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miss ene eats: Ichiran ramen by the packet

Last month, the boy was in Tokyo and I told him that he had to go check out Ichiran ramen after seeing Lady J rave about it. Check out his entry here. Being the lovely husband that he is, he brought back a pack of it for me to try.

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The box seemed pretty weighty so I was pretty excited. Check out the contents.

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There are 6 packets of noodles with 3 packets of sauce. According to their website, this is to allow you to have noodle refill or an extra large bowl of noodles. Strangely enough, the instructions were all in Japanese. Alamak.

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Then again, it was pretty easy to guess from the pictures so I just went ahead accordingly.

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I had no idea how long to cook them for so once the noodles looked kinda cooked, I removed them and poured them into a ramen bowl. The boy won a set of ramen crockery from Ippudo Ramen in a contest a while ago and it was the first time I am using them. Check out the spoon specially for ramen!

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The verdict: It tasted pretty plain. More like soup with soya sauce! Ha. Probably also because it was plain noodles and soup without the important char siew or egg. We still have 4 packets of noodles left so shall try it again next time.

2

A (somewhat) typical day

I was asked to document a typical day of caring for Elliott. I took a while to do so because I was trying to get into a routine before doing so. He is almost 6 months old (already!) and still, I find it hard to pin down our routine exactly. I realise that I am not quite a clock watcher. I don’t fret about how long he naps, or when his next feed is. In fact, whenever my mum asks when is his next feed, I usually say “Dunno”. And that’s the truth.

I decided that when he’s hungry, he’d let me know, i.e. by crying. I have learnt how to discern his different cries – the want-to-sleep cry, the need-milk cry, the need-mummy cry, etc. I am also not fussed about how long or how much he drinks because as long as he’s meeting his weight/height milestones, I’m fine.

It wasn’t as easy writing this entry because as I’ve written, his typical day is never typical! Nonetheless, here it is, a day in the life of me as a pretend SAHM and my almost 6-month old.

 

9.30 am

The little man wakes. On a good day, he self entertains while I try and steal a couple more minutes of shut eye. Usually, not more than 10 minutes pass before I am woken up by screeching.

9.30 – 10.30 am
My mum entertains E while I eat swallow a quick breakfast and attempt to look decent. On some days, I forget to brush my teeth (gross but true). When we had the Jumperoo, we’d put him in there and he busies himself playing with the attached toys. I will also remove his pyjamas and change him out of his very-much-soaked-and-heavy diapers (we use Merries or MamyPoko. Both work well without leaking). He’d also play naked save for his diapers. This is also the magic hour where he is at his happiest and chirpiest, dishing out big smiles and chuckles.

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10.30 – 11 am

Time for a bath! We call it “shower! shower!”, said in a singsong tune. Whenever we do the “shower! shower!” call, E’s face lights up and he is beside himself with happiness. It is hilarious to watch! He kicks his legs enthusiastically and his eyes crinkle as he bursts into spontaneous giggles. Either my mum or I will prepare his bath water (we use California Baby’s Shampoo & Bodywash). We were gifted the Stokke Flexi Bath which is great as it is foldable. When E was much younger, we found it hard to use the newborn support. However, now that he is older, it works well as he can lie in it while we bathe him.

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Once he’s done, he’d usually be dressed in a mesh tee/singlet (from Uniqlo) and his diapers. It’s too hot to wear anything else, really. He’d then be nursed to sleep. Or at least I try to get him to sleep.

11 am – 12 pm

Now that he’s older, he doesn’t nap as long so he’d usually get up after an hour or so. If we are lucky, he will sleep for 2 hours but that is a rarity. Both my mum and MIL suggested that we get a sarong (or yaolan) and although I was resistant to the idea at first, I decided that since they are going to be E’s caregivers when I return to work, I’d do whatever it takes to make their life easier. Besides, we did grow up sleeping in a sarong and we turned out fine!

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Amazingly, E would take these epic 2-3 hour naps in the sarong which astounded me. The flipside is: These epic naps created another issue – he would fight sleep at night! Hence, we usually keep his naps in the day to a maximum of 2 hours.

12 pm – whatever time he decides to nap again
This really depends. If he’s in the mood, he goes down for another nap in the afternoon. It can happen at 2pm, or 4.30pm or – gasp – 6pm. If he doesn’t want to nap, I don’t fret it. I’d just play with him, or if I feel like it (and it’s not blazing hot outside), I’d plonk him in his stroller and we’d head to Junction 8 for a stroll. My mantra is: If he wants to sleep, he will sleep anywhere and nothing will wake him. If he refuses to nap, nothing I do will make him. If he’s not napping/awake at 6pm-ish, I’d take him and Moon out for a walk at the neighbourhood park. Moon gets her walk, E gets to look at everything and I get a bit of fresh air and exercise. Everyone wins! I have to add again that I am VERY THANKFUL that my mum is on hand to help, especially on non-napping days because looking after the little one is tiring!

7 pm

Dinner time for the adults. My mum will make dinner and once it’s ready, she will take over the caring of E. This means carrying him while we have our dinner. Once we are done, I’d take over. The boy usually returns from work around this time as well.

