30 ways to love your wife (Singapore edition)

As follow up to the post on 30 ways to love your husband, here is the wife version. I had lots of fun writing this post (almost wanted to go on and on!) and I hope you hubbies get some ideas here as well. ;)

30 ways to love your wife

1) Develop great listening skills. When she needs to share something with you, set aside time for her, and just try to listen and not offer quick-fix solutions.

2) Save your eyes only for her.

3) Make time to date her, pursue her, make her feel valued and cherished.

4) Surprise her with flowers and chocolate (Awfully Chocolate cake or an earl grey chocolate tart from Five and Dime might do the trick too). Sweet surprises always work, any day of the year.

5) In family squabbles, always stand on her side of the fence.

6) Take over child-minding duties when she’s on the brink of losing it. Ask her to head out for some fresh air or a cup of tea or just catch a nap.

7) When she asks you what’s on your mind, don’t say “nothing”. (Making something up may work better than saying nothing.)

8) Bring her shopping and when she finds something that she really likes, give her your real opinions gently. Even if she gets upset with you, she’ll appreciate your honesty later.

9) Make an effort to get to know her girlfriends.

10) Put down the phone and talk to her. Or better yet, institute a mobile-free date night once a fortnight.

11) Send her cute love messages occasionally on weekdays.

12) Don’t cringe or say no when she asks you to buy sanitary pads for her. This is part of her womanhood, embrace it.

13) Help out in the house. Cook or clean something. Men who happily change diapers/wash dishes/hang the clothes to dry are known to be very very sexy.

14) Set a calendar reminder so you know when it’s the time of the month. Then be extra loving and patient, and stock up on chocolate in the fridge without her asking.

15) Pray for her. Make time to read God’s word together.

16) Remember she is a woman, and she needs to be loved, and constantly reminded of your love. (Mornings are a good time to do this.)

17) When you initiate sex, and she’s not feeling up to it, don’t make her feel guilty. Say “it’s really okay, we’ll try tomorrow” and give her a hug and kiss instead.

18) For each time you offer her a constructive criticism or feedback, affirm her for something that she’s done well too.

19) When she gives you the daily report on how the kids were, try to be attentive and interested, even if you’re tired.

20) Give grace when she fails. Don’t rub salt in her wound when she’s already feeling remorseful about something she’s done. You can give her ideas on how to do something better when you know she’s ready to listen.

21) Be patient with her. Give her time to grow into her role (as wife or mother of X number of kids) and rise up to new challenges.

22) Choose family time over hanging-out-with-the-boys time. (Occasionally is good. Often, even better.)

23) Understand her love language. If it’s words of affirmation, give her ample loving and kind words whenever you find a chance to.

24) Write her love notes. Hide them in her handbag. Or use them to wrap a chocolate and hide it in her handbag.

25) If you’re leaving town, pack an activity bag filled with old toys or a new puzzle / game for the kids, and include a token amount of shopping money for her too.

26) Wake her up with a lovingly prepared breakfast in bed. (Think pancakes with chocolate sauce and ice-cream, or a simple french toast.)

27) Allow her to sleep in on a Saturday morning while you bring the kids out for breakfast.

28) Support her when she shares another one of her crazy, whirlwind ideas with you. Or at least listen to it and give her ideas to develop further too.

29) When she wakes up, remind her of how beautiful and precious she is to you.

30) Buy her a thoughtful gift to mark special occasions. (Check out Hipvan, Asos, Pupsik Studio, Zalora, or Blessings & Co)

Let’s listen to what other mums have to say…

I feel loved when my husband makes the effort to protect our family time together by choosing us over other commitments, especially when he sacrifices personal recreation or time with friends to be with us. I also feel cared for when he initiates to help me with the kids or offers to baby sit so I can get some me time! Words of affirmation and appreciation are also soothing to the soul but these days acts of service cut it better ;) – Eeleen

I feel most loved when he loves God and shares God’s word with me. – Ruth

My husband’s a bit like Jiminy Cricket. He tells me when I’ve been unkind, when he feels that something I’ve written lacks punch, or when a photo I’ve taken is just so-so. I’m not ecstatic to receive the feedback, but I appreciate that there is one person in my life that I can count on for an honest, unedited opinion. And even if I don’t agree with him, taking a step back to re-examine my actions or my work has usually meant that something better comes out of it. – Evelyn, The Bottomsup Blog

I love it when he spends time playing with the kids – seeing them laugh and play together is so heartwarming and better than any present he could buy me. Also it’s nice that the kids are distracted for a bit and not always clamouring for mummy all the time. – Edlyn, MummyEd

1. Giving me a break from Noah to have some me-time 2. Surprising me with my favorite dessert 3. Watching my favourite shows with me – Adeline, Growing with the Tans

I love it when he looks after the boys when they wake up at ungodly hours of 5-6am, letting me snooze while he gets them bathed and settled their breakfast. I love it when he quietly tops up the car cash card and petrol for the week, knowing these things rarely occur to me . I love it whenever he gives me a kiss on the forehead before he leaves for work. – Dorothea, A Pancake Princess

The little swimmer boy

swim baby swim

So I brought little Josh out for his first dip in the pool.

A-splish and a-splash.

He was curious and calm, kicking a little here and there.

I couldn’t stop laughing because he was almost bursting out of his baby warmer suit meant for 3-6 months (at 3.5 months).

I also thought he looked quite a bit like Superman.

(Okay, more like Superbaby.)

I plan to do this with him every week or so, so hopefully he’ll be well-acquainted with the water and not afraid to try new things. I’ve also been splashing water on him every time I bathe him, and at his first dip, I dipped him under water (up until his nose) after giving him a cue: “Ready, set, go.” I was surprised to see that he automatically blew bubbles out when his mouth touched the water. Now, don’t get too worried…I don’t think I will be teaching him how to swim all by myself but I did google and find some cool videos on babies learning water survival skills. (And now I know what rubber duckies are really used for.)

On a side note, big sister has also started swim lessons. Her coach is quite cool, and the lessons are focused on getting her comfortable in the water and equipped with survival skills. And hopefully she’ll be swimming like a little mermaid soon. ;)

Linking up with Sakura Haruka and My Little Drummer Boys.

30 ways to love your husband (Singapore edition)

I got the idea for this post when the other day, I bought my hubby his favourite teh si siu dai (tea with evaporated milk, less sugar). I knew he had had a rough morning with the kids and was feeling tired. His eyes perked up when I handed him the drink at the door and he melted into a happy boy smile. It was then I knew that it only takes a small act of thoughtfulness to let our loved ones know that they are loved.

If you have an idea to contribute, do leave us a comment!

