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Germans Open Windows All The Time

If you chanced upon this blog entry, chances are you have a mold problem in Germany. Why else would you be interested in reading about a population who’s ever so obsessed with opening windows? Yes. OPENING WINDOWS.

We have a slight mold problem just on the ceiling outside the bathroom. It’s a problem we cannot afford to turn a blind eye to because (1) this apartment isn’t ours so I wouldn’t want to neglect it (2) it looks ugly and most IMPORTANTLY (3) MOLD IS DANGEROUS FOR THEO’S HEALTH. Despite heating our place to a comfortable 20 degrees Cels (as per our contractual agreement) and opening our windows 2-3 times a day top-down for 5-10 minutes each, the humidity levels are still too high in our apartment.

Thankfully, my landlady promptly engaged a Mold Expert to evaluate the condition. On the plus side, he said the mold isn’t serious and can be sorted easily. On the other hand, I need to air the apartment like crazy.

I’ve had noticed neighbours opening their windows fully even in the middle of winter when it’s -10 degrees centigrade outside. I thought to myself “Aren’t they cold? Aren’t they wasting on heating?” Well, I’ve been told to open ALL my windows fully at least FOUR times a day for 5 minutes. I can hope for a strong gust of wind to blow through this 1950s apartment (and feel the chill in my bones) so that air is “refreshed”.
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I’ve spoken to a handful of friends and everyone seems to have different ventilation methods. A friend simply leaves her window open top-down from dawn to dusk even in winter! Non-German friends have suggested getting dehumidifiers and fans, but my German friend reckons doing it the natural way – opening windows.

Are German houses so tightly sealed? Bet they are! After a couple of hours, I have an unexplainable, strong urge to jump up from my sofa and frantically open all windows before I suffocate on the sofa.

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Phuket Thai Imbiss, Frankfurt

Did I mention that there are actually quite a handful of Singaporean ladies (who are also mummies) living in Frankfurt? Before I had Theo, I was under the impression that Munich was the place to be if I wanted to meet Singaporeans. Now, it’s great to have a little group of friends who understand Singlish to hang out with. Singaporeans, being who we are, are infamous for hunting down yummy food everywhere.

During one of our meetings, I was introduced to Phuket Thai Imbiss at Konstablewache. This place might look ordinary but the food is exceptionally tasty. So yesterday we visited it with a friend.
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We ordered a spread consisting of Thai Beef Green Curry, Tom Yum, Spicy Waterspinach with Minced Pork and Crispy Duck Noodles with Soup to share.

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What a treat it was! I find myself always ordering the duck noodles. I love how strong the flavour is – a good mix of spices! It made me miss duck rice back in Singapore. I really should give the other dishes a shot too since they have a rather extensive menu.

Definitely need another trip there before we head back to Oxford for Christmas!

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Cake Me Up at Karstadt, Frankfurt

Gone are the days when I can easily pop into any cafe in town. These days places I go to need to be baby-friendly. In another words, there needs to be a baby changing room.

On the 5th level of Karstadt is a food court and round the corner is a baby changing toilet. Perfect! I love this place as it’s spacious, fairly quiet and there’s no need to rush through your food.

While I’m not particularly impressed with the main dishes there, I’m blown away by the cakes. Just look at the variety! IMG_0035.JPG

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Plenty to choose from, right? I have no idea how long my friend and I stood there in awe before deciding what we were going to indulge in.

She ended up with a plum cake.

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I carefully helped myself to the largest piece of pear cake (they weren’t cut evenly so I had to choose the biggest piece).

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And Dan had chocolate cake! I’m so happy he had a slice too as it made me feel better consuming those calories.

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The cakes were devilishly scrumptious. The fruity ones that my friend and I had were so moist in the middle. I thought they were generous with the amount of fruits used too. Pretty much as good as homebaked cakes! Dan’s chocolate cake was so tasty too. I love chocolate cakes which aren’t too sweet. However Dan was probably hoping for a Cadbury type of chocolate cake so he didn’t finish his. The ladies helped him though. Yay!

So, if all the hip and in cafes are busy in town, why not pop into Karstadt and enjoy their cakes?

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Mad Confessions Of A First-Time Mum

I confess that I’ve fallen head over heels with Theo. I’ve fallen into the group of mums who share ultra cute videos and pictures on Facebook with family and friends. Most people hit the “Like” button (thank you!!!). Those who don’t have probably “Unfriend” or “Unfollow” me (don’t really care). Being a first-time mum (and not a really cool and laid back mum), I find myself doing unthinkable stuff for Theo.

1. Wash him with black tea
“WHAT?!?!” was my first reaction. Theo came home from the hospital with a nasty nappy rash. His bottom was so red like a baboon. Barrier cream wasn’t allowing his delicate newborn skin to breathe. So my midwife told me to wash his butt with cooled black tea.
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Good, old PG Tips was put to good use. Apparently black tea has healing properties. It didn’t stain his bottom.

Want to know Dan’s response to using black tea on his son?

“Do we add milk and sugar?”

So yes, my half-English boy has had a fair amount of tea… On his butt.

2. Multi-purpose sanitary pads
My iron levels were ridiculously low after birth. When I first got out of bed in the afternoon after being ripped apart in the operating theatre, I must have looked so pale. A cold chill ran up my spine and my vision was blurry. I felt so faint when the nurse helped me up. Immediately, she got hold of a fresh piece of maternity sanitary pad (those stuff are so thick that they might as well be pillows!), wet it with cold water and slapped it on my forehead!

Sanitary pad on my forehead. Glamorous, eh?

3. Spread quark on my breasts
Have engorged breasts? I feel for you. So freaking painful!

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The lactation specialist helped me massage the breasts in hospital. I might have been under the influence of drugs when I said this to her, “Gosh, you’re amazing! Can you come home and massage my breasts for me?”

She didn’t stop at massaging. She came back with a cold nappy to help relieve my pain. After that, she placed some gauze that had very cold quark on it on my breasts. I was in heaven although I smelt terrible with all that quark.

4. Breastmilk seems to heal everything
You have no idea how stressed out I got when Theo had a rash on his face when he was 6 weeks old. I convinced myself he was going to be disfigured for life.

Solution from midwife: Apply a little of my powerful breastmilk on his skin.

Theo’s eyes were a little watery (no idea why) and I thought “He’s going blind!!!!”

Solution from midwife: Use my powerful breastmilk as eyedrops.

I swear it did cross my mind to pump milk into bottles to sell them in the black market. “Miracle Milk with Healing Power” it was to be called.

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Main Cafe, Frankfurt

Strategically located along the Main river (near Schweizer Straße), locals flock to Main Cafe whenever the sun’s out. You can either sit on the benches or pay a refundable deposit for a deck chair to enjoy every bit of sunshine before winter hits us hard.

I’ve become quite a regular there to meet up with my mummy friends. It’s nice to walk along the river and not squeeze in with the crowd in town. IMG_0007.JPG

My usual drink – grape juice. After burning some calories from walking, I convince myself that it’s absolutely fine to indulge in a slice of moist carrot cake. Obviously, I think there are only carrots in the cake!

I soak up the warmth and enjoy watching how Theo’s hair color changes under the golden sun rays.

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What a beautiful day!

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Singapore Through Times

Yolande:

A little “me-time” this evening and I chanced upon this informative blog article on Singapore’s history. It would be great to visit the museum when we’re back in Singapore to “recap” and “refresh” my memory.

Originally posted on What an Amazing World!:

The National Museum of Singapore
The National Museum of Singapore

The grand monument stood before us, awe-inspiring in a bright white-washed facade with touches of light grey under the midday sun. The mid-19th century British colonial building was capped with a silverish tiles-clad dome, accentuating its regal appearance. The National Museum of Singapore was our launch point to explore the country – my second time to the city-state and James’ first since 1998 – fittingly so to better understand the history of the small nation, or the Red Dot as some locals affectionately call it after the auspicious color in Chinese culture.

Talking about Singapore’s history would always include the history of the British colonial powers in the East Indies and the Malay archipelago. However it is little known to many that the Lion City’s historical accounts date back all the way to the second century AD where the island saw its first settlements.

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We Are Still A Couple

I left my post-natal class last Thursday with a message. A message so many new parents forget upon the birth of their children. We may be a family of three now, but Dan and I are still a couple.

In the early days of having Theodore, while I was basking in happiness of having such a lovely boy, I missed Daniel a lot. Like A LOT. As we were trying to cope with a new person with never ending demands, we didn’t have time for each other. It was difficult to have a quiet meal together (without rushing through it) and definitely impossible to watch a DVD in peace. I missed our “couple time”. Even though Dan had a month off work and was with me 24/7, I missed the old “us”.

