Family Trip to Bangkok in December 2013


Bangkok Trip in December 2013, truly asian, truly fun.

Bangkok Trip in December 2013, truly asian, truly fun.

Some airlines are throwing promotions online and offline for parents to book a dream holiday with their kids come this school holidays. And if you need some ideas on what to do with your adorable small set, Bangkok offers the perfect setting for a fun and affordable family vacation which combines delicious Thai food (oh, Tom Yam Kung, how I love thee!) , cheap shopping, friendly people and a host of charming family attractions that will make a family vacation truly memorable.

We went to Bangkok in December 2013 (yes I should have posted this long time ago!) on Air Asia Free Seat Promotion early of the year and ended up paying RM1600 for 5 of us, which was quite a steal. Throw in a cheap hotel deal from those online sales group for our amazing hotel stay at the Royal President Bangkok Hotel for less than RM900 for 5D4N, our family vacation for five pax was all in RM2500, which was really not a bad deal at all.lion king

Roar like a lion or lioness!

Roar like a lion or lioness!

I am not kidding when I say my kids have visited just about every zoo locally in Malaysia as well as in the South East Asia. But the one that really stood out as our favourite-est favourite is the Safari Park of Bangkok. I cannot praise it enough for the sheer awesome learning opportunity for the kids to learn how animal live and behave in the natural habitat of their own. So, to satisfy the animals-lover of our little people, we headed straight to the safari on day 2 with a driver guide recommended by the hotel.

Do not mess with me, says the tiger. Yes we know, sir!

Do not mess with me, says the tiger. Yes we know, sir!

Safari World is divided into two zones: There is the open space, 500-acre Safari Park that comes with a bird park where one can drive through in their own car or in the park bus, and a Marine Park which is the traditional zoo that showcases many shows, lots of food stalls and souvenir shops.

Even as a grown up, my imaginations went wild as soon as we reached the open air Safari Park! The definitive keyword here is Herds. Whereas the other zoos in this part of Asia house animals that look like they are undernourished, bored and lonely because they are confined to such small, sad space within their cages, Safari Park Bangkok is a very impressive eight kilometers wide land where animals wander freely in groups and herds exactly like one of the Madagascar movies!

rhinoFeast your eyes on the wilderness as you drive past tigers, lions, deer, zebras, antelopes, black bears, horses, camels, rhinos, pelicans, ostriches, cranes, storks and more, all roaming so healthily, looking handsome and well-fed and so wild in a really well-maintained free space of their own that are filled with trees and preserved naturally like a safari jungle. Wind down your windows at your own risk but I wouldn’t do that with 3 active kids in tow. 🙂 There is a separate drive-through safari area that houses the carnivores with massive metal grill gates complete with a security lookout tower as if you are entering the Jurassic Park. My three happiest little people were all oohs and aahs during the whole tour— it couldn’t get any better!

Cheeky Koko fed banana to the giraffe

Cheeky Koko fed banana to the giraffe

We also watched an animal shows at the zoo’s amphitheatre but the kids loved the spectacular dolphin show the most. At this point Baby B grew so tired (he was barely two years old) he slept through the entire show but Cheeky Koko and Pumpkin Mei-Mei were awe-struck with the whole performance.

After that we also watched a western cowboy stunt show that was a little cheesy but it did showcase the performers’ horse-riding ability and with its good old western humorous acts, was a nice way to wrap up the whole visit with a smile on the kids.

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The lion king upclose and personal right next to our car!

My personal favourite was the giraffe feeding platform where at a very low fees, the kids could buy some banana to feed these graceful giants which was a nice way to inculcate love for the animals in children. The gentle giraffes came in large herds. There must be at least more than 100 head counts there that make it such a sight to behold. Did I mention Herds?

We spent our day 3 on our own to do some retail therapy at the Platinum Fashion Mall and spent half of our day there. Because Bangkok is home to so many treasure troves of shopping malls and wholesale market, really, if you are into haggling prices in the wholesale market such as the Chatuchak Market or Night Markets, you should really travel there with an empty large luggage to lug back all the goods and satisfaction from Bangkok. Things that can be found there are largely imported from China which means you can get very good bargains for such things as home decorations, kitchen wares, kids clothing, tees, arts pieces and a gazillion of knick-knacks.

Tranquil ride down Bangkok canal called klong.

Tranquil ride down Bangkok canal called klong.

With the 3 kids, it was not feasible to walk through the many alleys of wholesale markets or the open-air stalls of the Chatuchak under the scorching hot sun to get our shopping done, so we opted for Platinum Fashion Mall instead, which is a 6-storey wholesale mall at the Pratunam area to get our shopping completed in the comfort of an enclosed, air-conditioned mall environment with the same satisfaction that came from putting our best bargaining power to full test. For less than RM300, we managed to get basic clothing such as tees, hats and short pants for Daddy Joe, trendy work tops, denim jeans for Cheeky Koko, Thai designer tops for Pumpkin Mei-Mei, jumper for Baby B, fashion belts and accessories that filled our small empty luggage to the brim. It was truly a fun experience to get some retail therapy.fruits

No trips in Bangkok is complete for the kids without a visit to their Khlong (Bangkok canals beautifully nicknamed as the Venice of the East) on a long-tail boat. So on day 4, we engaged the same driver again to bring us to where we hopped onto a small fast boat to visit this famous waterway along the Chao Phraya River.

Thai souvenirs sold at the floating market.

Thai souvenirs sold at the floating market.

The kids were thrilled to be riding the narrow but fast boats that cut through the waterway, which was quite a delightful and tranquil experience as we zipped past the many wooden local houses along the long canal only to reach a floating market at the end where there were many Thai traders crisscrossing and trading on their small boats packed with our favourite dessert — Khao Neow Ma Muang (sweet mangoes served with glutinous rice and sweet coconut milk), local arts and crafts, fruit and drinks and even roast pork rice which made the whole experience made even more enjoyable.

Sweet mango served with glutinous rice was a real treat. I must have bought 3 plates of this dessert to reverse my working mama stress. :)

Sweet mango served with glutinous rice was a real treat. I must have bought 3 plates of this dessert to reverse my working mama stress. 🙂

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Kids enjoyed the elephant ride so much!

