Thursday, April 29, 2010

Motherhood and me

To me, in BRIEF motherhood means:

Transforming from fab to fat.

Increasing the headcount from 2 to 3

Simple? Well not actually. Motherhood really changed me and brings out the strength in me that I didn't know I had. It was the greatest challenge ever and a challenge that strangely I was able to overcome naturally. I was always worried that I didn't know how to hold a baby, didn't know how to bath a baby (what if I drowned her), didn't know how much to feed a baby (what if I overfed her and she puked) but the answers all came naturally. The biggest fear in me before embracing motherhood was WILL I BE READY? Being someone who is always on the go, on the move, will I be ready to get settled and be committed to a baby and be confined to home? I didn't have the answer when it all suddenly happened 2 years ago.
When I told papa I was ready to conceive and we should start trying now, we tried and hit the jackpot. When we found out I was pregnant, we both have mixed reactions - we were happy that we got what we wanted but then we started questioning ourselves if we are truly ready and if this is what we really want... we didn't expect it to happen so soon.

After a few days/weeks the reality sank in and we began to enjoy the fact that we are finally going to be parents. Seeing the little heart beat on the ultrasound for the first time strenghten our belief that we are truly ready. Unfortunately the joy was shortlived. I was diagnosed with threaten miscarriage and was continuously spotting for weeks (dark brown discharge) and had bleeding (bright red blood) with blood clots as big as half the size of my palm that came out of me twice during those weeks. I was told to rest until after the 1st trimester. So I spent 2 weeks on MC at home and 2 more weeks working from home until everything finally stabilizes. Papa was my pillar of strength during those troubled times, bringing me lunch and dinner, fetching my water, fetching me the potty when I wanted to puke etc and we finally pulled through. The fear of losing the baby was more than words could describe. Seeing the clot in my hands (thinking it was the foetus) TWICE almost killed me emotionally.
Thankfully it all went well and I had quite a smooth pregnancy thereafter. Hardly any cravings, hardly any night cramping, hardly any backache but lots of Braxton Hicks. The ugly stretch marks came during the last 2 months and they're still visible today :-(.
Fast forward a few months later, Hayley arrived on Valentine's Day. So yes, I suffered on Valentine's Day. No flowers, no candle light dinner, just pain and a big reward awaits me at the end of the ordeal. Due to some complications, I had a c-sec in the end. My Valentine's Day gift arrived at 1.30pm that faithful day. After she was born and we took her home, the reality sank in for both of us. I was depressed for a few days because I was in pain, I wasn't sleeping well, I was engorging, I was stressed as I wasn't producing enough milk, I was smelly and sticky all over (cause I was not allowed to bath) and to top it all I was having a fever! I didn't feel bonded to Hayley at that time and didn't feel the love for her, was wondering if I was going mad, how could I not love my child? Papa on the other was tired as he had to travel to my mom's where I was confining and back to our own home to make sure everything was in order and was lack of sleep and seeing me suffer and in pain hurts him more.
2 weeks later I was bleeding a lot and was admitted back to the hospital. I had an infection in the uterus. I was separated from my baby of 2 weeks for 3 days. I cried myself to sleep every night alone in the hospital although papa did pop by to visit everyday. Then on, my love for her grew by the minute. I finally felt what it was like to be a mother and to love a child unconditionally. The feeling just came like that... like magic...with no warning... I was hooked...

When I got back home, I finished my confinement, enjoyed every minute I have with her and took her back to our own home for her fullmoon. I spent the next month looking after her by myself with no help. Never knew I had that strength in me. She did fall sick occasionally and like most kiasu mothers I watched her like a hawk. Ignoring my own health and I was constantly falling sick a lot too.

After she came, our lives changed tremendously. For me, I no longer have time for dancing, which I used to love so much. I used to dance after work and on weekends and it brings me great satisfaction to be on stage. Although the fire is still in me, the love for her and to be with her were much stronger. I had to pick one and I picked her. I also lost some friends because I didn't have time to keep in touch as I was too busy learning to be a perfect mom. I had to juggle work, being a mother and a wife all at the same time. I no longer shop at the ladies department or shoes department, I head straight to the babies/kids corner. A blouse that cost RM80 will make me think twice but a toy for her that cost RM100, I will buy instantly if she likes it. That is how I have changed....

Being the kiasu mom, I was constantly worried that she's not gaining enough weight, not eating enough, not learning enough, not clean enough, not sleeping enough and the list goes on and on.
Motherhood brings out the best, the ugly, the worst and the hero in me. I am still learning and juggling everyday but seeing her grow healthily from day to day is what makes me happiest and proud. All the sacrifices we made, all the sleepless nights we endured, all the pain we went through and all the kac$ing we spent on her is definitely worth every penny. And yes, 2 years later, I can proudly say that I am committed to her and I am able to change my lifestyle just for her and I don't mind being confined to home with her!

