Affordable Newborn Photography with Emily Ng Photography

One of the things I regret not doing for my elder son was to have his newborn photos taken by a professional photographer. With that in mind, I knew for sure I must have that done for my second child.

The three things I considered while looking for a photographer were – affordability, convenience and the style of photography. Luckily for me, I chanced upon Emily Ng Photography.

One of the things I really like about her service is that she shoots at the comfort of our home. This is especially suitable for those who are rigid about not going out during their confinement period.

On the day of the photoshoot, we fed Ian 30mins prior to the shoot so he can sleep and “cooperate” through out the session. Emily came right on time and was very quick to set up her props. All we needed to give her was sufficient space to set up her things and a quiet environment. She also asked for 2 stools so she can place her lights on them.

During the shoot, Ian stirred a couple of times because he is a very light sleeper. Emily did not hesitate to carry and coax him back to sleep patiently. I sat there and watch her wrap him so professionally while shushing him gently so he could sleep on.

What caught my eye about Emily’s portfolio before I decided on a photographer is the simplicity of her pictures. Personally, I prefer photos of my baby being the focus instead of having too many props around him. I also contemplated on doing a black and white photography or something that does not look overly complex. I will show you what I mean with some of the photos taken.

If there are specific requests you have for the shoot, you can share them with Emily. In our case, I asked for detailed shots of Ian’s tiny hands and feet, as well as sibling/family shots, which she delivered beautifully.

The photos were returned to us via dropbox 2 weeks after the shoot and we loved how the pictures turned out. The photos were very pretty and only cost us at an affordable amount of less than $200! I am aware that her charges have increased slightly recently, but in my opinion, it is still a very reasonable price for keepsake worthy pictures to be taken at the comfort of your own home.

Breast or Formula Milk? It is up to Mum.

During my last visit to the polyclinic, I overheard a conversation between a mother and a healthcare provider. The mother was asked the standard set of questions which included this – “are you breastfeeding or giving infant formula?”. She replied that she was giving her baby formula milk and went on to give a few reasons why, which I felt was totally unnecessary. She should not feel pressured to explain this to anyone.

Recently, my husband and I decided to feed my 5 and a half month baby formula milk (FM) instead of breast milk (BM) for his last feed of the day. I must say, it is one of the best decisions we made. After the switch, he now sleeps at least 8 to 9 consecutive hours. On nights that he wakes up in the wee hours (rarely though), i will still latch him just so he goes back to sleep quickly. With the baby sleeping longer hours, this also means I get to spend time with my elder child or just get some me time. As a result, I am less tired, less impatient and thus, can care for my two kids better. 

While many people will say breast is best, I personally think breast is best only if the mother’s well being is not compromised. No one should feel ashamed of themselves for choosing to give their child FM over BM regardless of the reason. If giving my child BM causes me to be physically and emotionally drained, then I would rather give him something that is good enough – FM. As long as I know my child is well fed and well cared for, nothing else matters.


HALFTOYS – Definitely not Half the Fun

We were introduced to Halftoys when it was gifted to Isaac as one of his Christmas presents. The
Parasaurolophus structure has also become one of his favourite “bring out” toys which he packs in his bag wherever he goes.

To be honest, when we saw the packaging of the box, it did not look like much. All we saw was a figurine of a Parasaurolophus, which was actually already enough to make our little dino fan happy. Little did we know there was going to be even more fun within.

In the box are :

1 x Magnetic Para skin
1 x Para skeleton structure
1 x Carton-board diorama backdrop
1 x Carton-board diorama landscape (Tree, lake, etc.)
1 x Para instruction booklet


Definitely goes without saying that the first thing that intrigued Isaac was the skeleton structure of his dinosaur because he can dismantle and put together the pieces of bones.

Then comes the fixing of the habitat of his Para as well as his favourite food – the rat. All made out of carton board. How smart is that? We can actually remove the pieces and keep them back into the box when we are done playing with them. It does not even take up much space.

When we were done putting up the landscape, he couldn’t be more pleased to add his Para to his collection at his dino corner.

The next thing he asked was – “Is there a triceratops halftoy?”.

Christmas Bakes 2019 – White Chocolate & Cranberry cookies

Our favourite festive of the year is here once again! This also means it is time isaac meet up with his uncle C for their annual baking session because we believe handmade gifts are the best. 3rd year in a row now and he has yet to get over his uneasiness of getting hands dirty.

This year, they baked something alot easier than last year’s rainbow loaf cake – White chocolate cranberry cookies.

Kneading the dough to shape his cookies
Cookies ready to go into the oven
See how the cookies have expanded?

We put the cookies in a pretty box and it is nice enough to be given away. What do you think?

As isaac always says ‘sharing is caring’, here is the recipe for the cookies.

White Chocolate and Cranberry Cookies

175g plain flour
175g unsalted butter
75g caster sugar
75g semolina
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
80g white chocolate, finely chopped
80g dried cranberries, finely chopped

Mix everything together until a dough forms. Divide and shape them as you like. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°c for 12mins.

Happy baking!

Escalator Scare at Waterway Point – 29 November 2019

With an infant in my carrier, we heard loud clanking sounds before the steps popped up right before my eyes. I was just a step away from that dislodged step.

I hugged my baby with my shivering arms and turned around asking the crowd to go back up.

Can’t believe this happened again at Waterway Point because the last incident happened exactly 2 months ago! The building maintenance team seriously need to look into the maintenance of the escalators.

** Update on 2nd December 2019 **

I was told that the cause of the dislodgement was due to the use of strollers on the escalator. I looked back at Waterway Point’s FB page and saw this notice :

In fact, I have also read up and found that most of the escalator malfunction cases are due to the use of prams. I believe most parents are pushing their prams on the escalators because the lifts are usually packed. But for all others’ safety, please use the lifts instead. Read reference from CNA.

To prevent further incidents as such, perhaps the malls can start putting up barriers to stop users from pushing the strollers on the escalators.

Money Saving Tips to Welcoming Your Newborn

Welcoming your little bundle can cost you a big hole in the pocket. As every dollar saved counts, here are some tips on the what you can save so you do not blow your budget.

  • Ask for samples – This include items like wet wipes, diapers, shampoo/soap as well as milk formula. Most of these items can be obtained whenever there is an upcoming baby fair. Apart from the fact that samples are free, you really would not know what your baby need until he/she arrives. Take for example, diapers. I got some newborn and small sized ones because I did not know how big my baby was going to be so I did not purchase a whole new pack of diapers until the baby is here. In any case, you will be at the hospital for at least 2 days after birth which means diapers will be provided for by the hospital. There will still be some time to get the right size.

If you do not visit the baby fair, another great place to ask for samples will be at your gynaecologist’s clinic.

  • Make full use of discount codes / vouchers – Most of the discount vouchers given to me were either from surveys I have participated in or after making a purchase. Usually the items that are of a higher value will give you more vouchers. I signed up with Cordlife and had discount vouchers for diapers, baby’s photoshoot and post natal massage services.
  • Pre-Order / Early Bird discounts – Before the baby fair, there is usually an early bird discount if you shop online. All you need to do is purchase the item once the online sale is on and collect it at the baby fair on the day of the fair. The deals are usually quite good as I managed to save more than 50% off the regular prices of the items.
  • Newborn Clothings – You will be amazed at the speed the baby grows. Our second child was born very tiny but he outgrew his newborn sized clothings in just 2 weeks. It is always better to buy a size up so it can be worn longer. Hand me downs are great since these clothings won’t be worn for very long. I only put on mittens during my babies’ first 2 months because I wanted them to start feeling the different textures as soon as they stop scratching their own faces.
  • Baby Shoes – Nice to look at but there is really no use for it until they start learning to walk. Until then, they are more comfortable in their socks / booties.
  • Bedding sets – Don’t rush into getting pillows and bolsters. Babies are encouraged to sleep on firm and flat surfaces until they are 1 year of age. This is to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Milk Bottles – We tried about 5 different brands of milk bottles for our first born until we found the one that was suitable for him. So before you go buying too many bottles from a particular brand based on your own research, try getting 1 or 2 (if you have to) first. Instead of getting the 150ml sized bottles, consider going for the bottles with more capacity. It works the same as long as you get the nipples with slower flow.
  • Food Processor – Unless there is a specific function about the food processor that you like, I really think that the food processor works the same as a blender. So if you already have a blender at home, there is really no need for a separate food processor for your baby.
  • Stroller – A good stroller does not mean that it has to be expensive. Some strollers that are meant for newborns may look stylish but it is not really practical as your child will outgrow it very quickly. Always look for a stroller that can still be used even when your child is a few years of age and as long as it can function according to your lifestyle and is within your means, it is the perfect stroller for you.
  • Diaper Bag – We got ourselves a diaper bag (at a huge discount) only to find it totally pointless. All we had to do was get a bigger and comfortable bag, compartmentalise it ourselves by using the bag organizer and there we have our own “diaper bag”. It can even be used when you no longer need the “diaper bag”.
  • Baby Floor Seat – I consider this a waste of money because my baby’s thighs were too big for him to use the floor seat. Tried it once and when I lifted him up, up came the floor seat as well. :p
  • Infant bath tub – We welcomed our 2 boys in 2 different hospitals and were given a bath tub to bring home. Due to hygiene purposes, the hospitals do not reuse your baby’s bath tub with another child. You can check with the hospital you are delivering in just to be sure.
  • Milestone Cards – Unless there is a specific design that you like, there are a few sets of milestone cards that we got (free) from the hospital. These are all sponsored by service providers that we may potentially engage in future (like food catering for our child’s milestones). I got at least 5 different sets with extremely adorable designs.

