note to edith and everett

Note to Edith and Everett – 03

Dear Edith and Everett,

I don’t know how it happened. I blinked and suddenly, you’re six seven months old. This note sat in my drafts folder for the longest time (as you can tell by me having to change six to seven!) I totally meant to write you a note earlier but you know how it is. I mean, it only took me 6 sittings to complete this entry.

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The both of you no longer look like newborns. You are now older and…wiser. You both can now flip onto your tummies easily which means you can no longer lie in your rockers. You have also discovered your toes and hands and love sticking them into your mouth. You both have also started on solids (at the 6 month mark) and it is heartwarming to watch you both eat. You eat with such relish and joy! Such a marked difference from your kor kor who used to spit out everything I made him. Keep going, babies! Your love for eating inspires me to keep making new food for you to try.

Edith, you break out in the sweetest of smiles when you recognise your caregivers. You try and have conversations with us and it makes me laugh how your expressions gives away exactly how you’re feeling. Just like Mummy. When your brothers play a tad too rowdily, you turn your head and give them a “What’s up, bro? So noisy for what?” look.

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You do not like strangers carrying you or being too close. You reserve a special “separation anxiety” cry for those moments. You cry hard and loud which works magically because said stranger will pass you back to your usual caregivers in a nanosecond. Well played, my child.

You get startled by loud noises and sudden movements. Even a sudden sneeze from Elliott will make you jump. Speaking of your kor kor, you guys are fast developing a bond. Elliott will always (ALWAYS) greet you first, even when Everett is right beside you. “Hello mei mei!“, he’d chime, and proceed to rain kisses and hugs on you. We’d have to always remind him to say Hi to didi too. This is also the very reason why you fell sick after catching the bug from your kor kor. Everett managed to escape the bugs because, well, kor kor didn’t really go near him. Ha!

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You can make “ahh” sounds and “pfffft“. I wish I can bottle up all your cute little sounds because they are so fleeting. You have also discovered the ability to screech at the top of your voice. I call you a bird because you will be right at home at…The Bird Park. Some days, it sounds like you’re practising your screeches to see exactly how loud you can go. It’s quite different from what we are used to with Elliott. Your screeches are high-pitched and really loud. You also enjoy looking at books which warms my bookworm heart so.

We also started you on helmet therapy when you were 6 months old as we noted that the back of your head is a little flat. We were assured by the orthotist that there is no developmental issues in your case so the therapy is purely for cosmetic reasons, i.e. having a nice round head shape. I must say that you’ve been an absolute trooper so far. I am also thankful that Singapore has been experiencing a spate of crazy cool weather (22 degrees!) so that helps too. I’m absolutely biased but we all think that you look adorable in the pink helmet. Daddy calls you Princess Magneto which is rather apt, me thinks. I personally think you look like a rather cute, pink watermelon.

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Everett, you are, thankfully, no longer that little Angry Little Bird. Ok, you still cry more easily than Edith but at least, I do notice that you smile and laugh more readily these days. You used to go from zero to a hundred when you’re hungry or the pacifier fell out of your mouth. Your smile is different from your sister’s. I call it the “shy smile” and this smile doesn’t come easy. I love that you smile when I greet you in the mornings as your smile is so very rare!

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But oh, when you laugh, it makes everyone around you laugh as well as it is rather infectious! I love to blow bubbles against your neck as it makes you chuckle. You anticipate the next move and will usually giggle first before I even go close. SO SO CUTE. You also do this rotate-both-your-ankles move that really amuses me. You tend to do it when you’re excited/happy and it’s super cute to watch. Your sister doesn’t do it though! It’s almost like you discovered your ankles and decide to keep moving them because LOOK MA! MY ANKLES! I CAN MOVE THEM!

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I have to document your love for food here. When we first started on the solid foods journey, you were the one who showed lots of enthusiasm. When you’re in my arms and I’m eating, you stare intently and your gaze will follow the food from plate to my mouth. It’s pretty amusing to watch. You have also been a great eater, trying all sorts of foods that we give you. From purees to yogurt, you eat them all. Edith is a bit more cautious when it comes to new foods. Not you. You happily open your mouth and try them all.

You’ve been on some sort of growth spurt too, eating and drinking LOADS. You were about a kilogram lighter than Edith but at the last weigh-in, you were only lighter by 200 grams! Your face is rounding out and your thighs! So nom-able.

You also seem to be putting all sorts of stuff into your mouth so it makes me wonder if you’re starting to teeth. We don’t see any sign of any tooth yet though. I’m just glad that the many teethers we prepared have come in handy! You’re also the one who uses up the 10,572 pieces of bibs that we bought because your kor kor did not drool as much.

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You get extremely grouchy when you’re sleepy or hungry. You wail and cry and will continue to whine until you eventually fall asleep or get your milk fix. Your caregivers put you in the baby carriers (LIFE SAVERS!) and take you out of the house because it’s almost the only way to calm you down. Perhaps that’s your little way of making us take you outdoors! You exhibit FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and it’s funny because your eyes are fast closing but they’d fly open the moment you hear a squeak.

Popo is now staying with us so she does the night shift to care for the both of you. For that, we’d always be grateful as I have returned to full time work. This also means she’s usually exhausted by about 4am and that’s when one of you (or both) choose to wake and sing at the top of your voice (that’s you, Edith).

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Being at work the entire day also means that I barely get to see the both of you. I try to wake up a little bit earlier so that I can at least spend 5-10 minutes with you before we all hurry out of the door. You’re both growing really quickly and it makes my heart ache a little that I am not there to witness some of your milestones. I was told that you’re both starting to learn how to sit unaided so hopefully, in the next few weeks or so, we get to witness it.

Grow well, grow healthy, my little patooties. Mummy loves you very much even though you may not see very much of me these days. Sniff.

Always,
Mummy xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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cooking · food glorious food · reviews

Review: MarketFresh

Psst. A giveaway and a promotion code at the end of this entry!

I used to love tagging along to wet markets with my (late) grandma. I remember the chatter of aunties haggling with stall holders, the mix of smells from the various fresh produce on sale, the huge crowds jostling for the best bargains. I also clearly remember the wet and rather funky-smelling slippery floors of the market because I’d usually end up with damp toes after a visit.

How times have changed.

The wet markets are no longer wet. In fact, many wet markets these days are dry and clean. And to take it a step further, the wet market has also gone (gasp) online!

I used to buy all my supplies from the supermarket but after I discovered the joys of buying fresh meat the wet market, I try and do our household marketing there instead. Unfortunately, having twin babies and a toddler doesn’t leave me with much time to head to the wet market.

This is why I was pretty excited when I was contacted by MarketFresh. In a nutshell, instead of you heading to the wet market, MarketFresh brings the wet market to you, via their website! You just pick out what you need from their website (in your pyjamas, or 3-day old, milk-stained tee shirt – no one cares) and MarketFresh will deliver it to you.

You can choose from 4 delivery time slots (in 3 hour blocks) so you can choose whichever suits your schedule best. And if you purchase $68 and above, you enjoy free delivery! Otherwise, delivery is a flat rate of $6.

In other words, just click-click-click and MarketFresh will do the shopping at the wet market on your behalf and deliver it to you. To ensure freshness, MarketFresh is not open on Mondays, just like the wet market. This is to ensure that whatever you are receiving is truly fresh from the (wet) market.

My MIL (who comes over to help with the twins on weekdays) was amazed that such a service existed and lamented that ‘in her days, she has to do marketing on her own and lug it home all by herself’. She also looked at the prices of the items and remarked that even though they are a tad more expensive as compared to the wet market, this slight premium is for having someone else do the marketing on your behalf and delivering it to your doorstep at a time convenient to you.

I tried out their services and picked out a couple of food items. I picked out some lean beef for stir-frying beef (more on that later in this entry) and I love that you can choose how you want your beef (or other types of meat) prepared, i.e. cubed, sliced thick, sliced thin, minced, etc. It’s just like being at the wet market without actually being there.

I don’t have a picture of it but all the items arrived in plastic bags, just like how they’re packed if you bought them yourself at the wet market.

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Here’s something I found interesting.