The months flew by very quickly. Gosh, Theodore is turning 20 weeks this Friday. Already!?!?! We soon got to know our little rascal darling better. We knew what made him happy (or upset) and what time of the day he’ll get cranky (basically from 7pm because he wants to sleep around 8pm).

And because we know our boy better, we’re more relaxed when it comes to parenting him. That means we get to be a couple AGAIN! There are obviously things that have changed. For instance, we bring Theodore out for meals with us because I don’t trust employing an outsider for my baby. But if you’re family, PLEASE TAKE HIM BY ALL MEANS! I know you’re all eager to spend time with this little man! Hahaha!!!

We still go on our walks along the river and go on lunch dates on the weekends. Some may say it’s not really a couple date since we bring a baby along, however, Theodore’s really well behaved (better not jinx it) at this age still. At most, he sits on my lap and watch us eat. We still get the time to catch up with each other, and be silly.

I think it’s important to not let having a baby change our relationship negatively. Since change is inevitable, it’s vital that we make the changes a positive experience.

Isn’t it great that I get to discuss such topics with other women at my post-natal class? It isn’t just a class to burn calories and get back into shape. The class has helped me address issues we (as a couple) face at home and how we’re coping. I think it’s a great idea to share our experiences and know that however sleep deprived we are or whatever problems we have as new parents, we are not alone.

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Adolf Wagner, Sachsenhausen

3rd October is a public holiday in Germany that celebrates the reunification of the country in 1990. It couldn’t be more appropriate to commemorate this day by having a meal at Adolf Wagner, a traditional German restaurant that goes back to the 1930s.

Surprise! Surprise! Dan ordered himself a sinful Schnitzel filled with cheese and ham, and pan-fried potatoes. A huge satisfying meal not only high in calories, but also very tasty. The Schnitzel was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. IMG_8273.JPG

I ordered homemade sausage with sauerkraut and mash. I LOVE sauerkraut! Not all places do it well. Adolf Wagner’s was great as it wasn’t too sour. The mash was very smooth and buttery. Yummy!!! And that sausage was mouthwatering good too! With each bite I took, the juices exploded in my mouth! It was THAT good!

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German meals tend to have huge portions of meat so we I don’t have it very often. However whenever we do, a place like Adolf Wagner will not disappoint us.

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Our Clubfoot Journey: Part-Time Boots and Bar

23 May 2014: The day Theodore was born and before starting the Ponseti clubfoot treatment.
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Goodbye casts! I remember being really upset when Theodore got his shoes fitted.
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After 12 weeks of 23/7 boots and bar, the Orthopedist said Theodore’s progressing extremely well and he’s down to 12 hours bnb daily!

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His feet are now fully corrected. The purpose of wearing the bar is to prevent a relapse. For the next 4 years, Theodore will have skinnier ankles than other non-clubfoot children because the boots push the fats up his legs. When he learns to walk, he’ll look more like Charlie Chaplin than other non-clubfoot babies. However, it will all work out once we’re done with the 4 year long treatment.

We’re so so so proud of our boy. This is the one special moment which makes me want to tell everyone how great Theodore has been. HE IS GREAT!!!

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Where We Are Right Now

Every Thursday I attend my post-natal exercise classes with Theodore. The classes focus on working on our pelvic floor muscles rather than hardcore cardio for weight loss. While it’s true that those exercises I learn during the class can easily be done at home, it’s important that I step out of the house and socialise for my own sanity. It’s also a good chance for Theodore to make other baby friends.

Last week, after an hour of circuit training (my muscles were on fire the next couple of days!), we were told to draw “where we are” as a family. Here’s my drawing.IMG_8121-0.JPG

I reckon it’s a pretty accurate picture of what having a baby is like.

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Almost 4 Month Old Sleep Regression

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To put it briefly, Theodore’s waking up A LOT at night (every hour to an hour and a half), very clingy and irritable because he can’t fall back to sleep. Sleep experts claim that babies go through this because they are learning new skills and are going through a growth spurt.

It is MADNESS because Theodore had always been a good sleeper at night but not for the past week or so. It’s very frustrating for me because I feel my brain’s shutting down and I cannot function normally. Daniel helps out even in the middle of the night although he needs to work the next day.

