Sunday, 27 January 2013

Busy ZK

This boy has really bad sleep poses, courtesy of his mama no doubt, ha! Just now when I went in to mop the floor - have to do that every night cos of the dusty demolition of the en bloc flat opposite - I found that he had deserted his soft bolster and pacifier, turned 90 degrees, and found his firm bolster.

Redid the setup in his room after mopping. Found him on the floor between the width of his bed and the cabinet last night, and also on the floor near the bottom of his bed a few times last week - no cushion there! So now, there's a heavy pillow at the bottom of his bed and I've lined the floor along whole length of his bed with blankets. Let's see where I'll find him later tonight..

One reason he's moving about so much is that he's trying to crawl. Really! He's been pushing up on his knees, then dropping to his side when he can't balance his butt in the air :p And every time he moves significantly, he wakes himself up. When I put him on his play mat this morning, he was moving around very quickly, pivoting on his belly to reach his toys. Think it's a matter of time before he moves forward instead :)

So he's a really busy boy lately, learning to crawl, sit, stand and speak all at the same time! This morning, he sat without support for a little while - so proud of this little fellow! :) And he kept babbling when he woke up this afternoon from a nap. He was so cute - he woke, smiled at me, rolled off, saw Sito sleeping on his other side and started to reach for him! All of us were very happy :)

That was also quite a nap - he had me as a pacifier THE WHOLE TIME! I wasn't sore but.. Well, this emoticon says it all: O_o !!!

Recently, he has been nursing like he's having a hamburger - squeeeeze! It can get pretty painful sometimes, especially towards the end of the week when his nails are long.. But well, I take it that he's learning to better his grip.. He also likes to grasp at the bottle when I pump the other side while nursing him every morning. Sometimes, he'll pull the tube off. Jealous? :p

I hope he sleeps through tonight. Last night, he woke at 2.20 am. I napped next to him while he rolled about. He dozed off by 2.40 am and I got up to pump. He didn't get up until 6 am, phew! The three nights before that were bad - he got up to poop at about 4 am and called out by 4.15 am!! After changing him, it took around an hour to get him down again. It was brutal. Think I'd better get some sleep now while I can!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Thinking of my baby

My baby is sleeping soundly now. Stay that way for the rest of the night please :)

But I miss him. He was so cute and fun this evening! Must tell Sito later...

Although ZK has recovered from his illness, he hasn't recovered his appetite for solids :( Last weekend, he had very little rice cereal. And he spit out my steamed apple when he used to eat it while making a face. But he is still very excited about his rice crackers! And last Saturday, I was having some bread and since he was positively staring, I gave him a little piece. He stuffed the whole thing into his mouth and after a while, it was gone!

He loves bread like his mama does?! :)) I foresee mornings full of beautiful sandwiches!! :)))

Last weekend, we decided to shower him. He's been getting too big for his bathtub for quite a while now. And the last few times, he was thrashing about in the tub even though he wasn't cranky. So Saturday, I passed ZK to Sito when he took an early shower - papa-and-son shower time! :) I took pictures but they were quite blur as my shower glass was pretty dirty by the weekend; part-time cleaner comes on Monday.

ZK looked quite blur :p But he didn't complain at all. When he was done, Sito deposited him onto the towel I had on me and continued his shower while I dried ZK and did the usual evening stuff.

And Sunday, I decided to swap roles with Sito. I finished showering and had Sito pass ZK to me. I used a lot more baby shampoo and shower foam than Sito did the day before - I've never seen ZK so soapy! He was super clean that day. He looked super cute. He felt super smooth and soft. And he was super close. Then I realised it. I hadn't been this close - skin close! - to him since the day he was born!

It was a very good experience. I think we would shower him during the weekends from now until he can sit well enough in the bigger bathtub.

