Friday, 29 August 2014

My milk is good!

Evidence? ZY is meatier now! Even his feet when I took off his booties in early August! I estimate him at about 5 kg now :) And he often gets milk milk facial - so lucky cos ZK didn't get that! So proud of my milk milk, haha!

ZY shielding his food mama from prying eyes...



Today, I left ZY's side for the very first time to accompany ZK to a school excursion to the navy museum. I prepared too much milk for him and he didn't finish. So just now, I offered the remaining 80 ml to ZK who took almost all! He didn't show much recognition but - well, I could have been biased, but - I thought he seemed quite happy having it. This was after rejecting most of his usual formula this morning. Looks like I won't get to drink my own leftover milk in Milo like last time now that I have an older kid to take it all! :p

Unlike with ZK, I have not experienced super hard boobs this time though I get swollen boobs here and there. But some times at night when I start to swell and ZY is sleeping, I'll be wondering when he will wake to relieve me, or whether I should go pump. Last night, I had to relieve one side but was too lazy to prepare the pump and wash the parts. So I hand-expressed. It was the second time I did it - the first time, I ended up pulling out the pump cos the output was sad - and I managed to compress to let down! Yielded 30 ml in 10 min, quite happy. ZY woke some 30 min later and drained everything, phew!

I started pumping to store on 12 August, almost exactly three months before I start work. Usually, I latch one side and pump the other in the morning. It takes me two days to fill one bag. So far, I have collected some eight bags of milk, about 150 ml to 200 ml each. Come next month, I'll add another pump session in the afternoon as I'll be pumping twice at work when I go back. From October or so, I may add yet another morning session as I'll pump before going to work too. I'm hoping not to pump at night unless I'm kiasu about my stash... Hopefully, I'll have enough stash to give ZY breast milk for a longer period of time.

Now that I'm seriously building up my milk stash, I realise how small my freezer is! I'll need the entire small compartment for my milk cubes when I start storing them from October, which means all the bags until then will need to go into the other compartment with other foodstuff. I have bought and started using big containers to store frozen meat so that they are not out in the open in the freezer. But with the space crunch, I think I'll have to do away with buying meat for the week and have Y go buy meat every day instead.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The (im?)possibility of a third child

At a gathering two years ago, a friend said that the first words of her MIL when she came to visit her in the hospital upon the birth of her second daughter were, "You will have a third child, right?" 意思浅浅 - her MIL wanted a grandson to 传宗接代!

So with ZK and ZY, I have - in the words of LH who has a boy followed by two girls - "fulfilled my duty as a DIL". But guess what? Both grandmothers told me the same thing when they first saw me after ZY came out - your third one should be a girl!

Well, if someone can tell me right now that our third WILL 100% be a girl, I'll say, onz!

*deafening silence*

Thought so :)

But actually, I do wish to have a third one. Gambling for a girl? Maybe. But after so many people have told me how nice it would be to have a girl (mf: a real-life doll to dress up!), a girl is closer to the mama (mf: nonsense - and I'm not the only one to say this) etc, I have decided that while it may be nice to strike the gender lottery, I don't mind having all boys - I'll be one super protected mama!

However, we have many considerations and reservations...

Sito worries about the cost. I don't think raising children is too expensive - a lot is discretionary spending - and childcare/school will only get cheaper with time and shoot up again at university; IFC fees are higher than the typical university fees! But it is true that another child represents more expenses, and we will have less disposable income.

Now with two, two adults will have to send them to and from the centre - ZK runs about too much and ZY needs to be carried for quite some time more. The current plan is for me to send them with Y and for Mum to help fetch them with Y. With three, I don't know - will ZK be more manageable by then and even able to help?

I saw this father sending his three kids to the centre sometimes. The elder two would get down from the car first and wait at the gate for their father to carry the infant from the car seat before going into the centre together. Perhaps, it will be more manageable with a car? But wait, the elder two in this family are girls; we have two boys, hmmm...

That's weekdays. On weekends, what would it be like? Now, we manage with one parent to one child, with Y as a buffer on Saturdays. Sometimes, it's two to one tyrannical toddler if ZY is asleep. We can still go out without Y. On Sundays, we tend to divide and conquer bedtime routine when Y is off - I'll come home from Mum's place to bathe ZY and shower before Sito brings ZK back for the kid's shower and bedtime with ZY. With three, I don't know.. Maybe we can treat the elder two as one, e.g. throw them into the shower together?