I ordered some lotus root to make lotus root soup (our family favourite). Check out how “raw” it looked before we scrubbed it clean! I joked that perhaps this piece of lotus root was freshly dug out from the muddy ground that very morning and delivered to us FRESH.

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As part of their campaign titled “Modern Mummies in the Kitchen”, I will be sharing a recipe created from the groceries we received from MarketFresh.

That’s not all.

miss ene and the boy has 2 x $50 vouchers to giveaway to 2 lucky readers and a promotion code for first time purchases. Details at the end of this entry.

But first, let me tell you all about this super yummy and easy-to-make dish called ‘Daging Sapi Lada Hitam‘ which basically translates to ‘Black Pepper Beef‘. The recipe is tweaked from ‘Step by Step 25 Resep Chinese Food‘ by Sisca Soewitomo who is supposedly the Queen of Indonesian cuisine. It is easy to whip up and best of all, Elliott loves it too. What we do is to omit the black pepper for his portion.

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Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 500 gram sliced beef (we used these)
  • 3 tablespoons of cooking oil for frying
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 7 pieces of garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 piece of white onion, diced
  • 1-2 tablespoons of grounded black pepper (individual taste)
  • 100 ml water
  • 1/2 red capsicum, diced (optional, for colour)

Marinade for sliced beef (for at least 30 minutes)

  • 3 tablespoons of kecap manis
  • 1 tablespoon of light sauce
  • 5 tablespoons of oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon of grounded white pepper

Method

  1. Heat frying pan with oil and sesame oil.
  2. Add minced garlic, fry till aromatic.
  3. Add sliced beef with marinade into the frying pan. Stir-fry till cooked.
  4. Add water (100 ml), allow water to evaporate.
  5. Throw in diced white onion and mix well.
  6. Scatter grounded black pepper into the dish and stir well. Note: If you are making this for children who doesn’t take spicy food, separate the beef before adding in pepper.
  7. Serve hot. Optional: Garnish with coriander and red chilli. We love it with steamed rice as there is a bit of sauce that goes perfectly.

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This dish is on our dinner menu at least once a week as it is super easy and delicious. If your household does not take beef, you can easily substitute it with lean pork slices.

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Giveaway

MarketFresh is giving away $50 credit to 2 readers to use on their website, Market Fresh.sg. To enter:

  1. Follow ‘missene‘ (@missene) and MarketFresh (@marketfresh.sg) on Instagram  and/or ‘like’ our Facebook pages – miss ene and the boy at https://www.facebook.com/youdecidelor and MarketFresh at https://www.facebook.com/marketfresh.sg.
  2. Leave a comment on Facebook and/or Instagram to share what you’d cook on my giveaway post and tag at least 3 friends. The more you tag, the higher your chances! 1 tag per comment please.

2 winners will be chosen randomly and this giveaway will end on Saturday 2 December 2017 at 2359 hours.

This giveaway is open to all residing in Singapore only, and it is not affiliated or endorsed by Facebook and/or Instagram.

Promotion code

If this is the first time you’re hearing about MarketFresh and would like to give them a try, use the code ‘missene10‘ at checkout for 10% off!

Let me know what you think and if you do make the recipe I shared, do tag me, ok? I’d love to see how your version turns out.

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Note: miss ene received shopping credits in return for this sponsored post. All views and opinions expressed are her own.

elliott says

Elliott says – 9

Elliott is flipping through a Lego catalogue (his FAVOURITE thing to do, other than playing with his cars) on the sofa. Suddenly, he speaks up:

E: Mummy, my head is so tired.

Me: Oh, why is that so?

E: I play everyday at school, so my head is very tired.

Me: *laughs* Ah I see. What should we do then?

E: I think we need to take my head out and put inside a box.

This kid. He makes me chuckle.

note to edith and everett · the twins

Note to Edith and Everett – 02

Dear Edith and Everett,

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With your brother, I wrote him a note every single month. A note that is filled with all the little things that he did in that month. I even took photos of him with a “month” sticker to commemorate the occassion. Check out my note to him for his 3rd month.

With you guys, I had every intention to try and write you monthly notes but well, life with twins and a toddler doesn’t leave me with much time to write. It is not that I love you any less but every sliver of time I have, I’m either passed out on the sofa, trying to catch 40 winks or wolfing down a quick meal.

