4th staycation at Crowne Plaza Hotel

so.. the boring family went for a staycation at Crowne Plaza Hotel AGAIN!

on our third stay, we were given a free upgrade to the suite and it was so shiok that fat X decided to book the suite again for our fourth stay!

the room

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this was the toilet at the room entrance

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the room was pretty dark when we first entered. it had a long work desk and a sofa. excited kid was not part of the room.

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while i was busy taking pictures, the phua’s had already started exploring the place.

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the “pantry” area with coffee machine (which we did not use at all), electric kettle, and an assortment of teas and coffee beverages.

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the main sleeping area, with king-sized bed

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the wardrobe area that is the size of a small HDB bedroom!

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the main bathroom with two sinks, a bathrub on the left, and shower stall and toilet on the right. kpo baby sold separately.

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excited children behaving like they’ve never been to a bathroom before.

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eldest son chilling on the bed, watching TV.

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kiki and cj chilling out at the Lounge, where nice coffee and cookies are served for VIP guests. all. day. long.

you see.. that’s why we did not touch the coffee machine in the room at all. why make your own coffee when there are people who can make nice coffee for you?

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nice floral centerpiece on the coffee table.

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someone wondering if the flowers are edible

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had to buy snacks to keep her seated TuT

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the sofa in front of the study desk? it opens up to a bed (and this was where the twins slept!)

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silly baby had so much fun falling into the mattress :’D

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random photo of baby shoes because.. i think the nicest thing about having a girl is this. baby girl shoes are too cute!

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i love this photo! the didi and meimei hiding behind a wall, ready to jump on the papa and gor gor.. hee hee..

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meimei checking out the gym

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wefie on the sofa bed :’D

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when you have three young kids, it’s tough to get a photo where everyone looks into the camera

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you end up with pictures like this

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after about 100 tries, you finally get one where everyone is looking at the camera, but your eldest son is out of focus.. >.<

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happy twins on carousel

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happy girl eating popcorn

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happy twins eating cotton candy

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curious twins checking out the info

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happy twins on train ride

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junpig going for arm painting

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junpig showing off his arm painting

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happy twins riding some stuff..

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they look like they’re gonna crush the poor “animals”

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happy baby with her popcorn.. 真容易满足!

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baby playing with slide for the first time :’D

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fattest babe at the playground lah

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twins reading and playing at the main door..

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真可怜

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twins distracted by the geronimo books

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when there is food, nobody seems to care about the camera..

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family wefie

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mupig and me <3

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kiki looking very lost

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junpig and me <3

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回家咯!

overall, it was a great staycation! although it’s already our fourth time here, the kids were not bored with the activities because this time round it was “The Great American Vacation” and there were lots of free activities for the young. not to mention the free popcorn and cotton candy!

Happy CNY!

Happy  猴年 to you!! My origami monkeys and 财神爷 sibeh cute right?

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Thanks to my total lack of self-control (i single-mouthedly finished one tub of love letters in a week), i fell sick just before the arrival of fire monkey. So i was down with a clogged sinus, painful throat, and headache from hell on 初一。

Then, little kiki developed fever on 初二。

I was supposed to start work today  (初三) but kiki was still feverish.

My downstairs gp was still enjoying his cny bak kwa and whatnot (a.k.a. his clinic was closed today) and i was desperate for a child mc (also, because I’m running out of fever meds and have no flu meds at home) so i registered kiki at the pd clinic next door.

TERRIBLE MISTAKE.

i registered at 10-ish in the morning and at around 11, i was told to return at 12pm to see the doc. Our queue number was 33 and when we returned at 12, the queue number was like 22. It was 19 when we left  meaning the doctor only saw like 3 patients in an hour? And the saddest thing is.. i saw the SAME PEOPLE waiting in the clinic. Don’t these people have anything better to do? Life is too precious to be spent inside a clinic, waiting to see a doctor.
The clinic staff told me to go home and come back at 2.45pm. Yeah right, i am so going to spend my day off rushing to and fro just so i could get some fever and cold meds from an overpaid doctor.

I brought kiki home and set off to the shops near tiong bahru plaza, because there are so many clinics there, surely one of them must be open right?

