Tuesday, March 31, 2009

How to cope with sleeping problems?

Since I was a teenager I always have problems sleeping. I can fall asleep easily but I always end up with dreams. I dreamt every single night even till now. Sometimes the dreams are pleasant, sometimes weird, sometimes short and sometimes it's a story that continued for nights and often I can't remember them when I woke up.

Friends recommended changing beds, changing the positioning of the bed, changing rooms, drinking warm milk etc which I tried and they only work for a couple of days and then it is back to square one. Most of the time I will wake up feeling very tired. Occasionally I will wake up feeling fresh and rested but it is rare.

The combination of not getting enough sleep on most nights + work + looking after an active baby is taking its toll on my body and my health. I lost weight, looking frail and lethargic and falling sick quite frequently too. Luckily Hayley slept through the night since she was a couple of months old and did not wake up in the middle of the night asking for milk else I'll be dead by now.

I am just wondering if anyone out there knows of any other traditional or home remedies to treat sleeping problems like mine??? I have been to the GP once and they prescribed me with sleeping pills which I don't think is a long term solution.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


I am so embarassed. I got the date MIXED UP! Earth Hour is actually today and not yesterday and I only realised it after receiving a reminder SMS from a dear friend. So sorry neighbours, I blamed you wrongly :-). Anyway, happy to be able to participate yet again in 15 mins :-)

You know what, after becoming a mom, I find myself forgetful, clumsy and careless. I often forget things such as birthdates of some close friends. I even forget stuff which relates to my work and had to write it down most of the time to remind myself. I was never like that. A close friend sent me an sms and said 'hey today was my birthday and this was the first year that I didnt get a birthday card from you'. I felt so bad.. but I am sure she will understand that my life have changed, 360 degrees. I can't even have toilet time in peace now.. lol

I am also more clumsy now. I fell down twice and ended up with bruises, scars and body aches. Luckily there were no major injuries. I also bumped into door knobs, edges of tables etc very frequently.

Some mothers insists that we will become forgetful after having a baby because of some changes in our body and hormones etc. It seems that the more kids we have, the worst it will become. To me, I believe it was because we are tired and exhausted, that is why we can't concentrate properly. Imagine having to go to work for 9 hours a day + 3 hours in traffic + attend to an active toddler + housework + blogging. Who would still be in the right state of mind after all that? haha

By the way, my husband thought Earth Hour was yesterday too ~ lol ~

Friday, March 27, 2009

Did you do your bit for Earth Hour?

I am proud to say that we did! Although we didn't really switch off all the lights in the house, we did switch off 5 out of the usual 7 for the entire hour :-). With a toddler at home, it is impossible to be in total darkness. We didn't even switch on the TV!

We are glad that we did our bit and hopefully it will make mother earth smile :-). Whether this is a gimmick or not (as reported by some people), it doesn't really matter to us. Even if it really didn't do any good to mother earth, our electricity bill for this month will surely benefit from it :-)

Unfortunately our neighbours didn't feel the same way.

Baby dies, drunk parents forgot to feed him

This was the headline in The Star newspaper today which caught my attention.

What is wrong with these people? I felt like buying a plane ticket right now and fly to Miri to give them both BIG slaps. I am so sad for the poor little boy. May he rest in peace. At least he is now in a safe place and will not get harmed further by these 2 irresponsible people.

MIRI: A baby boy, less than a month old, starved to death after his parents allegedly forgot to feed him because they were too drunk.

The baby died in the intensive-care unit of Miri Hospital yesterday morning and a police report has been lodged.

Police now want to question the parents, in their early 30s from a longhouse in southern Sarawak, who came to Miri to work and were renting a house at a low-cost housing scheme near the Sarawak-Brunei High­way, some 12km north of the city centre.

Relatives found the baby unconscious in the house and rushed him to the hospital at about 3am on Wednesday.

Miri deputy OCPD Supt Ismail Paduka Idris confirmed that the baby died in the morning.
“We are investigating claims that the parents had indulged in a prolonged drinking spree and had neglected the baby.

“Initial investigations show that the baby might have been so severely neglected that he suffered fatal consequences.

“We want to find out whether this was due to carelessness,” Supt Ismail said.

The couple also have a three-year-old daughter.

Since the baby is less than a month old, I am sure the mother is still breast feeding. Why is she consuming alcohol in the first place?

Some women out there who wanted to become mothers could not conceive despite trying everything (I knew a couple of them). They were devastated and heart broken. And here we have 2 irresponsible people who were blessed with 2 healthy and beautiful babies and they didn't appreciate them.

The police should just lock them both up in jail for life but make sure the 3 year old little girl is properly cared for by good people.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Would you recommend a maid?

