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The Haze

I think the haze has been a problem for quite a few years, but the first time I felt affected by it was in June 2013. Other than hitting a record high PSI on 21 June, the problem was magnified for me because I had a 2-month-old baby at home then! Fortunately the haze went away and we did not suffer any obvious effects.

Unfortunately the haze is back with a vengeance this September. Initially, I felt very relaxed and nonchalant about it. As in, I still opened all the windows up to PSI of 150, though I did cut down on outdoor activities (which we usually do A LOT of). 

Then, as I started seeing more and more posts on FB of scarily high PSI and started checking other air quality websites in addition to NEA, I became more worried. This worry was followed by confusion – so many sources, which should I trust? 

The more I read (online articles, government health advisories, friends’ FB posts), the more I think that people are being too alarmist. Whenever someone posts a frighteningly high PSI, guess what, it’s usually the highest number one can find…. sometimes it’s the 3-hourly, sometimes the 24-hourly, sometimes the PSI itself, sometimes the PM2.5 index, sometimes Singapore as a whole, sometimes regional.

……………….

Finally I decide to follow NEA’s guidelines. Now I only refer to NEA’s numbers. And I use PSI of 100 and PM2.5 of 40 as cut-off. Above 100, close all windows, switch on air purifier (we only have one for my 145sqm!).

Below 100 and PM2.5 less than 40, we chiong downstairs to the playground. 

How about masks? We did not have any chance to wear masks as we only went out when the air was good, though I had some N95 at home. But after being stuck at home the whole day yesterday, with the house becoming a furnace by mid-afternoon due to lack of ventilation, I decided to bring the kids to an indoor playground this morning. Though we were only outside at the void deck for less than five minutes (waiting for our taxi), I could feel the choking effect. 

 

Where are you, taxi???

 
[Disclaimer: I think most of the discomfort I felt, such as increased heart rate and breathing difficulties, were due to anxiety as I imagined the harmful effects on my children.]

Realized that the masks did not fit well. The boys’ N95 were a bit loose. Meimei could only wear paper masks….. AHHHHHHHH……!!

Immediately after alighting at our destination, we dashed to the nearest pharmacy to buy more masks. I remembered reading about a new AIR+ Smart Mask from some blogs. Actually I didn’t read properly as I thought my kids wouldn’t really have to wear masks anyway, just stay at home the whole day. Now I know, even if it’s to go downstairs to take a cab or Daddy’s car, I also want them to be wearing mask. 

  
According to the size chart on the box, size S is too big for my boys. The website states that it is designed for users ‘as young as 7 years old’. But I bought a box to try, and it does fit both Kor Kor (almost 6, skinny face) and Didi (4+, chubby face) quite well! Yay! 

[Not a sponsored post ok]

However, even though the boys tried on the masks in an aircon place, they still felt rather uncomfortable. I think the ventilator will help greatly to ease their discomfort! But it is now out of stocks, boo hoo.

Meimei completely refuses to even try it on >.<

  
I have also been cooking white fungus soup and Chinese pear soup very often. These are desserts and the kids eat at least one serving a day. Didi and Meimei love the snow fungus! For dinner soup, I have been cooking lotus root more often, and also other cooling soups like old cucumber and watercress. Click on the links for the recipes.

Lastly, Mummies, don’t forget to take care of your complexion! Use more cleansing and purifying and antioxidant masks ok!

Stay healthy and pretty! 

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Holiday At Redang!

A couple of weeks ago, we made a trip to the Malaysian island of Redang. I suggested this place after reading this blog post.

We booked our coach tickets with Konsortium as recommended by SAys! Happy Mums, and were prepared for the ten-hour journey. Really on the dot, coach departed from Golden Mile at 9.30pm, and dropped us off at the jetty at Terengganu at 7.30am.

The problem was, the ferry transferring us to the Redang Kalong Resort would only leave at 10.30am! There was nobody else around except the souvenir stalls owners, so at first we were not even sure whether we were waiting at the right place. (There were quite a few jetties in the area serving different resorts.)

 

Only one shed for all the passengers… It was very sunny and hot

  

But got souvenir stalls selling interesting cute stuff!

  

Our jetty, which turned out to be NOT beside the shed where we waited

 
 

Refugees…..

  

Finally onboard!


 We knew that this resort was meant more for divers, so we were prepared for it to be basic and simple. We had a seaview quad room, nothing to shout about, it’s similar to the other divers’ resorts I have been to.(yes, I am an Advanced Diver! But no more chance to go diving since kids.)

[Actually, I have an issue with the resort’s claim of “5-star sleeping experience at 1-star price“….. I didn’t feel there was anything 5-star at all.)

 

Where we arrived at the resort

  

Simple beach, quite a long stretch


My favorite part about our 3-night stay here, is that as our room is so close to the beach and the resort is so small, it was very safe to let the kids leave the room and hang out downstairs on their own. (Just for a short while of course, eg when they had finished changing their clothes and I was changing. Not like we adults took a nap in the room and let the kids run loose ok :P)

Sometimes they searched for and stalked the chickens roaming around, sometimes they hung out at the hammocks and sun loungers.

 

My beach boy : )

  

The beach is right in front, but there’s a 1-meter drop


 

Hanging out with cousin in front of the seaview triple rooms

The package includes four meals a day and twice-daily snorkeling. The food was satisfactory and filling. We only went for two snorkeling trips as we preferred to take it easy especially with kids. We spent the whole day outdoors, hardly stepping into our room after stepping out for breakfast around 7.30am. (The kids changed clothes at the balcony outside the room :P)
 

Happy water babies!

 

We brought along a life vest for Meimei and snorkeling sets for the boys. But the resort’s life jacket is actually small enough for her. They also provide snorkeling sets small enough for my skinny 5-year-old and a bit meaty 4-year-old. Need not bring along our own equipment after all! 

They are so brave! Some apprehension at first, then all 3 like bobbing up and down on the sea (except when seawater got into their eyes oops)

This girl is too cool for words….. the small one heehee

Actually, Kor Kor is the only one who really snorkels lah

All in all, it is a relaxing family trip where we get to spend time with my siblings (we played majong every night!) and the cousins get to play together. My kids clocked 33 hours outdoor time over the three days! 

I like that we did not have to waste time waiting or traveling around once we reached the resort. Nothing much to do, not much choices, also means we make do with simple pleasures. But honestly, I would not choose the same place in hindsight. While the 10-hour coach ride was manageable, I couldn’t stand the 3 hours just standing around doing nothing while waiting for our ferry transfer. At least we were comfortable in the coach, with proper seats and aircon. Would I recommend this resort? Only if you manage to find a coach which arrives at the jetty closer to 10am!