8 pm
Time for E’s second bath of the day. Either the boy or I will bathe him and he changes into his pyjamas. I will usually nurse him after his bath and again, IF WE ARE LUCKY, he goes down to sleep without much resistance. This gives us precious time to take that much-needed shower and collapse into bed. If we are not too lucky (which is most of the time), E would want to play/roll around the bed/”chat”. We’d then take turns to entertain him while the other party takes that much-needed shower. Sometimes, the boy will read to him. Sometimes, nothing works and he fusses and fusses and fusses AND fusses. We’d then be rocking, singing, playing silly peekaboo games, etc etc just to keep him from screaming.

10 – 11 pm
Usually, by this hour, E would have run out of steam and is FINALLY ready to sleep FOR REAL. I’d either nurse him again or the boy gives him a bottle to tank him up. On some days, I am too exhausted and would have fallen asleep. This is when the boy steps in and quietly warms up the milk and gives E his feed before putting him down to sleep. This allows me some uninterrupted sleep till his next feed at about 1-2am (again, depending on his mood).

So. Does Elliott sleep through the night?

I read that my almost 6-month old should be “sleeping through the night” but I also realise that all babies are DIFFERENT. Of course, it would be wonderful if he does so but until that happens, I am still waking up a couple of times a night to nurse him. I know that I can sleep train him but we are currently squashed into one bedroom at my parents’ (dog included) so I might try that when we finally settle down at our new home.

He usually wakes at about 1am, 3-4am, and again at 5-6am. Honestly, I’ve given up tracking how many times he wakes up. When he stirs, I just carry him and stick a boob into his mouth. I have also mastered the art of napping while he nurses so that helps. When he’s done, I simply put him back into his crib and I head back to bed. Sometimes, I fall right back asleep. Other times, I am wide awake and when I eventually fall asleep, he wakes again.

Rinse and repeat until day breaks.

 

 

 

 

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That elusive nap

This mothering business is kicking my ass. Hard.

I never had any illusions of being a perfect mother but today was one of
those days where I felt exhausted physically, mentally and emotionally. It was one of those days where I felt…defeated.

Elliott usually goes down for his afternoon nap after his bath at 11. Today was one of those days where I did everything and he simply fought his way out of napping. Well, it would be ok if he doesn’t want to nap because I am not too concerned but he simply wouldn’t stop crying and/or fussing. I gave him some gripe water as it would usually help soothe his gassy tummy (usually the cause of his inability to fall asleep) and that did not work too.

Nursed him, cry.
Carry him, cry.
Rock him, cry.
Put him in the sarong, cry.
Baby wear him, cry.
Passed him to my mum, cry.

In desperation (and frustration), I plonked him into the baby carrier and marched to the neighbourhood park. It was obvious that he was exhausted with his half-closed eyes but for some cosmic reason or other, he simply refused to nap.

The walk seemed to calm him down and he was getting sleepy. I sat on the swing and the lulling motion must have helped because soon, his eyes shut.

The perfect ending to my story, yes?

Well, no.

The sky suddenly decided that it was time for a random rain shower. I jumped up from the swing and started sprinting home because fat rain drops were pelting down. Yes, I sprinted home with my baby in the carrier strapped onto me.

Of course Elliott woke up. In fact, he found it hilarious and was giggling. So there I was, standing in front of the blasting fan with a sweat-soaked t-shirt, with a giggling baby strapped onto me.

Thankfully, after that episode, the baby decided that it was (FINALLY) time to nap. Either that or he just passed out, out of sheer exhaustion.

I glanced at the clock and it was 3.01pm. It took me almost 3 hours to settle my child.

Oh and for the record, he napped for a grand total of…30 minutes.

According to the Wonder Week book, he is at the start of Leap 5. Signs include baby doing the following:

• Cries more, more often or longer;
• Asks for more attention;
• Sleeps less or worse and eats less;
• Has mood-swings;
• Is not pleased with many things.

That sure sounds like my child. Also, I have discovered a little white spot on his lower gum. Is my little man teething? Already?! If his fussiness is a sign of things to come, I am bracing myself for the onslaught.

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Review: Silkydog shampoo

* This is a personal review.

In early July, I placed an order for Silkydog Shampoo. Read about it on Singapore Schnauzer Club page on Facebook and decided to give it a try because Moon was getting brown stains under her beard.

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I’m not sure why or how these stains appeared but they’re apparently pretty common. She also loved to rub her face against the sofa, bed, etc and I used to think that it was just a bad habit. As it turns out, she was tearing excessively and the dried-up tears were probably causing discomfort. Accordingly, irritants in other dog shampoo causes itchiness and hence tearing of the eyes, scratching and licking (quoted from here).

There was a bit of a hiccup when it came to the delivery of the shampoo. That annoyed me for a bit because I had to chase the seller a couple of times. They probably need to fine-tune their shipping process and perhaps be a bit more polite/service-oriented in their dealings with customers. I know that it is not easy when one uses a 3rd party supplier to deliver the products but this is a situation that the seller has to sort out and not get upset with the customer.

