Breathing Easy During Nappy Changes

Being a parent is a full-time job, and one that demands a lot of your time, energy and finances. But the pay-off is this – the look of love and adoration on the cutest little faces.

This look makes the sacrifices all worth it. And then some.

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Zoie, my youngest, will turn 15 months soon, and the one question the grandmother asks me all the time is: “Is she walking yet?”

Well, the answer is a no. Not yet. She hasn’t made the transition from crawling to walking – and finds it a breeze to make her way around the house on all-fours. Am I concerned? Not at all – because all kids develop at their own pace. Her two brothers only started walking at 13 and 14 months, so she seems to keep pace with them. Haha! I guess I have a family of late-walkers but early-talkers!

Not being able to walk doesn’t mean Zoie isn’t active – and she is one wriggling fidgeting toddler, which means simple tasks like changing her clothes or nappy takes a whole lot of time. And time is a precious commodity when you become a parent, more so when you have more than one kid to take care of.

One way I try to shave off a few precious minutes a day from nappy-changes is by using Drypers Drypantz for Zoie. Since she turned 10 months, I have started using these pants diapers. Pants diapers are usually associated with older toddlers who are undergoing toilet training, but the fact is these pants diapers are also suitable for babies from as young as 6 months or 7kg. I love using these diapers for the very simple and pragmatic reason of ease of use. It takes one single smooth motion to get the pants diapers on my wriggly toddler – as opposed to three or more motions to get the normal diapers on securely. And when you go through as many diaper changes a day as I do, these all translate into a lot of time saved and a lot of frustration avoided.

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Took this totally unglam shot of my baby’s behind – all clad in her Drypers Drypantz! (Ooops haha!)

Unglam photo aside, a baby’s bottom is a very delicate area, and a good pair of pants diapers should fit snugly, but not too tightly over the waist area so that it would not cause discomfort or worse, rashes or redness over the area. Apart from the fit, another reason for rashes around the diaper area is the material and its “breathability”.

Drypers Drypantz has its Comfort FitTM waistband to tackle these two issues head-on, by ensuring that babies enjoy maximum comfort and softness, and fits well on babies’ waist without “biting” into the skin and creating pressure marks or rashes and causing discomfort.

In fact, Drypers has introduced two new mascots. Meet Airy & Softie, which you will find near the waistband of each Drypers Drypantz. Airy is a colourful little pinwheel that embodies breathability and better air circulation. Drypers Drypantz’s extra breathable waistband helps reduce pressure formed on the skin at baby’s tummy and waist area, creating a more comfortable fit for baby. Softie is a fluffy little cloud that embodies softness and comfort, just like the unique technology which goes into making Drypers Drypantz’s waistband extra soft, gentle and comfy on baby’s skin.

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So breathe easy with Drypers Drypantz today!

You can request for free samples here, or look out for these diapers in the stores.

For the month of August 2014, there is also a special promotion – For every pack of Drypers Drypantz purchased, Drypers will be giving 4 free pieces of Drpyers Drypantz, which translates to more bang for your buck, so stock up on your Drypers Drypantz during this promotional month! This promotion is applicable to all sizes and for banded packs only.

Disclaimer: This is a series of sponsored conversations between Drypers Singapore and SANses. I was given some packs of Drypers Drypantz to conduct this review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

 

The Last Two Weeks

So here I sit. At the dining table, with a freshly made cup of peppermint tea. The house is quiet, save for the occasional chuckles of Zoie immediately followed by the shushing of the hubby trying to make her sleep. I can tell that is going to be a losing battle, that. For the hubby I mean. My tenacious girl can hold off sleep for a long, long time.

But as I wait for my tea to cool, I just want to turn on the attitude of thankfulness. The last two weeks have so many things to gripe about but I do see the silver lining in the circumstance.

This winter in Sydney, the whole family fell ill to a particularly virulent strain of the flu bug. Even Jay who exhibited the least symptoms save for a drippy nose was told by his class teacher to stay home if his sneezes didn’t stop.

But I am thankful… That it was not LAST winter that we all fell prey to the flu. In fact it was early June 2013 when we first moved to Sydney and despite all our initial reservations, we all made through that first winter remarkably well! It was good because at least now, we know where to go, what to do and we made do with what we could.

Both my nostrils feels like a bomb was set off, many, many times inside each – and the walls of my nostrils are badly mutilated and bleeding and …. Oh just know that every sneeze is a gory bright red mess of… Stuff. I shall spare you the pictorials.

