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Sunday, April 2, 2017

Are we overindulging our kids?

I am not a child psychiatrist.  I am only a mother.  I am writing this because I don't want to go through the same road that some mothers go through.  Those with troubled teenagers, with spoilt kids, or problematic kids who can't blend well with the world.

At my work place, I am seeing this happening more and more with younger people who feel entitled, who only cares for themselves and not others and lack manners.  And I attribute all these to their upbringing.

I have a theory and I think it all started because we want the best for our kids and in that process we indulged them too much.  Say kids always have the last say.  They dislike this, we don't give.  They like that, we give them endless. We give them organic food as a means to start a healthy lifestyle but that makes them weaker as well as they can't take non-organic food.  And the immunity to fight.

That doesn't mean we have to give ice cream, candy, fried food, fast food all the time.  But have a balance.  Not too much extreme in 1 food.

People asked why I give my Baby salt and sugar so early.  I just want her to enjoy the food like we do.  Bland food is just bland. I want her to experience everything but same time not over indulging her. I don't always give what she wanted. I give her what she needed.

People can say I am a Tiger mom.  I just want my kid to grow up properly.  I teach her what is love.  I showed her how to love and how to share.  I teach her to adjust to other people's need, something that is so much lacking in the world. I teach her to any attention to her surrounding. When she is older, I will teach her to help out.

Yes I do indulge her like when she wants the nipple, I give to her. But there are times I don't give because we are in a public place and no cover.

Like any other parents, I too want to give the best to her.  But not materially.  Just spend more time with her, not giving in to smart phones or iPad temptations, teach her to mix with others and share and love everyone the same.

I am trying my best as I feel she is easily influenced by others and some influence are not good. And other parents don't like it when I brought it up.

I just hope other parents feel the same too.  Coz all the problem in the world started because of poor upbringing.

Swimming lessons

Baby has been going for swimming class since she was 8 months old.  She enjoyed it very much at first but then now towards the end of the second term, she is suddenly afraid of water and refused to do all that she was doing earlier.  Although she didn't cry but she just grabbed to my swimsuit and refused to do anything. 

The swimming lessons are in a specialised heated pool with controlled chlorine usage and salted water.  Something like that.  The lessons are designed for babies, infant, toddler.  Either the mom or the dad has to be in the pool with the child.

Baby was progressing well and even kicking her legs happily at the beginning of Term 2.  Then I missed 1 lesson and the next 2 lessons she refused to do anything.   The instructor said it's because I missed a lesson and that Baby is at the time when she knows what she likes and dislikes.

But I find her behaviour is also attributed to 1 child in the class.  He is about 2 years old and has been kicking a big fuss and would cry from the start of the class to the end.  And when I said cry, it means he screamed throughout the class for that half an hour class.  And it's loud and pitiful.

The exasperated father would try his very best to calm the child but the boy has no qualms of stopping.  The moment he reaches the pool she screams even before going in.  Once inside the pool he screamed even though the father was carrying him closely.  The boy would refused anything and screamed the whole time.  Even the instructor have no idea what to do with them.  The mother would be standing outside the pool and watching and I can see she feels helpless too.

I feel for the parents.  I really do.  If I were in their shoes, I would also be exasperated and helpless.  But I can't help but feeling his screaming is affecting other kids as well, especially those younger.  Those bigger ones care no less.  But smaller ones like Baby and another baby, as parents we find it hard to coax our kids.

Well, this is a group class and not a one-to-one lesson so I guess I just have to cope with it.  Next week will be the final lesson for term 2 and I don't think I would continue.

Maybe when she is older, I might sign her up again.  But I think now enough is enough.

Initially I read the benefits of swimming in an early stage and want her to learn as survival skill as both me and her father can't swim.  Also I was intrigued by the underwater photograph that the school has arranged after don't know how many terms.

Baby was improving as well.  From being water resistant to being able to immerse in the water and learn how to hold her breath and kick her legs.