I received an email from a friend attached with 2 movie clips. The title of the email said 'beware if you have a maid at home, install CCTV'. I knew then what to expect from the movies. As I have a very weak heart, I was hesitant to watch the movies. I do not want to end up crying in the office. In the end, I watched it.

The 1st movie was taken in Singapore (it was labelled) and the maid was attending to a baby (probably 6 - 8 months of age). The baby was crying and the maid 'slammed' the baby onto the sofa and changing bed several times. The maid then handled the baby very roughly and lifted the baby up merely holding its tiny feet. I was disturbed. I held back tears.

Then I went on to watch the 2nd movie. This was less horrific as it involved a toddler. The little one would probably be about 1.5 - 2 years old. The maid threw him onto the sofa and repeatedly slap the face and head. The boy screamed for help but help never came.

I managed to hold back tears but couldn't help but wonder why would there be such 'ANIMALS' out there. These are young innocent babies and children. Even if they are not yours, you should not treat them like that. I just couldn't understand it. Ever since I became a mom, I am very emotional and get overly upset when I see or hear stories about babies or kids being ill treated. I told some of my friends not to send them to me. I do not wish to see it! Once I've seen or heard it, they disturbed me for days and sometimes weeks. I wish I am home now hugging and kissing my baby [sigh]

My hubby and I have been thinking if we should get a maid. As we are planning to have a 2nd child (not sure when), I desperately need a maid at home. I need someone to help with the cleaning and washing and also to look after the kids when I am at work. Hubby works from home but he too needs to be out for several hours (2 - 3) a day and those 2 - 3 hours of leaving the kids with the maid alone worries me. And we can't afford to send the kids to a babysitter and yet keep a maid at the same time. That would be too costly. But if we don't have a maid, how am I going to juggle 2 kids and housework and cleaning at the same time? I'm no superwoman :-(

My sis got a maid when she was pregnant with Caitlyn. So the maid has now worked for her for a year. My sis was lucky as her maid is fantastic. Caitlyn is very attached to her. If your kid is attached to the maid, you can probably rest assured that the maid treats her well :-). I don't think my sis can survive without a maid - imagine looking after 2 kids, washing and ironing for 4, cooking and cleaning a double storey terrace house with a dog! If I am going to have 2 kids, I would be in the same shoes MINUS the cooking and the dog :-).

So until we make up our mind if we want a maid, baby no 2 won't be coming so soon. Some friends suggested that I install CCTV at home. CCTV is just a one time cost, it means nothing. I ask them what if I saw the maid torturing the baby? It already happened and the damage is done. Although I caught her red handed, I cannot rewind and undo the damage she did to the baby. I am responsible for my baby and I cannot let things like this happen. Maybe I think too far and too much and too soon, but we all need to plan ahead right? :-)

And and... with my bad temper, I hope I won't end up hurting the maid (if she tortured my baby) and going to jail myself. No joke man...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hayley the sponge

I totally agree with Life As Mummy that toddlers at this age absorbs like a sponge and we as parents needs to be careful with what we say in front of them or what we do. A few proven scenarios which happened to Hayley:

1. She was watching a VCD on nursery rhymes and the song 'If You're Happy' came on. This version covers clapping your hands, stamping your feet, nodding your head and pulling your ears. Hayley can do clapping, stamping and pulling but she doesnt quite get nodding yet. After watching the VCD twice, she picked up nodding on her own and proudly did the nodding when the part came when she watched it for the 3rd time :-)

2. She woke up in her cot and I went near her and asked her to come forward and I said 'let's go'. She copied me and said 'akk.. go...' a couple of times. Isn't that cute....:-)

3. When I gave her banana, I asked her to tell me what it is and she said 'na na' after I've said it to her twice :-)

4. She also likes the song 'Row row row your boat' and once I played with her holding both our hands and swaying our body back and forth like rowing. Then when she heard the song, she grabbed my hands and sway her body back and forth :-)

Chicken Pox jab at 13 months

Hayley had her MMR jab at 12 months and her Chicken Pox jab on Saturday supposedly at 13 months. The Chicken Pox jab cost us RM123 without any medication. She didn't get any fever too which is great.

As predicted Hayley cried when weighed (she just doesn't like to lie down in the clinic knowing that it means she would get jabbed). She cried again when the nurses tried to measure her height as again she would need to lie down. As this was done at the reception, all the other waiting mothers and fathers and babies and kids are staring at us!

Needless to say she cried again when we went into the paed's room. She can recognise the paed, amazing huh. And of course she cried when jabbed and made quite a big fuss too. But 5 mins later she is all calmed and back to being herself. And of course some biscuits would also do the trick.