But I am thankful my three kids are now more or less recovered. In particular, Xavier, who was so lethargic from fighting off the infection he hardly had an appetite and we kept him away from childcare the whole week. Now, he is bright-eyed and getting up to his chatty nonsensical antics like a typical three-year-old.

Apart from the usual flu symptoms – the hacking cough, the fever, the fatigue, the minuscule appetite ok – I also caught on a viral rash, making my palms and the soles of my feet bright red and swollen, with itchy rashes up my arms and down my back. And while the rashes have subsided, in its place is peeling skin and the soreness of “new” flesh under the peeled back skin.

But I am thankful for the hubby, who himself was also fighting off the same flu symptoms, for taking over the care of the kids, pushing me to go and sleep in the bedroom while he takes care of the more urgent household chores.

Despite the hubby’s solid effort, the clothes continued stockpiling and the kids hadn’t had a single decent homecooked meal in about two weeks (I know… I know…).

But I thank God that my sis in law was in town – on the tail end of her Sabbatical and she just moved in to our very messy house last week and we finally managed a first homecooked dinner of fried bee hoon – and more! It is a blessing to be on the receiving end of homecooked food after so many months.

The One Pot Pasta Disaster (What NOT To Do)

I was so excited about this recipe for a one pot pasta, that I dedicated a whole post, here on this miracle dish.

I AM still pretty excited about this dish. But two days after the first very successful and yummy attempt, I tried the recipe again, and it bombed. Big time.

Instead of using seafood and brocoli, I went with canned tuna and carrots. Yes. An odd combination, but it was the end of the week, and I had na-da in the fridge! I also had the very wrong impression that this, while an easy dish, was in no way a fail-proof dish.

So, in all fairness, I decided I needed to make a public service announcement on what NOT to do when attempting this dish.

How To NOT Mess Up The One Pot Pasta Dish:

#1: Use a suitable pasta. For this failed attempt, I only had one last packet of the Coles’ house brand thin spaghetti (or what we know as “angel’s hair”). BAD IDEA. Try a thicker cut like frattucine or penne instead – because my spaghetti became chalky and downright URGH, and there seemed no way to salvage the dish, except chuck it in the bin.

#2: Don’t forget to add olive oil to the mix. I forgot and did you get the memo? Disaster!

#3: Stir. Stir. Stir. So that the pasta wouldn’t stick together!

Now – which mistake did I make? All of the above, which translated to an unedible meal, and this cautionary post.

Getting Used To Being A SAHM

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I used to be someone with ‘proper responsibilities’.

You know, working full time as an Office Manager meant I got to dress up every day. It meant I had emails to answer. Staff to manage. Problems to troubleshoot. Minutes to complete. Purchases to approve. People to meet. Contracts to draft.

Coming over to Australia meant I had to give up my job, and I found myself suddenly … Not important. Don’t get me wrong. I love my kids but if I was honest, it was a struggle, especially in the first few months. I had to find my footing, and more importantly, my sense of worth. As a person. After more than a decade in the workforce, suddenly “just” being a Stay at Home Mum sure needs some getting used to.

Suddenly my mobile phone could be left unattended for long stretches at a time.

Suddenly the term “deadline” seems… distant and remote.

And suddenly I felt a little like a fish out of water.

Not all changes are bad, of course. And in the last year, I get to a lot of time with my kids, whom I adore to bits.

I get to be there to snuggle beside them, shower them with kisses, watch them grow – and just in the last year alone, I look back at their photos and am shocked by how fast they’ve grown.

But it sure doesn’t change the fact that I feel a lot less useful. And probably this is the struggle other women are familiar with – the change of pace once you trade in that work dress for a shabbier albeit more comfortable pair of pedal pushers.

This post probably sounds a lot more morose than I mean it to be. I am in no way complaining about not having to work my butt off, or that I get to eat brunch at cool cafes, or that we get to go long road trips every so often. These are definitely the highlights of life in Sydney, and one that we are happy to live to the fullest, while God has placed us here. And I know full well that when we return to Singapore, we will be plunged right back into the full steam of things, and we would both probably miss life over here badly.

But.

It took me a while to get into a stage of acceptance.

