The Little Person has the largest luggage

Packing for a trip (and creating a spectacular mess of the house in the process) got me
musing to myself  – “it used to be a 1 hour affair the night before, this packing thing”.

So amid the exciting of a imminent trip, here’s the crazy packing process.

Packing for a kid is like packing your house for war. You plan for ALL CONTINGENCIES.

 

Diapers:

I start off packing maybe 10 diapers, then you go “what if there’s not enough?” then the entire pack of diapers goes in. Ok, add a giant pack of wet wipes.

Medical Survival Box:

I know I have to bring Paracetamol for fever… then ok, how about Zyrtec for flu… then what about neurofen in case fever persists… what about rashes, cuts etc. So I end up with 1 big bag of meds, plus a medipouch filled with essential oils.

Clothes:

it’s gonna be freezing and rainy. Ok, boots, lots of long sleeves, some short sleeves to layer on, hats, socks, leg warmers, more socks… raincoat, puffy coat. Actually this still doesn’t take up much compared to Papa’s winter clothes.

Entertainment:

Scared she’s bored on the plane. So we pre-loaded the tablet with videos. Gotta bring Barney (all three of them), and Elsa and Anna. Oh dear… what about lego bricks? Birthday Cake toys? Ahhhh… ok we will leave the Legos behind. we can buy those there. Maybe I will lose the Papa and Mama Barneys. Still undecided about the birthday cake toy.

Sustenance: 

Ok this is always the crazy tricky thing. You bring milk bottles, you need something to wash and sterilize them. The box and brush takes up a lot of space.

For food, I packed the food scissors, food jar (useful for packing leftovers for a later meal), bibs, fork and spoon. Also stuffed in 2 packs of UHT and 6 feeds of milk powder to survive till we get there. We intend to buy a can of milk when we reach.

Toiletries & grooming: 
Oh yes, almost forgot this. Gotta bring her Silly Shampoo, her Aquafresh kids toothpaste and pink toothbrush. Have to pack her hairbrush, washcloths and a bath towel. And creams.

Diaper bag for the flight: 

Diapers, spare clothes, milk and bottles, blanket and pillow. and then pray hard she knocks out on the plane. Oh yes, and our Kinderpack Carrier.

Somehow we managed to squeeze our things into 1 big 1 small luggage and 2 handcarry ones.

P.S. Little Foot is very specific in the things she uses, and she is a creature of habit. As much as possible, we have to keep to the same things she is used to. Like the pink toothbrush, and her Dog print milk bottles, otherwise, woe betide us!

Ok, ready or not, we have to go!

Pray for a safe flight tonight!

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Our carry on-luggage, mostly all Little Foot’s essentials and toys! 

Hello Dentist, Goodbye cavities!

*this is not a sponsored post*
Last week, I was horrorstruck to spot two cavities in Little Foot’s upper molars. 

She was throwing a tantrum and had thrown her head back. 

“Oh. My. 天!!!!!!!” 

Mummy felt so guilty about being so busy with work lately, I haven’t had time to take notice of all the little changes. Plus she has a sweet tooth AND still latches at night. 

Was worried about extractions or worse…root canal! 

So we got an appointment at Petite Smiles after asking some mummy friends for recommendations. 

The experience was very good. I had told the receptionist that it would be Little Foot’s first time to a dentist, we definitely need a friendly dentist! 

D-Day

We picked her up earlier than usual from school. Along the way I prepped her – We are going to the dentist who will make your teeth white, and then the tooth fairy won’t come to collect your teeth. The dentist can shoo the tooth fairy away!

Helps that this Jun holidays, they have been learning about oral hygiene in school and she had the honour of helping baby crocodile to remove the yellow stains on its teeth during one of their classes.  

The moment we walked in to the dental clinic, a homely setting and this awsome play area greeted us. Little Foot was delighted to throw some balls and go down the slide while I filled up her particulars. 

Little Foot warmed up to the dentist’s chair and got in once we chose the ‘Frozen’ movie to watch. 

Throughout the cleaning of the cavities and filling the holes up, the dentist, Dr Ng, chatted and sang along to the songs. 

Little Foot was also very pleased to inform me that the dentist has Elmos on her hat!