Glad that I don't have to worry about anymore jabs until she turned 15 months. 2 months of break is much welcomed!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Something she did which amazes me

Another quick one before I hit the sack and before I forget :-)

I was playing with Hayley last weekend. She clung on to my back and took a bite on my shoulder. It wasn't painful cause she was just teasing me with a soft bite but my shirt got wet, obviously from her saliva.

Then my little girl crawled to the bed (where her hanky was) and took the hanky with her and crawled back to me. She climbed onto my back again and used the hanky to wipe the saliva away :-)

Isn't that sweet or what? I wondered if someone taught her or if she picked it up on her own. I would think its the latter cause kids nowadays absorb like a sponge.

My baby walked

This is just a quick and short post to document that my baby finally walked, hurray!

She started walking a couple of weeks back but they were not frequent and she fumbled. She would only attempt a couple of baby steps in a day so I don't consider them as an achievement yet.

Today she finally took many steady steps, walked a couple of times and covered quite a distance each time all by herself, with no assistance whatsoever. I consider today as the first day, at 13 months 3 days old that my baby finally walked :-)

This mummy is very proud.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Car seat

We bought a new car seat for Hayley now that she's 1. It was tough to find the right car seat as there were so many out there. So many brands, so many models, so many mixed reviews... boy they were confusing and not really helping.

Anyway, in the end we found this. It cost us RM680 after discount. The reason why we picked this is because it is suitable for toddlers from 9 - 25kg (the usual ones are up to 18kg only), it is simple to use, easy to clean and most importantly Hayley is comfortable in it. Before buying the seat, we put her in it and she's happily sitting in there for almost 15 mins while I browse around the shop for other things. The brand of the car seat is Baby Shield (yes I have not heard of it too) and the one we chose is blue and orange in colour. We bought it from http://www.babyjaya.com/.

As we take turns to send Hayley to the babysitter and to bring her back, it is much easier now that we have 2 car seats, this one and the other which is an infant carrier which she can still fit in for a couple of months (we hope). In the past I have to carry her in one hand and carry the infant carrier in the other to the babysitter's place each morning so that the papa can bring her back in the evening alone if I am late from work.

When she can no longer fit in the infant carrier, we might just buy another cheap car seat from Carrefour or Tesco which we will only use for such short trips. We'll worry about it when the time comes :-)

Back from Singapore

I came home on Friday night and found my girl in 1 piece :-). The papa did a good job in looking after her while I was away for 2 days.

When I walked into the room (the girl isn't asleep yet) she greeted me with a big smile and kept calling me. I really missed her :-). I hate having to go away for work but I really love the look on her face when she sees me upon my return. They were priceless.

On a separate note, I mentioned in one of my previous emails that Hayley is not into drinking water from the bottle, I was wrong. It was entirely my fault. I used Avent bottles for both her milk and her water and I used the same size teats for both the bottles. I bought the 6M+ teats and cut it a little so it would be easier for her to suck. I didn't realise that I had to use a different teat for the water to reduce the flow which is actually choking her (STUPID ME). The other reason why I am cutting the teats the same is because I have 4 bottles for Hayley, 2 for milk and 2 for water. A set is for the babysitter and the remaining set is for home. I made the teat the same for the convenience of the baby sitter and myself.

Anyway, after realising my mistake, I bought her a new 6M+ teat (came with 4 small holes) and didn't cut it and used it directly on her water bottle. Now she enjoys drinking and so far we've got no constipation problems :-).

On the teats, they are really hard to find, often 'out of stock' and are not cheap. A set of teats costs RM19.90. Occasionally you can get 10% discount from Jusco but Jusco is the last place I would go for the teats as they often would not replenish their stock.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The big 13

Hayley turning 13 month old in 5 days. Every month or week you will notice changes. For some unknown reason she's turning into a whiner. Next Sat my whiner will be getting her chicken pox jab. I hope Dr Wong is not working on that day.. haha.

Last week my little one developed viral fever. She has fever for 3 days (comes and goes) and the temperature ranges from 37.5 - 38.8. Even with a fever she still plays and eat like normal so we weren't that concerned. But on the 3rd day I noticed some spots (pink rashes like spots) on her body, arms and legs. Just a couple of spots here and there and my kiasuism kicked in. What if she's got dengue, what if she's got measles, what if she's got chicken pox. We brought her to the doctor on the 3rd night. That time she didn't have any fever. Thankfully doctor said it was just a mild viral fever. If the fever didn't return there is nothing to worry about. The doctor did warn that the rashes might get worst but it will eventually subside. After the visit, the fever didn't return and the rashes didn't get worst. They were gone the following day and that costs mummy RM52 :-).