I believe there are few factors that attributed to it and I can't blame that 1 kid but I did highlight it to the instructor and she kept silent.  Oh well.  I don't mean to hurt but I honestly feel in my humble opinion, the boy is probably more comfortable with the mother in the water than with the father. 

Yes, I did missed a lesson due to some stupid whole day conference that is compulsory to attend and it falls on a Saturday. The instructor allowed us to have an advance class as replacement that means swimming on both days, Saturday and Sunday.  Unfortunately I missed that class on Sunday as baby was too tired and I didn't want to push it.  The time was also her nap time.

I thought the instructor would allow us to join the session after the absent class meaning the Sunday after the conference,  but she doesn't allow it.  Not sure how they come up with such system but then again, it's their business, their rule.

I was annoyed at first that I missed because of the conference and then missed because Baby was too tired from back-to-back appointments and then annoyed that the instructor didn't allow us to join the class after the missed class and said only advance not after and that if I insisted, I might need to pay extra.

Anyway, few factors I feel contributed to Baby sudden lack of interest.

1. We missed 1 week lesson.
2. Her class is the first class of the day and the water is too cold as they just started the heated water. She would shiver the whole time.
3. The crying boy affected Baby as she would be watching him cry.

These are just my theory.  I must say Baby did benefit from the class and she is not afraid of water on her face unlike my nephew who can't stand the tiniest bit of water on his face.  So I could wash her hair without issue and she loves bath time.

I would have love to continue but I think it's wasting my money if she continue to cling on me and refuses to do anything else.  I tried.  She tried.  Instructor also tried. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

I just need to rant

So, it all started with this compulsory conference thingy that all the employees have to attend, full-day on a Saturday.  So, no choice, I have to tell my baby's swimming instructor that she can't make it for her Saturday swimming class because of this conference.  Her swimming class is such that either parent have to accompany her in the pool and I have been the one with her since her first lesson.  So, don't think anyone else knows how to hold her and so on.  And her dad works on weekends, so that's totally out.

The swimming instructor was nice enough to tell me to come the next day, Sunday as replacement.  It's considered as an advance class, so I don't really miss any lesson or being absent for any.  I was glad.  Unfortunately, after the swimming class, there was a whole string of activities for me and us.  I took her for a drive coz I needed to collect this coconut oil infused with curry leaves and fenugreek that I bought from one of the mommy.  The mommy who made this stay at a far place and so she got her friends to help with dispersing the goods.  So originally, I paid online without the handling fee and I was supposed to collect from her at a set date and time and place, so only 1 place, 1 date and 1 hour.  And then I couldn't collect the first time because of my baby's first swimming replacement class (we went outstation that weekend).  And because of that, the mommy kept on forgetting my order and I have to keep on pushing and pushing and reminding and reminding.  And then she said ok, I can collect from someone nearer to my place, (even that is not near, it took me 30 minutes to reach) and on top of that I have to pay a handling fee of RM3, which I find is ridiculous.  As it is, I have to self-collect and I have to pay extra?  Can't the mommy just deduct from the selling price and pay her handlers?  I don't know.  It already made me quite upset.

Anyway, I finally got the oil.  And after collecting the oil, we went back and she slept again and then evening we went out for our normal Saturday religious gathering.  

Come Sunday, we went for my music class in the morning and I rushed home to put her to sleep so that she can get ready for the swimming class.  Unfortunately, she was too exhausted and cried the whole way back home and then slept for 2 hours straight.  I didn't have the heart to wake up her for the class coz she looked so exhausted.  I didn't want to exhaust her further.

So, I messaged the instructor to ask if I can replace it next Sunday and she said no, unless I pay an extra pool fee.  Sigh.  

In the end, I am taking out my frustration at the conference that started all this out-of-schedule plans.  I don't understand the purpose of the conference.  To listen to someone bragging about their success?  How's that gonna inspire me to work better?  How's that gonna make the bosses be better bosses?  We don't even get replacement leave for attending it on a weekend and the worse was prior to this, we get freebies and free water.  Now, no more freebies and have to bring out own water?  I don't know.