30 ways to love your husband

~~~~~~

1) Consciously try not to nag. If you really need his help with something, WhatsApp him or add it to his wunderlist or evernote.

2) Surprise him with his favourite teh-si or kopi siu-dai when he’s had a hard day.

3) Buy him his favourite chicken rice or mee pok when he’s hungry. Better still, learn to cook these at home.

4) Open the envelopes of his mail and place contents in a neat pile for him to go through.

5) Buy him a tee that says “Best daddy. Ever.”

6) Make time for sex and intimacy. This is very important. ‘Nuff said.

7) Don’t criticise him when you notice he’s doing things wrongly while taking care of baby. Give him clear instructions as to how to improve, and affirm him for helping out.

8) When you need help with something, don’t bark your orders at him. Begin with something like this, “honey, I know you’re busy but can you help me with X, Y, Z?” and end with “you’re the best, sweetie.” or “what would I do without you?” Of course, mean what you say…

9) Buy him his favourite bottle of wine. Better yet, make time to enjoy a glass together.

10) Go easy on your credit cards for a month.

11) Plan an adventure or holiday you know he’s always wanted to have.

12) Don’t laugh at his grammar mistakes on a daily basis.

13) Laugh at his jokes (even when no one else does, or even when it’s not sooo funny.)

14) Have clear instructions written down for everything, including how to make/warm baby’s milk, how to give medication if the kids are ill, etc etc. So you avoid potential areas of miscommunication. (It may come naturally for you, but recognise that he may struggle with such little details.)

15) Give lots of verbal and non-verbal affirmation. Try not to criticise. Period.

16) Do everything within your means to support his dreams and career choices.

17) Help him with little things when he’s busy, such as collating his taxi receipts for claims at work, and sticking them onto paper for scanning and filing.

18) Keep your shared work-spaces neat and tidy.

19) Show appreciation when he makes the effort to tidy up the house.

20) Give him time and space to cool off after an argument. Don’t force him if he can’t talk or resolve the conflict immediately.

21) Don’t force him to talk when he doesn’t want to. If there’s an important matter to discuss, schedule it at a good time, and give him a heads-up.

22) Be all ears when he wants to talk (since this doesn’t usually happen very often…)

23) RESPECT him as head of the household. Don’t contradict him in front of the kids, or other people for that matter.

24) Take his criticisms well and make an effort to improve on the areas that he points out.

25) Teach him to communicate in a way that makes you feel loved and cherished. (This is win-win, right?)

26) Make an effort to look good. Be happy and grateful.

27) Offer grace and forgiveness even if he doesn’t deserve it.

28) Discuss important matters with him before making a decision, especially those that affect him and the family.

29) Ask him how you can love him better, then do what he says. (You can’t go wrong with this approach!)

30) Focus on his strengths, affirm them. Weaknesses? Give him ideas on how to improve.

I asked some male friends and the other-halves of fellow blogger mums to contribute to today’s topic. Here’s what they had to say:

“I like it when she shows me respect as the head of the household. On a more personal level, I love it when she shows me physical affection (ie hugs, or even hand holding) when we are in public.” – E-gene

“Do something out of the ordinary together, like learn ballroom dancing with me.” – David, husband to blogger mum Angeline

“To be supported and appreciated for what I’m naturally good at.” – singer songwriter Andy Philip

“Know when I try too.” – Roboman, husband to Corsage

“Follow the plan.” – Mel

“Put the kids somewhere so we can go out for a movie on our own.” – D, husband to blogger mum mummybean

“Wake up at 4am and go exercising with me” – Matthew, husband to blogger mum (and board game enthusiast) Pamela

“Put down the phone and talk to me.” – Gabriel (oops, I think we’re all guilty of this one.)

What’s your husband’s favourite way for you to show more love to him? Go on and ask, it’s your turn now. ;)

How grace works in a marriage

I read this quote by Paul Zahl (from an article by Gospel Coalition):

Grace is a love that has nothing to do with you, the beloved. It has everything and only to do with the lover. Grace is irrational in the sense that it has nothing to do with weights and measures. It has nothing to do with my intrinsic qualities or so-called “gifts” (whatever they may be). It reflects a decision on the part of the giver (the one who loves) in relation to the receiver (the one who is loved) that negates any qualifications the receiver may personally hold…Grace is one-way love.

What does it mean to give grace? Grace is probably one of the hardest things to grasp. Perhaps because it’s so uncommon in our daily lives.

But if you’ve been a recipient of grace, you know how to be a giver too. In marriage (as in daily life), I find it hard to be the one who gives grace. But I do know how to receive it.

I receive grace when I’ve been rude to the husband, or nonchalant in my attitude, and he takes it in his stride.

I receive grace when I forget to put the phone down and ask him about his day. Yet he doesn’t grumble or nag at me.

I receive grace when the kids have made me grouchy and sulky but he rubs my back and says “it’s okay, let’s see how we can make this better.”

I see grace when I’m feeling lousy but he accepts me as I am, weaknesses and all.

I see grace when he lets me vent my frustrations, and doesn’t shut me out.

I see grace when after I’ve lost it and yelled at the kids, he doesn’t put me on a guilt trip, and sits down and troubleshoots with me instead.

And whenever I receive grace, I’m better able to spread some around, even to the kids.

When they rant and rage, I see that all they need is to let it all out, and not punish them for feeling those big emotions but work with them on how to feel better after. (I wish I always manage to stay in control, but unfortunately I’m no saint. But when I do manage to stay calm, I find it makes it easier for them to regulate their emotions and calm down.)

When they are unreasonable and unloving, I can choose to STILL be reasonable and gentle. I need to remember that I always have that option. (And erm…exercise it more.)

But then, what if we take grace for granted? (It’s easy to, isn’t it?) What if they push it further?

I could choose to bully my husband and take advantage when he’s in grace mode. But somehow I don’t. If grace is one-way love, then I must say it usually gets a reciprocal effect. It gives back.  If grace is all about the giver, I feel propelled to want to be a giver too.

Because when I accept the grace that he’s offered with his open hands, I feel unworthy, almost indebted.

Also, I’m reminded that the biggest grace of all, is the one when Christ paid for my sins by dying on the cross. I can’t even begin to repay that debt.

What I can do though is to offer the same grace to others who need it as much as I do.

Grace is like a bunch of summer blooms shoved under your nose when you’re feeling blue. What are the ways you see grace at work in your family? Please share. We all need a touch of grace…

grace is one way love

Handmade mother’s day cards and gift tags {Fund-raiser for MINDS}

Some of you know I’m involved in a handmade for charity project.

We are raising funds for MINDS by selling handmade cards and tags.

Here is my latest batch of cards for mother’s day (coming up next month)!

mother's day cardSold

Sold

Sold

These 6×6 cards come with white envelopes. I also have some gift / encouragement tags too. These are made using coasters and pretty paper, windmills and lotsa love. ;)

gift tags All sold, except B1 and B3

 B9 sold

All these are going for $2.50 each (not inclusive of postage), which is a steal if you ask me. LOL.

Just leave me a comment or email me at mamawearpapashirt@gmail.com for orders.

Thanks for supporting our cause! :D

Check out the designs made by other mums:

Move and grow with the new Huggies Ultra Pants

I never knew that pull-up diapers were made for babies until I tried Huggies® Ultra Pants. The only ones I’ve seen on supermarket shelves are the larger ones more suitable for toddlers and beyond.

I confess, we’ve got a poopy little problem at home. The thing is, Joshua is lactose intolerant, so if I so much as swallow a spoonful of cow’s milk, yoghurt or cake, his poop goes wild and watery.

It’s manageable if it’s a little poop at a time. But if it’s a lot, boy I’ll have a whole load of laundry to do because the watery poop leaks and flows everywhere.

So when I first tried the diaper pants on him, I was hopeful that it’d pass all my 4 diaper tests.

1) That poop will not leak out from the side or back.
2) That it’d last him through the night.
3) Moves with him.
4) Less than 6 seconds to wear.

Why 6 seconds? Well, so that I won’t end up with pee all over me.

The waistband is very elastic, which makes diapering a lying down baby, even a wriggly one, easy to do. By alternating the Huggies® Ultra Pants up his chubby legs, and then one last pull to fit it well over his bottom. Done within 6 seconds.

And what about taking off? Easy peasy. The Huggies® Ultra Pants are designed with easy open sides that make it easy for us to peel open downwards but not across, which makes it child-proof.

Josh with the new Huggies Ultra Pants

Speed test: Pass!

Josh is 3 months old now and is starting to practise his karate kicks with gusto now. I place him on his tummy on the play mat daily so that he strengthens his neck muscles and enjoys a good kick-out. Despite his strong kicks and butt-shuffling action, the diaper stays put and doesn’t drop out of place.

Tummy time with Huggies Ultra Pants

Movement test: Pass!

I’ve been testing the Huggies® Ultra Pants every night for the last week and each night it has managed to hold its weight, like erm literally. And by that I mean it lasts us from 7pm (his last change before he sleeps) till dawn (usually I change him between 630-8am) – around 12 hours.

I have to add that my baby really pees a lot, and I’m sure it’s got to do with his gigantic appetite. So that gives you an idea of exactly how absorbent this diaper is.

Huggies Ultra Pants new

Through the night test: pass!

When it comes to poop, things get a bit complex. In general, despite the wetness of his poop when I take something that has a trace of dairy in it,  the diaper still holds everything in.

However there was one night when he kept feeding every 2-3 hours, and his diaper will filled to the brim. Then when dawn came, he did a giant poop and the diaper (already filled with pee) couldn’t take it of course. Still it wasn’t too bad as it was just a small leak of poop out the back.

Poop test: pass!
Nice tux
As you can probably already tell, I’m going to stick to this diaper pants for Josh for quite a while. But as it’s more expensive than the normal Huggies diapers, I’ve decided to use the normal one for day and the Huggies® Ultra Pants for night and going out. Just my way of budgeting…

Here’s your chance to try out the new Huggies® Ultra Pants for yourself!

Simply go to www.Huggies.com.sg and sign up online.

Please refer to the size chart below. (By the way, Josh is 7.5kg but his thighs are chunky, erm like lotus roots, so he’s already wearing M size!)

Size chart for Huggies
This is part 1 of a series of sponsored posts for Huggies. All stories and opinions are my own.

Playdate @ Cool de sac playground at Suntec City

We had a playdate at the new Cool de sac playground at Suntec City last week. Needless to say, the kids loved it. First up, flying fox, tents and tunnels, and a giant tic tac toe board. This spacious play area also has hula hoops and skipping ropes available for the older kids.

cooldesac open play area for tots

What’s an indoor playground without slides? Even JJ had an adrenaline rush sliding down at high speed. For tots younger than two, it’s probably safer to slide with an adult! There are also spots to climb up and down safely at this station, so it makes it less worrisome for parents. (Whew.)

JJ was drawn like a magnet to the ball-pit (as usual). I was a little surprised that it was quite small. It probably can’t take more than three kids without hands and feet getting entangled! But thankfully we were there on a weekday, so the boy pretty much had the pit to himself.

slide and ballpit

The Treehouse is probably designed for those aged three and up. It features a wooden bridge, a tyre swing, and netted ladders for climbing.

cooldesac_treehouse

One special point about this playground is that it comes equipped with lego and craft stations for lego-maniacs and little tots who prefer to play with scissors, paper, punches and glue. It’s a nice relaxing station for parents too, because we get to sit down and take a break from running and climbing! :P

Lego and craft stations

Finally, we got down to the dressing up area. Vera loved this the most I think. You know how it’s like with little girls and clothes; they just have to try on everything…The mirrors and all gave a nice dressing room effect. So did the stage and disco ball.

JJ: I’m going to poke you with my fork! ROARRRR!

Let's play dressing up

What I like about the place:

  • Security – Each parent is matched to your child with a coloured tag. So no one can bring your child out of the premises, except you.
  • Friendly and helpful staff are stationed around, especially at spots like the flying fox station, to help little ones out and keep them safe.
  • It’s relatively spacious and spaces have been well thought out.
  • Offers diverse and open-ended play tools.
  • There’s real food served be a bistro that has a connecting door to the playground. Lots of seating available in the playground area too, so parents of older children who can play independently can afford to sit down and sip a coffee.
  • It also offers party rooms and packages for rent.

Tips:

  • Remember your socks! (We forgot ours, but didn’t mind paying for new ones as the kids received nice colourful socks!)
