Insured for assurance, or not


pexels-photo-164474_opt (1)Buying insurance is like buying a piece of mind. At least this is the usual spiel from most insurance agents.

This month, hubby and I made a decision to ditch our planner of 8 years and opt for someone new. Our planner (not yet informed that he’s out of the door, so he’s still our planner) is in the million dollar table, has lots of clients with big bucks and  I think that’s where the problem started. We already saw cracks in communication, not proactive in his advise and etc, but we still stuck to him because we are just too lazy to move.

Recently, I’ve been reading up a lot on policies, and I realised that our investment linked plans are not as fab as it initially sounded. So, to check on things, we naturally scheduled for a review. Things seem to be looking a little more bright and clear after the meet up until…two days later, I felt a need to log into the AIA system to look at my surrender values and how’s the plan doing in general. To my absolute horror, I found out that our policy went on Premium Holiday for almost 14 months! Omg. We are losing our cash value! AIA, the insurer, insisted that they sent tons of letters to us, but my planner said he also received no notification. I was mortified. In fact, my agent’s name is not on my plan. It’s another dude. OK this is probably some underground backhand, unethical thing he’s doing. We’ve closed our eyes all the while as we assumed our polices are in order. But now….. no way.. enough is enough.

The new planner comes in. We surrendered 80% of our plans which didn’t even break even. But I figured we just want to start afresh on a clean slate, and I’ll just take the lost money as insurance paid. Look towards the future.

So the lesson from this episode is really to monitor, check and be proactive with your money. No one is going to deal and bother it as much as you.

Diastasis Recti

Getting back my pre-kids body is always top on my wish list. But I know it’s never going to happen. I mean I got to be honest, I’m never super fit before pregnancy and I was already dealing with weight gain from hormonal imbalance just before my first kid. So it will take a lot, a lot to get fit.
Travis and Keane are finally getting into the sch system, and my mom is kinda used to the kids schedule too. So I think it’s time.. It’s time for me to focus on myself!
First thing, my body.

A month after I gave birth to Travis, I found this weird angular bulge on my stomach. No matter how much I exercise and the amount of weight I’ve lost, the bulge is still there. And so, Dr Google to the rescue that said I may have Diastasis Recti which is the separation of the ab walls.

Not my pic! Click here to find out more.
Unfortunately, I procrastinated and didn’t have time to go seek help. Also, I didn’t know who to ask! I’ve asked my obstetrician and she recommended plastic surgery. Errr.. She’s great at delivering my kids and my friends’ but I don’t think that’s the medical help I need, right now.

So fast forward 2 years later, I decided to Google this symptom again and finally, made a phone call to get it check. Again, I wasn’t sure if I was wasting money by getting it checked but I figured I could probably clear on my doubts and learn the proper exercises to do. Mommies with Diastasis Recti can’t do sit-ups as it will worsen the condition.

Made the visit to the physio at CoreConcepts and the physio informed me I don’t have a bad case of disastis rectis. I’ve a mere 1cm gap! Normally, the ab walls should be completely closed without any gaps.

My physio made an interesting comment that most Asian mommies don’t know about this condition. I wonder if it’s because we just attribute it to stubborn pregnancy fats.

My consultation at CoreConcept was pretty smooth sailing. The clinic wasn’t spectacular, state of the art with fancy furniture or lightings but it served its purpose and function. Honestly I’d rather a clinic with genuine caring staff who knows what they are doing (and saying) than one that’s all glitz and fluff. Physiotherapist started the session with a diagnosis and teaching me some simple exercises to tighten and strengthen the ab muscles. Learning to breath while doing those muscle moves were tough… I’m always inhaling at the wrong time. During the session, I was rather upset to learn that because I had sought help after such a long time from time of delivery, it would be heaps more difficult to reduce my bulge. But really, with two young kids under 3 and not much available help, it’s extremely difficult to do anything for yourself. True, I could have squeezed out some time in the weekends, but lack of awareness about the condition and my choice to have more family time were my biggest distraction.

I booked two more physiotherapy sessions. I’m going to get disciplined and stick to my routine. I can only hope everything works out in my favour! Everyone’s body is different so I wouldn’t know if the physio will work fabulously but at least I’d did something for myself and on the way to getting fit again.

The Soup Master

Black Bean Soup

When I first got married, hubby casually mentioned that it’s really nice to come home to a table of home cooked food. I know he doesn’t mean it in a chauvinistic manner. After all this is the man who washes the toilet, does the dishes and mops the floor. 

So now that I’m a part time SAHM (I’m still working freelance!), I really try to make as much home cooked meals as possible with the two kids. 

And recently, thanks to auntie Chong who’s been very kindly and patiently answering my 101 questions of how to cook the soups, I’m proud to have 2 sure win, sure ok soups under my belt! She made such amazing soups during my confinement and hubby loved it so why not learn from her isn’t it? My mom’s not a good cook so I’m not so keen on following her recipes (if she even has any to start with). 

I’m all psyched to make Chinese herbal soups weekly. But the issue is finding a good recipe. I’ve seen recipe books at popular book store. It’s affordable at below $20, but I’m not sure if I want to add one more book to my overcrowded bookshelf. And online resources are mostly in Chinese which can be a little difficult to understand. 

Maybe I should just start with basics 

Dress size

Travis turned 9 months. Keane turned 26 months. I could finally fit into a sleeveless dress without looking swollen and fat. 

I know it’s not a big deal to some mommies who can easily fit into their pre pregnant clothes but for me it’s a big deal! Such a joyous matter that it was enough to plaster a huge grin on my face for the entire day! 

A month (and for many months) after giving birth to Travis, I was upset with how many body looked. I wasn’t exactly depressed but it did make me to feel really down. Especially when people asked if I was preggers still.

For the first time ever in my life, I decided to change my diet. It’s not drastic, lah. Just a tiny tweak. I ate lesser carbs like rice and if I do, it’s about 8 spoons? But I ate a lot more protein and veg. I do still eat my junk food like chips and ice cream but in moderation, if you’ll like to know. And most importantly I guess is having oats for lunch. I was terrified of oats since young cos my mom, the food terrorist, made really awful oat drink for breakfast in lower primary. The oats didn’t melt and would just float in pieces around the milk. Argh bad memories. So anyway, now I thank overnight oats! And if I want to play cheat, I would make a sausage or stir fry some meat to go with my plain oats. 

Also, I think I’m always on the move these days taking care of the two kids. They really keep me on my toes literally. Thinking back, i probably started to put on weight when I work in an office (desk bound jobs really make one fat and that’s why gym memberships probably sell best to this group of ppl)

I even bought all sorts of exercise stuff and Shapewear. I had a gym ball, skipping rope, some other stretchy rope thingy, and an exercise bike. I still wish I have time to do all that but these months it’s a little difficult cos the kids keep waking up before I go to bed. 

Please please let me lose more weight. I feel so much more better physically and mentally when I know I look good. I was never fat since young. Always the “slender”, “skinny” one so its a real shock when my pregnancy weight shot up to 70kg even though I wasn’t pigging out! 

finally a flattering sleeveless dress!

On the other hand, after this whole post natal weight gain thing, I realised that the dress sizes are really just numbers. Last time I’ll just pick out the smallest sizes pre pregnancy, and post pregnancy, I’ll opt for the largest naturally thinking I’m still big and fat. But yesterday I went to h&m and OMG, I could fit into a size 34 and also a size 40! Ok find it depends on the cutting…. But the point is I could still fit into size 34 when I thought all hopes on gaining back my figure is lost in the deep blue ocean! Now I’m even more motivated to lose more weight healthily of course. I’m not sure if the flabby skin on my tummy will disappear but I’ll be super satisfied if my arms look slim again! Then I’ll have more clothes options!

I guess at the end of the day, I’m elated with all these weight loss because I do want to feel normal again. I was pregnant when Keane turned 8 months. So it feels like my life took a 360 degree change with the kids and it bears no resemblance to my old life. Ive just been taking care of the kids since 2014. Doing the same thing over and over again. What I’m seeking now is familiarity to things I’ve been doing before the kids. So activities like going for mani, hair cuts, shopping makes me super duper happy. I can practically feel myself glowing as I walk through the mall or run my errands. It’s the feeling that yes I’m still alive and I’m doing my own stuff. Not my kids’ stuff. 

By the way, I don’t own a weighing scale yet. I’m in a huge denial. My aim is to get back my pre wedding weight if it’s that even remotely possibly after 2 kids. 

Keane’s lunch

Keane’s meals

I try to make healthy lunches for keane. It’s a separate menu from the adults, so sometimes I ask myself if I’m being nuts to insist that Keane eats different stuff from us. I wish I have more time to make those super cute bento sets for keane but sadly, I don’t have the time. So hoping that keane has enough nutrients from the meals I prepare. 

The Nebuliser

Travis caught the bug from Keane. It’s inevitable because Keane would often go up to Travis and cough real hard and loud in front of the little one. 

So on the day that Keane was almost 100% recovered, Travis fell ill. 

We didn’t send him to the doc immediately. We wanted to self medicate. It seemed straightforward enough. But the cough was persistant and he looked kinda breathless each time he starts coughing

Off to the doc we went and came back with the wonderful Nebuliser. Never thought I’ll ever need it. And it made me panic if I had done anything wrong since he fell sick. 

Happy Mother’s Day 

This year, I decided to give myself a treat with a NTUC bought sashimi platter. I’ve never liked food treats before. I prefer something tangible, and not something that is going down my tummy and gone forever. 

But this time around, it’s different. Even simple treat like is enough to make me smile all day. The kids are asleep. I’m done with most of my chores. I can slowly savor each piece of sashimi! Bliss

Happy Mother’s Day! Let’s all hang in there, fellow strong women! 

Hey, 2017 & childcare

I’ve just gotten the boys’ school timetable for 2017 and I can finally breathe again. 

I’ve been praying soooo hard that their timing for their sch would coincide so I don’t have to make trips back and forth between the sch and home, and most importantly troubling my mom to take care of one kid. I really want to try to take care of both boys on my own for reasons I don’t really want to share. Think the universal grandparents vs parents argument 

Well, anyway now that their sch is kinda settled, I don’t have a huge urgency to look for childcare. CC is our backup plan in case the kids timing don’t match or if I go crazy from stress from taking care of the kids. I want to go back to work so I can help to pay off the kids’ sch fees. I don’t really want hubby to have an even heavier financial burden cos the kids are in childcare. Besides, I’ll be free to work and I can finally hold adult conversations! I intend to look for part time jobs so I can pick up the kids. I don’t want to trouble hubby to rush home since his work is pretty demanding. But this plan isn’t fool proof either, I mean I don’t know if I could find a job which could accommodate to my timing. As much as the government is promoting flexi work blah blah, I’m not sure of the reality and the availability of such jobs. Or I could take on more freelance jobs (though I highly doubt there would be many considering the slow economy). I do wish I can work sometimes. I just need something to do other than facing my kids. Perhaps that’s why I still have Yin Love Weddings 

But, now that the kids’ timing is kinda settled, I guess I’ll continue to stay home and take care of the kids. I do enjoy being at home with them. Although I got into emo drama nonsense on my really bad days. Sorry hubby…

Here’s hoping that 2017 would be a better year already. Sooo looking forward to it