Friday, October 31, 2014

Shopping For Newborn Twins: 8 Smart Tips

Published on Jan 2014
If I got a Ringgit each time someone asked if I had two of everything, I’d have bought something nice for myself with all that money. I guess with twins it’s very easy to think that you need two of everything. However, there are  non-negotiable items, like car seats, and items that can be shared, such as a bathtub.
We all know how expensive it is to have a kid these days. When we discovered that we were going to have two babies, my husband turned very pale and didn’t speak the entire car ride home because he was calculating some very large numbers in his head. So, I compiled a super baby checklist and started my research. What would we need two of? What can we get the most mileage from? What were the best baby items in the market?
I asked my mummy friends what their favourite baby-related purchases were. I found their answers very helpful because the choices out there are infinite and the last thing you want is to be stuck with six swaddle cloths that do no good for your babies.
The best way to choose the kind of stroller you need is to base it on your lifestyle. The three most important things to us was convenience (easy to assemble/disassemble); mobility (easy to maneuver); and size (able to fit most lifts).
Car Seats
Initially I thought of getting infant car seats because everyone had one, but then I learned that they could only be used up to six months. What was I going to do with these carriers, which are neither light nor cheap, when my babies outgrew them?
I then came across convertible car seats that can be used from birth right up to the age of five. We’ve been taking the babies out a lot and they seem perfectly comfortable in these seats.
Baby Clothes
I’ve not had to buy even a single onesie because every visitor to the house has brought at least one piece of clothing. I’ve managed to save money on baby clothes for an entire year.
Just buy two cots from the get go. You can use one in the beginning but once your babies arrive, you won’t have TIME to buy another cot. The cots we bought can be converted into a toddler bed so our babies can use it for almost three to four years.
Never in my life did I ever imagine breast pumps to be so incredibly expensive! But it’s worth every cent. If not for the Medela Freestyle, my breastfeeding journey would have ended a long time ago.
Feeding Bottles
I purchased two Tommee Tippee starter sets, which has everything for first time parents. It’s been five months down the line and one kit is still in its box. I only needed two extra 8oz bottles in addition to the set.
Disposable DiapersI was trying to figure out how many disposable diapers I’d need to start off with. So I asked a friend of mine roughly how many times her baby pooped and I multiplied that number by 60 (30 days and two babies). I got about 10 packets, which was a good estimate because I didn’t waste any. I was also very fortunate to get some unused newborn diapers from friends.
Keep in mind that twin babies come out smaller than singleton babies so look for newborn-sized diapers. Please don’t believe salespeople who tell you that their size ‘S’ is small enough because it’s not. I’ve also been told that Huggies’ cut is smaller, which fit smaller babies better, but be prepared for lots of leaky diapers. So what I did was wait for a baby expo and bought 10 ‘NB’ and 10 ‘S’ packets of diapers.
Wet WipesWhen you become a mum, you’ll need a lifetime supply of wet wipes to clean up everything. I got every guest to bring me a packet of wet wipes for my baby shower.
I don’t use the wipes on my babies’ bottoms because their skin is quite sensitive so I just run them under the sink (my sink doesn’t even have hot water, but my babies got used to the cold water soon enough) but I use the wipes for everything else.
My advise to you would be to Google everything. Go to as many shops as you can and compare prices because shopping for twins isn’t cheap. Every Ringgit that you save here and there can be used to buy something else. I personally didn’t find anything at the local baby expos except that disposable diapers were cheap. Also, remember that you might have a baby shower so save all the fun things to buy for your guests because everyone loves an excuse to shop for babies!
Finally, here are my top 10 best buys:
Jan Twins Shopping