We learned that for many villagers, the waterway is still used as a main transport mode (in the form of a water taxi) to get around. It made you appreciate the simple conveniences and joy back home where one is able to get around in your own bike, car or any of the public transportations. After that, our driver also brought us to an elephant sanctuary where they offered elephant rides for the kids at around RM30/pax for a full 30 minutes ride around a small forest. Elephants are much revered in Thailand, and it’s not hard to see why — the kind, intelligent, gentle mammal made not just Baby B but all three kids came back with a beaming smile that lasted for days on end!

Good family vacations do not have to be extravagant nor does it have to be extremely sophisticated for the average family. All in, we feel Bangkok truly has its rich, charming Asian flavour offered in an affordable package for families that seek a good bargain and enriching fun memories that last a lifetime. Happy holidays to all!

Elephant show was both entertaining and educational at the same time.

Elephant show was both entertaining and educational at the same time.

thai food

If you love food, Bangkok is a foodie haven for delicious Thai food to savour all year round.

The Cold Never Bothered Them Anyway


“Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door
I don’t care what they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on
The cold never bothered me anyway”

peekaboo

I sang along when my ray of sunshine Pumpkin Mei-Mei belted out her favourite song from “Frozen” the movie as we drove to our favourite park. The kids hopped out of the car and it turned into a scenario of a papa and mama geese chasing their wild goslings that were headed towards their favourite destination of choice — the playground. Never mind that the kids were running so fast that we almost couldn’t catch up with all of them, except for Baby B who got so excited over all the running around that we managed to scoop him up in a jiff, the rest of the park goers pretty much smiled at our family’s silly antics on the jogging track.

Beaming with pride as he watched Cheeky Koko and Pumpkin Mei-Mei outran the other kids on the jogging tracks, Daddy Joe said, “I think my kids inherited my sporty genes. Look at their calves muscles, their strides, forms, the pace they pick up and the way they run, those are the stuff good runners are made of!”

“Goodness, they are just running the way other kids run, all over the place, laughing and having fun, darling! If you think they are athletes in the making, I would be a celebrity chef just by knowing how to add a fried egg over my instant noodles!” I said with a smile and continued, “But yes sure, you can get credit for whatever little sporty genes and DNA that are surely from your side of the family because I have never outrun anyone in my lifetime.”

Cold bugs be gone, let my kids grow strong and healthy!

Cold bugs be gone, let my kids grow strong and healthy!

“I am taking Cheeky Koko to his first 30km road biking next Wednesday anyway,” he said as we both watched baby B climbed up the stairs towards the slide.

“What? Are you crazy? He is only 12! Not that I think he is still a child therefore he cannot cycle for 30km but he hasn’t even done any shorter distance cycling before. May be you can start him off at 10km or 15km first?” Like a mother hen, I am over-protective, as always.

“Hey, he is good, darling, really, we went cycling around the block the other day and he was going very steady with his speed and followed through my instruction on staying close to the curbs,” Daddy Joe assured me, “and Pumpkin Mei-Mei could pick up badminton skills in just one session. These are confirmed my kids, man.”

“Right, your genes no doubt but I breastfed them for two years each, so that their good genes especially the sporty ones could be unleashed to run like a pro, hahaha…” the woman had to have her final say and the man laughed, because we always got into silly debates over whose legacy it was between the two of us that the kids inherited. The good legacy, that is.

“Darling, they are 12 and 10 now and even with all the wonderful benefit from the nursing years, they are to continue with good nutrition and suitable exercises to fully unleash my sporty genes.”

“Right. Your genes again!” I laughed, “But I am the one who buys them supplements!” The man was speechless. I really should have studied law. bike

Both Daddy Joe and I believe in extra nutritional boost for children from supplement because kids tend to pick up lots of germs and viruses from school and nursery. In a year they get some sick bugs here and there which are fairly nasty. Prevention is better than cure so every morning we repeat like a broken record to remind them to take their glass of juices that we blend right out of our kitchen’s juice machine before their breakfast. After a quick breakfast, we also give them a treat of Seven Seas Kids Fruit Gummies that they won’t resist at all, due to its yummy strawberry, blackcurrant and orange flavours, to start off their day in school.

Beyond its chewiness and yummy taste, the gummies boost Vitamin A, B6 and C for a healthy growth and development of children and is free from artificial colourings, flavourings, sweeteners and preservatives.

While I believe in getting all of our vital nutrition from good eating habit of a balanced diet, on school days 50% of my kids’ diets come from their own choice of food when they are in school and at their day care and I doubt there are much nutrition they get from the limited food choice they have from the canteen. The fact that the kids go to public schools and have contact with at least a thousand kids every day and often come back with sick bugs from time to is enough to send a working mom into a hyper-panic zone.

Seven Seas Kids Fruit Gummies come in 3 fruitilicious flavours

Seven Seas Kids Fruit Gummies come in 3 fruitilicious flavours

There are also only so much whole food one can eat and digest in order to get certain essential vitamins that hopefully do not get destroyed from food preparation and overheating from cooking.

According to Seven Seas Malaysia, a few vitamins are vital for healthy development of a child, such as:

Vitamin A — helps to maintain healthy eyes and skin. As an antioxidant, it also helps prevent damage to the cells, making it good for the overall well-being of the body.

Vitamin B6 — is good for the brain and is essential for blood to carry oxygen to the cells, tissues and organs of the body. It also helps to keep the immune system and nervous system healthy.

Vitamin C — is known to enhance the immune system to minimize incidences of children falling sick.  At the same time, it is also vital for ensuring health bones, teeth and gums in the growing years. 

Just then, Cheeky Koko climbed onto the top of the slide and jumped off it like a Tarzan.

“Haha, like a monkey, Hun, absolutely your genes!” I laughed it off.

Seven Seas Kids Fruit Gummies is available at all leading pharmacies nationwide. To make things even sweeter, Seven Seas Kids Fruit Gummies is also running a nationwide ‘Colour & Win’ contest now until 31st July 2014. You could let your child participate by colouring the Seven Seas Gummy Fruity Heroes on the contest form and stand a chance to win a Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 Lite/Kids or other goodies.

For more information, please visit:

http://www.sevenseas.com.my/index.php/promotion/

 

 

Raising Generation Why


Baby B who has just bombed in his diaper caught my attention with his intensive facial expression. Just to test the two older kids’ reactions, I said, “Oh dear, Baby B has just poo-poo! Now go ask your Koko and Che-Che to wash your bottoms for you!”

Hearing that, the two older siblings scrambled into their room like a flash of thunder but before they could even shut their door, I held their bedroom door with one hand and gently guided Baby B into their room and patiently commanded, “You are helping your baby brother wash his bum or we are not going to go cycle in the park later.”

Cheeky Koko has always been my funny boy that I truly think he is made entirely of laughing genes

Cheeky Koko has always been my funny boy that I truly think he is made entirely of laughing genes

“Okay, Houston, we have a problem here,” Cheeky Koko said, “We need a disposal unit for a 7.8 grade home-made bomb by a baby!”

“Cut the drama, Koko!” I said laughingly.

“Mama… Oh… it’s soooo smelly I am going to pengsan (faint)!” Pumpkin Mei-Mei protested. “Such is my life as a sister! Gosh… Ok, OK I will help him wash but Koko, you are so going to take the diaper off his bum and throw it into the rubbish bin, k?”

“You said you wanted to be a doctor for little kids when you grow up, so you have to first learn to accept the whole package of a kid, darling!” I tried to encourage my little doctor in residence.

As they gagged as if it was the most horrific task to remove their toddler brother’s soiled diaper in the bathroom and lifted him into the shower area and made him stand at one corner of the shower in order to jet-spray and wash up his bum, I came to Baby B’s rescue and scooped him up onto the toilet seat instead and did the rest effortlessly.

Pumpkin Mei-Mei aspires to be a future Paediatrician, which I think she could potentially be a really good one, like Dr. Adam “Patch” Hunter

Pumpkin Mei-Mei aspires to be a future Paediatrician, which I think she could potentially be a really good one, like Dr. Adam “Patch” Hunter

“Baby B smells good now, Mama, let me help you dress him up!” Pumpkin Mei-Mei said enthusiastically.

“I am intoxicated, Ma, I think my nose has lost its permanent function to smell, like forever!” My drama king Cheeky Koko added. Baby B who was smiling at his siblings’ antics suddenly turned to face his sister and gave Pumpkin Mei-Mei an affectionate hug, saying “Baby luff (love) Che-Che!” Just like a politician, he is always smiling, always promising.

Every day in the Seven2SevenMom planet feels like one big happy circus and a comedy show. However, if I should be so blessed, I am seeing a Comedian, a Paediatrician and possibly a Politician in our happy little family.

Each of them is so uniquely gifted in their own way. While the Asian mom in me tells me that I should constantly reinforce the importance of academic excellence as a strong foundation in life for them, the Western mom in me wants them to be happy as they pursue their own path growing up and be driven as well as responsible in the pursuit of their own dream nonetheless.

Baby B is definitely a future politician in the making!

Baby B is definitely a future politician in the making!

Recognising that each child can be an accomplished individual according to their own talents and intelligence are important aspects of child development according to Dr. Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligence.

According to Dr. Howard Gardner, children have different kinds of intelligences related to musical–rhythmic, visual–spatial, verbal–linguistic, logical–mathematical, bodily–kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic. He also says children possess a unique blend of all the intelligences, and that as parents, we should let our children explore and empower them to discover their own blend of intelligences so they can grow into wholesome people.

Child developmental experts say that up to 70% of a child’s brain cell connection occurs when they interact with their environment and that children ask questions because they are curious about the world around them. They say an inquisitive mind is an indication of a child’s positive developmental process. (The Timing and Quality of Early Experiences Combine to Shape Brain Architecture, Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University.)

Growing up, my own mom always said that I was so inquisitive that I would have made a good career out of legal or investigative journalism. Turned out that I really pursued Journalism in University, no thanks to a loving mom who welcomed my questions with patient replies after replies.

Now that my life is inundated with questions from my own Gen Why? kids, every day is filled with an impossibly long list of questions that I do not take it lightly, because who knows, the next funny man Jerry Seinfeld, brilliant Paed, Dr. Pumpkin, and well-loved Member of the Parliament could just be very well come out of this household.
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Challenged by questions such as, “Mama, how did you and papa put me in your stomach before I was born?” Or, even better, “Papa, why is the ocean blue in colour?” Get on to the Anmum Essential Gen Why? Workshop held this weekend for first-hand information from parenting experts such as professional child psychologists and nutritionists on how to raise up wholesome kids with multiple intelligence. Details are as follows:

Anmum Essential Gen Why? Workshop

Date: 31 May (Saturday) and 1 June (Sunday)

Venue: The Oval, 1 Utama Shopping Centre, Bandar Utama

Time: 10am – 10pm

See you there, peeps!

Grocery Shopping


Grocery shopping is so not for the faint-hearted (man of the house).
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As we wind our way past rows after rows of fresh produce and meat stalls at our local wet market, Daddy Joe who was carrying a big heavy bag filled to the brim with our family’s one week supply of vegetables and fruits and another bag filled with chicken meats, meat balls, tofu and small pomfret fish, turned back and said to me, “Seriously, I always buy all these food for our kids but hardly get to eat them! I am starting to wonder if our food just vanished by itself while sitting inside the fridge!”

I laughed and tried to comfort my man, “Chill man, just chill, there are six of us in the house including our kakak (helper), and we eat at home every day except some weekends. OK, you sometimes eat out due to work but with three kids ranging from toddler to preteens, THESE could hardly justify the nutrition and energy they need to fuel their growth, k?”

Daddy Joe shook his head and said with great disbelief, “We must be living in an age of serious price hikes — RM60- RM80 every week, incredible! Or I must be buying food every week that can disappear from our fridge! And those chocolates I got for you during my last trip to Thailand, did you ever get to eat it? Or they too, can just disintegrate itself in the fridge?” he asked while shovelling Cheeky Koko’s favourite green beans that were dangling out of the plastic bag handles into the other bag and loaded everything into his boot.

“Yes I had some, but really darling, you should install a CCTV in the kitchen when we have some savings so that you can see it with your own eyes that Pumpkin Mei-Mei has been visiting the chocolate compartment quite regularly. Even Baby B knows how to open the fridge and grab the chocolate bars by standing tiptoe,” I explained.

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Barely three days later, I came home in the evening victoriously while dragging a grocery bag full of energy-giving malt drinks, breakfast cereals, milk drinks, biscuits, wafer snacks, dried fruits and the longest bread loaf I could find from a sundry shop. As I chucked the bag onto the dining table, the kids gave me such affectionate hugs and fanfare welcome that one would have thought that it was the coronation of the Homecoming Queen in our happy land.

But the man of the house looked pale in silence. “I see we are going through some kind of severe food scarcity in this house,” he said. “Relax, dear, it’s the school holidays season! The kids will go famished very fast, so I bought a little snacks for them to munch on anytime of the day!” I said while happily stocking up my half-empty kitchen cabinets.