Anyway.

After using the shampoo once a week for slightly over a month, I have noticed that she is rubbing her eyes a lot lesser. The most obvious sign was how she was also tearing a lot lesser. I used to have to wipe her eyes with a dry piece of tissue a couple of times a day because she was tearing/itching so much. You can read more about it here.

I have to add that this shampoo is quite different from the commercial ones, i.e. it doesn’t lather up. This means that I end up pouring a lot of shampoo onto Moon’s fur because I can’t see any “soap”! This also means that one bottle of shampoo is not going to last for very long. I guess this is because no harmful foaming agent is added into the formula. On the other hand, we no longer need to use any conditioner on her so I guess it all evens out.

Unfortunately, the brown stains under her mouth seem to be getting worst instead of better. Shall monitor it and see how it goes. Flannel’s new owners are using a new soap for him and have offered to let us sample from their chunk. It is cheaper than using Silkydog shampoo, I’d say!

If you’re a dog owner, what shampoo do you use?

1

Sun, sand, sea and no baby

I have honestly lost count on the number of times we have travelled to Phuket. The flight is less than 2 hours away, the beach view is awesome, you get cheap food and massages. What’s there not to like? The boy asked if I prefer Bali or Phuket and I said “Phuket” in a heartbeat because I prefer Thai food over Indonesia. I’m ruled by my stomach, yes.

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We snapped this gleeful shot at one of the many booths set up by Singapore Airlines inside the departure hall at Terminal 2. As you can clearly see, we were rather excited to be going away without baby.

We were booked for 3 nights at Cape Sienna located at Kamala. It is an “adults preferred” concept resort which means the chances of having kids jumping onto your heads while you take a leisurely swim is minimised. Apparently, they do accept children during low season. I booked the ‘Sweet Escape’ package (how apt is the name) which included the following:

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Upon arrival, we were picked up by one of the hotel staff which of course, got my name wrong AGAIN. Never mind. At least the car (a Honda Accord) was decent and the driver wasn’t a maniac. It took 45 minutes to get from the airport to the resort.

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We were greeted by sunny skies and fluffy clouds on the day we arrived. In fact, we were lucky – the weather held up during our stay (save for a  blink-and-you-miss-it drizzle). I’m not sure about you but there’s just something about staring into the wide open sea that puts one at ease almost immediately.

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We were also asked for our preferred scent (we chose Cape Sienna Blend) so that it can be used in our room – each evening, the housekeeping staff would go round to each room to light up the aromatherapy oils so that when we returned from the day’s activities, the room would smell heavenly. A lovely touch!

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Our room was on the 3rd floor – there are only 4 floors. It wasn’t a huge room or anything but it was comfortable. Importantly, the bed was firm but comfortable. They had a pillow menu where I requested for an orthopaedic support pillow but it turned out to be pretty rubbish. Probably explains why I couldn’t sleep the entire first night (!) but hey, I did pass out like a light on the second. Slept for more than 8 hours. SO DAMN GOOD. To be fair, maybe I shouldn’t blame the pillow. I was missing E and was a little worried that he might be crying his eyes out for me. Sniff.

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We also quite enjoyed sitting at the balcony doing nothing much at all. It was such a luxury to just sit and stare, slumped on the chairs. Ooh, that rhymed.

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Essentially, we pretty much sat around, ate, went for massages, ate some more, sat around some more, did a bit of shopping at Patong, and erm, ate again. See photo evidence below:

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Ate my favourite roadside pancake with Nutella, dined at the beach while watching the sun set…

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Lazed by the resort’s pool…

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Eat some more…

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Enjoyed a 90-minute massage at the resort’s spa and the boy enjoyed a much-needed facial

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Ate at our favourite MK Gold Restaurant. All that food on the table? WE ATE THEM ALL. And yes, we bought ourselves a selfie stick. Ha.

We also discovered this spa place at Jungceylon called Pimnara Spa. This place is MASSIVE! There’s an escalator leading to it directly from the street level and once you enter, you can see many spa therapists sitting at the side just waiting to serve customers. There are also rows and rows of facial chairs lined side by side. It’s like the Walmart of facials. They also offer foot massages, pedicures, manicures and all sorts of facial treatments. Here’s the boy getting ready for a foot massage. Check out the place! Very tastefully decorated, I must say. All the therapists were also dressed neatly in uniforms with nametags. We went back 2 days in a row :)

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Best of all (to us), the spa also offers free wifi (woot woot) so we took the chance to Facetime. Ha!

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If you’re in Phuket, it is definitely worth a visit. Price-wise, they are between the resort spas and the by-the-roadside spas.

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Although it was a very good break away from work (for the boy) and E (for me), I must say that I did miss him quite a bit and couldn’t wait to see him. In fact, I left the boy to collect our luggage when we arrived and rushed headed out of the arrival hall to hug my baby :) I’m looking forward to the day when we can take him along on our breaks! I know it’d be tiring but better than leaving him behind and missing him loads.