Overall a very successful first time visit to the dentist! 

Little Foot actually made us hang around for awhile after her session was over so she could continue to play at the play area.

To round it off, we had some good advice from Dr Ng on adjusting her eating habits, the type of toothpaste to use, and flossing. 

Thank goodness the decays were not as bad as I imagined! 

We paid $250 for this visit. Which is not too bad… about how much we pay for our adult dental visits too. 

 So who said visits to dentists needs to be a horror film? 

And then we reached 29

Over the weekend, Little Foot turned 29 months.

I had the pleasurable challenge (read daunting situation) of being alone with her till late afternoon on Sunday when Papa went for wedding lunch and Aunty was on off day. Not the easiest kid to be with especially when dealing with a stomach bug (me) but we had some fun … music class as usual,  picking out bread for ourselves (Baby chose a rainbow donut while I chose a Mentaiko covered baguette and a ham&cheese sandwich) then hanging out at my mother’s place where she is very familiar with.

We ate our bread and sandwiches, her seated in the baby chair, me beside her…

We had conversations revolving around the food, the weather, where Papa was, about “Papa Mister Moon, Mama Mister Moon and Baby Mister Moon” (a continuation from the night before when we pointed out the moon to her and she said it was a baby Mister Moon)….

I sang and played with her, at times sat aside and watched her play…

Finally, carried her in the carrier around the estate I grew up in and felt her doze off… went back upstairs, laid her down and watched her nap.

What I would give to watch her grow each day (each day that she isn’t hopefully throwing a tantrum).

And for the first time in a long time, I wondered whether I could ever handle another Little Foot.

Everyday, I am greeted with my floor to ceiling mirror in my living room covered with photos of Little Foot in her first year. Little Foot had happily pasted them all up. And whenever I’m wearing my shoes, working on something on my laptop,  or having my dinner, I get a glimpse of how much she had transformed.

For a mummy who has so much strings attached to her one and only child, it is a bittersweet encounter each day. Some mornings, I kiss one of the photos before I leave the house. I love you, I said. As much as I love the you now, I love and miss the little you too.

Still, such thoughts are fleeting. We have so much to do with Little Foot and already so little time.

Once she wake up from her nap, all fleeting thoughts like this are out of the window. Gone like the wind.

“Come, Mummy! Runaway!!” ~ her cute little voice always rings in my head, even when I am busy at work.

And each time I hear it, I can surely say, I am ready drop my work and run with her, until my back doesn’t allow me to run no more.

And the rest? I will leave it in His Hands… as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be…

For now, one is still enough.

 

There are many ways to play…

On Monday, just before the school’s National Day celebration started, Little Foot’s teacher asked me whether she has interaction with other children at home. I said yes and we had a chat about why this question popped up. Turned out that our Little Foot doesn’t really mix around with the other toddlers in class. Notwithstanding that she spends most of the morning part crying, whenever she has calmed down, she would stay on the sidelines and observe the others, refusing to participate.

I described her usual playtime routines with the kids in the neighbourhood to the teacher, so we both felt, that perhaps she’s still adjusting to the environment, let’s give her a little bit of time.

Still it bothered me a little inside…

That morning, she did however put up a semblance of participation in the Playgroup performance item, waving a flag and marching, albeit while insisting on being in physical contact with Papa.

Papa Long and I chatted about it in the car on the way home one evening. Should we be concerned? It’s normal right? Eventually we brushed it off and reminded ourselves that Little Foot has always been an observer, even at a very young age. AND Papa is also by nature the same way – not a social butterfly, preferring to be a wallflower.

I also mentally reminded myself about the article I read about the different forms of play that children engage in as they grow older – from solitary play to parallel play to group play. She’s not fully at the group play stage yet, preferring to swing between the three different stages, depending on her mood

(Actually don’t we all have the same kind of day too? When we just want to be left alone with our coffee and book?)  

Over the public holiday, I continued to observe how she interacted with the cousins. She’d play, walking around with Baby K, passing toys, grabbing toys…randomly approaching the older cousins, but when all the kids started jumping on the bed, racing around, Little Foot would recede to the sidelines again. I get the sense that she’s watching, observing, probably many things are probably running though her head, but she’s not in there jumping.

