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

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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.

family · me myself and i · moments · thoughts

Tomorrow, I’d be a better mum.

That’s something I tell myself every night, after the day is done and dusted. My mind plays through every single parenting moment that happened in the day and all I can remember is of me shouting at Elliott to go take his shower, or asking Everett harshly what he wants when he’s wailing till his face goes red.

As I lay in the dark replaying these scenes in my head, I get wrought with guilt and wonder why I can’t be like one of those patient and kind mothers who practice gentle parenting, the kind who rarely yell at her kids (I don’t think any mother can say they have NEVER yelled, hence the use of the word ‘rarely’). The sort of mother who keeps it all together despite being pushed to their limits, every second of the day. 

We have a village behind us. I have a capable helper who loves the kids like her own. My mum and mother-in-law take turns to come over during the week to help in the day. I have an extremely hands-on husband who has been an amazing co-parent.

I had a decent amount of sleep last night. I drank my teh-c and had my lunch. I even took a shower. Despite all that, I still feel annoyed, irritated and fucking exhausted. 

Like today where all 3 kids are sick.

I just yelled at Elliott to PLEASE GO THE FUCK TO SLEEP. Ok, not in the exact words but please, just please go and take your afternoon nap so that I have one less (whiny) child to deal with. I can hear the twins wailing their lungs out in the living room but I am too spent to care because I know they will be attended to. 

We wanted this, didn’t we? We wanted children. Badly. And now we have three. So why does it feel so overwhelming and all consuming? I did not have rose-tainted glasses about parenthood and yet, this mothering gig brings me to my knees on many days. 

Today is one of those days. One of those days where I feel like a failed mother, a fraud, a train wreck. One who doesn’t deserve these 3 beautiful beings who push me to the end of my patience thread and then some. 

Tomorrow, I’d (try again to) be a better mum.

randoms

Review: Owl Readers Club

I was pretty excited when I was contacted by Owl Readers Club to do a review for them. As a kid, I was a bookworm. I read anything and everything, including shampoo labels (no kidding). My favourites were books by Enid Blyton and I would lose myself in her stories about toys coming alive, as well as the adventures of Noddy and Big Ears.

As I got older, I was really into Archie comics and would devour a double digest in one sitting. I read everywhere, including meal times. As a teenager, I poured over the Straits Times, reading the various local news about crime, murder and all things local. I skipped the political section though. So yes, I was pretty much a bookworm. The husband also read a lot as a kid because his mum would only buy him books and newspapers, not toys. #truestory.

We want to cultivate a reading habit with our kids and have been reading nightly to Elliott before bed. We have amassed quite a lot of books and each night, we let him choose a book of his choice and we’d read it together. Now that Elliott is older, he asks questions (oh, the questions!) about the stories or characters and even though it gets tiring answering his 10,526th question, I try and remind myself that one day, we won’t be doing bedtime stories anymore. Sniff.

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What is the Owl Readers Club?

The Owl Readers Club is specially designed to encourage families to cultivate good reading habits. With these beliefs in mind, they have created an array of features to allow families to embark on an engaging and exciting reading journey.

Apart from curating quality children’s titles at competitive prices (important!), organising interesting reading-related events, providing opportunities to meet with fellow book-loving families and rewarding active club members, the Owl Readers Club is also constantly working to tie up with merchants to provide added benefits for their members.

You can find out more from their websiteFacebook or Instagram @owlreaders.club.

Membership System and Rewards Programme

The Owl Readers Club also has a membership system where basic and paid members earn reward points which can be redeemed for purchases. At a glance:

  • 5 points are awarded for every $1 spent;
  • Redemption begins at 500 points which can be exchanged for $5 credit.

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You can sign up as a basic member for free to start earning reward points (e.g. 200 points for sign up, 50 points for writing book review, 200 points for attending book club events and writing reviews).

Thereafter, you can always upgrade to a paid 6 or 12 months Owl Star Membership to enjoy benefits (e.g. discounts off HUA language centre, BYKIDO, Annie+Alex, Liliewoods, Little Llama, bouncy castle rental, to name a few). Best of all, upgrading to a paid 6 or 12 months Owl Star Membership allows you to earn double reward points for every dollar spent, as well as double reward points for writing book reviews, attending book club events etc. More details here.

A mobile app!

The Owl Readers Club also has a mobile app ready and available on Android Play store and IOS App store! Apart from the sale of books through the apps, Owl Star members would be able to use the apps to connect with other members to exchange books or organize book related activities together.

I checked out their mobile app and I must say that I wished it had a “Search” or “Sort” function so that I can find books that I want easily (just like their website). Then again, it is currently in beta version so I’m sure in time to come, the mobile app will get even better.

Our experience with Owl Readers Club

We selected the following books from their website:

  • The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers (link)
  • We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen (link)
  • If I Had a Dinosaur by Gabby Dawnay & Alex Barrow (link)
  • The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton (link) <– for the twins!

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I placed the order on Thursday and received a notification the next day that the shipment is on its way. Woohoo! They also kindly gifted us two books for the twins, Peek-a-boo farm and Peek-a-boo zoo, as well as an additional book, Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs, for Elliott. (Thank you!)

They actually left out one of the books in the first shipment but it was personally delivered the next day once I told them about it. What lovely, thoughtful service. I guess this is the personal touch from a home-based, local business.

Elliott has been enjoying the books I picked for him, especially We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and asks to read it every, single night. His teacher reads it to them at school so I guess he can relate to the story. Every night, we go ‘swishy swashing’ and splash sploshing’ on the bed during our pre-bedtime reading sessions. As he is in his dinosaur phase, he also asks to read If I Had a Dinosaur

Check out this precious clip of Elliott “reading”:

As the Owl Readers Club is a small, home-based business, some of the more popular titles get sold out pretty quickly so one fat tip I have for you is, if you see a title you like, BUY IT IMMEDIATELY. Their books are shipped from the USA so a restock may take a while.

Yes, there are tons of bookstores out there (both online and brick-and-mortar) but what we love about Owl Readers Club is their competitive pricing and the fact that they are local and run by parents themselves.

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Support and buy local, yo!

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

elliott says

Elliott says – 8

In the car with Elliott. 

Me: It’s such a hot day today, Elliott. The sun is shining really brightly!

Elliott: Yes it’s very hot. We need to spray the sun.

Me: Spray the sun? With what?

Elliott: With water. So that it won’t be so hot.

Me: That’s a really good idea, Elliott!
Now why didn’t we think of that? 😄