Lesson in life: The Ez edition

A couple of weeks ago, we brought the kids to Changi Airport for dinner and some plane watching. Just in case you are wondering where to go to expend the batteries of your Energizer Bunnies, the viewing gallery at Terminal 1 is the best. This is probably the most decent spot in the public areas to catch a glimpse of the aeroplanes. Coupled with the fact that there’s a playground, kiddy rides and even a stencil table, it’s definitely worth the long walk (Easily distracted Ez has short legs and roving hands).

Ez had been requesting to go to the airport to see aeroplanes for a while. We finally headed out after their very painful and tumultuous attempt at afternoon nap. We made the mistake of telling them that we were going to the airport after a nap. Never never tell your 2yo such nonsense because they have no concept of time and will then struggle and fight sleep just to make you late. Lè meimei didn’t understand airport/go out/whatever but she couldn’t sleep because Ez couldn’t sleep. If you know us, we seldom hang out after dusk because Lè meimei needs to be on the bed by 7.30pm. But that day was an exception because we wanted to bring Ez to see the planes and the lit up runway.

We started off with dinner at Terminal 3. Then we went in search of the viewing mall above. Couldn’t see much because of the double glaze windows which was a distance away. What you could see was just part of the lounge chairs in the transit area. We walked through the entire Terminal 3 to get to the sky train and finally arrived at Terminal 1. By then, both kids were kinda ready for bedtime (barely 8 but almost gone).

When Ez saw the kiddy rides, he suddenly became wide awake. So he went on every ride except for the motorbike ride. Because it was for a solo rider, the family who got there first took a long time for all their kids to have a turn. So Ez stood at the side to wait for his turn. He’s a boy of principles. He wouldn’t wanna go back on the other rides while waiting. So he just 默默的等 and wait he did. For a long long time (according to his bio clock) Finally, he got tired of waiting and decided to get closer to look at the ride. Then he finally stretched out his finger to press one of the buttons cuz the boy didn’t show any signs of leaving.

Ez was in for a rude shock! The boy slapped his hand hard. Ez withdrew his hand and complained to my hub that his hand hurts cuz the boy hit him. I was a distance away so all these were related to me later on. The hub in his usual chillax mode didn’t say / do anything. Not even to ask Ez to go away wor!!! Seriously! Hahahahaha. Left with no choice, Ez actually went back to the ride and told the boy “Don’t beat me”. Omg! I would have burst out laughing if I was around! This, coming from such a timid boy, is a gem! So we all know that this boy could at least attempt to stand up for himself.

And so that day, Ez learnt an important lesson in life.

One will kenna slap if one anyhow touch touch.

Review: Spectra Handsfree

I headed back to work in January. While nursing tops had been my uniform since forever, I had to exchange them with more presentable tops which made it difficult to use my normal Spectra flanges.

Imagine this, having only at most 20 minutes to pump each time means that I must fully maximize my time. I have to get to the nursing room, don on the handsfree bra, retrieve and assemble the flanges to the pump and then set aside the next 10min to pump. So many things to do, so little time. Hence, I decided that something needed to be done to make my pumping journey at work easier.

I tried out the Spectra handsfree cups for a month. When assembled nicely at home, I can just attach them to my pump and start pumping immediately.

Comparison to a narrow neck storage bottle

This is around 130ml of milk

Here’s my thoughts on them.

Pros:

  • Totally hands free. Just kiap with the bra can liao. Don’t even need handsfree bra. Can even carry/hug your little ones because there’s no protruding parts.
  • More hardy membrane as compared to the white ones. No sign of wear and tear despite vigorous scrubbing daily.
  • Easy to pour/transfer the milk into storage bottles.
  • Light weight and yet huge storage capacity.
  • Comes with the optional accessory to use as an external flange.

  • Cheap! Around $30 from Qoo10.
  • Cheap thrills. One will look really voluptuous! Like instant upsize many many sizes.

Cons:

  • Because everything is encased within the cups, it means that hygiene may be compromised as you assemble the parts after sterilizing.
  • Many parts to wash.

With the exception of the tubings and external flanges, everything must be washed!