“I don’t think they ever feel hungry before, really, at the rate they clean up our shelves. If the wooden shelves or fridge can be eaten, they will eat them too, like termites!” Daddy Joe whispered into my ear, “…and may be this is why I am near poverty with these grocery bills!”

I laughed, thinking how wise God is to have decided that woman should always rule the heart of the home, which is the kitchen. Clearly a man’s place is in hunting or working, and NOT in grocery shopping!

Photo Credit:
photo credit: BC Gov Photos via photopin cc

The Answer To The Questions


You know your children are growing up when they stop asking you where they came from and refuse to tell you where they’re going.

 ~ P. J. O’Rourke

The day finally arrived when I got to meet this long lost girlfriend, Yen, from almost 20 years ago whom I adore greatly. We were really good friends during college years, sharing good camaraderie, life’s joy and sorrow and as we went separate ways to pursue our own dreams, we somehow just lost contact completely. We have tried to find each other over the years as we got married and had kids but it just didn’t happen until we found each other over social media. It was a reunion too long in the making and too short for two kindred spirits trying to connect the dots of the past decades. One thing led to another and soon our happiest little family got invited to her lovely home to meet with hers.

child play

Unfortunately kids just do NOT come with an operating manual!

As our children went out to play in her lawn fascinated with Yen’s pet ducks under the warm sun, Yen sat next to me in her sofa, looked deep into my eyes and said, “Hey, I don’t know how you do it but you have got soooo much patience for your children!” Surprised, I asked her back, “What do you mean? They are my own!”

“You answered EVERY SINGLE question your kids ask. It’s like one second you were eating, passing the salt and pepper, carrying on conversation with us, laughing, and next when one of them asked, Mama, why does Aunty’s house have ducks for pets? and you went, oh yah, ducks are the next best thing for farm education and cultivation of love for animals, and then you came back into the conversation with me about your job! Amazing, did you know you were doing ALL THAT?”

I chuckled, “well, we are mommies; we can multitask! But don’t you answer your kids’ questions, no matter how amusing they are?”

“Yes and no. Yes when I know the answer and when I have the energy for it, but No when I feel like I have just been run over by a truck after a tough day at work!” Yen said it with the same intelligent sparkle in her eyes for which I have seen so many years ago.
questions

Just then, Pumpkin Mei-Mei popped her head through the window and asked, “Ma, are these two ducks husband and wife?” “I think they are, I don’t know, you would have to see if they are very loving like husband and wife!” I replied thoughtfully.

“See? See? You did just that! Gosh, you answered EVERY question!” Yen said comically and I couldn’t help but laugh along.

Before I could even say anything, Cheeky Koko ran into Yen’s living hall with Yen’s son Julien and asked, “Ma, do these ducks lay salted eggs or ducklings?” This time, Yen replied on my behalf, “I think they would lay eggs which would then hatch into ducklings but sweetie, salted eggs are different eggs that have been processed.”

I nudged Yen’s arm lightly and said with a smile, “Oh wow, you learned fast! Now you are like me, you have an answer for everything,” and we both chuckled along.

Child developmental experts say that up to 70% of a child’s brain cell connection occurs when they interact with their environment and that children ask questions because they are curious about the world around them. They say that an inquisitive mind is an indication of a child’s positive mental developmental process. (The Timing and Quality of Early Experiences Combine to Shape Brain Architecture, Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University.)

Parenting could be a daunting task and one cannot possibly get every solution from every parenting book that has been published!

That’s just how it looks like when us parents try to outsmart our kids by reading up on every subject under the sky!

I am a firm believer in the whole notion that smart question produces smart answers and no questions produces nothing. Ever since the kids learned how to asked, I have made it a point to literally stop whatever I was doing and give some thoughts to their questions before I give my reply to them. I feel that it is important to feed my child’s curiosity and influence her attitude to learning with what I know rather than letting her find the answers from the wrong source of information.

I may not know every answer to all that they ask, but in those situation when I really do not have an answer, I would admit to them that I do not know but that I would find that out for them and get back to them. I mean, we are raising the street smart Gen Y now or what they call, Generation Why, who define young children with a string of Who, What, How, Why, When and Where to help them learn and explore the world around them through the questions that they ask.

As I was growing up in the 70s and 80s, what was focused on was the IQ (Intelligence Quotient) development of a child and in the 90s, the buzz word was EQ (Emotional Quotient). As a modern mom, there is an additional intelligence factor that is often overlooked or misunderstood called the Multiple Intelligence which is needed as part of the right ingredients to bring up an all-rounded and wholesome kid.

Now I am learning that all three aspects – IQ, EQ and  Multiple Intelligence are equally important in the moulding of a child’s holistic character and outlook for life so that one day he will grow up to become a well-rounded adult.

Fret not if this is completely alien to you.

The Anmum Essential Gen Why Workshop on 31 May (Sat) & 1 June (Sun) held at The Oval, 1 Utama Shopping Centre, from 10am to 10pm will let you hear first-hand from professional child psychologists and nutritionists who will share their knowledge and expert advice in raising up wholesome kids. Just register here!

duck

It’s really is a duck and egg question… 🙂

Of course, the right nutrition ensures wholesome development of a child. *Anmum Essential™ formulated milk powder for children contains important nutrients such as GA (Gangliosides) and DHA for children’s brain development.

Some parents find their children’s endless questioning annoying. On the other hand, I find that the window of time in which we could positively influence their character-building, minds, spiritual and social development are very small and thus we should never give up in giving our best to them, including our time, our knowledge and most importantly our love.

Yes, we don’t really know if two ducks are husbands or wife but we sure know a thing or two about the origin of salted egg that will never come straight from a duck mama.

 

*GA (Gangliosides) is a type of special complex lipid which plays an important role in brain development and function. GA helps with brain cells connections and play a role in the transmission of signals between brain cells. The more brain cells connect, the faster children learn. DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid and a building block of brain cells. DHA helps support the period of rapid brain development especially during the first five years.

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Photo credit:

Child:

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/leecullivan/2581128432/”>shoothead</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

Reading:

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/susivinh/7019888809/”>susivinh</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

Mama duck and ducklings:

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/bahketni/3462886218/”>bahketni</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

 

Bali Through Lumix GM1


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The renowned Sunset at Tanah Lot

I have always enjoyed travelling – the liberation to breathe again… away from the daily grind and of the joy of discovering new places, learning about its people, history, food, to appreciate their way of life and to absorb in the beauty of mother nature.

