up. …here we go again… Hopes Baby2 don’t wake up… yet.
There are 3 critical times that we have to meet each day. First, start work time at around 9 am. Second, Baby1′s school’s closing time at 7 pm. Lastly, bedtime at 9.30 pm. Much of our routine revolves around meeting these 3 ‘deadlines’.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying a routine is a bad thing. In fact, this routine is great because it means that the process can be optimized and we would not have to deal with much uncertainty. It’s just that this routine is so packed and there is hardly time to do any other things. We don’t even have much time to actually interact/play with the kids.
Luckily for our sanity, Baby2 was able to learn her ‘sleep-through-the-night’ skill early. This meant that we only had to wake up once (or at most twice) each night and she would go back to sleep pretty fast after feeding. Also luckily, both Baby1 and Baby2 developed their ‘ignore-crying-noise-from-other-children’ skill too so we at most had to deal with only 1 crying baby during the night.
Phew~ What to do… Taking care of 2 children on our own without a helper (i.e. maid) is like that. We do our best and hope that our best is enough for them to grow up strong and healthy.
As for us (Dear1 and Dear2), we try to cherish whatever small packets of time we have to ourselves – coffee & breakfast in the morning, short drives between nursery and mrt station, and after the kids go to bed. And the occasional lunch time when we could meet up for a meal just by ourselves.
Get well soon everyone 29 January, 2013Posted by dear1dear2 in Dear1, Slice of Life, Sports & Health.
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The whole family is going through a bout of sickness now. It started with me falling sick sometime in mid Dec 2012. It was a fever, sore throat and runny nose, it was most likely flu. I saw the doctor several times and had 3 courses of anti-biotics but the flu refused to get better. The sore throat was so bad at night that I trembled as I drank water. After about 3 weeks, I finally got better.
Meanwhile, Baby2 caught my germs and she started sneezing and also had runny nose. Since Baby2 couldn’t really control any of her actions, her body just sneezed frequently, involuntarily, to clear her breathing pathway. It would slowly turn from clear mucus to yellow mucus. Luckily, Baby2 recovered quickly and her runny nose stopped.
At the turn of the new year 2013, Baby1 started her Nursery 1 childcare. Within the first 3 days of school, she started developing fever, cough and runny nose. Maybe it was from school, or maybe it was from me. At this point, I was just recovering from my flu. Baby1′s cough would degenerate to an allergy situation similar to what she had back in Oct/Nov 2011. She would cough and vomit uncontrollably, many times during the night. We took her to the clinic at Dawson Place where she was successfully and effectively treated the last time.
At mid January, Dear2 would fall sick, having similar symptoms to me. At this point, I was already free from symptoms for 1 week and shared some kisses with Dear2 on my birthday. However, because the symptoms were so similar, it was very likely that I had passed the germs to Dear2. According to Dear2, she had the worst sore throat in her life. It was that bad. And it took nearly 10 days for Dear2 to recover.
Just 3 days after seeing the doctor, when Baby1 is recovering from her flu symptoms, she was struck with stomach flu, most likely from her school. Baby1 would wake up that morning and vomit repeatedly. She vomited so much that she had nothing left in her stomach and was vomit yellow gastric juices. It pained my heart to see her in so much discomfort. We went to the Dawson clinic again and it was confirmed to be stomach flu.
The following day, I was down with stomach flu. I woke up at 2 am and vomited. I was up the entire night vomiting until I went to the doctor first thing the next morning. That day (it was a Saturday), Dear2 and I was feeling so drained from the illnesses that we had to ask both our parents to bring the kids out for the day so we could rest and recuperate at home. We would later learn that Baby1 also spread the stomach virus to my mum, dad, and sister who helped to take care of her that weekend.
The following week, Dear2 and I gradually recovered. However, Baby1 started having diarrhea. It began from just once a day. We had thought that it would go away on its own. By the end of the week, it had increased to 2-3 times in the day. At its worst on Sunday night, Baby1 woke up at least 4 times during the night and had to go to the toilet. We quickly brought her to the doctor the next day and confirmed that it was a another stomach virus.
Right now, it had been about 8 weeks since everything first started with my bout of flu. Currently, everyone is starting to feel better. We’ve been drinking lots of barley and chrysanthemum tea and pipagao. We’ve been very careful with our hygiene. No kissing. No sharing of food. Frequently washing hands. Use lots of dettol to clean the floor, clean the toilets, wash the clothes, wash the soiled beddings, clean up any vomits. It is no joke having the whole family sick like this. It is downright awful.
I really hope that everyone will get well soon.
Shoo, germs, bacteria, viruses, bad weather, shoo!
You are not welcomed here. GRR!!!
Update 15 Feb 2013: Baby1 caught the cough and runny nose again on CNY’s eve and the doctor gave her the nebulizer (her first). Then on day 1 of CNY, Baby2 caught the bug and has been coughing until today. Dear1 and Dear2 feeling stuffy in the nose too. Really hope all this nonsense sickness end soon.
Grand Retirement Plan 7 November, 2012Posted by dear1dear2 in Dear2, Slice of Life.
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Oh gosh, I don’t know what I want to do when I retire, how sad!
It all began when Dear1 brought up the topic of doing our new year resolutions for next year. I said, when we set new goals, we need to know where we stand now. Then I realise that we have been talking about setting our retirement, but what exactly is Retirement, or what does it mean?
When a financial adviser does financial planning for you, Retirement is always surely one of the long term goal. ”When do you wish to retire? 10 years? 20 years? Or maybe you don’t wish to retire? Retirement does not mean not working anymore. Rather, it’s a stage where you may continue having an employment, but the salary is not important anymore.”
So I sat down with Dear1 and we briefly talked about our financial goals for the upcoming year. Dear1 says we want to have a third property by the time we are 40 so that this can generate passive income for us. So maybe with this rental income, we’ll able to retire, ie don’t have to worry about being sacked. ”But if I don’t work, what do I want to do then?” I thought about this long after our conversation, and the only thing that came to mind is, perhaps I’ll write. Full stop. That’s so sad!!
When people retire, or think about their retirement, they usually want to do the things that they normally do not have the time or Opportunity to do. Like going on holidays, continue to pursue their hobbies, or participate in social activities. But I don’t want to wait till I’m old and frail to go backpacking or learn salsa. Ok, maybe I won’t be that frail when I’m only 40, but definitely my stamina is better now than 10 years later right? So holidaying and learning a dance is something that I have to do now, rather than only during my Retirement. So, what do I want to do when I retire?
Probably I should continue to do what I like when there are no more mortgages to pay and the kids’ tertiary funds are well taken care of and I do not have to slog for the next meal on the table. Hmm.. So that will be something that I enjoy doing now and which I can continue to pursue. Hmm… But, what!?
It’s less than 2 full months before the new year. I’m still thinking long and about this question, and I hope to have some answer by then. Do share with me on your retirement dreams. ;)
Please Give Up Your Seat to Someone Who Needs It More Than You 25 September, 2012Posted by dear1dear2 in Baby, Dear2, Slice of Life.
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During a recent lunch with 2 other mummy colleagues Ling and Chou, the topic of getting a seat on the MRT during preggy days was brought up. Chou just returned from her third maternity leave and Ling had 2 little ones slightly one year apart this April again.
So Ling started recounting her this occasion where a fellow male colleague felt very indignant that no one offers the then five-month pregnant her a seat on the MRT while they were travelling together. He even loudly asked the passenger on the priority seat to give up the seat to her.
Chou added that herself being plump, most people didn’t know that she was pregnant until she was quite advanced in her pregnancy. And she started her recount of dunno which occasion she didn’t get a seat on the MRT too but she was quite fine with it since she wasn’t obvious.
Ling continued on that dunno which other occasion, ya, there was another pregnant mummy needing a seat as well when she herself was dunno how many months pregnant, and there was a slight drama with the 2 MTBs and the passengers occupying the priority seat and the seat beside it, and the seat beside beside it.
Then Chou chipped in to say that sometimes people can’t tell if a lady is just fat or is pregnant, so there might be hesitation in giving up their seats. She chuckles that she gets this indecision frequently.
Then Ling started to get agitated and argues that if a lady wears flats and keep smoothing her tummy, then it’s likely that she’s a MTB and you ought to give up your seat to her voluntarily, and willingly. She encountered another occasion where she gave up her seat to a pregnant lady without a word of thanks at all and does this pregnant lady thinks that everyone owes her a seat!?
Chou added that usually people, especially the MTBs who needs a seat will seek one with their eyes first, or if they stand right in front of the priority seat, the desire is very obvious.
At this point in time, I finally can say something.
Yup, usually if I stand away from the seats, even when I was eight months pregnant, it means that I don’t want a seat. I’m probably getting off at the station, or my butt is aching from sitting in office all day. Full stop.
And the grousing of why MTBs should be entitled to a seat continued between Ling and Chou…..
Frankly in my memory, there aren’t many occasions where people pretend that they can’t see a pregnant woman standing. Yes, I’ll do my trick of standing at the door if I really don’t want a seat, or stand right in front of a priority seat when I need one. Of course I make sure that I am able to reach the front of the seats on such occasions, the key is, you’ll just have to wait out the super peak hours so that you can certainly board an okay-ish packed train. And most of the times, I am lucky to meet good Samaritans.
I remembered this occasion when an office lady offered to help me get a priority seat because I was stuck at the doors. Even when I rejected her kind offer because it was too packed to squeeze in front, she managed to spot the priority seat when it was vacated at the next station and opened the path for me. Gosh, I felt so pampered.
And there was this other occasion where this Malay gentleman very sympathetically wanted to wake a dozing young man occupying the priority seat. I seriously don’t want to wake the poor guy up so rejected the gentleman’s kind offer. He insisted that I should sit and tried to nudge the young man awake, but the poor guy was too tired to feel the pokes. Finally he managed to get his attention and I got a seat for the rest of the journey. Talk about racial harmony here.
