The Real; The Fake; The Ups and The Low-downs

I believe this is a stage that most bloggers will encounter. More so if you are blogging about your young children. You start questioning if your blog is 1) relevant; 2) too fake; too impersonal; 3) too real; too dangerous.

I have been blogging since 2009; on and off but more regularly so during the last 2 years when I joined the Singapore Mom Bloggers (SMB) group. My interest in blogging was piqued by my cousin who had a blog and shared interesting motherhood and education details about her daughter. I was facing an extremely difficult first pregnancy then and besides my hubby (and God); no one else seemed to be able to understand what we were going through. I started the blog partly out of boredom (being confined to bed rest) and a desire to find an outlet to express my thoughts. 5 years ago, the usage of smart phones weren’t as rampant as now and thus the idea of social media platforms were not as widely utilised too. Blogs were more “in” then. 🙂

Fast forward 5 years on, this blog had documented another challenging 2nd pregnancy and another miraculous birth of my 2nd boy. I am also blessed with opportunities to review products/attend events especially after joining SMB. One of my colleagues asked me if I am a “semi-famous blogger”! haaa.. I like that honesty. I am not famous; let alone “semi-famous” just because of advertorial activities. The aim of this blog had never changed and it is to provide an avenue of encouragement, empathy and sharing with mummies who might be going through difficult pregnancies; especially with PPROM conditions. It is a quiet objective working its way in a few moms-to-be lives which I had came across these 5 years. PPROM is a condition not commonly encountered in the Asia region and thus support is less available. I have women contacting me via my blog/emails to share about their predicament and we try to share notes and encouragement through the cyberspace. I have never met most of these women; but my heart ache every single time I received an email searching for answers and help. I was in their shoes before and I know it takes another who went through it to cry, to feel and to pray with them. The emotional struggles often outweigh the physical discomfort. Majority of these babies made it to preterm births; but yes, there are those who did not. There is no nicer way to put this; except it’s the truth. Whenever one such lady lost contact with me, I won’t pursue the contact either; because I know they need time and my experiences might not be relevant anymore. Times like this made me hug my boys tighter; give them extra kisses because I know they are miracles in our lives which we are extremely thankful for.

Dr Seuss

Putting the tears aside, this blog had seen happy times too! The many milestones my boys went through; their funny antics and our growing journey with them. Sometimes I am worried about the danger of putting them too much in the dangerous world of internet crimes. Hmmm…. too much concerns might lead to no action. But I try to practise some safety measures; e.g. sometimes an instagram photo is from yesterday and not where we are exactly at that moment. Unless there is requirement to blog/share from immediate locations, I try not to do so till we are almost leaving the place or already left.

There had been a series of blogs in the blogging sphere discussing about the “real life” behind the smiley faces in blogs. I asked my hubby this question just a few days back: “Is my blogging persona similar to my real-life persona?” Without any hesitation, he said “No; you are quite different in both lives”. *Ouch* Though I know to a certain extent I am different in “reel life” vs “real life”, to hear it said in your face, it is like a slap on your face huh? But the smarter hubby went on to elaborate (and maybe do some damage control!) that most, if not all bloggers will only share certain portions of their lives; not every single details. Most will share only areas which they are comfortable in sharing. For example, my hubby is an extremely private person and in respect for that, I choose not to share (too much) of him and us on the blog or social media. Sometimes (teasingly of course) I used it as threats towards him if he said or do something unkind to me or the situation. “That which you said is going on Facebook!” hahhaa.. For the records, It worked as a tease but not on quarrels-mode. 😛

The “chameleon nature” of a woman; don’t ruff her feathers! hehehe.