Bedtime is yet another story. It doesn't help that Sito's current job isn't the most conducive for more involved parenting. Neither does his long shower routine!

And then, there is timing. If we have a third one, I would prefer to have him/her in two years, i.e. 2016. Our new place will be ready by 2017, which means we'll have three kids in one room for a while more - now with two, sleep time is already a challenge! O_O We considered a later timing too, but the longer we wait, the greater the inertia...

Conclusion? We'll find out in a few years' time!

Friday, 22 August 2014

My new best friend

I think I may have found my new best friend - its name is "pacifier"!

Yes, almost right after weaning ZK off the pacifier, I introduced it to his brother. And guess what, he's napping in his bassinet as I type! And I get to turn his head to the left so his head doesn't get too lopsided!



Let's hope it's easy to wean ZY off the pacifier as well...

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

August updates

Haven't had much time to upload pictures and blog these days. In the day, I'm out or napping with ZY. Night time used to be personal time but now I'm limited to a couple of hours in my room after the kids fall asleep and before I go to bunk in in case either wakes and wakes the other up.

Since I don't have much time, I'll type less and put up more photos!

Let's start with ZK...

He re-discovered the baby gym! Only, he's too big for it!



Hi, have we met before?



They celebrated National Day in school the day before - ZK came home with a tattoo on his left cheek and another on his right arm! And doesn't he look like Sito in this shot??



Papa, underwear!



That's right, we put underwear on him for the first time on National Day! Kept asking him if he didn't to shhh shhh and he kept saying no. But barely a couple of minutes after saying no at 10-ish, he peed while sitting on his little chair o_O We washed and put a diaper on him. The underwear thing repeated the next morning. Then Sito said we should leave him in his wet underwear so that he could understand the consequence - that's right! Silly mama...

Attempted a selfie while the tattoo was still fresh but he couldn't stay still..



We were heading out for lunch but this boy trespassed into our neighbour's flat!! Luckily they were very kind to him. The lady even brought out a Thomas biscuit tin for him! He wanted it of course but guess what? He looked at the tin and the neighbour, uncertain. When I said he could take it, he went "Mama, take! I want Mama take.." No way, baby.. If you want something offered, you have to take it yourself - with my permission of course. So he ended up just staring at them until the lift arrived.. I thanked our neighbour anyway..



Asked him to smile and he gave me a face smile with laughter *.*



I haven't been keeping track of his teeth but I think all except the last molars are out or coming out. The latest were his canines - his bites will be even more painful! Avoid at all cost!

See the little thing on the floor in the middle of the picture? That's ZK having a meltdown cos we were just there for snacks and not going to take the MRT!



~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Now, the small baby who is coming to seven weeks old tmr... I want to post so many pictures!!

And this is the reason!!



And this!



This swaddle has been used maybe twice by this baby - he doesn't seem to like it. And every time I used this swaddle, he leaked pee within a couple of hours. Sian.

Propped up and looking.... like a baby!



You will never walk alone :) (Mum got this as a sale item btw - we are no fans, hoho!)



Sling off me - and smiling in his sleep!



Yawn... Put me down instead of propping me up!



Nah, bring you out instead :) ZK used the same car seat. The strap is now more difficult to adjust... Ah well..



We usually sleep together like this once a day.



Close up of the cute sleeping face:



ZK lay on me a few times too, but for a few seconds and not to sleep, thank goodness - he's heavy!

ZY's first bottle on National Day!



He leaked a lot of milk :( He got better the next day but was still leaky. He's also leaking here and there when latched on. Google says tongue and lip ties are possible culprits causing babies to be unable to cover the teat well. I've earlier checked that he can extend his tongue so I researched like mad for lip tie and came to an unsettling conclusion - our baby may have lip tie :(

Went to the PD yesterday who said that ZY is ok functionally so there is no need to do anything. I was concerned about teething but he said cutting it wouldn't help anyway. I saw a lactation consultant right after that and she recommended removing - it may solve the leaking problem. And she said that PDs are generally concerned about the child's overall well-being; enough that he's gaining weight well. (Yes, 4.79 kg now!) And if breastfeeding is not going well, PDs may just recommend formula. So she gave me a surgeon's contact. I'm looking for a laser solution but it isn't clear from my conversation with the nurse whether this surgeon uses laser. Will need to discuss with Sito when he returns tmr...

