Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Please demolish my school

This is a HILARIOUS bona-fide call from an 8 year old in Dublin to the demolition department. Double click image below to hear it!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Baby stroller

There are so many baby strollers out there but I have not come across one that combines safety, convenience, style and usability. We are currently using a Quinny Zapp which can be fitted to a maxi-cosi car seat bucket . While the design is quite nice and compact-looking (lots of people on the streets ask us where we got it from), I actually find the car seat a little too heavy to transfer between the car and the stroller each time we go out. It also takes quite a bit of practice to fit and remove the car seat bucket onto the stroller.Just came across this new stroller design on the web recently. Apparently, it incorporates research mined from a group of first-time parents and has a special stretcher system that eliminates the need for cumbersome foam padding. Check out their website. There is even a video with Worrell's designer Dan Clements taking you through the design process behind this stroller. While the contraption looks way too bulky for me, I really like the concept and the way it looks! A modern take on the classic stroller.

If you are using a stroller and are happy with it, do leave a recommendation!

Diaper Review

When identifying the best disposable diapers, many factors come into play: Absorbency, fastener quality, fit, affordability and most importantly, resistance to leaks. While many parents swear by the more established brands such as Pampers, there are actually more affordable brands out there that are just as good, if not better, for your babies.

Here is a review of the diapers we have tried on Vera, by self-professed diaper expert Dr. Z. Daddy. We welcome feedback and reviews on other brands you have tried.

Brand: Nepia (6-12kg)
Price: 35 cents per piece
Rating: 5 out of 5 (highly recommended)
Review: Cloth-like material. Velcro-like fastener (good). Resistant to poo and pee leaks. High absorbency. Good value for money

Brand: EQ (6-12kg)
Price: 25 cents per piece
Rating: 4 out of 5 (Recommended)
Review: Cheaper version of Nepia. Plastic sticky-tape fastener (not as good). Cloth-like material not as soft as Nepia. Resistant to poo and pee leaks. High absorbency. Great value for money
Brand: Pampers New Born (<5kg)>Price: 50 cents per piece
Rating: 3 out of 5
Review: Soft cotton-like material. Good resistance to pee leaks but not poo leaks. Velcro fastener. Equipped with pee meter. Expensive since you have to change 7-8 times a day for newborns.

Brand: Pampers Baby Dry (4-8kg)
Price: 35 cents per piece
Rating: 4 out of 5
Review: Not as soft as Pampers new-born. Good Absorbency. Better resistance to poo leaks. Velcro fastener. Good value for money.

Brand: Drypers Baby Diapers (3-7kg)
Price: 20 cents per piece
Rating: 1 out of 5
Review: Poor resistance to pee and poo leaks. We stopped using after a few tries

Brand: Fitti Baby Diapers (5-11kg)
Price: 29 cents per piece
Rating: 1 out of 5
Review: Poor resistance to pee and poo leaks. We stopped using after one try.

Little Jules

What a great way to commemorate and celebrate the birth of your little one! More lovely handcrafted pieces can be found at Little Jules online store.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

How to develop healthy eating habits in your baby

1. Don't overfeed your baby. Watch for cues that he's full.

2. Don't try to make your child eat food he doesn't like. Respect his preferences and avoid power struggles over food.

3. Try to provide a balance of protein, carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables. Use sweets, salts, and fats in moderation.

4. Avoid fast food for as long as possible.

5. Don't bribe or reward your child with food. Instead, offer plenty of hugs, kisses, and attention.

6. Feed your baby in his highchair whenever possible, rather than in front of the television or on the go.

{advice from Babycentre}

Friday, May 25, 2007


double click on image to view video

Bananas are a great first food for your baby. Research indicates that bananas and their mucosal properties actually help coat the tummy and help aid in digestion. Bananas are sweet, which may help baby more readily accept the first food experience.

Learn more about bananas and if it's true that sweet fruits and veggies should not be introduced first at Wholesomebabyfood.

From the Hips

This book just came out this week. I have not read it but apparently lots of people, including Gwyneth Palthrow, are already raving about it and given it their stamp of approval. It was written by recent moms and longtime friends Rebecca Odes and Ceridwen Morris when they couldn't find the kind of book they were looking for when they were pregnant and just had their children. Apparently, it offers tips on everything during pregnancy to integrating the baby into your home. There's also a helpful resource guide to all things baby related. You can go to Amazon for more information.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Fresh Baby Food Trays

I usually prepare Vera's food at the beginning of the week and store them up in my Fresh Baby container in the freezer. This container is pretty much like an ice cube tray, except that it has a cover to prevent the pureed food from spilling out and food odours from getting in. When it is time for her meal, I would de-frost the cube. 1 cube = 1 ounce serving. Very simple and convenient!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

PBS Parents

I just found this amazing website called PBS Parents. I love PBS documentaries as I find them very responsible in educating the public and are interesting to watch as well.

