Thursday, January 5, 2023
Ezra's clubfeet and his first walk with God
It was worrying but God is good. I happened to bring Avalyn (her first time to meet her baby brother then) to the scan. After composing myself, I recalled that Avalyn had positional clubfeet too but we only found out when she was born and she grows up well. It had been 5 years so I kind of forgotten about her condition. Deep down, I know Avalyn was meant to accompany me to comfort and assure us that everything will be fine.
We thought hard, prayed over and decided not to do any testing. We decided to leave it to God. Baby was healthy overall so even if the genetic test came back positive, we would keep him.
Baby Ezra was growing really well in my tummy but there was still worries over underlying genetic diseases throughout my pregnancy. Thank God, Ezra was delivered safely! There wasn't any underlying issues though he was born with clubfeet as expected.
His feet were bent inwards. The orthopedic doctor came and assessed on him and said his clubfeet condition was quite bad and it might be structural. She called us down to the clinic for a feet casting and my heart broke. It isn't any normal feet cast, the treatment requires multiple castings & braces and takes 3 to 6 years.
I cried hard but I prayed harder for miracle to happen. At the clinic, a senior orthopaedic doctor assessed on him again. And thank God! He said Ezra's clubfeet is positional - though rather "serious" one. Thus, he won't need any casting. Yay! Praise the Lord!
We had to massage his feet multiple times daily to correct the position. It might affect his walking if it didn't improve. By God's grace, his feet were finally much better after a few months of massage.
Hence, seeing him stand strong on his feet with support tonight meant so much to me. I thank God for his protection. I pray that Ezra will continue to grow strong & healthy and be able to walk & run well.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV
Wednesday, September 21, 2022
Smartphone or Watchphone for Children? A review for myFirst Fone R1s watchphone
Gone were the days when the children get their first communication devices in their teenage years. These days, we are seeing children getting their devices like smartphone earlier as there is an increased needs for connectivity.
Upon seeing her friends having their own smartphones, Emmalyn started asking us to give her one earlier this year. Her friends have been chatting on whatsapp and she reasoned that sometimes she needed to talk to us when she is not with us. She also noticed that we have extra smartphones lying around at home. However, we felt that she isn't ready for smartphone yet and it will be hard to control her usage and exposure to the social media & internet. At 9 years old, I think it is important to guard their cyber safety. Personally, I prefer her not to be on the internet without supervision.
I got to know about myFirst Fone from my friends last year and found them a good alternative to smartphone for young children. Along with some useful features, myFirst Fone offers messages and calls function. I like that it doesn't allow children to go onto the web or download apps like instagram or tik tok.
It has been a month since she starts wearing myFirst Fone R1s and she's really loving it. It gives her some form of independence and connectivity. It's great to be able to stay in contact with her throughout the day. She recently started a maths enrichment class at a centre near her student care and walks over with her friends without adult supervision. I felt more assured when she could communicate to us especially in times of emergency. It also helps to facilitate pick up especially after her CCA as Hubby sometimes end later and needed Emma to wait at school.
So, what are the features of myFirst Fone R1s?
1. Message functions
This is one the most used features. Children can send messages via text (in the parents' phone app), voice messages, emojis and photos to people on the phone list. As time at home can be short and busy, being able to message with each other outside home help to improve our communication. It doesn't allow download for apps like whatapps or telegram so I don't need to worry about spam messages.
2. Call and video call functions
Besides chatting through messages, we could also call or video call each other. It's nice to see her face on our app. It's really nice to be able to see her face on the phone in the middle of the day!
3. Camera function
It has a 2MP front camera and it gives her joy to be able to use it to capture little things throughout her day.
4. Customisable watch face
This is another features that Emma loves! She has a album of our family photos which we sent her via messages and use them as the background of the watch face. How nice is it for her to keep seeing us on their watch face. Her favourite backgrounds are our family photos and those of baby Ezra as he's so cute! 😅
5. Class mode
Myfirst fone has class mode which turns the smart watchphone into a simple watch. This way, we ensure that she won't be distracted by the watch during class.
6. GPS tracking and safe zone
It has real time GPS tracking so I know exactly where she is located. As an extra safety features, parents could also set safe zone on the app and get alerts when the child step out of the zone.
7. One-Touch SOS
All fun aside, myFirst fone has an one-touch SOS button that send distress signals. Once activated, parents will receive an emergency location alert with a 30 seconds live recording of surrounding sounds.
8. Other features
A month into usage, the watchphone is still in good condition. It has improved water resistance. In addition, it tracks steps and monitors heart rates. It also has alarm clock and songs to keep her accompany when she needs.
Overall, it's a very functional and child friendly watchphone. It offers connectivity without compromising on safety. It also helps to maintain a greater level of closeness between Emma and I as she can message us when she miss us. She loves sending emojis to us!
If you are keen to get one for your child/children, you can choose to buy the watchphone (Quote "Ashlyn10 for 10% off the watchphone on myFirst website) and get a data plan (here) OR get the watchphone on lease with a monthly subscription fee of $28 and $40 upfront payment for R1s.
Tuesday, June 7, 2022
Baby Ezra's Birth Story
Wednesday, March 9, 2022
Shop for exquisite ingredients from Japan at RedManShop!
While we can't travel conveniently like before, we can certainly count on authentic cuisine to ease our wanderlust a little. It was such a delight to try out some specially curated and high quality Japanese ingredients that RedManShop has brought into Singapore from Okinawa, Ishikawa and Kochi!