I was so elated when i saw people sitting outside dr chua’s clinic. HIS CLINIC WAS OPEN!!!

The best thing was.. the clinic does not break for lunch and i was told to come back in an hour’s time to see the doc and when we went over after an hour, we really went in to see the doc! No bullshit about coming back at 4pm etc. 真是爱死他了!

I have never brought my kids to see a pd and this is exactly why. Freaking waste of time. Why do you need to see a specialist for common shit like flu and fever?

Ok i shall end my rant. Really need to get this shit off my chest  ^_^;

Let’s now admire some wefies we took on 初一 while waiting for tb to finish pooping. I really hope he kicks this habit. 每次要出门了才要大便。knn..

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Every birdie smile for the camera!

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Every birdie still smiling..

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Kiki quickly got bored.. look at her stone face when the three of us were monkeying around.. 可见默契是要培养的!我们母子怎么说也有了六年多的默契了!

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and her wtf face.. haha haha..

ok lah, 不聊了.. now junpig is having fever also and i need to make another trip to dr chua’s clinic.. le sigh ~

Shopping for makeup has become a family affair

This has been an extraordinary year so far. We’ve been to two staycations, brought the twins to bangkok and hokkaido for short trips and i even went for an all-girls trip to bangkok with my sister and sister-in-law.
We also sent back our indonesian domestic helper who was with us for the past four years. well, that seemed like the end of all my good luck with domestic helpers. The next two caused us many problems and I’ve been handed the maid duties officially in mid July.
so yeah.
Anyways in the midst of all the struggles with a full time job and after-work affairs, my friend introduced me to the world of cute makeup and i somehow managed to get the whole family hooked on it : ‘D

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Happy girls sneaking out on a weekday afternoon

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The pretty packaging.. this is why i now have two blushers, one of which is PURPLE.

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the shop gives out cute freebies like this bracelet and charms! You can use it to bling up a boring handbag or..

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bling up your wrist!

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The following weekend, I brought Xxxx along with me when we went to the new outlet at vivo city and we left the store with so much stuff that they had to give me a bigger shopping bag because the normal paper bag was bursting : ‘D

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This is the “main attraction” for the three boys. They had so much fun playing with the catcher machine!

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Even a 6 year old can catch some goodies!

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They also have the bracelet with a full set of charms. It comes with purchase of this bb cushion. I have like 4 or 5 new cushions at home so of course i bought this to add to my collection.

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How cute is this mini fan shaped like an ice cream cone!!

RIP Mr Lee Kuan Yew

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Our first prime minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew passed away peacefully on Monday 23 March 2015, at 3.18am.

He may not be loved by everyone but we can’t deny the fact that Singapore would have turned out completely different (and perhaps not in a good way) without his vision and his way of running the country.

For a start, I probably wouldn’t be blogging in English at all. I would still be bilingual though – in Mandarin and Hokkien. If not for the Land Acquisition Act, I would most probably be still living in a wooden house in Lim Chu Kang (or some faraway land in the outskirts of Singapore).

Most importantly, if our economic growth had been poor and unemployment rate had been high, I might even be separated from my children now, leaving them in the care of my mum while I struggled to earn a decent living overseas. Erm.. It’s difficult to imagine the kind of job opportunities I would have though, given that I would be bilingual in Mandarin and Hokkien.

Despite bitching about the country, I do love her and appreciate everything I have.

Thank you for everything, Mr Lee. You have given us a Singapore we are proud to call home.

Happy new year!!

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Happy new year, every birdie!!

2014 has certainly been a year of change for me. New job, new baby, new car, new camera and a new post-baby body that i still struggle to come to terms with >.< Here's a little conversation I had with junpig 5 minutes ago.. Cj: 妈咪要带妹妹出去,把她卖掉。 Junpig: 不可用!因为妹妹是我的 LOVE!

Pretties

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1 – soft toy for baby
2 – stamps inside metal box
3 – stainless steel one-push bottle
4 – microwaveable boxes with small handkerchief
5 – small face towel

My “surprise” Christmas pretties arrived on Christmas eve. The smart tb had been stalking my online shopping after i dropped hints on how NOT to get something I dun like :’D

Happy Christmas and i hope you’re loving your gifts this year too!

