Wednesday, May 28, 2014

[Giveaway] Rise and Shine Carnival 2014

Come join in the fun at Singapore's Largest Breakfast Carnival organized by Rise And Shine on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 and join in the fun with other families at attempting to break the record for the largest number of families making sandwiches!

There will be goodie bags and lots of activities to keep your little ones occupied throughout, such as the following -

  • Kids bike circuit by The Little Bike Shop
  • Rugby, Soccer, Basketball sports try out by Ready Steady Go Kids
  • Bouncy Castle
  • Obstacle Course by JELIC Brain Power Train
  • Disney Activity Booth by Disney: Be like Doc McStuffins and give your favourite toy a check-up at Doc’s toy clinic!
    Experience fun activities focused on healthy living and shake along to your favourite Doc songs during Stretch & Flex.
  • Meet & Greet with mascots
  • Cupcake decorating by The Icing Room
  • Balloon sculpting
  • Egg Hunting around The Lawn by Sanofi
  • Face painting

We are pleased to give away a pair of tickets each to 3 lucky fans (at random) who -

Children below the age of 12 do not need tickets.  Winners will be announced on 31 May 2014 before 2359hrs.

Find out more about the carnival and get your tickets at early bird prices here!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Leroy Displaced His Front Incisor

Leroy must have watched far too many Spiderman and Xmen movies.  He had a swell time playing with his cousins last Sunday, so much so that his left face swelled as well after he face-fxxkxd a box during play on Sunday.

I am usually not too bothered by his wailing as he was known to cry over small matters.  However it sounded different this time round and he was crying more "enthusiastically" without stop.  He ran out of the room after a while and shouted hysterically
"我的牙齿歪了!" (my front tooth was slanted).  That caught me by surprise.

I examined his tooth and it was indeed slanted towards the back a little due to the force. He was also bleeding from the side of his lips. I brought him to the nearest dentist and asked the dental assistant if the dentist could just have a look at his injuries so that I can decide on the next course of action and how she responded made my blood boil.

She pointed to the queue in the clinic and said, "can't you see there is a queue?" Or something to the effect but I "LL" suck thumb as it was the only dental clinic within walking distance.  Fuming inside, I just "lun" and tried explaining again that I only needed to know what to do, after the dentist have a look at him and she later relented.

The dentist barely had a glance at Leroy and simply said that the teeth needs to be extracted as his tooth had broken.  At that point in time, I was thinking that it might be in Leroy's best interest that I follow his recommendation. I asked the assistant how long the wait would be and she said we can go home and wait for her call.

Luckily for the wait, cause when I got home my wife had already googled for similar cases and was quite surprised that the recommendation was extraction without much of a glance at Leroy.  We decided against extraction and my wife brought him to see another dentist the next day.

She walked the entire Ang Mo Kio central on Monday and found the dental business booming.  Clinics were either not willing to see kids or simply did not wish to take in any walk-ins.  Eventually my wife managed to find a new clinic beside AMK Hub that was willing to take Leroy.  

According to my wife, the dentist was absolutely patient and understanding.  He examined Leroy's tooth and concluded that the pain he felt was from his bruised gums and that the tooth was still firmly rooted.  He even declined payment but my wife felt bad and got him to do polishing for Leroy.

Leroy with his legs propped up on the dentist chair.  Can see that he really hated dental treatment of any sorts!
Well it could be because the clinic was new and thus the dentist was much more service-oriented and definitely more accommodating.  As for the first clinic that I brought Leroy to, the dental assistance seems to be the wife of the dentist and spoke in a condescending tone to everyone.  My hard-earned money won't be lining their pockets ever again!   

Meanwhile thank goodness for the Doctor Teo!  Leroy can continue to make his faces in front of the camera without the hole in front.  I will also make an appointment to see the friendly doc for my own filling, one fine day, really soon.  My wife added that he is rather young and good-looking too, eye-candy for the ladies maybe? 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Fun Shoot @ Studio Me

My wife was lucky to win a photo shoot package by Studio Me for her mom in their Mother's Day Facebook contest.  So yesterday evening, the whole family including my MIL made our way down to City Square Mall for the fun shoot.