If you read the above, you will see that everything is about money.  And yes, I am frustrated with the financial situation of our country that is affecting everyone of us.  And everyone is taking advantage of the end-user.  Which is incredibly hard on us.

I am trying to see all this in a different light, that there is a reason behind everything.  But right now, all I see is the frustration of not being able to spend time with my daughter on a Saturday.  But the Sunday will be completely free.  No replacement class.  No music class.  Nothing to collect.

Update:
After re-reading what I wrote above and taking few deep breaths, I have an inkling to all this that has happened.

My girl was not feeling too good after the Saturday swimming class as the water was too cold for her, unlike other times when the water temperature was more manageable.  She was not that keen to swim that day.  On top of that, she has suddenly been throwing tantrums for no reason.  Previously, when she is tired, she can sleep off on her own in the car seat.  But not anymore.  She cried the whole way back, that's whole 20 minutes of screaming and sobbing!

And as for the oil, there was a reason to delay using it.  Not sure why but it has a negative effect on me.  I felt very tired the next day.

So, everything that happened does have a reason.  

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Being grateful

I used to envy others for their life.  I always compared myself with the others, on how they are doing so much better than me while I am still stuck in a rut.  So much so that my good friend told me to pull myself together and that some people are good at showing what's good but not what's bad about them that I don't know about those bad things.  Which is true, but I am so used, probably conditioned by my upbringing that I compared excessively. 

When in school and college, I compared my results with my peers.  When at work, I compared my position, my financials, my relationship status, my everything with my peers.

~ How come they can buy a big car while I can't when we used to study together and start work together?
~ How come I don't have a boyfriend when it's so easy for others to find one? (back when I was single)
~ How come I can't have a baby when so many undeserving people are popping babies every minute? (when I was TTC-ing)
~ How come they are so rich?

With all these envy, also came the analyses.  

~ Oh, I am not rich like them because their parents are rich businessman.  I don't have rich parents.
~ I suck at work while others progress so fast in their work.
~ I am ugly so no one likes me.
~ I am not a good person that God doesn't want to give me a baby.  (during those TTC times).

Then not to forget, the how many times "Why Me?" question has been asked by me to God.  

Then after having a baby, I looked at life differently.  One day, I asked myself.  Am I happy now?  When I was single, I used to pray everyday to get a good match.  And I got myself a husband though  I won't say he is the best of the best in the whole wide world.  When I was struggling with TTC, I prayed every month that my period won't come.  And then I got pregnant after 2 years of struggling.

So, I have reached a point, that I got what I want.  A job that pays.  A car that can bring me about.  A roof over my head.  A tenant for my apartment.  A husband that cares.  A baby.  Am I happy and satisfied now?

Unfortunately, I was still comparing my life with my peers.  How do I get to where they are getting?  OK, so I got what I want but I want more.  How about improving in the finance dept?  How about changing a better and bigger car?  How about so many things that others have while I don't?

"Where do I stop?", I asked.  Until one day, I read of the unfortunate circumstances in others that I have envied.  I stopped and took a very good look at my own life.  I really did.  And I realised, I am so grateful to God and grateful for all the things that I have right now.  Sincerely.

Since having a baby, everyday I am worried.  As it is, I worried a lot.  So having a baby added to more worries.

Questions like:
~ Is she breathing? (when she is sleeping)
~ Will she grow up normally? 
~ Will she be healthy?

The list goes on.  You think that once you have a baby, then that's when your heart settles, you are so wrong.  You worried if you will have a normal pregnancy or a premature ones.  You worried if you have gestational diabetes.  You worried if you will have Down Syndrome baby.  You worried if you will have preeclampsia.  You worried until the day you give birth.

And the moment you see your baby is normal and your life is slowly back to normal and you learned that you have survived childbirth.  Stop there and be grateful.  Because there are some women who didn't make it due to post-partum complications that took the life of the mother, leaving the baby alone without a mother.  Because there are some women who lose their baby as their baby came out stillborn.  

As baby hits 1 month, 2 months and so on,  you worried if vaccinations will really give her autism.  You worried if baby is growing normally.  You worried if baby is healthy.  