And those numerous occasions where men and women gave up their priority seats to me when I stood right in front. What surprises and touched me most were those times when black-skinned men (foreign workers maybe?) automatically stand up to free up the seat for me, most of the times not even the priority ones. And I didn’t even have to walk right in front of them, it all took me a brief eye contact. I’m not sure if they felt guilty sitting down or are they merely very gracious, but it’s definitely very comforting to see a non-local non-Chinese being so nice to me a pregnant lady. (Social integration?)
Please give up your seat to someone who needs it more than you, automatically. But even if we don’t get a seat when we need it, do we feel that it is our right/ entitlement to one? Maybe it’s not hard to miss a MTB/ a child/ an elderly/ a visibly handicapped person, but perhaps the person occupying the priority seat is unwell too and needs the seat more than you do. And if you really do need that seat so badly, you can always open your mouth and ask nicely, rather then feel indignant about it and grouse about it on facebook, several times too.
Sometimes, you may or may not get the seat. This society really needs everyone to cooperate and be truthful and gracious. Sit only when you need it please.
Our Dreams 17 August, 2012Posted by dear1dear2 in Dear2, For Him For Her, Slice of Life.
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Everytime I pass by my COO’s office window, the sea view outside, light rays glistening, big and small boats lazily dotting the crystal blue waters, reminds me again of Dear1’s dream.
Dear1 has a dream, that is to own a yacht. So he has been keeping track of yacht prices, and tells me bits and nuggets about yachting every now and then. But at a minimum of $100,000, and dunno how much $ on parking, club membership, maintenance etc etc expenses, owning a yacht is deemed to be a far away dream for me. “If I can’t buy it now, then I’d better not look at it, least I fall in love with it.” That’s generally my shopping style.
But I tell Dear1, look, I actually am still mindful of your dream, because I get reminded of it every day. I too am a sea lover, it’s sereneness, it’s openness. Ermm, and actually, I too used to fantasize living in one when I was younger (too many runaways in Hong Kong movies lah). But at our current stage, that extra $XXX,xxx is just not feasible. But, let’s keep this dream alive, cos it’s with dreams that you have something to work towards to, and something to look forward to.
I know, it may be many many years before we can reach our goal, or maybe never, or maybe it’ll really be when we are retired and too old to physically enjoy cruising anymore. But at least we are 1 step nearer now. We’ve paid off our house, so we are 1 step closer to getting our second property. 1 step nearer means that we are 1 tiny step to reaching our yacht too. 1 step. Yes, just 1 tiny step, but at least it’s still 1 step nearer.
Main thing is, don’t lose this dream, cos it’s something that you and I have in common, a common dream to pursue. Yes, this is our dream, not just solely your dream anymore, but our dream.
Our priority seat story 26 June, 2012Posted by dear1dear2 in Dear1, Slice of Life.
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The recent “Polite Ah Lian vs Priority Seat Aunty” saga reminded me of a small incident that happened to us back in 2009.
It was right after our Penang Trip.
We arrived in Singapore at Changi Airport after our 5 day trip. It was probably about lunch time. With our luggages and backpacks in tow and Dear2 in her 2nd trimester (Baby1), we were lucky to find one seat in the MRT on our long journey from Tanah Merah MRT station back to Jurong East MRT station.
It was the priority seat, right next to the door. There was only one seat, so naturally, Dear2 sat down to take a rest while I stood next to her. In the seat next to Dear2 was a young man. The train was not crowded at that time, with only a handful of standing commuters. Dear2 was in her 2nd trimester, so her bump was obvious but still not overly big.
Soon into our journey, one ang moh lady boarded the train. She was pregnant. Probably 2nd trimester too. She walked around, looking for an empty seat. There was none.
Then, she stared at Dear2 in her priority seat, and spoke loudly, demanding that Dear2 give up her seat. We were both taken aback. Dear2 was pregnant too, couldn’t she see that?
Before I could say anything, Dear2 had already gotten up, and offered her seat to the pregnant ang moh. She sat down without giving us a second look.
So, with our luggage and backpacks in tow and Dear2 in her 2nd trimester bump, we stood in the middle of the train. Some time during the journey, that ang moh probably noticed Dear2′s bump and looked slightly guilty, but she did not take any further actions. No one else offered Dear2 a seat and we stood for the remaining of the journey.
A few points for thoughts.
- We had luggage and were rather clumsy in movement because of that. Why didn’t the ang moh ask the young man beside Dear2 for his seat? Why target Dear2?
- Fine. So a pregnant Dear2 gave up her seat to a pregnant ang moh. Didn’t any other commuters see this exchange? Why didn’t any one else offered their seat to Dear2?
- How will you feel if someone asked for your seat when you needed the seat just as much as them? How would you have reacted?