Very often, situations like this are not within our control and I don’t like not being in control (yes, I’m a control freak!). But I’m willing to compromise and do whatever I can to make our lives sleep better.

If Theodore needs to sleep on us so we get an extra hour of sleep, sure! If he wants to suckle for an hour, sure! If Papa needs to sleep on the sofa so he’s well rested for work, sure! At this point, it’s just pointless to google and do what everyone else does. It is ESSENTIAL to do what works for us so that we can function and be half decent parents.

Theodore is at the stage where he’s learning so much. So much so that I pity his brains and it’s little wonder why he’s irritable at night. Here’s what he’s been busy with in the day.

1. Pushing himself up during tummy time
He enjoys tummy time. While he usually just lay on his tummy and look around, he started lifting both hands in the air while on his tummy. It’s as though he’s trying to push himself off the ground but can’t quite figure it out.

2. Bend knees backwards (towards his bottom) while on tummy
He has never done this before till Saturday. And this was with the bar on! Like I’ve said, it’s as though he’s trying to push himself up but he can’t.

3. Hitting toys on activity gym matIMG_8013.JPG
Before Sunday, Theodore would just stare at the hanging toys. The mirror interest him the most but he got bored very quickly whenever I put him on the mat. I was beginning to think that the mat was far too advanced for him (or he was too slow!!). He never liked being left alone in the mat either.

On Sunday morning, Dan placed Theodore on the mat in the living room so I could catch a few extra minutes of sleep. THAT DIDN’T WORK OUT! Theodore was actually reaching out for the toys, batting them with both his hands! And he was happy to be left on it till the music stopped.

Today (Monday morning), he used his legs to hit the toys hanging on the other side while his hands were playing with toys near him. He’s now capable of entertaining himself for longer period of time (but we still watch him from the dining table).

4. Being an explorer
We still put him in the carrycot when we go out. However he fusses when he’s in it now. He wants to look at the world around him – cars, trams, trees, houses etc. Those images must leave an impression in his mind (hence he goes crazy at night!).

5. Being more precise
When Theodore figured his hands out weeks ago, the entire fist went into his mouth. Lately, he’s learnt (not necessarily a good habit) to only suck on his thumb or one finger. Developing motor skills? I’m still trying to cope with the drools!!!

The little things he has learnt to do (though imperfect) seem so simple to us. However I imagine they can be overwhelming for a baby. If there’s such a thing as “sleep regression”, he might just be trying to cope with all the new things he’s learnt in the day.

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Baby Welcome Pack

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Finally!!! I set aside a couple of minutes yesterday to print my DM voucher to redeem Theodore’s welcome pack.

The “aunty” within me was very excited to collect the brightly coloured gift box (my favourite red too!!!).
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The gift box was packed with practical items such as a pacifier (NUK – Theodore’s preferred brand), nappies, Pampers wipes, baby shampoo and lotion, nasal spray (for babies), nappy cream, breast pads, condoms and a booklet of very useful vouchers.

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They are tester-sized products but nonetheless great for mums like me to try if the products are suitable for Theo before buying the full sized bottles. The vouchers will come in handy too as you’ll get money off essentials like wipes, nappies, bottles, bath products and so on.

I’m so glad to find two Weleda products in the box. One’s a tube of baby cream and another is a regular body wash. I love the baby cream! When Theo had ringworm infection on his cheeks, the anti-fungal cream dried his skin. Many Germans tell me that Weleda’s products are very good so I “invested” in a tube of baby face and body cream for Theo. It costs more than the other brands, but most importantly for me, it worked! A little amount of cream goes a long way and it’s not sticky either. I’ll be getting the shower gel for myself as I’m a VERY exhausted Mama who needs pampering.

If you’re new in Germany and would like a Welcome Pack for your new bundle of joy, register with DM here.

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Textor Bar and Restaurant, Frankfurt

After checking off some tasks on my to-do list in the morning, we headed to Textor Bar & Restaurant near Südbahnhof for a late lunch.

Thankfully Theodore’s still at the stage where he’ll fall asleep in his pram if we walked x metres hence we managed to have a quiet and enjoyable lunch date.

Daniel ordered Wiener Schnitzel which came with a side salad.IMG_8001.JPG

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I ordered the Chicken Salad with Peanut Sauce.

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Absolutely loved it! Even though it’s a plate of salad, its portion was huge to make it a meal on its own. The peanut sauce also reminded me of satay in Singapore.