The great realization

Yesterday was somewhat special. It was the year – end concert for the twins’ school. All of us were terribly excited about it because they might be five years old but it was their first time on stage! (Remember how often they used to suffer from hfmd? They “happened to” contract it around last year’s event and we had to give it a miss)

While other mothers were quietly wiping away their tears of pride when seeing their little ones perform on stage, I was struggling to contain the gush of emotions when the biggest realization of the day hit me hard.

I FUCKING NEED A NEW CAMERA.

Yes, we do not have a single decent video or photo of the boys on the stage because the camera was such a piece of crap.

Should have just focused on enjoying the whole performance instead of struggling with the camera (it was a lost cause anyway. . )

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Anyways, here’s ending with a totally irrelevant photo of my shoes. Happy Sunday!

生日快乐

生日快乐,爸爸!
今年我们果然多了个白白胖胖的女宝宝。
你如果看到了一定很开心 🙂

going natural :)

how it began

it all started when i got pregnant last september. suddenly, everything that contained some sort of artificial fragrance disagreed with me. these include shampoo, conditioner, shower foam, laundry detergent, laundry softener, floor cleaner and even my skincare products, which unfortunately contained tons of fragrance as i switched to cheap korean products when i stopped working X’D

that was when i stopped caring about personal hygiene started to explore what i could use to keep myself clean X’D

dr bronner’s soap

the first product i tried was the famous Dr. Bronner’s castile soaps (i bought mine from this seller in Qoo10 – not affiliated to her in anyway, but i think it’s the cheapest Dr. Bronner’s in SG). i started using the soap as a body wash, face wash, and shampoo. obviously, i preferred staw-like hair to puking in the shower, but it was surprisingly great as a facial and body wash though!

after consulting the internet, i even started to use it on my laundry and this helped to prevent me from puking when putting on my clothes :’D

skincare

somewhere in my first trimester, a close friend introduced me to eu yan sang skincare (you can order the products online and have them delivered to your doorstep! and no, this is not an affiliated link, just sharing because why would you want to carry your own birds nest, chicken essence, facial cleansers etc when someone can deliver them to you?)

according to friends who were also using this brand of skincare, there is almost no scent. but my sharp and sensitive nose picked up quite a distinct scent back then. fortunately my stomach did not react to the scent and so i continue to use this brand till this day 😀

i have tried the birds nest series, the ginseng eye cream and facial foam. the products are gentle and great for my dehydrated skin without causing any greasiness and blackouts! WIN!

oh and all the skincare products are free from parabens, fragrance and SLS!

essential oils

around my first trimester, i was falling sick every week and also really sick of having the twins fall sick ALL THE TIME, so i finally decided to try the increasing popular Thieves blend from Young Living (an MLM company). it took my friend almost a year to convince me to buy my first bottle because i am always skeptical when it comes to MLMs.

but then, the products really worked (!!!) and i started buying more and more. in the 11 months of using various essential oils, junpig has contracted HFMD just once (and recovered in like 1 day). although both of them developed a mysterious 40-degree fever sometime during my third trimester but that cleared up in 3 days (it used to take a week for them to recover from such mysterious high fevers). also, fat X was the only one who came down with different bugs each month while the kids and I continue to be well protected by the oils!

the most awesome thing is.. while applying the oils for the twins, i somehow benefited from the oils because i stopped falling sick for the rest of my pregnancy! in fact, the only time i had to see a GP was like two months ago when i had mastitis while trying to stop breastfeeding!

so yeah.. moral of the story is –> before you condemn something, do give it a try!

