The Chewys’ Tips for Flying with Family

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You may have noticed that we’re a family that likes to travel. We’re lucky to have visited such amazing places like Taiwan and Hong Kong and hope to visit many more soon. After we did our first overseas family photoshoot in Phuket earlier this year, we learned a lot about how to make traveling and flying with the family much easier.

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For us, half the fun of traveling comes with the amazing luxury hotels we get to stay at. Sometimes, we even enjoy our hotel staycations as much as our actual vacations. When planning for a trip to London, it’s hard to beat a family-owned hotel like the Athenaeum. We found this gem on British Airways’ flights to London page where the hotel got five stars from the airline. And by booking our rooms and our flight together, we’re able to stay in the kind of place we’ve always wanted. With an award-winning tea room, spa and hair salon all in the middle of Piccadilly, it was just what we were looking for in London. Also, booking rooms in advance when traveling with family is one of the big tips we picked up. You can get the family settled and comfortable the moment you arrive instead of scrambling to find yourselves a place to stay!

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Also, when you are traveling with children it’s important to take things slow and accept that you may not always be able to hit everything that you have on your schedule. That’s just one of the many pieces of sage advice we found on The Guardian’s 50 top tips for traveling with kids. That’s one of the reasons why finding a great hotel is so important for a great holiday. If the weather turns bad or a child gets sick, at least you can still try your best to relax and enjoy the rest of your vacation from a comfortable room!

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There’s so much to do and prepare and passports are only the beginning! It is also very important to know your terminal and the airport well before you show up for your flight. Some airports, like Heathrow, are so big and busy you could easily miss your flight trying to find the right gate. You should make yourself familiar with the layout ahead of time, especially if you’re also keeping track of little ones. It could take you almost an hour just to get from one terminal to another, so plan accordingly.

It’s also very helpful to try your best to pack light and pack smart. We like to prioritize items we may need for the kids like games, snacks and books for our carryon bags while putting bigger things like clothing and shoes in our actual luggage.

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Our flight to Phuket was very lucky as Chanelle was well behaved, but we know we won’t always be so fortunate. We were unable to get bassinet seats for that flight, but you can bet we won’t be going without them for our next one. Bassinet seats are one of the Telegraph’s top ten secrets to stress free travel and clip into the rear of the airplane’s bulkhead seats. This helps to save your lap and the backs of your fellow travelers hours of potential kicks and screams. It also gives us a little extra legroom, which is always nice.

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We already can’t wait to go on our next vacation as a family and are glad that we were able to have the chance to give Little misschewy a trial run on her first overseas flight. It’s safe to say we’re excited to go even further for our next Chewy adventure!

National Day Parade 2015: Air Partcipation

Since I was a little girl, I have always enjoyed watching the National Day Parade (NDP) on the television with my family on the day Singapore celebrates her birthday. This year will be no different, except that we are going to be celebrating a huge milestone for the very first time ever, SG50! I am totally looking forward to NDP 2015 where we commemorate our nation’s achievements in the past 50 years. Although we are a small nation, I’m really proud that Singaporeans are united as one and have come a long way to achieve what we have today. Now, we shall look towards a bright future together!

This year’s Air Participation segment at the NDP will feature 50 aircraft – the largest number to participate in the NDP at the Padang – with the execution of unprecedented aerial manoeuvres. Proudly put up by the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), Singaporeans can anticipate a spectacular aerial display, showcasing elements of precision flying and aerial finesse.

“Five Stars” Tribute Aerial Flypast

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In remembrance of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the RSAF Black Knights will execute the “Five Stars” Tribute Aerial Flypast as part of the tribute segment in the Prologue of the NDP 2015 Show. It signifies Singapore’s ideals of democracy, peace, justice and equality.

State Flag flypast

The traditional flypast of the State Flag across the Padang will take place during the singing of the National Anthem. It will be staged by a CH-47 Chinook helicopter, escorted by two AH-64D Apache helicopters. During this solemn and dignified moment, the Flypast Marshall will play a key role in coordinating ground and aerial activities to ensure the smooth execution of the State Flag flypast.

Salute-to-Nation

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As part of the RSAF’s Salute-to-Nation, Singaporeans will get to witness the unprecedented “50” formation, comprising 20 F-16s.

Additionally, Knights will perform an aerial bomb-burst where the F-16s execute a fan-out manoeuver to round off a magnificent Salute-to-Nation.