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The magnificent view of Mount Batur

Ever the dreamy explorer that I am, there is also the unmatched joy in finding what a beautiful canvas God has created the world to be with its generous offering in landscapes, cultures, history, its people and their amazing tapestry of colours and life.

Some places you travel and you like it immediately without knowing why. Some places you need to go more than once and in-depth to explore its surroundings and feel the pulse of the city before you appreciate it. The latter explains why it took two trips for me to understand all the buzz around Bali in this part of the world.

Anyway, my first trip to Bali was in 2012 together with Baby B during a company trip.
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I was breastfeeding Baby B exclusively and he was only 6 months old so I asked for the management’s approval to pay for his infant flight ticket on my own with the selling point that he was a really easy-going and good baby.
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He proved to be a sweet angel throughout the journey and even during the flights, snuggly held close to me in his baby carrier as we covered almost a dozen of must-see places in the five-day trip. However, may be because I still had to think about finding a place all the time to change his nappies, breastfeed in our transport and feed him his first baby food, I was a distracted tourist who did not fathom why people were smitten with Bali’s sunset, terraced rice paddies and inactive volcanoes. I looked but I did not see its beauty.

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At last, while attending a good friend’s beautiful wedding last week in Bali with some girlfriends, I finally saw and comprehended its beauty and knew why my friend has chosen Bali as the venue for her destination wedding.

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Their respect for life, their reverence for their family gods and the power of nature and the harmony between people are displayed in full splendour through their dedication to the many daily spiritual rituals. image

Their unique perspective about harmonious living is encapsulated in their songs, artistic sculpture, fashions and it shows magnificently in their everyday appreciation for life in general.

Despite a short 3-day visit to Bali this round, I finally got it. I understood Elizabeth Gilbert’s journey in Eat, Pray, Love a little more.

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What an idyllic setting our resort villa was!

May be it was because of the Uma Sapna Villa we put up at which came with our own private pool, but at last I got in touch with the relaxing vibe of Bali. I also took time to treat myself to a luxurious Hair Cream Bath at the Bodyworks Bali Spa which soothingly eased my stresses away.
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I packed my trusted travel mate Panasonic Lumix GM1 along this round and hope that through these pictures, you will start to feel the artistic beats and mystical charm of the exotic Bali and make it the ideal place for your second honeymoon or even the renewal of love vows over its gorgeous sunset!

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My first luxurious hair spa experience with a Cream Bath… and the blissful moment captured by Panasonic Lumix GM1. Hehe

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Glorious Asian food at Mamasan

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It was a dream! Perfect trip with perfect company!

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In between a few glasses of drinks, I had my Lumix GM1 did a Black & White rendition of the happening Kudeta Bar.

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Behind Every Working Mom Is A Dyson Vacuum


I am trying to remember the days before my kids came along.

My wardrobe was a lovely display of feminine frocks for the weekends and sassy corporate dresses and suits for work. I had long, straight, naturally dark brown hair which I’d sometimes style into a high ponytail dressed up in a chic hair accessory. I carried a small handbag with my purse, mobile phone, a pack of tissue paper and car keys in it. My car was spotlessly clean with music CDs and some high heels kept in the car boot for those occasional corporate or social events in town.

The operative word then was Clean with a capital C. Then the bundle of joy came along. Three times it took place, if you care to ask, and my world was suddenly associated with unplanned madness. First, the word stylish eludes my wardrobe and then the hair decide to go in every imaginable directions except being in one place and finally, it’s about surprises everywhere.

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Look at the crumbs from the curry puff! I fainted twice seeing it!

They range from discovering a McDonald’s happy meal plastic toy (Yes!) inside my pumps (after finding a used dirty baby hankie in the laptop bag earlier) to staring into the rear-view mirror in HORROR as your toddler reaches for the bag of food (such as curry puff) dangling in front of him and decides to toss, poke, eat and make a massive (shocking) mess of crumbs and dirt all over the car.

So yes, I am a working mom with a day job in the marketing field but keeping dirt and mess at bay can sometimes look like it’s my main occupation.

Fortunately, half a lifetime of working has well-prepared me to deal with a dirty crisis such as this, kinda like a Mom Terminator. Now if this was left to the man of the house and the toddler alone, he would NOT have made it back in one piece without first going over-the-top swearing and cursing at the crumbs as if they had a life and then lecturing the 2 years old who’d probably just imitate him back by babbling at the crumbs, before both dad and son came home exhausted because they had just lectured the poor crumbs for 30 minutes flat.

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Dyson Digital Slim DC62: Sucks up as much dust as even a corded vacuum!

On the other hand, picture me cool-ly carrying the toddler upon reaching home on one arm and reach out for my Dyson Digital Slim™ DC62 Vacuum effortlessly on the other, get back into the car, suck up and say goodbye to our dirty little friends in less than a minute, all the while smiling, because victory is mine to savour with my DC62! Yes, they say, mom is the world but you know behind every mom is powerful, nifty home appliance that makes life sweet as a Lenka’s song!

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Be gone, dust, mess and all!

As with other Dyson products that are engineered for optimum safety and usability, Dyson DC62 Vacuum is packed with features that are lady-friendly. You know, because I don’t lift weight and stuff, I don’t even have lady muscles to carry anything too heavy. This baby is lightweight and cordless all at once so you literally don’t have to break a sweat while doing your motherly chore. There is also no cords behind so that means no cumbersome wires behind the machine that can get entangled into corners or furniture legs, and plus, I also get to skip the step of having to press the retractable cord button to coil back the long cords.

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See how the Dyson Digital Slim is totally cordless? It’s what I call beauty with power!

In order to get it to work, I would charge the battery of Dyson DC62 fully because with each charge, the vacuum provides 20 minutes of powerful, high suction power to help clean hard-to-reach places. In this particular curry puff crisis over the weekend, I am happy to report that despite settling into the tiny, minute holes inside the car seat fabrics, the crumbs vanished in two minutes!

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Goodbye, dust and crumbs. You don’t stand a chance to live on my car seat or home with my Dyson cordless vaccum!

This vacuum is made with a 350W digital motor that is already on its 6th generation (V6), a 2-Tier Radial™ cyclones and a re-engineered nickel manganese cobalt battery. Put all these together and you get a mean, terminator-grade vacuum machine that even the kids will call it cool. The kids are happy to help with vacuuming task these days because it is light and easy to carry for them (of course, they also use it to role-play as imaginary Terminator game!).

