1 Month with 2 Under 2

I had intended for the title of this post to be “2 Weeks with 2 under 2”. Ha. Ha. Ha. I tried.

This is how last month looked like for me:

1. Baby vomit. On my ratty T-shirt from last night. More baby vomit.
2. “Elise DON’T STEP ON DIDI!”
3. Laundry. More laundry.
4. Weary attempts to finish my meals whilst latching didi on one side and collecting milk from the other.
5. Going to the polyclinic every week to monitor didi’s jaundice levels.
6. Feeling like a puppet running on clockwork trying to reach the ultimate goal of having both kids fall asleep at the same time.

As with last time, I did without a confinement lady, opting for confinement catering and post natal massage. No time to waste accommodating another stranger. I chose to direct latch so there wasn’t anything a confinement lady could do that my dad couldn’t. He boiled red date tea and herbal bath packets, looked after Elise and even went to get more sanitary pads from the shop when mine ran out. 

Speaking of my dad… he never ever wanted kids, much less grandchildren. Our home has transformed from a quiet, dull place when it was just the two of us. We didn’t have anything in common to talk about so we’d watch TV whilst sharing late night McDonalds suppers (McChicken meal, upsized). The house was full of clutter with mismatched furniture and nobody bothered to clean. Junk. Everywhere.

After my dad became a grandfather, it definitely has become much livelier. He discovered by chance that Didi quietens down to “Hickory Dickory Dock”, so the mouse has been running up the clock, tick tock, tick tock. Our house is also a lot brighter than it was before he stopped hoarding things.

How has Elise been coping with the new addition? She has been very doting towards her brother. We’ve seen her patting his head, kissing and hugging him when he cries. Yet when Grandpa carries him, it’s a “NO GONG GONG! DIDI DOWN! MINE!”. -_- As for me… I’m like a zombie running on 110% capacity. The nights are thankfully quiet but a momma never sleeps. 

 

Tian Wei Signature Confinement Catering (+ Discount Code!)

UPDATE JAN 2018

Tian Wei Signature has refreshed their menu and introduced MORE unique dishes to its already extensive menu! You know a brand values its customers when it constantly strives to make improvements and always replies to feedback humbly. 

I’ve had comments that it doesn’t resemble traditional confinement food. I find the incorporation of dishes from other cuisines refreshing as the ingredients of each dish are carefully selected to aid in recuperation after birth and promote lactation. I was pleasantly surprised when offered a chance to try their new menu because I’m no ~*influencer*~ and there will not be carefully posed photos of me in makeup, smiling as I put a spoon to my mouth. ANYWAY. 

“These dishes will be in smaller portion than usually what you will be receiving, just so that you can have more varieties to taste” I WAS STUFFED. Each meal comes with their standard 1L of red date tea.
Yes, I carefully plated them 😀
Fortune Herbal Chicken, Stir Fried French Beans with Egg and Tomato. Thai Lemongrass Salmon

It’s been such a long time since I’ve been pampered with nutritious lunches! THIS MENU IS SUPER TASTY. Please try it for yourself if you suspect I’m being paid (no I’m not) to write this. The fortune herbal chicken broth had more herbs than water and it tasted rich and flavourful. The french beans with egg as well. I didn’t expect myself to like it that much. My favourite dish of all was the Thai Lemongrass Salmon because this reminded me of my #1, perfect last meal dish, Teochew Steamed Pomfret. I can easily eat this over and over again! 

Sweet potato Longan Ginger Soup. Green Papaya Fish Soup

Before you think I’m going to rave about every single dish…. there was too much ginger in the sweet potato soup, making it too spicy for me to handle. My personal preference is for sweeter desserts. I also got to taste their signature milk boosting soup again, the green papaya milky fish soup. Ultimate milk booster, this one. 木瓜牛奶! 

Braised Sesame Chicken with Sweet Potato Vermicelli, Cumin Garlic Pork, Miso Ginger Threadfin

Every single dish here had black fungus. Black fungus aids in preventing blood coagulation, thrombosis and embolism as well as prevent heart disease. It’s rich in iron, cellulose and plant collagen! The vermicelli was made from sweet potato and was not overwhelming on the palate. The pork did not have a gamey smell and the carrots and black fungus gave the dish an added crunch. The miso threadfin was panfried. Threadfin is one of the more expensive fishes in the market as it has a lower mercury content. 

This is why I don’t have time to put on makeup and take an Instagram worthy photo of me smiling at food. Should I stuff him back inside and pop him out again so I can order another month’s worth of confinement food? #joke #sorrydidi

If you’re still undecided on your confinement caterer, maybe you can purchase a trial meal before deciding. Check out their menu here! If you have decided, here’s a Discount Code!

Enjoy $148 OFF! Use TWBIBIMBUBS when placing your order.
Only applicable for 28-day lunch & dinner package.
Valid till 30th June 2018.


ORIGINAL SEP 2017

 

1. ABOUT TIAN WEI

A new entrant to the confinement catering market, Tian Wei Signature provides another choice to mothers in confinement, offering Mediterranean fusion and Japanese dishes in addition to traditional confinement meals.
Head chef Eugene Tan has more than 10 years’ experience in cooking and has participated in many culinary competitions. Managed by the same people behind PEM Confinement Agency, Tian Wei Signature has a carefully thought out menu with emphasis on breastmilk boosting ingredients. 

2. HOW TO ORDER

The website is cleanly designed with necessary information prominently displayed. Click on your preferred package and a checklist pops up, allowing you to omit ingredients you do not want in your meals. I didn’t want any kind of insides in my meals, so I clicked on “No Liver” and “No Kidney”. If there are any ingredients not in the list, email them.

A deposit has to be made in order to confirm your package booking. The remaining payment can be made on the first day of food delivery via cheque or internet banking.
Their 28 day package (lunch & dinner) costs S$1,688 with an early bird discount of $128 if the booking is made at least 1 month before EDD.

3. CUSTOMER SERVICE

I’ve been on both sides of customer service and I’m very impatient, so I hate waiting or making people wait for replies. I reply to emails almost instantly if I see it. Tian Wei does an EXCELLENT job at customer service. The team goes over and beyond to impress customers. I have lots to learn from them.  

  • Service recovery is TOP NOTCH. I wasn’t satisfied with a particular dish and left them an email. Almost immediately, I received a call from Charles saying he would follow-up with the kitchen to see how the dish could be improved on. He then offered a complimentary meal (which I wasn’t expecting). The team prioritises customer satisfaction and it’s evident in how they treat their customers.
  • They pick up calls and reply to emails promptly, even during weekends
  • They ensure that I am aware when the food is delivered, either by ringing the doorbell, calling out loud at the door OR calling me on my phone if I’m out
  • Their staff is polite and responsive to feedback, never defensive or argumentative
  • They remember my food requests
    >> I emailed them when I was served pig’s stomach soup and thought that I’d already opted out of it but realised after they called that there was no such option in the special request menu. They ensured that there will not be innards in the following meals.

4. PACKAGING

Meals are served individually in plastic containers with a layer of cling wrap in between to prevent spillage. It is rather wasteful if you don’t wash and recycle the containers, but if you have your own tingkat containers, you can place them in the thermal carrier and they’ll use it for your meals.

5. FOOD

Portions are generous and nutritionally balanced with A. LOT. OF. VEGETABLES and chunks of meat. No MSG is used. The longan and red date tea is vacuum sealed like bubble tea so you can close your eyes and imagine that it’s cold milk tea you’re drinking. Don’t get me wrong, Tian Wei’s red date tea is the real deal with its ingredients (dangshen, red dates, longans) clearly visible in the drink. It’s just that drinking only red date tea for an entire month makes you crave for other beverages. If you’re bored of only drinking tea, you can swop your drinks to dessert

  • Variety of carbohydrates
    The extent to which Tian Wei plans its menu can be seen in the type of rice/noodles they serve. Instead of serving plain white rice for 30 days, they have:
    – Brown rice

    – Pumpkin rice
    – Mixed millet rice
    – Tri colour rice
    – Five grain rice
    – Barley millet rice
    – Quinoa mixed rice
    – Calrose rice
    – Fried rice
    – Vermicelli
    – Spaghetti

A) Traditional Dishes

The amount of green vegetables (milk booster!) they provide with each traditional meal is probably more than what I cook for my family but the vegetables are served in a light broth with toppings like carrot, wolfberries, white bait and lotus root slices to add crunch and flavour. While most of the meat dishes are boneless, certain cuts of fish and meat contain bones which you should remove before eating. 

Stir Fried Egg With Amaranth And Silver Bait Fish, Braised Pork Trotter In Black Vinegar, Yin Nourishing And Kidney Tonification Soup

The quintessential confinement dish – vinegar pork trotters. This dish appears twice in the monthly menu. There’s a mix of fatty pork bits if you’re the type to slurp up the collagen as well as meaty bits for those who prefer meat to fat. 

Stir Fried Pork With White Beehoon And Kailan, Sweet And Sour Fish Slices, Heart Calming Soup

Mee sua with pork slices in place of kidney with kailan and sweet and sour fish. I enjoyed this meal as the portion was more appropriate for me. 

Stir Fried Chicken With Capsicum In Pumpkin Sauce, Stir Fried Lotus Root And Snow Pea With Fish Slice, Slicde Fish With Egg In Ginger Broth
French Beans With Shimeji Mushrooms, Baked Fillet Fish With Ginger Mirin Sauce, Pork Ribs Soup With Black Beans
Stir Fried French Beans With Sliced Fish, Steamed Chicken With D.O.M, Mind Calming And Lung Nourishing Soup
Steamed Pork Ribs With Wolf-berries And Red Dates, Stir Fried Egg With Amaranth And Silver Bait Fish, Mind-Soothing And Hair-Protecting Soup

B) Fusion Dishes

A unique selling point that Tian Wei possesses is their unique and innovative menu. I’ve never seen any other confinement caterer deviate from traditional Chinese confinement cuisine. This was what made me choose Tian Wei for my second confinement. 

Tian Wei Signature COQ Au Vin, Papaya White Fungus Dessert

A French dish of braised chicken in red wine, this is a dish likelier to be seen in a restaurant. The sauce went well with the rice and there were potatoes, broccoli and carrots which added dimension to the meal. Instead of herbal soup, the papaya white fungus dessert provided a sweet ending. 

Seared Salmon With Cauliflower Cream, Tri Colour Grains

Look at the presentation and the colours of this meal! The tri colour grains included basil rice, quinoa with bits of carrot and corn as well as mashed cauliflower (tasted just like mashed potato). Cauliflower cream may sound weird on paper but the sauce was light and not overpowering. There was no fishy smell from the salmon as well. This was served with a dessert of red bean puree with orange peel.  

Kurobuta Pork Loin With Apple Mirin Sauce, Spaghetti, Ginger Mushroom Kombu Soup
Goma-ae Grilled Chicken With Spinach, Ginger Miso Soup

There’s Japanese cuisine as well! The creativity of the head chef shows in this dish. Flavourful yet healthy (boneless and skinless) with lots of greens. 


Spaghetti Pomodoro And Caponata, Stir Fried Pork With Black Pepper And Basil, White Fungus Apple Barley Dessert

The fusion menu really adds a new dimension to confinement catering. Combined with their service staff who are ever so ready to accommodate changes and special requests, your confinement will be a lot easier to handle if you engage Tian Wei! It seriously feels like I’m being pampered every meal.   

Here’s a Discount Code!

Enjoy $148 OFF! Use TWBIBIMBUBS when placing your order.
Only applicable for 28-day lunch & dinner package.
Valid till 30th June 2018.

My DIY Confinement #2: Breaking the rules

As I’d already set my mind on not hiring a confinement lady, this is what I prepared for my DIY confinement. I am halfway into my confinement, and am glad that I didn’t hire a confinement lady as it has made me more confident in taking care of my newborn. 

I am confident in handling her for the entire day as I know how to bathe, feed, change and burp her entirely on my own. Some of my friends leave baby care entirely to their confinement lady and they tell me that they are worried and unsure about what to do with their confinement lady leaves. I told them to learn as much as possible from them before their CL leaves.

She had a major poop explosion at the polyclinic which stained my hands and my dress which I managed to handle. It was a struggle holding a wriggly newborn with one arm and washing her butt with the other, but I got the job done. 

1. Confinement Food Delivery

After some research, I ordered the 28-day lunch and dinner delivery from Natal Essentials.
The main reason was because there were good reviews and secondly, the central kitchen is in Woodlands, which ensured that I would get hot food on time. I am one of the first few customers on their delivery list. 

I’m pretty satisfied with their offerings. It tastes healthy and the portions are HUMONGOUS. I’ve had fights with my husband who always coaxes me to finish up ALL the food. Luckily, my father is the one who tells me to eat what I can and leave the rest.


Stir Fried Lean Meat w Ginger & Spring Onion
Stir Fried Broccoli w Braised Chinese Mushroom
Fish Tail & Papaya Soup

I thought it was an abalone at first. I must have had been too sleepy. 

Black Pepper Pork Steak
Pan Fried Egg w Long Bean
Raw Di Huang Pork Rib Soup

Vinegar Pork Rib
Stir Fried Sweet & Sour Sliced Sheng Yu w Capsicum
Hashima Black Chicken Soup
I LOVED the vinegar pork ribs so much that I finished everything. 

2. Confinement Herbal Bath

I bought confinement bath herbs from Daifongai, which my father has been dutifully boiling for my shower. For the first few days, I showered off with hot water after the herbs but now I can’t be bothered. Besides, it does feel quite nice showering with hot herbal water. Makes you feel like…a herbal chicken? It does make you feel better, I have to admit.

3. Confinement Herb Package

I purchased the 28 day confinement package from Eu Yan Sang at $268.
It consists of some pills, herbal soups as well as the standard longan and red dates tea. 
It’s not too sweet and very palatable as a substitute to water. 

My father again has been following the helpful chart provided to aid in my recovery (although I feel totally fine already…)


4. Post-natal Jamu Massage

This was something high up on my priority list. I’ve never really bothered about the appearance of my post-pregnancy body because it gave me my little princess, so the ugly stretchmarks are not something I would cry over. Most importantly, my husband reassured me every single time I asked him if my body was ugly to him that it didn’t matter. 

Post-natal Jamu massage, apart from regaining a better figure, also helps to put the internal organs that have been shifted due to pregnancy back in its original position. 

I secured my masseuse after quite a bit of research and am on my second day now. 

5. A good pro-breastfeeding support system

I’ve heard of confinement nannies who throw away breast milk due to claims that it is “dirty” or “unusable”. My breast milk never goes to waste. It either goes straight to the baby or into her milk bath. If I have excess supply, I may consider making breast milk soap or pendants. 

My husband, father and relatives are all pro-breastfeeding. Nobody shamed me for breast feeding and I’ve latched my baby in front of my husband, father and female relatives.

If people around you are not supportive of breastfeeding, try to block out their negative comments and believe in your body. Do not let anybody throw away your milk, especially without your knowledge. If it has to be thrown out, let that person be you. 

Having expressed breast milk or infant formula on stand by does help you to get a bit of sleep, but do try to latch your infant as much as possible. 

___________________________________________

If I could, I would scrap all the confinement rules and create my own.

1. Happy mommy, happy baby

This is my number 1 rule. Block out all negative influences and naysayers. People can try to stress you, but you determine if you want to let yourself crumble under these people’s thoughts. You are your own person. Even if you might end up offending others, you know what is best for yourself and your baby.

Happy mommy

A new mother requires adequate sleep in order for her hormones to not go out of whack. I’ve experienced it recently and almost lost my baby. From then on, I’ve made sure to alternate night duties with my father.

Happy baby

Newborn babies at this age honestly don’t require a lot:


1. Milk

If the mother is breastfeeding exclusively, babies do not require water. Not even a “little bit” of water to “make the baby feel hydrated”. From the article below, healthy newborns enter the world well hydrated and remain so if breastfed exclusively, day and night, even in the hottest, driest climates. 

Exclusive Breastfeeding: The Only Water Source Young Infants Need

2. Comfort

Do you like sitting or lying down in your pee and poo for 4 hours? Neither does your baby.
When your baby is clean and dry, he feels contented.
3. Cuddles

Sometimes, they just need to be held close. Some old folks advise against “spoiling” the baby by picking him or her up the instant the infant cries, but it has been shown that newborns are unable to manipulate their parents (yet).

Besides, once your kid learns how to run around, you might be the one begging for a cuddle.


4. Burping

There are a few methods to burp your infant, but I’ve found that the easiest way to get her to burp is to hold her by her side vertically facing you (so the both of you make a ‘T’ shape). Patting her back when she is in this position elicits a burp pretty quickly.

2. Don’t be insistent on direct-latching/exclusive breastfeeding
If you feel stressed and produce a “low” supply, don’t feel bad if you have to turn to infant formula. It is definitely not poison and if it saves your sanity for you to get a few more hours of sleep, do it.

3. Have a healthy diet

It does not have to be strictly confinement food, but junk food does make you feel bloated and doesn’t provide your body with nutrition. A meal or two during your cheat day is fine but having a relatively healthy diet does make you feel more alert and happy.4. Post Natal Massage

Rather than just to reduce tummy flab and gain a nicer body figure, a good post-natal masseuse will be able to adjust the internal organs back into its own place and assist in better recovery as well as to prepare the body for possible future pregnancies.