The dreaded Hand-Foot-Mouth-Disease

The bub is sick again!

We had been a little edgy the last two days as her classmate was down with the dreaded Hand-Foot-Mouth-Disease (HFMD) otherwise known as the no-meaning disease where there is no vaccine and the body doesn’t build immunity against the disease after getting it. There are many strains to HFMD and if you are down with it, you gain immunity from the strain of HFMD that you caught but that doesn’t stop you from getting it again.

This time she’s down with a fever and a throat infection (we had hoped) which was later diagnosed as HFMD.  HFMD brings a lot of discomfort to the child and worse, adults are not spared and adults get it a lot worse. So, every time we get an email from the school with the subject : HFMD, I pray that it’s not anyone from her class who caught it.

So when the helper sent a text to say that the Bub was running a fever of 38 degrees on Friday, my heart sank a little and had hoped that she wouldn’t catch the dreaded HFMD. I guess to put my panicky thoughts to ease, I sent her to our paed just to have it checked out. Turned out she was running a mild fever and perhaps a throat infection (which she’s prone to getting). He did tell us that we should still watch out for spots in her mouth, hands and feet and continue to monitor her temperature. Two days later, we saw spots in her mouth and she complained that her throat was painful. 😦 We sent her to the doctor over the weekend and confirmed that she was down with HFMD. I only hope that she won’t get it that bad.

Falling sick is part and parcel of growing up but every time she falls sick, the Man and I as parents always feel helpless and wished that her falling sick wouldn’t be that often. We have now amassed a long list of the temperatures that she ran whenever she’s down with a fever. The Man said to me on Friday night as we sponged her together while she was asleep “I wonder when she grows up next time, will she laugh at us for keeping a record of all of her fevers? I wonder how often we fell sick when we were young and how our parents dealt with it?” I guess our parents just dealt with it the same way as we are dealing with the Bub’s condition – with meds, rest and loads of tender loving care.

img_9178For now, the Bub is still very active. She’s been confined indoors a good part of the weekend and so far, we’ve finished two Disney movies – Beauty and the Beast plus Aladdin, she ate up all the fishball and minced pork porridge that I made for her and played dress-up with her new Princess Belle costume.

img_9163Get well real soon my little Bub!

And how are we dealing with HFMD at home? She’s got her arsenal of meds from the doctor. For us, we are just sanitising our hands with Safe Hands and keeping the home clean with our sanitising kit from Our Lifestyle Shop.

Show and Tell: Making of a 3D tree

So we get a weekly email from the Bub’s school teachers informing the parents some of the activities that the kids are involved in for the week. Occasionally, we do get emails from her teachers requesting for the parents to work with the child on specific projects to prep the child for their show-and-tell segment.

Well, some of the projects ain’t too difficult. Usually, there’s a theme and we have to try our best to involve our child in the activity. Thank goodness for Google and Pinterest too where ideas on how to bring some of the projects to life can also be readily sourced for too.

Our upcoming project for the Bub’s Show and Tell segment involved a 3D craft tree, possibly to get the little ones interested to care for nature. When I received the email from her Mandarin teacher, I kinda shuddered. “Man, these show-and-tell challenges are getting harder and she’s only in N1!” But I decided that in the spirit of being creative, these craft projects should not be looked upon as a chore but more like a fun thing to do with the child, plus her teacher was really quite sweet to share some examples of what sort of 3D trees the parents could possibly make with the child as examples in the email.

So I started researching or rather surfing for ideas on what I wanted to do. The Man’s idea of a craft tree was simply to repurpose an old toilet roll with some crushed green paper and a couple of red dots (for apples) to hand up as her assignment

img_8289Then I came across this 3D Paper Tree Craft over at Craft Palette which I thought would make for an interesting exhibit for the Bub’s show-and-tell. It did entail a little more work and crafting done in it but it does look kinda pretty if I manage to pull it off. So I decided that this will be the 3D Tree that I will attempt to make for the Bub!

img_7941My initial idea was to recycle cardboard boxes for the trunks of the tree and get the Bub to do finger-painting for the leaves of the tree.

img_7891The idea in my head seemed like it would work except that it didn’t quite work out the way that I had planned. Here’s why! The cardboard stock was simply too thick for the trunk. I had trouble even cutting out the shape of the trunk. Next, it was tough trying to get the Bub focus on painting specific colours for the leaves. We were literally all over the place. She wanted different colours for the leaves and the fruits of the tree. In the end, we made a mess of colourful prints which totally was not what I was looking for. But well, we had fun making the mess.

