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Princess Golden Bottoms approves

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Girls are so awesome to have but as it turns out, both my girls have very delicate bottoms. I’ve had to deal with severe diaper rash twice (once for Kirsten and once for Hayley) and neither of those times were any fun at all.

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She’s all smiley now but Princess Golden Bottoms here just recovered from a massive nappy rash episode a month ago and it was brutal. Her entire nappy area got all red and inflamed and covered with angry bumps, which made her super screamy all day. :(

The doctor prescribed her some steroid cream and we had to air her bum so for several days, I was walking around with a bare-bottomed baby, getting peed and pooped on multiple times a day. That’s ok though, I’ll take being pooped on if it helps my baby feel better, no question about it. But you know what’s a better solution? Not having to deal with nappy rash at all. Prevention being better than cure and all that.

Since then, I’ve been paranoid about keeping her bottom clean and dry, so I guess you can say that I know a thing or two about getting the right diapers.

Let’s talk about all the things you need to look out for in a tape diaper.

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1. Breathable. 

You want your baby’s skin to be able to breathe because fresh air is good for delicate baby bottoms. What you don’t want is a stuffy, moist diaper that traps all the bacteria and yeast because that is the perfect recipe for a massive onset of diaper rash.

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The new Merries tape diapers have a new triple layer air-through system which increases breathability for longer lasting dryness.

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  • 1st layer: Light airy mesh material that is gentle on the skin. The mesh reduces the skin contact area by half, expelling moisture and stuffiness through the gaps between the diaper and skin.
  • 2nd layer: Breathable air-through absorbent layer. Moisture passes through this absorbent layer in the process of absorbing pee.
  • 3rd layer: All round breathable sheet. The entire sheet is breathable, drawing away the moisture from pee and sweat.

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Compared to the previous version, the new improvement increases breathability by 40%, providing long-lasting dryness for the baby. This means that I don’t have to worry about missing a diaper change when we’re out and about or when she’s sleeping through the night. In fact, 97% of mothers in Japan find the triple-layer air-through design means a drier bottom for their babies. (Kao survey, September 2015)

Truett helped me with a small experiment to find out exactly how breathable the new Merries diapers are.

First, we poured a cup of hot water onto the diaper.

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Then we flipped it over and put a clear glass over the back. Just look at the condensation inside the glass.

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All the heat and moisture was drawn out instantly instead of getting trapped inside the diaper.

2. Absorbent

A good diaper instantly draws in the pee and poo, locking it away instead of letting it all accumulate on the surface of the diaper. The key is maintaining as little pee/poo to skin contact as possible at all times.

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With Merries tape diapers, the wavy and recessed surface of the soft sheet traps and holds poo, preventing it from dispersing, while the super absorbent sheet instantly draws in and locks away pee and soft poo, leaving the diaper surface drier, thereby preventing diaper rash.

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3. Soft

When it comes to anything that’s in contact with my baby’s skin 24 hours a day, softer = better.

These new diapers are incredibly soft, plus its inner wavy surface reduces the skin contact area so that it does not stick to baby’s skin, making it gentle to her delicate skin.

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Princess Golden Bottoms approves of the soft, soft diaper on her bum.

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4. Convenience

With the colour-changing wetness indicators, you will know it’s time to change the diaper once the strips change color from yellow to dark blue.

See these yellow strips? No need for a diaper change just yet.

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Okay, time to change that diaper!

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***

Hayley has been on the new Merries Tape diapers for the past week and it’s true – they are incredibly soft and dry and breathable. After a whole night without a diaper change, her bum still feels dry and clean. This is the face of a baby who just woke up to a comfy bottom. Bliss.

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Merries is like the gold standard of diapers, and I’m not surprised that it’s the No 1 baby diaper brand in Japan for 9 years running.

The new Merries tape diapers also come in a brand new super cute packaging that looks like this.

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If you’d like to try out these awesome new diapers, you can request a free sample here.

