LIVE . LOVE . HURT . HOPE

Breezing through life and loving every moment…

I Am Sorry, Mommy

Tonight, Madelyn was playing around with my bottle of hand lotion when she playfully threw it onto her daddy’s head and struck him on the side of his face. He was lying down on the floor.

The both of us then told her in a firm and stern voice, that she was not to throw things onto other people and that she should apologize to her daddy. She kneeled next to him and looked down, her expression very solemn indeed. She did not say a single word but her expression said it all – full of regret and guilt. We continued to look at her, waiting for her apology when suddenly I realized her eyes were a little watery. She had tears in her eyes but trying not to cry! And she didn’t utter a sound.

I felt so sorry for her that I pulled her into my arms and told her softly that it was okay but she is not to throw things at people in the future.

It struck me that my little girl, at 20 months old, is now able to control her emotions. She was feeling sad being reprimanded but trying not to cry. Oh when did my baby suddenly grow up overnight?

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The Simple Joys In Life

I been making a lot of lists lately..so while we’re at it, here’s looking at the little things that are so simple and insignificant, yet will always put a smile to my face or give me that warm fuzzy wuzzy feeling inside…

Going to sleep with rain pouring outside, and knowing I am warm and dry in bed

Waking up in the middle of the night to a thunderstorm after a long dry spell

A cool breezy weekend morning

Chicken curry with lots of soft potatoes

A meal with a side dish of sweet boiled carrots and plump green peas

A neatly arranged bookshelf-preferably mine!

My daughter’s grin

My husband on the phone telling me that he will be back home earlier than planned

Knowing I have a 20-something year old friendship with my girlfriends

Caramel popcorn

Wet sand under my bare feet and waves between my toes!

A brand new shiny saucepan

A happy dog’s wagging tail

Cold butter on warm toasted bread

My grandma’s patchwork quilt (on a cold rainy night)

Fish and chips

A ladybug on my plant

A clean house

My laundry basket empty and no chores

Marketing with mom

…so, what makes YOU smile?

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Ladybird Ladybird Where Are You?

I seem to recall that during my younger days, one of our many favorite things to do was going in search of ladybirds. Back then, it was so easy to find ladybirds on a leaf in a garden plant. My friends and I would place a finger next to the ladybird and had it crawl onto our palms for a while. It was a fun thing to do back then.

I have not seen a ladybird in my garden nor any back home. Have they all gone away, disappeared due to our changing weather and environment? Or have I just been too busy with life and over looking these little red cuties?

Where are you, little ladybird?

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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*

🙂

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Wind

My daughter farts in her sleep since birth…not discreet little almost-quiet ones, but the kind that you won’t miss standing a few metres away.

At a little over nine months tonight, she is still doing it and just did a moment ago. Ah how I love my windy little baby…

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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.

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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”.

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My Little Sunbeammmmm

Madelyn is always smiling, giggling and laughing. So bright and happy and full of joy! Like a sunbeam!

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Bottle-feeding: SUCCESS!

After two weeks of trying so very hard not to burst with excitement, I can now finally announce that Maddy can now quite contentedly drink from a bottle! Not just milk, but water too.

So, after making her cry her lungs out the last time I firmly tried to introduce bottle-feeding to her, I decided to stop for a while. It took about a week before she got her voice back (yes, she cried to hard till she lost her voice). I talked about it to a friend of mine and she told me this “Be patient, spoon-feed her first”. At that time, I didn’t have a clue what she was telling…spoon-feed? Patient? How are those related???

Anyway, so I started spoon-feeding her milk. It was painstakingly slow and she would think it was a game and tried to blow bubbles with milk pooled inside her mouth. Yes….imagine the mess. And she could just finish about half an ounce before she got bored. Then, I got creative…since spoon-feeding meant gently pouring milk into her mouth via a device, why not use a sippy cup to do the same thing! That way she wouldn’t spill milk all over herself if she swiped at my hand or the spoon. So I got her a sippy cup with the smallest spout I could find. The Dr Brown Training Cup with soft spout worked wonders! I would tip the cup once and because the spout is so small, just the right amount of milk would flow into her mouth. I tried this every day, twice a day, until eventually she could finish about one ounce of milk with the sippy cup. SUPER! At least there existed an alternative to feed her when I get back to work. Of course, one ounce wasn’t much but at least she would drink SOME amount of milk within the 4 hours that I would have to be away at work from morning till lunchtime, afterwhich I plan to return home to breastfeed her. Then sippy cup milk again from lunchtime to late afternoon and breastfeed again. Sounds like a plan! Whoopee!! But with the cup, it was still somesort of a ‘forced feeding’ because I was tipping milk into her mouth. And sometimes it did get messy and she would dribble milk all over herself too. Hmm…better than nothing…better than spoon! Meanwhile, I was still occasionally trying to give her milk from a bottle…secretly hoping maybe she might miraculously start to accept the idea that there was such a thing as an artificial nipple a.k.a. the bottle teat. While she stopped fussing and yelling, she just played with the teat and didn’t do anything else.

Then one day I noticed she was starting to be eager, bring her two hands onto the cup and move the spout towards her mouth then started to suck on the spout. Because the sippy cup is meant for an older infant or toddler, however small the hole size, it would still allow liquid to flow in a steady stream, not drip. So our little missy here with her greedy sucks resulted in more milk than she could handle streaming into her mouth and made a total mess. So for a few weeks I had to tip the cup to allow just a small amount of milk into her mouth and then quickly pull it away before she started to suck. Geez…what a lot of tricks for her nanny to learn later.

With all the sucking action going on, it made me think…maybe I could try giving her milk from a bottle fitted with a NUK teat again? I tried the NUK teat waaayy earlier and she yelled her head off so I stopped and proceeded to other brands (Avent, Tommee Tippee, Dr Brown… no success there either). But maybe…..JUST MAYBE…one more try…after all, the NUK teat is shaped such that it sort of resembles and flattened nipple…flat much like her sippy cup spout. If she liked to suck from her cup, would she suck from NUK?

AND SHE DID!!!! SHE DID SHE DID SHE DID!!!!

Two weeks ago, after months of failed trials and tears and heartache (mine, from seeing her cry and sob), Madelyn FINALLY found her right artificial nipple! She has been drinking like a champ ever since, no dribbling and finishing up to two ounces per feed. I kinda realized she isn’t a big drinker…even when she’s latched on, she would drink only within the time enough for her to get about two or maximum three ounces from the breast (based on how much I can pump within that time…estimated). GREAT!! Now I can truly relax when she is with her nanny, she won’t starve!

I am happy that I followed my instincts and stopped forcing her to accept the bottle. Books say that one can ‘train’ a baby to do things the baby is supposed to do. But I think at this age, by gently coaxing her and then letting her decide her right time…I end up with a much happier baby, doing all the right things – no fuss, no tears. Just happy wide grins as she willingly drinks her milk from a bottle 😀

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Maddy’s First Smile at Mommy

This afternoon before I put Maddy down for her nap, she just looked up at me with her big round eyes and smiled!! Her first real smile AT ME! Not one of her I-think-the-ceiling-fan-is-cool smile but a smile for me-her mummy!

After that we spent about half an hour in bed next to each other – me chatting on my phone and her gurgling and cooing away with the music I put on from the ipod.

What a lovely moment 🙂

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