Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cousin fun

The Singapore boys and Brandon were here earlier this month to visit and boy, did Joe have a great fun time playing with the boys! They especially loved the castle...5 knights and a princess.

At night, they camped out in the living room....finally sleeping VERY late after a big fun pillow fight!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Playing Rapunzel...

Joy insists her name is Rapunzel.

Princess Rapunzel.I made her a simple tiara out of silver pipe cleaners (cost less than ONE ringgit!) while she hijacked a long gold ribbon from one of the christmas presents and asked me to tie it to her hair. She asked me to stand at the bottom of her castle to pretend to be the evil witch!Of course she has a brave handsome prince to save her. It's so much fun when they pretend play together!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Blessed Christmas 2011

It's Christmas!!!This is Isabel's first Christmas and obviously our first as a family of 5.I refuse to be part of all the secular celebrations and excessive feasting that have nothing to do with the true meaning of Christmas.

May you discover the hope, joy and peace that Jesus brings... He's the reason for the season!!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

cups, cups, cups!

I was browsing... Joy came up to me and said, "I want the purple cup!!!"

me : huh? Why do you need these cups? Do you know what cup this is?
Joy : Ya... it's a suction cup....so that I can stick to you and be your siamese twin!!!

Nemo at 1 Utama

We brought the kids to 1 Utama 2 days ago for this.......arriving there just in the nick of time to grab the last 2 registration forms.

After a Q&A time, there was a puppet show with a clear message to NOT eat shark's fin soup! Sharks are friends...not food.

This was followed by a craft session and then some photo-taking.I was just so pleasantly surprised that my usually-sticky-to-me princess went in to the children-only area without any fuss. And this was one of those times when I forgot to bring the camera and wished I had a fairly decent camera on my hp.

**Photos were taken with iPad and downloaded from the Voila Group Facebook site.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The difference with no.3...

First kid - I washed his bum in warm water and dried with his own towel at each diaper change.
Third kid - a wet wipe will suffice and cold water is okay.

First kid - I used Bepanthen.
Third kid - Vaseline is much cheaper.

First kid - I jump each time he even whimpers a little... Is he hungry? Dirty? Colic?
Third kid - a little crying is good for your lungs.

First kid - I check the time at each feed, each nap and count how many times he poops each day.
Third kid - I don't even look at the clock.

First kid - I sterilized his bottles.
Third kid - I don't have a sterilizer. Rinsing with hot water will do.

On the plus side...

With Joseph, I worried he would get used to my rocking him to sleep and his sleeping on my chest would tie me down. My worries caused much unnecessary stress on myself. I rocked him till one day when he was 13 months old - he just pushed me away, crawled into his crib and fell asleep. I felt so redundant! Now, in the blink of an eye, he's coming to 7 years old, over 24 kg and impossible for me to carry.

I've learnt my lesson. With Isabel, I'm more relaxed. She can nurse as long as she wants. The last few days, she has been napping for about 3 hours each afternoon on my chest. She sleeps so much more soundly and I get some sleep too. I know for sure this will not be forever and I will miss it all too soon.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

One month old - Non-fat milk or not enough milk

Isabel is one month old...tomorrow! She's grown. Not as much as I hoped and wish but she's grown.

I estimate she's just 3.6kg at one month old (3.025kg at birth). Her head circumferance has increased from 33cm to 36cm. Length-wise, she's 55cm compared to 48.5cm at birth.

And she did all this growing on MY milk!!! But she ain't chubby... unlike some breastfed babies I know. Like her older siblings, she's lean. They all are when breastfed...like kampung chickens. My mum says I produce non-fat milk. That's why breastfeeding is such an emotional struggle for me.

Did I mention I have this love-hate feeling with breastfeeding?

I love how baby cuddles up to me. I guess it's God's way of making mummies hold their babies more so that baby gets the hugs and cuddles they need to thrive. It's good bonding time!

But if you know my babies, they take a really really long time to feed!!! They feed and then they fall asleep so I keep my boob. But once they realize their mouth is empty, they want the breast again.

They don't sleep for long periods either. At least not on their own. They can sleep 3hours in my arms but awake the moment I put them down.

They also want to be carried all the time. I realize now that this is normal for all babies. They love the warmth and coziness of being cuddled.

When they do sleep, I wonder if ...
A. they sleep because there's no milk to drink or
B. they sleep because they are actually full.

And when they take so long to feed, is it because...
A. they are waiting for the 'let down' for milk to flow or
B. they just like having the nipple iin their mouth

Consequently, baby is either stuck to my breast or in my arms at least 20 hours a day! Nah..I don't think I'm exaggerating.

I feel so trapped.

I eat in a hurry, poo in a hurry, shower in a hurry. I don't even have time to look in the mirror because baby will be crying and looking for my breast!

Thus far, the older kids have been great. They understand that I can't do as much with them for now. Joy in particular is still trying to adjust. She loves her baby sister but when it comes to bedtime, she wants mummy all to herself. She wants me to lie down with her and hug her till she falls asleep, which is what she's used to before Isabel arrived.

