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Friday, April 29, 2022

Easy, Fuss-free Confinement Meals with ReLacto

Most of us know the importance of the confinement - the period after a woman gave birth. It allows her to recuperate, to rest after doing the most noble task on earth. Having a good confinement is also a restart button, you may end up even healthier and stronger after confinement. That is why most people go after confinement nannies. We did too. 

But according to older folks, do you know that confinement period is actually 40 days, and even up to 100 days? Uh, so what happened after the nanny left after 28 days?
After settling back in work after my extended paternal leave (I took 1 month in total), it is pretty bothersome to check what could my wife, Lydia, eat. To be honest, I'm not an expert so everything looks ok to eat. That is why we kickstart our ReLacto journey shortly after our confinement nanny left. This is to ensure that my missus is getting sufficient nutrients to recover as well as to support her breastfeeding journey. ReLacto is unique as they place great emphasis on ingredients that will provide both recovery and boost the quantity and quality of her breastmilk.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

This is Home, Truly

This article was first published at Hipvan here.

Our contractor escaped.

The nightmare that every new house owner feared the most landed on us. Nevertheless, we were still grateful that he was literally contactless during the last few stages of our home renovation.

Oh, before I move on, my name is Thomas, a 30-year-old home-grown boy. Together with my beautiful wife, Lydia, we got ourselves one of the biggest investments of our lifetime – a 5-room HDB (113 sqm) located at Punggol. I once told myself I will never move to Punggol. Prior to moving, we reside at Beach Road, where we could walk to our favourite hangouts such as Suntec and Marina Bay Sands, so Punggol is considerably further (but again, how big is Singapore?).

Getting our nest

Considering the long waiting times for BTOs nowadays, we decided to opt for a resale flat. Psst, they offer huge grants for resale flats now. We visited a few places at Seng Kang and Punggol, before choosing this flat. It was brimming with laughter, children running around, and the whole family was really amiable towards us. Without thinking much, we told the property agent, this is it and we dealt at $620K (down from the original $638K), which to be honest was still more than our budget.

The great thing was that, it is already well-furnished with the previous renovations, so we get to saved huge ka-chings on renovation. We had in mind what we wanted. A warm, cosy, Scandi-mix-modern feel to our house. We made a renovation list, which roughly reads:

1. Refurbish living room wall.

2. Retile two toilets.

3. Paint entire house.

4. Laminate headboard in master bedroom.

With that, we approached three interior design companies in Singapore, which quoted us close to $20K. Our budget was $10K, which includes $2K to buy furnishings, such as fluted panels, toilet accessories, etc. So, through a business contact, we got to know Mr. A (to remain his integrity, I will not name him), a freelance contractor. He could do it within our budget and we were delighted. Long story short, manpower was short, he did not pay his workers, did not do the final checks, resulting in our renovation being 90% completed. Thank God I was smart enough to withhold the final payment, which was later utilised to fix his errors.

So, here’s a useful advice: Make the last payment after completion and checks are done!

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Second Delivery at Thomson Medical Centre + Hospital Fees (Feb 2022)

And...we were pregnant again.

Before I move on, if you are reading this, most likely you are already pregnant and planning where to give birth to your little one, so here's the heartiest congratulations from me! Being the father of two children now, I can tell you that parenting is the hardest, longest, heart-wrenching, emotional and physical lesson that you will ever partake. But, but, but, it is also the noblest and reaps the best rewards.
Choosing Thomson Medical Centre (TMC) is pretty much a no-brainer for us, since myself and my first born, Olivia, are delivered here. Both by the same gynae, Dr. W. K. Tan. As compared to other private hospitals, TMC is considered pretty affordable. But as always, child delivery (not to even mention child bearing) is not cheap, so it is good to plan your finances beforehand.

If you have not, I would love to invite you to check out my experience on TMC in November 2018 for my firstborn. This post has since garnered more than 1 million views.

Delivery at Thomson Medical Centre + Hospital fees (Nov 2018)

Our gynae
Instead of Dr. W. K. Tan, we opted for another gynae, Dr. Benjamin Tham, this time round. No, no, it's not because Dr. Tan is not good, in fact, she's amazing. Dr. Benjamin was introduced to us by our friends, and thought why not? Yes, Benjamin is obviously a male, so make sure you (or your partner) is alright with it beforehand. To be honest, this didn't bothered us much. Throughout our consultations and even the delivery, Dr. Benjamin was amazing. He was humorous all the way and gave us really useful advice such as using an Epi-no to reduce vaginal tearing.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

A Letter to My Son

Dear Emmanuel,

In about one month's time, daddy and mummy are going to carrying you in our arms. It came to a point of time when we felt that we are ready for our second baby, and in accordance with God's timing, you came into our lives. Slowly but surely, you grew larger and stronger, as with mummy's appetite. Now she eats a lot of chocolate, ice-cream, mala and Thai food! It is as if you are ordering food via mummy. Be strong, be healthy, that's all it matters.

