Thursday, 1 December 2011

Popo say drink water can pass motion easily!

Isaac's really quite a good boy who listens to what we say, generally speaking. Of course he has his tantrums and stubborn behaviour etc, but he is also the sort to "file away info" for furture use.

Just a few days ago, one evening, he jumped up from the dining table and said:"Mummy, I need to pass motion."
Me:"Oh. Sure, go ahead."
Isaac:"Come and switch on the light for me, Mummy."
So I got up, followed him to the loo, switched on the light, leaned against the sink as I watched him strip off his pants and climb onto the toilet bowl.
Isaac:"Mummy, I need to drink need water."
Me:"What? Now? Drink later, after you're done passing motion."
Isaac:"No!!! I need to drink water now!"
Me:"Huh... But why - "
Isaac:"My motion very difficult to come out! Popo says drink water helps my motion come out easier."
Me:"Popo is saying you must drink lots of water EVERYDAY. Now then you drink, I doubt it's gonna help."
Me:"I mean, it's not going to work, too last minute already. Mummy tell you already, you've to eat lots of vegetables, eat lots of fruits, drink lots of water EVERYDAY then you'd be able to pass motion with ease."
Isaac:"I want water now!"
Me:"Okay okay, fine, you can drink water now if you want. I'm just telling you, it may not work."

I used our cup (for brushing teeth) and filled it with a bit of tap water, and passed it to Isaac. He took it, drank a sip, and while holding on to the cup, still perched on the toilet bowl, he start to move his bowels (what's the proper English phrase for "gek sai"?). With the cup (and the water in it) shaking from the force of his movement, I quickly told him to put it on the water cistern as I didn't want him spilling it. Besides, he needed both hands to help him balance on the toilet bowl...

Plop. Plop.

Isaac:"There. You see. Drink water already, motion come out. Popo say one."
Me:"Wow, yes. Okay, good! Well done!"
Isaac:"Popo also take a cup and put tap water for me to drink, you know."

Hmmmm... I'd have to go check with my Mum on this one! :) And tell her how seriously Isaac takes her word :)

Monday, 21 November 2011

My trolley load of kidzes!

This picture was posted on facebook exactly a year ago - on 21st November 2010. Flash to the past! :) Comments collected, below! Pamela Tan : My trolly load of kidzes!
· · Share · Edit · November 21, 2010 via Facebook for BlackBerry® smartphones
  • Emily Loo, Cindy Quek, Jean Ang and 8 others like this.
    • Germaine Teo-Chan Wah, they sell pretty cool stuff in supermarkets these days hor! :D
      November 21, 2010 at 12:56pm · · 1
    • Pamela Tan Yeah, I think so too! :)
      November 21, 2010 at 1:02pm ·
    • Daphne Chan where to buy where to buy?? Isaac's got a new hairstyle!
      November 21, 2010 at 4:39pm ·
    • Foo Pei Teng How much? What's the refund policy like? :p
      November 21, 2010 at 8:42pm ·
    • Pamela Tan
    • It's totally DIY one. WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get), no refunds, no exchange allowed. The one time registration fee is minimal, delivery charges quite standard, it's the maintenance that's quite shiong. Very time consuming and can be very costly.

      But for the amount of joy and laughter they provide - quite value for money lah. Highly recommended! In fact, if we have time and money, we may get a fourth one! :)
      November 21, 2010 at 8:59pm · · 3
    • Foo Pei Teng ROI not guaranteed....principle also not guaranteed....i think i will give it a miss! :)
      November 21, 2010 at 9:36pm ·
    • Pamela Tan Take some risk and enjoy the journey! How well the trip goes is what you make of it! :)
      November 21, 2010 at 9:39pm ·
    • Pamela Gordon so you had to push another trolley for your groceries? Lol!
      November 21, 2010 at 11:17pm ·
    • Maureen Ngam Good on you...Pamela...this is the SPIRIT OF MOTHERHOOD! Jia you!!! U look fabulous SUPER MUMMY!
      2 minutes ago · · 1

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Music to our ears

I wouldn't consider Hubbs and I as music fanatics, but we liked music good enough - listening to music, singing songs, making music (noise), going to musicals...

I've always liked listening to the radio, my tapes and CDs - did my fair share of taping songs off the radio, rewinding and playing songs over and over again to write down the lyrics (All I wanna do is make love to youuuuu!!!) But I've never been in the band nor have I really tried to learn to play any instrument at all - though I do have lotsa good friends who were in the band, but I dun think that counts. Well, about the closest thing I'd have experience as close as being a musician, is when I'm in the music corner during our Playback Theatre performances. And that was mostly when I was pregnant with Isaac and couldn't be up and about, prancing on stage - so I got to be the musician.

Hubbs, now, is a different story. He appreciates music to the extent that he did learn to play quite a few instruments - the guitar, the erhu, the guzheng, the piano... He even took part in a number of school-run talentimes. In the eighties and nineties, he was quite active in the local xinyao scene, frequenting the ming2 ge1 can1 ting1s till the owners recognise him and counts him amongst their friends. Oh, and, when we go to ktv - our friends certainly appreciate his singing better than mine!

So we've always kinda wondered, if any of our kids would be musically inclined? I was just wondering. But I know hubbs harbours a secret (though pretty apparent, to me at least, it is!) hope that the kidzes turn out more musically inclined than not.

We try, quite hard, I think. Since Isaac was a baby, we'd be playing him CDs of classical music, Cai Qin (hubbs') and Roxette (mine!) etc... We got that nice set of dvds the HBO Classical Baby series where they play famous pieces of classical music while show animation on the screen. We even sent him for the Yamaha music appreciation class - though we stopped that after about half a year, coz I thought it was quite crappy. And now, Isaac's taking piano lesson, and hubbs too. And it seems that Isaac's taking to piano pretty well - when he's in the mood, of course. When he's tired or otherwise distracted, he wouldn't be very attentive in class. Well, guess that's normal student behaviour. But all things considered he's doing quite well. He even knows how to read the music notes! Which, to me, is amazing, coz I could never read those bean sprouts, no matter how I try - ok maybe I didn't try very hard, but still...

Now, Asher and Shawna love listening to songs too. They enjoy the show Hi-5 and would often dance and sing along to the songs. When watching Little Einsteins, they'd both clap and pat along with the characters on the show, and they'd answer questions posed by the Little Einsteins, and by Dora in Dora the Explorer.

I found this very interesting because when Isaac was at that age, or even up to a year older than the twins are now, he didn't use to pat along, sing along nor dance along. So I thought it was rather interesting to see the twins do it now. In fact, it's only because Isaac sees them doing it now, that he follows them and does so as well.

In the car, the kidzes have already started fighting for "air-time" - they each request the CD they want. Isaac would want certain discs in particular, while Shawna would insist on those she wants. Since most of both request lists are majority nursery rhymes, I don't understand why they can't both listen and enjoy the same disc.

Shawna has interesting short-forms for songs. You know usually, when we want "Twinkle twinkle little star", most kids and adults shorten that to "Twinkle twinkle" but no, not Shawna. Let me share with you some of her short-forms that I've noted so far:

"Up above the" = Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
"Bus" = Wheels on the Bus
"Stream" = Row, Row, Row Your Boat
"Ee-eye-ee-eye-Donald" = Old MacDonald Had a Farm

Isn't it interesting that she doesn't use the usual abbreviations? So what does it mean? I don't know, that her mind works in a slightly different way? Haha I'd keep you updated...

Now how about Asher? Asher loves songs. He doesn't quibble over which disc is being played coz he seems to like them all! How'd we know? Coz he seems to know how to sing all the songs!!! Yeah, he's one amazing boy - he seems to know the lyrics and would sing along to most of the songs. He doesn't belt out full sentences of lyrics of course, but he'd say the words wherever he knows. But seriously, if you hear him, you know he KNOWS the songs. He can however, sing the full alphabet song. Oh, and hubbs has noticed that Asher seems to have a preference for Chinese songs. Yes, hubbs is MOST pleased.

So... Exactly HOW musical will they turn out to be? We'd see :)

Friday, 11 November 2011

Pedantic Industrious Isaac

Isaac can be a little pedantic at times...

Last weekend, Isaac had earned enough stickers on his sticker chart to get a MacDonalds Happy Meal, and he wanted to redeem it on Saturday. So I brought him to Macs and he was enjoying his meal when...

Isaac:"Mummy, where's my toy?"
Me:"Oh, it's here, I kept it."
Isaac:"Oh okay."
He was silent for awhile... Thinking...

Isaac:"Mummy, say "keep", not "cap" (he pats his head with his hand - which is sign language for 'hat'). Say "keep"! You cannot say "cap", it's wrong. You shouldn't say the wrong thing, later, I follow you, you know."

Hahaha... Apparently my lazy Singaporean tongue got me caught in a situation again!

Me:"Isaac, you're right. I shouldn't say "cap"; I should have said "kepT" (emphasizing on the T at the end). "Kept" has the same meaning as "keep", except that "kept" is in the past tense - it occurs in the past."
Isaac:"Huh? Same?"
Me:"Yes. Same meaning, but past tense. But you're absolutely right Isaac, Mummy shouldn't have said "cap", I should have said "kept" instead. "Kept" is K-E-P-T, not cap (pat my head) C-A-P."
Isaac:"Yes, don't say wrongly, Mummy." (He said in a castigating tone.)
Me:"Yes. That's why it's important to pronounce our words properly. If not, nobody knows what you're saying. Right, Isaac?"
Isaac:"Yes, okay, Mummy."

Right then, the first thought that crossed my mind was that I was so glad I'd always insisted that Isaac enunciates his words properly, especially the "T"s at the end of words! :p And then the next thought was... Ah! Industrious Isaac's just like Pedantic Pamela! RAAHAHAHA...

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Shawna loves books!

Shawna loves to read. Every night, while her brothers are watching tv, Shawna would also watch for a little while, then she'd get bored... She'd turn to me and say "Mummy, room!" - pointing the way to the room. "Read. Room. Mummy!" And so, I'd quickly set the limit for the boys ("Isaac, Asher, when this episode ends, no more ah!") And off to the room, Shawna and I would go.

Shawna still at the stage where her concentration span is not very long, so we're still reading relatively short books, or books with very few words, or picture books. Currently, all her favourite books happen to be board books. Which is good, coz they're hardy enough to stand up to Shawna's rough handling.

Her favourite set of books now are the Karen Katz Baby's Box of Fun set of three books which we have. They're a really simple lift-the-flap books which teachers the baby about their body parts ('Where is baby's belly button? Under her shirt!!!') The board pages are great, but the flaps can't escape the Twin Terrors. Just this morning, Shawna tore off another flap.
Polar Bears don't swing in the Jungle, Monkeys do!!! (pix below) is another of her favourites. It's a book on animal in their natural habitat, but there's a twist in that they'd place an animal that's not supposed to be there, and they'd ask the readers to point out the odd-animal-out. This very thick board book also has 'windows' that can be opened and shut. When closed, you see the name of the animal, when pulled open, you see the picture of the animal. Good for Isaac, who's learning to read :)
Last night, I told Isaac...

Me: "Okay, you go get something to read, while Mummy go and bathe. When I am out, I will read to you."
Isaac:"Okay, I will read the babies' books now."
Me:"Babies' books? Why are you reading the babies' books?"
Isaac:"Because some of them are nice! That's why!"

Isaac's quite good at reading now. When I read to the babies, he'd often read along with me. Sometimes, when I get out of the shower, I see him reading to the babies :) He's really a very sweet kor kor :)

Thursday, 3 November 2011

How to increase milk supply?

Tandem breastfeeding - latching two babies at the same time. Photo taken in April 2010, twins Asher & Shawna at 3 months old.
I've been wanting to write this for a long time, but it has always been pushed back, for, afterall, I DID know the answer and I could always tell my friends and family in person. But I did want to write this, so that it forms part of the vast resource the internet is to people who need this info...

How to increase milk supply? This is a question that plagues mothers who wish to breast feed - how to increase their supply of milk - since this is essential to breastfeeding. Before I begin (coz the article is going to end before you know it, and you'd be like "Huh. That's it?"), just wanted to state for the record my breastfeeding credentials (basically, so that you'd believe me, you doubting Thomas /Thomasina?!).

I have three children, Isaac is 4 this year, and the twins Asher & Shawna turn 22 months old in three days time. I breastfed Isaac from when he was about four days old, to when he was 2 years old. He did not start to drink formula milk (he refused at first) until he was almost 3 years old.

Asher & Shawna were also fully breastfed from when they were four days old (seems like my milk tends to take about four days to come in), till they are about 18 months old. For both Isaac's time and the twins' time, I had surplus milk to store in the fridge and freezer. All three of them did not take well to expressed breast milk (EBM) and frozen milk. Thus, both times, I had to resort to giving away milk in order not to waste it.

So would you believe me when I tell you my method of increasing milk supply? I've never read it in any book or magazine, nor on any blog or website... So! You heard it here first! :)

The theory behind my method is well known though. It's DEMAND EQUALS SUPPLY (hmmmmm, do Econs students have better milk supply, you think?). This is what led me to discover this method. I said to myself:"If Demand = Supply, and I need more supply, then I should increase demand!!! Eureka!!!"

Most people do this ("increase demand") by pumping AFTER the baby suckles from the mother - this is also what you sometimes read in books. But there are two problems about this. (1) If you're taking care of the baby on your own, you're likely not to have much time to wash and sterilise the pump before and after use - there's simply not enough time! Not if you wish to sleep and eat at all! I discovered this while on maternity leave. But what's worse is... (2) After the baby has suckled, there is "no milk" left to pump! Nothing comes out! Thus, I concluded, that this "pump after baby drinks" is not a good idea.

Meanwhile, being the new mother that I was with Isaac, I was learning all about "Letdowns". In the context of a lactating mother's "letdown" Merriam-Webster defines it as "a physiological response of a lactating mammal to suckling and allied stimuli whereby previously secreted milk from the acini is expelled into ducts and drawn through the nipple". What this means is, basically, when the baby suckles enough to stimulate the breast into triggering a letdown, the milk will gush out in spurts out of the nipple, instead of say trickling or dripping out (or not at all).

Before I knew what a letdown was, I used to tell hubbs "It's The Bolt. Everytime Isaac starts suckling, I'd pray "God give me milk. God give me milk." And then God answers my prayers! He sends The Bolt of Milk! Look at the milk shooting out!!!"

And this happens to both breasts/nipples. Thus, even though your baby is only suckling one side, the other side will also experience a letdown. We mothers who know the preciousness of every single drop of milk tend to feel an extreme heartache when we feel the milk spurting out of the other side, being wasted... There is the breast shield you can wear in your bra in order to "catch" the milk dripping out. But I thought to myself, what a waste! We should pump during the letdown! That'd get the milk all out!

And so I did. I used an Avent Handpump, stood it in a mug beside where I usually sit to breastfeed Isaac. And when it is time to feed him, I latch him on one breast, carefully position him so that, by using the breastfeeding pillow and any other tiny pillow or towel to prop the baby up where necessary - you can actually free your arms, or at least one arm.

With this free arm and hand, take the manual pump, and stand by... Let the baby suckle, and when you feel the letdown coming ("The Bolt is here!!! Drink Isaac, drink!!!") START PUMPING!!! You'd find that with the letdown, pumping is no problem at all! If your baby can initiate multiple letdowns for you, all the better, you'd be upsizing the bottle attached to your handpump in no time at all. (
Read more about The Bolt here.)

I started doing this with Isaac one month before I went back to work coz I wanted to build up a frozen store before I went back to work. Within a month, my freezer was full. For essentially, I'd built up enough supply to feed two babies! Read this post to see pix and see how I position the baby and pump at the same time.

If you find pumping while feeding a baby difficult to handle, perhaps this La Leche Hands Free Pump Bra may help you. It's a seamless padded bra that features a one-hand drop up for nursing and a second layer for hands free pumping with a breast pump. So, using this bra can help you manage the pump while latching the baby.

Well, if you have only one baby, it's not necessary to build up so much supply, that's true. But this is one fantastic way to get your supply up, especially if you're a new mother who just delivered your baby. For that's the greatest fear of the mother who wants to breastfeed - that she has not enough milk. It also doesn't help that our parents' generation is the one that doesn't breastfeed, and grew us up on formula. So we've all heard about how discouraging our mother/mother-in-law can be with their constant questioning on whether we have enough milk for the baby to drink.

So let me teach you want to do. Since birth, you should start breastfeeding. Each session, latch baby half an hour on one side (say the Left side), while you pump the other side (the Right side). After half an hour of latching and pumping, stop. Then, take whatever you have just pumped on your right side, and feed it to the baby straight away.

In the first few days of their birth, when your milk isn't fully in yet (like mine only came in on the fourth day), you can even top up with a bit of formula milk - but only after the half hour of latching, and drinking the expressed milk, then if baby is still hungry, top up with some formula. We did this with Asher & Shawna for the first two weeks after they were born. After two weeks, we did not have to top up with formula at all coz my supply was strong enough to fully cater to their demands. That was one proud day for me, I can tell you that :)

Feeding back whatever you just pumped to the baby also serves another purpose: it puts yourself and the elders' hearts at ease to know that, minimally, the baby has that amount of milk to drink (what they see in the bottle). So, you can tell them, "See, they suckle for half an hour, then drink THIS some more! Sure enough!" Well, if not enough, then you top up with a bit of formula milk, like 20ml or something. This will all go a long way to set the elders' hearts at ease, and reduce the number of "Have enough milk or not?" comments that you will get.

So... try it out. It works, trust me. Using this method, I fully breastfed my twins for 18 months. As they preferred to have uber fresh milk - wanted to latch rather than drink from the bottle - I had loads of frozen milk spare and could afford to give them all away to feed a third child. And the size of your breasts have absolutely no bearing on the amount of milk you can produce. Yes, really :)

Now you know how I did it. How I built up my supply in order to feed my twins Asher & Shawna. It is tedious and tiring (I even pumped for night feeds), but oh my, it IS worth it. So, mothers, take heart, KNOW that you CAN breastfeed your baby, if you want to. It is hard work, but if you set your hearts and be determined, and persevere all the way, YOU CAN DO IT! :)

If this article has helped you, let me know! I welcome comments! And ask your questions too! :)

Friday, 21 October 2011

Marry a nice girl, please!

Lucas, Isaac & Charlene - November 2010

Last night, while I was reading to the kidzes before bedtime, Isaac suddenly said something which launched us into the following conversation...

Isaac:"Mummy, one day, I will find a nice girl to get married."
Me:"Huh?! Oh yes, that's right, please find a nice girl to get married, and have some nice kids too..."
Isaac:"Yes, I will find a nice girl to get married."
Me:"So who do you want to marry?"
Isaac:"Er... Charlene, I want to marry my friend Charlene."
Me:"Oh, as in Charlene che che? Lucas' sister? Auntie Mary's -"
Isaac:"Yes, yes, my friend, Charlene!"
Me:"Oh okay! Yes, Charlene is a nice girl indeed... Erm, so you better be a good boy then."
Isaac:" Huh? Why?"
Me:"So that Charlene will want to marry you. Girls like good boys, you know."
Isaac:"Lucas is a boy, so he cannot marry..."
Me:"No no, you're right, he's a boy, so you can't marry him, erm, not really..."
Isaac:"Yes, so he cannot marry Charlene, he must find someone else. I marry Charlene."
Me:"Hahahhaa... Oh I see... It's okay, dun worry, Lucas is Charlene's brother. So she won't marry him. You don't need to worry about Lucas. It's Enyi you have to keep your eye on."
Isaac goes deep in thought...

Me:"What about in school? Who's the prettiest girl in school?"
Isaac:"Alycia. And Macy. Alycia is prettiest. And Macy also. And Charlene is prettiest also, but she's not in my school."
Me:" *laughing* So how come you suddenly think of marriage?"
Isaac:" huh???"
Isaac, Macy & Alycia - August 2011

hahhaha... I never found out. Perhaps I'd ask him again tonight. Or maybe I should ask his school teachers... hahaha...

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Isaac's 2nd book is here!

Isaac's book is here!!! hehehe... very pleased with how this book turned out :) Look at the screen shot below! Most pleased, most pleased. Wanna see? Meet up with me!!! kekeke... otherwise, go here!

Made the book with Artscow. If you're inspired - read this post of mine on Artscow before you embark on your journey with them. Oh, and let me know which email address you want me to send you a referral email to, no trouble at all!
Think I didn't post this picture above when the books came. I'm very pleased with how Asher's book turned out. But not so with Shawna's book. Shawna's book looks a lot better on the computer screen than in 'real life'. I think it's to do with the background being too reddish - makes the pictures appear reddish too. I've decided to re-do Shawna's book with a different kit - one that's not so reddish, to see if it'd be better - I'm certain it'd be better!

Asher's book turned out very nicely. On the computer, I thought Asher's book was too plain, and that Shawna's book looked nicer. But it turned out that Asher's was nicer, think due to the blue, and the simplicity, actually brought out the pictures better. Well, lesson/s learnt!!!

Here are the links to these books:
Ah!!! If only I have more time on my hands, I'd do loads more books!!! SO satisfying!!!!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Nice socks, or not?!

I posted this picture below on my Facebook wall yesterday, and generated quite a few comments on it.

Here's my comment that went with this pic post:"For the record, I wanted him to wear white ankle socks (or at least any other coloured ankle socks!) but he thinks his socks are very matching and he refused to change coz he says I'd not be seen with him today anyway. *faintz*"
It was hilarious - look at the reaction I got: -

Foo Sock Peng, Wu Yuping and 2 others (Nicholas Loe & Pamela Gordon) like this.
  • Nining Rowe lol
    Yesterday at 9:17am ·
  • Dawn Lee alamak....
    Yesterday at 10:54am ·
  • Cindy Quek Wahahahahha
    Yesterday at 11:27am ·
  • Phyllis Mok yes pam, it's matching. left and right match ;) hahaha... be comforted that my hub wears uglier socks for his runs
    23 hours ago · · 1 person
  • Hweech Chng For better or worse, Pam, haha.
    21 hours ago · · 1 person
  • Foo Sock Peng Now the whole world knows!
    18 hours ago ·
  • Ratz Domingo eh? i don't seem to see anything wrong with the combo leh... thot tt's the 'in'/'hip' (or whatever it's called these days) thing to wear? :-P
    18 hours ago ·
  • Lim Yen Peng Haiz.. Man r like that. I will also ask yenn Wah to pull down his socks whenever his socks r high. They just dun see what's the prob. Or maybe it's cos we r called women. It just look ugly to us.
    15 hours ago ·
  • Tan Eng Wee Thanks Zhen Guo! It's called acquired taste :p
    15 hours ago ·
  • Ratz Domingo Lol. now I see why men and women compliment one another... :-P
    15 hours ago ·
  • Ratz Domingo you're always welcome bro ;-)
    15 hours ago ·
  • Tan Eng Wee 随性嘛。。管他人的眼光,自己开心就好!:)
    15 hours ago ·
  • Sharon Tan Pam, u buy for my bro la :-)
    12 hours ago ·
  • Portia Tan Muahaha u r always so farnie bro!
    10 hours ago ·
  • Pamela Tan
    ‎@Sharon, he HAS many pairs of ankle socks, jogging socks, sports socks but he just wants to wear these coz he thinks it's a great match!

    @Zhenguo, you same same as him that's why you can talk like that. We must find you a nice girl to take care of you and take care of things like that kekeke...

    @Hweech, Yanping, Phyllis, that's how the men know we love them, right? Coz we allow them to leave the house to go out on their own in their hideous getup coz we respect their unique(ly them) dress sense.

And hubbs shows that he loves me when he changes his socks if I ask him to, coz he'd be out with me (and seen with me) hehehehhee...

Do a Dobby!!! Show your love with socks!!! Hahahhahahahahaha...

3 hours ago ·
Hubbs only realised last night that I'd posted the picture of his socks, even though I'd tagged him in the post. He said:"You should have posted a full picture of me, then they can all see how it matches." I replied:"That's not the point - it doesn't matter if you were wearing shorts, coz you're still not supposed to go out wearing shorts or berms with socks like that?!" hahahhaa...

We both had a good laugh. I knew he'd find it funny, that's why I posted it :) It's hilarious, it is! And it is soooo him. And for people who know him personally, they'd know what I mean. This is part of hubbs' charm. The "uncle" charm. hahahhaa...

The thing is, the socks do (sorta) match the shoes (which is why hubbs keeps on insisting that it DOES match), but to us women, we feel that it doesn't "match" the rest of the get-up. Like, he should be wearing sports socks - be it ankle whites, long whites (then look like school boy, or tennis player? hahaha), or coloured ankle socks at the very least. But then again, at least he's not wearing black business socks ;p (That's not to say he didn't try that before - yes, he did change out of those when I asked him to.)

We had a new colleague in office recently, who'd just relocated to Singapore to work. He was a bachelor, living by himself here. Recently, we started noticing that he'd come to office with his clothes un-ironed. But the clincher was when he recently appeared with his pants cut off at the ankles - yes! instead of having it shortened and properly hemmed - he'd simply used a scissors to cut off the excess length! The ladies in office were all horrified, but we made excuses for him amongst ourselves by saying that he was a foreigner here all alone.

Then a colleague of mine said:"No lah, he not married lah. If he has a wife, she'd not let him out of the house dressed like that. Coz I will not let my husband out of the house wearing his pants like that." Everyone laughed, and nodded. Being all either married, or attached or soon-to-be-married - we could all identify with that statement.

Somehow that statement stuck in my head and I kept thinking about it. It is very true to a large extent. And when this socks conundrum came up, I was reminded of this statement. So when, hubbs protested me asking him to change out of his socks by saying:"But you won't be out with me today - so nevermind lah!"The first thing that crossed my mind was:"But how can I let you out of the house like that?!" :p

But I think I can. I think, and I realise, and I know, that I love him enough to give him that bit of choice and freedom to dress that way and make a little fashion faux pas, if he so wishes. Similarly, I appreciate it that he does change out of his socks if and when I ask him to on the days when we are out together.

So, yes, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, nice socks or not, till the end of time. I love you hubbs!!! :)

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Fiercest One

Who's the fiercest one? Shawna, of course. From very early one, we could tell, that Shawna was a fiesty one. She's one that knows what she wants, and she'd fight for it. She's persistent as well and won't let anything sidetrack her or distract her. If anyone snatches anything from her, she'd snatch it back, but not before hitting or biting whoever it was who dared snatch stuff from her. Yes, Shawna's The Fierce One, indeed.

Asher's The Quiet & Affectionate One. He's more quiet than Isaac was, and definitely not as fiesty as his sister. He's usually more quiiet, serene, calmn and collected, all round Mr Cool, he is. Quite different from his brother and sister. As a result, he's often at the bitten end of his biting sister. Though that's not to say that he didn't "ask for it" - it's usually coz he's snatching something from Shawna which prompts Shawna to give him a chomp. And if Shawna's a Biter, Asher's a Pusher. He often pushes Shawna, which usually earns him a reflex-push and another bite.

And Asher, being The Affectionate One, even likes to push people for the fun of it. Isaac's often at the receiving end of this one for Isaac often reciprocates - if he's in the mood to play. Asher would push Isaac, and laugh when Isaac turns around to tickle him. And they'd tumble about each other on the mattress or on the floor, giggling and laughing. Afterall it was Isaac who taught Asher his favourite game of "Walk, walk, walk, walk, BOOM!" - where they shuffle about walking on the mattress muttering "walk walk walk walk..." And "BOOM!" Sees them all tumbling down, and often, on top of one another.

Asher also likes to drape himself on people. He'd do that to Shawna, and Isaac and also to hubbs and I, when we're seated on the floor.Shawna usually finds it annoying and would either shrug or push him off. Isaac would usually give in and start playing rough with him. If I'm with them in the bedroom lying flat down on the mattress, Asher would enjoy sitting on my back, bouncing up and down. Same, if I'm facing upwards - I use this as my abs workout since I'd need to tense my abdominal muscles so that Asher's jumping on my tummy won't hurt me. If I'm seated, Asher would climb up my back to sit on my shoulders.

Of the three of them, Asher's the one to most readily hug people when we tell him to (usually to say goodbye, as in "Go hug Gong Gong, Po Po, say bye bye!") He'd readily run forward to give his hugs. Shawna would follow his example. Isaac... Depends on his mood, he'd hug readily if he's in a good mood, but not if he's not in the mood.

Shawna the Biter, Asher the Pusher, and Isaac? If anything, Isaac's the Whiner. He whines and nags quite a bit. In fact, he nags so much that hubbs says he's exactly like me in that respect. Unfortunately, I do agree with his assessment! Isaac's quite the smart mouther and a naggy one. Yes, as bad as me, he is!!! So much so that when I "argue" with him, I feel as though I'm arguing with myself! :p

All three of them are generally cheery children, as in, they are pretty smiley and laugh all the time, which is good :) They DO have their fair shares of fights and tears though - which kid doesn't?! :p

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Spare capacity

One of the most common questions I am fielded with is "Wow! 3 kids?! How do you cope?!" Sometimes I reply "With a lot of help!", sometimes I say "My husband is very hands-on with the kids, so that helps." And it's true. I think I'd have been a lot more stressed out and frazzled if hubbs weren't as hands-on as he is.

Though, sometimes I get this question in its "Irritating Variant" - some people ask "Twins?! 3 kids!? CAN you cope?!" Or "Can cope meh?!" To which I usually reply calmly "Cannot cope also must cope!" Or sometimes I simply say "Caaaaan..."

I often joke, though, that I even have "spare capacity". Coz if I carry one child in each arm, and have the third child holding on to my pants leg, I still have another pants' leg spare. Sometimes Isaac'd piggy back while I carry the twins. Not often, though, of course. The extra weight of all three kids is crazy on my knees.

When I was breastfeeding the twins. I'd often be tandem feeding them (i.e. both at the same time) and Isaac would snuggle up behind me, or at the end of my feet. Sometimes, I'd be breastfeeding one baby (the other one is sleeping) with Isaac in my other arm. Then when the sleeping baby stirs, I'd use my foot to stroke the baby and soothe the baby back to sleep. It's clean! :p Besides, it works :)Also, this leaves me with the other foot as spare capacity.

Nowadays, every night, we'd more or less be able to make the kids sleep on their own beds. However, throughout the night, the kids would gravitate towards me. By morning, I usually have Isaac on my left, Shawna on my right, and Asher'd be using my tummy as his pillow and my thighs as his armrests. So my sleep in the first half of the night's usually better and unfettered, but the later half feels squashed. But I think I'd miss it when they stop doing this.

I love it that the kidzes love cuddles. Maybe's it's coz I consciously and conscientiously hug and kiss them, and ask them for hugs and kisses as well. Asher especially, is very affectionate. He loves to go about draping himself on Shawna and on Isaac. Shawna gets irritated by him doing that, though - I suppose it's akin to being ambushed from behind, sortof. But she would hug Asher and/or Isaac whenever we tell her to.

Isaac has also come to be fairly affectionate. When the twins were babies, Isaac used to rain kisses on their hands and feet - then he'd look at me and say "Mummy see, I kiss my babies! Just like you!!!" The first time he did and said that, I almost cried. At that time, Isaac was still trying to get used to having siblings and he'd been incredibly jealous of them to the extent of beating them. Thinking that I'd make him even more jealous if he saw me kissing them, I tried to only kiss them when I thought Isaac wasn't looking. However, it seems that Isaac HAD seen me kissing the babies, but he not only didn't get jealous, he started emulating me by showering them with kisses too! Sweet!

I love asking the kidzes for kisses. Isaac's pretty generous with his kisses. Asher would oblige as well. Shawna's... Very frugal with giving out her kisses, I must say, though she's started to give kisses too, lately.

The usual kiss-exchange with Isaac goes like that:
Me: Hi Isaac, can I have 10 kisses, please?
Isaac: I'd give you 8 kisses.
Me: Huh?! 8 only?! I want 10!
Isaac: Okaaay... I'd give you 10 kisses. *muakz* one, *muakz* two, *muakz* three, *muakz* four, *muakz* five, *muakz* six, *muakz* seven, *muakz* eight, *muakz*nine, *muakz*ten!!! And I give you 5 bonus!!! *muakz* *muakz* *muakz* *muakz* *muakz*!!!
Me: Wah!!! So many bonus kisses!!! Thank you!!!

Then Isaac would ask me for kisses, and I'd give it to him, plus plenty more bonus kisses. Nowadays we have hugs and bonus hugs too. I can't wait to get bonus hugs and kisses from Asher and Shawna too!!! :)

Making time to write!

My problem with blogging, has never been that I didn't have anything to say - more like, that I didn't have time to say it. As in, I don't have enough time to write. I love writing. But good writing takes time and inspiration.So even if you've got a good spot of inspiration, it'd be all for nought if you don't have time to write.

Thus, it is, that I was struck by a good idea this fine evening - I shall write on my mobile during my almost-hour-long commutes that I have to make to and from work every weekday! Excellent idea, ain't it?! So here I am! Writing my first post on the train! :)

By doing this, hopefully we'd be back to posting everyday again. We'd see, eh? :)

Monday, 19 September 2011

Artscow photobooks and whatnot!

Heya!!! So sorry for the disappearing act, but I've been busy, you see! I've been doing up photobooks and other photo-related gifts. Let me show you what I've been up to!

First up here below is this iphone 4 skin which I did. This turned out very well, and when I posted this picture on facebook, I got a record number of Likes, and many many comments, mainly asking me where I'd did this and how much it cost me. The short answer is: I did it on Artscow during one of their promos and it only cost me US$8.99 inclusive of shipping to Singapore. The promo's now ended, so you won't get it so cheap if you do it now now. But if you read till the end of this super-long-post (you have been warned) - you will find out how you can get to do this at a discounted rate from it's usual non-promo pricing of US$13.99 (for the skin) + US$3.99 shipping.
Above is a 7 inch by 5 inch, 20 paged(sides) photobook I was trying out coz (1) I suddenly realised I half-did this book years ago but never completed it, and (2) there was a promo for the 7x5 book which cost me US$5.89 including shipping to Singapore (crazy pricing eh?!). So, I actually surprised the hubbs with the above two items, as his birthday gifts. He just turned 39 years old on 17th September 2011! You can see the entire book here at this link - though you may need to install the Silverlight software.

And I also did up a whole bunch of 8inch by 10inch stretched canvas which were on promo for US$8.99 each inclusive of shipping to Singapore. Hence, for this whole installation below, I spent less than S$180, including the nail thingies that we bought to hang them! I must say it turned out pretty nicely as well - the placement layout could definitely have been better... but overall, not too bad...

We managed to find a spot of empty wall to stick them on - my in laws' place! My mother-in-law's been diagnosed with lymphoma, and so she's been missing the kids lots since she no longer stays with us to take care of the kids. So, I thought this huge collage of the kids' pix will cheer her up as it allows her to see the kids 24 hours, 7 days a week AND she gets to "show off" nice pix of her grandkids to whoever comes by to visit her! Good idea, right?! :p
The projects above weren't THAT time consuming... it's the ones below that took up lots of time... the photobooks!!! I've been meaning to do them, of course, but was busy and all, so actually, it was also coz I wanted to do these for my mother-in-law (portable photobook compilation of the kids' pix - the better to show off with, anytime, anywhere!!! :p) coupled with an Artscow promo that had the 39 paged 8"x 8" photobooks each going at US$12.99 including shipping that spurred me into action to do the Asher & Shawna books. Currently, they have been shipped and are on their way to me now! I am eagerly anticipating them, and hope they turn out well. Again, you can view the full books at these links here - Shawna's book & Asher's book. Here's a screen shot of the books below at the links - you can flip the pages page by page there.But yet, what really started all this was when I did Isaac's book more than 2 years ago - this below (and at this link) is Isaac's book. I initially also did a 39 paged book, but expanded it to a 60 paged book when they had a promo for that at some point... So!!! Have I interested you enough to go crazy on Artscow? :) But before you do, read my quick-start info (and a million disclaimers) below, before you embark on your journey with Artscow. I dare say you may regret it if you don't read what I've written below before you start Artscowing... You have been warned!
What was intended to be a short and sweet note blossomed into a freaking long six paged essay!!! So….
THE SHORT: Click here to go to Artscow to register your account (registration is free) – Have fun tinkering around and read below if you get confused and don’t know where to start.
Hi everyone,
The last time I wrote out this note was in 2009, and some things have changed since then. And since there’s recently been some interest from you guys on Artscow due to the pix I posted on the stretched canvases, the iphone skin, and photobooks – here I am doing a major update on this note. Oh, and let me state upfront that I am not connected to Artscow in any way at all (other than being their customer).
Artscow is this online website which does a lot of personalised gifts, anything from photobooks to bags and t-shirts to iphone skins and even coasters, dogtags, mousepads and aprons and lots lots more. The prices on the website are in USD, and when they say “shipping” they mean international shipping.
I’ve been using them for a few years already, and have tried them out for more than 10 types of their products. They have promos which make them so cheap that I could not resist trying them out, but their quality is not consistently top notch such that if and when I recommend Artscow, I am careful to make known my nitpicks and be generous with my disclaimers. However, my average experience with Artscow has so far been above average and their prices are cheap enough to be taken as paying for a lesson learnt, if anything goes wrong.
Of course, many things affect quality. One is the innate quality of the products they offer. However, equally important (if not more important!) is the quality of the photos you use, and also the design of the product which you submitted. For example, I found that the picture quality of the photobooks can be a bit grainy and a bit too red, at times. But I realised that if my picture is bright and of high resolution, they turn out great in the photobooks. So picture quality is important! Rubbish in, rubbish out! Overall, I would recommend Artscow if you’re willing to take a bit of risk. Nevertherless, caveat emptor – buyer beware!!! The choice is yours!
Artscow has “regular/standard/usual” pricing for their products which can be found on their website. Their regular pricing is fairly competitive when compared to similar vendors which offer such products locally. However, if you make use of their promotion coupons and credit systems, Artscow can be so cheap you wonder how they make money.
Apparently Artscow is a Hong Kong company, which has a website targeting the US market. But they produce in Hong Kong (or maybe even in mainland China?) and hence, costs are low for them (I assume). Also, this is one website which there is no such thing as “combined shipping” (i.e. buying more items at one go in order to minimise shipping costs). In fact, I believe they earn off their “shipping costs”. For example, you can use a coupon for a free 39 page 8" by 8" hardcover image-wrapped photobook, but you have to pay US$13 for shipping. If you buy 5 books using 5 such free coupons, you still have to pay 5 x US$13 = US$65 for the 5 books. Some people may say this is misrepresentation, but to me, I suppose they’ve got to earn somewhere somehow, right? So it doesn’t bother me – to me, the effective price of each book is US$13 inclusive of international shipping, and that’s mighty cheap, if you ask me.
But remember! It’s only this (super) cheap if you use the free/promo coupons or the free credits. So! I'm writing this quick-start info to give you a bit of orientation around the Artscow website. (What was intended to be a short and sweet note blossomed into a freaking long six paged essay!!!)

Firstly, get registered. Click on this referral link ( and register your account. It’d be great if you use the referral link to register, so that you get an additional "1200 free prints credits & 3 8"x8" photo books, and other photo gifts" and I get referral credits. Once you have registered, you need to log-in. Only by being logged in, can you access your account details and sections which I will mention below.
Artscow has many products as you can see on their website. You may explore the website at your leisure to see all the stuff they can do, but I shall use the following three items as examples.
These pages show the regular pricing (usual/full pricing) for the products, pricing does not include shipping yet.
Canvases & Stretched Canvases:
However, with coupons and credits, you can often get the product free, and simply pay for the shipping. OR use their promo coupons which usually include shipping costs in the price. You can often save up to 80% of the costs this way.

You can obtain Artscow credits and coupons on products in several ways:
  • Credit & Discount page (link for this is on the left hand side of the website, under Member's Area) - you have free credits for a load of items, especially if you’re a new member. They give you the item for free, but you have to pay for shipping.
    • Credits have expiry dates and so they have to be used by that date, failing which, the credits 'disappear' - are not valid anymore.
    • Credits can be transferred to other people if you do not need them.
    • To transfer credits, you click on Generate under the Transfer Key column, to generate a transfer code, which you can email/message to your friend for them to take into their account (to validate the code).
    • To validate a code (if you're at the receiving end of a transfer code), you go to your Credit & Discount page and paste the transfer code into the box and click "Validate".
    • The credit your friend has given you will appear in your table of credits. The expiry date remains the same.

  • Coupons - often emailed to you by Artscow themselves (you’d be on their mailing list once you register an account with them. Alternatively, you can “like” their Facebook page to always be kept informed of their current promo). Some are "Coupons for more credits", whereas others can be "Checkout coupons".
    • Coupons for more credits - these codes are meant to be inserted into your Credit & Discounts page (see above) to validate it. As with most codes, there would be an expiry date for the use of the code. However, upon successful validation, it would give you more credits, which usually have 1 month validity period before they expire.
    • Checkout coupons - these are meant to be inserted into a box on the right hand side of the website in one of your screens in checking out items in your shopping cart. Also usually has an expiry date. Therefore, these coupons which has a promotion or a free credit have to be strictly used by their expiry date.
    • "One use per houshold" checkout coupons - There are some checkout coupons that can be found here and there on the website, that can only be used once per household

  • Special Sale page (link is a tab on the top of the website) - are the current ongoing promotions. Artscow issues new coupon codes on this page everyday for a range of products. If I recall correctly, this is a Checkout Coupon which you enter upon checking out, to obtain the discounted rate. These deals are usually pretty good coz they have a discount off the usual product price, and usuallly include free shipping.
  • Forum page (link is a tab on the top, right hand side of the website) - scroll down to the Hot Deals section, where people share freely the coupon codes that they do not require anymore. The two discussion boards are:
    • "Hot Deals" and
    • "Discount Coupon Codes Exchange Corner"

  • Google it! - Apparently there are websites on the web where people consolidate coupons such as this. So just google "artscow coupons" and you can get quite a few hits, two of which I found are:
Coupons and credits come by easy for certain products like photo prints, but not so often (or never at all!) for some other products. For example, I have never seen a coupon for t-shirts. When you are unable to find coupons/credits for a particular product you want, look for a generic discount coupon so that you can save in other ways. For example, two coupons currently found on the website are
  • FREESHIPPING25 - for free shipping for orders of US$25 or more (expires 19 Sept 2011)
  • DISCOUNT25P - 25% discount off all items excluding photo prints
Well these may expire very soon, but I'm sure you get what I'm trying to say. Also, Artscow tend to come up with coupons very often, so new ones should be out soon after these expire. These two coupons above have been around for a long time, seems to be a mainstay. Though I do recall that they both used to be 30% instead of 25%...

As mentioned above, Artscow is not like the usual online retailers we are familiar with, where shipping gets cheaper if you buy in bulk. Artscow seems to charge per unit bought - like I bought three 8" by 8" photobooks, but had to pay US$13 for EACH book's shipping. Which is obviously over quoted, but then, that's obviously how Artscow makes money, otherwise how do they survive by giving away free stuff all the time.
Well, anyway, how I normally find out how much shipping is, is to add the item to your shopping cart, and just go through with checkout until you get to the screen which shows you the shipping cost. The shipping cost would appear on the same page which they show you your address and ask you to confirm it. Therefore, so long as you do not go beyond that page - you have not confirmed your purchase, so you don't have to worry about having to purchase the item just to find out the shipping cost.
But the good thing about "free shipping" is, it's international shipping. Thus, whether you send to Singapore, or USA, or Australia - it's the same rate they charge. So, for example, if you want to send a book to your friend who's overseas - you can actually just have Artscow ship it directly to them overseas, at no extra cost to yourself! Also good for those who are outstationed overseas, you can do up a book of your kids pix, and send it directly to Grandma & Grandpa who's in Singapore! How's that for a Christmas surprised idea! :)

The beauty about Artscow is that the prints on the products are fully customisable. The only limit is your imagination and effort.
Firstly, to be able to access the Artscow online designer, you have to download and install the Sliverlight software onto your computer. Follow the links on the website. Then you can through the "Create your own products" (tab on top of website) and then through whichever product you want, to click the "Create it!" button, access the designer, and work your magic! The programme is relatively easy and intuitive to use, as you just drag things here and there. Let me know if you have any problem, will try and guide you, if I can.
Using other people's template for your own product
If you think you’re not very creative and you’re afraid of having to design your own item, you can always make adopt another person’s design as a template – you just have to insert your own pictures. Go to the Gallery ( and you can see a lot of products which people have uploaded for your viewing pleasure, and for you to copy if you wish to adopt their design as a template for your own product. Click on the product to see it in detail.
  • For example, when you are viewing a photo book that someone else has done, there is a button on the right hand side, above the product that says "Create a book like this".
  • Click the button, and the Sliverlight designer would open with a template of that book right there with all the layout and design same as the one you just viewed – but without the pictures.
  • All you have to do is drag in your own pictures and make your own amendments to it.
  • Save the project, and it would go into your Saved Designs!
  • When you’re done with your project, you Add to Cart, and you can purchase it.
  • Remember to use a checkout coupon if you have one! Credits would apply itself if applicable.
Designer Kits - Sometimes you see under an item the yellow lettering highlighted in red:”Designer Kits”. Click on it, to see how many Designer Kits were used in designing that item. If you use this template for your item, you have to pay that dollar figure in the drop down (when you clicked on “Designer Kits”), one time off payment (you can reuse unlimited times). Designer Kits are like packages of background papers, embellishments etc, that were designed by a third party (not Artscow). There are also free kits that you can use. For example, if you go through the links below to see the photobooks I made for the kidzes.

UPDATE 14th October 2011: Just received Isaac's book on his 3rd & 4th year yesterday 13th October 2011, here's the link for that book - I'm very pleased with it! :) Go see!!!
Complete your design - and wait for a coupon
Well, we're all very busy with work and family, right? So what if you don't have a coupon for what you want to do right now?
  • It's okay - just do up your design first - it takes time, you know.
  • Whilst doing it up, keep a close look-out at the forums for anyone throwing out suitable coupons for your use - and grab it!!! when it turns up!
  • Alternatively, you can even post on the Artscow forum asking for such and such a coupon.
  • Wait! Before you do that, you can check with me or with your other friends whom you know have an Artscow account – they may have a coupon and can transfer one to you. Thus is it is good that we have an Artscow community of our own, so that if and when we need free credits, we can transfer them to each other ;p
So once your product is done, you can either use the best coupon you have at hand, or simply wait longer for a free coupon. Unless you urgently need it – then you may have to just use a generic 25% off coupon or a free shipping coupon or something… Or try to save in other ways, for example, if you're thinking of photobooks - the 20 page 8"x8" photobook coupon seems to come by pretty often. So you can often grab that. If you want 39 page 8"x8" photobook and you can't find such a coupon, then you can use the 20page coupon to do a 20 page book (but with added pages up to 39 page).

After you have tried out Artscow, you may wish to refer your friends. As mentioned (ad nauseam) I make sure I point out what I dislike about Artscow to people I recommend them to, because, I am not 100% pleased with them. I want people to know what they're getting themselves into. I feel, the main positive point about Artscow is that it is so cheap, that people can afford to try out for themselves without much monetary outlay.
  • How to refer friends?
  • Benefits of referring friends?
    • Artscow gives your referred friends "1200 free prints credits & 3 8"x8" photo books, and other photo gifts" - so for those who want to do photobooks, you have 3 free photobook credits already!
    • Artscow gives you points for every successful referral. You can accumulate points to redeem product credits. The table can be found at the Referral Report link
    • As mentioned above, it is good that we have an Artscow community of our own, so that if and when we need free credits, we can transfer them to each other ;p
    • But best of all, to me, referring friends who are interested, is sharing with them a good bargain we have chanced upon - share the good stuff, man! :)
I think the above should have given you a good overview on how to milk the (Arts)cow :p Let me know if you need help from me, whether it is in using the designer, or anything else.
Looking forward to see your creations!!! Have fun!!!

Here are my comments on the
Artscow products I have tried making before
  • Photobooks – generally good. Could be better, but value of the price of the item, is very good. Watch the designing to make sure you cover the bleed.
  • Dog tags – very good, I was very pleased with them, but don’t put them in places which have them in the sun for a long time, will cause it to split.
  • Iphone 4 skin – very good.
  • Coasters – average. I didn’t use a photo, but used pictures (for a game component).
  • Note pads – very good.
  • Canvas bag – generally good. I just used a black and white logo though, so not sure if it’d be good with pix.
  • Recycled bag – generally good. Black and white logo turned out nicely, but the stitching on the handles of the bag can be improved.
  • Name stamps – very good. Did name + cartoon logo stamps for kids’ stocking stuffers.
  • Playing cards – very good. Watch the designing to make sure you cover the bleed.
  • Magnets – very good. But now after 2 years, starting to have rust spots.
  • Car sign thingy – looks good as new on my sister’s fridge.
  • Mouse pad – good.
  • Cosmetic bags – very good.
  • Watches – not good. The pix on the watch face is very good, nice. My issue is with the quality of the watch – very cheapo. Not recommended, unless they improve the quality of their watches. However, my ex-colleague made this and liked it very much – maybe the ladies’ cut watches are of better quality than the mens’cut ones.
If you have used Artscow before, or intend to do so, do share with me your experiences so that we can know which products to avoid, or mistakes to avoid making when designing our items... but most of all, we can "show off" our stuff to each other!!! :) Have fun!!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Add this utility