Category Archives: hot stuff

Sock’er Mom

Tonight is the big night. Manchester United is taking on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium for the 2nd leg of the Champions League Semi-Finals. After we demolish the Gunners at their own pitch, we’ll be moving on to whip Chelsea (I hope it’s not Barca) in the Finals.

I have to explain my fascination for soccer. It all started way back in 2000 when Italy took on France for the Euro finals. A bunch of girlfriends decided to come over to my place to check out the cute Italian dudes, and I’d reluctantly agreed to watch 22 men chasing ball like a horde of wildebeests.

But when they zoomed in for a close up of Fabio Cannavaro (who still tops my list of hottest soccer players), I was hooked.
Cannavaro

Along the way, I fell in love with the game (and the muscular men all decked out in their soccer garb). There’s all that sweat and testosterone oozing out, complete with masculine grunts. When you watch good soccer, it’s like poetry in motion. Magic.

It’s a myth that only men love to watch soccer. There are plenty of reasons for moms to be a soccer fanatic.

1. Entertainment in your living room.

Being a stay home mom, entertainment options are limited, to say the least. I’m cooped up at home with a kid all day and night, so it’s a good thing I’ve got the telly for company. But with the vast array of trashy programs monopolizing the prime-time slots, soccer is often the best there is, which brings me to my next point.

2. Ogle-fest

It’s the only chance to blatantly ogle at ribbed muscles and tight butts in front of the husband. On a good day, you even get to sneak a peek at their washboard abs when they yank off their shirt with a flourish after scoring a goal. Just make sure you hold a bowl of popcorn so your drool doesn’t collect on the floor.

3. Soccer Barbie

On match days, you get to dress the entire family up in matching soccer jerseys in a show of solidarity. Once you get past the cheese, there’s nothing cuter than dressing the kids up in the tiny jerseys and knee-high socks.

4. Midnight Snacking

It’s the perfect excuse to load up on chips and soda in the middle of the night. So totally sinful, but oh-so-good. And with the occasional ice-cold beer thrown in, the snacks alone is reason enough to be up at 2.30 in the morning.

Recession-Proof Mommy (Part 2)

10 tips to stretch your dollar without compromising on quality (continuation):

6. Scout the newspapers for discounts and promotions.

Supermarkets often advertise their promotions in the papers and a quick browse through everyday will save you quite a bit. I used to mock those who cut out supermarket coupons and promotional codes, but it’s retribution, because I’ve been hoarding coupons like a bag lady.

But look who’s laughing now. I know where to get the best prices for all my essentials, which leaves me more money to buy non-essentials like my Coach baby bag.

7. Rent it.

Instead of buying items that you’ll not need for a long time, try renting it for a couple of months. In the first 3 months after the baby is born, a co-sleeper cot comes in very handy for those midnight feeds. With the cot right beside your bed, you can reach out and grab the baby, feed, and put him back without even having to get out of bed. But items like these lasts for a few months at most, and you’ll have to upgrade to a regular cot, which makes rental a very feasible option.

You can also rent toys for your kids to play with and rotate them on a monthly basis since they get bored of the same old toys very quickly anyway.

8. Most expensive is not always best.

It’s all a marketing ploy to make us think that costly items are far superior than the cheaper alternatives, but the truth is, a significant bulk of the cost goes to paying for advertising and branding. When choosing milk powder and baby food, what’s more important is the nutritional value and how your baby reacts to it.

Likewise, for other stuff like clothes and toys, look for suitability rather than blindly buy the most expensive item on the shelves. I’ve come to realize that Tru prefers playing with tissues, keys, insects and dirt way more than his very expensive toys.

9. Join a library or a book club.

Education is very important and mothers these days start reading to their kids at birth. Hah, but we started even before Tru was born, so he’s going to be like the most ingenious genius around, so there. Instead of buying books, I bring him to the library to pick out a few books to read.

Book clubs are also a brilliant way to start your child on reading programs. Mothers usually gather to share books and conduct storytelling sessions. So while your kids are distracted, you get to chill out with other moms over a cuppa and some scones.

10. Shop at thrift stores or flea markets.

I know it sounds terribly un – g.l.a.m.o.r.o.u.s, but before you go all Fergie on me, I’m pretty sure flea markets don’t actually have fleas (at least, not all the time). Once in a while, you’ll find some really good deals at these places, but you have to look past the grime and see the potential.