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my 5 favourite oils throughout my pregnancy (L to R):

Joy – great as a mood-lifter. i can’t describe the shitty emotions i was going through during and after the pregnancy. but this *really* helped. especially during massive crying episodes. Joy! Oh, Joy!
Lavender – rubbed on soles before bed, this helped me fall asleep more easily even after my 100th visit to the loo at night!
Valor – this is super for back pain! (i was one of the unfortunate ones to suffer from tailbone pain during this pregnancy. it was a pain like no other.)
Gentle Baby – i started using Gentle Baby for my backaches when Valor went oos. it helped a little but the soothing scent is the real reason why i love it so much that i bought a backup bottle (in case it goes oos. as Young Living gains popularity, many of the oils also go oos pretty fast :P)
Peppermint – a drop under the tongue is all it takes to stop the giddiness and vomiting urge! in fact, i HAD to bring this to work everyday in my last trimester!

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most useful oils for my kids (L to R):

Purification – I mainly diffuse this oil to purify the air (when fat X is sick and i do not want the twins to catch the virus from him) and to keep mozzies away!
Thieves – there are many uses for thieves but i mainly rub it onto the soles for the twins at bed time. i also made a simple spray and spray it all over the twins’ clothes and bedsheets (the sheets they bring to school) to prevent them from catching weird viruses while in school.
Breathe Again – great for congested airways and i really like the smell XD
RC – i diffuse RC and also apply it on the twins’ chests and backs to help manage night time coughs.
Lavender – not pictured here. Lavender is AWESOME as a first-aid oil, anti-histamine, and relaxing oil. i have used it on wounds and scrapes on the knees, wounds inside the mouth (when one falls flat on the face, one inevitably ends up with some cuts inside the mouth), allergic conjunctivities. i also drip a drop onto baby summer’s bedsheet every night to make her sleep better (i may jinx myself by typing it out but IT REALLY WORKS! *keeps fingers crossed in case i jinx myself*)

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lastly, i would like you guys to meet my new friend:

Deep Relief – i was diagnosed with de Quervain’s tenosynovitis about a month ago and thought that it would get better after i went back to work. the pain did not improve and got worse. i have been using PanAway for about a week but it didn’t help much. when my order of Deep Relief arrived yesterday i started using it immediately. while the pain is not eliminated completely, it does provide some relief from the pain! Also, roller cap FTW!
i am praying that the inflammation quickly goes away 🙁

no-poo

since i felt nauseated whenever i was in the shower, i skipped using conditioner altogether throughout my pregnancy. meanwhile i was also reading up on no-poo. while i was keen to try it out, i wasn’t so keen to be seen in public during the “transition period” where your hair and scalp simply goes crazy until some balance is established.

i then decided that my maternity leave provided the best opportunity for me to experiment with no-poo!

i was already using dr bronner’s as a shampoo somewhere in my pregnancy and while i was glad i could still wash my hair without choking on the smell of the shampoo, i wasn’t really happy with hair that feels and look like straw. i continued to use it despite all the problems it was giving me (dry hair, oily and itchy scalp). but the last straw came when i realized that i had DANDRUFF.

then i tried the baking soda and vinegar rinse for a while. didn’t like it and was on the verge of switching back to commercial shampoos when i chanced upon SHAMPOO BARS while shopping on iherb!! I buy a fuckload of stuff from iherb nowadays. (Use the code ZNQ770  to get $10 off your first purchase and also help me earn some credits for my next purchase! 😛

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(although this isn’t exactly no-poo) i have been using these babies for about a month now and i think this is it :’D

the soap lathers really well and smells mild but pleasant (the fragrance does not linger on your hair after rinsing off). hair feels squeaky when wet (in hokkien i would describe it as siab siab) but dries soft and clean. since my hair does not tangle i don’t use any conditioner at all.

i bought Damaged Hair Formula, Virgin Coconut and Argan Oil, and Old-Fashioned Bar Shampoo and i’m still at my first bar. Since I’ve gotten used to the squeaky feeling it’s actually my perfect solution now 😉

what i can’t give up

nail polish.

nail polish.

nail polish.

i love painting my nails and i love looking at my painted nails XD

i also love to just pull out one of my nail polish drawers and admire.. hee hee..

P/S: i discovered wordpress app, installed it on my phone, completed this blog post, published it, edited it, and then ACCIDENTALLY DELETED IT (how stupid can i get?). the app makes it so convenient to blog from my phone (who has time to sit in front of a computer nowadays?) but the RTE sucks TuT