Each of the 3 Japanese prefectures is renowned for prized food exports distinctive to its geographical location. Ishikawa is renowned for fresh seafood from its abundant fishing grounds, Kochi boasts an exclusive variety of vegetables and Okinawa exports first-rate ingredients harvested from its nutrient-rich land and pristine seawater.
Chef Shunsuke Kusubashi has cleverly cooked us a 5 course meal to bring out the best of these fine ingredients that you can conveniently get from the RedManShop.
|with Momboss Calista|
We started off with Umeshu sparkling wine from Ishikawa. It's a plum sparkling wine, a refreshing drink with 7% alcohol.
The first course was Burrata cheese & Tomato caprese. The cheese was nicely paired with sweet sakura syrup and juicy cherry tomatoes from Kochi. It was so appetising!
The next course, Seafood Ceviche, looked so delicious! It's a pity that I couldn't get to taste it as I'm pregnant and refraining from raw food. It consisted a mix of flying squid/Todarodes from Ishikawa and Avocado. It's suitable for grilled and sashimi dishes. Chef used natural sea salt from Okinawa. It's a great alternative to table salt as it's rich in minerals and low in sodium.
Next up was a bowl of flavourful prawn bisque. The chef used sashimi grade prawns from Okinawa and eggplant from Kochi.
Here comes the main course - Japanese-styled chilled tomato pasta. It looked simple but tasted really good! I could take another plate of it. You got to give this angel hair pasta and juicy cherry tomatoes from Kochi a try. The recipe can be found on RedManShop website.
Finally, we ended the meal on a sweet note with mango macaroon and brown sugar coffee from Okinawa.
Thank you RedManShop and the 3 prefectures for the wonderful gastronomical experience! I enjoyed it so much!
Thursday, November 18, 2021
1st Family Yatch Trip with Infinity Sails
Thursday, September 2, 2021
Adding colours to your home with Philip Hue outdoor lightstrips
Looking to add some colours to your stay-home pandemic days?
Like many, our family has been staying home alot more than before. When I got to know about the Philip Hue outdoor lightstrips, I was intrigued! The outdoor lightstrips would definitely help to brighten our balcony and make our stay home days more colourful!
Few weeks back, we had a camping theme birthday party for Emmalyn's 8th birthday at home and took the chance to put the lightstrip to use! It was fun to see the lights switching from one colour to another!
We could easily achieve different feel with the different colours! The timing can also be set so that it gets switched on and off automatically.
What's the Philip Hue outdoor lightstrip?
It's a smart LED lightstrip that can be used in outdoor setting. It is weatherproof with an IP67 rating, meaning it can withstand any weather conditions throughout the year.
The lightstrip lights up in colours of your choice and can be controlled by using a bridge and Hue app.
It is flexible, bendable and comes in two length - 197 inches and 80 inches. Hence, it's easy to shape the light in bends or curves.
How's the installation like?
Installation is a breeze! The lightstrip can simply be switched on by plugging to a power source. It can be laid on the ground or mounted to features.
To maximise the lighting experience, it needs to be paired with a Hue bridge device that it connected to the WiFi router. After setting up the bridge, you will be able to control the brightness and colour of lightstrips through the Hue app. A revamped Hue 4.0 app was launched earlier this year which offers an even more user-friendly interface and greater customisation options. I found it very easy to use the app to change the lighting to whatever setting I wanted.
And what's more cool is that the Hue Bridge allows you to connect and control up to 50 lights and accessories in the house! You can then control all your lights from the Hue app. It's a great way to turn your home into a smart home!
Philip Hue lightstrips are really fun, easy and smart products to light up outdoor spaces like balcony, patio, carpark pouch or garden. Whether it is for a party, game or just chilling out, you can get the perfect lighting with a touch on the app. The possibilities are endless!
Hop over to Philip Hue website to find out more!
Friday, July 9, 2021
Journey of Grace II
At 34 years old, I found out from Circledna test that I'm a carrier of pendred syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes early hearing loss in children.
It wasn't a surprise since both of parents had lost their hearing on one side since young and it's very likely that at least one of my parents have Pendred Syndrome. We were told that they lost their hearing after they fell sick so it never cross my mind that it could be genetic. They rely on one hear and speak in limited dialect since it was obviously hard for them to get by school in the past.
I always thought it wasn't a wise idea on my grandparents' part to matchmake both of them. They should get someone at least without hearing disabilities to make their life better right? How are they going to take care of 2 children? Whatever can go wrong, could go wrong. And now, we know that their children even have a risk to get pendred syndrome. It was challenging but they hold on to each other and pulled it through together. Looking back, they are made for each other. It's Him who brings my mother all the way from Indonesia to Singapore and matchmake them.
When I was young, I wish that they could be "normal" and we were more well to do. I wish we would be able to communicate better. But as I grew up, I slowly see how they are fearfully and wonderfully made, and deeply loved by God despite their hearing disabilities. They can't express their love in beautiful words but I could hear their love loud and clear. Life wasn't easy and was very CRAZY at some point of time. But God has been extra gracious and watching over our family. If it's not by God's protection, my brother and I wouldn't be what we are now.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. - Psalms 139: 14
We are all God's wonderful masterpiece. I thank God for loving us. He loves and walks with us through ups and downs even before we know him, when we didn't feel close to him or even run away from him. He will make things beautiful in his time. May the Lord continue to bless us and keep us.
that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in him
should not perish but have eternal life.
- John 3:16