There are many wonderful resources on PBS parents. They have useful advice on various topics, such as how to instill creativity in your child and insights to understanding how your child thinks, feels and learns from infancy.

For instance, they say that while very young babies cannot paint or make up a poem, they actively engage in playful exploration of their environments. They explore with their senses as they look, listen, feel, and test their influence.

"To promote the openness to experience that underlies and expands playful exploration, try holding or "wearing" your infant in a soft carrier (such as a sling, a front carrier, or a traditional baby wrap worn on the back). The pre-mobile infant will have a new and dynamic point of view. He will not only have more experiences than in a seat or swing, but will also feel the caregiver's own emotional responses to these experiences through the adult's heartbeat, breathing patterns, skin temperature, and muscle tension. Assuming a confident, competent adult is holding him, he learns openness to a variety of experiences."

I knew I was doing something right with carrying Vera in the pouch!

Monday, May 21, 2007

First Leap Forward

double-click image to view video

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Craft ideas for kids

Looking for some fun craft ideas to do with your kids. I did a post on Lorena Siminovich's work in my laissezfaire design blog that may inspire you to pick up the scissors and glue stick. Do check it out!

Wild Rocket

Mommy and I went to Wild Rocket this afternoon with Auntie Yueh Bing. We had a wonderful time there. The place was beautifully done up and the food was excellent. One of the waiters, Uncle Sam, even carried me around the restaurant and played with me while mommy had her lunch. Thanks Uncle Sam!

And to Chef Uncle Willin, we are so happy that you have pursued your dreams and are so passionate in what you do. Mommy still remembers you cooking for her and your friends at Sentosa chalet for free. Now she must pay. hahaha...Keep up the good food!

{picture from left: Mommy, me and Aunty Yueh Bing at Wild Rocket}

Friday, May 18, 2007

Potty Bench

I was doing my daily web surfing/shopping today when I came across this company, Boon inc. Boon specialises in producing innovative products for children, like this training toilet with site storage called the "Potty Bench". This training toilet comes with 2 enclosed side storage spaces for organising potty training supplies, and has a pull out drawer for easy sanitory clean-up. Sure makes toilet training look fun!

{image from Boon}

Sitting up

Last night, I left Vera lying on the floor with her toys while I tended to some things. The next thing I knew, she was in this position doing a split and grinning at me! This is the first time I have seen her sitting up all by herself. Imagine my excitment when I saw it!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Drinking from the bucket

For some reason, Vera likes the bucket the most out of all her toys. She would spend endless time just fiddling with it and pretending to drink from it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Asleep on the bumbo

Vera gets a haircut

Whenever I take Vera out, she will never fail to attract scores of aunties on the streets, especially cleaners and store owners. The conversation often goes like this...


Street auntie: Wah, ah yo! Baby hen cute leh! Boy boy hai she ger ger? (Wow, this baby is really cute! Is it a boy or a girl?)

Me: Ger Ger. (She is a girl)

Vera: smiles =)

Street auntie: Wah, hui xiao leh! Hen cute leh! ( Wow, she can smile! She is really adorable!)

Street auntie (looking at me): Tou fa mei you gen ta jian, ah? ( You haven't cut her hair?)

Me: aaah. (yes, I have not cut her hair)


I actually like Vera's hair messy. Like a crazy baby einstein. But I admit her fringe seems to be blocking her vision. Plus it has been getting really hot in Singapore recently. So, I decided that yes, it is time to whip up the scissors.

These are the Before and After shots...

Wanted to give her the uber-short-fringe-avante-garde-cool cut. Nor bad, right? I am a certified hairdresser trained at TCC, aka Thomson Community Centre, ok!

I am keeping the cut hair as a keepsake.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Vera likes oatmeal!

We introduced Vera to oatmeal cereal today. She really loved it! As usual, she gave a "Yucks!! Are your seriously feeding me this??" look when we fed her the first spoonfool but by the end of it, she was literally licking the spoon and asking for more that I dashed to give her a second serving. Success!

This is what we gave her. I tried it myself. It is delicious!