Super buay tahan Leroy and his antics!
I had brought along my camera with intention to take photos and videos of the process but the 30mins studio package passed so fast that I didn't even manage to take a single photo at all.

Grandma enjoying the photo session with her grandchildren.
There are two rooms in the studio and it was rather like a NEO print machine, just much larger.  Everything's pretty much DIY, you just press a button, count to 5 seconds and smile while standing in a green backdrop.  All the while, you can see in real time (on a big display) how your photo will turn out to be.  But don't do poses that are too weird, as the staff do see the photos at the reception in real time too.  We knew, cause she walked in to tell us that a chair was blocking the view (and we had no idea!). 

See that chair on the bottom left of the photo? It was in 15 out of 60 of our photos!
My MIL and the kids enjoyed the session very much and we thought we took a lot of photos, but in reality, we only took 60 photos throughout the entire session.  After we finished the session and walked to the reception, the staff looked at me and said, "your boy a lot of pattern hor?"  Upon checking the photos back home, I now know why...

I only compiled a few of his photos and already can see got so much pattern.
Maybe we would consider a return trip for more family photos when Louie grows bigger!  After all, we only tried one set of backdrops out of their many.  We did manage to get one or two nice family shoot this time but I know we would be better prepared the next time round. 

One of the better-looking photos.
I thought Stacci and Leroy looked really happy in this photo.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Louie' Baby Shower and Hair Shaving

Louie’s baby shower took place on Sat, 10 May and many of our colleagues, family and friend joined us for the celebration.  This is probably our last baby shower and we are thankful to everyone for taking precious time off in attending our little party.  Some of them had even attended all 4 of our baby showers and I was really quite paiseh about the four baby shower invites over less than 7 years. 

A photo montage of some of our fun-loving colleagues, family and friends!  Thank you so much for turning up!
Anyway we went with Neo Garden Catering for our buffet again, since we have had good experience booking with them for the past 3 baby showers and our guest were really quite happy with the food.  The company was kind enough to throw in some freebies for the family, such as the decorations and ang ku kueh as it was our FOURTH time.  
The buffet came with complimentary decorations and balloons courtesy of Neo Garden Catering.
The kids (except for maybe Leroy) loved the bears and the balloons but it was a pity that the bears had to be returned though.
The one thing I am really scared of being the host, is having not enough food for the guests.  But without fail, after every baby shower I would be eating the same buffet food for the next few days due to over-ordering.  This time, it was no exception and I still have the dessert in my fridge.

Yesterday marked the 40th day Louie had been with us, and we finally arranged for the hair shaving for him (I forgotten about making an arrangement on his full month).  We are getting Huaxia Taimaobi, the company which had Zoe Tay as their ambassador, to make brushes with his hair just like we did for his 3 older siblings. 

Louie before and after the haircut.  Looks like a little China baby doesn't he?
We got a very patient and friendly sales representative named Gracee this time.  She knew how much parents likes documenting the process through photo and video-taking and was very obliging.  She even gave Louie a Mohawk cut before shaving off everything.  How cool is that?  

We even got time to photo him in his Mohawk hairstyle before he is finally shaved bald.
When we had our firstborn Steffi, we felt that it would be a GREAT idea to make the brush and umbilical cord stamp to mark the special occasion and to keep.  And we did it with the best material we could afford then.  Fast forward 3 more births, it is no longer that affordable for us now lol.  It cost us just under $500 for the better quality wood of the brush, as well as for the umbilical cord stamp.  Not exactly cheap but make great mementos I guess, and also because I cannot possibly NOT do these for Louie only.

This is how Louie looks like now, with his clean shaven look and with all his hair behind.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Power Up! Essence of Chicken by Eu Yan Sang (Review)

Two weeks back, I brought Steffi, Stacci and Leroy to a media invite by Eu Yan Sang for their new range of Essence of Chicken for children called "Power Up!".  The kiddos were treated to some delicious milkshakes that used some of the same herbs that were used in the chicken essence as well.  I initially thought they mixed chicken essence into the milkshake but it was really a sweet introduction to the herbs for the kids.  The sweetness worked I guess.