But I told myself that I had to write so that I will remember the little details of each passing day because one day, you’d be all grown up and I won’t have a single memory of how it all happened. One moment, you both were tiny scrawny little birdlings in the hospital cots. Suddenly, as if overnight, you both have grown, both physically and mentally, and you look nothing like your fresh out of the womb days.

Edith, oh Edith. You are such a girl. And totally like me. You have crossed the 7 kg mark and tip the scales at 7.1 kg. You smile ever so readily and no matter how exhausted your caregivers are, a big toothless grin from you is all it takes to melt the tiredness away. Every morning, I greet you with a high-pitched “GOOD MORNING SWEETIE!” and I’d be rewarded with the most heart-melting grin. You are not a fan of naps (urgh) and prefer to “chat”. You absolutely hate to be placed down on the rocker and would screech in protest whenever we as much as put you down for a nano second.

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You need to be carried and rocked to sleep. No matter how gentle we are, your eyes fly open the moment you realize that you are about to be placed on the rocker or bed. WHY LIKE THAT!

Between the two of you, you are the “bigger” twin. Your thighs are nom-worthy and your cheeks look like they’re hiding fish balls. The fact that you smile a lot more readily as compared to your twin brother makes you the ‘preferred’ twin as you are more reactive.

You are also experiencing stranger anxiety. When we returned from our holiday in Tokyo with Elliott, you did not recognise your own mother. Sheesh. You wailed and cried until che che (our helper, N) carried you. Thankfully, after I nursed you, you were ok again. Not before giving everyone an intense stare down. You still hate the pacifier and will only accept it grudgingly when you’re just about to fall asleep.

You have also been losing loads of hair over the past weeks. We’d find bits of fine baby hair on your mattress and pillow, and your head is getting slightly bald! We know that this is part and parcel of growing up so hopefully, new hair will grow out soon.

Everett, my dear son. You are the ‘lighter’ and ‘smaller’ twin, weighing in at 6.5 kg. You are also the intense one. The most intense of all 3 kids. You rarely smile and will only do so if you’re ‘in the mood’. Our helper says that ‘your smile is very expensive’. You have large expressive eyes framed with the longest of eye lashes (I’m very jealous) and when you give out your hard-to-come-by smile, it melts everyone’s hearts. But wow, you also have a very powerful pair of lungs.

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Your personality is quite different from your siblings. When you are hungry, you go into intense beast mode and would yell the house down. I call you the “incredible hulk”. You cry so hard that your little clenched fists tremble and your face goes full-on red. You’re like my little angry red bird. You get very impatient with your milk and if we are not fast enough, you screech again. You also wail (very hard) just before you sleep. It’s like you need to do this cry hard, then fall asleep ritual before each nap. I am just really thankful that you have doting grandmothers to do the bedtime routine because I feel extremely helpless whenever you cry so hard.

We used to call you the unicorn baby because you’d take your pacifier and go to sleep on your own quietly. How wonderful! Unfortunately, in recent weeks, you have decided that you also need to be carried and rocked to sleep. Pfffffft.

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Both of you have discovered your hands and would gnaw on your fists till they’re covered in saliva blobs. With your older brother, I remember buying tons of bibs but we never got to use them because he barely drooled. Those bibs have come in handy now as you both drool A LOT! No wonder they say all babies are different. You love to blow saliva bubbles and Everett, you love to go “ah brrrrr” which usually leads to a lot of saliva all over your onesie.

Everett, you love looking at yourself in the mirror and that’s how we distract you when you’re crying uncontrollably but Edith, you seem to be afraid of it. You kinda recoil in shock when you see yourself in the mirror and you also hate sudden loud noises, like the bean shaker that your older brother made. Everett, we bang on things loudly to snap you out of your crying fits but if we do the same to Edith, it doesn’t work.

The both of you can also lift your heads up when you are in a lying down position. In fact, Edith, you LOVE to stand with our assistance. We hold your little hands and you’d automatically go from lying down to a standing position. You look really pleased with yourself too. I’m guessing that you both will be doing your first proper turn very soon.

You both had a bout of bronchiolities in the middle of October which is exactly what your older brother contracted back in 2015. It was a trying week as all three of you were ill and all the caregivers were exhausted trying to make all of you comfortable.

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Oh and I have to state for the record that your night routine is pretty established now. We put you to bed by 7pm (so glad we established this early as it allows us time to breathe, re-calibrate and spend time with kor kor) and you’d get your next feed at about 10pm+. Thereafter, your subsequent feed is at 2am+ before your final feed at about 5-6am+. Thankfully, the both of you do not wake at the same time (PHEW) so we will feed one after the other. Edith, you are better at latching so I’d usually latch you directly for the late night feeds because I’m too lazy to get out of bed. Everett, you are too impatient at the boob so you get a bottle feed.

For nights, your daddy and I split the work. He takes the 10pm – 2am shift before I take over from 2am till day breaks. On Fridays and Saturdays, Daddy does the full night shift which allows me to have an uninterrupted night of sleep. For that, I’m forever grateful.

How cute it is that despite being twins, the both of you are quite different in many aspects. It makes me wonder if all that talk about being twins being in sync holds any truth. Maybe it will become clearer as you grow up together.

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Happy 5th month, my babies. Grow well, grow healthy!

Lots of love,
Mummy xoxo

elliott · reviews

Review: Buddyphones

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During our recent trip to Tokyo, we put Elliott’s new Buddyphones to the test. He was very excited by it and I can see why. These volume-limiting headphones were specially designed for children, focusing on the their hearing and safety. The one he has is the Buddyphones Moomin – Moomintroll which comes with its own matching drawstring pouch.

The special-edition Moomin BuddyPhones are adorned with bright and cheerful Moomin designs portraying the fairytale Moomin family and other fun characters, such as the Snork Maiden, Little My, and their adventures in Moomin Valley.

(Edit for clarity) As you can from this picture, the headphone has a single plug to fit most devices so i bought a converter (picked it up at a shop at the airport easily) to get these headphones to work on the plane which has a 2-prong jack. 

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I like that Buddyphones feature a built-in, volume-limiting circuitry that caps the sound automatically at 85db, which is the level recommended by WHO for children. The headphone also comes with the BuddyCable system, a built-in audio splitter that allows up to four audio cables to connect to one device, making it perfect for sharing with parents and their buddies. I used the free SQ earphones and we watched Cars together. I love this little feature as it allowed me to watch and discuss the cartoons with him on the flights.

“Why did Lightning crash, mummy?”
“Oh, why is he sad?”
“Is Lightning very fast?”
“Why did Lightning go on the sand?”

A million questions about the same movie he’s watched a million times. I can memorise the Cars movie series now, I kid you not.

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The anti-allergy ear pads also soft to the touch which is important as it has to fit them little ears. Can I say that these headphones provided us with quite a bit of peace on the flights because Elliott was thoroughly engrossed in watching his favourite cartoons on the inflight entertainment system, i.e. “Cars” and “Cars 3” on repeat mode. There were loads of other cartoons but he just wanted to watch these 2 movies.

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I also like that the headphones have a soft cushion headband for comfort and have foldable handles. It also comes with its own travel bag for easy storage. That little bag is very useful when travelling with a cannot-keep-still child and you have 10,000 things to pack for your kid. These headphones went into his own carry-on luggage and once we arrived, I could easily pack them away into the bag.

It is always a mad scramble to pack the million things that Elliott has thrown all over his seat (and floor) and these headphones were durable – it still works despite less-than-gentle (man)handling. Hur hur.

These headphones also come with a built-in microphone for use with interactive learning apps.

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Thanks for sending the Buddyphones to us, iFactory Asia! We love them!

Buddyphones are available at Challenger, Times Bookstore, Stereo Electronics, Gift Greetings, OG, TREOO, Labtify, X Gear, Million Tech, Singapore Flyer etc. You can also visit iFactory Asia’s office in Ang Mo Kio to purchase Buddyphones directly. Retail price ranges from S$39.9 to S$69.9 depending on the model.

Note: miss ene received the MoominTroll Buddyphones in return for this sponsored post. All views and opinions expressed are her own.