The kids survival kit

I chanced upon this design by David Granath recently. His design task during a 2-day workshop with IDEO was to identify a behaviourial problem connected to food and from that design a product. The objective is not to solve the problem (not that he could) but to bring light on the behaviour itself. The behaviour he picked was the battle between parent and child, where the parent try to control the child through the food and the child is testing boundries by refusing.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Diluted pear juice

Daddy is away in Germany so it is just Vera and Mommy for 2 weeks. Vera had her first sip of diluted pear juice from a sipper cup today. She was quite facinated with the cup and the contents. Daddy, if you are reading this, we miss you!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Food trays

I finally got my act together and drove to the organic grocer's for some apples, pears and bananas. The organic fruits were almost 3 times the price of the "normal" ones but I decided that Vera deserves nothing less than organic. Especially in the first year. After that, she will pretty much eat what the rest of us eats but first year on earth, Food = mommy's milk + pesticide free organic food.

It was lots of fun blending the fruits in the mini-blender and distributing it in the food trays for freezing. Each fruit made 3-4 servings. So we are set for the next 10-12 days.

Vera had her first serving of puree pear. She is slowly leaning to open her mouth and chew a little. but she didn't seem to like the pear all that much. I read somewhere that it is normal for babies not to like semi-solids all that much when they are first introduced to it as it is quite different to milk.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Tips for making your own baby food

  • Buy organic fruits and vegetables. Your baby deserves pesticide-free foods. Scrub fruits and vegetables extra well with a vegetable brush. Trim stringy parts and remove any part of the food that could cause choking, such as pits, peels, and seeds. Trim excess fat off poultry and meat.

  • Steam vegetables. This softens them, makes them easier to chew, and preserves more of the vitamins and minerals than boiling.

  • No need to add salt or sugar. Try a bit of lemon juice as both a preservative and a natural flavor enhancer.

  • Avoid deep-frying, which adds unhealthy fats to foods.

  • Don't feel you have to prepare separate meals for your baby. You can simply take portions of your adult food (before you add any strong seasonings) and grind or mash to a stage appropriate for your baby.

  • Make enough for several meals at a time and pour the freshly-cooked and pureed food into an ice cube tray. Cover with cellophane wrap and freeze. Then, remove the frozen food cubes from the tray and store in air-tight freezer bags. Remove one serving-size cube at a time when needed.

  • When baby graduates from cube-size portions, store the homemade food in recycled commercial baby food jars or small, plastic, freezer containers. Be sure not to fill the jars to the brim, as food expands as it freezes.

  • Label all your freezer packages with contents and date and rotate stock like the supermarket does – putting the most recently frozen foods behind the previously frozen ones. Homemade baby foods can be safely kept frozen for three months.

  • For slow thawing, place a day's worth of baby food in the refrigerator. It will thaw in about four hours. For fast thawing, use an electric warming dish or place a heat-safe dish over water in a small saucepan and heat gently.

  • If you use a microwave to thaw or warm baby food, be sure to stir the food well to avoid hot pockets.

  • No matter what method of heating and thawing you use, stir the food well and test it with your finger to be sure it's not too hot.

  • To avoid wasting your carefully prepared cuisine, dole out small portions. Gradually add more, using a clean spoon as needed.

(source: AskDrSears)

Suggested ages for introducing allergenic foods

You can find more information on food allergies on AskDrSears

Fresh Fruit

(Makes 4 food cubes)

Try different varieties of fruit in this recipe.

- 3/4 cup ripe fruit (uncooked peaches, nectarines, bananas, pears, apricots, apples)
- 1 teaspoon unsweetened fruit juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon-flavored water (1 teaspoon lemon juice to 1 cup water to prevent darkening)

Remove skin and seeds from fruit. Puree ingredients in baby food mill or blender until smooth. Serve or freeze.

(recipe from Wholesome baby food from scratch)

Introducing Semi-Solids

We started Vera with semi-solids a week ago at 6 months. Before that, she was breastfed exclusively. As recommended by most websites I came across, organic rice cereal mixed with breast milk was what we start with.

You should have seen the shocked look on Vera's face when we first gave her her first spoonful of rice cereal. "Stunned". She literally froze and stared at us without moving her mouth. Then slowly, she began to chew. By the end of the feeding session, she was really into the rice cereal and even snatching the spoon from us.

However, just about a few days ago, we could tell she was getting bored with the rice cereal. So we decided that it is probably time to introduce something else. I did some research on the web and found out that other starter foods like pears, banana and applesauce are recommended at 6 months.

I will try this a new fuit recipe on her at lunch today.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Vera's first media release

This was featured in the Straits Times "Life" on 6 May 2007. Vera was all smiles during the photoshoot for this article on "New Immigrants".