10 Most Annoying Things People Ask or Say About Twins

Published on Jan 2014
Okay, some of the things said here may be perfectly normal to say but as a mother of twins you are asked this every single time a human being walks past and it can get to you sometimes. But so far I am proud to say that I have been the perfectly well behaved Asian girl and have just smiled and nodded accordingly.
Here is my list of the top 10 most annoying things people have said or asked me since I’ve given birth to my babies:
1. Statement: Are they twins?This is annoying when there’s obviously two little babies of the same size in the stroller. What’s more annoying is that I’m asked this not once but every 100m anywhere we go.
2. Statement: Are they boy and girl? Which one is the girl?I’ve deliberately put my baby girl in the dress. Take a wild guess!
3. Statement: Wow! Twins? You’re sooo lucky!Yes, I love my twins more than anything in the world but it’s also hard work multiplied by two. My Instagram pictures may look like a party on a rainbow but there’s no stress in the world compared to two babies throwing a tantrum at the same time. Plus this is my first time being a mum.
4. Statement: Which one is the naughty one?To be brutally honest, I hate the term ‘naughty’ plus my babies are barely five months old. I think babies are just being babies till the age of two perhaps? They are perfect to me and as mothers, you’d think that your little monster is perfect too? So let’s not name who’s who, yes?
5. Statement: So, which one is your favourite?I love my babies equally. I cannot for the life of me think I love one more than the other. I would NEVER ask another mother of more than one child to pick their favourite.
6. Statement: My second cousin twice removed had twins.Yes, the ever so famous “I knew someone who had twins” statement. As much as we’d love to hear your story of someone you know who had twins, we have little time to run our errands. Twins mean that we’re on somewhat of a strict schedule system and our time windows aren’t very wide. If you’re a complete stranger, please bear with us and realise that we’re in fact running somewhere else trying to complete our errands for the day.
7. Statement: Oh, maybe you’ll have another set of twins during your next pregnancy!This is usually followed by a severely uncomfortable laughter from me because I’m still struggling with my babies and yet, people think it’s comfortable to joke about something like that! Again, I love my babies to bits but I’m still a very, very new mother who’s still working very, very hard to cope with my babies.
8. Statement: Yes, I know how you feel. My kids are less than two years’ apart.It means you’ve had two babies less than two years apart. Having twins mean that you’ve had a pregnancy with two babies, delivered two babies and are raising two babies the second they came out to the world. Don’t diss a mum who has twins because we did have two babies at the same time!
9. Statement: Do they cry at the same time?Of course they cry at the same time. Haven’t you been in a room where one baby starts crying and suddenly the other babies start crying too?
10. Statement: Why is this one fairer than the other one?Yes, you gasp but people actually ask me this question. Till this day I don’t know the reply to this one.
Having said this, I completely understand why people have so many questions to parents of twins. I’m all ears for them. But sometimes we’re stressed because the babies are cranky and grumpy, and we’re sleep-deprived. Ask us in a couple of years, when the babies are older, and I’m sure we’d love to sit down and tell you every single detail about them.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

And the dancing bells come back on...

I am completely ecstatic to be dancing again. You've probably seen my short 15s Instagram videos and some photos here and there and have been wondering what is exactly going on. To be honest, even I don't know what is happening and where all this is going, but I have made a pact to myself to say 'yes' to everything.

But I know how this all started and it was because of my husband. We were driving to lunch one day and suddenly he said that the kids were going to be a year old soon and that I could start being slightly selfish and start doing things for myself again. I didn't really understand what he was talking about so I asked him and he said I think you need to start dancing again. I was shocked. But I listened and the wheels in my head started turning. He suggested that I convert the basement (which is his mancave) into my own personal studio, put up mirrors and just start.

So.I.did. (First Yes)

Of all the years that we have known each other we have had a million business ideas and none of them have followed through. I would get slightly more excited at some ideas more than others but nothing has ever come of it. So when the mirror guy actually came to install 7 foot high mirrors in my husband's mancave he started to worry. "Where am I going to watch football now?" he asked. "This was your idea in the first place, I'm just be an obedient wife," I replied.

I commissioned an entire new repertoire and spent 2 weeks learning it in my new studio. I had ideas, so many ideas, of what I could do in my own personal space. So I called a dear friend of mine, Rathi, and asked her if we could meet fortnightly to do some contemporary classes and learn some of her old repertory works. It so happened that she had been invited to perform for a local dance festival and we decided to do something together. (Second Yes)

During August and September, important months for our country, I had over 7 interviews over the span of two months, which is A LOT for a stay at home mom who hasn't really done anything substantial in a couple of years. I was grateful and so humbled by the fact that people still thought of me and valued my opinions. (7 more Yeses)

Early September Rathi and I started working on a piece, which we decided to call 'rehab' and it has been an interesting experience. We meet up twice a week between 3pm to 5pm during the kids' nap and it has not always been easy. The kids' afternoon naps are not always a surefire and sometimes they tend to wake up earlier than expected. So we've tried a million things. Put the kids in a play pen in the basement, while they watch us dance. Dance in the living room while the kids stayed in their play pen. We've even let the kids crawl around while we rehearsed, which was not the best idea because they kept crawling into our space and I almost stomped on one of them!

But, I have never been happier. 'rehab' premieres on Nov 13th at ASWARA at 5pm and we couldn't be more excited. It seems like the stars are aligned and the time is right for my dancing bells to come back on..note to self, always say yes.