  • Hard to wash as everything is in contact with milk. Counter this problem by soaking them in soapy water first.
  • All accessory parts are unique so you can’t recycle the existing Spectra parts for this one.

Hope the Spectra handsfree cups will be of help to you as you embark on the pumping journey while at work! Fighting!

Bond Breaking…

Before I begin my post, let me clarify that I believe in the benefits of scholarships. They are windows to opportunities otherwise unattainable to the masses. Notoriously difficult to apply, yet they give you the chance to an education that many struggle to pay off.

My brother knew that he wanted to study overseas even before he entered JC. Given our family’s financial status, it’s an impossible dream. He didn’t give up his dreams and instead applied for and was offered a couple of scholarships. He chose the one that paid his way through his degree in UK and his PhD in US. In return, he was expected to work for them upon his graduation. Sounds like a great bargain at that time. Fees all paid for, yearly air tickets to come home for visits, a decent monthly allowance and even a couple grands as salary during the course of study for his PhD. What more can an 18 year old ask for?! Of course he signed and the family rejoiced.

In 2017, the year before my brother was expected to come home, he dropped a bombshell. He wanted to find a way to extend his stay in US for a couple more years. His gf had a fabulous job that she didn’t want to leave and he didn’t want to leave her there too. And so he told us that he was going to apply for a job in one of those super big companies. If he succeed, he would then have bargaining chips to defer his return to serve the bond.

Long story short, he succeeded in securing a job with awesome prospects and high pay. But negotiations to defer his bond failed. Obviously, many of his predecessors had gone through this route. The grass is so much greener over there. Spending another 2 years in the States, gainfully employed in those big companies, drawing a huge salary, just makes tiny Singapore and lowly paid job (said bond) too unappealing. Too many decided to pay their way out of the bond after their 2 years extension was up and so by the time it was his turn, the bro could only extend his stay if his company sign a letter of undertaking to release him from service after the agreed upon 2 years.

Sounds reasonable. The bro thought otherwise and yeah I could see why too. No employer will want to spend 2 years of resources grooming you into valuable assets to the company, only to let you fly home after ensuring that you have mastered everything. At this point, I knew that my brother ain’t coming back. Good for him. Yes. I totally agree.

Unfortunately, the hub and I were his guarantors for his post graduate studies. Two other family friends signed on for his undergraduate studies. It involved a hell lot of money we didn’t have. The bro did his calculations and said he could fully repay his bond in a few years. But which idiot will let someone who’s based so far away (very high risk of default) to take his time to pay off his loans? Thank goodness for him, he has a rich girlfriend with even richer parents who helped him settle his (our) financial woes.

So it’s a happy ending for them. But not so for my parents who had been waiting for his return. 10 long years of counting down his return, this long awaited reunion didn’t happen.

My brother, the scholar, lacks integrity. No respect for establishment. Not responsible for his actions nor his promises. Little care exhibited for his family (my parents) too. I do not condone his actions and hopefully one day his decision today will kick him hard in his arse. He shouldn’t have deprived a more deserving candidate of a scholarship if he was going to default. He’s shit but he’s also blood. I blame him for being greedy, for wanting a better life, for not resigning to years of serving a bond as a lab rat (his words) in a field he chose at the age of 18. Yet, truth be told, the organization who offered him the scholarship also has a fair share in the blame game. Why offer 18 year olds such scholarships? Is it fair to expect these young people to return after 10 years of freedom abroad? They ain’t even old enough to watch a rated movie and yet they must sign their lives (and that of the 4 guarantors) away. Yes. I’m being extremely biased and ungrateful here. Thank goodness they stopped publishing the faces of such defaulters in the papers.

The hub and I had learnt a valuable lesson. We will never be a guarantor again. Not for a friend, not for our own siblings. Maybe for our kid but then that’s our choice and our risk to bear. Don’t sweat over people who only remember you in their times of needs.

PS: I’m bloody pissed because as guarantors, the Good Samaritans, we get nothing in return and yet must still fork out money to buy a pack of envelops and stamp just to return the acknowledgement form to the organization.