You have a big sister, Olivia, who is about 3 years older than you. We have prepared her for your arrival and we can see that she is excited to welcome her best playmate. She chose for you a baby bunny and even pinky-promise that she will share her toys with you! Did you hear her praying for you? Did you hear her kisses through mummy's tummy?

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Goodbye 2021, Hello 2022.

I can't believe I'm writing this post already. In a blink of an eye, 2021 is ending in a few days, while we usher in another year. We all thought the pandemic will be gone by now, but it hasn't. New variants kept appearing while the number of cases fluctuate, humans have start to adapt to this new norm. After all, life still goes on. And within this period, the more we should be grateful and celebrate this breath in us.
2021 for us is a a year of beginnings.

1. Say HELLO to our new addition
This year, we found out that Olivia is going to get a sibling, and it is a BOY! It wasn't planned, but by God's grace and His perfect timing, we are blessed with another. The due date is estimated to be late February 2022, so we are looking forward to his arrival. Having a second child have its own challenges, for one, we need to prep Olivia too. But as with so many children, including myself who have a brother, I believe too that it will work out just fine.
2. Welcome to Punggol
We never once thought that we would move to Punggol, since we lived at town area previously. Punggol seems like an ulu concept that we would shirk from. But here we are now - 6 months in. Living and adjusting to our new environment, and exploring new territories. The major shift was that we moved out from our parents to form a new, independent family unit by ourselves. Now as the man of the family and head of the household, there are new responsibilities to take, new challenges to face. But it's an exciting journey to take!
3. New business ventures into DNA
The second half of this year sees the launch of our new product - a DNA kit for both consumer and businesses. We took a while to explore and to craft this new brainchild of ours, collaborating with various partners and labs, doing all relevant analysis, and finally, we had a soft launch this June. As with all business ventures (and on top of our current beauty salon and e-commerce), there's ups and downs, but it's going to be fun, and hopefully rewarding.

If you are looking to explore up to 379 personal traits (including disease risks) just based on your saliva alone, you may visit our website here.
4. Olivia has started school
Due to the pandemic, we have postponed her nursery for the longest time, and she finally started school this November with My First Skool. We thought she would be alright since she started out strong (no crying - probably it's because we sent her to Sunday School already), but life happens. For some reason, she started to resist school, crying and screaming - just like me when I'm younger - all the way till I'm Primary 3 (or so I've heard from my mum). Yet we thank God for good teachers to take care, to educate and to guide her. You can do it, my daughter!
2021 was a heck of a year, not sure how many resolutions I've completed (or failed) since I've lost track since the second week of the year.

As the next year creeps in within a few days, please be good, 2022.

Friday, December 17, 2021

5 Breakfast Ideas Any Beginners Can DO! (Recipes included)

Most of us have fantasize your partner serving you breakfast in bed, as the aroma of toast and freshly grounded coffee filled up the room. There are only two scenarios. You are the one lying in bed, OR you are the one waking up earlier to make the breakfast. Morons can infer you're the latter (like yours truly) since you're looking at this post.

During the weekends, when I get to work from home, I tend to wake up earlier to whip up a simple breakfast for my family. No breakfast in bed after you have kids by the way, so we had everything proper on the dining table. To save any hassle, most of my recipes here will need less than 20 to 30 minutes of cooking and prep time. Combined. So you can get your beauty sleep as well.

Without further ado, I present to you my easy breakfast ideas that even any noob chefs can make. All this have a pretty high success rate since, you're either using the oven or waffle/pancake machine. If you do not have these equipment, not to worry, most of them can be cooked over the stove as well. If you're one of the noob chefs,  please make sure you have fire insurance beforehand.

1. I got to emphasize that all ingredients are flexible. You just pop open your fridge and see what's there to use. As with every recipe, this serves only as a guideline. Like tomatoes? Add more. Don't like you food too sweet? Minus the sugar. Don't have fruits lying around? Sub with raisins. You get it.
2. If you're cooking for more people, apply your primary school multiplication on the recipe.
3. Unless otherwise stated, all ingredients are to be of room temperature. This helps for easy mixing and acquiring the desired texture.