In spite of all the above, I'm thankful. This 'hardship' will pass. Soon. Though time seems to crawl by for now.

I'm thankful for perfectly healthy babies.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A different kind of confinement

This is by far my most 'liberal' confinement.

It's been 2.5 weeks and thus far, I've gone out 3 times - twice to the paediatrician's clinic and of course to Joseph's graduation.

The first time round in 2005, I just sat in an air-conditioned room, ate, fed and slept. I slept when baby slept. Joe puked after every feed so I was always changing him and myself and we had tonnes of laundry. My MIL cooked while my mum helped with baby - changing, washing, rocking etc. I had difficulty getting up, couldn't cough, couldn't laugh and very sore nipples. I also don't know who on earth said women in confinement had to wear sarong! I felt absolutely fat, flabby and so totally like a "Ah Soh".

My second confinement was actually in 2007 after my D&C. We lost the baby at 9 weeks - I had bleeding, there was no heartbeat and baby was small for date. We stayed in KL and I was 'confined' for only 2 weeks.

The third time round in 2008, I still had my MIL to cook and my mom to help with baby while Daalin and Ah Kong entertained Joe (aged 2 yrs 9 months then) with trips to the park and playgrounds. I got smarter and wore long pants instead of sarong. While I didn't suffer from sore nipples, I did have a episiotomy wound that hurt for 2 weeks - sitting and moving was agonizing!

This time round is by far the least painful confinement. I had some discomfort sitting for about only 3 days. Thereafter, I've more or less gone about the usual daily stuff including bathing the older kids, cleaning the house, changing the bedsheets and folding the laundry. My mum does the cooking while I see to all baby's needs except her daily bath which Nana sees to.

I feel a lot more normal. I don't know where the sarongs are. And I am amazed at how I'm surviving with so little sleep.

p/s : If you're wondering how I have the time to blog, it's because I've learnt to do a lot with just one hand. So I can breastfeed while making milk for the older kids, or getting their breakfast or folding laundry or eating or typing like what I'm doing right now.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Standard 1 comes early...

...for this particular school that we registered Joe in. He started Std1 orientation this morning. Kinda teary eyed because he was very apprehensive.

This boy like familiarity. So new environments make him uncomfortable. He threw up twice this morning before going to school.

He also asked me, "New school don't have toilet time ah?"

We had earlier told him that big boy school is unlike kindy where they all choo-choo train to the toilet together. Here he will have to take care of himself. His daddy stayed with him all morning and from the photos, I guess he was trying really hard to NOT cry.

When he came home, he was looking much better. He said he saw a few of his kindy friends in his new school. I know he will be fine once he settles in. For now, I just have to help him overcome his fears.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Life with Isabel

It's been two weeks since Isabel arrived. Yes, that's the name Joy picked for her baby sister.Joy absolutely adores her sister, always wanting to hug and kiss baby Isabel. Isabel - she's relatively easier than Joe and Joy were at this stage. I say relatively. That means it's not entirely easy. But at least she doesn't keep throwing up like Joe did.

The first two nights after I got home from the hospital was tough. One night I fed her non-stop from midnight till 5am! That was on top of 3 rounds of formula (30ml each time)!

Thereafter things got better. Some nights she sleeps for at least a 4-hour stretch. It's also relatively easy because I don't have a c-section or an episiotomy wound to deal with. Having breastfed before, I also don't have to deal with sore nipples and I know how to deal with engorgement.

I used to say that I wish I could fast forward the first 6 months. Now I'm starting to enjoy every moment. After all, they do grow way too fast!

Last day at kindy - Circus Party

Joe's last day at kindy was celebrated with a circus-themed party. Knowing my son, he's more concerned about his comfort than costume so that meant no face paint and no long sleeved outfit.I made him a bow tie out of ribbons and he wore a propeller cap and red-nosed spectacles borrowed from Ah Ku a.k.a. Billy the Clown.
His friends were very fascinated with both items...

I had to miss the party since I'm supposed to be in confinement.

He came home and told me, "Today I'm really walking out of JC for the last time..." Though he previously whined about having to go to school (because he's not an early morning bird), I think he's really gonna miss JC.

Before leaving, he gave a small thank you gift to each of the teachers who have taught him. He decorated Ikea frames (with my help) and wrote thank you notes to be inserted into the frame.

Three years of wonderful memories...he still remembers how he threw up on Teacher Esther in the first week in 2009. JC has given him a great foundation. Though I'm apprehensive, I'm sure he'll be fine in Std 1.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Graduating from Kindy

My firstborn graduated from kindergarten yesterday. It seems like not so long ago that I cradled him in my arms. Just like how I now cradle his baby sister in the same sarong sling that I used for Joseph.

The 6-year-olds made a grand procession down the helium-balloon lined aisle in the main auditorium. My Joseph as always, had on a very serious face. He says he has to focus!

