April 30, 2010

Mums' Day Out

Joanne and I had grand plans today to do some serious damage on Orchard Road. I was on a mission to find out Chanel 2.55 prices and look for earrings while Jo needed a dress or two for an upcoming wedding.

We met at ION and half-heartedly browsed at Prada and Christian Dior before moving on to Wisma. Checked out sales at Soo Kee, Lee Hwa and Goldheart and tried on some bling but nothing really stood out. I was looking for a pair of 0.5ct studs in a 6-prong setting under a certain budget but the ones I saw were either 4 or 5 prong or the colour/clarity of stones not so great.

Had lunch at Food Republic, shared beef noodles, char kway teow and chicken wings. Rayhan was sleepy and Joanne rocked him till he fell asleep so she could eat in peace.

We browsed dresses at BCBG and Shelli Segal thereafter and then moved on to Takashimaya. Had to queue to get into Chanel, thought there was a sale or something but apparently that's the normal crowd. Chinese and Indonesian tourists were snapping up bags like nobody's business!

Earlier this week, Germaine and Joyce had helped find out bag prices in London and Paris respectively so I could finally compare what the cost savings would be. According to my calculations, I could potentially save up to SGD 1.5K per bag, based on the low Euro now and anticipated VAT refund of 11%.

In case you're interested, here are the prices:

Classic flap medium caviar: SGD 4330 / GBP 1660 / Euro 1740

Classic flap medium lambskin: SGD 4790 / GBP 1840 / Euro 1930

Classic flap jumbo caviar: GBP 1920 / Euro 2010

Classic flap jumbo lambskin: SGD 5350 / GBP 2100 / Euro 2200

So I am leaning towards the medium lambskin...

From Taka we crossed over to Paragon. Checked out Coast and Metro before I wandered into H. Sena, the jeweller with the huge rocks in the window, while Joanne went to Karen Millen where she bought 2 dresses.

I was expecting prices to be exorbitant but unlike the mass market chains, H.Sena doesn't mark up 200% then offer a 50% discount, well not for the solitaires anyway. Prices are calculated based on the Rapaport reports so I started enquiring about studs. I had seen a 0.55ct pair of VS clarity at Goldheart for around 6K and used that as a benchmark.

The salesman showed me a few pairs and I tried on a pair of 0.56ct F VVS2. They were really sparkly and he disappeared for a long time to the back office to get his boss to quote their best price. When he showed me the slip of paper, I made an impulse decision to purchase the earrings on Nick's behalf, heh heh. It's not the cheapest, but considering the colour and clarity, the price was fair.

So here is my push present, a pair of diamonds to symbolize my 2 precious gems Natalie and Natasha. My plan is to hand them each a side when they turn 21.

Went to Tony Roma's for dinner with Nick in the evening while Ma babysat. I think his heart dropped when he heard how much I spent! He had said he had 'no budget' for a push present, I took that to mean 'unlimited' versus 'no money'...ha ha.
I told him he didn't have to buy me any jewellery till our 10th anniversary in 3 years.

Overall, it was a good day. Any day with bling is a good day!

April 28, 2010

So long, farewell...

Babysat Rayhan for a bit today...Joanne went to visit her mum at SGH and dropped him off on her way there. He was ok for about 30 mins and played with Nat and Gigi before it hit him that his mum was missing and started bawling his head off. Thank goodness Joanne was only 10 mins away!

It was Arlyn's last day today...2 years have just gone by in a flash. Am really grateful to all she has done for us, and the great care she showed with Nat. She wasn't perfect, but neither are we but the good outweighed the bad and her efficiency will be missed...but not the PMS! Hope Nat doesn't suffer any withdrawal symptoms.

We tapau-ed her favourite Tiong Bahru chicken rice and Joanne stayed for dinner. It was like a childcare centre with 4 babies/toddlers in the house.

Nick, Swana, Kevin and Aunty Sarda saw Arlyn off at the airport. I stayed home, tried not to cry too much during the goodbyes...if I had gone to the airport I would have probably been a basket case. Before she left, I set up a Facebook account for her, hopefully we'll stay in touch there.

April 24, 2010

Thanks Arlyn!

Had the chills and a 39 degree fever this morning from what I suspect was a milk duct infection. After popping some paracetamol and napping for a bit, felt well enough to go out for lunch. We were having a farewell meal for Arlyn and welcome for Lita and Wendy at Sheraton's Dining Room. Also, it was Ata's second death anniversary and the folks' 34th wedding anniversary.

It was pumpkin's first outing (aside from the polyclinic) and she slept throughout except for pooping in between. The spread was mainly local/Asian and quite extensive, mmm...durian pengat! Thanks to credit card promotions, we paid about $30 nett per head.

Once back home, Nick's paternal aunt and cousins came to visit Natasha. This is probably the second time we are meeting in 2 years but they were cool. Natalie got to play with her second cousin Zach and we had an impromptu candle-blowout for Nick's cousin Glenn, as it happened to be his birthday. After they left, Nick's 3 maternal aunts also paid a surprise visit as Aunty Darrell had not met Natasha yet.

April 23, 2010

Bag or bling?

Went out for a short bit today to return one of Maryann's props and collect the CD of Natasha's newborn shoot. There were soooo many pictures, I couldn't decide on which ones for touching up so stuck with buying whole CD. Here are some favourite shots.

I popped by Nick's office, and changed some Euros and then spent a fair amount of time at the Soo Kee at Raffles Place which was having a pre-renovation sale. Nick was about to come over after work but the weather thwarted my jewellery mission.

The Euro is pretty low at the moment so I have stocked up a little in the hopes of an Italian escapade, failing which will ask someone to help me buy a Chanel bag. Though it goes against my principles to spend so much on a bag, the 2.55 is a classic and I probably won't buy another black bag for a loooooong time!

On the other hand, that money could go towards my carat fund, so am torn between bag or bling.

Joanne arrived in town recently and swung by for a visit this evening with her whole family plus Tarek. Unfortunately Nat was already asleep. Ray was also asleep but woke up as soon as Tarek tried to put him down. Thereafter, he showed off his crawling skills.

April 21, 2010

My jeans fit!

I had the last of my post-natal massages today and I think they were really effective in shedding the weight. Granted I only put on about 10kg this pregnancy but I lost them faster than the first time round. I could feel the waist shrinking after each wrap!

As of today, I am down to 53kg+, another 2kg to go if I want to down to pre-pregnancy weight and another 5kg if I want to go down to early-SingTel weight! I can squeeze into my jeans already, so am not too bothered, though I have to do something about the kangaroo pouch!

April 19, 2010

The Handover

We fetched our new helper Wendy last Friday from the maid agency. Poor girl had been up since 3 am for an early morning flight from Manila and hadn't even had lunch so we stopped at Great World en route home and I bought her some buns and orange juice.

She's petite but not as skinny as Arlyn, hope it all works out. Swana also had a new helper start a couple of weeks ago so Arlyn has her hands full training them in the coming days. I briefed Wendy yesterday, Swana thinks my task list is scary and she edited before she shared it with Lita...but I don't think it's scary, just thorough! In fact it can afford to be more thorough in terms of instructions.

So at the moment, I have 3 maids at home...which is a luxury but also a case of too many cooks! Nat is slowly warming up to Wendy and Lita, have been telling her Arlyn is leaving so I think she understands.

April 15, 2010

2 down, 1 to go

Jane and Rena came to visit this evening, Rena is getting bigger each time I see her. Just about a month to go!

Since Jane had Ethan not long ago, she was comfortable holding a newborn, though Rena was a little rusty! When Germaine returns from her ultra-long holiday, she'll have 3 new babies to meet!

April 14, 2010

Lights! Camera! Action!

Natasha was ready for her close-up today...Maryann and her assistant Charlene from The Studio Loft came over for the newborn shoot I had booked.

Before they arrived, I had just reprimanded Nat who was screaming and crying like there was no tomorrow. While I was feeding Tash, she had managed to reach a blown light-bulb on my dressing table (which Nick was supposed to bring out with him to find a replacement) and though I had warned her not to play with it, she threw it at Nick's wardrobe in spite when she saw me approaching. It smashed to bits of course and that earned her a time-out and the naughty corner after which she promised not to do it again.

Natasha wasn't co-operating much during the shoot, peeing on one of the props once, and accidentally pooping on another while farting! Ha ha. She was also quite wide-awake when we needed her to be sleeping in some of the shots. That delayed things for a while and I had to disappear mid-way when my massage therapist arrived.

Thereafter it was a rush to eat lunch and express before Ginny popped by, in between had a couple of calls from work...so it was a little chaotic today. But I hope Maryann managed to get some good shots, can't wait to see the pics.

In the meantime, here are some from mine and Ma's camera.