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Yes they help with house chores, but kids being kids, the vacuum turns into a Terminator gun sometimes too. 🙂

Dyson DC62 also comes with a 8-minute Boost Mode for more difficult tasks. Thank God I have not encountered any mess so great that I need to use that. But even on its normal suction mode, from the moment you start cleaning until the moment you finish, I love that the DC62 maintains powerful and is extremely easy to use to clean up everything and anything everywhere – up top, down below and in-between.
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I also find the hygienic bin emptying feature a plus point because the dust particles literally gets dumped neatly into my trash bin from the back without spreading all over the floor like some vacuum models do. Once I am done with it, I can store it back into its docking station that we have installed neatly on one corner of our laundry room, instead of taking up shelve storage space.  The docking station is like a mothership, it stores and charges the machine, and holds additional attachments and accessories.

 

My life would never get back to where it was back then before the kids. Thankfully while kids and mess will always come together as one package, I’d say the joy of having those butterfly kisses at the end of a tiring work day just supersedes it all, spillage, dirt, mess and all. ❤

 

Besotted With Penang


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Ernest Zacharevic Wall Mural Painting of A Pair of Siblings on Armenian Street, Penang. PIcture courtesy of my friend, Kent Lee,because I have yet to bring the munchkins to visit these beautiful artwork.

If you must ask every Malaysian which local town he or she would like to stay in after retirement (that is if money wasn’t an issue), at least half of them would name Penang as one of the places to grow old in. It’s like how Americans generally view Florida as the chosen place for their golden retirement, Penang is somewhat top of the list for us Malaysians because of its old-meets-new charm that is presented in an appealing package of small town friendliness, British colonial heritage, long stretches of soft sandy beaches and gorgeous sunset.

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The rich hues and vibrant colour composition of this spectacular sunset shot at Penang was taken with my Panasonic Lumix GM1.

Top that with its rich history dating back to the 1700s of being one of our three famous port cities along with Singapore and Melaka, it is then no wonder that Penang is also nicknamed the Pearl of the Orient and that’s quintessentially how charming and vital Penang is to every Malaysian.

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Quaint architectural heritage. Courtesy of a friend, Evie Ho.

Penang is also as famous for its quaint architectural heritage as its iconic status as the food capital of Malaysia. Every conversation and friendly debate revolving the best Char Koay Teow (a very famous fried flat noodles fried with soy sauce, chilli, prawns, cockles, egg, bean sprouts and Chinese chives) or the tastiest Mee Goreng (fried yellow noodles) among food-obsessed Malaysians ends with an uncompromised statement that so-and-so stall in Penang has the best of them all. Even the best Ice Kacang (our local version of shaved ice dessert drizzled with Gula Melaka and coconut syrup) in the whole of Malaysia just has to be found in Penang. We love our Penang food that much that it almost borders on national pride already.

I suppose I don’t need to explain much about why we ended up in Penang a month ago then. Apart from the obvious reason of embarking on a food trail, as a family who loves the great outdoor, we were throwing ourselves into the swimming pool almost every day at the Holiday Inn Resort where we had a great vacation relaxing at its gorgeous private beach and taking in the lovely scenic sunset.Image

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Taken with the Sepia creative mode. As you can tell I was having fun just experimenting with all the scene guides and creative filters that come with the GM1! 🙂

I certainly think that the Penang trip was one of the best vacations we have had locally and I have every moment of us enjoying the sun and the fun all captured by my sleek-looking, smart, all-in-one compact digital camera built with DSLR functions – Panasonic Lumix GM1.

I’d like to imagine that I am a Picasso with my GM1. Its Scene Guide function which literally comes with a real sample picture on its touch screen to show you the sample picture effect you could achieve with each selection such as Clear Portrait, Silky Skin, Backlit Softness, Sweet Child’s Face, Vivid Sunset Glow, Glistening Water, Appetizing food, and etc. gives you multiple artistic possibilities and controls over the mood, visual effects and focus of your subject, like a professional photographer at work, except that achieving all of these shots do not involve carrying dozens of different filter lens or getting a diploma in photography.Image Although it is a compact digital camera, Lumix GM1 does not compromise its picture quality in that every detail down to the colour hues of the scenery and subject is expressed fully in every photo including its raw file. Cool!

As a busy working mom with three kids ranging from toddler to pre-teens, I can assure you that I do not have the luxury of time to pour through every photography literature and blogs to learn how to take my best shot. I also do not have much time to capture those candid moments as they happen. That is why I love that Lumix GM1 allows me to interpret how I want to capture those moments as it happens, quickly and accurately, without ever learning how to take good photos formally. Apart from time factor, these kids… they run, they make funny faces, they play and they may not relive their moment of cuteness TWICE!

Lumix GM1 gives me the power to make life artistic with its much touted intelligent creative control. This neat feature comes with more than 20 pre-set filter effects covering a wide variety of popular themes from the likes of Expressive, Retro, Old Days, Impressive Art, Cross Process, Soft Focus, Sunshine Mode, Star filter, High Key, Low Key, Sepia, Toy Pop, Toy Effect makes photo-taking of scenery, portraits, active subjects, interesting scenes and actions (lots of it!)Image a straight no-brainer.

All I have ever learned about photography as an art is encapsulated in a five-worded golden nugget of wisdom shared by a friend of mine who once said that, “In photography, less is more.” I literally just have to find what picture mood tickles my fancy, focus on that one thing because less is more, effortlessly select the Creative Mode, and just point and snap.Image

I hope you enjoy my photos, especially the sunset shots in Penang. I was truly fascinated with its rich hues and how they were brilliantly captured by my Panasonic Lumix GM1. And the next time if you overheard a Malaysian mentioning about retiring into the sunset, my photos would show you that she is really referring to the charming sunset of Penang.

Cheers!

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When we told him that time was up for sand play, Baby B gave us this awful expression as if it was the end of the world. LOL

When we told him time’s up for sand play, Baby B gave us this awful expression as if it was the end of the world. LOL

Creativity & Beauty Through Lumix GM1


Innocently, Cheeky Koko asks, “Mama, when you were a kid, did your world appear only in Black and White?”

“What? No, why do you ask this?” I asked.