As the weather is slightly on the cool side today, I thought a cup of hot chocolate with cream would be perfect.

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It’s really nice to still be able to enjoy our weekly dine-out experience these days with Theodore. Weekdays are so hectic. Dan spends most of his time at work and me looking after Theodore. By the time Dan gets home, we rush through dinner and put Theodore to bed. At the end of the day, we’re both exhausted and just want to bury ourselves in bed! But of course, every single night guarantees a disrupted sleep.

Our Clubfoot Journey: 30 Days to Go

And we’ll be in part-time boots and bar!

On 30th September, we’ll be having a check up with the Orthopedist to evaluate Theo’s progress. It’s all very exciting! We can’t wait for him to be able to move his legs freely during the day – not that the bar stops him from rolling over or anything. It is good to see that it hasn’t hindered Theo.

One of the main tasks to focus on once he goes part-time is to encourage him to move his ankles more. Right now they are held at the required angle in the boots and bar, hence even when we remove the BnB he doesn’t seem to be aware that his ankles are capable of rotating inwards.

I think swimming will help him develop his calves muscles so that’s something we’ll need to look into. Alternatively, as this boy LOVES his baths, we’ll start using the actual bathtub soon as he’s getting too big for his baby tub!

I’ve marked the 30th of Sept on my calendar. Super excited now!

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Creamy Courgette and Bacon Pasta

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Creamy pasta isn’t the norm in our household. We tend to gear towards tomato based ones as they’re lighter and seems healthier. However, we need to indulge once in a while in a hearty meal.

Dan’s been in a bit of a bacon fanatic lately – first sign that he needs to be back in England for a break! Hence, I’ve been using bacon to make fried rice, risotto and now, pasta. Quite creative, right?

This creamy courgette with bacon pasta was so easy to make. The only difference to the original recipe was that I used creme friache with herbs for the extra flavour. This dish will be anyone’s comfort food. Although it calls for Inexpensive ingredients, the final result was divine and tasty. Definitely a must-do again when the weather gets colder! Food therapy works!!!

For the original recipe, please refer to BBC Good Food.

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Pho Ngon – Noodle and Dim Sum Bar

Pho Ngon is a newly opened restaurant located near Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof. After seeing a friend posted mouth-watering photos of the food there, I decided to try it out on Sunday.

The ambience was great as the place was well decorated. However I no longer am too bothered with the interior design of restaurants since we should all know that it isn’t a good indication of how good the food is.

So, firstly I need to point out that their signboard is misleading. They DON’T do dim sum. Apparently they used to but no longer do so. Definitely very strange for a Vietnamese sounding place to serve dim sum anyway.

Secondly, though not stated on their menu, the set lunches are only valid on weekdays. I’m being very picky here, but it’s just such a waste of decision-making time since we weren’t told that till we placed our order.

As usual, I ordered a bowl of beef Pho which costs €12,90.IMG_7831.JPG

I loved it. The soup was so delicious and I was told that they don’t add msg in it. The beef slices were tender and juicy. Despite loving it, I didn’t think it tasted anything like an authentic Pho which would have been more herby and rich in flavour. The soup base reminded me of beef noodles you would get in Singapore or Malaysia. I reckon they would have scored a higher customer review if they didn’t try to sell the dish as “Vietnamese Pho” because authentic Pho tastes nothing like a good bowl of beef noodles. Using Vietnamese rice noodles doesn’t make it a Pho.

Would I recommend others to have Pho at Pho Ngon? Yes, if you’re craving for an amazing bowl of soupy beef noodles especially on colder days. No, if you want REAL Pho. Vipho still does the best authentic Pho in town.

Here’s what Dan had. It’s dry rice noodles with beef. His came with fish sauce which I liked but he didn’t. It was quite a generous portion.

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Vietnamese coffee – this is one thing that they’ve got right. Bitter-sweet, strong coffee for the sleep-deprived parents. Excellent!

IMG_7829.JPGMy filter worked a lot slower than Dan’s. When I asked the waitress about it, she said in Mandarin to me, “Miss, you need to be more patient.” Ermmm… 30 minutes? The ice in the separate glass had melted! They need to check that they’ve not tightened the filter too much. However, the coffee had a punch and tasted great.