After the welcome and speeches, the graduands went on stage to receive their awards. This year, every child got an award e.g. Most Caring, Best Helper etc. I thought it was a very nice thing for the kindy to do to acknowledge that every child is special.
Joseph got the Awesome Artist award for his class. He told me this last week and was really pleased.
After the awards, each class performed an item. I thoroughly enjoyed every item. Joe's class did a choral-speaking one about a bear hunt.

And then all the graduands came on stage to sing 2 very lovely songs. I was indeed very surprised to see and hear my 'English' son sing a chinese song!

Joseph took some photos with his good friend...

..and also with some teachers (who were all dressed very nicely!)

I'm so nostalgic, looking back at the last 3 years and reflecting on how he has grown at Tadika Juara Cerdik. He can read very well and even big words in the Bible like synagogue and Nazareth are no problems.

He's kinda sad that he has only a few days left at TJC and I can feel his apprehension about going to Std 1. But I guess that's life - where the only constant is change. He will have to adapt and we will too.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Two, Three or More – No.3 is here!

5th November 2011 – one day to due date : I woke up at about 6am feeling a little crampy with a stuffy nose. Maybe it’s hunger pangs. Popped half a polaramine, drank some water and tried to go back to sleep. A short while later, I got up again and felt some mucus oozing out but no blood. I still wasn’t sure if this was for real.

7.00am – the blood-tinged mucus plug showed itself. I showered and washed my hair but did not tell Daalin, who was going out for his Men’s Group Breakfast Meeting, knowing that if I told him, he would not go.

Thereafter, I had irregular contractions, about 20 minutes apart. I took my time to do devotion with Joseph and then Joy woke up and I gave them both breakfast before Daalin came back and we left home at about 10.15am for the hospital.

10.30am – Arrived at Assunta hospital, strolled from the multi-storey parking to reception and walked up the stairs to the delivery suite. I still wasn’t really in pain. The midwife did an internal examination – I was just 3cm dialted. After browsing the newspaper I started to get kinda bored. Contractions were about 10 minutes apart – some a wee bit more painful but still very bearable.

2.00pm – I was getting really bored and started to wonder if this was going to take all day. Meanwhile, Daalin entertained himself on the ipad.

3.15pm – The midwife checked me again – 6cm dilated. I thought it was going to take a long while more. Contractions were still irregular at between 3-6 minutes apart, some stronger some not at all.

After that internal examination, things happened really fast. I suddenly had very strong contractions with the urge to push. At each contraction, I asked Daalin the time – 3.28pm, 3.30pm, 3.32pm… and the next contraction broke the water bag as I felt a gush of fluid. Daalin pushed the bell button to call for the nurse.

Dr arrived just in time to put on his gear and catch baby, born at 3.45pm.
I’m so thankful to God for answering my prayers for a natural birth. No Pitocin drip, no epidural, no pethidine jab and not even the gas! I didn’t have an episiotomy either. But dr did stitch up a small tear which he said was less than half an inch long. I guess this is as drug-free as it gets. I’m also not on any painkillers, most of which I’m allergic to.

Even though the entire labour was almost 10 hours long if you count from the first ‘pain’, I was really in pain for only the last 30minutes.

And now the fun and adventure begins….by God’s grace and strength!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

November Celebrations

1st November 2011 - we celebrated Daalin's 35th birthday. I was hoping that we would have a double celebration but baby seems to want her own birthday. 2nd November 2011- our 9th wedding anniversary. We didn't plan for anything so we took an impromptu walk to Amcorp Mall to utilise the Kenny Rogers vouchers that Ah Kong gave to us, courtesy of Berjaya Group.
I felt I needed the walk.
On the way back, we stopped by the shops across the road to buy eggs and bread and just as we were about to step out of the shop, it suddenly poured heavily. So we went to the mamak next door for roti pisang and milo ais.

It's been ages since we've been to a mamak.

After that we walked home in the slight drizzle. Kinda romantic if you ask me.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Couple Buffet at Jogoya

My last indulgence before baby arrives.... Jogoya @ Starhill Gallery is having a couple promotion i.e. Buy1Free1 only for Saturday lunch. But the promo expires this month. It's still Buy1Free1 for ladies on Mondays to Thursdays till 20 Dec 2011.
So we paid a total of RM98.30 for 2 of us. Well worth the money I would say. But you'll not find me here if I had to pay full price per person.

I think I had 3 coconuts. Very fragrant!

Haagen Dazs and New Zealand Naturals ice cream satisfied my sweet tooth! Hey...dentists can have a sweet tooth and still be tooth decay-free!

I'm not sure how much ice cream I had but I'm sure it made up for the weight loss at the last gynae check up.

And I know sashimi and pregnancy shouldn't go together but oh well... doesn't matter lah!

Now that my tummy's happy, labour can start anytime....I'm all ready - bring it on baby!