“I was just looking at photos from grandpa, grandma’s times and photos from your time and they were all black and white, so I thought may be your world came in that colours only!” My preteen scientist thought so logically.

“Well, those days cameras were bulky, less technology-driven and more skills-driven instead, and the photos could only be processed in black and white hence grandpa and grandma and even your great grandpa and great grandma had photos that are in black and white only. But Excusez-moi, little man, here’s the correction: your mom though seems to be born at dinosaur age at times but really I am from the 70s era, where those great songs like YMCA and the discos were in their heydays, so my childhood photos already came in faintish colours of yellow and brown, k? Not black and white.” I said defensively.

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The magnificent beauty of Melaka – both old and new is captured with one of Panasonic Lumix GM1’s special effects called “Retro”.

“And certainly the world since the time God first created it had appeared in its full spectrum of colours. I can imagine Adam and Eve saw it a little more blue than you, a little more green and perhaps the sun came in a nicer shade of crimson red because they didn’t have pollution like what we have now,” I continued.

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Discovered this cool café lounge called Geography while strolling along the Jonker Street, which I captured using its original iA mode. See how the image is stabilised even though I took this shot while walking and chasing after my kids!

“OK, just my imagination. Got it, Mom!” Short and succinct is his middle name these days.

At times like these, I know why preteens and teens can drive parents up their wall by their seemingly curious child-like nature which turns into a cold, shut-the-world-out machine at the very next second. May be he’s a little grown up now — not a small boy anymore but certainly not yet a youth. I just have to learn to release him to the teenage-hood, ready or not, steadily.

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Another freestyle shot using iA mode from Lumix GM1. I have had to reduce the file size for the blog which doesn’t even do justice for the real beauty that we witnessed through my GM1.

Perhaps I am not ready yet. Here’s my first baby who ushered me into motherhood 12 years ago, whose entire birth, his first words, first smile, first turn, first step, first haircut and first mischief got Daddy Joe and I fascinated long into the nights as we learned to be the best first-time parents ever. I can still remember how everything that he was doing even as small as building his first sand castle was worth photo-taking with our first compact camera loaded with a film roll.

The photos that came from the first generation compact camera were at times blurred, at times too white because of the flash light, too dark because we didn’t use the flashlight, too full of flaws because of the background — all of which were largely because digital cameras were not invented until a few years later.

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Sweet interactions between the siblings can pass us so very quickly. But with my new toy, I feel like the real supermom with the power to etch this memory permanently with a quick shot using the camera’s built-in filter called “Clear Portrait”.

Digital camera got us hooked initially because we could take and retake precious moments to our heart’s content but it only did just that – point and shoot. Sometimes the moments were right but the technology and the lack of any photo-taking skill produced photo quality that just came out fairly plain.

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Imagine the size of the Lumix GM1 is as small as an iphone, and almost same length as Daddy Joe’s basic Nokia handphone. Its weight? About the same as a pack of Drinho Chrysanthemum Tea!

We have since owned two digital cameras as we expanded our family members but none could come close to the smartness of Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GM1K which I recently was invited to put to test as a mother because it targets young fashionable females and especially young mothers (believe it or not, I still qualify, ok? LOL!) with its light weight, compact size (small as an iphone!) and fashionably stylish package. Yet within this lovable compact camera-meets-SLR-function package, this wondrous digital camera is jammed pack with mother-friendly features that were once achievable if only one was armed with a SLR camera and canggih-manggih (high tech) lenses.

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Daddy Joe shot this pix of me taking photos again with my new toy, but see how small it is and how cool it makes a plain Jane mom like me a little bit more cool because of its stylish and retro design in bright orange colour? It really is my new BFF!

Because we don’t have a SLR camera, I sometimes use a phone app such as PicsArt to give artistic touches to the quick photos I take of the happiest little kids. No doubt these apps made me feel almost like a semi-professional photographer because of their ability to capture the surrounding ambience and the moment in time almost quite fine, somehow the photos are still not rich in their detailing and it doesn’t give us the satisfaction that comes from using a real camera to take photos, especially one that gives you the full control like the SLR, minus the required expenses, bulkiness and technical know-how.

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Local shops that are full of characters come aplenty in Melaka!

For my first attempt with Lumix GM1, this happiest little family here has taken a day trip to Melaka, one of Malaysia’s oldest port cities with a trading history dating back to the 15th century and a charming mix of Dutch, Portugese and British colonial heritage that makes it a colourful multicultural  town. From its unique Baba Nyonya heritage as well as its European architectural influences such as the must-visit A Famosa forts and the new retro vibes that are bursting through its touristic cafes and famous streets, they become the perfect backdrop for my experiment with my new gadget.

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These Asian bowls were sold at a shop which encapsulated the multicultural heritage that is bursting through every corner of Melaka. Took this using a special effect called “Old Days”— accessible at an easy scrolling through Lumix GM1’s touch screen. The fun had just started!

I mostly capture the stories of the lovely city by using a very retro built-in filter that comes with the camera. All in, there are 22 filters one can easily switch to at the touch-screen panel to get creative with. There are mothers-approved filters such as child portrait, clear portrait, soft portrait, and cool landscape and skyline filters such as romantic sunset, cool sunset, night landscape, glistening landscape and etc, how not to be feel what Picasso feels when one is able to hold the power to be creative at her fingertips? 🙂

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This is a shot captured using a special effect called “Sunshine” which adds a cast of light to the photo. Hello, the power to play with creativity is just fun!

Overall the camera is light but packed loads with smart features that make capturing these fleeting moments a mom sees such as that cute as a button smile in a photo a supremely easy task. No more expensive family portraits at a studio when everything seems staged. A child’s most natural expression is captured beautifully and naturally with the help of the many fool-proof features.

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Another “retro” mood I tried to capture of some fridge magnets found at a shop. We ended up buying those Nyonya kebaya magnets because they were too cute!

My only regret? If only this was invented 12 years back then perhaps I could hold onto sweet memories of my first baby Cheeky Koko and second baby Pumpkin Mei-Mei that much more longer through vibrant and crisp clear photos produced by the Lumix GM1.

Baby B is just a very lucky baby to be born in this technology age – there is so much more that I can preserve his cuteness in the photos than I could with his older brother and sister, anytime and anywhere. If only time could turn back for me to do what I wanted to do all along.

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Not London. Melaka has its own splashes of red dotted around everywhere in its town inspired by the A Famosa, such as this touristic hop-on bus!

But I am guessing I could still snap the two preteens as much as I want, even when they are trying to cover up their faces and do funny shots like these!