Brought to mind the Chinese idiom “按宾不动 ” — observe first, don’t deploy the soldiers yet until you get your strategy out.

Then this morning, I saw photos posted by our helper, Little Foot playing with older kids at the playground yesterday afternoon.

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It made me so happy to see her playing with other kids. Felt like I needed to knock my own head for getting overly worried over a harmless remark by the teacher.That’s a first-time parent for you alright!

And so, on a happier note, it’s Friday!  Don’t sweat the small stuff!

 

Our first giveaway!

Mummy Joyc has been a huge huge fan of Ju-ju-be bags since last year,  especially the ones in Tokidoki prints. Currently, this seems to be one of the hottest diaper bags brand among mummies thanks to the cute prints and the wide range of different sizes.  And we love how the whole bag is machine washable.

During the latest release of Donutella’s Sweet Shop, lucky Mummy Joyc managed to purchase quite a few items of the pinky pink series. The angels were smiling on us!

So to spread the love, A Little Footprint, will give away this brand new little item called a  pacipod to one lucky person.

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Some mamas have asked me what I put in a pacipod since Little Foot doesn’t use a pacifier. There are many uses for it – for me, I keep my earphones in one of these.  Sometimes we also use it to store a few of Little Foot’s finger puppets when we are out. It’s a neat accessory for days when I’m not carrying a Ju-ju-be Bag, but want other mummies to know I am a Pink Lady!

Participation

Pop over to A Little Footprint Facebook page for the contest.

An answer to the contest question is found on this blog!

Participation closes on 30 July 2016 at 12pm.

The nitty gritty details:

A Little Footprint is not affiliated in anyway to Ju-ju-be. This free giveaway is paid out of Mummy Joyc’s pocket, because Mummy thinks a little love can go a long long way.

Winner will be randomly drawn (using some neat online system of course! ).

Winner to pay for postage / arrange to collect the pacipod at Mummy’s convenience.

Winner will be announced on the Facebook Page on 31 July 2016.

We can’t stop you from selling the pacipod for a profit, but we really hope this will go to a mummy and baby who genuinely loves it and want to use it.

About Us
Thanks for popping by A Little Footprint. This is a no-sponsorship blog owned by Mummy Joyc sharing stories of the ups & downs of Parenthood and Marriage as she goes on this life – changing journey together with Papa Long and Little Foot. We hope you enjoy reading our blog!

 

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Updates (3 Aug 2016): 

We’ve picked a winner through a List Randomizer. Congratulations to Jessie Phua for taking part in the contest. We hope everyone will still stick around and like us on Facebook and WordPress!

Breaking the free spirit…

No photos today.

Day 5 of school; Day 3 of leaving her with the teachers.

Dropping Little Foot off is becoming more tricky, obviously the baby knew what was coming — Mummy was going to pass her to someone and walk out. She insisted on carrying her backpack (bear bear!) and her toy dog (Ah-Ah!) around the class, refused to lose bodily contact with me. In a last ditch attempt to reject this arrangement, she packed her items, held my hand and walked to the shoe cubbyhole, took out her shoes sat down and attempted to wear them.

A clear signal to Mummy to “lets get outta here”.

Heartbroken to see her in this state. I stayed with her as we waited for familiar faces to arrive (Gong 老师 has taken ill, and the other two teachers were not in so early). By 9am, it was clear I was going to have to really move off. So I did. Poor Little Foot cried big tears. Seriously distressed.

As I crossed the road and walked up the hill to my office, I reflected on her old weekday routine:

  • Breakfast/Milk
  • Morning visit to the market/playground with Aunty
  • Playtime
  • Bath time (bubbles time!)
  • More playtime, Barney, books, anything she wanted to do, she was free to roam around the house.
  • lunch
  • Nap
  • Milk
  • Playtime
  • Visit to the playground again with Aunty
  • Dinner
  • Playtime/reading time with mummy and papa
  • 2nd dinner with mummy and papa & Korean Drama time
  • Bath time
  • Playtime in the corridor (sometimes before bath time)
  • Get ready for bed.

