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Review: Pigeon bottles

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5/5

I have to say, I really like Pigeon bottles. I got a few from my sisters and eventually bought some new ones of my own. 

On this note, I want to point out that there is a lifespan for bottles. I wish someone had told me earlier. If your plastic bottle has lots of scratches and has turned cloudy or yellow-y from use, or if the nipple has turned yellowish or is torn, then it’s time to get a new bottle.

Pigeon had a trade in 1 bottle, get a new Pigeon bottle at 50% off, so I jumped on the deal and got 3 bottles from Babyland SS2: two 160-ml capacity ones and one 240-ml one (as you can see in the photo. Ignore the steam by the way, I’d just sterilized them). I got them all in the PPSU range (the honey coloured ones), because it says it withstands temperatures of up to 180 degrees Celcius, which is great for sterilization.

The bottles come with an XS teat, so I bought M teats separately. I’m using two types: one ‘normal’ Pigeon teat, which is the usual transparent colour, and the other is their Peristaltic Plus nipple that is opaque. 

I personally prefer the Peristaltic Plus nipple because it’s got a nicer texture? It’s also easier to see where the air release hole is when you’re feeding. The usual nipple’s air release hole is so so hard to see. But my 6 month old seems to be fine with drinking from both. 

I used to use a combination of Pigeon and Dr Brown bottles (for the pure reason that I got gifted brand new Dr Brown bottles YAY), and this arrangement was fine in the first 4 months. But when we changed the teat to a Level 2, we just had serious leaking problems, both when we were feeding her and when travelling. Basically, the bottles have to stay absolutely upright, or you have to put on a travel cap. I’ve never had this issue with Pigeon bottles, so I decided to go ahead and settle just with Pigeon.

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Review: Mamypoko Extra Dry vs Goo.N vs Drypers

Over the last few months, I’ve been trying out a variety of diapers on Olivia. We use cloth diapers with her during the day, but when we’re out and at nights, we change her over to a disposable. It just makes it easier because I don’t want to deal with a pee or poo-soaked cloth when I’m out or when I’m groggy in the middle of the night!

I started out with 3 brands: Mamypoko Extra Dry, Goo.N and Tesco Loves Baby, which I bought before Olivia was born
I found Tesco pretty good for short periods of time eg. when her diaper was full in the morning and I just needed to change her into something fresh before bathing her and putting her into a cloth diaper. It was very cheap, but I did find the material quite hard, so I’ve not repurchased.

More recently, I’ve been going between Mamypoko Extra Dry, Goo.N and Drypers in the S size. Tesco was having a deal on Drypers so I picked up a pack. 

Here’s my take on these brands:

  • Mamypoko Extra Dry: This is still our favourite diaper by far. It’s not only absorbent, but it’s got a handy wetness indicator outside the diaper. So when the line goes from yellow to blue, we know it’s time to change her. It saves us squeezing her diaper or poking it to assess how wet it is! And in the middle of the night, we just want minimal disruption to her sleep. 
  • Goo.N: I quite liked Goo.N at the beginning when I was using the NB size on Olivia. But now, I feel it’s just so-so. It’s more absorbent than Drypers but still not as good as Mamypoko. Plus, I think we’ve gotten used to Mamypoko’s wetness indicator so I don’t really like that I have to probe and feel to guess if the Goo.N diaper is wet. I bought this pack a while ago when Tesco had a deal on it. 
  • Drypers: This is the least absorbent diaper, I find. So I use it only when I know I can change her after an hour or so. The green gel material really feels wet after some pee, unlike Mamypoko, which at least has a feeling of dryness. ‘Look’ wise though, it’s a very pretty diaper.

  Left to right: Goo.N, Drypers, Mamypoko

I’ve got a pack of unopened Petpet diapers too that I’ve yet to try. But I have a feeling that I’ll still prefer Mamypoko because of its handy wetness indicator. 

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I have a daughter!

Oh goodness. It’s been 4 months since I wrote something!

Our daughter, Olivia Tan, arrived on Monday 30 November 2015, 9 days before her due date. Life was a bit of a whirlwind in the first couple of months, but now, 3.5 months in, we’re in calmer waters 🙂

We didn’t expect Olivia to come so early. We pretty much rocked up to our doctor’s on the morning of Sunday 29 November for a routine check up, and got told we should check in that night to be induced.

“By this time tomorrow, you will have your baby in your hands!,” Dr Sheela announced with a smile.

Keith and I were stunned. I mean, we knew Olivia would be coming out soon, but that soon? A visit to Bangsar Village, furious packing for the hospital and a few work errands later, we were back at Sheela Maternity Centre at 11pm. I was induced at midnight, and Olivia was born at 9.09am. It wasn’t pain-free, for sure, but I have a lot to be grateful for.

