LIVE . LOVE . HURT . HOPE

Breezing through life and loving every moment…

Restore ME! Weekend

I think it is time that I start thinking about myself. Or to be more precise, to start to do the things that I used to do before Maddy arrived. Having to raise Maddy almost single-handedly most of time has left me very little time to squeeze in any self-indulgences at all. But things are getting better now that Maddy is a little older and more independent. The fact that she is now walking on her own means that I have my two hands free to do things that I need to do, and things that I WANT to do! Yay!

So this weekend, I booked myself a session at the hairdresser’s to give my hair the trim that I had so needed (like 3 months ago) while the grandparents watch the little squiggly one (parents are visiting). After the trim, I came home to shower and feed Maddy and while she played by herself in her cot (isn’t she wonderful?), I washed my hair, and home-spa-ed it with my mommy’s home-made coconut oil (I want the shine back on my hair). While waiting for the hair to be done, I did more mommy things like fed Maddy her yogurt, read some books with her and chased her around the house. After which, Maddy went back into her cot for some more individual playtime while I washed the oil out of my hair. Felt lovely to have that moisture soaking into my not-so-long locks…my poor hair had not come even close to any treatment since Maddy came along…I think it is now time to be back to my weekly coconut oil session. Yes, I want to be the mom with great hair!

And that was not all I did. I have to reluctantly accept that I am moving closer and closer to the age group that starts with the number ‘4’ (oh my frikkin gawwwwdddddd!!!) and this is when the words ‘skincare’ and ‘anti-aging’ can be found on the same bottles of stuff in my basket of potions. Although yours truly is slightly more (just slightly…..) than half a decade away, but I am already in the same decade! I am thankful for all these magic nursing and post natal hormones that had been coursing through me to help keep my skin looking decent but little vain me is missing the glow!

Hence armed with a new set of potions, I managed to spend the early evening pampering myself (after feeding, cleaning and putting Maddy into her PJs, of course) and went to bed feeling goooooodddd about everything that I had achieved. I aim to do this every weekend, and find more time for those little things to boost those happy hormones!

Being a mom, I suppose sometimes we lose ourselves in trying to do the best that we can, and to be the best that we can. Time is definitely something elusive those first few months, but we eventually find it again…Well, I did, after almost a year. And it is definitely worth the wait.

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

Just Another Friday…

Another end to another week. An almost 16-month old Madelyn is sound asleep, murmuring softly in her slumber and I get some quiet time to myself at the end of a busy day. Hubby’s been offshore for two weeks now and will not be home for another week. But thankfullly my folks are aound to keep me company.

So what have we been up to lately? The usual, I guess.

I have FINALLY returned to my pre-pregnancy weight and size after what seemed like forever. But between work and my very busy schedule at home as a part time single mother, I did not have much time to ponder over my lack of style or how I could not fit into my old clothes. Then suddenly I could once again slip into those pants and zip up the those old skirts! And all without a single hour of exercise. Took me a year, but I got there. It did not matter anyway prior to this whether or not I looked hot…because everyone else was checking out my baby and not my bum.

Maddy is now an almost toddler. She repeats a lot of the words that we say. She can now say very clearly; hello, buh bye, ball, mummy, papa, puppy, dog, mam-mam, duck, turtle and my favoarite of them all – plee (her version of please). My daughter is growing up too fast, she is a little person now, with a fully developed character, needs, preference, opinions and moods. She is eating very well and is a snacker, tasting almost everything we offer her and eats her meals without fuss. I have introduced fresh milk to her on weekdays when I am at work, but will still offer her breastmilk in a bottle before she goes to bed. I am still nursing her at nights, although the frequencies are reducing. She is probably weaning herself soon, which is about time but I will let her take the lead. I want to enjoy that special closeness that we share during nursing for as long as she lets me, as I know once she fully weans I may never get that back again.

You might probably know by now that I do not have time for any other personal activities outside work apart from house chores and spending all my time with Maddy. It is to be expected I suppose, with Hubby being away. The moment I get home, it’s just a few hours of feeding, washing, cleaning and putting wriggly person to bed. And every day it is just the same. But I am not complaining, life is just different now with a different kind of fun. I am just so tired sometimes but that is to be expected.

Time to get some rest now…and snuggle up to my chubby cheeks (yes we co-sleep and enjoying every moment of it!). Good night peeps!