And the moment you checked with the paeditrician during baby's monthly checkup and found that baby is growing perfectly well, just stop there and be grateful.  Because there are some babies who are suffering cancer despite their young life.  Because there are some babies who died of SID and mothers have no idea how it happened.

When baby hit 1 year old, you worried if baby is walking, developmental progressing well, eating properly, talking, etc.

And the moment you saw her walking and running towards you, stop there and be grateful.  There are babies who have developmental problems due to many issues.

So you think when your baby became an infant and then a toddler, that the moment when your child starts talking and you will think, oh I have a normal child.  

But stop there and be grateful.  For every step of the way.  Enjoy every single moment.  Enjoy every developmental progress. 

So, I stopped comparing.  I am happy with my life.  I may not be the best mom, but I am happy I am a mom.  I enjoyed all the first in everything and I get super excited doing all the first things with baby.  Like her first trip.  Her first flight (soon).  Her first passport.  Her first food.  Her first drink.  Her first everything.  

Stop and be grateful because you never know what's in the future.  Appreciate everything.  Yes, it is tiring and sleep deprivation is nothing to complain about.  But just be grateful for the little things in life.  Don't complain so much.  That's my New Year's resolution.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I have breastfed for 1 year

Baby hit 1 year old on 28 Jan 2017.   That marks 1 year of breastfeeding and the irony of it,  having a milk blister on that day too.   Ouch!

Baby has started to suckle for fun and thus not getting the milk out on purpose and causing the milk blister.   She likes to suckle to sleep.  And now likes to climb over me or her dad while still in dreamland.

This 1 year,  I didn't exclusively breastfed or pumped.  I had to mixed with formula occasionally until about 6 months.   I still remember when she turned 6 months and the supply was low, as in only left with 2 bottles in the fridge,  we started her with solid immediately and was able to save the bottles for the next day.

I was a low supply mom.   Never leaked.   Never had more than 3 bottles in the fridge in 1 day of pumping.   Never had mastitis.  Bought the milk storage bags but never got to use them as I don't have enough to keep stock.  I pumped today,  feed tomorrow.  

I used to detest pumping like many moms.  But I found a way to enjoy the sessions.  Just watch K-drama while pumping.  No matter how much I pumped,  I can only get 1 Oz per hour.

Baby grew well,  whether it was formula or donated breast milk, frozen or fresh.   She was not fussy.
Then when we exclusively breastfed from 6 months onwards,  she started rejecting formula.   Probably the smell which I also cannot tolerate.

In the beginning of pumping,  I was very afraid she doesn't have enough bottles while I am away at work.   So  I hardly let her latch.   Only latching at night.  When I have to travel somewhere,  even if I bring baby along,  I also would bring my pump.   Worried that I may not get enough if I don't keep some.   It was troublesome.   Having to locate a hotel with fridge and have to sterilise the pump parts every day and bringing ice pack and all the works.

Then slowly I became more confident in direct latching especially during the weekends or the times when I am not at work.   Baby enjoyed it very much and I find that it does increase my yield a little.
But the moment I go back to work and pump,  only the first day I get a good yield.   Then it's back to normal.

I am still pumping now.   But only 3 times a day.  

My aim is to breastfeed for 2 years, as per WHO guideline.

I would like to thank the breastfeeding groups in Facebook.   Like the one I joined is exclusively pumping group,  very helpful and the group is closed,  so I don't have to worry about posting.

Unlike TBAN,  I don't go so often there now.   I used to check the posts but then realised many breastfeeding advocates doesn't support formula or pumping.   It didn't fit my lifestyle.  Also it's a public group so all your friends can see what you posted.   No privacy.   Sure they want to normalised breastfeeding but I prefer my problems to be privately known,  say milk blisters, etc.
Anyway,  here's some tips from my 1 year experience.

1. Join a supportive group on Facebook.   Some groups thrashed mommies who didn't follow what they did.  Find a really good supporting group.

2. Get your husband to sterilise the bottles and pump parts every day.   Save you a lot of work.

3. Keep the pump parts on the fridge when not using and only sterilise once a day.   Works well for me.

4. I don't have the time to make sure the freshly pumped milk doesn't mixed with the older pumped milk.   I just mixed everything together and ensure it is 4 oz each bottle.   Save my time.

5. Pump at the right schedule.   And make sure you keep at the schedule.

6. Nothing has helped to increase my supply.   Just keep pumping.  If need to,  do power pumping.  

7. Find a good lactation consultant for your breastfeeding problems.   Don't pay a breastfeeding consultant.  They are not the same.  Some just want to make money.  Dr Koe is good but always busy and lots of patients.  

8. You can't stop people from telling you that baby is starving and all that.  But learn to just witness and not let these remarks hurt you.

9.  If you struggle with low supply,  top-up with formula.   It's ok.   Not poisonous.  Don't feel bad about it.  Better than letting a baby starve.

10. Initially,  if you are a first time mom,  breastfeeding is not easy.   It also may trigger post-partum depression.   So I would say,  be gentle to yourself and baby.   There were times I cried with baby.   I was angry with her and myself.   I got so many people looking at my breasts as if they were not mine.   In the end,  I have to lower my defenses and accepted formula as part of her diet.   It made my life easier and I felt happier.  And I feel by being happier, baby also happy.

Being a FTWM and exclusively pumping mom is very, very tiring.  But I just don't think too much.  I know one day when I wean her off, I will miss this period very much.  The bond with baby during latching is amazing.  I touched her soft hair while she kept pushing my hands away.  I massaged her legs and feet while she kicked me.  Enjoy as much as you can.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Review: Baby First Birthday Party at Jungle Gym

So after checking out several options,  we finally decided on Jungle Gym at Atria Shopping Gallery.   Reasons were simple.   Firstly,  it is the nearest to our home.  Secondly,  it is reasonable if compared to the others.   Thirdly,  we really like the party area.

What I really enjoyed was that both the kids and adults had so much of fun and food and I am so pleased with the service offered by the Jungle Gym team.

Security
I like how secure the place is.   If I want to compare to other kids play land, I feel Jungle Gym is very careful and organised with the security.   All who entered are given a wrist tag with QR code.   If we have entered and exited,  then need to go to the counter to get the code reconfigured.   Otherwise,  no entry allowed.  Every entry and exit must be scanned and checked.  Of course,  you still won't leave your kids alone but I can say it is totally safe.  If you are worried that some people can still kidnapped kids by taking them out through the back doors,  I won't say it is not possible. 


Food
We didn't order a lot but as per Jungle Gym's guideline,  I have to order 1 food from each category.  So,  the food I ordered was simple food.   Nasi lemak,  nuggets,  mini burgers, pizza,  drinks and ice cream.   They allowed us to bring 2-3 mains and unlimited desserts. So we bought fried mee hoon,  mixed vegetables, curry chicken,  red eggs,  jelly and of course the birthday cake.  Some of my guests complained that the cheese in the mini burger was a little off, so Jungle Gym's team quickly took the first batch back and checked.  Luckily only few were affected, probably some old cheese or something.  We have some leftovers that we tapau back.  I should have ordered more pizza and less mini burgers because that went very fast.

Playland
Ask any kid.  The playland at Jungle Gym is so fun.  Even the adults were so tempted to try and some actually did, with the excuse to accompany their kid.  Heh.  I like how they have a separate area for kids below 2 years.  So baby had fun there with the other younger kids.  No worries of being crushed by the bigger kids.

Party area
I am so glad I chose the Monkey area as the party place.  It is so spacious and easy to move around unlike the opposite party area that I went last month.  It was so narrow and hardly any space to walk around.  Also, not enough space for the visitors to sit and eat.  But the Monkey area accommodates all our guests.  

Cost
Like I said, compared to the other playland, Jungle Gym is quite reasonable.  I just need to meet minimum of RM1,500 inclusive of entrance tickets and food.  Adults enter for free and no limit how many adults.  Some other playland that I have enquired said only allowed 2 adults per kid, some said adults have to pay a fee to enter as well.  So, all in all, Jungle Gym is quite good.  Yes, entrance tickets for the kids were pricey and I think I wouldn't bring Baby on any other day to play there.  I would rather go to the playground in the taman.  I also like how I can select the menu and not select a set.  And I can choose which food I want more or less.  Also, they allowed us to bring our own food unlike some other playland that restricted them.  So, I just say Jungle Gym is very, very accommodating.  

Overall
Ask any of my guests and everyone was so pleased with everything.  So many didn't know that there is such party place.  As for me, I haven't really been to any other playland.  Been to the one at IOI Mall, didn't like it because it feels so crowded and stuffy.  So, I really like this one.  It's spacious and I think what's most important is everyone had a good time.  The adults have a lovely time watching children play.  The children of course had such a good time that some refused to leave.  

Would I do it again?  Maybe in the future when Baby knows what's going on.  

This party was not for Baby anyway.  It's for her friends.  I am so glad they had a good time.  So, I highly recommend this place for kid's party.  Really good.

Suggestion
Jungle Gym has lately started a train ride and they charged RM5 per adult and RM10 per kid.  I feel it's a little too expensive and not many was willing to go on it.  I would like to suggest that all the party guests (maybe just the kids) get 1 free train ride.  That will be a nice idea to end a party.

Lastly, I would like to thank Jungle Gym for their professionalism in handling the party and our guests.  Thank you!

Monday, January 16, 2017

My baby's actions make me reviewed my own actions

Few days ago, I was having runny nose.  Naturally, I took tissue to blow my nose.  As always, since my girl has been playing on her own most of the time, I didn't noticed that she was paying attention.

You see, after coming back from work, I am very exhausted and tired.  Lately, work has been so busy that I can't even have some time to do my own things on the internet.  So, when I am back, I like to immersed myself with my k-dramas.  I was doing this as I breastfed her, pumped milk and sometimes after breastfeeding, I just continue watching while I let her be on her own and do her own things.

Then it dawned upon me that I am neglecting her.  Because I see her coming to me for attention, climbing all over me, kissing me (or rather biting me), and likes to come and touch my iPad.  I just put her away as I continued with my k-drama.  And she kept coming back.

When younger, she probably doesn't do much of this attention-seeking actions.  But as she is turning 1 soon, I can see this happening more often, especially with me.  And I get very irritated because I can't even go to the toilet without her knocking on my door and crying as if I left her behind.  And she doesn't even want the father.  She sticks to me like a glue.  And she gets very upset when I scolds her.

Yes, I am a tiger mom.  Last night she pinched me until my skin came out while we were about to fall asleep.  Naturally I jumped out of pain and reacted and scolded and beat her legs.  She cried so hard and pitifully and although her father tries to calm her down, she refuses and still wants the bad mommy who beat her.  Sigh.  I managed to calm her but she was shaky the whole night through, crying whenever the nipple is out of her mouth.  That insecure she became.

Anyway, back to the tissue story.  As usual, last night, I let her roamed the room on her own and explore things.  She found a packet of tissue from one of the bags and took it out.  Then she took the tissue out.  And she held it close to her nose and started blowing her nose.  I had such a good laugh watching her because I never thought she can imitate my actions so closely.  But after the laughter died, I start to think about my actions.  This girl is imitating all my actions.  If I keep on watching iPad, then she would want to watch too.  And I told myself no iPad for her until maybe much much older.  And if I keep on neglecting her, she would feel even more insecure.

It made me rethink my actions.  Yes, I am tired after a long day at work and would like to entertain myself too with my k-dramas.  But I think I have to limit it to only when I am breastfeeding or only when I am pumping.  Otherwise, I think I should give her full attention.

It's not too late.  My resolution is when she turns 1, I will give her more attention to do the things she wants.  But also will discipline her when need to.  I also would like her to sleep earlier.  She waits for me to sleep, sometimes at 12am only.  I should go to bed earlier too.

But her actions truly made me reviewed mine.  I truly believe that children became what they become because of the upbringing at home.