The above are some of the items that I can think of at the moment. Just to be clear, I am not saying that you should stay away from all of the above. It really depends on what you need (or what you can afford for some). Most of the time, making a list of whatever you must have and what your budget is actually helps. Also, before making any purchase, you can ask yourself what I always ask myself now – “Do I really need this?”.

Life As A New Mum (again)

Four years after being a mum for the first time we welcomed Ian into our lives as our second baby. The experience with him is totally different from what we experienced with Isaac. One of the things I wondered during my pregnancy was how Ian looked like because he’d turn away every time we did the ultrasound. But I thought to myself, how different can he be from Isaac right? After all, they are both from the same “factory”. Boy, was I wrong. I saw no resemblance in the two of them the moment we met Ian.

Looks aside, Isaac was an easy to manage baby. He is probably the perfect baby anyone would wish for. He was smiley, his cries were soft and best of all, from when he was over a month old, he slept through the night without waking up for milk. When I say through the night, I mean from 8ish pm to almost 7am the next morning.

I always thought how lucky we were that Isaac was so easy to handle and was hoping Ian would be somewhat similar but of cos, all babies are different.

The first month with Ian was extremely challenging. He had a huge appetite and we were feeding him every 2 hours instead of the recommended 3hrs. I find myself with almost no sleep because feeding him and putting him back to sleep took about an hour and a half. This also means it was almost time for him to feed again. With no confinement lady, the hubs and I took turns to watch him through the night. However, even on nights that the hubs took the night shift, I will still have to get up to express the milk so there is enough supply for Ian and also to avoid engorgement. Many nights I find myself questioning when this situation will get better.

When Ian was 18 days old, he got hospitalised for close to a week because he came down with fever. After admission, his blood test revealed that he had bacterial infection in his blood. It was a major heartache for me seeing him with the plug on his little hand and later, lumbar puncture was also done to check if the infection went to his brain. We spent the long nights together being woken up by the nurses to have his temperature taken every hour. Thankfully, he got better and finally discharged from the hospital.

After a month of having the hubs at home, he finally went back to work. The first week of being home with just Isaac and Ian was trying. I tried to juggle between the household chores and the kids’ demands and I kept telling myself that I can do this and I did. I managed to plan the day according to Ian’s sleeping timing. Every time he took a nap, I would attend to Isaac, cook lunch (dinner on some days) and have some house chores done. Some days I’ll take them out too. On days that I am tired from the broken sleep, I will just cook lunch and watch over the kids. After all, the kids’ and my well being is more important than the housework. I did not want to suffer from a burnout myself so I can continue to look after them. The housework can wait.

To be honest, I am surprised myself at the confidence I have to manage them on my own and I am really glad that I have the opportunity to. The nights are long but the years are short. I shall cherish every moment with my babies.

World, meet Ian

At 34 weeks pregnant, I was told that the baby was lying very low. Our gynae recommended bed rest just so we can keep the baby in till at least 37 weeks when it is safe to pop. Being stuck at home, that 3 weeks went by extremely slowly for me. I thought to myself that I had not expect to spend the last few weeks with isaac this way. I wanted to bring him out to have fun so we could have some quality time together before the baby arrives. Luckily for me, isaac is someone who enjoys staying at home. Hence, we played games on our mobile phones, the ps4 and watched shows together. I guess that worked too.

I missed my dad’s 70th birthday celebration on 2nd August, which I had planned and prepared for just to meet my 37th week mark which was the next day, 3rd August. It was a struggle for me because I really wanted to be there.

I am extremely grateful for the support from my family during these few weeks. My mum would buy groceries and bring them to my place just so isaac and I have food to eat. When I missed my dad’s birthday celebration, my family came over to my place just to cut the cake with me. These may sound like the small stuff but being surrounded by loved ones meant alot to me.

We made our way to the hospital on the 3rd of August at 2cm dilated. Arrived at the hospital close to 4pm was prepared for the baby’s arrival the next day. Our gynae who happened to be at the hospital for another delivery jokingly told us that she will fly down even if the baby decides to come out at midnight. Read about our awesome gynae here.

We spent a few hours at the delivery suite only to find out that I was still 2cm dilated at 9pm. I decided I should get some sleep since the baby will likely only arrive in the wee hours the next morning. Less than half an hour later, we were taken by surprise when the medical staff who checked on my said that I was 10cm dilated and she was going to call my gynae. True enough, our gynae flew down for the delivery.

After pushing for an hour, our precious baby arrived. We also fulfilled big brother Isaac’s wish of having a sibling. Took the three of us (isaac included of cos) two days after the baby’s birth to settle on his name.