Also go check out the website and Facebook page for more diapering tips and information.

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POSB Passion Run for Kids 2016

Before we had so many kids, the husband and I used to spend a lot of time on outdoorsy fitness type activities. We’d go blading at East Coast, play basketball at the court near my house, cycle at Pasir Ris, run a bit.

You guys want a bit of dating trivia?

One of the first dates I ever had with the husband was out on a run around NTU. It wasn’t even officially a date kind of date – we were just friends back then, and I knew him to be an exercise buff so I asked him out for a run one evening on campus. (*The husband now insists I was the one who made the first move on him but that’s nonsense.) In any case, I might have overestimated my fitness level because 5 minutes into the run, I thought I was going to pass out from shortness of breath, but it would have been too embarrassing to give up and turn back so I spent the next 25 minutes pretending I wasn’t actually dying from the run. I was unusually quiet though because I couldn’t afford waste oxygen on frivolous things like talking.

Seeing that it’s how our love blossomed (ugh!), we knew it’d be fun to spend time on family fitness activities with the kids.

Except that all the baby making these few years have been more exhausting than we expected so we haven’t been spending as much time exercising with the kids. They do hang out outdoors running/cycling/scooting for 1-2 hours each day while I bring the babies for a walk.

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We’ve also done a few family runs over the years, starting as early as 2012 when Kirsten was still a squishy little toddler. Look at those cheeks!! I miss those cheeks so much.

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Just a few months ago, the husband did a 5km run with Truett and Kirsten, the longest one the kids have ever attempted. Truett loved it. He ran and ran and ran and when he was tired from all that running, his mental strength kicked in and he was able to dig deep to find that extra something to finish the race.

Kirsten, who clearly got her non-running genes from me, was super excited for like the first 50 metres. Thereafter, she spent the rest of the race looking most miserable and making statements like “I can’t believe we’re not even halfway there!!“, “I can’t feel my legs…“, “I’m dying of thirst here” and “I’m never doing this again!” The husband says it was exactly like as if he was running with me.

***

In about two months, on 4 September 2016, we’ll be doing our next family run – the POSB Passion Run for Kids 2016 at the Marina Promontory. We’re really looking forward to it. Even Kirsten has agreed to participate, hearing that it’s only 800m. “Only 800m?? SO EASY!!” she said.

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The big kids have already started practicing for the run. Truett is training the other two, making them do warm ups and practice runs around our estate.

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Besides the actual race, there will be plenty of free activities that the kids are super excited about! Here are some that we are really looking forward to:

  • First ever Kids Yoga by the Bay

Kids doing yoga is so cute. I told them they will be able to practise yoga against the backdrop of Marina Bay and Truett was all “What’s yoga?” To which Kirsten said, “I know! You need to stand on one leg like this” and proceeded to demonstrate exactly how one does yoga. I don’t even know how she knows this.

  • Ready, Steady, Go! Kids Obstacle Course

This is the one they’re most excited about. They tried a treetop obstacle couuse when we were in Melbourne last year and it’s still one of the funnest activities they’ve done.

  • Large-sized family carnival with performances and contests for some family bonding time.

One word: CARNIVAL!!!

  • Photo taking with Smiley the mascot.

Finn and Theo are at the adorable mascot fascination phase, so they’ll be happy to hug a friendly giant squirrel.

  • Family panel hosted by Diana Ser.

This will be a great opportunity for parents to exchange health & wellness tips.

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Besides being able to spend quality family time exercising together, participants will also get a race pack worth over $100.

In addition, all proceeds from the run will go towards the POSB Passion Kids Fund, which will be used to support children in the community through different programmes in Singapore. This is a good opportunity to share with the kids about how we can do our part for the less privileged and get them involved in giving back to the community whenever we can.

This will be a great activity to bond with your kids while keeping fit together this September school holidays – run for a good cause, run for kids!

**Quick, go sign up for the run by 31 July here!

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Pumping made easier with PIGEON

Exhausting as it is to have a newborn, I’ve really been enjoying nursing baby Hayley. This sweet baby has been latching on like a champ from the moment she was born and breastfeeding her has been such a dream.

The only time she was on the bottle was during the 2 days she spent back at the hospital for her phototherapy treatment, during which I was pumping every 3 hours to keep up my milk supply. Can I just say that I’m really not a fan of expressing milk. It makes me feel like a cow so there’s that, but more importantly, the let down triggers my post natal depression and without my baby to cuddle while I’m breastfeeding, it’s easy to spiral quickly.

But then moms do what moms need to do and there will be times where expressing milk is the only way I get to feed my baby, so my point is that even if one plans to nurse exclusively, a good breast pump is an important friend to have.

***

So let’s talk about breast pumps.

Before I gave birth, the folks from Pigeon were so sweet to send over a whole bunch of baby essentials for Hayley, including their newest Pigeon Breast Pump Pro. It’s a very compact electric breast pump packed with features like 2 Phase Technology and customisable suctions levels + speeds.

I love that it’s small enough to bring around easily without any fuss. These are all the parts I need when I’m expressing on the go.

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It’s also very quiet, much quieter than the previous breast pumps I’ve tried, without compromising on the suction levels. But I think my favourite feature is the LED monitor with backlight and a timer to let me know how long I’ve been expressing, which is great for those middle of the night pump sessions.

The only drawback is that this only comes in a single pump version, which means I can only do one boob at a time. Still, this makes for a solid back up plan for the occasional times I have to pump when I’m not able to nurse the baby.

***

I also really like the Newborn Pure skincare range, which is specially formulated to provides a double layer of protection for sensitive newborn skin. It feels light and gentle on the skin while keeping the baby moisturised and protected.

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Maybe it’s me, but girls are like extra delicate and I find myself babying Hayley more my rough and tumble boys.

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Also, is this baby 80% Finn or what?? And like 20% Kirsten. :)

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MOMents with Pursoft

I’ve probably said this before but being a mom of many small kids often feels like I’m moving from one state of crisis to another, sprinkled with brief moments of respite in between where nobody is ill or sniffling or germy.

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All my life, I’ve been mostly ok with a moderate amount of germs but those days are over because motherhood has turned me into a total germaphobe.

Why? With all these kids running around, I’m basically just a palmful of bacteria away from a full on catastrophe.

Any number of ailments could befall any of them at any given time, and it will immediately spread like wildfire to the rest of the kids. Almost every kind of virus is likely to become an epidemic around here. HFMD, stomach flu, regular flu, scarlet fever, any other kind of fever…the terrifying list goes on.

Having been through enough sick baby moments, I feel like I need to share some tips that might come in useful for when disaster strikes.

1. Double sheet the bed.

The one thing worse than having a sick baby throw up in the middle of the night is having the baby throw up on your bed in the middle of the night. The number of times I’ve tried to catch baby vomit with my bare hands in the middle of the night in the hope that it won’t land on my bad is TOO MANY, and the number of times I’ve been successful is ZERO.

The solution to this is to add another layer of waterproof mattress protector and bedsheets over the original layer when the kids are ill. This way, when the baby throws up (which he will!), all you need to do is peel off the pukey layer and go right back to bed.

2. Lollipop meds.

The 3 big kids are pretty good with taking their meds but baby Theo does not like the taste of medicine in his mouth. No matter how I try to trick him into eating it, this baby will not stand for it.

The only thing that’s worked so far is this genius lollipop trick – dip his favourite lolly into the meds and let him suck it. When he’s done with all the meds, he gets to finish the lollipop. It’s tedious, but it works!

3. Use good tissue for delicate drippy noses.

Drippy noses make for sad babies, but getting a nose abrasion from using poor quality tissue makes for sadder babies, and that’s just unnecessary.

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We’ve been using Pursoft’s premium facial tissue and it’s perfect for the kids’ delicate skin. It’s made of 3-ply 100% virgin pulp, which makes it the right kind of smooth and soft and absorbent for those drippy baby noses.

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They also have a travel pack that makes everything much more convenient because it’s so compact. There’s always one in my diaper bag and I make sure my kids carry a pack around so that they will always have tissues within reach at all times.

 

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Pursoft tissue is also stronger, resulting in less tears, which also means that we end up using less tissue each time, so we’re saving money and the environment. In addition, they’re also free from Optical Brightening Agents that make the tissue look artificially whiter, so I don’t have to worry about triggering allergies.

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4. As well as good toilet tissue for upset tummies. 

Yes, it’s true, I’m a bit of a toilet tissue snob. One can save on lots of stuff like shopping and travel and even food, but bathroom tissue is not one of them – you need to get the best that money can buy because baby buttock abrasion is just NO.

One time, I bought a toilet tissue that felt like sandpaper and the kids were like “Why are you doing this to us, mom???!!

Well, never again.

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If you want really good toilet tissue, Pursoft’s 4-ply bathroom tissue is the best thing ever, especially for those really bad cases of tummy aches. The 4 ply bathroom tissues are soft and luxurious, yet strong enough so you use less sheets each time. There’s also a green tea scented core version that smells divine without aggravating sensitive skin.

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Like the facial tissue variant, it’s made of virgin pulp and free from Optical Brightening Agents. It is also Forest Stewardship Council TM (FSC TM) certified. This is important because no illegal woods have been used and they’re not one of those irresponsible haze-causing corporations that obtain pulp by resorting to slash and burn methods. It’s nice to know that Pursoft is both safe for our skin and the environment.

5. Load up on the cuddles.

Having sick babies is tough on everyone, especially moms. All that extra cleaning and having to put up with grouchy babies can take its toll and I’ve discovered that the best way to get past an epidemic is to buckle down and load up on the cuddles. It’s ok if the laundry piles up for a couple of days or the kids don’t get a 5-course meal for dinner.

Some days, I’ll just phone it in and spend the day cuddling with my sick babies in bed because at least this way, they’ll feel better and so will I. Regular programming can wait till everyone’s healthy again.

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***

If you’d like to get a complimentary Pursoft Travel Pack sample, just fill in your details on the website here. (while stocks last.)

Pursoft is also having an introductory offer price, plus an additional $2 off $10 Pursoft purchase at Fairprice online. Ends on 31 July 2016!

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Making Memories with Merries

Look who’s ready for pants diapers! Yeah, this guy.

Theo diaper pants

You know you have a big boy on your hands the day he starts transitioning to pants diapers. One day they’re helpless little infants and then they’re off running to explore the world and next thing you know, they’re putting on their own little pants diapers without any help because “I can do it myself, mom!

Looking for the right pants diaper isn’t just like grabbing a pack from the shelf at the store because a lousy diaper will result in an irritable, grumpy baby and trust me, nobody wants that. What you want is the optimum combination of softness, absorbency and comfort.

With these 4 kids, I think I’ve tried every diaper brand available in Singapore and I’m here to save you the trouble of having to go through the whole research process.

One of the best pants diapers you’ll find is Merries Walker Pants.

Merries Walker Pants

The No. 1 diaper brand in Japan, Merries diapers is developed with Japan advanced technology to provide comfort and assurance for your little one. The diapers are so ridiculously soft and fluffy, it makes diaper wearing a dream. You’ll have to touch it yourself to understand how plush this diaper is.

It’s also excellent both in comfort and absorbency, which means less frequent changes and zero leaks.

For baby Theo, it’s basically like wearing a very fluffy, absorbent cloud on his bottom while he goes on his epic adventures. And who doesn’t want that, amirite??

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Here’s why your baby will be very happy wearing them:

1. Exceptional Breathability

Merries Walker Pants is designed to allow air to flow freely between the diaper and the skin, so every part of the diaper releases heat and moisture from pee and perspiration. The airy channels around the waist also allow heat and moisture to escape from the top as well, so your baby can enjoy maximum dryness and comfort 24 hours a day.

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Why is this important? Baby Theo is all action, all the time, which means that he perspires a lot everywhere. Coupled with the frequent peeing, there’s a lot of moisture pooling around his little bottom, increasing the risk of skin irritation and diaper rash. An absorbent and breathable diaper reduces the moisture and heat trapped in the diaper, making it nice and comfy all day.

2. Comfortable waist fit

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Softness and comfort is a big deal because this baby has to be in diapers all day and any sort of irritation around his body drives him absolutely nuts. If he’s wearing a diaper that irritates his skin, he’ll be yanking at it and yelling “DON’T LIKE!!!”

Merries Walker Pants have soft gathers around the waist that fit snugly and hold the diaper in place so it does not slip, allowing freedom of movement no matter how active your baby is, without causing any red marks or abrasions. In addition, the fine fibres of the new, fluffy, silky smooth sheet prevents the diaper surface from rubbing against your baby’s skin. It’s no wonder that Merries has been awarded a “Good Design Award” for its amazingly comfortable fit.

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3. Softer side seal that is easier to tear

With the new product improvement, the side seal is smaller and softer, providing more comfort for the active toddler to move about and making it easier to tear upon disposal.

This may seem like a small change, but a very helpful one. Struggling to tear the side seal of a poopy diaper is not recommended unless you want to get the poop smeared over as huge a surface area as possible. A diaper that’s quick and easy to remove once it’s soiled is a lifesaver.

With Merries Walker Pants, all you need are these 2 steps to deal with a poopy diaper:

//Tear open both sides and remove.

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//Roll pants diapers up and seal firmly with the tape at the back and then throw away.

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4. Colour changing wetness indicators

It’s pretty cool not to have to do the diaper squeeze test to check if it’s full. Now, when the strips change from yellow to dark green, it is time for a change.

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5. New XXL range

Is this good news or what? Merries Walker Pants now runs from size M to the new addition, XXL. The XXL size can fit children from 15 kg up to 28 kg, which is the only brand that caters to the heaviest weight range. This is great for my chubby baby, who won’t have to deal with tight diapers squashing his jellyroll thighs no more.

Merries Weight Range

Did you know that you can request for free Merries samples to be delivered straight to your home? Yes, you can! And is easy, just fill in the form here.

*Request for samples is available for Singapore residents only.

For more information and to stay updated on Merries promotions, check out the website and Facebook page here.

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Clean is always better

One time, I was picking Kirsten up from school and as usual, I asked about her day so we were talking about this new snack she discovered at the canteen and as we walked past a trash bin, suddenly she was all, “Oh wait up, I need to throw this away!

I thought it was her leftover snack or something but she started pulling out wads of crumpled trash remnants from her pocket. Like some torn paper and a plastic bag and a bunch of used tissues??!! I had no idea she could fit so much stuff into her tiny pinafore pocket. I was mildly appalled, like “Sweetie, why do you have all this trash in your pocket? Are you developing hoarding tendencies?? Is there something I should know about??

No lah! My teacher says if we see rubbish lying around on the floor in school, we should pick it up and throw it away. But I couldn’t find a rubbish bin so I put them into my pocket first.

I’ve taught the kids about not littering, but this was something else. My 7-year-old was one-upping me on graciousness and civic mindedness because in all my life, I’ve never picked up someone else’s trash from the floor and stuffed it into my pocket for later disposal.

Woah, well done! Although maybe you might want to find a rubbish bin immediately instead of putting it in your pocket because you don’t know what kind of germs are on the stuff you pick up. And then wash your hands ok!” I told her.

She beamed and then spent the ride home telling me about the importance of keeping Singapore clean so that we can live in a beautiful home.

//

This happened several weeks ago and when I heard about the Keep Singapore Clean Movement, I immediately thought of Kirsten. She would be the perfect person to teach the boys about doing our part to keep Singapore clean so I appointed her our family’s cleanliness ambassador. Her job was to teach the boys about how we can keep our home and neighbourhood free from litter.

Rule #1: Placing litter on top of the bin or next to the bin = littering.

This usually happens when the bins are full, but placing litter on top of or next to a full bin is considered littering. Instead, we should look for an empty bin nearby to bin our litter.

So the rule is that if it’s not inside the bin, it doesn’t count.

This is Kirsten teaching the boys the art of proper binning.

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Rule #2: Not picking up litter that we “accidentally” drop = littering. 

Yes, it’s an accident and yes, it’s extra effort to squat down and pick it back up to bin it properly but if it fell out from your pocket/person, pick it up.

“What if we don’t know that we dropped it?” Truett asked.

“I know! If other people see it, they can tell you so you can pick it up,” Kirsten volunteered.

“That’s a good point. If you see someone else drop something, you should definitely tell them about it.”

Rule #3: Leaving your unwanted items at the lift landing = littering. 

If the unwanted items are too big to fit into a trash bin, there is a proper method of disposal, which I discovered when we were shifting out of our HDB flat last year. You can call up the Town Council for your estate and arrange for someone to come dispose of the furniture/appliances from your home, so instead of lugging it down to the lift landing and leaving it there, someone will come pick it up from your place and dispose of it properly.

//

I realised that kids are really great at doing their part when they feel like they are contributing to something important and also, learning how to be gracious and responsible while they’re young helps them to develop good habits that will last a lifetime.

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They’ve started making a game out of binning trash properly, so much so that they are constantly asking me if I have anything to throw away. And this baby Theo doesn’t even ask. He’s just picking up random stuff from around the house and chucking them into the bin so these days, we have to dig through the trash for treasures before disposing of it. Once, I found $2.40 in coins, plus a remote control in the bin. While it’s still adorable, he’ll have to start learning to tell the difference between trash and non-trash items. :)

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Meet the Mozz Squad

So here’s a secret: getting rid of dengue is best done as a team. Sure, it’s possible to do it alone, but then where’s the fun in that? Besides, having back up is always better than not having back up – they can help to double check all the areas in case we miss a spot.

With that, I’d like to introduce you to the members of this small but effective dengue fighting team. We call them the Mozz Squad.

Alpha One

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Also known as Mission Commander. Leads the team on regular search and destroy operations. First in, last out, does not leave until the mission is completed.

Honey Badger

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Dedicated, tenacious, overall badass. The team’s secret weapon.

Maverick

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Assists on missions but occasionally gets distracted by birds and small furry animals.

***

Now that you’ve met the squad, here’s a sneak peek into one of our Mozzie Wipeout Missions.

1. Make sure all water containers are turned over when not in use.

It only requires a small pool of stagnant water for mosquitoes to breed, so we need to conduct regular inspections of the house to ensure that there is no stagnant water anywhere.

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I don’t know why we still have these jerry cans but the rain does sometimes splash onto the top of the cans. The mozz squad checks to see the containers are dry at all times.

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We also make sure that all water storage containers are turned over to prevent water from entering or stagnating within when it rains.

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Maverick says it’s A-ok!

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2. Check scupper drains along the corridor to ensure that the flow of water is not obstructed.

A clogged drain can cause stagnant water to accumulate, which forms ideal habitats for mosquitoes to make lots of babies.

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Drain could do with a bit of cleaning (ahem), but otherwise, all clear.

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3. Check flower pot plates for stagnant water.

Flower pot plates are one of the most common breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and the water from the plates have to be removed every other day. We also loosen the hardened soil so that stagnant water does not accumulate.

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We make it a point to get the kids involved in mozzie extermination missions and they take it very seriously (so cute!). They know that we all have a part to play in keeping our home safe from dengue, plus they help to remind us to do the 5-Step Mozzie Wipeout regularly. Win-win.

Alright, mission complete. Mozz Squad over and out.

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