April 13, 2010

Eat, sleep, poop

It's been almost two weeks since our lives have been turned upside down yet again but I must say Natasha's been a pretty easy baby, just like Natalie...touchwood! She hardly cries, only when extremely hungry or sitting too long in a soiled diaper but the rest of the time, it's just eat, sleep and poop.

Since returning home, she's been drinking an average of 60mls every 3-4 hours. The first few days she had formula till I had enough to express and now there's always excess milk! She's wisened up to the taste difference too, when offered formula in the middle of the night now, she spits out the bottle so it's booby milk exclusively for her at the moment. She tends to wake up only once at night (around 4 am), after a last feed around midnight, and then the next feed is already past 7am.

She's having mild jaundice, which will hopefully go down by the next check up. She's already developed a nappy rash, no more wet wipes for her! I had forgotten how 'explosive' it is when newborns poop, like a little firecracker!

I am getting used to the sleep deprivation, though it's a challenge during the day to have to entertain Nat and Gigi when I am not completely mobile yet or able to carry them. The maids have been a great help, hopefully by next week I can be more involved. Am not really having a strict confinement. I already shower everyday, been eating junk, went out to cut my hair, drank cold peach tea when Mummy was out. Am recovering slowly but surely, yesterday I started my post-natal massages at home.

The therapist applied a jamu paste before she wrapped me up and it was hot as hell. Felt like chili padi and black pepper had been rubbed into my skin and I couldn't take the burning sensation for long and showered after 2 hours! Today I opted for a milder cream instead, much more comfortable!

Nick is as paranoid as ever. This morning he barged into the room at 8 am plus while I was still sleeping and declared that the pumpkin's belly button was bleeding very badly and we needed to go to the hospital NOW!

Thinking that blood was gushing or something, I sat up immediately and inspected her stomach, only to find that it was actually dried blood that had stained her diaper. I calmly wiped her belly button with cotton and water while he paced up and down, insisting it was fresh blood. In the end, her button was still a bit damp and raw but it was nowhere near bleeding and I felt there was no need to see a doctor, just need to let it air dry...but he still accused me of being too relaxed before rushing off to work! Harrumpf!

Later on he messaged to actually suggest using the hairdryer on her stomach! *Faint*

In terms of looks, I find Natasha and Natalie quite similar at this stage, just that Natasha's a little chubbier and has more Chinese eyes. But with eyes closed, she looks just like Nat's newborn pictures. I kind of get reminded of a baby panda when I see her though, don't know why...the eyes are a little droopy.

She's certainly not as fragile as Nat at this age, fitting well into the newborn rompers I bought, unlike Nat who was swimming in hers. She'll be outgrowing them very soon!

Nat has been very sweet towards the pumpkin to the point of smothering her with kisses every time she gets close. Unfortunately she's unconscious of her strength and sense of personal space and we're always fretting she'll accidentally squish the baby. She greets and talks to Natasha, saying, 'Hello baby!' and has on occasion held her sister's hand as she tries to nap. She even holds up her flash cards to teach the baby stuff!

Nat has been a good little helper by bringing used bottles to the kitchen and throwing away used diapers and has not displayed any signs of jealousy. I hope it stays this way...thank heaven for little girls!

April 10, 2010

Nickypoo's 36th birthday

The hubby turned 36 today and in addition to the early birthday present I delivered on 1st April and the medical screening that was his anniversary/birthday present, I splurged on some Hermes soaps from eBay.

I knew he really liked the smell of them after he brought home his hotel toiletry set on his last Manila trip (he never swipes the toiletries usually!) and so I bought 10 x 50gm bars online, averaging $10 per bar. Think he was pleased and I don't have to put up with his Dettol bars for a while!

The dopes had offered to treat him to brunch at Mimolette but it was raining all morning. So instead, they took away a whole lot of food from Samy's at Dempsey, which he devoured despite the flu and cough he was nursing.

Kavi, Ananya, Riley, Jeanette, Kaelash and Pops put in appearances and there was so much leftover food that it was enough to feed the in-laws at night.

Ben and Wendy bought him a 1yr subscription to Motoring magazine and for dessert we cut a Bakerzin brownie and mousse cake which Nat made a mess of eating.

I hope he enjoyed his birthday despite being sick and all! Poor thing's been sleep-deprived by waking up for some of the night feeds, and ensuring Nat is not neglected so it's taken its toll. As soon as I'm up and about, he'll get some reprieve.