Sunday, February 24, 2008

The library

The library is a wonderful source of parenting books and children's books. I found books i would have bought but because it's at the library i can save $$ and photocopy pages that are useful though i may buy one or two books that i really like. Parenting books are at the children section and initially i thought the library was lousy cos it didn't have a single parenting book...ok so i was looking at the wrong place. Recently i went to check out the books at the children's section and there were really nice baby books...even good chinese books.

I borrowed this book "Positive discipline - the first three years" cos i was getting sick of all the "sleep" books...was looking for something new to read. and it's quite a gd book...examples help me understand the concepts they were talkin about...anyway this i found good, which really makes me appreciate that all babies are really unique. why? cos ppl will say oh your baby so guai and quiet, oh your baby so friendly or unfriendly, oh your baby so...etc etc and if you have a easy baby you're lucky, if not you're blessed as well, and handling a less adaptable, or more distracted baby/toddler requires understanding of their temperament..not that one baby is better than the other.

In summary of one of the chapters:
Temperament: What makes your child unique?
The 9 temperaments:
1. Activity level
2. Rhythmicity
3. Approach or Withdrawal
4. Adaptability
5. Sensory Threshold
6. Quality of mood
7. Intensity of Reactions
8. Distractibility
9. Persistence and attention span

too much blah blah blah to go into detail of these but i can't fully tell Eliza's temperaments yet i feel cos i think she's still changing but i like what they talk about Kindness & Firmnesss..:
Kindness shows respect for the child and his uniqueness;
Firmness shows respect for the needs of the situation, including a child's developing need to learn social skills.

the authors are not for spanking or nagging, esp children at this age cos they're just doing their developmentally appropriate behavior and their reasoning capability is not yet matured so they encourage training, not punishment, appropriate distraction and choices. so...
1. Toddlers are too busy following their developmental blueprint to do what you say - most of the time
2. "No" is an abstract concept that an not be understood by toddlers in the way parents think they can understand
3. Children and always "good", but they are not always obedient - especially during the development of autonomy.

hmm..interesting :)

A hair dropping experience + Sleep thru the night

As mentioned previously, my hair has been dropping like they want to explore new floors instead of hanging around my scalp. my sil said hers was bad enough for her to eventually go for treatment for her balding spots. sigh...i find hair on Eliza's cot, on the study table, in the sink, on her diaper change table, on my bed, on the sofa, on the floor, on the playpen. EVERYWHERE!!! it's hairy!

And for 3 days Eliza managed to sleep through the night....almost. It's just that she could last from her last feed at 1030pm to the next morning at 730am. wah..and at 730am she also doesn't drink much, weirdly. Another pattern is that before her milkmilk she'll do a mega poo. the 1st day, she pooed and it leaked out from behind her diapers and (luckily) on to the nappy cloth i put below her while she was drinking milk. i had to stop all feed to change her and wait for her pooing to be complete.
the 2nd day, i knew better and quickly brought her to the diaper change table once she had that 'mmm' look on her face. but but but...alas when i thought she was done, i lifted up her legs to clean the butt, she shot an explosive splash of poo. it got on to the lamp i put beside the table, it got onto the floor...and while i was thanking God that it didn't get right on me...i looked further to see it on my bed comforter!! it wasn't like droplets...but a whole blop of it! when i turned back to complain to her she gurgled and coo at if she's relieved she got all that out. how could you get angry at her?

Back to sleeping thru the night...
the day i discovered she could drink 150ml was the day she made it thru the night w/o milk. i was trying to push her early morning milkmilk to from 4am to 5am till 7am, even though few days ago she couldn't tahan at 3am and had to drink. that night i patted her back to sleep at 3am and when i next woke up it was 6+am..and she was sleeping like a log. it's been 3 days so i'm hoping she'll con't this. only qualm is that she still wakes up at night, needing me to swaddle her and give her the pacifier. sometimes when this doesn't work, i'll flip her over to sleep on her tummy and she sleeps much better. her flying arms and legs doesn't help in keeping her asleep at night.