Bao bei, you know you meant the world to us. We just hope you continue to grow to be a good person and to enjoy your life happily and healthily all the way. You have no idea how much we love you.....

Our pride and joy
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to me and all the lovely mommy bloggers out there!
Note: this post was written for a contest organised by Agnes Loke which I found out via Alice Law's blog :-). My very first attempt! :-)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hepatitis A jab for 2 year olds

I'm still unsure if I want to bring my girl for the Hep A jab. I am just worried at her reaction when she reach the doctor's office or when she sees the doctor, she will cry even before the doctor touches her. She's 2 now and I know what she's capable of doing. I am also worried about the fever that comes after jabs and all the side effects that it might have on her.

I mean she's now a happy chirpy 2 year old and I didn't want to spoil it by giving her an optional jab that 'might' make her sick or feel unwell.

What say you? Would you recommend me to go for it or should I wait a little longer?

How to fix faulty camera or handphone batteries

Just a tip to share (in case you've not heard about this) is that if you have faulty camera or handphone batteries, you can try and wrap them up in newspapers and then put it in the freezer for 5 days. After that remove it from the freezer, unwrap it, let it air dry completely (maybe for a few days) and try charging again.

I have tried it with my own Canon digital camera battery. My battery could not last me an hour even after charging it fully and instead of throwing it into the bin, I thought I'd give the tip a try. I left the battery in the freezer for almost 10 days (cause I totally forgotten about it) and then removed it and let it air dry. Then I charged it and wooolaaaa.... it worked again. I've so far only used it for a few days and have not tried re-charging it the 2nd time so I am unable to tell you how reliable this tip is.

I have to warn though that the above only worked if your battery is still in good condition ie it's not broken or bloated. It worked only if the problem of your battery is that it's not charging properly.

Feeding time nightmare

My 2 year old is currently at a phase where feeding becomes a nightmare. I am not sure if this is part of the package of 'Terrible Twos'. She wasn't like that when she was younger.

Now she will eat her lunch/dinner in a slow motion manner. Sometimes she won't even chew and lunch/dinner can lasts up till 1 hour or more or until I gave up, whichever comes first. I thought she was bored with porridge for lunch so sometimes we cooked her fried rice, sometimes noodles but still with the same results. We tried putting her in front of the TV, letting her watch her favourite programme while I feed her (I will not let her walkabout) and it's still the same. I also tried switching off the TV, remove all the toys and put her on the high chair so she can concentrate and again she's eating in the same manner. Chew 2x and stop, chew again when I threathen her with a rotan and then stops. Papa claimed that we're both getting high blood pressure because of this, me stresses during lunch and he stresses during dinner - we take turns :-)

Dinner is just the same. She'll take so long that her food would turn cold and I'm worried it'll be bad for her little tummy if she's consuming cold food. Please please tell me this is just another one of those ordinary phase that a 2 year old would display. Although she struggled with rice/noodles, she does like soup and can drink half a bowl really quickly.

If this is not part of an ordinary phase, I might really need to look into changing her eating plans, maybe starve her a little longer before lunch and dinner or maybe feed her rice with soup. Will she get enough nutrients with just rice and soup?

And oh, just to put this to note, she picked up a small piece of spinach the other day from her rice and said 'yucks'. Sigh.... and she also picked up a grain of brown rice (we're currently mixing white and brown rice) and said she didn't like it. Double sigh....

Friday, April 16, 2010

My daughter bullies me

We recently removed her cot and is in the midst of training her to sleep on a mattress (single). We are hoping to get her a bed frame later when we are sure she's adapting it well but at the moment she is sleeping on the floor, the mattress in between the wall and our master bed. It's been almost a week now.

Every night when I accompany her to bed and the moment I switched off the light, she will stand up and lean her body against my bed and call for me in an extremely heart melting way. She'll say she wanted to 'sayang' me or kiss me or hug me and will proceed to hug my head or put her face against mine. If not she'll sit on her mattress and say she can't see me and wants me to sleep on the edge of the bed (almost falling off type). When I warned her with a rotan, she'll change her tactic and will lie on the mattress but will call out to me to say good night like 20X at least until I asked her to stop. She can go on and on eventhough I did acknowledge everytime she calls.

There was a night when she went to the extreme of repeating what she did over and over until I asked the papa to come to the room. The papa came, warned her and left the room. After he left, she lied down quietly in her bed and finally fell asleep.

