Friday, April 17, 2015

Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day

I heard about B&J's FCD from a fellow mum at school. I contemplated bringing Nathan on a special one-on-one date when Noah was attending chinese class. I knew it was something he'd enjoy and yet I was thinking twice as it meant leaving the baby home with the helper for a longer time... Ever since the baby was born, I find myself rushing from place to place and trying to be home as quickly as possible so as to relieve the helper from baby care duties. At the same time, I do feel guilty about not being able to spend more time with the older boys. After much deliberation, I decided to make the detour after picking Nathan up from his enrichment class. I didn't tell him where we were going... I was thinking of abandoning the plan if I could not find a place to park or if the queue was too long. Didn't want him to be disappointed should that happen. Thankfully we found a parking space near the tents that they had set up for FCD. It was only after I had stopped the car that Nathan asked me where we were going. "They are giving out free ice-creams. We can get one if the queue isn't too long". His eyes lit up and he gave me a big smile when he heard the good news.

We made our way to the tents and as he saw the signages from a distance, he said, "over there mommy!"

With a skip and a hop in our steps, we headed for the queue... Nathan looked me in the eye and said, "thank you mommy". Those three words did it for me.  On days when motherhood is taking a toll on me, that was all I needed to hear.

Thank you B&J! It was a simple date that refueled both our love tanks. :)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Newborn Photoshoot

I love holding babies up close. I love the smell of their skin, I love having their tiny hands around my fingers, and I love looking at those tiny toes. They are only tiny for a bit. In a blink of an eye, they'd double their birth weight, and be tiny no more.

I did not engage any professional photographers for my first two babies and I wish I did. I do not have many photos to show of those early days... At that time, we were struggling with being first time parents and were just living from one milk feed to another. I hardly had the time nor the energy to take many photos. When Nicodemus was born, Orange Studios contacted me to ask if I'd like to do a photoshoot for Nic. I jumped at the opportunity. It is recommended that the photoshoot be scheduled within two weeks of baby's birth. Babies put on about 200g a week in the initial months, and hence, you can imagine how much they change in a short time, appearance wise. Nic's photoshoot was done when he was 12 days old.

Orange Studios brought all the props that were required and the photoshoot was conducted at home. For us, the shoot was conducted in the living room where there was natural light streaming in.

A behind-the-scenes shot of Ryan at work

With the shoot conducted at home, I did not need to pack and bring along a big baby bag and could feed my newborn in familiar surroundings when the need arises. Ryan, the photographer, went about setting up the backdrop and calibrating his camera to suit the lighting conditions, while I tried feeding Nic. We wanted to give him a full feed so he'd sleep thru the entire photography session, but Nic had other ideas. He just wanted to sleep. Oh well... so we went ahead with the shoot. Wini, Ryan's trusty assistant, went about swaddling Nic in earth tone wraps and Ryan started snapping. Not long into the shoot, Nic decided that he had enough sleep and wanted some milk. And so we took a milk break... then a pee break... then a poo break. And then, I tried getting him to sleep. But this time, he decided that he wanted to stay awake. Oh well... the shoot wasn't proceeding as I had liked it to. But Ryan and Wini were extremely patient. They waited while I fed him and cleaned him up. The entire shoot took slightly over two hours including break time. The Orange Studios team took the cue from the baby and the session didn't feel rushed at all.

Another behind-the-scenes shot taken in my garden

These are some of my favourite shots from the session...

And when the little prince decided that he had enough of lying down, and wanted to be cuddled, we did some mommy and baby shots...

The Orange Studios team managed to capture a good number of shots despite a less than cooperative baby, and this collection of photos will serve as precious and timeless memories for us.

Are you planning a newborn shoot? Here are some noteworthy points:

1) When is the best time to do a newborn shoot?
The best time for a Newborn photoshoot session is when your baby is under 2 weeks old, to capture those very precious moments when he/she still has the "newborn look". After 2 weeks, they look  very different!

2) What are Orange Studio's charges like? Any additional charges for sessions conducted at customer's house?
We are currently offering an SG50 promotion in which you will get to enjoy a free Maternity photography package (worth $300) when you book a Newborn session with us. You will enjoy a total savings of $550.

For just $350 (U.P. $600), you will enjoy the following:
- pre-photoshoot preparatory/consultation call
- 3-4 hours Newborn studio photoshoot session (outfits, props and backdrop provided)
- one 8R professional print
- four 5R professional prints
- free delivery of professional prints
- $100 credits for use on our products

Above promotion is for SG50 babies (born before or on 31 Dec 2015). Terms and conditions apply.

For Newborn home sessions, there is a surcharge of $150, as Orange Studios will be transporting all their props along, including a large bean bag for your baby to rest on during the photoshoot session.

3) Anything for parents to note; any preparations required?
Orange Studios provide outfits and props for newborns, hence parents do not have to prepare any special outfits for their babies. We would love for the parents to have a relaxing and comfortable experience, hence they do not need to prepare anything special. They just have to take note of a few things: - ensure they bring enough milk if their baby is bottle-fed, to last through the long session - bring along magazines, books or snacks for themselves while waiting during the session - come dressed in layers as the studio will be very warm (comfortable temperature for newborns), so that they can remove the outer layer(s) if they feel warm in the studio. Other than that, just come and enjoy the session with their family!

Orange Studios is offering one free Newborn photography session worth $200 to one lucky reader of The View from Mama's Desk. It consists of a 3-4 hours studio photoshoot session for an SG50 baby. Baby must be less than 2 weeks old at the time of the photoshoot.

To take part in the giveaway, readers would have to: 
b) leave a comment telling us why you want to win this prize
c) leave your email address so we can contact you if you win
Submit your entries using the Rafflecoptor below!

Giveaway closes 26 April 2015.

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