The doctor asked if anyone was sick at home. And guess who, who else but yours truly. Everytime I get sick, she would get sick too and I am getting sick very often since having Hayley. Sigh...

Apart from the viral fever, she's developing and growing and it's amazing to see all the changes in her. Although we are tired and frustrated at times, we found strength to face the day with a smile (unlike going to work, haha). That must be the power of parenthood!

Here are some of her highlights and lowlights:

She can say a couple of simple words - mum mum (food), gai gai (go out), nen nen (milk), papa, mama, mummy, ball, ish (fish), por por (grandma), up etc. Occasionally she will impress us with a couple of new words but they are very rare. Not even sure if she knows what she is talking about :-)

We did teach her a couple of other things such as fan, clock, mattress, toes, fingers, ears, fish, belly button, toys, books, ball, baloon, caterpillar, hand, leg, chair etc and she would often point to them correctly when we ask her to. If she's not pointing she will look into the direction where that item is. On bad days, she will not respond to us or worst she will appear confused and point to the fan when we say mattress :-(

Recently she's becoming a whiner. She developed a habit of clinging on to her water bottle and if she wanted to drink and could not remove the cover, she will whine. If she wants the teddy bear's head (coin box) removed from the body, she would point to it and whine. If she wants food she will point to the food and whine. We have on all occasions tell her to say our name and point to the item if she wants it and don't whine but its not working. So all we do the whole day is cover and uncover her water bottle, cover and uncover the teddy's head. What a tiring job!

I read on many websites that we need to train our little one to be independent to eat on her own. We need to prepare finger foods into small pieces/cubes and let her pick it up and eat on her own. I tried doing that to Hayley a couple of times and she will stuff everything into her mouth until she chokes. If she's not doing that, she will play with the plate and toss everything onto the floor. How can I teach her to eat properly?

My little one is quite entertaining. A couple of times the papa and me pretended to be asleep and we made the snoring sound. To our surprise she picked that up! Whenever we ask her to sleep, she will rest her head on the mattress or floor (wherever she is) and then pretend to sleep and snore!

She also like to dance. Whenever she hears music that she likes, she will use her tongue to make the kluk sounds (repeatedly) while swaying her butt from left to right. Entertaining eh?! :-)

She's still at her cruising mode and prefers to crawl than walk. She did attempt to walk a couple of steps unassisted but these attempts are rare. Sometimes when I put her in a skirt and she finds it hard to crawl (the skirt would go under her knees) she will then crawl on four (with her butt raised high).. hehe. She is often standing up on her own too.

Napping is also longer lately. Last time she naps between 30 - 1 hour 30 mins. Now her naps are often 1 hour 30 mins - 3 hours! She naps twice a day.

She's not into porridge lately. Not sure why. Maybe she just dislike my porridge as I dont hear the aunty complaining. She would eat at the beginning and towards the middle she will start her tantrums and refused to eat. She will sleep on the high chair, turn her face from left to right, spit out the food etc. I tried giving her something different today, I cooked vermicelli and it was the same. Interested in the beginning and then tantrum starts. I am not sure what else to feed her.

I know I am supposed to give her varieties but as I am not a good cook (kitchen is not my territory) I just dont know what else to do. When cooking is needed at home, hubby is the one. But for some reasons, preparing Hayley's food became my responsibility. When I ask my mom or the elderly, they will say porridge is sufficient. Use fish, pork, chicken etc to create various taste. But when I ask some friends, they recommended vermicelli and pasta. I have never cooked in my life and this became stressful! Is there a cook book out there that I can buy and refer?

As for fruits, she eats anything. Papaya, banana, apples, green pears, grapes and recently oranges. I was told to give her avocado and I aim to introduce avocado next week. I hope she will like it cause I don't and I am not going to eat her leftovers :-)

Snacks for her are biscuits, bread, yogurt (Calciyum vanilla) and cheese. I started cheese this week too and she loved it.

As for milk, she's getting Enfagrow A+ Original flavour. She gets 3 feeds a day (7 oz). When I first started her on Enfagrow (2 weeks ago), I started her with the wrong flavour. I bought vanilla by accident :-(. She developed constipation for a couple of days. After having Enfagrow for 2 weeks she's still getting constipation but only about once a week. We're trying to give her lots of water, lots of veges and fruits and hope the constipation would go away.

This coming Thurs and Fri I will be going down to Singapore for work. This is the first time I will be away for 2 days since having Hayley. This also means that papa will need to manage her without any help. He will need to get her ready in the morning and send her to the babysitter (currently that's my job) and pick her up in the evening, feed, bath and get her ready for bed. I hope he can manage it. Deep down, I know he can. :-)