The kiddos enjoyed the coloring exercise while the adults listened to the introduction.
I tried all 3 different flavors, with my favorite being the milkshake with Wolfberries (super sweet though), while the kids enjoyed the coconut-flavored shakes.  The last flavor, green tea flavor wasn't that well-received by the family though.

Steffi and Stacci really enjoying the milkshakes!
When they brought in the yellow monster mascot named "Whizzy", it drove the kids crazy and they couldn't keep their hands off the mascot!  Whizzy even sat down obligingly with the kids and had a few rounds of "scissors, paper, stones" with them and wasn't allowed to leave until after the compulsory group photo with my kids was taken.  That made the kids' day!

Whizzy the mascot entertaining the kids!
There are a total of 3 different variants in the "Power Up!" series.  The one in yellow box is the 100% original (no herbs, pure chicken), meant for better Concentration, orange box (with Wolfberries, Beiqi and Beihe extract) for better Vision while the blue box (with Dangshen, Huaishan and Fuling extract) for better Appetite.

The 3 different types of chicken essence for kids, each with it's special properties!
Eu Yan Sang had kindly sponsored a box of essence each for the kiddos after the event and they had  been taking them regularly for the 2 weeks.  Steffi did not like them initially, but had now grown to love Power Up! Vision, while Stacci the little glutton loves all of them right from the start!  The extreme would be Leroy, who will not budge despite any amount of cajoling.

I tried the bottle that Leroy refused flatly and with 100% zero additives (which is GOOD), I must say that although the chicken essence tasted a tad bland, it should be quite readily acceptable for a child.  However there is a tinge of bitter aftertaste in the Power Up! Appetite (blue box) when I tried a sip and kids may need a little getting use to.  

Leroy would never touch the chicken essence no matter what and he didn't even try it at all!
I guess every child's palate is different and I was actually pleasantly surprised that Steffi and Stacci loved the chicken essence.  Leroy refused to try the chicken essence no matter how hard I tried.  Maybe I should try to find some recipes online that uses chicken essence so as to mask the chicken essence!

Those who knows my kids, know that they are quite picky with food and are not growing up as well as we would like them too.  Hence I was hoping that the chicken essence would give them the additional supplement in the form of protein and herbs to help them grow.  Do you know that kids need about 0.5g of protein for every 0.5kg they weigh?

One very important thing that sets the Power Up! range apart from others is that it is 100% pure chicken WITHOUT any additives such as caramel, salt, sugar, fat, cholesterol or preservatives at all!  It is specially formulated for children 2 years up, rich in protein and easily digestible.  Go ahead, read the labels of your favorite brands, I did. 

It may be almost 100% essence but there is still additives in the form of caramel in other brands.
Am hopeful that this is the right supplement for the kiddos this time round and that they will grow taller and put on more weight.  Meanwhile, Power Up! can be purchased at Eu Yan Sang Singapore online shop here.  Go check it out and good health to everyone!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

My Diapering Adventure with Louie

How time flies! Little Louie is already 1 mth and 3 days old and that meant that our confinement lady had already left us for 3 days. I wonder how we got through the first 3 kids without one!

One month old Louie cosplaying as a snail.
My wife needed to run errands this evening and I was tasked to look over Louie and Stacci.  I thought it was an easy job as they were sleeping but unfortunately Louie woke up moments later and needed feeding.  Although I have 3 older kids, I totally have no idea on his feeding habit and had to ring the wife for help on the amount to feed.

Anyway I am paiseh to say that today is the first time I bottle feed my Louie.   As I was bottle feeding him, I heard sounds of engagement and bombardment in his diapers and I remembered why I don't really like feeding infants.  Great, today shall not only be the first time I feed Louie, but the first time I change his diapers as well.

I found everything required for the diaper change within the baby playpen.  The wet wipes, nappy rash ointment and diapers!  Tip 1, always keep the necessities within reach.  That would reduce crying time, be it the baby's or yours. 

Keep the things close, but maybe not as close as the photo shows, as older babies may be able to grab stuff already.
Louie got angrier by the minute as but before I got to actually change his diapers, my wife came back and took over the job!  Tip 2 for daddies, a helpful and accommodating wife is godsend, no joke! (watch video below)  I delayed my virgin diaper changing for Louie, but not that I am scared though. 

With regular diaper changing, application of nappy rash ointment after every change, and the reliability of overnight urine absorption of Pampers (thank you for the sponsorship!), we managed to keep Louie's bottoms pretty (no rashes, touch wood) and us sane!

Find more information on Pampers in their official website.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Southeast Asia Blue Carpet Premiere of X-Men: Days of Future Past

I have always thought that the kids are lucky kids. They have so many of our friends and family loving them. I never thought much when I won tickets for the Amazing Spider-Man 2 red carpet and press conference, but the kids were lucky and ended getting up close and personal with the cast. Totally unexpected.

This time round when the social media was buzzing with news and contest for the new Xmen Days of Future Past, I also tried winning some tickets too but didn't have luck with that.  It was a good friend of mine, Wenshing who alerted me to a twitter contest by 98.7FM that was about to end in a couple of days.  With work and having 4 kids in the house, it took me till the very last day of the contest before I got to submit in a photo entry.  Leroy was super cooperative with the "make-up" and shoot as he had wanted to meet Logan, Wolverine and Hugh Jackman in person. 

Leroy with his many expressions while cosplaying as Wolverine Junior!
I guess his luck was really good as he was actually announced as the first winner out of 8 from the FM98.7 giveaway with his photo entry!  Woohoo!  Then it suddenly dawned on me that I have gotten myself into a lot of work and possible disappointment.  Having been through the red carpet event for Spider-Man, I know it's gonna be chaotic to the max with the Xmen as well.  Over the next few nights I kept thinking of ways to secure photo opportunities for Leroy with Hugh.  Should I approach the organizers, the contest people, the media owners or venue sponsors through social media?  I think I tried all, but as expected, were met with polite rejections or non-replies.  I mean, who the hell is Leroy after all?  So I ended up telling him it's all up to his luck this time, Daddy did whatever he could. 

I took half day leave on the actual day itself, to ensure that I would not too far off from any potential queue.  At the Spider-Man red carpet, there were probably enough winners to fill a huge movie theatre and we didn't even get a glimpse of the stars when they walked down the carpet.  We were pleasantly surprised when we reached Lido and found that there wasn't a queue at all and we had our little fun taking photos at the venue.  I joined the winners' queue when it started forming and got to know that the first person actually reached at 11am when the event stated from 5.30pm.  That to me, is dedication!  For us, 4pm was probably just right.

Leroy enjoying his walk on the blue carpet while being led to the winners' pit.
Leroy showing his pass in front of the stage, for being the winner of the 98.7 twitter photo contest.
Leroy was given the star treatment when we were brought into our winners pit via the blue carpet.  Fans probably tried practicing their screams and whistles on Leroy before the real stars arrived.  We were given the best location, right in front of the stage and we also need not squeeze as there were ample space for us!  Great job, and we really felt like winners this time!
Leroy entertaining himself, while waiting for his hero.
There were pretty much nothing to do for Leroy during the wait.  All he wanted was to meet Wolverine in person and he didn't understand why the wait was so long.  But he got excited when he saw mutants amongst us!  There was a group of cos-play enthusiasts who dressed up in elaborate latex suits at the venue and Leroy got to take photos with them too! 

Awesome peeps at the event.  They were really into their character and Leroy got to take photos with them too!
Leroy was in a great position, and would have managed to take photos with all the local celebrities when they walked past. However, there are TWO sides to a whatever-colored carpet event and we didn't manage to get all. Being the only kid around, he did however manage to snag quite a fair number of photos with local celebrities.

The friendly stars who stopped for Leroy. :)
Daddy had to practice taking the photos too for Wolverine.  It was not easy, as I had to balance him on the barricade with one hand and take photos with my camera using the other. 

Test shot with a pair of friendly twins from Vietnam! I feel so old! Lol!
We waited and waited until Hugh Jackman finally arrived but it probably took another hour before we finally caught a glimpse of him in person.  My heart was pounding, would I be able to get him to take a photo with Leroy this time?  Chances looked good this time, one more person and he will reach us!  I got my camera ready!  But alas!  My heart stopped and vulgarities almost came out my mouth when Hugh walked over to the other side just before reaching us!  The fans on the other side of the carpet decided to rise to the occasion and screamed at the top of their voices and it got Hugh's attention.  I must think of something now, and immediately I told Leroy, "brace yourself, I am going to hurl you over the barricade and you go grab his suit!".  No go, as he promptly looked at me with his mouth wide open in disbelief.
Hugh Jackman, just seconds away from reaching where Leroy and myself were!
Then I looked over to where Hugh was now and noticed that the lady in black (see top photo) beside him looked at me.  Without a second to lose, I saluted her (meaning to say sorry), did a few clicking action (self-explanatory), raised my index finger (meaning to say just one) and then pointed to Leroy!  She nodded!  I could see that she whispered a few words to Hugh and then led him over to where we were!  It worked!  Daddy mission accomplished and I got not one, but the few photos of Leroy with Hugh!  I was probably over the moon that I didn't even notice the bad focusing, hence the bad photos!  Darn!
Daddy completed his mission and Leroy got his photos with his hero, Hugh Jackman!
I would have tried taking a photo with Fan Bing Bing and Peter but they all walked past us on the other side where there were lots more fans!  That was the flip side to staying over at the winners pit as compared to the public area and by the time they reached us, they were probably too tired too.  But with the photos of Leroy and Hugh in my memory card, I wouldn't complain. 

It was already 8pm by the time the blue carpet event ended and we had to rush for a quick sushi takeaway dinner before going for our movie premiere one hour later.  Bumped into the emcee for the event, Pei Fen too. 

A nice photo with Lin Pei Fen before we went for our movie!
By this time, Leroy was already pumped up and acting like a little monkey in anticipation of his movie treat.  I must say the idea of traveling though time and changing future is not new but watching it unveil in the show with all the mutants is rather amusing.  Leroy enjoyed pointing out to me the different characters he met earlier and stayed awake throughout the show.  However Leroy would have enjoyed more actions and fight scenes though.  Both Leroy and myself enjoyed watching the movie for sure! 

Leroy posing with the great posters before we left the place.
I was still debating on my mode of transport back when I received a Whatsapp message from a close friend, Mervin who happened to be at the premiere as well and we managed to hitch a ride home in his car too!  What a way to end the day of adventure with celebrities for Leroy and myself!

Leroy continues to be a lucky boy after all!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Movie Date with the Family - Premiere Screening of Godzilla 2014

The family managed to snag a pair of tickets to the premiere screening of Godzilla 2014 at Shaw Lido yesterday evening.  This time round, me and my wife decided to try bringing both Leroy and Stacci for the show, while leaving Steffi and Louie at home since Steffi doesn't really fancy movies with monsters or paranormal activities.

The first thing that caught our eyes at the premiere was the "real" Godzilla hanging around! How can we miss taking a photo with it? Leroy had fun posing with the Kaiju but Stacci was kinda scared and ensured her eyes were on it. Funny thing is she waved goodbye to it when it's time to watch the show.
Stacci was apprehensive of the person in latex, but waved goodbye non the less.
Leroy asked me in the cinema hall if Godzilla is the bad guy and I answered him with a confident "Yes", while remembering bits and pieces of the 1998 American version. After watching the show, I must say that my perception of the famous creature has changed and I had to re-clarify my earlier stand with Leroy.

Leroy getting all excited and happy even before the show and bombarded me with questions on Godzilla!
Throughout the show I had to answer 1001 questions from Leroy relating to nuclear meltdowns, animal anatomy and procreation. Amid all the questioning, there was not a single sound from Stacci, who looked as if her eyes were glued on the big screen until I removed her 3D spectacles halfway through the show to find her sleeping.

Personally I loved the depiction of Godzilla in this reboot. He looked pretty much the same from the Japanese original and far better than the American iguana. The storyline revolves round the life of a soldier and I actually felt quite sad at various points in the show, for different characters. There were obviously many scenes of massive destruction of epic proportions and actions aplenty.

Still awestruck by Avatar in 3D, my wife wasn't too impressed with the movie's 3D effect though, which was understandable. She doesn't really fancy reptiles and felt that it was rather boring so I guess this is not her cup of tea.

Leroy on the other hand, asked me if he can watch the Godzilla again when he gets home, even as we were making our way out of the cinema. He truly enjoyed the show and stayed awake throughout, probably irritating the other moviegoers within earshot with his incessant questionings!

That's Leroy when asked if he liked the movie!!!
Verdict: I wouldn't have complained even if I paid for the show and the storytelling was great. The kids would enjoy the show and the actions as well, at least my Leroy did!  Go watch it! 

It is not very often that one gets to go movie premieres except maybe if you are from the media or know of people working in the media.  For people like me, I take part in contests and giveaways and keep my fingers crossed.  You may wish to follow the Facebook pages of major cinemas groups such as Shaw or Golden Village.  Sharing this would probably dilute my chances next time but anyway the contest by MoovieSpy is where I got my premiere tickets from.  So all the best and good luck to all next time!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Play Time should be Fun Time!

I love bringing the kiddos out for fun-filled activities.  Things like going swimming, sand play at the playground or even watching movies!  I am usually quite well prepared when going on outings, although maybe not as comprehensive as my wife, who will probably be covered for any emergencies.
One of our favorite activities, going to the movies.  But having to go for toilet breaks are no fun!
One thing that gets on my nerves most is having playtime interrupted by the kids’ need to answer the call of nature.  If there’s a toilet nearby, it would be a simple task.  The worst is when there are NO toilets anywhere in sight and when I have to handle a bunch of kids ALONE.  What I really don’t understand is how they can go from having NO need to visit the restrooms just before playtime, to “Daddy I really need to go NOW!” just 5 minutes later!

So the Tip 1 that I would like to remind parents before any  play, is to train the kiddos to EMPTY their bladders or invest in great diapers that can maximize playtime!  I don’t think kids would be happy playing in wet and heavy diapers!  My Stacci would definitely protest, as she would sometimes even go as far as demanding a bath after wetting her diapers!

It gets crazy when Stacci gets mad!
I remembered years ago I was out grocery shopping with my eldest, Steffi (who was probably 3 years old) when an accident happened.  She suddenly froze in the center of the shopping aisle and told me that she passed motion.  Who would’ve though a short trip to the supermarket would require a diaper change?   I was thinking to myself that it’s okay, at most she do without diapers for the time being and we make our way home fast.  That was when I noticed streaks of brown liquid dripping down both her legs!  She had diarrhea and the pull-up pants didn’t hold up to its promise.  It was a mad rush to the toilet to wash up.

So Tip 2, make sure diapers fit and that it is changed when full!  Anyway, semi-liquids are not well-absorbed by the diapers, just so you know.

Meanwhile, enjoy the playtime with your kiddos fellow parents and don’t ever let a diaper ruin the fun time!  Special thanks to Pampers Singapore for taking care of my little Louie’s diapering needs for the first 2 months!

With a Pampers round his waist, little Louie has no objections to raise!
This is a good form of exercise for daddies, but I recommend good diapers before trying. I had enough saliva on my face even with good diapers, can't imagine other liquids!

This is a good form of exercise for daddies, but I recommend good diapers before trying. I had enough saliva on my face even with good diapers, can't imagine other liquids! - See more at: