LIVE . LOVE . HURT . HOPE

Breezing through life and loving every moment…

Working vs Parenting

As soon as we found out that I was pregnant, I knew without a doubt that I wanted to do the best that I can to be the best mother I could be for our child. So in a heartbeat I decided that I would take extra time off on top of the 60-day maternity leave that I am entitled to. My maternity leave extended to 3 months and I am now still working from home towards the end of Maddy’s 4th month.

Lately, I have had to deal with some complications with Maddy’s future nanny. The good aunty who will be taking care of her when I eventually return to the office is still with her current employer, who is also a close friend of mine. The family is preparing to leave Miri but is still waiting on their migration visa. Which means that Aunty will still be with them until they leave. It was supposed to be by the end of August or September, but looks like there may be further delays. Which means that I am unable to return to the office as expected.

My boss has so kindly extended my work-from-home arrangement until the end of October. But if my friend’s visa is further delayed, I might need to further extend this arrangement. I am reluctant to send Maddy to a temporary babysitter, and Hubby and myself have decided that we DO want to wait for Aunty. She is an excellent nanny and good nannies are hard to come by. But at the same time, I get this nagging feeling at the back of my mind of how this is affecting my career. BUT the dedicated mother in me is whispering…screw this temporary setback…my child is only young once…I should cherish every moment and give her my best. I choose to stay at home. I choose spend time with her growing up. I have not missed her first real smile, her first laugh, her first turn, the discovery of her fingers and her toes.

But I get a bit nervous when colleagues ask why do I need such a long break? I think the dedicated employee in me is still in there somewhere…drowning but not dead.

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The Lazy Leftie

Yes…I have a lazy left boob. Why? Because I can amazingly pump out 5oz of milk from Miss Rightie but when it comes to Miss Leftie I can barely squeeze out 1oz in the morning. I have no idea why…maybe it could be because it is the side that I use to cheat Maddy back to sleep whenever she stirs in the night. Or maybe I just have a lazy left boob.

Hmmm…

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Maddy’s Milestones @ ~ 4 Months

Our (not-so) little pudgie pie is fast approaching her fourth month…in less than a week. As always, there is always that slight melancholy feeling as she grows month after month…. just how quickly those months seem to appear. I am sure within a few blinks of an eye she will be 6 months and chomping down semi-solid food.

She is now a chubby bundle of almost 6.5 kgs and quickly outgrowing her clothes. Just earlier this week, I took out some of her 3-6 months outfits that were gifts from friends, and I could barely stuff her chest through the dresses. So off they went into (permanent) storage again. The new romper (6-12 months) that we got for her to wear for a wedding in October is currently just right for her…RIGHT NOW. Ummm…. perhaps she needs a new outfit for October then?

Maddy is becoming more independant now…. amusing herself by reaching out for things, picking the labels on her toys and often just sitting quietly in her rocker or Bumbo just watching me work, do housework or prepare dinner in the kitchen. She is becoming so interactive now… smiling, cooing, complaining and delightfully laughing and squealing! Her current favorite thing to do is twiddling her fingers together and putting everything into her mouth. She is also starting to turn onto her tummy, although it annoys her to no end when she ends up on her front…unable to do much. She has always disliked tummy time…and I have a feeling this little girl might not crawl much and will just start walking. She is already trying to push herself up on her legs when we hold her…and loves stretching her legs to a standing position on our laps….

Outings with Maddy have become much more manageable. She is in the in-between phase where she gets bored lying on her inclined car seat/carrier but not stable enough to be seated in a baby high chair. So when we dine outside, we would perch her on our laps and take turns to eat. Occasionally we might even manage to hold her with one arm and eat with the other. It is an art, I tell you 😛 She does not show any obvious dislike in being strapped in her car seat during car rides so we’re thankful. She used to bawl halfway through the journey but not anymore….except currently during the night so we avoid returning home too late at night from outings so to avoid having to lift her out of the car seat halfway home (<– I am a SAFETY Engineer, after all!)

With all her wondrous development lately, Maddy is still (and always will be), our BABY. She still needs to be held during daytime naps….allowing to be put down only after she is truly fast asleep. Not good, some might say… but I am not really too stressed out over it… she only sleeps for about an hour or so. And I'd like to think of it as nature's way for me to take a break and cuddle my child. Not cooing to her, not talking…but just cuddle. It is two hours a day of my time…a small portion of time dedicated to something so precious, no? At times I do feel guilty of always rushing out with the housework or being stuck to my work laptop any moment Maddy is playing on her own…so if and when she naps on her bed, I would be doing the same. So the quiet cuddles are nice actually. And as with everything else about Maddy, I am confident that in time as she grows, she will adapt and eventually settles into all the so-called 'good habits'. After all, what is 2 hours of cuddling in return for many more hours of smiles from a very very happy baby?

Breastfeeding is still going well, Maddy is fully breastfed and I am proud of it. I hope to continue to do so until six months and then aim for a year after that.

So the journey continues with our Madelyn….she is starting to fuss now after being such an angel rolling about in her playpen. Time for a break…and some cuddly time. 🙂

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Wowee!

It is 6am..

Maddy woke up for a snack after sleeping through since 10pm last night (whoopee! I am very proud of the fact that she sleeps through just on breastmilk alone) and I got 6 ounces of milk from one pumping session after that (double whoopee!!). Could be more if I had sat in the kitchen hand expressing longer but I wanna go back to sleep.

Maddy is now fast asleep and I cannot get back to sleep. Bummer…

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Making Them Happy

I try to be on Skype with my parents almost every other night so that they will be able to see Maddy. This way it is as if they can follow Maddy’s growth almost every day. And I hope by seeing Grandpa and Grandma on the screen so often she would not forget them. It makes my mom and dad so happy to be able to see her smile, laugh and grow right in front of their eyes. It makes me happy to see them happy. 🙂

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Fussy

Maddy’s been fussy in the evenings yesterday and today, and she wouldn’t really sit still and hang out with her daddy. I was out for a company dinner last night and she wailed for almost half an hour before falling asleep in exhaustion. Hubby frantically rang me to return home. I had gone out for company dinners before that and she was just fine to hang out with daddy though.
Tonight, again, she was less than pleased as well. She cried a few times in daddy’s arms and was not in too good a mood in her rocker while we had dinner. She wouldn’t hang out while daddy watch telly either. I had to suckle/feed her but she wasn’t too happy after that as well. Usually she would give me a wide grin after nursing. This time it was just fussy fits. Perhaps it was because she slept hardly an hour today. She was quite happy playing for the whole day though and I was trying to put her down to nap downstairs these 2 days in training for when her nanny comes. Previously I would put her to nap in our bed in which she would nap for at least an hour an a half in the afternoons and nap another hour in the morning. With napping downstairs somehow she would wake up within half an hour or less. I really need to try harder. But that also means less time for work.. I am also working at home at the same time. But since I already submitted stuff due this week I suppose I could steal some time to nap train Maddy this week.

She is fast asleep now. I hope she gets more nap time tomorrow, and hopefully in a better mood in the evening so daddy will have a chance to spend some time with her.

Goody night night! I wonder if she will sleep through the night again tonight?

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Babi Asam

I have been cooking simple meals lately and am getting bored with them….so this morning I decided to dig out my New Mrs Lee’s Cookbook: Nyonya Cuisine. This was a gift from a dear friend some time ago and I haven’t really made good use of it.

So I flipped through some recipes and came across a Nyonya meat stew made with pork and decided to try it, since I had some tender pork meat in the freezer.

Babi Asam is a simple stew of pork belly (or lean pork for the healthy folks) stewed in a thick sauce of tamarind pulp, fermented soy paste and shrimp paste. It’s quick enough to prepare and my three-month baby Madelyn was even nice enough to sit quietly by the kitchen door while I sliced, pounded and prepared this dish. The end result? A yummy stew with the tangy hint of the tamarind. Simply delicious! Here’s the recipe; courtesy of my cookbook, of course 🙂

Ingredients:

600g pork belly

5 green chillies

3 red chillies

1.5 tbsp salted soy beans (taocheow)

1 rounded tbsp tamarind pulp

500ml water

5 tbsp oil

Sugar and salt to taste

Rempah (spices):

4 candlenuts

20 shallots

1 tbsp shrimp paste (belacan)

METHOD:

1. Rinse and cut pork belly into pieces

2. Slice the red and green chillies lengthwise

3. Pound the soy beans

4. Pound or blend the ingredients of the rempah

5. Heat oil in a wok in high heat, and stir fry the rempah until light brown and fragrant. Lower heat to a medium flame and sprinkle in some water

6. Add the salted soy beans, then the meat. After a few minutes sprinkle in some more water to prevent the mixture from burning. Add the tamarind paste, then bring to a boil. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half

7. Add the chillies and simmer until the pork is tender. Add sugar and salt to taste.

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Oh…..

I met up with my contractor from work who was visiting from KL last night and the first thing she said upon seeing me was:

Oh still chubby eh?

…….

Must.Not.Think.About.It.

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My New Toy!!

Hubby got quite generous last weekend and almost surprised me with a new toy. I said ‘almost’ because he dropped some hints the week before and asked me which one of the few choices that are available I might like. So here it is folks!!!!
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My spanking new laptop!!! My precious Macbook!! See how it glistens?!! Can you smell the aluminium??! Ahhhh..

Yes, I am totally obsessed with my new toy. As a first time Mac user, I am totally smittened! I even thought the box was cool! Yes I know.. I am so jakun. But who doesn’t love a brand new Mac?? I am so taken by it I could sit and just run my palms over its crisp aluminium casing without even needing to turn it on (Which Hubs said he might as well have bought me a block of aluminium and stick a pic of an apple on it). It’s so pretty!!!

Ah my fruit, we are going to have a wonderful relationship together! *rubs laptop*

Thank you my dear for a wonderful gift! 🙂

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Dumb Question

Hubby and myself were watching a documentary on Redwood trees this afternoon and …

Me: Are these the tallest trees in the world?
Hubby: Yes
Me: Are there any other taller ones?
Hubby: ….. ????? No… That is why they are the tallest trees in the world
Me: Oh…..(smacks head)

What a dumb question from yours truly 😛

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