Principles i try to keep to help her sleep thru the night (mostly learned from Gina Ford)
- make sure baby drinks her daily milk intake from 7am - 11pm
(so i always give her more than she usually drinks, sometimes she finishes it sometimes she doesn't leaving 20-30ml. only recently she could finish 150-160ml at one feed..think that helped)
- have a bedtime routine
(i personally feel this is very important. i have started this at least 2 weeks before i started work...and bedtime gets easier in a way. i think it's also because she's sleeping less in the day and by 830pm she's nicely tired and ready to sleep. occasionally it gets messed up like when we brought her out for dinner with my '81 batch..but we still wiped her & changed her, turned on lullaby and swaddled her...and pacifier :7 )
- if baby wakes up at night, try giving her cooled boiled water, or feed little milk so that she'll take more during the 7am feed...or as one mummy from the forum did, push the drinking milk time later and later. ie don't immediately feed her when she makes noise.
(i think this works more for older babies..not those few weeks old..cos they do really need to drink milk. there's more detail on how to drop that feed in the GF book. but frm 8 weeks onwards babies are able to last thru the night. i tried dragging her milk time until she really sounds very using pacifier lor. it's a wonderful tool..more on it next time. i tried giving her cooled boiled water but she got angrier and choice gave her her milkmilk)
- minimize stimulation near bedtime
(i'm not sure if that helps in the sleeping thru the night but it helps to get her to sleep. usually if we play too much b4 bedtime, she tends to cry a lot more...esp when it's not me carrying her)
- nap at most 3 1/2hrs from 7am - 7pm
(this i found it hard cos Eliza tend to take two afternoon naps. we make sure her mid-afternoon 12-2pm nap is the longest. recently she either didn't sleep at the late aftnn nap or slept only 15-30mins and was able to get to sleep easily by 830pm)
- always start the day at the same time
(i read this from GF & Babywise and while GF method is 7am..i felt it's too early for me so i adjusted mine to 730am instead. so regardless of how messed up yesterday's timing is, or how early baby last drank milk, or how deeply asleep she is, i will still start her day at 730am. i'll flip her over on her back, unswaddle her and say gd morning to her. sometimes after stretching, she'll smile at me and coo, othertimes she'll be unhappy and cry but that's usually cos she's hungry)
- dreamfeed at 1030pm
(there's still this last feed before the long stretch and usually she'll take this in a half-asleep state even though GF method writes that bb should be awake at least 1hr during this feed, but most of the time Eliza's so sleepy she's like so nuanua it's hard to get her to budge...but can still drink her milk quite well, just that it's hard to get a burp out of her. this will prob be the next feed to drop much later when she starts on solids)

so much for that....back to work tomorrow! it's 9:23pm now...she's been sleeping since 830pm...nice to have baby sleep mummy some downtime. hope she sleeps well tonight.

this was the 1st time Eliza was cranky during church service..she frowned when LL & E wanted to play with her...sleepy definitely

this time at chruch was better...i spotted her tasting her fingers!

thursday: glad to be home with BB after my week's work...i was so sleepy and wanted a short nap in the early evening but she wasn't!! i put her with some toys beside me and wanted to doze off...she was so gurgly that we took photos instead

Friday, February 22, 2008

looooong updates

ever since starting work, it seems like there's less and less time to do things, coupled with more attention on Eliza as she's more awake in the daytime now, i find that after doing all the necessary stuff (wash & sterilize bottles etc, EBM, doing some housework etc)..i have pockets of small time to do stuff like surfing, planning for cell, helping Ww with some work, checking out the nov mummies forum, reading...ok the list is endless. and my project to buy books from Amazon is still stuck...even Ww has finished selecting the books he wants to buy.

I'm thankful for 3 day work week. even tho i don't get much done at home during those 3 days and i miss Eliza's daytime, there's still the thursdays & friday to catch up on things. plus it's actually nice to be away from home working. just that sometimes i'm (as usual) so sleepy in the afternoons due to waking up at night.

my long weekends is good for:
- catching up on my afternoon naps,
- do changes to Eliza's routine; i'm trying to tweak her routine to first drop her early morning feed, and then the late afternoon feed. soon i'll have to prepare to wean her..gosh! it's like i've more or less settled on something and a there's a new change to adjust. which is why baby's first year is so exciting, actually.
- catching up on my time with Eliza - i'll show her flash cards in the morning, read to her in the afternoon, sometimes venture on an outing in the afternoon, of cos all the snuggles and hugs and kisses

meanwhile there are interesting things i discovered reading the nov mummies forum, that some things Eliza goes through are also what other mummies experience too. it's like we're in the same boat together.
- i discovered that the NUK pacifiers give babies that bracket face, like Eliza..essentially cos our babies are so chubby and the pacifier is shaped such that it leaves a mark on their face. i've stopped using it for a while until Ww suggested that it would be useful in the nights when we use the pacifier, to prevent it from dropping out so easily when she 'waves' her hands around
- that our babies will kick very hard and 'wave' their arms around quite strongly when they're sleeping at night, causing them to get out of their swaddle. for Eliza, it wakes her up and i have to try to swaddle her back again...only to find her 'released' few minutes later as she struggles out. still i swaddle her cos it's like a bedtime cue, and also it helps her sleep better. hair is dropping at an alarming rate! :S considering the wonders of having thick hair and hardly seeing much on the bathroom floor after bath for almost 9 those hair that didn't drop then is dropping now....such that i leave a trail behind me...or wherever i go. you'll know where i went in the house as i'll leave some strand here and there. sighz.

yesterday we went out for dinner with my '81 gang at TM, was supposed to be at Amoy street in a chinese restaurant but since it's last day of CNY all chinese restaurants were fully booked. we ended up back in the east cos SH couldn't join us as she wasn't feeling too well....oh but she cfmed that another bb is on the way!!! woah! congrats to her! anyway since it was nearby we decided it's ok to bring Eliza along even though it'll be past her bedtime. with Ww's help bringing Eliza out isn't too daunting. it's always gd to have an extra pair of hands..or shoulders (cos Ww was carrying Eliza with the carrier).
anyway J was commenting that having a baby is expensive...and yeah it is. from the gynae appointments to the hospital bills to all the other peripherals. it's not cheap, esp in our generation. there's so much to buy. we really thank God for many family & friends who showered Eliza with gifts, clothes and essentials. it also helped that Ww's nephews have been coming over on weekends such that there's all the baby toddle stuff like sterilizer, bathtub, towels, swaddle cloth, pacifier tag etc etc all around the house, save us lots.

On a 2nd baby:
it's easy to say how many babies we'll want but when you already have a baby, u'll think twice.. now Ww's contemplating only having another and it's enough. so much to spend, so much energy & time needed to parent well, if there's so many how can we parent them well etc etc etc i'm still not sure, i wanted 4 initially but we'll see how things goes. even having baby no.2 is gonna be a huge challenge and change as well. while we're planning another next year (Ww says have it on a holiday!), we're settling into life with Eliza first. On no.3 we'll think hard about it....this we aren't sure.

Eliza discovers her hand...

This is her bedside book...and this is her fav page...5 apples, 1 cat, 2 birds, 1 squirrel...she looks like she's concentrating hard

i had to bring out as many of her clothes as possible before she cannot wear them anymore..this one was given by Eric&Xx which makes her look like a boy..and it says on the tag 3-6mths old. i think in few weeks time she can't wear it liao

Eliza's learning to sit up!

Friday, February 15, 2008

1st week of work

I worked 2 days this week.

It's not too much of a mad hustle in the morning actually after good planning, i do have a good few minutes to have breakfast and play with Eliza b4 i go off but i'll have to wake up goes like this..
5.45am - wake Ww up. i use my hp alarm instead cos for a few times his loud hp woke sleeping Eliza up and set her crying. after that i read that babies are usually light sleepers around 5-6am. and that's the time we should be waking up but not her time to. these few days my alarm also wakes her up...sighz.
6.00am - wake Ww up AGAIN (still snoozing...always)
6.20 - 6.30am - wake up, brush teeth, express milk
6.50am - make bfast, wash bottles, prep bottles for today's milk,
7.30am - wake Eliza up for milk if she hasn't woken up
7.50am - pack bag..what is left to bring, play with eliza a awhile.
8.00am - leave for work

i like working least it gives me time away. but i don't like expressing milk at work...cos there's no private room to do so, i'll have to express in the toilet, then it takes such a long time (abt 20-30min), then i have to wash, sterlilize. i find it so mafan, esp when i feel like i want to get on with my work.
but when i leave work, i can't wait to come home to see Eliza. such that i kinda stretch her bedtime to about 8.45 - 9.00pm instead, so i can play with her. (i realized even when i set her to zz at 8pm..she still eventually falls asleep at 9plus anyway) actually there's a lot else to do as well, express milk (again), have dinner, all by 9pm.

so when i had time at home with her on seemed like she's so happy to see me she didn't sleep much in the day. (she slept a lot on the 2 days i was working) still she wasn't sleepy enough to sleep thru the night. :7 she's been consistently waking up at 3-4am for milk these few days. occasionally at 2am to make noise, and always at 5-6am to make more noise. i wonder when i'll sleep enough. my mil suggested to turn her over on her tummy to sleep instead so that she doesn't keep using her hands to wave and sweep over her face (as if her face is itchy..but i really dunno), and so that i can keep the pacifier in. it always drops out when she's agitated and waving her hands much so i always have trouble finding where it flew to, esp in the dark. i realized i never carried her up to rock her back to sleep, unless it was to feed her. i'm just too lazy and sleepy. sometimes i feels like a dream..i can only remember vaguely what happened in the wee hours of the morning.

somehow or rather since last night she started drinking much lesser than her normal intake of 110-130ml. she would be drinking like 70-90ml instead! i was wondering why and it's so much like what some of the mummies in the forum was saying the babies are going thru too. my sil was also saying that it's just a phase they go thru, after that they'll pick up their milk intake again. maybe she's going on a diet....cos as the result of her wonderful weight gain and cuteness increment, her fatty neck has made it a lil difficult to clean, so it's been a lil reddish in b/w the folds of the skin.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Eliza talks

Eliza's been always chatty just that when we're out, she's too engrossed looking at people or too busy sleeping hardly anyone sees this side of her that we see everyday. R was saying that babies at this age are becoming more responsive, and surely Eliza is. just too bad she's too young to start talking, i believe she has lots to say.
this is just a tip of the iceberg...she can 'say' and she does talk so much's just a happy afternoon for her..mayb it's because i wasn't at work today (cos my office is closed...and no one told me so i went all the way there only to find out %#$@%$#^*...ok but i'm happy too to come home to see Eliza)

Saturday, February 9, 2008


It's late.
I should be sleeping (or expressing milk...last i expressed was's 3hrs le..should i should i not?)
I juz wanna have some quiet time. to reflect this 2 months plus of life with Eliza. tho i think i'll go to zz soon. eyes getting sleepy. (i'm not too good at 12mn to 7am sleep with 4-5am waking up...last time i can last 5hr night sleep leh)

I'm starting work on monday...again it's another of my first.
- first time being away from Eliza for so long (abt 12hrs!);
- first time i'll express milk in office (obviously);
- first time i'll need to sterilize the pump outside (and i haven't bought the microwavable sterilizing bag...wanted to buy today at kiddy palace but they don't sell it..have to go OG tmr to buy)
- first time i'll leave Eliza to my mil to care the whole day
- first time i'll stretch expressing milk for so long in the daytime (on and off, in my mind i'm thinking what time i'll need to EM in the morn, at work, and when i come back. what time i'll have to wake up in the morn to get all the things done and Eliza fed by 8am so i can go to work, what time i need to be home to send her to sleep, to many details i have to plan ahead of time)
with all these things...i'm praying hard i don't doze off at work...and coming home it's another endless 'work'. i'm not complaining but i'm wowed by the amount of things to be done, no wonder they say a mother's job is like a sacrifice. i mean i can don't care but i can't. even if it means to sacrifice my 'me' time.

at the same time there are other things to nurture,
- my r/s with family
- r/s with Ww - we try to do friday date nights and go out w/o baby...we squeezed out a 1 1/2hr on cny eve after Eliza's bedtime to go drink coffee and chat..Ww still wanted to watch movie...i wasn't too keen on that tho. recently Ww's been super duper bz at work that he'll be out at 645am (while i'm asleep) and back at then he's bished out..with endless emails to reply, and mountains of marking to still doesn't end when he's back. so we're hoping things will be better after the EV. anyway the CNY has been a rather good break for him...(he's been zzing since 8pm! @#)$(@%)@ ...on the account of the super tiring week i let him off..otherwise i'll get him to send Eliza to sleep etc etc etc)
- my cellgrp
- my time alone with God
- my other interests
- my friends

from the devotional 31 days of parenting...which gave me a conviction that moving to 3 day work week, not just to elevate my mil's load & merely spend more time with Eliza, it's because she's my baby God has entrusted. and while working less means having less financially (we haven't factored this in yet in our financial planning yet :S ), i believe it's something we are sure we won't regret.

1 Corinthians 4:2 " Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful"

An African proverb says, "It takes a village to raise a child." ...One cannot deny the vast degree of influence culture has on children. Each child is greatly impacted by his friends, teachers, coaches, scout leaders, and possibly even his favourite sports heroes and music stars. The 'village' certainly plays a significant role in human development. However, the 'village' does not have to answer to God for what it did with your cihldren. You will have to answer to God for how you parented. The village has not been entrust with anything. You have been entrust with the responsibility of raising your child to the best of your ability. ...He has entrusted you with the raising of His child. Others play a crucial part of a child's upbringing, but the responsibility rests with you. God has given you a trust, and His desire is that you fully embrace this reponsibility and do everything within your power to prove faithful with the life to which He has entrusted you.

happy new year!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Started on routine + Eliza days

In short, i started Eliza's routine which goes like this...
730am - milk
9+am- nap
11am - milk
12pm - nap
2pm - milk
4pm - nap
5pm - milk
630pm - nap
730pm - milk
8pm - bedtime routine (wipe down etc)
9pm - sleep
1030pm - dream feed

so far so good...just that i'm bottle feeding her all the way which means i need to express milk every 3+ to 4 hours and that takes about 1/2hour. so unless i have someone to help watch Eliza, i'll have to choose when i express milk. gosh..i feel like i got no time lor. while leaving her on the playpen for max 1/2hr (before she makes her frustrated noise) is good break, after that i have to think of what to do. her sleep is getting less and more awake time means finding things for her to do...yawns..i want more 'me' time! so the most i have is now..after i send her off to sleep after her bedtime routine, express milk, which is like 9plus. then i have to prep her next feed then i just want to go to bed.
i'm trying to stretch her hours to 3 1/2 or even 4 hours..but she still can't do so (other than the morning one) and thus i can't really follow Gina Ford's feeding schedule to the letter.

Eliza's dropped her 2am feed somehow..thank God. but she's STILL waking around that time, so i'll be patting her to sleep, giving her the pacifier while i'm half asleep. and then wake up again at 4am to feed her...this feed no choice cos she really seems hungry..and no pacifier can keep her calm. so i'm still sleep deprived...i looking forward to the day she sleeps without me having to resettle her in the middle of the night. and another reward about the routine is that she has really become quite accurate with her 730am wake time...oooo. previously i had to wake her up.

i'm still refining her routine and adjusting it to my work days (i'm starting work in 2 days!) while i'm still sleep deprived...i still have my long list of things to do...mainly for Eliza
- buy books from Amazon (i haven't had time to even browse :S )
- make flashcards and order the blank flash cards online
- update my cell blog..which is a long one and i need a long time and i don't have long time intervals sigh...
- do up colourful animal decals for the wall at her cot (this will take ages i believe...)
and so on...

These are pics from my mum's bday...first time we brought her to my mum's place...after like so long. there's no place we could put her but on the she was asleep when we arrived.
errr..this dress is getting too small for her lo

Eliza: wah.....i want to see what's over there

Eliza: I want to sleep too...

Eliza: Yes, daddy?

Eliza: zzzzz
(she always nicely falls asleep while we're having meals so i can have a peaceful meal..good gal)

On other days....
i leave her on the bouncer so i can do my stuff...she lasts max 1/2hour on this bounce with her linglinglonglong

Eliza: I'm having fun!!

Eliza: I'm getting bored

CNY family photo!
argh..i'm still so fat...tummy fat...can't seem to get rid of it :S

after visiting her grandparents, grandaunts & granduncles and greatgrandparents...still so happy in her play pen.
(i discovered why she can stay there so long cos as she kicks her leg, the play pen rocks a bit and so...she enjoys it)

Friday, February 1, 2008

No time & SleepFeed routine

I feel like i got no time.

it's true that newborns sleep lots more. i felt i had more time then. geez. nowadays it's more like trying to keep Eliza company when she's awake & going to sleeps. see i'm with her when she
- drinks milk
- awake/play time
- getting her to sleep
now that leaves me with my own stuff when she's asleep to do stuff...not counting the time i spend when she's asleep expressing BM. *faint*

plus i'm trying to keep her to a routine of feed / play / sleep. and trying to get her to hopefully sleep thru the night. so far what's been happening....
8am - wake up, milk
9am - bathe (went to clinic that day back by 1030am)
1030am - sleep (easy one cos she's tired out)
11am - wake up, milk then play
12nn - sleep
2pm - wake up, milk then play (left her on the play gym while i expressed milk, left her on the bouncy net while i did some admin stuff)
4pm - sleep (i take a bath)
5pm - wake up, milk, play (rocked her on the bouncy net..she enjoyed it quite a bit..lasted a long while)
7pm - sleep
8pm - wake up, milk, bedtime routine (of wipe down, change shirt, rub ruyi oil, say goodnight sweet dreams to her, turn the lights down, turn on lullaby) it took me 45mins b4 she fell asleep at about 9pm
11pm - woke her up for milk

the next day
3am - woke up for milk (slept at almost 4am)
630am - woke up for milk
730 am - i crawl out of bed did my morning stuff
8am - fed her milk (only 50ml) , then i express BM,
845am - bathtime, quiet play time aka watch me eat bfast time,
10am - sleep
11am - wake up, milk (100ml), play at my bed & read book while i express BM
1230nn - sleep
230pm - woke her up for milk cos she was so sleepy, then put her on play gym while i express BM
430pm - sleep (while i help my mil & sil with making the pineapple tarts)
5pm - wake up, milk (110ml), play
630pm - sleep (i bathe..)
730pm - (actually we woke at 7pm) wake in the midst of my dinner, milk (125ml)
8pm - bedtime routine (read a book, wipe down, rub ruyi oil, say good night sweet dreams, turn on lullaby...rock to sleep, put down to cot, cry, rock to sleep, put down to cot, cry, rock to sleep, put down to cot, cry....okokokokok pacifier..sleep ) and off waking up. fed her 40ml milk coz she seeemed so hungry. waiting for 1030pm or 11pm to feed her the last feed or so they say the dreamfeed.

yawns...i'm so tired!