This is going to sound really gross but back when we were driving our first car – an old Honda Civic 1.8 whose horsepower I miss every other day! – we’d find cockroaches on a regular basis.
I know. We had itty bitty ones, mostly, and they were usually scuttling along the windows of our car. It was really disgusting and it was totally our fault. We ate and drank in the car, thinking that we were careful not to leave crumbs behind, and we allowed the kids to do so too. HAH!
When that car’s COE expired and we decided to purchase a new children-ferrying-machine, I made it a rule that there was to be NO FOOD ALLOWED in the new car. I refused to be taking cockroaches on a daily joyride. I just KANNOT.
So when Felix from EA Detailer contacted me late last year about trying out their car grooming services, I was supremely confident that they were not going to find anything as gross as cockroaches in our car. NO FOOD WHAT.
Erm, as it turns out, I was WRONG. Let me explain.
EA Detailer, unlike most car grooming companies that have the usual vacuuming, cleaning and conditioning, offers Cabin Interior Sanitization and Interior Anti Pest Fumigation. When you send your car in for grooming, be prepared to leave it there for at least half a day because the entire process could include:
- Anti-Pest Biofumigation: a 30-minute procedure that wipes out bugs and their eggs (eeeeeeek)
- In-depth Jet Vacuum
- Wonderkleen Sanitization (Physical Sanitization): a wipe-and-spray procedure that kills bacteria
- Koch Chemie Leather Star Protection
- Koch Chemie Top Star: this is done to protect your dashboard
- Carpet Jet Vacuum
- ProMed Ozonic Treament: to sanitise the entire cabin, including the AC, to remove bacteria, any chemical residue, odour smell.
Doesn’t it sound like there’s a bunch of harmful, scary-sounding chemicals being used? No worries, I checked with Felix and he assured me, before I accepted the offer of a review, that the cleaners that they use are organic and child-friendly. They were also ISO-certified and medically certified by Singapore General Hospital to be effective. In addition, the Ozonic treatment will remove bacteria, chemical residue and odour, ensuring that your ride in the car cabin is clean and refreshing.
And it truly works! The husband sent the car in (and sent me photo text updates!) while I went to work and when he picked me up after, the car smelt rather lovely. And it lingered for a good one week or so, which made my daily ride pretty pleasant. The leather seats were also conditioned and were buttery soft.
What I was most impressed was that EA Detailer also took care to clean our boys’ car seats. As mentioned, they (used to) snack in their car seats and OH MY GOD IT WAS DISGUSTING. We’d find weeks-old cracker bits in the, well, crack of Zac’s car seat. So they removed the seats, flipped everything out, and helped us to steam vaporise and sanitise them. I was so pleased with that!
Oh, and the cockroaches? They actually found some baby ones! Urghs! They explained that sometimes, the cockroaches could have entered the car at dodgy cockroach-infested carparks. The presence of the critters meant that there were cockroach eggs SOMEWHERE. Yucks. Thank goodness for the bio-fumigation!
In addition to the interior cleaning, the guys at EA Detailer also spruced up the exterior of the car. The Glow process included:
- Foam wash
- Claying: this removes impurities that is on your car’s paintwork
- Compound polish: putting in protection against minor scratches, water stains, and paint oxidisation using nano sealant
- Tyres and rim shine
- Engine bay cleaning
When the car rolled into my office compound, I was rather impressed. Our car was shiny and pretty, haha. The husband was really pleased with how his precious car was all spiffy again. He thought that the guys at EA Detailer were very thorough and meticulous, and he was happy that the disgusting car seats were fresh again.
Price wise, here is the breakdown of charges:
- Normal sanitising of interior (one session): $209nett
Trial session: $128nett
Additional surcharge of $50 applies for MPV/SUV/Large Flagship Luxury Sedans.
- Cleaning of car seats: $69 per seat
- Glow Process: $209
ESPECIALLY FOR BUBSICLES READERS
We were very pleased with the service provided by EA Detailer and asked if they would be happy to let our readers try it at a discount. They said yes! Just mention that you heard about their services here to get the discount. Contact them via their web form or call them at 6100 0323.
1. 40% Off 3-Stage Interior at $108 (Usual Price $209)
-> Anti Pest Biofumigation
-> Anti Viral Sanitization (Covers Physical and Air environment including aircon system)
-> Leather Treatment
-> Dashboard Treatment
-> Indepth Vacuum
-> Anti Mold/Odour Smell Ozonic Treatment
(Duration: 4 hours)
40% Off 3-Stage Exterior at $128 (Usual Price $209)
-> 3 Steps Compounding
-> Machine Buffing
-> Engine bay detailing
-> Detailing area on door shuts, boot shuts, bonnet edges and fuel cap
-> Rims polishing
-> Exhaust polishing
(Duration: 4 hours)
Take both Exterior and Interior Detailing at ONLY $198
(Duration : 4 to 6 hours)
(Additional surcharge of $50 applies for MPV/SUV/Large & Flagship Luxury Sedans)
Dear parents at my kids’ daycare,
There is a very nasty and extremely contagious gastroenteritis virus making its rounds in the school. I’m sure you have heard about it. The school has consistently and diligently kept us updated on the situation.
Did your kids get the bug?
Mine did. And you know what? I KEPT MY KIDS HOME.
The equation is very simple. A very sick child is a contagious child (I’m not talking about the common colds and coughs). It means that my child should stay away from other children in case he spreads the illness to the other kids (and teachers) in the centre. Some of whom have parents who work and therefore will be extremely inconvenienced if their kids fall sick.
And that’s just the logistics part. Let’s talk about the comfort of the poor sick child. Have you had gastroenteritis before? It’s awful. My kid was vomiting every 60 to 90 minutes. Without fail, like clockwork. He was extremely miserable and rightly so too.
He was MISERABLE. And being home with mummy, in the comforts of his bed and surrounded by his favourite things, made him feel better. He was better off at home, not in school.
So my question to you is: Why would you refuse to pick your child up from the centre when the teachers call, telling you that she isn’t well? Why in the world would you say, “well she was fine at home so just monitor her condition please”?
WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU.
Look, I get it. It is extremely tedious when you have a sick kid. Believe me when I say that my heart stops every time I received a call from the daycare when I’m working, in the middle of a class etc. It means having to rearrange all your plans and schedules. And I freely admit that I am lucky to have the support of our parents.
But even if we don’t, between the two of us, my husband and I would have worked things out. Because our kid is sick. And we would not want this illness to pass to his unwitting classmates. And we would want our little boy to be home and snuggled up in his bed. Not in the cold cold environment of the daycare where he has to share the attention of his teachers with 20 other kids.
To abscond responsibility of your sick child and palm off her care to her daycare is despicable. Inconsiderate. And an act that’s probably on the scale of Agent Orange Muppet running for US President right now.
And in case you didn’t get the message earlier, here it is again: Stop being a selfish douchebag.
If your job is time-sensitive and requires you to be physically present, I get it. If your boss is an unforgiving piece of crap who frowns at your absence, I get it. It’s tough and I salute you. I do. And I hope your children stay healthy and strong.
If you are someone who has the resources but refuses to take your kid home because “she was well at home”, then hey, I hope your kid wasn’t the one who threw up all over mine in school.
Because YOU are an asshole. And you need to learn to be a little more considerate: to your kid, to the daycare and to the other parents.
I would like to state upfront that I had considered the crafty route when it came to preparing for this year’s teachers’ day. I really did. What I had in mind were handmade cards with Mr 4 writing a short note to them. But life got in the way, and also impatient kids who got tired simply colouring a piece of paper, and that idea promptly got shelved.
And that is the end of our homemade ambitions. Off to the (online) store we go!
In line with what we prepared last year for the patient, kind and nurturing teachers at the daycare, I decided that a care package would be perfect. And with two kids in the daycare, this meant that I had more gifts to pack. Which I didn’t mind, really, I think the teachers have all put in heaps of effort into making this daycare experience a memorable one for the children and parents alike.
This year, I decided to get a pouch in an assortment of colours. I figured out that women love pouches since we have heaps of things to carry with us all the time. And if they didn’t like the colours given to them, they could always swap among themselves. I have two of these pouches and I love them!
Inside the pouches are essentials that every teacher needs: a lip balm, a tube of hand cream, a foldable shopping bag, a packet of honey lemon, some Hershey’s dark chocolate kisses and that same sparkly crystal ballpoint pen that I had included in last year’s present. The teachers for the babies (ie. Zac’s age group) also got some stickers that they can use to reward the little ones!
The boys helped me to pick out the colours of the pouches for their teachers, and Aidan helped to pack the items into the pouches.
I really hope that the teachers love the present! It is no easy task taking care of little people and I am so grateful for watching over our kids while we make a living. Every evening, I would ask the boys if they had fun in school and if they were happy. Every evening, they would nod their heads and say yes with a big smile. That says a lot, doesn’t it? Plus, the teachers have been hard at working organising events for Mothers’/Fathers’ Day, National Day etc. and I think they deserve a little treat.
So happy teachers’ day to all the teachers out there. Thank you for taking care of my babies with such love, kindness and generosity.
Long, long ago, I used to have this thing for Dr Bronner.
He was a regular at my house. One of the reasons was that he certainly made himself useful – he was very, very good at what he does. I have had him from the very tip of my head to the soles of my feet, and it’s all mmm.
What the heck, you must be thinking. Well, it’s a love affair between me and Bronner – Dr Bronner’s liquid castile soap, that is.
I discovered it at a time when we had adopted our cats and I started paying more attention to the toiletries and cleaning agents that we were using. It was when I started to systematically purge harmful chemicals from our supplies. A quick search on Google led me to it and it was then available on iHerb. One order later, the rest is history.
(I tried looking for it in Singapore, calling up the major health and pharmaceutical chains. All I got was, “Dr what? We have Dr Ling, is it the same?”)
One of the reasons why I was so infatuated with Dr Bronner’s liquid castile soap was that it contains no chemical additives, no Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, parabens, synthetic fragrances, petrochemicals, artificial dyes, preservatives, thickeners or harsh chemical foaming agents. Being made of organic ingredients, it was absolutely safe for the family. According to the EWG guide (which I use religiously), the liquid castile soap scores an A (lowest risk of hazard). There are eight different fragrances, with each serving a specific function. For instance, the tea tree variant is good for acne-prone skin and dandruff.
Another reason for my undying love was that it was good for cleaning everything – from my body to my floor. I know, it sounds dodgy, like urghs, a floor cleaner for my skin? But trust me, it works. My favourite for the shower was the lavender one – I’d dilute it 1:1 with water (I am cheap that way) to use as a shower gel so that it can last a little longer! The baby unscented one was used for Mr A, while the Peppermint one was used as a floor and counter top cleaner.
Now, while the manufacturer claims that there are 18 uses for this magic product, I did not put it all to the test. I tried using it as a shampoo and it turned my hair into hay. So I decided to stop being experimental and stuck to what worked best.
Unfortunately, iHerb stopped stocking Dr Bronner’s! I tried out its alternative but this new relationship never worked out. So I left for greener (unintended pun but PUN!!) pastures and embarked on relationships with other products.
A couple of years later, to my surprise and happiness, I discover that there is a local stockist for Dr Bronner’s. Nature’s Glory has all eight of Dr Bronner’s liquid castile soap on sale on its site. The soap comes in all shapes and sizes, perfect for your individual use.
So yes, I have rekindled my love with this good ‘ol doctor. Yay!
If you are keen to try out Dr Bronner’s liquid castile soap, Nature’s Glory is happy to give away 2oz bottles of the product to 10 readers. Simply comment “yes please!” in the comments box below. We will pick the winners at random.
I shared an entry from my locked blog here previously. This is a continuation of that entry after we found out that we lost Bean. Our Bean. If you have always wondered what goes through the mind of a woman who has to undergo a D&C procedure, here’s my account of it.
I’m lying here at Dr Y’s clinic in a freezing room, waiting for time to pass after having pills inserted into me in preparation for the procedure.
Right beside this room is a consultation room separated by a thin door. Piercing through the icy silence is a doctor introducing himself to a couple. Doctor is talking to a happy couple about their baby, pointing out the baby’s head, heart chambers, measurements, etc. This doctor is extremely detailed, going into details about baby’s brain being normal. The happy chuckles of the couple intersperse the doctor’s consultation. Oh look. Baby is covering his face. More laughter. Everything’s excellent! Looking great! Oh it looks like a boy. But it may be a girl as well – its too early to tell.
As a bonus round, I even got to hear the loud WHOO WHOO of their baby’s heartbeat at 171 beats per minute.
I wonder if this is God’s idea of irony.
We spent the entire Saturday – the husband’s birthday – at X Hospital. The long day started at Dr Y’s clinic where the scan showed, once again, our baby without the heartbeat. A lifeless, motionless image on the black-and-white screen.
The appointment for the D&C was made for 12.45pm at the hospital. We headed over in silence, lost in our own thoughts. What’s there left to say?
Completed paperwork, signed a million documents, and was then brought to the day surgery beds. I sat on the bed while the husband sat beside me, occasionally leaning his head onto my pillow as we chatted. Time seemed to crawl.
Finally, at 11.45am, I was asked to change into the hospital gown. They were blue in colour. Nicer than the dull pink ones at KKH. Got changed and sat around some more.
Was wondering if I had to walk to the operating theatre on my own or I was going to be wheeled in. I’ve never been wheeled into an OT on a bed. The husband thought I had to walk. I hoped I didn’t have to. Turns out I was going to be wheeled in. There was a rare laugh out loud moment when the nurse wheeling my bed misjudged a wall and banged the bed clumsily against it. It was funny. I laughed. The husband laughed. The nurses laughed.
I’ve watched the scene many times on TV. The one where the concerned relative walked alongside the bed while the patient is being wheeled into the OT. It was the same except that it was a lot less dramatic. It seemed like a long journey to the OT and I stole a glance at the ceiling lights above me. Just like in the movies, I thought. I smiled at the husband as we entered the OT waiting area. He stood outside, alone, and smiled back at me. He said he’d be waiting for me when I awake later.
I was placed at the side of a waiting area where CNA was playing on TV. A man dressed in hospital scrubs stood by the tv, a huge SLR hanging by his shoulders. I guess he was waiting for his wife who was probably undergoing a C-section in the same OT. A distance away, a middle-aged lady was attended to by her doctor before her surgery. She’s scared of pain and told the doctor to do it fast and give her any type of pain relief medication as she will be happy to pay for a no-pain experience. If only money could take away pain…
I remember staring at the TV but cannot remember what was being shown. A cold draft from the airconditioner directly above me was making me shiver. I already had 2 blankets over me. I remembered – I haven’t had anything to eat or drink since the night before. I had to fast before the operation.
At about 12.50pm, I was wheeled into the OT. It was a real operating theatre, complete with the giant lights above and lots of gadgets on one side of the light pink walls. Interestingly, the radio played “Don’t dream it’s over” by Crowded House. How apt. I almost laughed. Loads of nurses in green scrubs walking all around me. While waiting for Dr Y, the anesthetist came by to insert the needle into my left hand. As usual, he couldn’t find my vein. He gave me laughing gas to help ease the pain. I took a deep breath and felt my limbs go limp. Before I knew it, the needle was inserted. Not too painful. Yay.
The operation was scheduled for 12.45pm. It was delayed till 1pm as Dr Y was running late. Damnit. I was starting to cramp due to the medication inserted a few hours earlier (it softens the cervix to prepare for the op). Had to prop my legs up instead of lying flat out to make it less uncomfortable.
There was a huge digital clock in front of me. It was 1.05pm and still no sign of Dr Y. Everyone was waiting for his arrival for the op to begin. Finally, at about 1.15pm, he arrived, to a flurry of movement. Dr Y asked how I was feeling, I said ok. I think I said something like ‘let’s do it’. Not sure why I said that. I think I was just tired of waiting. I remember he smiled, touched my right cheek and said ‘Ok’.
The anesthetist came by and started to pump in the GA. It didn’t hurt this time. I felt a warm feeling come over and then I was out.
Woke up to Dr Y telling me that all was ok and that he gave me a week of hospitalisation leave. Told me to take care and rest well, and that he’d see me next Saturday. I don’t know how I took it all in but I somehow did. I was then wheeled back to the day surgery recovery room and when I opened my eyes again, the husband was beside me. I was back on the day surgery bed. Things were a little groggy. It only lasted 15 minutes. For some strange reason, I couldn’t stop talking to the husband the moment I was conscious. He had to cover my eyes with my jacket and told me to shut up. I blame the drugs.
I napped for a bit and then got up again. By then, it had started to pour really heavily outside. The lovely and kind nurse gave me a cup of water which I gulped down. Water never tasted so good. Soon, I was given a cup of hot Milo and plain biscuits. That was nice too.
I couldn’t help but notice the figure of a digital man printed on the tape holding the needle in. I wonder what it represented. Cute. Also, I realised that I really really need to moisturise. I have very dry hands.
Soon, I was told to change out of the hospital garb into my own clothes. I was also instructed to pee. Not sure why but I guess they wanted to make sure that all was well. Now, I wished someone had warned me but when I peed, it BLOODY FREAKIN’ HURT LIKE HELL?!!! It was a burning sensation down there and I was going WHAT THE FUCK! and OUCH! OUCH! in my head. Told the nurse after and she said, “Oh, this is normal. It would be ok after this.”
Damnit. Couldn’t she have warned me first? I guess pee contains salt and after an op, it’s obvious that salt over a wound is going to hurt.
After yet more paperwork, the nurse discharged me at 4pm. Doctor’s orders, apparently. We said our thanks, and left the building into hard hitting, driving rain. It was as if the Heavens were crying for us too.
Another chapter is over. Again.
I have just crept out of the bedroom at 1150pm. A has been crying out in his sleep, thanks to the pain from the dreaded HFMD, and the husband has just medicated him.
Unfortunately, it is a sad reality of life for those of us who place our children in daycare. This time round, we have absolutely NO IDEA where Patient Zero Zac picked it up from. Nobody in school got it, we haven’t been to anywhere that germs and viruses propagate freely and joyfully – nowhere except the playground downstairs.
Anyway, we have sort of survived this current bout of HFMD even though it came at a cost. We had plans to head up north to Legoland for Zac’s birthday (SOB SOB) but everything had to be canned. The silver lining was that since husband and I had already planned to take leave, we were able to care for our sick littles without worrying about work.
We seemed to have gotten off easy in that it was a pretty mild strain. The boys didn’t run any fevers (which was why HFMD wasn’t at the top of our minds), the spots were minimal and the only issue we had was with the ulcers in the mouth. Even then, they were able to swallow, even if their appetites are not optimal.
The toughest thing was in trying to separate the two energetic little bulls. MY GOD, CAN DIE. Zac was hilarious, he didn’t understand why he couldn’t go near gor gor and was constantly trying to bulldoze/hug/wrestle/play with Aidan. We had repeatedly explained to Aidan why Zac couldn’t go near him so our day would be punctuated with screams of “Zac touched me!” or “Zac don’t come near me! No! AHHHHHRGH!” Then a bemused Zac would do something like headbutt his brother for screeching at him. Gah.
But yes. We survived. And I thought I’d share some of the things that I had learnt during this episode.
#1 Try TCM or alternative treatments
We have been going to a TCM physician on a regular basis, seeing that these two are constantly sniffling and coughing. Once we received the official diagnosis from the GP, I quickly made an appointment to see our TCM clinic. The physician gave Zac medicines to take twice a day to alleviate his symptoms and the rest of us once-a-day meds to prevent the virus from spreading.
While the husband and I have been spared (SO FAR TOUCH WOOD), Aidan hasn’t but I like to think that the medicine he had been consuming helped to lessen the severity of it. Zac also recovered pretty quickly, he was “discharged” on Day 6 after his symptoms appeared.
#2 Manuka honey and elderberry syrup
Whenever I have mouth ulcers, I will take a spoonful of manuka honey, neat, every day and night. I have found that the honey helps my ulcers to heal fast. With Zac, I made manuka honey with lemon water for him twice a day and I fed Aidan the honey direct.
A friend once taught me to use a non-metal spoon when spooning the honey out and also to never use it with hot water so I’ve been doing just that! Also, try manuka honey that has a Unique Manuka Factor of 15+ to 20+. I got mine – cheap-ish! – from iHerb, please use this code (OTI683) for a 5% discount if you are purchasing from the site for the first time.
I also feed them elderberry syrup regularly and this time, I doubled the dosage. I get mine from iHerb too and it’s so much cheaper there – our local shops charge so much that it’s almost criminal.
#3 Sanitise, sanitise, sanitise
Immediately after Zac was diagnosed, I texted Su-Lin from Our Lifestyle Shop to ask if she had any B-Sanitized in stock. HFMD spreads by direct contact with nasal discharge (ie. AH-CHOO!), saliva, faeces and fluids from the infected person. When we battled HFMD the previous time, B-Sanitised came in handy as we sanitised everything that Aidan came in contact with.
This time round, there was an even greater sense of urgency as we wanted to prevent Aidan from catching it too. Well. I mean, we were sort of resigned that he would eventually get it too, seeing how they were both happily drinking and spitting out their bath water during the incubation period (I know…don’t get me started…). But we tried anyway and the spray was fantastic.
Plus, she informed me that the shop was now selling a HFMD bundle, which included B-Sanitized, SafeHands and Total Solutions Foaming Lemon Scented Disinfectant. Both disinfectants were so easy to use – just spray (and then wipe for the Total Solutions product). We used Total Solutions on surfaces such as tabletops, chairs etc, while B-Sanitised went onto the things that my infectious brood touched. We also made sure to wash our and their hands with soap all the time, and sanitised with SafeHands frequently.
You could always use good ‘ol Dettol and water, obviously. But B-Sanitised and Total Solutions are gentle on the environment AND humans AND felines – plus Dettol is poisonous to cats.
#4 Feed them cold stuff
Seriously, while porridge and soups are great, the heat burns the ulcers. Trust me, I have had prior experience (yup, I am an unfortunate adult who suffered from HFMD). We fed them loads of yogurt – both frozen and homemade – and they also downed milk by the gallon. My mother brewed herbal tea that we kept in the fridge and I made (manuka) honey lemon. Aidan was able to scarf down noodles that had gone cold while Zac loved picking up his vehicle pasta one by one into his mouth. They also took cheese. So YAY. Whatever works okay.
Oh, and guess what – DO NOT FEED THEM CHOCOLATE MILK. Oh em gee. I tried that when I was ill and the after-burn nearly KILLED me. It was so, so, so, SO painful!
#5 Grin and bear it
The above tip sounds silly, right, I mean it’s not like we are the ones suffering from the pain. But oh, my friend, you are wrong. We may not be physically suffering but our hearts are bleeding. When your child cries at every other mouthful of food. When he wakes up in the middle of the night, screaming in pain. When he points to the spots on his feet and says “pain, mummy”. When he refuses to drink water because he is fearful. When tears are welling in his eyes because the medicine is bitter and he knows he has to drink it. When he cannot close his mouth because he just has that many ulcers and saliva is dripping down his shirt.
You hurt with them.
But you need to be strong. Illnesses, as I have discovered back when Zac was warded for a week, is a test of your strength. And in times like these, parents have to be strong. It’s never about wallowing in self-pity, it’s everything to do with planning your next step so that your children will get and feel better. You can’t feel helpless because they are relying on you. And you try, try, try your best to be cheerful for them so that time passes faster for them (and for you too).
In this respect, I have much to thank the man for. There were moments when I literally put my head down on the table to sigh silently and when I looked up, he was engaging them in some silly activity – like bouncing balloons off his head or wrestling with them. Or he’d be showing them videos of airplanes or warships or space shuttles.
Seriously though, I do wish we had more childcare leave. Because one bout of HFMD can really wipe out your yearly quota in one shot. We were lucky that my mother was willing to watch Zac on that one day that we could not take off from work but there are many others who aren’t as lucky.
Goodbye HFMD. I don’t want to see you around. And may you, my dear reader, never have to use these tips. EVAR.
(Disclaimer: I was given a bottle of Total Solutions Foaming Lemon Scented Disinfectant as part of the ambassador programme for Our Lifestyle Shop but purchased the B-Sanitised on my own.)