So off to Plan B in order to execute the craft tree ahead of the deadline!

While she took her nap, I zipped off to the nearest Popular Bookstore to purchase the items for the crafting of the tree. The Man was highly amused when he saw how focused I was to get the tree done for I still have some time but I usually like to give myself ample time to get things done ahead of deadlines. So to construct the tree wasn’t all too difficult. All that was needed was proper card stock, green crepe paper and craft glue.

img_8122I used the template that was provided on Craft Palette for the tree and cut the shape for the tree trunks. It was team work for the Man was also involved in helping to assemble the tree – sticking all the different portions of the cardboard – while I finished with the cutting of the leaves.

img_8123The almost-finished tree! I decided to salvage some of the Bub’s fingerprinted craft work by adding apples on the tree.

img_8126Getting there with some apples on the tree. Decided to call it a night after spending 1.5 hours seated on the floor to come up with this craft tree.

img_7887Well, it still needed more apples to make the tree look a little more vibrant so I engaged the Bub in another finger-painting activity the next day. Again, she was more interested to have purple and orange apples instead of red ones so we did a rainbow spectrum of apples just for her amusement.

There you have it, the final product for her little show-and-tell segment with her little friends. I wondered how she fared at the session but from the pictures, it does look like the kids had fun.

img_4904One down and another project for this Mama to complete before her next Show-and-Tell that’s due in 2 weeks! Gulp….

Cooking with our Bruno Hotplate

I don’t cook much these days but I felt like stuffing my face with carbs one evening for dinner. Well, it was one of those days and carbs plus chocolate (alcohol too) somehow does make it feel somewhat better.

My MIL was out and I thought I  just whip up something simple for the helper and myself. Felt like cooking something too and the compact Bruno Hotplate that we got was just perfect for such an occasion.

img_8574I popped into the supermarket to get the ingredients – namely the Pasta sauce and the helper prepped all the other items needed for me to whip up this dish on the dining table. We are taking about brocoli, boiled pasta shells, cocktail sausages, chopped shallots and garlic. Well, it was that simple.

img_8572This was made on my dining table using the Nabe Pot add-on that was fixed to the Bruno.

img_8583And it seriously made for a really satisfying meal though I did feel a little guilty after. ;p

Valentine’s Day

Hello there..

Nope, not expecting anything special for Valentine’s Day but it would still be nice to mark the occasion with a little something extra for my little family (one whom I love dearly).

And what better way to commemorate the highly-raved day (one that’s probably created for retailers to sell more stuff) with this customised photo-printed marshmallows from MarshSG. I chanced upon their IG account and thought they would make a really cool gift for both the Man and the Bub.

When she presented the gift (on my behalf) to her Dad, the Man was touched by the gesture but the ultimate beneficiary of this gift was clearly the Bub who couldn’t wait to sink her teeth into her fave sweet treat.

I mean, just check out that face. That said, she wasn’t selfish in wanting the entire box for herself. So she distributed them all to the rest of us.

While she happily chomped down her square marshmallow which we told her would make up her daily quota of sugar intake. In fact, it was slightly more than what we would have given her but well, it was a lead up to Valentine’s Day so I felt indulgent as a mother. 🙂

img_8187We all know that the prices of flowers would usually cost slightly more during this time and while I will not be expecting a bouquet of flowers to land on my lap. I thought it would be nice to just hold on to a bouquet and just grab a pic with my little one. [Note: Bouquet was kindly loaned to us by my sis who received the bouquet from my future bro-in-law! Hehe] That said, my mini Valentine definitely fared better than the Man for last Thursday after her Berries class, she came up to me and said 妈妈,我爱你 (Mummy, I love you!) and that was simply music to my ears!

img_8220To my mini Valentine, your face lights up my world! Regardless of whatever expression you may have! 🙂 Daddy and I will always LOVE you…

And to the Man, Happy Valentine’s Day! I know you always tell me you don’t celebrate the occasion and I shouldn’t be expecting anything, but it’s still nice to give you a shout out on this special day where millions celebrate the day of L.O.V.E! MUACKS!

Punishing the Bub

So far we have dealt with the Bub’s toddler tantrums, toddler meltdowns and basically learnt how to navigate through the situation either by distracting her with something else (if we are out) or giving her the space to cry it out before going to her after she has calmed down to speak with her and resolve the problem.