A friend of mine managed to buy a whole kitchen play set (RP: $150) for $10. It did take some cleaning up, but after that, it was almost as good as new. Even if you paid a cleaner $10 to wash it, it’s still a steal.

So what I’m trying to say is that being a mother is not that tough nor expensive. All it takes is a little bit of ingenuity plus lots of creativity, and you’ll be recession-proof in no time. And in the unlikely event that all 10 tips fail, it’s not the end of the world. McDonalds is always looking for people to flip patties.

Recession-Proof Mommy (Part 1)

Everyone’s talking about recession-proofing. Like any other job, mothers are also in danger of getting fired. So for your benefit, I’ve decided to come up with a two-part series on how to value-add and make yourself indispensable.

With the economy in a state of crisis, it’s all the more important for mothers to make sound financial decisions. While we’re usually happy to cut back on that new Louis Vuitton tote, when it comes to our kids, mothers spare no expense.

Regardless of whether there is a recession or not, their bottoms need to be diapered and their stomachs fed. Then there’s the never-ending list of baby items you never thought you’d need, like strollers, socks and shower foam.

It’s a parent’s instinct to want to give their kids the best. I’ve forgotten the number of times I’ve chosen the $35 shower gel over another brand that’s half the price, or picked the most expensive diapers just so that his delicate bottom will be shrouded in softness.

10 tips to stretch your dollar without compromising on quality:

1. Breast-feed your baby.

It’s free and it helps you lose weight so you can save on those slimming packages. Need I say more?

Until I became a mother, I had no idea how extortionate formula milk is. It also doesn’t help that Tru drinks milk like he’s been starving for three days. I usually spend about $200 a month on his milk, which can easily be channeled to more important stuff like my spa sessions.

It’s also unlimited, so as long as you keep feeding or expressing, it will never run dry. You can keep feeding them till they are 12 and after that, you can use it for cereal, cakes, cookies and cooking. There’s no need to buy fresh milk ever again.

2. Get plugged in to motherhood forums.

It’s a community where mothers gather to sell off excess items or swap for other stuff. You can find virtually anything that you need at cutthroat prices (with a bit of patience and dedication). I’ve been trawling the forums since Tru was born and here are some of the best bargains I’ve found so far.

  • New Peg Perego Primo Viaggio SIP car seat (RP: $339) bought for $100
  • Preloved Maxi Cosi Priori SPS car seat (RP: $398) bought for $100

Check out sites like singaporemotherhood.com or idobaby.com

There’s a downside to bargaining though. Occasionally, you may get cursed and hexed for low-balling the price and end up having to spend unnecessary money on getting treated.

3. Share and care.

Pass on baby clothes to other mothers who have babies after you do. Kids outgrow clothes faster than you realize, and it would be a waste to let it grow moldy in the drawers. Free up space by passing it on to other moms who will have better use for it. And don’t be too shy to take over clothes from your friends. Tru’s collection of clothes are mostly passed down from friends and he still manages to look like a superstar.

Although, it’ll be good to choose your friends wisely. Those with bad taste can make your kid look like a hobo or a tramp (or both).

4. Organize or join sprees to save on shipping.

It’s a globalized world and that means we can take advantage of clearance sales halfway around the globe without losing out on shipping. Consolidate items with other mothers to save on shipping from anywhere in the world. Plus, you get your hands on limited edition stuff from overseas without paying through your nose for it.

  • Buy clothes from Gap.com without having to wait for the local store to bring it in and shipping usually costs about $1-2 per garment.
  • Get First Teeth Baby Toothpaste at $6 (shipping included) from US or UK instead of $20 from the local stores.

Just make sure you don’t ship melamine-infested milk powder from certain countries. Death is not an attractive outcome for being too cheapskate.

5. Sell off excess items at lower prices.

We often find ourselves laden with excess stocks of diapers and milk powder after our kids outgrow them. Rather than chucking them away, the best thing is to sell them off at cheaper prices to other mothers. It’s a win-win situation for all.

Alternatively, you can trade them for bigger sizes or other items that you may need. Barter trade is still very much in style.

*to be continued…


Taken – The Ultimate Parenting Guide

Had a hot date with the husband to watch Taken a few days back and I must say, it was surprisingly good. Taken is your typical, no nonsense, action movie where Liam Neeson went around beating the living daylights out of everything that moves. The intro was a little slow, but once the fun started, the action sequences were tight and somewhat realistic, so all in all, it was thoroughly enjoyable. (I have a weakness for these swashbuckling, one-man-show CIA super agents)

Thanks to Luc Besson, Neeson’s character is like James Bond, Jason Bourne and Jack Bauer all rolled into one incredible fighting machine. I particularly loved the sequence where he stabbed 2 metal sticks into the Albanian mafia dude’s thigh (who abducted his daughter) and proceeded to electrocute him senseless.

But underneath the carnage and destruction, the movie actually has many important messages that parents should drill into their kids. It’s like the ultimate parenting guide (or propaganda). When Kirsten turns 16, I’m gonna make her watch this with my own running commentary in the background.

Lesson 1: Going on a road trip across Europe with friends will result in abduction.

I’m pretty sure at some point she’s going to want to travel with her friends to whatever is the next big travel destination in 2018. I’m going to instill a rule where there will be no traveling alone until she turns 24 or gets married (which should not happen before she’s 24 anyway).

It’s a catch 22. If she goes with a bunch of girlfriends, there’s no way any of them will be able to put up a fight in the face of imminent abduction. (Don’t believe the Alias female Kungfu fighter nonsense) A bunch of adolescent girls on a holiday is like spreading honey on your chest. You can’t be surprised if a swarm of killer bees sting the crap out of you.

But if she goes on a trip with some adolescent male friends (we all know what teenage guys have on their minds 24/7), I can bet my life that there will be some hanky panky going on when she’s halfway around the world. Not an appealing prospect as far as I’m concerned.

Lesson 2: Don’t talk to strangers, especially if they are handsome and French.

Handsome guys are usually up to no good, so avoid them like the plague. If you must talk to boys, choose those ugly-ass ones with pock-marks, buck-teeth and giant, geeky specs. Better still if they are with their mothers and speak only Mandarin.

handsome french guy = bad

handsome french guy = bad

geeky guy = good

geeky guy = good

Lesson 3: Don’t make the sexytime unless you want to get sold off to prostitution and die.

I couldn’t help but notice that the two girls ended up with very different fates. Amanda, the promiscuous one, ended up DEAD after OD-ing on drugs. Kim, on the other hand, who showed some restraint in having her cherry popped too early, was rescued by her super spy of a father who went on a rampage across the whole of France.

amanda-kim2

Kim was saved thanks to the fact that she was certified 100% pure (exact words from the movie), so if you’re reading this eventually, Kirsten, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MAKE THE SEXYTIME until you get married. Your father will hunt down the unfortunate chap who is responsible for the deed and after he’s done, the poor fella will wish he was the Albanian dude who got electrocuted.

Adventures of the Hunky Pool Boy

Some may say that comics aren’t legitimate literary forms, but go ask Neil Gaiman, the god of graphic novels (it’s just a fancy name for comics) and he will probably tell you that you’re an illiterate fool. 50 years from now, high school students will be dissecting the genius of graphic novels as part of their pursuit of literature, alongside Shakespeare and Harper Lee.

For me, I’m a fan of all forms of literature. I enjoy Harry Potter as much as Jane Eyre (btw, John Grisham and Jeffrey Archer novels are my guilty pleasure). When I stumbled upon the Sandman series by Gaiman, I was absolutely riveted. Comics are an art form, mixing visuals and prose to form a complex tapestry in which the narrative is masterfully woven.

Which is why I’ve decided to try my hand at comic creation. It’s probably too short to be a graphic novel, so maybe I’ll just start off with a graphic novella.

Enjoy.

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Mother will blog for Meals, Milk or Money

You may have noticed a new addition to my blog page – a pink icon at the right column that says maternity exchange. Yes, it’s an advertisement. And that means I’ve officially moved to the big leagues of celebrity bloggers.

I’ll be starting an autograph session every Saturday along the streets of Orchard Road. (You can spot me by the little tin can on the floor beside me)

When I started this blog, I had no idea where it was going to take me, or that it would have become such a big part of my life. I certainly didn’t think it would be big enough to attract the attention of ahem, advertisers. Gosh, it sound so fancy. I’ve had the best time of my life writing and knowing that other mothers (and non-mothers) can identify with the myriad of motherhood experiences.

Well, I just got approached to host my first ad, and I must say, it feels awesome to be paid for doing something that I love. I mean, who doesn’t like to be recognized for their efforts and given a nice pat on the back?

So now that I’m well on my way to making my first million (rupiah), I have a very big announcement to make.

*MOTHER WILL BLOG FOR MEALS, MILK OR MONEY*

If you don’t have a product or service for me to advertise (you losers), I also have the following skills that may be of interest to you.

1. Babysitting

Unlike other fake-wannabe babysitters, I will actually SIT ON YOUR BABY. I have many years of experience under my belt and I come with glowing recommendations from satisfied customers. I’m proud to say that all the children I have babysat are all within the ideal weight range.

Thanks to my unique service, obesity is now on the decline in Singapore. Unfortunately, there’s been several mysterious cases of unexplained trauma among children. (They have absolutely nothing to do with me, I swear)

2. Breastfeeding

You have the option of breastfeeding from the bottle (expressed) or directly from the breast (more expensive, clearly, since there are so many added benefits like bonding and emotional development). With my nutritious diet of chocolates and durians, you can be sure your baby is getting all the goodness and nourishment.

3. Tutoring

I can conduct classes to teach your kids a variety of subjects like mind-reading, telepathy and hypnotism. Nowadays, it’s all about getting a headstart in life and your precious little ones will be equipped with the necessary skills to manipulate their gullible classmates to do their homework, clean their shoes and warm their toilet seats.

4. Dog-sitting

Unlike babysitting, I won’t actually sit on your dogs (come on, that’s retarded). Instead, I will make them sit in the corridor all day leashed to a pole. It’s to teach them obedience while I do my usual stuff. I will check in on them every few days to make sure they’re still alive, so you can rest assured your canine companions are in good hands.

5. Cleaning and washing

Tru will go around your house eating up all the dirt and within minutes, it will be spotlessly clean. Some of the stubborn stains may take several sessions of cleaning to get rid of, but it still beats some of the commercial cleaners out there.

6. Tru-badour

After all the time and money I’ve invested into my son, it’s only right that I exploit his vast array of talents to make some extra dough. I was watching Slumdog Millionaire and there’s this blind kid in who sings at street corners for donations. Not a bad idea. Of course I’m not gonna gouge out his eyes, but cute kids that sing are practically a gold mine.

We’ll make quite a team. I can play the guitar while Tru can belt out hits like Mariah’s Without You. He’s still working on getting the lyrics just right, but I’ll be happy if he manages to pull off this performance below. At the worst, people will pay us to shut up. But hey, whatever it takes.

*To find out more about the packages, rates and special discounts, just drop me a mail.

I will also be taking in donations to the make-me-a-millionaire fund. The money will go towards funding my liposuction and you-know-what augmentation. (Impersonating Pam Anderson will be my backup plan in case this blog thing goes awry)

Truett’s top 5 TV shows

The topic on whether TV is good for kids has been debated to death. So I shan’t keep flogging the dead horse. My philosophy is that there are plenty of good programs out there and when consumed in moderation, there’s probably not much harm.

What’s more, I LOVE TV. It’s one of the best discoveries of all time, right next to sliced bread.

My son has come up with a list of top 5 TV programs on Playhouse Disney.
(I’m not sure if I agree with all of them though)

5. Higglytown Heroes.

Higglytown Heroes

First of all, what’s up with the giant storage pouches in their stomachs. Believe it or not, they can hop inside each other’s pouches and hide, which is so wrong on so many levels. And why are they mutated pudgy, legless beings? Most annoyingly, they keep coming up with retarded suggestions, plus they take advice from an ugly talking cat. Go figure.

4. Thomas and Friends.

Thomas and Friends

The husband claims that the trains are possessed. They are supposed to be youngish trains but it’s so disconcerting that they’ve got overly-large eyeballs that roll around and deep-baritone-grandfather voices. And the accent. The only people who speak like that are old farts drinking in the taverns of Manchester.

3. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

There’s Mickey Mouse and his exclusive Clubhouse of which JT, Britney and Christina are members. The social status alone is a big enough draw for any kid.

2. Pocoyo.

Pocoyo

This is Tru’s alter ego. The only problem is that he wears the same clothes ALL THE TIME and he’s got a duck, an elephant, a dog, a sleepy bird and a mysterious, old  narrator for friends. Other than that, he’s hands down the cutest 4-year-old on television.

1. Bunnytown.

Bunnytown

Definitely the best cartoon on Playhouse Disney. They’ve got all kinds of awesome music, ranging from hip hop, rock, rap, gospel and jazz. It’s also got a very witty script and lots of colorful bunnies. Tru’s all-time favorite segment is the Bunnytown Hop, a bunny-concert where all the bunnies go all rock and roll. Good stuff.