Breaking her free spirit, breaking this old routine is heart-wrenching for me.

My 19-month-old doesn’t quite understand why there needs to be this change, and she certainly didn’t see anything wrong with the old routine, where she made all the little decisions – what clothes to wear, what shoes to wear, which toys she will pick from the boxes and cupboards, when it is a good time to have some biscuits or bread… which room she will explore in the house.

My 10 minute walk ended.

I needed to shake the sinking feeling that was creeping into my soul, lift up my chin and console myself that it will get better, she will like her new friends and new routine soon, and hey, it’s only 3 hours more to go before I go pick her up again during my lunch time.

Back to work, back to emails. Little Foot’s sad face still imprinted in my memory. Juxtaposed with the funny situation last night when she decided to climb out of bed to go on a night adventure to the playground – she’d chose a dress, packed her little bag, wore her shoes, opened the gate and walked out.

Sad. Surreal. 无奈.

Mummy feels like a broken person.

4 things to try on the mummy bandwagon

Now that I’ve been a mummy for nearly 18 months, I thought it’d be useful to list down the must-do, must-try “IN” things for new mummies. These are things that fellow mummies seem to get rather enthusiastic about, and others don’t quite understand why (daddies included).

1. Get a fancy baby carrier or wrap!

Definitely, on the top of the list is babywearing. Afterall, I recently counted nearly 20 carriers in my possession (yep, this mummy went overboard during my stay at home days), 3 wraps and 2 ring slings.

If you want to be a fashionista mama, get a Wrap Conversion (WC) Tula, or get one of those fancy clothes for babywearing (we call them wraps). Only available on their US site.

Not so long ago, mummies were using carriers like the Baby Bjorn and Ergo…then people started to complain that the Ergo wasn’t good enough for heavier older babies, the designs were boring etc etc. And along came a whole new breed of carriers – Tulas, LennyLambs, Kinderpacks, Bamberoo, Madame Googoo. These boasted better cut, deeper seat, more comfortable babywearing, and yes, they came in toddler sizes too. Most sought after here is the Tula. It is relatively easy to find a canvas one. Just go to one of the local retailers, they will have them. The one that will make you feel like you’re carrying a Prada /Hermes bag (even though you are haven’t really combed your hair or you are again wearing that same old Uniqlo airism bra top) is a wrap conversion (WC) Tula. These are made of the special (read branded) woven cloths that are good for wrapping, and very limited in production. In other words, they don’t come cheap. Thankfully for the newbies, the resale market is coming down to sane prices now, although just this morning, I saw a used one going for a jaw-dropping US$4K.

Here’s us in a wrap, and here’s Papa Long  in a WC Tula. You can also read about my early day reviews of carriers here.

Find the Tula too mainstream? check out the hard to find Kinderpacks or the sooooo soft and fluffy LennyLambs. For me, it’s a tie between the Tula and the Kinderpack.

If you want to walk the path less travelled, go for the wraps. I personally find it too complicated and Little Foot is not a wrappable baby. P.S those cloths don’t come cheap, but they guarantee that they won’t rip under the weight of your baby!

Once you babywear, be prepared to attract the curious people’s attention. In our earlier days when I used to venture out with Little Foot on the MRT alone, I have had strangers coming to try to peep into my carrier, curious to see what’s under the hood (hello-oh, of cos is a baby lah!). Occasionally, I have had some strangers come up and ask me, if it’s ok for the baby to be inside the pouch. 

2. Not any diaper bag. Get a Ju-ju-be Bag!

Our first diaper bag was a plain grey bag sling with fuchsia trimmings from MAM. It worked for us well, until I noticed how some mummies in my group would go absolutely mad over a certain brand called Ju-Ju-Be. Curious, I went to kaypoh a little… and then I got hooked (Papa Long wanted to knock his head against the wall) buying the various shapes and sizes. Being a Tokidoki lover in my younger days, I’m a like “WOW! Tokidoki diaper bags!” Like the WC Tulas, the supply seemed to be way short of the demand, so there is also a resale market. A bag at resale could double the retail price (don’t ask me how that works. That’s how the “buy sell trade” market is!).