When the papa accompany her to sleep, she will not behave that way. Why is she bullying me huh?

On one hand I am happy cause I really like it when she's so attached to me, and the stroking and the sayang-ing but on the other hand I am annoyed that she's not going to sleep despite being in the dark room for almost 1.5 hrs and I could hardly keep my eyes open.

Looking at the way things are going, we're definitely not buying her the bed frame anytime soon. Isn't it scary that a 2 year old can identify who she can bully and how to bully?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How to teach a 2 year old to concentrate?

I always wonder if there is a way to teach a 2 year old how to concentrate or is that not possible at all?

It has always been mission impossible to do anything with Hayley that we can eventually complete from start to end - be it singing her favourite nursery rhyme, reading her favourite book, playing puzzles, playing flash cards, me giving her quizzes, eating lunch or dinner etc. She will either lose interest half way and start doing something else or she will run away.

As I have not started sending her to a nursery/playschool yet (am planning to in a few months as I am still trying to find the right school as well as waiting a little longer to observe how serious this second wave of H1N1 would be), I just want to make sure she's getting the right foundation at home despite the little time we have so she will not be left out when she eventually does go to school and interact with other kids.

Vocabulary wise I am sure she will be fine. She's very chatty and can often speak in a proper combination of a few words such as 'my papa is here already' when the papa arrived at the babysitter's or 'is an ant' or 'where is the baby ant?' when she spotted an ant on the floor or 'I want to go mummy bed' when she wants to tug in with me at night or 'mummy you ok?' when she heard me dropping something in the kitchen showing her concern. She's also very good at using 'please' and 'thank you' and 'excuse me'. But she still messes up 'my' and 'I' and 'you' and 'me' which I think is very common for a kid her age.

But in terms of activities, she's falling very much behind. Probably because I didn't spend enough time to play with her. But how to when she's not concentrating?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Oh My Got!

Yes you heard me right, it is 'Oh My Got!'. My 25 months old is now using this phrase very regularly.

When it rains heavily outside and with loud thunders, she will run to the door, stare at the rain and say 'Oh My Got!'

When I drop a glass spoon on the floor and broke it she will say 'Oh My Got!'

When she drop her hanky on the floor she will say 'Oh My Got!'

When she dropped her toys on the floor and they splattered everywhere she will say 'Oh My Got!'

My oh my, I know they say 'monkey see monkey do' but this adult monkey don't usually use the phrase 'Oh My God' at home that much so how did the little monkey pick it up? Could it be from other adult monkeys?

Friday, April 2, 2010

The 3 mousketeers

Don't they look cute? :-)

Hayley is in the center, on her right is Cadence (my sister's eldest who is now 5.5) and on her left is Caitlin (my sister's youngest who is now 2).

The 3 hardly meet, only once a while when we gather for family dinner or birthdays but still they behave like bff, best friends forever. They will sit together, hold hands and walk together (still holding hands). They will trail one another, sharing toys and food.

Isn't it nice if Malaysians (yes adults) can learn from these kids?

Caring, sharing and loving one another like true Malaysians!

Cycling - checked!

Hayley is always very different from other kids even when she was young. She's got her own style and her own ways. Even when learning to ride a tricycle was no different.

When most kids her age will get on the tricylce, and most wouldn't know how to cycle yet, they will normally use their feet to push the tricycle forward or backwards until a few months down the road when they finally mastered the art of cycling.

Hayley was given her 1st tricycle when she was pretty young. If not mistaken at about 18 months. At that time her legs weren't long enough to reach the ground and therefore we normally just push her around the house. She wasn't that keen and didn't really make a lot of requests to ride on the tricycle.

As she got older and taller, she started going up the tricycle on her own. We taught her what she needed to do to get up and get down on her own and she picked it up like a pro. Only 1 lesson and she did it right since then everytime. As she got older and with longer legs, she would get up the tricycle, put her legs on the pedal and use her body strength to move the tricycle, she still didn't know how to cycle. When she failed to move the tricycle, she would ask us to push her. We did a few times and she enjoyed the free ride.

Even when she couldn't cycle, she will not use her legs to push herself forward like most kids. Maybe she didn't do it because we didn't teach her BUT she did see a couple of kids in the playground doing that so I am sure she will pick it up if she wants to.

We taught her every now and then how to cycle by holding her feet on the pedal and doing the cycle motion for her. So finally at 25 months, she cycled, on her own. She can now cycle forward and backward (short distance) and only going in a straight line. We're planning to teach her how to manouver in a few weeks cause we're not ready to have a little kid cycling around the house and banging into all the furnitures yet.

We're so proud of her as she chose to learn cyling the right way from the start!