Gif of me

The smarter hubby also shared that many messages are similar/the same. It’s the way it is presented that will attract attention, readership and support. For example during the U.S. election, Obama and Mccain both wanted the same thing for U.S. But if you listen to both men’s speeches, one cannot deny that Obama is much more engaging and captivating vs a boring; pragmatic Mccain. That’s the power of charisma in my opinion. No one wants to listen to a boring speech; likewise on one likes to read boring blogs just sharing run-of-the-mill stories. And that’s how “unreality” sometimes set in. My life is not that interesting; just a mommy running after 2 boys and trying to juggle a work-family-life balance. But what make it interesting is the experiences I went through while finding a foothold in that balance beam. It is not that rosy pictures always; but I prefer to send across messages of hope, peace and life rather than chaos and doomsday. Just like most mommies, I face struggles and challenges in marriage, society, bringing children, extended family relations, church-life and more. But to publicly put those struggles on the blog is something I still struggle with today. Till my “smarter” hubby reminded me that no matter how “real” a blogger looks like on a blog, there are private things/moments which one does not readily want to share and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Sometimes, the blogging/social media persona might be a way to hide the real person. I have met bloggers whom I thought are “atas”; proud and inconsiderate of others’ feelings but in real person, they are just harmless commoners like me and you who might just need a little assurance or security. Similarly, I met those who I thought are “colourful” and full of ideas on their blogs, but in real person, they look so cold and unapproachable. :S

But then again, many people’s first impression of me is that I look conceited and is a proud person (at least my one person thinks that way: my hubby!). But give me a chance lah; most whom I count as close friends will know that I warm up easily after the ice is broken and you might not be able to stop me from yakking (and gesticulating) nonstop!

This is part of a musing going through my restless mind; nothing super concrete. Just part of me trying to refocus on objective of blogging; this blog and trying to brush up on my writing skills too. If you happened to bump into us on the street, please do say Hi or a virtual “hi” is very welcomed too. 🙂 I promise a smile and a handshake ok! Encouragement works both ways ya; bloggers need some little dosages of it too! 🙂 

Balance

Glasses? Oh Why Glasses?

Recently I shared on Facebook that Xi En needed glasses. He came back from his school’s eye check assessment with a worrying report. That childhood song rang in my mind when he first came back with the eye check report:  “眼镜 眼镜 找朋友, 以以找到 ……. 曾希恩”(It simply means: Glasses looking for friends.. and they found Ethen Chen!)

It is unbelievable that kids need glasses at such young age! But I did notice a growing number of young children requiring glasses. In our era, I started with “4 eyes” around 12 years old and Kim, around age 15.

His initial report:

Right Eye (without glasses): 6/9.5P

Left Eye (without glasses): 6/30P (this is the one with issues)

If your kid haven’t received the free assessment, it should come soon if he/she is going to a preschool and is in K1/K2. The School Health Service will conduct vision screening for pre-schoolers. More information here.

We were given a referral letter to the School Health Service (Health Promotion Board) and proceeded with further checks at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. The conclusion is that he has high levels of astigmatism and lazy eye (Amblyopia) in the left eye. Basically the main causes of amblyopia are uncorrected high refractive error (astigmatism, hyperopia, myopia) and squint.

In Xi En’s case, there is a chance that such eyesight problems came about due to his prematurity. He had grade 1 bleeding in the brain (when he was on full oxygen dependency the minute he was born). The doctor didn’t conclude that it is due to that issue; but mentioned that premature babies do have a higher chance of having eye sight issues.

And so the recommendation is to start on corrective glasses first and KIV patching of the left eye in a month’s time. The main aim of the glasses is to correct the astigmatism (200 on the right and 300 on the left).

Daddy was concerned that it’s troublesome to play sports or go to the army with glasses. Mommy was frowning with thoughts he doesn’t know how to take care of glasses at such young age. The boy? He was quite thrilled to choose his own glasses! Kids; that innocence. They don’t worry that much. That’s the beauty too 🙂 He choose a pair of specs in his favourite colour (purple) at our neighbourhood spectacle shop; which by the way is operated by a nice couple. Prices are reasonable and service is excellent. If you don’t stay too far away and want a reliable optician, you can consider this shop. I am not related to them; nor is this a sponsored post. Just passing on a recommendation based on experience. 🙂

Eye Spectrum

Contact Person: Jimmy

Address: Blk 5 Upper Boon Keng Rd #01-16 Singapore 380005 (opposite Kallang MRT)

Tel: 67494961

Email: eyecare@eyespectrum.com.sg

 

Being the worrying mommy, I was concerned that Xi En might be teased in school or that he will play with his specs, sit on it or leave it in the toilet. A million and one concerns. I called his teacher and asked her to help to ease him in with the glasses in school. She was pleasant and helpful to instruct his schoolmates accordingly. But just a week after, he came home with a small scratch line on one of the lenses because his friend whacked his glasses off (I heard he irritated his friend by singing too loud! ahhaa! Boys boys…). Somehow I have a feeling we will see a “battled” glasses in no time.

It just a consolation my boy does look decently good with specs! 🙂 Till a month later, we will know if the glasses helped. More updates then!

IMG_8703

Vaby Official Launch & The July Box (Flash Giveaway!)

Media Invite

Following the pre-launch brunch we had with The Vaby Team , we were cordially invited for it’s official launch a few weeks back.

Held at The Playhouse once again, we were treated to an afternoon of playground fun (for the kids), buffet lunch, a mini dress-up baby contest and a lucky draw!

 

 

Loved this candid shot by Vaby’s photographer: A light moment with fellow Singpaore Mom Bloggers; clockwise from my left: Wai Wai , Adeline, Winnie and Lynn

Besides the kids having a ball of a good time at The Playhouse outdoors and indoors play arena, there was Mr Bottle who can twist almost anything out of balloons. Xi En asked for a hippo and Mr Bottle kindly obliged!

 

The photo-fanatic me spent half the time taking photos of the event and standing in front of the Cloudstaprint booth; printing out lovely shots! It’s a great idea to have such a service at a private function so everyone can print out the photos they liked and enjoy live feeds on a private platform. I loved it!

 

Of course not forgetting the reason for the party:

The July Vaby Box!

As mentioned in the previous review, this is a subscription-type of “samples” box which one can subscribe to for S$18.90 per month and receive 5 to 8 surprise items tailored to the age group of your child from newborn to 5 years old. The current July box is suitable for mums-to-be and newborns. Stay tuned for future boxes which can be customized! If these samples worked well for you, you can check out Vaby website to purchase full sized products.

Some notable items in the July Vaby Box are:

  • GOO.N Diaper (Newborn)
  • Chu Chu Nursing Pad
  • Niruscar Cream (to help in healing of keloids)
  • Naturally Kinder Wet Tissue
  • Nurture Meals
  • Ban Kah Chai Zhui Feng Su Ho Oil

(FLASH) Giveaway Time!

If you are keen to receive the July Box (similar to the one above), The Vaby Team is kindly sponsoring 5 boxes to 5 readers of this blog!

If you are a mom-to-be or a new mommy, these should come in useful. Or if you know anyone who might benefit from this products, feel free to get one for your friend.

Note this is a FLASH Giveaway; i.e. Be the first 5 to complete the steps below and you will be receiving the July Vaby Box!

To participate:

1) “Like” Claude Dambreville on Facebook if you have not already done so. Thank you!

2) “Like “Vaby Enterprise Pte Ltd” on Facebook if you have not already done so. Thank you!

3) Enter a comment on this blog post with the answer to this question: Name one animal which can be found on Vaby’s logo (hint: answer can be found on the photos!). Remember to list down your name and email address so The Vaby Team can be in touch for delivery details.

As simple as that; fastest fingers first! Smile 

 

N.B: Thank you to The Vaby Team for the kind invitation to it’s official launch and gifting the July Box (which I will be giving to my neighbour who is giving birth real soon!).

Editor’s note: *Giveaway only open for Singapore addresses.*