Aerial Flypast

This year’s aerial flypast segment will feature the following elements respectively:

  • A combined helicopter formation, led by two S-70B naval helicopters and featuring two AS-332 Super Pumas, two AH-64D Apaches and two Chinooks, will kick-start the flypast with an “Arrowhead” formation.
  • A C-130 transport aircraft and two Fokker 50 (FK-50) Maritime Patrol aircraft executes the “VIC” formation. This will be followed by a KC-135 tanker aircraft and a G550-Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft, escorted by four F-5 fighter aircraft flying in close formation.
  • Thereafter, the Black Knights will put up a high-octane performance that will excite spectators at the Padang and around the Marina Bay area. A formation of four Black Knights will perform the “Criss Cross” manoeuver with smoke trails, followed by two Black Knights executing a near-vertical climb.
  • A solo F-15SG fighter aircraft executes a combat turn over the Padang, showcasing the aircraft’s precision and agility. The F-15SG will culminate its performance with a dazzling near-vertical climb with afterburners.
  • For the finale, three F-15SGs will execute a ”Flat Burst” manoeuver as they make their exit, concluding the aerial display on a high note.
  • Doesn’t the air participation segment at this year’s NDP sound promising already? Let us all look forward to the NDP on 9th August! :)

    Marriott Cafe $20++ High Tea Buffet

    Invited Tasting

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    Do you know that Singapore Marriott Hotel was renamed as Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel as of 4 April 2015? In addition to this, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel is celebrating its 20-year anniversary by offering an irresistible array of attractive 20th birthday promotions and activities to local and international guests from now to 31 July 2015!

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    One of the promotions offered that I would strongly recommend, is the $20++ High Tea Buffet at Marriott Cafe which is limited to the first 20 reservations per day and a 2-day advanced reservation is required. The high tea buffet boasts more than 50 delectable treats from both Asian and Western delicacies. For people like me, it simply means that I will not have space to stomach a second helping of the same dish!

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    Oysters were really fresh and replenished on a frequent basis. I also enjoyed the smoked salmon thoroughly.

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    Assortment of sushi.

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    It was a delight to be able to find Singaporean classics like Satay.

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    Hokkien mee with really huge and fresh prawns.

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    Loved that the carrot cake had a slight wok hei flavor!

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    Assam Fish Head

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    Looking at these colorful kueh kueh makes me happy!

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    Isn’t it wonderful that we can have piping hot crepes made on the spot? You can choose either savory or sweet!

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    Little misschewy was contented with her scone!

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    We had a good time indulging in all the yummy treats at this high tea buffet session at Marriott Cafe! Make your reservations now! :)

    Marriott Cafe
    320 Orchard Road
    Singapore 238865
    Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel
    Tel: 6831 4605
    Email: mhrs.sindt.fb.reservations@marriotthotels.com

    Happy Willow Indoor Playground

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    Hello chewys! I thought I’d share our experience after our recent trip to Happy Willow, an indoor playground at One KM Mall! There is also another Happy Willow at One North la but this is more convenient for us and the one at One KM is relatively newer since it was opened in December last year. I actually purchased a Groupon deal at about $8 quite some time ago and later found out that we didn’t save much because the admission fee for kids below 2 years of age is only $10 -_- Anyway it was expiring in one week so misterchewy and I took half day leave on a Friday. The voucher was valid on weekends too but we figured it might be crowded. The hubs and I went on a lunch date in Orchard to satisfy my chirashi craving before picking Little misschewy up from home. This is the very first photo of Chanelle that I caught on camera at Happy Willow! As you can see, her happy expression is priceless :) Best $8 spent! Haha!

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    I took into consideration that she would be crawling around for quite a bit so I dressed her in a casual Nike romper gifted by her Godma, Mag. Love the bright orange color and see how well it goes with the plastic balls from the ball pit? LOL.

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    When the hubs carried her into the ball pit, she was a bit hesitant initially but was quick to break into a huge smile. Chanelle was so excited!

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    Yeah she chuckled until her saliva came out. HAHAHA. -_-

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    At the Toddler’s Turf, there is quite a bit of space for kids between the ages of 9 months to less than 3 years old to roam about. Great for little tots like Chanelle who was still learning how to walk!

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    Vroom! Vroom!

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    I CAME IN LIKE A WRECKING BALL~~

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    Mini rock wall!

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    The Kids’ Den is recommended for children 2 years old and above but we went ahead anyway! I personally think it’s alright as long as kids are under close supervision by their parents.

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    Don’t know what this is called but Chanelle was happily ‘galloping’ away!

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    Basically, Little misschewy was being carried around by misterchewy because there were some steps to climb before they could get to the top of the slide!

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    I see two kiddos in this photo. Hahaha.

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    Plenty of stuff to keep Little misschewy entertained!

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    There is this mini trampoline area but of course, Chanelle is too young to know that she’s supposed to hop around in there.

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    There are also some puzzles and games.

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    We decided that Chanelle had enough of crawling around and brought her back to the Toddler’s Turf, but a different section this time.

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    My cousins bought a cooking set for Chanelle’s first birthday. I think she’s ready!