The first month with Olivia was tough. Even though I thought I was super prepared to be a mum, I didn’t predict how exhausted I’d be, how hormonal I would get and how hard breastfeeding would be!

The second month was better. And now, I can say with confidence that Keith and I have settled into a new norm. I can’t imagine our days without Olivia anymore, and waking up for feeds in the middle of the night and cleaning poop are as normal as brushing teeth 🙂

One big thing I’ve learned is that it’s impossible to understand what it feels like to be a mother until we become mothers ourselves. I thought that being an aunty and babysitter would mean I’d have a seamless transition into motherhood. But I was really wrong. Sure, it helps to know how to entertain or feed kids beforehand, but the emotions of motherhood that pour in, and the responsibility you suddenly feel? I only understood those after Olivia was born.

The understanding came with tears at the beginning. Coupled with exhaustion and hormonal changes, motherhood just felt overwhelming. I always felt calm whenever I was with Olivia, but whenever I put her down, the never-ending to-do list in my mind would consume me and I wouldn’t know where to begin. Pumping (Olivia didn’t learn to latch until last month). Trying to increase my milk supply. The house to be cleaned. The bottles and pump equipment to be sterilised. Laundry. Hosting visitors and family. With a body that was still bleeding, stitches healing, sleep deprivation, there was a lot to take in. Even eating, taking a bath and going to the toilet felt like chores, so much so that I developed UTI!

But now that our routine has settled, I’m blown away by the emotions of motherhood. It’s like a rich warmth that wells up from the inside. A love that is so pure that you are willing to lay your life down for it. What a privilege it is to be a mum.

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Allergic to Bio-Oil?

So this is a really delayed post, because my skin started reacting to Bio-Oil at least 3 months ago (Sorry! On the bright side, I’ve found a really really good alternative for stretch marks since then). 

In short, after 4 months of applying Bio-Oil onto my body daily to prevent stretch marks (I even put it on my Top 10 First Trimester Essentials list), I started developing a rash on my fingers and the top of my hand (mostly my right hand). It was itchy, annoying, bumpy and almost looked like really tiny blisters. Eurgh.

So I started on a hunt to nail the culprit of this rash. Because I wanted it to STOP and I hated scratching in the middle of the night! I grew up with eczema so it brought back a lot of memories. Plus, being pregnant, I wasn’t sure about applying steroid creams on the rash so I was relying on pure willpower to not scratch it. 

First I stopped using normal hand wash and swapped over to Cetaphil. I also bought really good gloves for dishwashing, but even after all that, though the rash had improved slightly, it hadn’t disappeared.

One night, as I was applying Bio-Oil on myself (I do it just before bed) I noticed that I was predominantly using my right hand to apply it and by the end of the whole ‘ritual’, my hand would pretty much be covered in oil. And my right hand was the one that had the worse rash. 

I looked up the ingredients of Bio-Oil (because they aren’t listed on the bottle, which I always thought was strange!) and it was just a long list of many things I didn’t understand. I searched online for comments on Bio-Oil ingredients and came across a few disturbing posts, including this one and this one, which say some chemicals in it can cause irritation to skin. 

So I stopped using Bio-Oil and swapped over to virgin coconut oil (which a friend had just given me a bottle of). I figured since there were way less ingredients in coconut oil, that it was a good change anyway. To my surprise and delight, my rash steadily improved after that. 

Now I pause here to admit that pretty much all products we use nowadays have a host of chemicals in them. I also know that pregnancy can lead to more sensitive skin (which I’m pretty sure is what happened to me) and I know of women who have been using Bio-Oil for years without a reaction. But I can say for sure that I’ve happily given up Bio-Oil in favour of coconut oil, and my skin is thanking me for it.

On the up side, coconut oil is also cheaper! I used up the oil my friend got me, so I bought a big 1L Country Farm Organics extra virgin coconut oil from my local Jaya Grocer for RM68 (with a free mini bottle). Win.

The only thing is that I really smell like lightly toasted coconut every night. 

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Cravings for ice (is that weird?) 

Ice ice baby, deng deng deng deng deng deng deng deng. You know what I’m talking about.

  
Week 38!

I don’t know if this is strange but in the last few weeks, I’ve been craving for ice. Yes, ice! You won’t believe how just plain ol’ ice cubes in my mouth throughout the day make me VERY happy! 

I think it’s somewhat linked to my body having been more sensitive to heat during this pregnancy. So the cubes help to cool me down, perhaps.

But it’s also just the TASTE of frozen water that gets me. Last weekend, in the car on the way home from somewhere in the evening (IKEA maybe?), I looked at Keith and had to tell him, “I’m craving ice cubes.” I could actually taste ice on my tongue as I told him that. Insert crazy obsessed face here. 

Can I also say, the smaller the ice cubes, the nicer they are to pop in the mouth.

Yea, this is weird, isn’t it.

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36 weeks!

Wow I can’t believe I’m at 36 weeks. It’s a bit like when you’re 6 years old and you think being 12 is really far away. Even though I fully know and feel like I’m in my third trimester (she’s a little watermelon attached to my body right now), somehow it’s still surreal that she’s going to come out soon. Weird right? 

She weighs about 2.5kgs (as of last Sunday), which is super great. She’s head down, and I’m definitely feeling the increased pressure on my pelvic area. I had to go to the loo three times last night! That’s a record. 

My feet, legs and thighs are also quite puffy, but thankfully they’re not bothering me. I just have to be mindful to put my feet up when I can and to avoid shoes that are tight (which is 90% of my shoe collection right now). I’m determined to get a pedicure soon, so that at least my toes will look pretty when I deliver her. 

House-wise, we’re ready for her arrival. We’ve been so blessed to have been given a ton of things by my sisters and friends. Colleagues and church friends also hosted baby showers for me and gave gifts, which I’m so thankful for, because I really don’t know how we could have done all of this on our own! 

The cot is set up, the cupboards and drawers are stocked with clothing, bedding and diapers, and I’ve put an armchair next to the cot, which will be my feeding spot. The stroller and car seats are ready to go. 

I also got some really useful things from Little Whiz in Setia Alam, which I still find offers the best deals! They have an online store but I prefer walking into the shop so I can touch and feel the items. It’s not a fancy store at all and feels like you’re walking through a warehouse, but the staff are friendly, they have a wide range and they offer great discounts. I seriously recommend it, especially to mummies who are budget-conscious. 

I popped by the other day to pick up a waterproof mattress protector (RM31 but I had a 15% discount) and a waterproof car seat protector (RM49), which makes so much sense to me because there’s no way that I’m going to be able to take apart the car seat to give it a good wash, or wash her cot mattress every time there’s a nappie leak. Thank God for practical inventions like these. 

In the next few weeks, I’m hoping to wrap things up at work, get some freezer cooking done and just enjoy time with family and Keith. 

Life will change very soon! 

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In Him I still find rest 

The world buzzes with unsettled noise. Close your eyes and hear it. 

The constant striving, the variety of creative attempts to compensate for and remedy internal unrest, and societal pressures that are unquestioned and swallowed. 

It is loud, unnerving, yet there can be fear in not being a part of it. #fomo? #fobd (being different)? 

Our anchors cannot be planted in this crowd. There is no grip. It shifts constantly like the waves, without steadiness nor reason.

Our foundations must be built on rock. And He is our eternal rock. And we have been given access to Him through the sacrifice of Christ, which we receive by faith. 

I choose to root myself in His powerful, fierce love for me. 

Ephesians‬ ‭3:17-19‬ ‭NIV‬‬:

“… so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

I love that even after 15 years being a Christian and acknowledging Him as my saviour, there is still freshness in our relationship and new revelation when I read and reread His Word. And I know this will continue, even now as I journey into motherhood, and in all my years and future seasons to come. 

Let’s not kid ourselves that we can do this on our own. Join hands with the Father who loves us and has made a way for us through Jesus. 

(Yes, SO deep in reflection tonight! It’s so good for the soul!) 

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Cranberry-orange scones recipe

Breakfasts can easily get monotonous, even with an assortment of cereals and breads. So, I’ve added scones to my breakfast toolbelt! 

I found a great scones recipe on allrecipes.com, which is one of my go-to places for recipes because there are just so many homebakers on there testing out the recipes and giving reviews. A 5-star rated recipe on the site is a sure-win. Just click on the link for the recipe, because I didn’t make any significant alterations to justify typing it all out again.

I went ahead with the cranberry-orange version (by adding cranberries instead of raisins, and a teaspoon of grated orange rind), and they turned out great.

The recipe suggests to roll the dough out into a circle and to cut it into triangles (like a pizza), but I like the idea of round scones, so I took small handfuls of dough, rolled them into balls and flattened them on a baking tray instead. They turned out real nice, and the bit of sugar on top made them look just that little bit more special.

The only thing I’d caution about this recipe is that it’s for a more cakey scone texture. If you don’t like your scones slightly fluffy, this recipe is NOT for you. 

Keith happens to like this texture, so I’m keeping to this. Try them with some Bonne Maman jam. SO GOOD. 

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I’m a diaper-deal-hunting ninja

Who doesn’t love a good deal, especially when it’s an item you need. And if there’s anything we’re going to need in BULK in the coming months, at least initially until I figure out a reusable diaper system, it’s DISPOSABLE DIAPERS.