Meet Ian. Our precious baby number 2.

Sesame Street Run Singapore 2019

Join the gang from Sesame Street on their very first Sesame Street Run Tour as they celebrate 50 years of Sesame Street!

Our little Sesame Street fan at home squealed in excitement when I showed him the entitlements for this run. He immediately pointed at the cap and said “I want this!”.

This cap however, is only available in the Go Big with Big Bird category which costs SGD 126.

That said, the Go Big with Big Bird package also entitles you to the VIP pass with some of the perks the little ones will surely enjoy like being in the fast lane to take photo with Sesame Streets’s Characters, collect medals and the Secret Birthday Gift as well as free instant prints of the photos taken with the Sesame Street Characters.

Join in the fun happening at Our Tampines Hub, 17th November (Sunday) from 7am-12pm!

For more details, check our the official website here.

**All photos are from http://www.sesamestreetrun.com/.

Our Gynaecologist for Baby #2 – Dr Claudine Tan | Thomson Women’s Clinic

So they say every pregnancy is different… so true y’all. I had an easier pregnancy while expecting Mister I with minimal morning sickness and less body aches. I only started to experience body ache 2 days before his arrival. With the current pregnancy, morning sickness lasted longer (about 16 weeks), in fact it felt like all day sickness. My sleeping pattern also changed. I find myself wide awake till 12am and waking up at 3 or 4am for no apparent reason. Apart from the pregnancy symptoms, we also did many things differently for this baby. One of them which I feel is probably the most important part of my pregnancy journey, is picking the right gynaecologist for us. 

What are the factors you consider when selecting your gynaecologist? For me, the following points were put into consideration before actually meeting the gynae :

  • How much information I can obtain regarding the gynae on the Internet or via word of mouth
  • Gender of the gynae (since I wanted a female this time) 
  • Proximity of the clinic from home 
  • Which hospital the gynae delivers at
  • Cost 

Only after getting the information on the points above, I have somewhat shortlisted my preferred gynae. Then comes the following :

  • experience with the gynae during consultation – this is critical as my husband did not really like the attitude of our previous gynae 
  • Waiting time at the clinic
  • experience with the clinic assistants 

After much consideration and experience during my first appointment with my preferred gynae, I was certain I had found the right one for us – Dr Claudine Tan from Thomson Women’s Clinic.

Here is my experience thus far. 

Getting more information about her services and charges was the easiest compared to the other 2 gynaes I had shortlisted. I had read a good number of reviews about her before calling up to enquire about her charges. The clinic assistant who picked up my call was very friendly and informative. She shared the consultation charges, package price after 20 weeks and delivery charges very openly over the phone. Although she had provided me with the charges, it was made known to me that the charges may vary each visit depending if there were other tests involved that day or if we purchased any supplements. 

Experience at Thomson Women’s Clinic (Serangoon) 

Our first appointment was scheduled on a weekday as her weekends are reserved for mamas who are closer to their due dates. I did a pregnancy test, took my weight and pressure before seeing her. In fact, now that I’m already in the third trimester of pregnancy, the longest time (out of all the visits) I spent waiting to see Dr Claudine was only 15 mins at most. This beats my previous experience hands down. Back then, the waiting time at my previous gynae’s clinic was at least 1 to 1.5 hours even though we were given an appointment time.

We had a pleasant first meeting as well as subsequent visits with Dr Claudine. Her chirpy and approachable persona made it easy for us to share past experiences as well as ask any questions we had in mind. She does not hard sell any services, for instance the Oscar test or Whooping cough immunisation (which we decided not to do in the end). What she did was tell us the availability of relevant services and we can go back to consider before giving her our decision during the next appointment. 

We were initially set on delivering our baby at Mount Alvernia where we delivered our first boy because of the inconvenience of parking at Thomson Medical. After speaking with Dr Claudine, we agreed to deliver in Thomson Medical as she assured us that we only need to go to the hospital once, which is on the day of delivery. It is after all the hospital she is most familiar delivering in. To save us from the hassle of going down to the hospital to book the type of room we would like after delivery, she asked for our preferred room type during my last trimester to reserve a room for us. She even prepared the admission letter for us in the event that the baby decides to arrive earlier than expected. It really set our minds at ease knowing she has gotten the nitty gritty details covered for us prior to  the day of delivery. 

Charges for Visits 

The part which many people are most interested in… I would say the average bill size for us per visit is approximately $200 depending if we purchase supplements or if any additional test was conducted. I do have the detailed charges but it would be a long list for me to share them here. 

Overall Thoughts

Without a doubt, we are very happy with our experience with Dr Claudine Tan and her team and will definitely recommend her to those looking for a professional gynaecologist!