Now that I'm working, I don't get to see him as much as before. Sometimes I'll think of him and his cute antics. Even his expressionless face is super cute. Like last night when he woke at 1.30 am and stared at me, refusing to sleep. I let him be and lay next to him, watching him roll around, sometimes turning around to look at me, expressionless, and sometimes giving me a kick here and there. Finally, he stared into the darkness and slowly closed his eyes. When we woke, I found him sitting on the floor and leaning forward on his bed, with his head turned towards the door cos he heard me. And oh yes, with poop all over his back!

And on the topic of sleep, I forgot to mention in my last update that besides being able to sleep through without a night feed, he could now nap for longer than 30 min. Last Saturday, he took a 1.5-hour nap and a 2-hour nap! I think his bolster helps. Mum got him this bolster that is very light and soft, perfect for his little limbs. The bolsters from me are too firm and round for him to handle so they're lining his bed for now. I'm now looking for a good opportunity to take a photo of him sleeping with his bolster :)

Oh, I've gone back on my word about no TV until pre-school age. There were bad days just before he started going to infant care when I didn't know what to do with him. So I sat him down in front of the TV and turned it on for five minutes *.* But it was so funny to see him watching the moving images so intently!

I'm getting sleepy. Gonna rest a bit before pumping. Better not turn off my alarm like I did last night - and did not wake up to pump until 2 am!!

Random pictures

Some random pictures to share..

It was a lovely early morning on ZK's third day in infant care. The little boy gets packed off to school very early. He's usually the first infant to arrive. I'm glad that he seems happy there..



Hilarious notice!! Honestly, I don't mind if cockroaches die.. I'm in favour of the genocide of all creepy crawlies!



Found my old Nokia 8250 among my belongings in the office - brought it to office a few years ago cos we needed a phone with no camera. But I no longer had the charger and it couldn't work *.* It continued to stay on my desk until yesterday when I finally chucked it.



Um, really?!



Poor Meh.. I decided to give her away in the recycling bag - I no longer hugged her to bed and she had been gathering dust on our bed board. Someone else would be able to give her more love.. BUT! I forgot to attach a note to her! I'm so sad. It felt as if she was abandoned.. When I gave Eeyore away, I wrote a nice little note. And I love Meh more than Eeyore! Thanks, Meh, for accompanying me through so many nights.. And with her departure, my bedmates are all history...



Snake in the house! In the name of the coming LNY! :) This is actually a bumper pad. Mum got it for ZK for fear that he would knock his head on the wall when he rolls around in his bed. Should be dry by tomorrow..

To bia or not to bia

Heard a whining baby on my way up to the infant area yesterday evening. Couldn't tell which baby it was. Then I looked through the glass panel on the door and saw ZK sitting happily on a high chair - not him! After signing out on his daily sheet, I went in to get my happy baby who flashed a lovely smile at me! :)

As usual, he became unhappy the moment he was wheeled into the house, only to become happy again when I picked him up and set him up for bed. Today, he was very very happy on our bed while I was changing. Such a lovely smile :)

At times like this, I'm super happy that I'm able to be here with him - physically and mentally, with no OT and no work on my mind.

Yesterday must be the most boring work day ever. I read newspapers, read blogs relating to my work, explored websites relating to my work, read the media release for the enhanced marriage and parenthood package, did some small submissions and discussed a paper with a colleague. I even spent 1 hour 10 min going home to get my milk bottles cos I forgot about them, and then pumped twice. I regretted having lunch at my desk; I had so much time!

I think it's partly because the work in this unit is pretty much on auto-pilot now. I'm wondering whether I should ask for more work. But it's dangerous - it's easy to get more work but it's not easy to shed work. Yes, I'm greedy - I want to be more occupied and have good work-life balance at the same time. I miss what I used to do but I don't miss the endless work and time spent on work. Time is a very precious commodity now.