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Follow us as we learn to take full control of Lumix GM1 to capture the beauty of another iconic city of Malaysia, coming up soon!

Nursing In Progress (NIP)


Every breastfeeding mom has a secret. My secret is now out in the open.

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Well, almost.

The secret is that I breastfeed at any time and at everywhere — when I am dining, driving, travelling, shopping, watching TV, reading, blogging and when I am half asleep in the middle of the night. I nurse my baby, now 23 months old at weddings, social gatherings… At exhibition, sales and in the restaurant, at the park, shopping mall, at his older siblings’ public school canteen and even in the car park.

There is nothing ceremonial about this regular routine of me and my nursling except that I shall proudly say that I am a maven of discreet breastfeeding. Try to spot and catch me while I am at it but chances are, you won’t even noticed that I am actually nursing my baby… at least 95% of time.

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Wore this gorgeous SPRING maternity dress to a social function at KL Tower and not a single soul knew this was a prego cum nursing dress, brilliant!

And the other 5% isn’t because I have a wardrobe malfunction that would make you go, “She’s doing what???” I really am a modest Asian, after all, and exposing myself and trying to blame it on a wardrobe malfunction is just not my cup of tea.

So the 5% is likely that you are my friend and family or that you have known me as a hardcore breastfeeding mom in the last decade nursing all 3 kids that you have been conditioned and gotten used to seeing me breastfeed either one of my children that you don’t even noticed the act anymore.

Of course, it’s so much easier when one is nursing a baby, because with just a nursing cover, you can lift up your tops and let the baby nurse to his heart’s content without breaking a sweat.

It’s a different ball game once the child starts to journey into toddlerdom. He would want to lift up the curtain (i.e. the nursing cover) so-to-speak, to take a peek into the exciting world while he is nursing, exposing the milk factories that should be kept in privacy.

Breastfeeding an older baby often starts with the toddler making some fussy sounds of “Nan-Nan! Nan-Nan!” (which, in Hokkien means milk, breast or a combination of the two) which often sends the mom into a hyperventilation mode because it means she would have to stop whatever she’s doing to serve her royalty baby already, but the problem is they could be stuck at a place such as a glorious wedding or when the family is just about to visit the Orang Utan’s habitat at the local zoo!

Naturally, she’d usually try to distract with an offer of a sip of water or juice or a snack, failing which she’d have to nurse the curious toddler either by shuffling off to the nearest quiet spot to evade any attention (including that of the breastfeeding Orang Utan’s baby who may mistake her as his mom with less hair) or if she was at a Chinese dinner, to fight with the person opposite the round table to pull the edge of the dangling red tablecloth on her side of the table to cover her modesty. Poor diner seated opposite probably never understood why his rice bowl and chopsticks kept moving further away to the centre of the table and that the tablecloth just seemed to shift to the opposite side of the table as the night progresses!

Proving that tablecloth fighting with a random diner can be a totally stressed up session, we all need nursing tops and dresses to make that tranquil breastfeeding both a discreet and fashionable experience. Enter SPRING Maternity & Nursing apparels that has made my life immeasurably better with their choice of intelligent, gorgeous, bright-coloured and fashionable nursing tops.

My favourite from their collection of fashion staples is a maternity dress that doesn’t even look like a prego dress at all. This gorgeous dress comes with a slim red belt that cinch the waist and gives off the illusion that even mom of three like yours truly does have a waist. For a pregnant mom’s growing tummy over the course of a beautiful 9-month journey, simply wear the dress without the red belt and paired with a little cardigan or accessories such as a necklace can expand the versatility of the dress for different day and night look.

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The blue dress has a nursing access on both sides which makes nursing my toddler a walk in the park.

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This maternity pants is paired with a white work shirt for casual Friday. None of my colleagues knew I was wearing a maternity pants that is also both comfy and fits greatly.

This dress also has hidden nursing slits through side access that makes tablecloth fighting with a stranger over a dinner a thing of the past! On another note, for the longest time, I forgot that I was a woman on the weekends because I just couldn’t wear dresses on those outings with the kids. Yes, I am a pants person but there’s just that girly feeling I want to feel going out dressed pretty in a dress and being able to nurse whenever I can and wherever I want to, and now this sleeveless knit dress sees to it that I can unleash my feminine side on these outings.

SPRING started in our friendly neighbour country Singapore in Oct 2003 with only a single maternity store and has since grown into one of Singapore’s largest specialty maternity and baby retailers. SPRING has more than 4 stores island-wide and 2 stores in Malaysia (under the brand name of CAMOMILE SPRING).

I also own their maternity pants which I still wear post-natal because they look chic enough to carry me from day to dawn, without looking too baggy like some maternity pants do. In fact I am not the only one who still wears a maternity pants almost 2 years post-delivery. Most of their customers buy SPRING maternity pants even after giving birth because they offer great fit, are versatile and oh-so-comfortable that one can wear them before, during and after birth.

I once told their staff that their maternity clothes look so chic that I wanna get pregnant again but with stacking bills and a busy lifestyle of work, family, Church, and kids, I’d just stick to the nursing section in their stores.  The 2 stores in Malaysia are conveniently located at Bangsar Village 2 (BV2), KL and Setia City Mall (SCM), Shah Alam, but if you are a busy mama like this cow mama here, their SPRING online store is a much-welcomed, easy click-away shopping option.

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This pretty nursing blouse makes for the perfect choice for weekend outings with the kids to places like a book store, because I could breastfeed Baby B discreetly and in complete peace of mind.

The nursing apparel from SPRING that I have looks just like an ordinary sleeveless blouse except that when Baby B wants a quick Nan-Nan even during a visit to the museum, all of that feeding needs and loving bond between me, the breastfeeder, and him can be conducted happily through smart nursing access on both sides even on any bench I could find and out in the open without the need to lift up the blouse, hide in an obscure corner or stress over how I could try to cover up my modesty with an active nursling who may decide to stop breastfeeding halfway to play peekaboo with his siblings.

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One of the KPIs of a mother (sorry, I always talk corporate, guess old habit dies hard, hehe) is being able to keep more savings for the family. When you can have the same functional closet that you can wear throughout every journey of motherhood and still look fabulous, instead of buying separate clothing for different seasons of life, the economist in me calls it a Brilliant Investment.

And of course, not having to worry about pulling off the whole red tablecloth to cover your modesty is a very tempting thought. LOL.