Being less than 2 months away from my due date, I thought this would be a good time to build up my disposable diaper stock. I must say, I think I found some pretty good deals online and in stores.

Here’s what I bought:

  1. 1x MamyPoko Extra Dry NB 80pcs for RM41 from Lazada (full price: RM56.55 at Tesco)
  2. 1x MamyPoko Extra Dry S 68 pcs for RM41 from Lazada (full price: RM56.55 at Tesco)
  3. 1x Tesco Loves Baby NB 64 pcs for RM15 from Tesco (full price: RM30? Somewhere there- the receipt doesn’t show it!)
  4. 1x Goo.N NB 50 pcs for RM18.48 from Tesco (full price: RM30++- again, the receipt doesn’t say, but it was almost 50% off!)
  5. 1x Goo.N S 46 pcs for RM18.48 from Tesco (full price: RM30++- same story)

All for a total saving of at least RM70!

Why these brands? 

  • MamyPoko- I went with MamyPoko because I had heard really good reviews on its absorbency rate 
  • Tesco- My sister says the Tesco brand is pretty decent. Plus, the price is so good so I’m going to give them a go
  • Goo.N- Since forums were raving about the great value of Japanese brand Goo.N, I picked up a couple of packs up as well

I plan to use Tesco/Goo.N during the day when I can keep a closer eye on her diaper and change when needed, and MamyPoko for the night.

The deals were honestly good, especially for Tesco and Goo.N. But I had to stop myself from going gangbusters because:

  1. I don’t know what size she’s going to be for sure. She may even skip NB and go straight to S
  2. I don’t know if her skin might react to certain brands
  3. I don’t know how powerfully she pees. Some babies pee a mighty lot, and different brands have different absorbency levels

So I’ll have to content myself with these for now. 

Some tips I learned:

  • Lazada has a much more expensive original price for diapers e.g. MamyPoko Extra Dry NB 80 pcs is RM63.50 on Lazada as opposed to RM56.55 at Tesco (and by the way, they’re RM59.89 at Parkson). BUT Lazada is always having deals. When I bought these 2 MamyPoko packs, they had them discounted to RM51 per pack and I applied a promo code on the total bill to get a further RM20 off, so they came down to RM41 each. There are ALWAYS promo codes available on Lazada. Right now, the promos running are ROCK30 (30% off) and LUCKY15 (15% off). Just be sure to check the min spend required. The extra nice thing about Lazada is, free shipping! 
  • It’s ok to mix diaper brands. My sisters and other mums have given me this tip. Just use a more absorbent one for night time
  • Supermarkets are always having diaper deals. You’ve just got to keep an eye out (unlike baby formula, where the pricing is strictly regulated)
  • Yay for free samples, because they save you from investing in a massive pack! I applied for some MamyPoko Air Fit samples (a different range from the MamyPoko Extra Dry). You can apply for MamyPoko samples here. They haven’t arrived yet, and I hope they haven’t forgotten! I also have some Drypers Wee Wee Dry samples from my prenatal classes (which we did with Jenlia at Sheela Maternity, and the classes were SO good by the way), so I’ll give these a go as well.  

👊🏻 Here’s to more diaper deals in the future. 

Just 7 weeks to go… 

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3 things I’ll miss about being pregnant

1. Having her close 

For the last 32 weeks, it hasn’t been ‘I’ but ‘we’. She has gone with me to work, joined me in house chores and preparations for her arrival, and eaten with me at every meal. When I sleep, she prods me to remind me that she’s there. In the morning, she is my alarm clock, kicking inside even before the alarm buzzer goes off. It has been such a beautiful experience.

2. Feeling her movements 

She turns, shifts positions, hiccups and stretches. It’s always a test of imagination to translate what I feel into visual pictures in my mind of what she’s actually doing in there. 

Sometimes I feel like I can make out her fingers touching the lining of my womb. To think that she has little hands and feet is just amazing, especially when you see it on the ultrasound. 

It’s crazy, and sometimes the love I feel for her is so overwhelming I don’t quite know what to do!

3. The ‘pregnant’ treatment

I still get pleasantly surprised when people ‘make way for the pregnant lady’. When you’re pregnant, good people offer you seats, give you preference on what you want to eat and are just more mindful of what you may need. I’ve really appreciated this, and every time this happens I remember “Ah yes, I am pregnant!” (Sometimes I just forget.)

I think it’s a great thing to continue to honour all pregnant women as they carry new life within their bodies! Let’s never stop doing this for pregnant women and all others who need our special attention, including the elderly.

Just 8 weeks to go now (or possibly less).