Customer Service – Nothing impressive. I’m just spoilt by the other Asian restaurants I visit in Frankfurt. The experience was made lovely because the lady boss from Jade (restaurant next door) was there and she attended to us. Experience in the service industry helped and I think those working at Pho Ngon will have lots to learn from her to make customers happy. She explained to Dan that he could add more sauce to his dry noodles. When she found out that he didn’t fancy the sauce he was given, she came back with another which he liked. She also noticed the glass of melted ice and emptied it for him and showed him how to have Vietnamese coffee. The waitresses were standing behind the bar when it all happened.

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Complimentary warm dessert – I have no idea what it’s called. It was sticky rice with red beans and coconut topped with peanuts. They’ve also got this right. So glad Dan doesn’t eat such desserts! Extra servings for me!

Will I visit Pho Ngon again? Yes, I would like to try their spring rolls and other chicken and pork dishes. However, don’t go there expecting REAL Pho because that’s not what you’ll get.

I am a Hypochondriac

According to Daniel, I’m a hypochondriac when Theo’s well-being is concerned. Hypochondria is obsessive worrying about your health, usually to the point where it causes great distress and affects your ability to function properly.

IMG_7833.JPGOf course, we’re using the word fairly loosely here. But here’s the story behind it.

After 1 day of applying anti-fungal cream on Theo’s cheeks

Me: Why isn’t the rash GONE?!?!??
(Frantically took pictures of his cheeks daily to see if there was an improvement.)

A dry spot on his scalp.

Me: OMG!!! He’s got cradle cap!!! Oh no! He’s going to get patches all over his head and face!
(Quickly messaged my mother-in-law about it to seek treatment advice and a friend whose son recently had cradle cap.)

3 white spots on right foot

Me: Damn it! Are they blisters from wearing the boots and bar?
(Sent an email to the surgeon who treated him on Friday evening immediately although I knew I won’t get a reply.)

Me after asking for advice on a clubfoot support Facebook group: OMG! My son’s got hand, foot and mouth disease!!!
(Googled hfmd images and started to imagine all the pain Theo will go through. Messaged mother-in-law, cousin and friend to seek their opinions. Lost sleep that night over 3 spots and convinced Daniel we NEED to go to A&E first thing in the morning.)

Theo sneezed/ coughed

Me: Oh no! The apartment is too cold! He’s fallen ill!!!

So yes, I’m a hypochondriac when Theo’s health is concerned. I tend to worry a lot when it comes to him. Excessively, I think.

With the use of internet these days, it is really easy to make informed decisions of one’s health. At the same time technology is a double-edged sword for me as I easily fall prey to worries or others (whom I don’t know) telling me on forums that symptom A is a sign of deadly illness B.

For instance, I was really upset when other mums told me Theo’s spots looked like hfmd. Firstly, I just met up with a friend and her baby that day. It would be terrible if Theo passed the virus to her child! I know that can’t be helped since we didn’t mean it, but I would have felt awful! Secondly, I didn’t want Theo to be back in casts if they were blisters. His treatment has been going so well and I would hate for things to be messed up. Thirdly, just like any mums, neither do I want to see my son ill. So glad that the 3 spots just disappeared after a couple of days. They were basically spots caused by blocked pores. Phew…

Oh, and the dry patch on the scalp never developed into cradle cap. And he hasn’t got a cold or cough. His cheeks are still slightly sore from using the anti-fungal cream since it really dries them. Hence I’m bringing him back to the doctor’s because SHE SAID TO DO SO if the skin doesn’t clear up. She knows so well that I’m the “easily bothered” mum. She actually asked if I was bothered by Theo’s rash. DUH!!! I don’t like to self-medicate a baby. I’m not confident of doing so.

As a hypochondriac, I’m pleased to have Daniel as my husband. He’s really calm when it comes to Theo’s health right from day one. He’s here to keep me sane, if not calm. I suppose I’m just that sort of mum – the one that panics and over-reacts when her baby’s ill. But that’s nothing to be ashamed of, I suppose. I would rather be over cautious and consult a doctor when Google tells me sh*t than to miss any signs that something is not quite right.

I suppose I’ll get more used to different baby related ailments in time to come and relax a bit more. So dear bacteria and viruses, please cut some slack on this hypochondriac mum who still has loads to learn.

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Three Months Old

Dear Theo,

You’re 3 months old today! We’re so proud of you for all that you’ve achieved!

3 months ago, on the day you were born, you needed so much help. Thankfully you had very good doctors and nurses to help you. IMG_0007.JPG

A million questions went through my mind as I wondered how I could possibly give you the best care in the world.

In this short period of time we worked brilliantly as a family of three. Although I was heartbroken upon seeing your beautiful feet and all the tubes around your little body, you showed Mama how brave you were. You never really fussed in the cold, hard casts. You took only 1.5 days to adapt to the boots and brace. Despite being a little man, you are a lot stronger than me.

In these three months, you smiled and laughed, rolled over, became aware of your hands and feet, grabbed your panda and giraffe rattles, gained good head control and was introduced tummy time. It is little wonder why you have bad days at times given all the information you have to process. IMG_7816.JPG

Mama still looks at the pictures of you as a newborn in neonatal care. I’m amazed at how you’ve improved to be the healthy, bubbly and happy boy you are today.

At 3 months old, you’re already a cheeky monkey. You’re tickled when we plant kisses on you. You enjoy playing rough. One of your favourite activities is story time when we read you books. Current favourite – The very hungry caterpillar. While you still enjoy Papa’s koala bear hugs, you’ve started to want us to carry you facing outwards so that you can explore the world around you.

My dear 3 month old darling, you’re my little Prince. We have good and bad days/ nights. On bad nights, I feel like you’re pushing me over the edge and Papa has to intervene to save me. But you know what sweetheart, you’re the ONLY person in the world who’s capable of making me fall in love with you all over again after bad nights.

Mama’s looking forward to our journey together. I can assure you we’ll have ups and downs, but we’ll try to make your childhood a memorable one that’s jam packed with love.

Love,
Mama

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Homegrown Organic Vegetables

No, I don’t grow my own vegetables. Just haven’t got green fingers.

However I’m really fortunate! Last Friday I met up with a friend and she generously shared with me her mum’s homegrown organic pumpkin and tomatoes. IMG_7810.JPG

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Don’t they look so beautiful?

I cooked Thai Pumpkin and Chicken Curry with them. The pumpkin was so sweet and delicious! Usually I’m not fussed with pumpkin seeds but as this pumpkin was homegrown, I decided to roast them. Nothing wasted!

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Those tomatoes were so good on their own. They would make jolly good explosives! Each and every one I ate “exploded” in my mouth. They were so juicy! Yummilicious!!!

Thank you “E” for sharing your mum’s harvests with us! Please thank her for us!

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Sleep Deprived Parents

On Sunday afternoon, Theodore woke up from his nap screaming inconsolably. It shocked the both of us because he stopped crying that way after he got used to nappy changing as a newborn. Little did we know that that was the start of our sleepless nights.IMG_7742.JPG

It was pretty bad on Sunday night. Instead of waking up twice (at 2am and 5.30am) for feeds, he was waking up every hour. Most of the time he wasn’t nursing; he just wanted to latch on to suckle. That would send him back to lalaland in minutes. But once he was off the breast, he would be upset again.

We concluded that it was just a bad night and coincidentally, he had ringworm infection on his cheeks. So pissed off at whoever who passed it to him, be it human or animals. We know it’s not Dan or myself since we’re both perfectly fine. ANNOYED!

Much to our dismay, the sleepless nights continued. It isn’t getting any better. I’m utterly useless when I don’t get sufficient rest. Dan’s been tagged in to help out and he’s been brilliant for trying so hard, but I feel so bad since he needs to focus at work. There are so many tips online on how to deal with sleep deprivation and I’m going to discuss with Dan to see which will suit us best. One tip, however, was “hilarious”. It suggested hiring a night time nurse/ nanny. WHAT?!?! That must be THE tip for the royal family, surely?

Theodore turned 12 weeks old last Friday and this could very well be a mental leap/ growth spurt. He’s definitely grown physically. The sleepsuit that fitted well last week is now a little snug. Poor boy isn’t getting much sleep himself and I know he must feel horrible too. At the same time, I’m pretty much in a daze myself, unable to focus and my eyelids are so heavy! On two separate occasions I’ve put the bar on incorrectly for him and forgot to put it back on after changing him! Geez!!! Guess what a mess I was in when I realised I didn’t do his bar right?

Every mum I met tells me all will be better after 3 months. He turns 3 months this Saturday. Will it get better? I do hope so.

In the meantime, I’m going to try the “nap while your baby sleeps” tip.

A blog on my three greatest loves – family, food & travels

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