My 振扬 likes this 羊! :p



He's very good at tummy time - no fuss, unlike ZK who didn't like tummy time until he could flip.



ZY waking up from a nap.. Open eyes -- stretch! -- back asleep?! -- bee bee :)





Tried to take photos for his passport..

I don't want to look straight :p -- my right ear is flatter! -- fine, but I strain until my forehead is red! (And ICA accepted the third one.)



Told you I don't want photos taken -- no use propping me up -- please, Mama, please, no photos!



We participated in The Big Latch On on 2 August. SL alerted me to the event and we both went to the location at HV. But we were both unable to latch on with the other mummies at the appointed time cos it was "daddy's day" for SL's I and ZY was sleeping!! Nonetheless, ZY made it to the news! :)

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Together, they can be a terror at bedtime, or a pair of angels...

ZK fell asleep while ZY was playing. Later, I put ZY to nap on my chest instead of on the poop pad, sighs..



Brotherly love! :) (ZY's head dropped down just as I took the pic :p)



I want to lie down with didi - with my 狗狗...



Sayang didi..



Just now, ZK was so good and fell asleep very quickly. ZY, on the other hand, treated me like a pacifier and didn't go down under much later. I'm very sore now.. Thinking of introducing the pacifier already..

Friday, 15 August 2014

Sleep matters

So much for locking the door.

Early Tuesday morning at close to 6 am, ZK unlocked his door and came over. So I decided to turn the lock twice but he managed to unlock it too at about 2 am and came over. So I decided to not lock it so that he would lock himself in instead - naughty mama! But of course he still came over at about 1 am. We had to divide and conquer cos he refused to sleep for two hours - that means Sito with ZK, and food me with ZY.

And yesterday, we put in a new mattress for ZY. The idea was for me to bunk in with them both.

New bed! :)



Now the less :) part.... So I set ZY down to sleep and lay next to ZK until he fell asleep. But I fell asleep too and woke at 9 pm, shortly before ZY woke for his milk - he has been waking up at that time for the past few nights; I miss the nights when he slept to midnight or 1 am!

Spent the next couple of hours in my bed in my own room, relaxing in a room flooded with light! Sito commented that we hadn't had light in our room at that time for a while, sighs... Anyway, it was soon time for me to sleep so I crept back into ZK's bed.

But just past midnight, ZK woke somehow! And best, ZY also woke for milk! ZK was wide awake as I nursed his brother and when I left to change ZY, he started crying. I asked him if he wanted to follow, and if so, to drop his bolster and Meh Meh first. So we ended up at the changing mat where ZK promptly found the diaper cream and made a mess! Had to wake Y to clean him up while I cleaned poop.

Sleeplessness followed - I put ZY down in bed drowsy but as ZK was noisy, he couldn't fall into deep sleep and ended up struggling for the next hour while I tried to settle ZK. When that failed and I thought ZY really needed to sleep already, I decided to nurse him to sleep. Which meant that ZK was up again!! He brought my sunglasses in and almost destroyed it. He brought in a pack of boxes I just got from Ikea and tried to open it.

Eventually, he went to find Papa. I could hear him asking Sito to fetch his bolster etc from his bed *.* But Sito fell asleep before ZK did - actually ZK did not fall asleep so he came over again with all his disrupting antics!! I think he went to find Sito again, and came out again when Sito fell asleep before I got so fed up by 4 am and asked Sito to contain him properly while I locked the other room from the inside. That was when the boys finally got some sleep, after ZK lost four freaking hours and ZY about half that.

By then I was so pissed and worried that I couldn't fall asleep. I kept checking the camera to see if ZK had fallen asleep. And I wondered if he would be sleepy in school the next day. When I slept, it was short-lived as ZY woke again! Gaaar!

After ZK went to school, ZY woke again but I managed to put him down again and sleep with him for a good two hours. But just now, I struggled with ZY's sleep - spent an hour trying to make him sleep. When he did, after two milk milk sessions an hour apart, he napped for a grand 35 min!! I was so pissed! Why do my kids hate sleep?! I already abstain from caffeine very strictly this time!

Anyway, I nursed him again and finally he napped for an hour before stirring. As I type, he just drifted back into his troubled nap. Hope he can sleep until 5 pm because usually, he doesn't sleep again until 7 plus at the earliest.