I’m not going to say how many JJB bags I have. Too many. Period. I even bought the Minibes (Mini backpack), just in case Little Foot wants to carry one to school in the near future.
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Jjb mummies love taking pictures of their bag(s) of the day. Diaper bags are no longer uncool!

3. Make a breastmilk jewellery for heirloom or keepsake

Don’t say “Eeeee!!” ya? I know it sounds strange to want to make jewellery with your breastmilk as contents, but for some who are a little morbid like myself, I did think it was a good idea. A momento for my Little Foot, just in case, you know, I’m gone one day.

I’ve written on our Facebook about how I’ve been cheated by one of the largest and forerunners in the breastmilk jewellery scene, but that’s water under the bridge. I’m now eagerly awaiting the ones I ordered from a local maker. Very simple. You provide them a certain amount of breastmilk, they somehow many it into jewellery. Most however do it in silver or stainless steel. these may not last till Little Foot is 21, so I may try the new series that one local maker launched, using gold. [will update with photos when I ever do receive my breastmilk keepsake]

4. Make breastmilk soaps 

Again, don’t say “Eeeee!!!!” Breastmilk is one of the best “lotions” for baby. When Little Foot was a few days old, she had some red rashes appear on her eyelids and face. The oldies told me to dab breastmilk on the rashes, so I did. Lo and Behold! The rashes were gone! So I would always pour whatever leftover milk into her bathtub for her baths. I find it helps with dry skin.
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At one point when (I thought) I was running low on supply, I hurriedly got a local maker, Soapshifu, to do a set of breastmilk soaps for me. 330ml were made into about 1kg of soap, cut and packed nicely into individual packaging. The milk is processed together with essential oils and good stuff like shea butter. All natural. No weird fishy smell from the soap. Smells just like a regular lavender bar soap that is moisturing and gentle enough for baby’s skin.

I like that the maker at Soapshifu took a lot of time to answer my questions and was not hard-sell at all.After the sad saga over the breastmilk jewellery, I have become very careful to do my homework before I engage any makers for customisation. One bad experience was enough. In fact, I only knew about this maker through a fellow mummy friend who was raving about it. For mummies, every drop of our milk is precious (especially when you are low supply like me), the last thing you want to have is someone taking your milk and then giving you something that is completely disappointing (or worse, run off with your milk and money!).So it is good to know that Soapshifu and its products are registered under the Health Sciences Authority. 

Little Foot has been using the soap daily (together with her usual Mustela/California Babies because that is her signature baby smell that we are so nostalgic about) since Oct last year, and we only just start using the 2nd bar! I find it most useful whenever she breaks into some rash. I know some other mummies may use the breastmilk soaps themselves too, or use for their older kids as well, but nahhhh…. not us. Saving the best for my Little Foot!

(Note that Little Foot does not have sensitive skin or any known skin allergies/reactions, so please do your necessary skin tests / err on the side of caution if your baby has sensitive skin).

So that’s the List. 

Of course, there were other things I indulged in over the last 18 months, such as:

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  • Making Taimaobi 胎毛笔 keepsake calligraphy brush using hair from Little Foot’s first shave, and an umbilical cord seal from Huatsing
  • Customising a book for Little Foot from Lost My Name
  • Customising jewellery with Little Foot’s photos from Jules Jewels.
  • Buying S’well bottles for a more chic look to go with the JJB bags.
  • Getting Matchy-match clothes for Little Foot and myself, and also Family matching outfits.

 

Motherhood is serious work, but amidst the craziness and tiredness, we know that the baby phase will pass in the blink of an eye.

Doing some of the momentos, and living the moment (albeit a seemingly frivolous one at times) makes it a more interesting and memorable ride.

Our breastfeeding journey doesn’t last long too, so if you can afford to spare a few drops, why not make the soaps so the Little One can benefit for a while more even after the supply is cut.

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Enjoy the journey…Just make sure not to break the bank in the process!

P.S. No sponsorship was received, although Papa Long’s had generously contributed to the book,  the Taimaobi and 1 Tula.  Mummy Joyc is a full-time working mummy, who runs home each day after work, and spends almost all her free time with Little Foot, so she gets her retail therapy online when Little Foot is in dreamland.  

 

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