I wake early with ZK, pack him off to school and return to do various chores in the house before preparing for work. I always do things while chewing on my muesli; I haven't sat down for breakfast for a long time now. This morning, I also had to change his bedsheets even though they were changed only yesterday cos he had a major poopy blowout AND he rolled around *.* Then at night, after he has gone to bed, I'll be busy with chores again - washing bottles, settling his laundry, thawing his milk, preparing our bags for tomorrow. And I have some me time while waiting for the right time to pump the last time for the day.

Discussed this with Sito last night. He jokingly said that for the sake of a bigger house, perhaps I could take on more, get more bonus etc, heh! But ultimately, I must be happy with what I do. And have time for our little family.

So today, I talked to DC - she's now my boss - about it. We concluded that we should try to stir shit within our unit first :) So well, we shall see!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Production line at work

I do this twice a day in the office - close the door, swivel the chair around, assemble, partially undress, attach, switch on the power, and sng! Sng! Sng! Sng! And 20 minutes later, two bottles of warm milk in my hands!!!!

We call that "printing" in office cos a guy once commented to a mummy one day some years ago, "Your printer was very loud; could hear it through closed door!" Well, we don't close our doors for nothing...

During Sito's enforced leave in December, which I hope to write about real soon, I had to bring my pump out to relieve me of milk while we were out. We joked that I could pump while watching a movie...

"Fix-it *sng* Felix Junior *sng* to the rescue!" *sng*

"My *sng* precious!" *sng*

"Animals *sng* have *sng* souls." *sng*

Anyway, some time in December, I discovered that I could get a lot more milk when pumping both sides at the same time. So for a while, I supported the left bottle with my left forearm and the right bottle with my left hand so that I had a free hand to fiddle with my phone and do compressions towards the end of each session. I ended up with ring marks on my arm and a very sore right shoulder for some strange reason.

So I went in search of something to help me pump hands-free. The common solution of hooking a rubber band to the nursing bra doesn't work as I don't intend to wear my nursing bras to work, which is when I'll need to double pump and be hands-free so that I can do some work. Then I found a kit that holds up the bottles - at $32!! $32 for a bit of string, really??!

So I bought 3m of string from Daiso and made these!



The short one in the centre is made from leftover string - for holding up my blouse so it doesn't fall over baby's face when nursing - works for pumping too!

Materials:

2m of string
2 clips - I use old hair clips
Lighter or glue

Directions:

1) Take one end of the string, use the lighter or glue to keep it from fraying, and tie a knot around the other end of it.

2) Repeat for the other end. Now the hoop length is adjustable.

3) Put the hoop around your neck. Don't put your head through the hoop, no no... Just loop it around your neck.

4) Adjust the length such that the two ends hover around your nipples.

5) Put the pump flanges through the hoop and use the hair clips to secure the string - I prefer to secure it just above the flanges.

6) Hold on to the setup and turn on the pump! After a short while, the suction should keep the collection bottles attached. It may take a few tries for you to get there though.. And I must push my bra in a particular way or the suction won't keep the bottles there..

7) Enjoy doing whatever you were doing before the pumping session! :)

I usually fiddle with my phone or read emails or news on the laptop - just turn a little to reach the mouse. And the other day, I even had a discussion with TT on the other side of my desk while pumping!

Breastmilk production is so amazing. I can pump until I'm sore and nothing comes out, but when ZK wants food after that, there is still food! His sucking power beats any pump.. A few nights ago, I had a blocked duct on the right - massaging and pumping couldn't get it out. Having ZK suck at it also didn't work, probably cos he wasn't hungry at night and didn't suck much. I had to wait until the next morning when he was hungry enough to suck out everything!

Anyway, I'm getting quite tired of pumping. I need to pump four times a day to make up for the milk he has at infant care - once in the morning on one side while he takes the other, twice on both at the office, and once on both before I sleep. But pumping at work takes so much time. And I'm usually very tired at night to pump. So I'm seriously thinking about reducing pumping. That will mean having to supplement with formula. I'm just glad I could manage total breastfeeding so far. Eventually, I want to just breastfeed twice a day - once in the morning and once at night. He can take formula in the day. I'll continue my four sessions at least until after LNY... Wish us luck! :)

Monday, 14 January 2013

ZK turns six months! :)

And I haven't updated his development for ages! Here goes..

ZK had his first taste of rice cereal on 22 Dec!



But it was too watery so he had some Sophie instead...



That wasn't the first solids he had, of course. Just a week ago, he tried some pure corn juice from my cup :p

And one week later, he gave me his "Apple?!" face!



Well, the apple was obviously not satisfying enough...



Found some apple bits in his poop the next morning. I wasn't too sure so I gave him more apple - he had 1/8 of a steamed apple! - that morning! True enough, a lot more apple in his poop the next morning!!

That day was half-day at the centre. He had a lot of cereal and didn't manage to take his second bottle so Papa gave that to him at home. He can hold his bottle on his own now!



And then he wanted more. So here's a rice cracker for you my dear!



Tried to give him some water after that but nop, he wasn't having any of that tasteless stuff!

"See how fast I can eat!"



So we thought we could have our new year dinner in peace if we gave him some rice cracker. We thought wrong. He finished a cracker in less than three minutes *.* Faster than in the video! And he had two of those, realised there was no more and kicked up a fuss! Anyway, that was the first time he sat in a restaurant high chair - in Crystal Jade.



ZK faced outward for the first time in his carrier - off to TPY for family gathering!



That was a good day. That evening, Sito even carried him on his shoulders. And the little imp made a funny face behind him!



The little one fell asleep while we were out on Xmas eve. The head looked a little awkward so I had Sito support it..



"Actually, my butt is pretty small, heh heh!"



He developed some nasty rash near his anus so I let him go diaper free on Xmas morning!

Put the diaper back on when we headed out to Harbourfront - that's the family on the MRT :)



We meant to go to Sentosa but wow, that was a popular Xmas destination! So we turned around to the baby spa instead. Good choice - he was so happy that day!



So happy that he let us take photos of him during his bath, peacefully. This is our little yellow riding hood :)



So he has been sleeping in weird positions since he could flip and turn. This was one of the best:



And another one - he fell off his mattress, got caught between the sleep positioner and stayed asleep. My evil ploy worked wahahahaha!



"Merry Christmas! Ain't I cute? :)"



Started him on a brushing routine lately. The introduction on a happy new year morning went very well..



Fed him 1/4 of a banana that morning. He seemed to like it better than apples..

The extended family went to the Gardens by the Bay that day. But I think the highlight of the day was when Grandpa was carrying him.

"Hmmm, this is a new position.."



And what's that look?! Are you 孙悟空?!"



His latest trick is standing. He loves it! Even when he was ill! And he's pretty good at that too *proud* But hey, little one, learn to sit and crawl first, ok... I think he's getting to the crawling stage soon. Lately, he has been able to pivot on his belly to get to places. He would even kick and lift his legs to try to move forward. Oh, and he can flip towards his left too now.

Yet another milestone is that he can go without night feeds now! I started by reducing his night feed as a test. He seemed to be not hungry at all. So one night, I just patted him back to sleep and that was it! He woke on 4 Jan morning happy and not hungry! But with his recent illness, he had to nurse for comfort sometimes..

First day of school in the new year! Wearing his new Snoopy clothes:



My boys, reading :) A most relaxing activity on a weekend after a (not so) long week in school/at work!



Sofa time turned out to be very funny :)



Next was a dinner for Mama who wanted some angmoh food for her grand 33rd. Ended up with pseudo angmoh food - HK-style spaghetti at Xin Wang.



It was good enough. But the dessert was delightful! The top part collapsed halfway but Sito saved the ice cream!!