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    Private rooms are also available to hold your parties. Happy Willow also offers a range of party items and services such as photography, balloon sculpting, souvenir pack, photo booth, etc.

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    For a mere $10 on weekdays for unlimited play for children under 2 years old, we reckon it’s really reasonable and affordable. There’s a little cafe within Happy Willow so kids and adults can take a pit stop, or if you prefer to venture outside for your meals, Happy Willow allows re-entry. Little misschewy sure had a great time at Happy Willow and we will be back really soon! 😉

    Stay connected with us on Facebook www.facebook.com/missuschewy and on Instagram @missuschewy and @misterchewy :)

    Happy Willow
    Happy Willow One KM
    11 Tanjong Katong Road
    #02-01/02
    One KM
    Singapore 437157
    Tel: 6341 6468

    Opening Hours:
    Daily
    10.30am – 9pm

    Admission Fees:
    Mon to Fri (Unlimited Play)
    2 years and above – $18 per child
    9 months to 23 months – $10 per child
    Sat, Sun & PH (3 hour Play)
    2 years and above – $22 per child
    9 months to 23 months – $12 per child

    Happy Willow One North
    1 Fusionopolis Way
    Fusionopolis
    Connexis Tower
    #B1-06
    Singapore 138632
    Tel: 6466 6300

    Opening Hours
    Mon to Fri
    9.30am – 6.30pm
    Sat, Sun & PH
    9.30am – 7.30pm

    Admission Fees:
    Daily (Unlimited Play)
    2 years and above – $18 per child
    9 months to 23 months – $10 per child

    Willow Play Pass (6 sessions) is available:
    $100 per package (2 years and above)
    $55 per package (9 months to 23 months)

    My Breastfeeding Journey

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    Little misschewy turns 15 months old today and this marks a significant milestone in my breastfeeding journey. As I begin typing this post, I’m overwhelmed with a multitude of emotions. I have always wanted to blog about the difficulties that I had faced, especially during the initial stages of my breastfeeding journey and how I managed to overcome them but I didn’t know where to begin because there’s just too much that I wish to share. This journey is not a smooth sailing one and is fraught with heartaches but I’m rejoicing the fact that somehow, I have managed to come this far. To begin with, I wasn’t properly educated about breastfeeding as I didn’t come from a pro-breastfeeding family. Even before I gave birth, my mum briefly mentioned on a few occasions that there’s no point in breastfeeding for more than a month and told me to introduce formula milk. I clearly remembered those words, “Breastfeed one month enough already. After that can give formula milk.” When I told my mum about my plans to get a Medela breast pump at the Baby Fair, she replied, “Aiya how you know you will have milk? If no milk then you waste money buying breast pump for what.” With that, I didn’t bother to read up and find out more about breastfeeding. It was a HUGE mistake. A mistake so huge that my breastfeeding journey got off to an extremely rocky start.

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    I still remember vividly, on the very same night a few hours after I delivered at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, the nurse handed Little misschewy to me when I was resting in my ward and taught me how to position baby to ensure a proper latch on. It was probably around midnight and the room was dimly lit and quiet. Once Little misschewy started suckling, the nurse left the room and it was just the two of us. That magical moment brought tears to my eyes. The very act of nursing my baby was such an amazing experience and I knew that this would be the start of a strong bond between the two of us. Unfortunately, my milk supply had not kicked in and I was immensely pressurized by my parents and relatives to give formula milk to Little misschewy because she was crying when they visited me in the day. I was very sad and broke down after they left. The hubs consoled me and told me not to give myself too much stress over breastfeeding and to just try my best. He would respect my decision whatever it was. As I wasn’t armed with sufficient knowledge about breastfeeding, I wasn’t aware that I had to keep nursing or keep pumping to stimulate milk supply. In other words, Chanelle was being given only formula milk for the first five days until my milk supply finally came. I will never forget that night when my boobs turned ROCK HARD. I was clenching my teeth in pain while massaging my boobs with a warm towel. I thought I was going to die! Also, I could only resort to pumping using the Medela Mini Electric that misterchewy’s teacher very kindly loaned me as the few nursing sessions in the hospital left me with very sore and chaffed nipples that made it impossible to continue nursing.

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    I reckon the mini electric pump isn’t good enough for some serious hardcore milk-expressing. It didn’t do a good job at emptying my boobs completely, and coupled with the fact that I was pumping only every 4 hours instead of 2 or 3, I suffered from my very first case of Mastitis during my confinement. It was in the wee hours of the night when I developed a fever that made me feel weak all over and I was shivering like crazy. My fever broke by the time I woke up the next morning but I wasn’t so fortunate the next few times I had Mastitis. A total of 4 times in less than 2 months in fact! The symptoms of Mastitis are unmistakable – immense pain in the breast (always the right side for me), accompanied by swelling, warmth and redness. You might also have fever and chills. Little misschewy was unable to clear the blocked ducts in my right breast and I had to rely on antibiotics administered by my family GP. Each time, I suffered from Mastitis, my milk supply suffered miserably as well. My mum and mil advised me to stop breastfeeding because they didn’t want to see me in so much pain. I was very tempted to give up too but the hubs encouraged me to persevere. At that point, I was really angry at him because I felt that all the pain that I went through meant nothing to him but at the same time, a part of me wanted to give myself another chance at breastfeeding. As I look back today, I’m really glad that I didn’t give up.

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    I learned that establishing milk supply is all about “demand and supply”. However, my supply was pretty pathetic after all the mastitis cases and I was very demoralized. After my confinement nanny left, I decided to give nursing another go and I’m really blessed with a baby who can still remember how to latch on after a whole month of being bottle fed! I have read about nipple confusion which typically occurs when young babies are being given the bottle. I tried to nurse her whenever I can, while supplementing with formula milk as my mil would always suggest that Chanelle was probably still hungry whenever she started crying. I also got very irritated with my mum when she kept asking me to feed Little misschewy with formula milk instead of nursing her. It was an emotional roller coaster ride for me for the first two to three months. I broke down many times whenever Little misschewy wailed at the top of her lungs and I blamed myself for my low supply. I tried all sorts of milk boosters in the form of supplements like Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle, and also ate salmon sashimi and drank hot milo. There was an increase in my pump output but it wasn’t significant enough for me to stop supplementing Chanelle’s diet with formula milk. I went back to work after taking 12 weeks of maternity leave as promised to my boss even though my milk supply wasn’t established. It was indeed very tough for me because I had to juggle my work while making sure I had time to pump. I would also plan my pump schedule around my meetings. Or was it the other way round? Haha. I was so obsessed with my pumping routine that 2 o’clock sharp meant 2 o’clock sharp. There was no stopping me even if it meant having to go for earlier lunch without my colleagues. It was all about discipline and my baby will always be my first priority.

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    I really want to thank a mummy acquaintance who added me to a breastfeeding support group on Facebook. I’m guessing that she is probably another strong advocate of breastfeeding and I’m grateful to her because I have learned so much from the group. Whenever I had any doubts or questions, fellow mummies were ever ready to dish out advice and relate their personal experiences. If it wasn’t for this group, I don’t think I would be sane enough to keep setting myself new breastfeeding targets, from one month to 6 months, to 12 months and now I’m still breastfeeding at 15 months and counting! The mummies literally cry over spilled milk together and pat one another on the back when we break a new record in our pump output. When I became more experienced, I started to share my success stories when I managed to transport frozen breast milk back from our Taiwan trip, when I finally found the courage to nurse in public when Little misschewy was 9 months old, and when my hard work and sheer determination paid off which allowed me to go on the total breastfeeding route (meaning I didn’t have to supplement formula milk), albeit only for a few months. My mantra is “Got milk better than no milk“. Right now I’m paying it forward by adding my pregnant friends to this group because I want them to be well-prepared for successful breastfeeding.

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    Be firm if you really want to breastfeed for as long as possible. There will surely be obstacles in the initial stage but once you overcome them, things will become easier. My mum also stopped trying to dissuade me from breastfeeding. I guess she got tired asking me the same old question, “When are you going to stop breastfeeding?” every weekend when she sees me. LOL. The hubs is still as supportive as ever. When Little misschewy cries at night, he’s also the first to hand her to me, “Quick! Quick! She wants to latch!” before rolling over and snoring away. Currently, I pump once a day on average and continue latching Little misschewy to sleep. When friends and colleagues learn that I’m still breastfeeding, they often give me this look of disbelief, “Wah! Until now still got milk meh?” The answer is YES if you keep pumping or latching. Some people suggest that Little misschewy be given formula milk as her last feed before she turns in so that she can sleep through the night. I know it sounds crazy but I’m more than happy when she wakes up crying in the middle of the night, shouting “NEN NEN!” wanting to latch because she’s hungry or because she had a bad dream. I love hugging her close to me and tucking her fine hair behind her left ear. I love it when she giggles uncontrollably when I stroke her cheeks as I nurse her. I’m very amused when she cries as though it’s the end of the world after I declare, “Nen nen no more!” while keeping a straight face. My current goal is to breastfeed Little misschewy until she self-weans. A year ago, I collected some of my milk in a breastmilk storage bag and sent it to a breast milk keepsake creator in the United Kingdom. I decided on a pair of hand prints made using my milk for a charm bead inscribed with Little misschewy’s name, which is Pandora compatible and a pendant with a pair of foot prints as a gift for Little misschewy in future when she is old enough to understand and appreciate what I have done for her.

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    Happy 15 months, Chanelle. You taught me that a mother’s love knows no bounds.