To feel comfortable in my own skin, and to be happy. Right here, right now. So many of my friends would tell me they envied my lifestyle – but honestly, when I am doing my third laundry cycle for the day (and I do the laundry almost every day), and when I see the stack of unironed clothes just humming my name, or the mountain of dirty dishes twiddling their thumbs, and when it takes unbearably long for the boys to fall asleep (when I can sleep at the drop of a hat), when the baby girl gets all clingy and needy and hungry (and my boobs are threatening a boycott)… I must say it ain’t as glamorous or as “tai-tai” (Singaporean English meaning a lifestyle of a wealthy, laidback and carefree lady) a life.

But one thing that helped me get a move on – was the revelation that we all have different seasons in our lives, and we all go through changes, in one way or another. The worst thing you can do is to get “stuck” – in the old, in the past “regime” or the way it “used” to be – and if you get stuck in the past, well, you see life in the now through those tinted glasses, and you won’t get very far in the now.

When I was working full-time, my supervisors had a few changes through the years. And each has his or her own style. I found myself having to “adapt” to each because simply giving the reason that this was the way certain things were done “all along” just wouldn’t cut it! Now, I answer to four “bosses” in the home, especially when it comes to dinner-time, and it is a whole different barrel of fish having four different appetites and preferences! Looking back – I think my bosses at work were MUCH easier to please! Haha!

Being a SAHM sure has its challenges, but I *think* I am getting the hang of things… somewhat. Haha!

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The One Pot Pasta

Or, in other words… the miracle dish.

I read a couple of blog posts on this, and I got to admit, this seems TOO EASY to be true. And then I decided to risk some seafood marinara I bought from the Fish Market, and figured, it would either be a hit dish, or… we would be having MacDonald’s for dinner.

Now, if you read some of my posts, you would understand I am no domestic goddess, but life with three kids means dinner preparation needs to be easy and simple and delicious and a breeze to clean up, and sometimes preferably all of the above. In fact, one tip I have as a Stay At Home Mom is to do “one-pot meals“. Oh, but sometimes, one-pot meals may require more than one pot. Pastas are one example of this – cos one usually boils the pasta in a separate pot before combining with the sauce.

But not this recipe. Oh no, this is the ultimate one-pot meal. Cos you put DRY pasta in with all the ingredients and cook it all. TOGETHER.

Can you see why I was such a skeptic (in the beginning)? Even the hubby, seeing the “soup” probably readied himself for some burgers! Haha!

Well, I started with preparing the ingredients. I poured 500g of the seafood marinara, 500g of dried pasta (I used penne, but really any kind of pasta will do – just choose one with a longer cooking time of more than 10 minutes, or it might get too soggy), broccoli florets, 1/2 onion (sliced), 3 cloves of garlic (minced) and enough water to cover all the ingredients. As I didn’t have enough low-sodium chicken stock (which I planned to use), I popped a small chicken stock cube into the mix as well.

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And I put this on the stove on high heat, And waited.

Once the water started boiling, I would stir the mixture – so that nothing would get stuck at the bottom of the pot. And the clear water slowly turned murkier as the starch from the pasta worked some magic. Continue cooking till most of the water has evaporated, and you will be left with something that looks like this:

 

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Cooked pasta. Cooked seafood. In a creamy sauce.

Oh. My. Goodness. I don’t think I will ever cook pasta any other way again.

This recipe is so, so versatile. Add chopped tomatoes, or chilli flakes, or a variety of other ingredients to whip up your favourite pasta recipe, and dinner will be done in under 20 minutes.

(Recipe has been adapted from Martha Stewart, link here.)

One Pot Seafood Marinara Pasta
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Using just a single pot, cook up a yummy pasta dinner in under 20 minutes!
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Pasta
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 500g dry pasta (use one with a longer cooking time of between 10-13 minutes for best results)
  • 500g seafood marinara
  • 3 cloves of garlic (grated)
  • ½ onion (sliced)
  • 1 cup of broccoli florets
  • Low-sodium chicken stock or water (enough to cover the ingredients in pot)
  • Salt & pepper (optional)
  • Grated parmesan cheese (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place all the ingredients in a pot. Cook on high heat. When the water starts to boil, make sure you stir and turn the pasta frequently. Boil off most of the water.
  2. Serve with grated parmesan cheese

Not my typical Talkative Thursday post, but hey – I was so stoked to have prepared dinner in under 20 minutes, I am sure you get my excitement to blog about this! Haha! Come and share your link if you have a lengthy Thursday post too!

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