  • It may be worth bringing a pouch or sling bag to hold all your valuables and mobile phones as the lockers don’t have locks. (You can rent a padlock though.)
  • If you want to avoid the crowd, do check it out on weekdays! It’s cheaper too ($10 for <3yo, and $20 for >3yo).

Venue details:

  • Open weekdays (10am-10pm) and weekends/PH (8.30am – 10pm)
  • Located at Suntec City #02-379 (Next to The Cocoa Tree)

What to do when you get hives

Vera recently had a bout of hives. This was just the start. It quickly got worse during the course of the day, hitting a peak at evening time.

hivesIt was triggered after we made a trip to the botanic gardens. It was nearing noon and it was really hot. Although we hid in a cool shelter for a while, by the time we left she had developed a heat rash.

Around bedtime that day, I noticed she had three small bites on her leg, with whitish heads. I quickly applied some calendula cream to soothe it as she said it was itchy.

Next morning, her hives became full blown.

(As background, she’s had hives before about 2 years back, which lasted 2-3 days. I also had two episodes of hives that lasted a few months each time after giving birth to Vera and Javier. I had to go on zyrtec for those few months. Her first episode was not itchy at all, just disturbing because of the round spots that covered her limbs and some areas of her face.)

This time round, it was really bad. The itch was unbearable on the first two days and got worse in the evening.

I tried an entire gamut of remedies ranging from essential oils (lavender and purification oil) to natural calendula balms to DOM benedictine (only because a friend told me that brandy used to work for her, and I didn’t have brandy in the house). I tried stress away essential oil (pic, bottom left) – a blend of lime, vanilla, cedarwood and lavender oils, as I read that it helps to soothe skin allergies. But I think all it did was help reduce some of my own stress!

creams for itchy skin

Nothing helped very much. She was itching and scratching like a monkey.

My friend (also my masseuse) passed me a bottle of oil purchased from Thailand (above pic, bottom right). She has a history of hives and she said this oil is about the only thing that could help with the itch. Apart from getting a jab at the hospital.

True enough, after trying it, Vera said that it helped, but it hurt quite a bit upon application because it’s extremely spicy. I taught her to apply it herself as she knows where her itches were, and she could control it if it got too spicy/painful.

(If you do get your hands on the Thai oil, just a word of caution, I don’t personally know what is in that bottle, or how the oil is made. I only know it helped my friend, and Vera. Before you use it everywhere, be sure to do a patch test.)

Friends also recommended the following remedies (which I didn’t get to try):

  • soaking in baking soda solution
  • applying white vinegar on the spots
  • powdering the body with “wine biscuit” (literally translated from chinese, only available at traditional chinese medicine halls.)
  • calamine lotion
  • witchhazel (available at pharmacies.)

Although the oil helped to soothe her itch, her spots didn’t subside. So I brought her to a dermatology-trained doctor at Redhill called Steven Ang. He was soft-spoken and seemed unfazed about Vera’s condition.

Here’s the medication and advice that he gave:

  1. Aerius – a kind of antihistamine, orally taken once in the morning.
  2. Hizin – also an antihistamine, orally taken at night.
  3. Gingoside – a light cooling cream for applying on the body (above pic, top left). (I checked with the doctor and he said this cream does not contain steroids.)
  4. He also recommended that she avoid the sun and preservatives-laden food.
  5. He said that hives are not harmful but can be very itchy. It usually goes away by itself in 2-5 days. If it lasts beyond 5 days, or if it affects ability to breathe, additional medical attention is required.

After one dose of Aerius and one application of Gingoside, I noticed her scratching had greatly reduced. We saw Dr Ang on day 2, and continued the medication till day 4. By day 4, she was well enough to go to church although she still had some spots on her legs. The key thing was that she wasn’t itching anymore, and she felt happy enough to go out.

On day 5, the number of spots had lessened and by day 6, she was looking normal again.

We were so thankful that she didn’t need anything stronger than what the doctor prescribed. But just to be safe, we’re avoiding outdoor exercise for the time being, especially on extra hot and sunny days.

Have you had hives before? What helped and what didn’t?

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