But poor ZK fell ill that weekend - first illness! :( He was coughing slightly on Saturday and on Sunday, he started to run a fever. We went to a clinic in Clementi and was told to bring him in again on Tuesday if the fever remained high. $109 as Sunday fees are higher. The fever went down but on Wednesday, it came up again so we went to NUH A&E.

The staff there were so nice! They were friendly and kind, and the check-up was very complete. The PD asked many questions, listened to his breathing etc and told us he had bronchiolitis. As his fever came up after going down, she ordered a blood test in case of secondary infection and an x-ray to check his lungs. Thankfully, everything was alright. Consultation and medicine came up to $132, just a little bit more than on Sunday!

So last week was very stressful for me, physically, mentally and emotionally. It just wasn't sustainable to take leave for every day that he was ill. I was already away from office for three days in my first six days! So after taking two days of leave on days he was really unwell, I asked Mum to help out.

See, so poor thing :(



As it was difficult to administer his medicine - he would struggle and he could spit out liquid! -, we had to get an extra pair of hands on two days when I was at work. That was a nightmare - reminder to self to find a few ad hoc babysitters for situations like this.. And as Sito was overseas, Mum even came over at 11 pm on Wednesday and left after his 3 am puff! Sito returned to Singapore after that and took over. Since then, we have learnt to give him the puff while he was asleep, phew!

Went back to NUH outpatient clinic for a review last Saturday. Definitely better but he has lost weight :( only 7.4 kg now :( But he's so long now - 67 cm!

Yesterday, he was finally happy and alert. But Sito and I were both down. Mum took him for the afternoon so that we could rest. It helped a lot! But I missed his laughter - he was so happy and fun that morning! During his illness, I made up a little song "squawky baby" cos he kept squawking. Yesterday, I sang the song to "happy baby" instead and that stayed as a earworm the whole of today hoho!

Just now, he had difficulty falling asleep but thankfully, he has been asleep without stirring except for two bouts of coughing. I wasn't able to give him his phlegm medicine as he was too cranky to attempt any feeding except from my factory..

Time to go pump before going to bed...

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

First day at work! Again!

And I wore the same dress I wore on my first day of work on 3 Nov 2003 :p

The office is so different from last time.. Didn't do much today, just some IT and admin, catching up with old friends and making new ones. The handover will be complete tomorrow so I guess that's when I'll really be back to the grind...

Besides being my first day back, today had many other firsts as well..

1) First time that Sito and I took the train together to office! He alights one stop after me :)

2) First time we saw ommuters line up in two straight lines to board the train! I thought I was out of the workforce for too long but Sito said this was hs first as well. But strangely, this happened only at the Buona Vista station on the circle line, and more obvious in the morning than evening.

3) First time using two monitors to work! I was doing little today and yet I felt more efficient. Can't wait until real work lands on my desk...!

4) First time pumping at work! Not my first time pumping outside home - that was at Isetan last Thursday - but I had some trouble setting up shop. The plug was too big to fit into the socket panel on my desk and too heavy to stay attached to a wall socket! Took some adjustment to make things work..

5) First time using new pump! Ok, I bought it secondhand so it's not new but it's new to me! And what a good pump it is! I've never seen my milk milk come out so fast and furious that it bubbled!

6) First time leaving work at 6 pm, not to go study, but to go home! The train was largely empty on the east west line - perhaps many people are still on leave.. Circle line was manageable.

7) First time that ZK was so excited to see me when I picked him up! And when I went for him, he stretched out his arms :) He made a little noise on the way home, which was unusual, but he was happy when he was back, which was unusual too! Had a nice time while changing and massaging him :)

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy new year 2013!

I was washing my pump parts when I heard the countdown starting. Rinsed off the soap and dashed in just in time to share the first moments of 2013 with Sito :)

And then, I heard the first song of this new year - Gangnam Style *.* The party is still going strong downstairs...

Anyway, been busy this festive season, and work resumes in two days so will post more later..

Have a great start to 2013, everyone! :)
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