Between the Man and myself, there isn’t a distinct ‘good cop’ or ‘bad cop’ role. We simply assume the bad cop role if needed there and then to deal with the situation. However, I think the Bub is a little more afraid of the Man as when he gets angry, he really does angry (think Incredible Hulk with clenched fists and a huge frown).

While a couple of our friends have already imposed the ‘Time Out’ and ‘Face the Wall’ as a form of discipline. We’ve so far done it once or twice to the Bub when she refused to eat her food and started throwing her utensils at the table. After crying and apologising, she would come back to the table and go back to having her meal.

Last weekend, we were having dinner and I fed Bub her rice. Yes, while she is capable of feeding herself, sometimes she fusses and so it’s easier for us adults to feed her. She knows that when she’s done with her meal, all she needed to say is “I’m done!” and depending on how much she has eaten, that’s the cue for us to stop feeding her. I was more than happy to stop feeding her had she said that but instead, she let out a couple of wails and then flung her plate of rice off the table.

The Man was furious and slammed the dinner table almost immediately when he saw the plate fly off the table. He spoke to the Bub in a stern tone as to why she did that when all she could do was to tell me that she’s already full. The Bub knowing that she was in the wrong simply refused to make any eye-contact with him and simply stared down at the table. The Man continued asking her why she did what she did and whether she knew what she did was wrong. She remained silent through the whole series of questioning.

img_7688The Man prompted to pick her up from her high chair and then placed in front of the wall. She was asked to reflect whether her actions were right and when she was ready to admit her mistake and apologise to us, she could come back to the table.

img_7689The time-out session lasted all of 2 minutes (at most). She knew she was in the wrong despite being somewhat stubborn initially. She walked over, apologised for swiping the dinner plate off the table.

There sure are no shortcuts to parenting and even though it’s hard, discipline is necessary just like the quote that my cousin shared.

Discipline is caring more about a person’s future attitudes, personality, and perspective rather than their current comfort.

Donald McCafferty

Bye-bye baby toxins! Say hello to Dapple..

[Sponsored review]

Now that Bubba is nearly three, it’s not entirely necessary that we stick to baby dishwashing liquid and detergent for her. But you know what? I still prefer to do that as the child’s skin is still pretty sensitive and some of the brands available out there might be too harsh for the skin. So for this reason, we decided to let her continue using baby-safe products till she’s much older.

When she was much younger, we’ve used brands such as Pigeon, Kodomo, Pureen, Method, Attitude and Bio-Home. If you noticed the trend, we started switching to more environmentally-friendly products when she was a little older and we understood what the harmful effects of some of these chemicals/ toxins and the long-term effects that they have on our body. This includes allergens, irritants, dangerous synthetic additives, preservatives, fragrances or dyes.

As such, I’ve always been on the look-out to try out other brands out there that are not only baby-safe but also safe for the environment. Expanding our horizons also meant shopping beyond our shores but on sites such as iHerb or even shopping at the local supermarkets when we are overseas to see what’s available out there. Case in point, we did uncover a couple of baby-friendly products during our recent trip to Coles Supermarket in Gold Coast. But of course, due to luggage constraints, we didn’t bring everything back.

We received an email from the good folks at DearBaby who asked if we were keen to give Dapple home-cleaning products a try for the purpose of this review. I’ve seen Dapple products being sold on Red Mart and Agape Babies and have been wanting to try it out but never got the chance so the timing was just right for us to test the products and see if they would be ideal for our home/ Bubba.

I shared with Audrey our profile (ie: Bubba’s age, the types of household cleaners we would purchase to use specifically for Bubba) and she curated a list of products based on our lifestyle.

About Dapple:

Dapple is a pioneer in natural cleaners and healthy home products, specifically designed for households with babies. Started by two mums in 2008 in New York, Dapple was born because these mums wanted to take the guess work out of cleaning safely around kids. Trust me, this can be quite mind-boggling as shared earlier if half of the products available on the shelves claim to be baby-friendly and one actually has to scrutinise if the ingredients are truly child-friendly.

Powered by plant-based formula, Dapple products are designed specially to clean baby messes. All Dapple products use natural-based ingredients that are environmentally-safe, biodegradable, and free of parabens, SLES, and phthalates, as well as synthetic dyes or fragrances. That to me is a huge plus for I understood more than half of those harmful ingredients that I would avoid on products that I would actually use on myself, what more for the Bub.

What does this mean?

Not only is Dapple baby-safe which means generally safe for children, it is also kind to the environment. Dapple is a trusted brand of Healthy Child Healthy World and is also certified by the nonprofit B Lab to have met rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. That’s great to know given the growing popularity of green parenting in Singapore, Dapple will certainly appeal to this category of parents/ families who are more environmentally conscious.