Leave a comment »

Patience

…is when…

There are housechores to be done and nobody else is around to do them but myself

Food needs to be prepared for baby and I am in the middle of chopping / cleaning and

Baby cries her lungs out

I have a deep cut on my finger which is hurting like crazy doing the washing, cleaning blah blah

Dog suddenly has fleas from goodness knows where and I need to find a moment to zip outside and manage that but oh wait … Baby is crying her lungs out whenever I leave her

Mind is worried about the million and one things to be done come next working day

And I realize there isn’t any lunch for me to eat apart from crackers and I am starving..

God, please give me the strength (and patience) to go through just this one more day…

Leave a comment »

Blessed

Blessed indeed to be loved by family and friends, to have food and drink served at every request, to have health and strength to face each new day, to wake up and fall asleep with the fresh scent of a sleepy baby and to be given a hug each day.

I am blessed indeed.

Good night…..*sniffffffffffff*

πŸ™‚

Leave a comment »

Lazy Sunday

It’s been drizzling all morning and after a quick spin to town and back to get a screen protector on my iPad (yes my new toy from my birthday!!) and an early lunch, we are back home to enjoy the rest of the weekend lazing around. Maddy dozed off in the car on the way back and is now continuing her morning nap beside me. Here she is still in her pajamas full of squirel prints!

20110522-122833.jpg

Just a quick update, her first birthday came and went without much fuss. My parents and brother flew over to celebrate with her and despite being down with a fever that day she did have a good time regardless. We got cupcakes with a tortoise made from fresh cream on the top (she had a thing for tortoises then) and sang her a birthday song. Just us – family.

A week later she developed yet another episode of high fever which came and went for about five days. But the little champ rode through it without much fuss and we were so proud of her! I believe that her being a breastfed baby made all the difference and I will continue to give her breastmilk at least for a further six months. After all, if I still can, why not?

Do you know that now she naps so easily and soundly on her own? Remember those days when it took so much effort to put her down for naps? Maddy now just falls asleep so easily and takes 2-3 hour naps each twice a day. I am so glad indeed I listened to my instinct and let her grow and settle at her own pace. And with everything else, she proved to us yet again that she will adapt when the time comes. Next will be potty training and her sleeping through the night without needing me for comfort. Although it does feel nice to be needed πŸ™‚

To all my faithful readers out there, welcome back to my blog and I hope all is well at your side of the world!

Leave a comment »

A Prayer

Dear God

As I lie awake tonight, I think about all the good things that You have granted me, and I thank You….

For my parents’ good health and well being. May they be blessed with happy days ahead and may my Daddy’s eye cataract be okay soon.

For my beautiful sleeping child next to me. May she grow up happy, healthy and blessed with a good future…may she be respectful, kind and gentle and may her sweet happy smile bring happiness to someone’s gloomy days

For my loving husband, who has been totally wonderful and bring me so much laughter in our lives together

For my good friends, who have been with me for years and years through playschool, exams, teen crushes, first heartbreak, weddings, loss and birth..may we also brave through middle age and wrinkles and weak knees together

Thank you for a good life, then and now and hopefully tomorrow.

Leave a comment »

Back @ Work

In the office, yes. I have had countless people ask me before, when I was going to get back to work. The fact is, I had been working, from home…the fact that I was home did not mean that I was slacking off in my pajamas. I was promptly responding to emails, reading and reviewing reports, returning queries from the fabrication yard…all these while taking care of an infant as well. I had to admit, even though I was at home, I could barely spend time interacting with Maddy…I just spent enough time each day feeding, bathing, changing and putting her down for naps, and then I would be back hunching over my laptop. It did make me feel bad that I used her obsession with certain toys to my benefit, she would play on her own without needing me to be there with her. But during those months, I suppose that was the best I could do…strike an arrangement with the boss to allow me to remain home caring for child. In return for that, I had to honour my arrangement, I would act upon work requirements…as if I was there sitting in my office cubicle. It was TIRING, having to juggle both baby and work…and there were days when I guiltily wished I was back in the office.

So, that worked out fine for about three months…and finally Maddy’s babysitter could start with us and I got back to the usual routine. I am back at work AT THE OFFICE…been two weeks now, and things are going well. Maddy is adjusting well to the babysitter, apart from the occasional fussiness when she sees me come home…it is as if everything is fine while I am away, then when I walk through the door she realizes I have been away and starts missing me! But my worries of her not being able to adjust or not being to nap with the babysitter are unfounded. Things are great! The babysitter is great!

I am still adjusting to my new role as a working parent. It throws at me various questions and decisions that I never had to consider before. I used to and will soon again have, a highly mobile job that involves a lot of traveling. It was fun then, jetting off weekly for work and shopping and meeting up with friends. But things are different now…I now have to consider work and Maddy…she needs me for food and comfort. As much as she is comfortable with her daddy, and will drink formula milk, I still want her to be fully breastfed and she still wants me to put her to sleep at nights. I expressed my wish to hold back on traveling to the boss, and thankfully he was understanding enough to place subordinates with me who might be able to assist me later. I am blessed to be working with such kind people. But you know, even if it does affect my appraisals later on, deep inside I know that doesn’t really bother me. My family is my priority for now.

So, this is still new to me, this fulltime working mom thingy. Gone are the days of sleeping in or taking naps whenever I want to. I wake up at about 6.30am every day to pump milk, then get ready for work. At the office I take 10 minutes out once in the morning and once in the afternoon to pump milk. After a whole day of work, I get home, babysitter leaves and I wash, cook and manage baby…thankfully with some help from hubby. By 9pm when Maddy knocks off for the day…I am ready to sleep myself. Hubby and I try to watch some movies from time to time and talk too. I suppose we don’t spend as much time alone nowdays, but we just adapt to a different life. We sit and quietly watch our sleeping daughter, holding hands. Some things are just better unspoken. And one of them is…”That’s our beautiful baby girl, dear. This is a good life…and I love you very much”.

Leave a comment »

October Updates

So many things to update but so little time Β to blog about them separately…so I am just going to put them all under one post. Here goes!

Maddy:

The month of October is approaching its end, and she will be turning six months old soon! That means a new adventure Β begins soon for our little girl – starting solid food! I have already started her on some carrot puree yesterday and the reaction wasn’t so great. But hey, she has not known anything apart from milk…so her reaction is to be expected. Gonna try again today.

She had her first haircut about 3 weeks ago prior to our trip back home (more about that later!). I badly needed a haircut myself so both of us dropped by my usual hairdresser. She sat very quietly in her Bumbo and didn’t fuss a single bit while the nice lady trimmed off the wild wispy locks around her ears and nape. Now she looks ‘tidier’ and sometimes like a baby boy.

She has been napping wonderfully! I can now pat her to sleep on the mattresses without the need to suckle her and she would nap for about Β 2 hours in the morning and 2.5-3 hours in the afternoon. Bedtime at night is now much easier…no more needing to suckle her…after her night feed, she usually starts to get sleepy. I put her down, turn her on her side and she is out like a lightbulb! She still wakes up once for a feed about 3-4am but I am fine with that. See, didn’t I say she will find her sleeping mojo at her own pace? πŸ™‚

She has also grown out of her fear and dislike for strangers and rarely fusses now when being held by friends and family members. In fact our little Maddy now is quite the social butterfly…flashing everyone her gummy grins and breaking their hearts with her cuteness!

Me:

I am due back at work in about a week and a half. Maddy’s nanny starts then too. To say that I am nervous is an understatement. I am nervous at the thought of leaving Maddy at home for long hours for the first time. I do trust her nanny, but I am worried at how Maddy will react and behave without me around. Well, there will always be the first time, I suppose and thankfully office is just minutes away so I can always zip back if she gets too upset.

With me returning to work at the office, it also means that I will have to start pumping breast milk while at work. I have not been pumping regularly for the reason that Maddy has always been with me and latching her own directly for a feed has been the best way to go. I did pump for a little while, about once day for some milk in the bottle when I was bottle-training her. But once she got the hang of it, the pumping stopped. While I do not have any problems keeping her fed and happy with direct feeding, I am a little nervous about being able to pump enough milk to keep her happy. I kind of suspect that Maddy isn’t a big drinker…about 2-3 oz per feed seems to be more than enough for her. She drinks about once in the morning, once mid morning, once lunchtime, once mid afternoon and a few cluster feedings in the evening before bedtime. I plan to direct latch her before I head off to work, return home lunchtime for another feed and get back by about 5pm. This means I will need to have ready in the fridge, a daily supply of about 5-6 oz of expressed milk. I am fairly confident that that is achievable…at the very least I can at least produce about 4-5 oz on my low supply days…my expressed volume seems to yo-yo for no apparent reason. On good days I get about 4-5 oz per side…on other days 3 oz from both sides – each pumping. Either way, I should have enough for her daily needs. And if indeed for whatever reason she wants more, an ounce or so of formula milk here and there should be alright. As much as I would like her to be fully on breastmilk, I am not going to be too obsessed about it and stressed myself out because of it (which will eventually affect supply!). After all, once I get back home from work, I will latch her on again and all will be well πŸ™‚

I went shopping for work clothes a week back. Geez… I could hardly find anything that fits! Not that I have grown so much but errm…a breastfeeding mom certainly has trouble fitting her boobs into clothes she used to fit in. I had to buy Medium sizes tops to fit myself into…not ideal but at least it doesn’t look as if I am bursting out of the seams. I think I need to be on the look-out for stretchy tops or nice-looking nursing tops…darn. I have yet to return to my pre-pregnancy weight, my priority now is to eat healthily enough to maintain milk supply for Maddy. Alhough I would like to return to work looking like a hot chick mama, my baby’s needs come first, I suppose. To be able to think that and do it for me…. that is a HUGE thing, because my one big concern (used to) is my weight! Anyway, I can return to work as the hot curvy mama with the glowing skin! Yes! For some reason my complexion is glowing pink with health! I have received many compliments for it he he…maybe it is the glow of the happy mama with the happy giggly baby. πŸ™‚

On the subject of work, I really need to decide on how to juggle work and family next year. Hubby starts going offshore for 4 weeks a stretch and I am predicting that it might be an issue if I need to travel for work. Maddy always needs me during bedtime and I would still like to continue to be around as much as possible during her first few years…at least during her first year. Indeed I need to discuss this with my boss, whether it is possible to switch to a different role based locally with no travelling or just day trips for the next year or so. I am prepared for my career to take a back seat for now, like I said before…it took us some effort and time and some heartache to conceive Maddy and finally be able to hold her in our arms. So I am going to raise her as best as I possibly can.

Us:

Hubby is certainly a wonderful daddy and trying his best to be so much more. He does most of the house chores, while I am in charge of Maddy and cooking our meals. He can now put Maddy down for naps and give her her bottle of warmed chilled breastmilk. I can be away for half a day now and hubby can manage just fine…:D

We went home to Penang for hubby’s brother’s wedding a few weeks back. Maddy was such an angel on the 2 flights back, we were so proud of her. She barely made a sound, just looked around, played and took a long nap as soon as the plane took off. We brought her out shopping, for snacks at the hawker stalls, went for walks and she behaved perfectly during the wedding celebration parties. It was nice…just the three of us πŸ™‚

So those are about the main updates of what we have been up to. Our wonderful lives together continue….

Leave a comment »

The Single Parent: I Salute Thee!

Hubby is back…and I survived 3 days and 2 nights by myself and Maddy at home; the first time alone with her since she was born.

I have to say, it was not easy. I knew it would be manageable, but I did not know what to expect. Maddy can be considered quite an easy baby and I am thankful for that. On top of dealing with the needs of a 4-month old baby, I managed to cook lunch and dinner, take 2 proper showers, work (don’t forget I am technically still employed and need to honor my work-at-home arrangement), water the garden and feed the dogs. Well the last two chores barely took an hour together but still…Maddy was so nice and well-behaved to give me free time to be able to do those stuff when I had to. When there is a baby to manage, the hardest part I think is to be able to do things at the moments you want them done. And I cannot stress again how thankful I am that for all her eccentricities (past and present), Maddy lets me settle my daily chores at the times I need to.

But after spending those 2 days alone with her, I have a deep respect for single parents. By the end of each day, after Maddy finally drifted off into her baby dreamland I was so relieved! How do single parents do that day after day? I danced with glee when Hubby finally walked through the door and not looking forward to the long weeks next year when he goes offshore again.

But for now…Hubby is back home again. And to any single parent who happens to drop by this blog..*BOW BOW*

Leave a comment »

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?

Leave a comment »