Haze rings the registers for some business

The recent haze started our shopping spree… First the surgical masks, then the N95, next the air purifier.

This shopping spree is no fun (trust me). Everything that used to be readily available seems to be running out of stock soon. Much tries, we managed to get the masks… but the real challenge was finding an air purifier.

Air purifier seems to be an essential item in any household. Freaky out, I tried to shop for one last weekend but I left the malls empty handed….. “Due to overwhelming response, all air purifiers are temporary out of stock.”

So yes, we do not have an air purifier at home … Not yet. Just today, my friend showed me a pic of the dirty filter of her air purifier … For only 2 weeks, the filter was filled with dirt !!!! My god, I was shocked !!!! She told me, “see, I told you right… You need an air purifier especially if you have kids at home.”

This weekend, I will be out hunting for a purifier again… Some told me Honeywell is the best, some said Novita while others said Sharp. So what’s your recommendation ???

How To Help Your Child To Loss Weight

Weight is a concern that people can experience at any age. However, for children, the concern is not only one of physical health, but also healthy self-esteem. Some kids can be mean to others with weight challenges. And no parent wants to know that their kids are being ostracized because of their weight!

If your child is heavier than other children are at their age, your first mission is to reassure your child that they’re just as special as any other child and they’re not loved any less because of their weight.

However, you also want to ensure that your child is physically healthy. Having excess weight is usually an unhealthy state for anyone, and kids who are troubled by excess weight have a higher risk of developing more serious health issues later in life.

Fortunately, due to the high metabolism of growth, children who implement healthier eating habits early can achieve a healthier weight faster than adults can.

Implementing the following tips can effectively help your child win the battle against excess weight:

1. Healthy vs. unhealthy snacks. Even though many unhealthy foods taste better to your child than healthy ones, you can still find healthy snack alternatives that your child will enjoy and benefit from. 

• Replace fried chips with baked ones.

• Avoid snacks with artificial ingredients; only choose snacks with natural ingredients.

• Encourage your child to eat veggie bites by allowing them to use their favorite dip in moderation.

• Replace sugar-filled sodas and juices with natural alternatives like whole fruit or homemade fruit juices.

2. Schedule meal times. While it may be difficult to control how and what your child eats away from home, you can still have order at home. Schedule meal times for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Allow snacking twice a day in between meals and cut down on any other snack time they’re currently allowed to have.

• Eliminate bedtime snacks where possible. However, avoid sending your child to bed hungry.

• Sticking to a meal schedule will train your child to be a disciplined eater so daily caloric intake will be consistent.

• Even though you’re working at cutting down your child’s weight, feel free to include a treat every now and then so they don’t give in to cravings as easily.

3. Work out together. If your child is facing challenges with weight, sending them to work out on their own might cause them to feel there’s something wrong with them. By working out together, your child will understand that exercise is a healthy part of anyone’s routine, regardless of what your weight is.

4. Encourage video games with exercise themes. Recreation is an important part of any child’s development, so you shouldn’t aim at taking away recreation in exchange for exercise. Instead, try video games that require players to engage in significant physical activity. That way, your child will be participating in healthy recreation!

These techniques are an excellent start to helping your child overcome his or her weight challenge. It’s important that you’re consistent because, if you don’t take this seriously, neither will your child. If you’re consistent, your child will transition well into a healthier lifestyle without feeling pressured.

Perhaps start with one or two of the techniques and eventually move towards accomplishing the entire list. After some time, your child will automatically choose the healthier lifestyle because it has become second nature. Moreover, when they see the marked physical benefits and improvements, they’ll be even more motivated to continue along a healthy path!

Delphin Vacuum Cleaner – to buy or not to buy?

As parents, I believe we consider our children’s health as one of the most important thing in this world.  My kids have sensitive nose and skin.  As such, when a salesman from Delphin told me that my children’s allergy could be due to dust mites and claimed that there vacuum cleaner can effectively remove dust mites from mattresses, pillow cases, soft toys, etc, He said, “seeing is believing.” So I told myself, why not just let him do the demo, there’s no obligations any way.  After the demo, I was shocked to see the dust in the water.  My gosh! My children have been sleeping on dirty mattresses all these while.

Delphin Vacuum Cleaner, a product from Germany, accordingly to him is the best vacuum cleaner in the world.   It does not use any filter bags (which Rainbow and rest of reputable brands are using), and uses only water and L-lamella (which accordingly to him is patented).  What’s more, it can be used as a purifier.   The only thing that deters me from buying this vacuum cleaner is the price. It costs around $3.5K.  Although this amount can be paid via a 3 years interest free instalment, I still find the price too steep.  

Anyone out there who has any comments on Delphin Vacuum Cleaner? Is it really that effective? Is it a good investment?  To buy or not to buy ?????

Myopia Control – The Atropine Eye Drops Therapy

Myopia is getting more and common nowadays.  The eyes of the Z generation are always “working” – reading, watching TV, playing games.  The only time they rest, I suppose, would be when the kids are sleeping.

As such, it is not uncommon to see children (even toddlers) wearing spectacles today.  My son, a typical Z generation, worn his first pair of spectacles when he was 5 and the power just won’t stop going up (like the stock market).

When he was 7, I started actively to look for ways to control his myopia. By chance, his pediatrician introduced me to an optometrist who specialist in myopia prevention and control management.   After detailed examination of his eyes, the optometrist recommended that I tried the Atropine Eye Drops Therapy.  This therapy is commonly used by optometrist safely to treat eye conditions such as lazy eyes and squints; but for use in myopia control, it is still something new in Singapore, I was told then.  

With the optometrist’s advice and after due considerations, we decided to give it a try.  Every night before he sleeps, a single drop of atropine eye drop is instilled in each of his eyes.  His myopia has since stabilized for the past 2 years.   He sees the optometrist half yearly for review and for replenishment of his eye drops.

So far, the only side effect I’ve observed is the glariness from the sun when he is having his outdoor activities.  The solution? I have the optometrist wrote me a letter for the school to allow him wear transition lenses. 

Of course, eye care is still the most important thing; and do consult an optometrist if you are concern with your child’s myopia.

For information:



Sex Education – when?

Sex Education, when is the right age to start?

I was caught by surprise and didn’t know what to do when my 9 year old Genz Kid asked me a few “sex” related questions recently.   

While walking to a bus stop, we saw two teenage girls hugging and kissing each other lips to lips in public and my Genz Kid asked, “Mummy, what are they doing? Why do they kiss each other?” I was like “Errr…” and then speechless.  I really do not know how to answer himIf you do, please let me know.

On another occasion, the mobile TV on a public bus we were travelling was showing a drama series.  In the show, a man has AIDS and there he goes again, “what is AIDS and how does he get infected with it? Will I get AIDS too? Is it like H1N1?”   I am speechless. Am I suppose to tell him that one of the main reason people get HIV virus is when they have sex with an infected person so it’s safer if one only have one sex partner?  If I do, I bet the next question from him would be “what is sex?”  ….  To save me from the awkward situation, it was our stop soon and I told him, “time to get down the bus.”  He didn’t prompt further after we alighted from the bus so I go “PHEW”! 

Now I’m seriously thinking whether we should teach our kids what sex education is about.  However, even if we do, how should we start and when is the right time?     

Oh yes, before I forget, there is something I think all parents should talk to their children on, i.e. certain body parts of ours are private and shouldn’t be touch by others.  For boys, its penis and for girls, they are breast and virgina.   I remembered this incident when Genz Kid was in K1, his school principal told me that one of the K1 students like to caress a female teacher’s breast.  It was an innocent act of course, but the female teacher was quite embarrassed by the act.   The principal then told all parents to cultivate the ideas to their children that certain parts of the body are private and shouldn’t be touched by others, which include children.

News articles on sex education: http://www.asiaone.com/News/Education/Story/A1Story20090601-145319.html  http://www.asiaone.com/News/Education/Story/A1Story20090601-145317.html  http://www.asiaone.com/News/Education/Story/A1Story20090601-145319.html

A good resource article for your pleasure reading: http://www.essortment.com/family/parentingadvice_smpl.htm

Eczema & Home Remedy

Today, I would like to share with you a home remedy for eczema.  It’s a simple remedy that my mom taught me.  I used this remedy whenever my or my Genz Kids eczema flared up.  Well, it’s not a “sure cure” remedy but I do find that it helps to improve the condition and reduce itch.  It’s simple and worth a try ….

Things you need:

  • Packet of Chinese tea leaves (no particular brand, I brought mine for $0.20 per packet from provision shop)
  • Water
  • Cooking Pot


  • Boil a packet of Chinese tea leaves with 500 ml to 750 ml of water
  • Bring to boil and leave the water (with chinese tea leaves inside) overnight
  • Next night before sleep, soak the affected area in the water for around 5 to 10 minutes; use the tea leaves to gently rub the affected area
  • Pat dry the area and apply moisturizer (please use those moisturizer suitable for eczema skin condition such as QV, Cataphil, Physiogel, etc) before you sleep.

The frequency, well there’s no hard and fast rule, you can repeat this daily but for myself, I usually do it on alternate days.   

If your condition persists or does not improve, please see a doctor.

Suicide and Children

Singapore – I read a piece of sad news yesterday morning.  A 11 years old school boy jumped to his death after his school English oral examination two days ago

A sad piece of news indeed!  What had happened? Why did he jump?  Isn’t there any tell-tale sign before he jumped?  I kept asking myself these questions.  The fact that he jumped immediately after his school English oral exam made me wonder if the pressure he was facing during exam period was just too much for him to handle.  Did we parents put so much pressure on the children nowadays? 

To be honest, I think today, most parents are “kiasu”.  We are “kiasu” not because we want to be “kiasu”.  We are “kiasu” because if we don’t, our children will be lagging behind and will not be able to catch up in this competitive world later.  You tell me, how can they survive 20 years later with no “paper” qualification?    Even today, an adult with no “formal” education is struggling to earn a living.     

Parents, I know how hard it is on us but we do not want things like this to happen to our children, do we?  While we want them to do well in school, we have to be careful not to impose too much stress on them.  It is very important that we pay attention to our children behaviour.  If you notice any sudden change in their behaviour and are disturbed by them – don’t wait, ask for help!  It’s always better to be sure than sorry…..

Here are some hotlines you can call:

  • Fei Yue Counselling Hotline – 1800-565 6626
  • Institute of Mental Health – 6389 2222
  • Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) – 1800-221 4444
  • Touchline – 1800-377 2252
  • Tinkle Friend – 1800-274 4788
  • Touch Youth Community – 6377 0122
  • Youth Guidance – 6552 6477
  • Youthline (Youth Challenge) – 1800-336 3434

Website – http://www.samaritans.org.sg/index1.html

Nurse Me, Nurse Me Not …

You might be surprised that I’m still breastfeeding my 2 years old girl. In fact a lot of people whom heard me saying that were amazed by me and my preservation. The question people ask me is predictable and I guess you are asking me that in your mind now, “When do you intend to stop breastfeeding her?” Anyway, she is already 2 years old and isn’t it time for me to wean her?

To be honest, the more I hear this, the more pressured I was to wean her. We have heard so many wonderful things about breastfeeding your children but it seems like people are not prepared to see you breastfeeding “older” children. How old is old? Most people I spoke with think that mothers should stop breastfeeding their children when they turn 1.

I nurse “on demand” now that my girl is older and is happy with her other source of food. I usually only nurse her before her nap time (if I’m at home) and before she sleeps at night. Occasionally, she still wakes up in the middle of night asking to be nursed. I acknowledged that she might be nursing more for comfort than hunger, but since I’m enjoying it and I’m not complaining, I don’t understand why some people would give me that “you are still breastfeeding your 2 year old girl?” kind of look when they realized that I’m still nursing her. Is there something wrong with that?

Okay, there are some inconveniences. To name a few, there’s limitation of medication you could take when you fall sick; you need to express your milk if you are a working mom (I don’t have this problem now as I’ve stopped expressing in office. I’m only nurse her at home and only at home); if you are a new mom, your schedule works around the time you need to breastfeed your child, you need to get home before you feel engorged. That being said, there are many advantages as well and the best ever I think is breastfed children seem to fall sick less frequently and even if they do, the recovery is faster.

So mommy who are breastfeeding or intend to breastfeed your newborn baby, do some reading and weigh the advantages and disadvantages yourself. Anyway, shouldn’t breastfeeding a natural thing for new mothers????

For some reading, visit http://www.breastfeeding.com/, http://www.babycenter.com/breastfeeding

Children have stress too!

Just a few days ago, my 9 years old son asked me if it was more stressful to work than study. Sensing something wasn’t right; I asked him if something was bothering him. He replied gloomily, “Mommy, I feel that I can’t breathe, why is there so much homework everyday?”

Photo by TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³

Indeed, we live in a competitive environment today. Parents nowadays have high expectations of their children and by trying to do what they think are the “best” for their children, they have indirectly impose stress on them.

Ok, I admit, I am guilty myself! I have a smart boy and because he is bright, I have high hope of him. I want him to do well in school and unknowingly, I am inflicting stress on him. Now, I’m keep asking myself, am I doing this for him or for myself?

Stress by itself is not a bad thing. Having the right amount of stress can motivate a child to strive towards his goals. Stress becomes DISTRESS when it is overwhelming. At any stage in life, there is bound to be some stressful events and as they grow from one phrase to another, they will be put in new situations with new challenges and this would again lead to stress.

We as parents cannot eliminate the stress our children are going to face but what we can do is to teach them how to deal with it. However, before we can even do that, we need to understand and do one thing ourselves. We as PARENTS need to set realistic expectations on our children based on their ability and not ask for anything more than they can handle. I know it is easier said than done but then again, we want our children to have a happy and memorable childhood, wouldn’t we?

I’m trying and I hope you are too……

For more reading, visit: http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/feelings/stress.html