Here’s what we received which we thought are all great for travelling to be honest!

img_7435For Surface Care: Dapple Food Grade Pacifier Wipes (25 pieces)

I did share with Audrey that Bubba is no longer using a pacifier so I wasn’t too sure if sending these over to us would actually come in handy. She told me that actually I would probably find this very useful as the wipes can also be used to clean utensils or surface areas (such as high-chairs, tables, cutlery) when we are out. Turned out to be true!

img_7438What we liked about the pacifier wipes is that it comes individually wrapped and it’s really very convenient. No more fishing out for your big pack of wet-wipes which may not necessarily give you that pure clean-on-the-go for your equipment. Another plus for this individual packaging is that you don’t have to worry about them drying out which we often get when we open a pack of wipes that we hardly use and over time, the entire pack just ‘dries out’. What we do is simply pop two or three of these towelettes into Bubba’s utensil pouch and this comes in handy to clean her cutlery when she’s done with eating when we are out.

img_7441

For Laundry Care: Dapple Baby Laundry Detergent Pods (25 pieces)

I’m usually quite picky when it comes to using the right laundry detergent for the Bub. It needs to be hypoallergenic (safe for babies’ skin), free of parabens and artificial fragrances. It doesn’t need to necessarily have any scent but that would be an added bonus if any.

img_7443Again a great accompaniment for overseas trips, these pods are easy and convenient to use. Each pod features a unique, natural enzyme package that specifically targets and cleans up all that spit-up and mushed food stains (things that your toddler would typically do to irk you and get their outfits all stained).

img_7583 I like that each pod is just sufficient for a laundry load of your child’s clothes, so all we needed to do is to throw in one of these pods to a load of laundry (3kg) which usually contained home-wear, school uniforms, towels and sometimes our wet-bags plus diaper bags.

For Dish Care: Dapple Baby Bottle & Dish Liquid (Apricot)

img_7445Seriously, Dapple does come up with a delicious-scented baby bottle and dish washing liquid. I was literally spoilt for choice when I had to narrow down to the preferred scent of our choice (couldn’t decide between Apple-Pear, Lavender or Apricot) so I opted for Apricot – something light and fruity.

Dapple Bottle & Dish Liquid is perfect for safely cleaning baby milk bottles, cups, pacifiers, cutlery and even breast pump components. It features an award-winning green technology that specifically targets milk residue with baking soda to combat odour. Again, as with the rest of the products under the Dapple umbrella, this is free of harmful chemicals such as SLS, SLES, artificial fragrances, dyes, parabens, , phthalates, 1,4-dioxane, chlorine, formaldehyde, and alcohol.

Be warned, this seriously smells so good that we wanted to basically wash our entire cutlery for the home using Bubba’s dishwashing liquid instead! Plus, it’s fast-rinsing and majority of the oil stains and milk residues from her milk bottles came out quickly that I didn’t have wash her bottles twice. Savings for one bottle of dishwashing liquid will probably last longer.

Pure ‘N’ Clean Baby Bottle & Dish Liquid (travel-sized)

img_7448While going through Dapple’s catalogue, I was also particularly pleased to find that travel-sized bottles are available for their Baby Bottle and Dish Liquid. I find that extremely useful as we travel quite a fair bit so it’s important that we bring along Bubba’s dishwashing liquid to wash her bottles and utensils when we are on-the-go (on the plane, on the roads, in hotels, etc). Also, I like the assurance of relying on something that we have been using rather than going to a foreign land and rushing out to the local supermarket/ convenience stores to purchase baby-friendly products. And these travel-sized bottles are great for these occasions (approved by security given that it’s 3 oz – under 100ml), at least I don’t have to look for other smaller bottles and transfer them. Priced at S$4.90, I think the price isn’t that expensive either.

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SPECIAL PROMOTION FOR READERS OF LADY J’S MUSINGS

Enjoy 15% off all Dapple products when you use the code “dapple15ladyj” at both DearBaby webstore (minimum order value of $20 nett for processing) and Dearbaby JEM store (#04-45). This code is valid until 28th Feb 2017 so I think this is a great time to take advantage of the offer and stock up these great household cleaning products that’s safe for your child and family. We are going to do that as well! 🙂

Disclaimer : lady J’s musings received the above-mentioned products from Dapple (DearBaby) for the purpose of this review. No additional monetary rewards were given. All views expressed are purely of my own and written according to my experience in using the products and services.