Sunday, 22 November 2009

A Breastfeeding Battle

I am having a REALLY TOUGH time breastfeeding this time around. Hubby is out getting a bottle of fenugreek, the confinement lady is making the green papaya soup again and I'm pumping every 2 hours in the hope of catching up with the baby. And I'm ordering the milkmaid tea online and searching for recipes to increase the milk supply! Breastfeeding with the boy was easy because:
  • he was put to my breast immediately after birth;
  • he latched on fast and sucked voraciously on colostrum for 5 days;
  • he would just scream loudly until you pop the nipple in, suck like a barracuda and scream again once he emptied the breast and waited for you to switch sides;
  • he was a textbook baby i.e. feeds on the dot every 2 hours (1st and 2nd month), 3 hours (3rd month) and 4 hours (4th month onwards)
Ironically, I faced many breastfeeding challenges then:
  • My milk came in late on Day 5 (we were worried until one day Hubby noticed liquid gold dripping from the other breast as the boy fed on one);
  • My mother and the confinement lady would repeat their,
"You don't have enough milk, you don't have enough milk. Give him formula. Give him formula"
mantra EVERY time they see me breastfeed or pumping;
  • I was really, really tired from a heavy lochia  and fever (due to imbibing brandy and DOM before the 12th day and really heaty confinement food and drink);
  • I didn't have any nursing bra or nursing tops and
  • I was struggling with the Medela Mini Electric Pump.
With the girl, I've got my nursing bras, nursing tops and nursing accessories (e.g. AVENT Breast Shells you should get them because they a. ease engorgement and b. save every precious drop leaking from the breast The confinement lady is familiar with breastfeeding and can even help assemble my AVENT Manual Isis Pump. But the problem is that baby is not co-operating!!!
  • She was whisked away to NICU for 24 hours - I was stuck in the ward sleeping off the sedative alone and couldn't get up to walk;
  • She was fed Similac both from a spoon and a bottle (not a very baby-friendly hospital);
  • When she was finallybrought to me, she is a poor suckler (she's full-term at 38 weeks but she's tiny and underweight at 2.3 kg) and sleeps at the breast;
  • My milk came in early on Day 3 and I was seriously engorged but I couldn't use the Medela industrial breast pump at the hospital. I could only start pumping the next day after Hubby brought me my pump (pack the pump in your hospital bag!!!)
  • She sleeps during the day and wakes up every 1-2 hours during the night. I could breastfeed her during the day which is every 3-4 hours but my milk supply runs low at night that she's too impatient to wait.
  • I've been pumping out almost every night feed (pathetic 1 oz or less each time) but I'm seriously exhausted by her night wakings.
I can rest during the day(after breastfeeding, feeding, cleaning myself up, eating, drinking and spending some time with the big brother) but the nights really make me worn out. Imagine this: We try to go to bed at 9.30 pm but she'll wake at 10 pm to feed. If she breastfeeds, I try to give both breasts so she'll be satisfied. The tot will get all excited and refuse to sleep because he wants to: a) soothe the baby: "Please don't cry, it's ok, it's ok" b) help wake the baby: "Wake up! Please wake up! Time to drink susu!!!" c) help me lift up my blouse, fetch my pump accessories box, handkerchief etc If the breastmilk isn't enough, we'll make up a 2 oz bottle, which she will S-L-O-W-L-Y drink (I've ditched the MAM anti-colic because the flow is too fast and gone back to AVENT). By the time she finishes 1 oz, it's already 11 pm. Then, she wakes at 12 midnight and we repeat the same drama. Last night, she kept me awake from 3 - 5 am because it was F-E-E-D, then poop! and then F-E-E-D again. I was sooooo sleepy I nodded off holding her and the bottle (bleagh). When she woke at 6 am, I had to call Hubby for rescue (I want him to sleep so he can manage the boy during the day) and didn't even lift her up this time. I fed her on her pillow and I just fell asleep! This morning, the half-finished bottle is on the side and the poor little mite slid off her pillow :P HELP!!! If you know of any way I can increase my milk supply, please contact me immediately!

Friday, 11 September 2009

My favourite celebrity hairstyles

Last week, I went for a haircut and my hairstylist remarked on how healthy my hair is now that I no longer straighten it :-) When she asked what she should do with it, I wondered if it's time I grew it long again. She laughed and said,
"You're gonna have a baby and you wanna go for a long hairstyle now? Your hair's so thick - how are you gonna survive the confinement? Take care of the kid firstlah then leave it long later!"
Sigh...even Hubby tells me the same thing. Since I can't have my long hair now, can I dream about hairstyles I'd love to have in the future?

CINDY CRAWFORD'S WAVY LONG LAYERS

During my uni days, I sported this hairstyle but I hardly let it loose and long like Cindy, simply because it's too hot to do so in Malaysia!

I usually wore it in a ponytail, twisted around a scrunchie or in a French braid.

When I was working, I wore it in an updo most of the time using a chopstick. Most people thought I looked rather severe in the updo probably because I didn't have a fringe...

Anyway, Hubby loves this hairstyle because my hair is left naturally wavy and thick. The nicest comment I ever got for it is that I looked like Cindy Crawford. Wah...



Actually, he doesn't really care as long as I'm happy with my hairstyle and don't whine about it. Of course, he made sure there was as much distance as possible between me and guy who said I looked like Cindy Crawford hahaha.

Cindy Crawford is now 43 and she still looks as good as ever. I should find that guy who said I looked like her and ask him if he STILL thinks I look like her! I think he may be too scared to answer that questions now...

NATALIE PORTMAN'S PIXIE CUT

I *really* love this hairstyle because it's chic, stylish and ultra low maintenance.