I dread bedtime today. But I have no choice. Gotta suck it up and hope for the best. When Sito goes overseas again, I'll divide and conquer with Y - ZY will sleep in my room. And this time, I'll lock my bedroom from the inside!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Bye bye, babyhood

It was done in a second but I think I will remember this moment forever:

I was carrying a sleeping ZY and standing at the door of the other bedroom, watching ZK toddle to the kitchen. He was wearing his black and blue Baby Gap PJs, back facing me. He stopped at the rubbish bin, stepped on the latch to open it and dropped his last pacifier inside.

He had the same two pacifiers for more than a year. I stopped replacing pacifiers regularly since he's no longer fragile infant.

The first - his preferred white one - broke a couple of weeks ago after I heard him biting on it vigorously one night. I didn't realise it until he rejected it the next evening. The following evening, I was ready - I examined the pacifier with him and pronounced it spoilt. He agreed and threw it away, and went for his less preferred blue one.



The blue one - still in the bin in the kitchen as I type - was found broken on Monday morning, which might explain why he took a long time to fall asleep on Sunday. He rejected the pacifier the last two nights initially but there being no other pacifier, he asked for it again. A chunk of the pacifier fell off this morning - I found it on the floor. Thankfully he didn't swallow it! But perhaps my worries were needless - just now, he put the pacifier in and took it out, and proceeded to spit saliva until a small silicon bit came out.

That was my cue.

mf: 真的坏了⋯⋯ ZK throw away?
ZK: 好!

My big baby is now asleep, without his pacifier :) It feels like the end of his babyhood though, which makes me a little sad :(

Come to think of it, there are so many bye-byes to babyhood. First, there's the end of breastfeeding. Now, pacifier. Next, the milk bottle - I have tried to give him his formula in a sippy cup and a normal cup when the sippy failed but he wouldn't have it although he's fine taking other beverages in a cup. But the time will come, and perhaps that's the final bye-bye to babyhood...

Parenthood - 好多的舍不得⋯⋯

Monday, 4 August 2014

Back to the other room

Was just saying that we started letting ZK sleep in our bed but now, he's back in his room.

It was Thursday night, I think, when ZK woke at 10-ish and was still awake at 2 am. He was singing and talking and kicking, disturbing the parents and ZY. I had to move ZY to the other room so that he could sleep but I had to return to bed to keep ZK in bed.

When ZK wouldn't listen to us to be quiet after a long time, Sito carried him to the sofa and locked our room. I went to the other room to stay with ZY and locked that too. Needless to say, ZK started wailing and pleading at our door.

妈妈房间...
I want 妈妈房间...
妈妈房间睡觉..
爸爸!
爸爸开门...

We heard him and felt so sorry for him :( But none of us was having any sleep so...

Eventually, ZK went for his last resort - kakak! Y carried ZK and tried both doors. I think she was wondering what to do! And by then, I thought ZK should have got the point so I opened the door, stepped out and asked two questions:

mf: 你要睡觉吗?
ZK: 要..
mf: 跟妈妈进来,要 quiet time, ok?
ZK: 好..

His tone was so totally defeated! So poor thing.. And indeed, he came in, listened to me and put his head on his pillow, mumbled a little and dropped off to slumberland.

There was no space for me so I sat at a corner for a while. But that got quite tiring so I shifted ZY a little and placed my arm between the boys. Sleep finally arrived!

The next night, we decided that he would have to go back to his room. Even if he slept with us, he was always kicking us and making sleep difficult. Of course he kicked up a great fuss when I left him in his room with Y! But he happened to be quite tired that day so he fell asleep in no time. We locked his door from the outside!

He woke around midnight and cried at his door, unable to get out. I think he was there for an hour. But he eventually went back to sleep - on his bed, not the floor! He cried for progressively shorter durations - as I was typing, I heard him whine for a few seconds; by the time I got to the camera, I saw him stepping back into his bed to sleep :)

In the morning, either Y or I will go to him after 6 am. The cute thing is, last time he would want to get up at that hour; now, he wants to come into our bed for a while. I don't mind so long as he remembers that it's always quiet time in our room.

Really must plan for ZY to bunk in with him next...

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Long time no hug

ZY was napping when ZK woke from his nap this afternoon. I wanted to hug him and he let me - it felt so good to hug my big baby!

ZK: Mama 抱抱!

I bear-hugged him and tried to rub noses with him but he reached for my nostrils when I said "nose" *.*

ZK: Like this...

He went into cradle position! I had the chance to see him really up close - he's really fair!

I tickled him at one point.

ZK: *giggles* Mama naughty!

Yes, Mama was naughty ^.^ and Mama was very happy to hug ZK for so long today!

In other news, ZK kissed both Sito and me for the first time today! But ZY got a kiss from him two weeks ago - ZY won :p

Reminiscing about Sundays

Suddenly remember how I spent Sundays in my childhood.

My paternal grandmother used to stay over some Saturdays, and would take me out to the hawker centre for breakfast - nasi lemak was my fave; I had kway chap but just the noodles and soup; I had tea in a saucer. Then we spent some time in the swing before heading home for Sunday morning cartoons!

Usually, we left the house at about 10 am, going to my paternal grandmother's place and Grams' place every alternate Sunday.

My paternal grandmother lived in a big house around the Paya Lebar area. It was not her house; she was the housekeeper for a clan association that owned the house. I remember a hall with a huge table and big chairs, surrounded by many grandfather clocks; I used to sit on the table and run around the hall. I remember a front yard with a rambutan tree and a jackfruit tree; I climbed one of them before. I remember a huge back yard - more like a field! - with a stone mill that I had pushed at least once; clan dinners were cooked there in mega pots and woks, served to tables set in the rest of the yard, as I had once witnessed.

I remember this big area with a sky well - more like a hall without a roof! - that she used to cook in, using a charcoal stove. I remember a small room with a telephone that connected the big hall and the living quarters of the house. I remember sleeping over a few times, and being scared of creepy crawlies. I remember playing on the floor in a small part of the house - there was only a small motorcar that I didn't like but it was that or nothing; sometimes I would get dough to play with. I remember there were three dogs and a parrot, and even some chickens. I remember seeing an aunt with a tumour lying in her deathbed. I remember being scolded once by her daughter, whom I liked a lot.

Most of the time, it was boring to be in the big house with so few people send even fewer kids and toys. But we kept going until some time in primary school - can't remember exactly when now. I thought it was when 家变 happened hoho! But I seem to recall visits after that.. In any case, I much prefer the other Sundays when we went to 大巴窑 - a tradition that stopped only when Grams passed away, or perhaps it had already stopped during the sad days after her stroke.

When we were kids, we spent the morning in the family provision shop and around. We ate tidbits and played in the shop, played games at the balcony, played hide-and-seek in the dark storeroom, ran around the empty ground in front of the shophouse and visited the stationery shop next door. Lunch was in the kitchen upstairs, before the shop closed at about 1 pm. Often, I would stay back with an aunt who was closing up to leave for the residential flat in the next block, where the fun continued in the form of hide-and-seek and catching which saw us running up and down corridors and dominating the lifts to escape from the catcher, while the adults chatted the day away and cooked dinner etc.

When we were slightly older, we helped to buy char kway teow as an afternoon snack. In the mid 1990s, my uncle closed the shop. From then, I think we got there only after lunch. When we were even older, there was less running and more chatting. I remember doing 10-year series in the utility room, with Grams sitting next to me, fanning herself.

In the evening after dinner, we sometimes went to the school nearby which was open for public access, just walking about.. Or we would watch the 7 pm drama if it was interesting. Usually we left at 8 pm, and later when we were older, 9 pm as the 7 pm drama ended then! I remember that when we were very young, we would even take a bath before leaving. Back then, the house didn't have a water heater so we had to boil water for the bath!

I really loved my time there - there were no toys at all, and there was no need because the company of my cousins made up for everything. And we had this nice grandmother who was always urging us to eat ^.^ Now, we still gather at the same house but only on special occasions - LNY, 清明节, the death anniversaries of the grandparents, and the occasional family gathering. Actually, all these are family gatherings. Even the death anniversaries, they are a great time for the extended family to catch up when the elders are no longer around.

Now, as a parent, I'm happy to continue the grandparent-Sunday tradition for my kids although it's only at the paternal grandparents' place. Even though I used to stay out all the time before we got married, I did try to make Sunday dinner a regular affair with the extended family. But I'm not terribly keen to go over to the other side too often. Perhaps when YQ has kids? See how.
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