My hairstylist thinks I can carry off this hairstyle because my squarish face is kind of like hers, except that I've got more fat around the cheeks and chin now!


I'm really tempted to go for it when I'm up for a trim in the next few months.

The question is: do I dare hack it all off??? Too short and I'll look like Sinead O'Connor.

NATASHA RICHARDSON'S WAVY, LAYERED CUT 

I really loved the late Natasha Richardson's elegant wavy hairstyle in that hit "The Parent Trap" she co-starred with Lindsay Lohan.

Don't you think she looked gorgeous when Lindsay Lohan first meets her Mum and the Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun" plays in the background? I felt really sorry for Liam Neeson and his boys when she died recently from a skiing accident.

This hairstyle looks really low maintenance and my hairstylist says that my wavy hair MAY just be able to cut it. But I don't have Natasha's fine bone structure or blonde hair colour! One can dream, can't I?

TIFFANI AMBER THIESSEN'S SHOULDER LENGTH LAYERS

Tiffani Amber Thiessen's old hairstyle looks do-able because my face is as broad as hers. I also like how casual the look is especially for a lazy Mum like me!

The long fringe is a potential problem - sometimes, my wavy hair tends to curl slightly there, which would totally spoil the smooth look.

Plus, I couldn't be walking around with one of my eye partially covered, right? I will either end up tucking the fringe behind my ear or walk like the Hunchback of Notre Dame!

In case you're not sure what a French braid is, here's a photo on the left.

Do you know that I can do a French braid on myself? If I have any secret talents, this is one of it ;-)

I love French braiding any girls' long hair and will certainly enjoy doing it on my own little girl later.

Knowing how DIFFICULT it is to manage and maintain thick and wavy hair, I pray that she will not inherit this from me.

For her sake and mine, I really, really, really hope that she'll get her Papa's dead straight hair!

Okay, question time: for those who have met me, WHICH hairstyle do you think suits me the most???

Monday, 7 September 2009

Usborne's Touchy Feely Puppies by Fiona Watt and Rachel Wells


"Young children will love this very special board book. Even babies and toddlers will enjoy turning the pages and touching the different textures."



An Usborne touch-and-feel board book which features puppies sniffing, playing, chasing and finally sleeping! Interesting storyline that emphasizes that NOT all puppies act in the same way. Great book to show your child that he or she is special :-)

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

The Tiny Kite of Eddie Wing - Maxine Trotter and Al Van Mil


I can't recall where I bought this book but The Tiny Kite of Eddie Wing is about a young Chinese boy living in the United States (probably San Francisco) who loves kites but cannot afford to buy one.

Incidentally, a rich old man named Old Chan organizes a kite competition each year in his town but Eddie Wing cannot join because he doesn't own a kite.

This year, Old Chan's competition has a different rule...will Eddie Wing be able to join in the competition this time?

I like the storybook because:

a) A child learns that despite being poor and despite facing a lot of challenges in life, he can still win at something,

b) Old Chan is a wise old man who "gives back to the community" in a creative and generous way, which also helps to promote children's activities and Chinese culture

c) Lastly, Al van Mil's colourful illustrations are really, really beautiful.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Got back my Google Pagerank 2!!!

I have been blogging for more than 5 years now - it's truly a labor of love :D

I recorded every month of my first child's pregnancy from the moment I was pregnant because I was a busy, busy, busy working Mom.

Then, I became a stay-at-home Mom and we had a bit of a wait for our second child. I was quite frustrated I was not pregnant although we had been trying for almost a year that I drove myself to distraction by writing reviews on anti wrinkle cream.

Hahaha... I love my blog but I need money to maintain it.

Last Thursday, I decided that I was going to try my best to monetize it and this morning, Hubby asked me:
"What's your Google Pagerank?" "Zero-lah. I hate Google."
Scrolling down my blog to show him the big fat 0, I realized that the Pagerank Checker was missing. When I entered my blog URL, I was surprised to see a "2". Of course, this Mummy went:
"I got my Pagerank back!!! Yay, Mommy's blog is a Pagerank 2 again! WOO-HOO!!!"
The boy got really excited and shouted YOO-HOO!!! too and ran around the hall happily.

Thank you, Google. I love you, Google. Hugs and kisses for you, Google. Muaks-muaks-muaks!!! Next, we got to figure out how to make some money for Mummy ;-)

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Supermarket! by Charlotte Doyle and Nadine Bernard Westcott


If you are looking for a picture book to prepare your child for regular trips to the supermarket, Supermarket! is a wonderful choice. I bought this book when my toddler was about 9 months old and he loved flipping through the book while I read out the words.

The first page begins with the Mother entering the sliding doors of the supermarket, with the toddler in the child’s seat.

They move through section by section, with single words highlighting the various items a child would pass by while trundling through a supermarket.

The words and illustrations pick up speed and urgency e.g. from “Cherries.” to “Mop!” as the Mother frantically tries to finish her shopping before the Child does further damage…

Nadine Bernard Westcott's illustrations are simple but vivid enough to attract and hold a young child’s interest. Also, the single words on each page form an exciting storyline, which will engage a young child and arouse his interest and emotions.

The storyline is familiar yet quirky enough for both Mothers and kids to laugh over and enjoy together.

When the baby became a toddler, reading the book again is another joy as he can read out the simple words and feels thrilled that he can now "read" the book. Even with only one word on each page, amounting to ten over words, we still ended up with an exciting and fulfilling story. Highly recommended if you want to introduce familiar concepts to tots in a fun way.

It never ceases to amaze me what a hit this book was (and still is) with my little boy :D

[rating: 5/5]

You *must* buy the book for your child: