Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Quantity time

It's back to work after a long weekend. And ever since this month..october, i've been always so busy at work...leaving at 730pm every time. Today, after a meeting, which was interesting though, and that lasted from 5-715pm, scutted out of the office door by 730pm. I told myself that by hook or by crook i gotta leave by that time. If i gotta stay later, tell me 1 day ahead of time. I'm missing my baby.

I envy those mums who can stay at home and take care of their babies. Sure thing, i don't really think it's that boring anymore, especially when i see how exciting Eliza can be.

These are stuff that she has been up to this weekend:
- Putting hp or whatever to her ear, as if she's answering the phone. But when given the real phone with a real person on the other line, she'll be looking around to search for where the person is.
- She has been giving us things. Occasionally, even things we say 'no' to. Really, generous.
- She started giving the 'kiss' which sounds more like when you smack your lips together. If u do it, she'll follow suit and give you a sweet smile, as if being really accomplished, after that.
- She continues to 'ba' and 'bear'.
- She points where she wants us to go when we carry her. Once, Ww was in our room and i was in the kitchen, she pointed her way to the kitchen to find me.
- She understands 'no' and will obey it...well..if she really really wants it, obviously she won't. Or she'll pretend not to want it, move away a bit and attempt to have a go at it again.

I wish i can spend more quantity time with her. now with 4 out of 7 days that i'm not with her, sometimes i feel like she is more disposed to my mil. because my lil girl is kinda sticky kidna girl, i feel like she'll find people she'll stick to. Dont really want to 'lose out' to my mil, and it's not that my mil doesn't take good care of her but you know....as a mummy you still want to be your lil baby's no.1

No money to buy time :(

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Attachment Parenting

I remembered something i wanted to blog about but keep forgetting, but after reading Babylicious's post, i remembered.

October is AP month.

Anyway, it was until after i gave birth, grappled with baby issues that i started reading all the books on parenting. I read Babywise first. I thought it was middle ground between AP & the other end which i dunno what to call it.
Then i read Gind Ford. That got me started on routine. And some CIO method which i felt wasn't it for us.
Then i read Sears: The Sleep Book, The Good Behavior Book, The High-Need Child Book, The Successful Child. which was very pro-AP.
Then i read Baby Whisperer. Which was somewhere in between.
All had their useful advises which i took here and there, tried this and that, till we found out style of doing stuff together.

What kind of babycare i veer towards? Eventually the AP one...minus the demand feeding part. Also, I don't know how to 'wear' my baby. I couldn't figure out the sarong thingy, though i'll try with baby.no2...and ask someone to help me!

The other thing is co-sleeping. I loved it. but i worried whether it could pose a problem of moving Eliza out of our room in the future. I read about that in Sears book...though it seems like a long phase to move into.Anyway, I was talking to a mum in church one sunday and asked her about c0-sleeping with her children. She asked me if it was something i felt comfortable with and enjoy. And mentioned that in their own time, they will want to have their own room to be in. meanwhile, we just enjoy the fun & closeness of being able to be close to our children.
Come to think of it, i always slept with my mum even till my sis came along...it was only when we moved house that i got my own room and loved it. I was 11 yrs old. Then my sis have always slept with my mum...till i moved out of my house..and now she took over my room.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Babies don't keep

"Babies Don't Keep?"
Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth empty the dustpan,
poison the moth,
hang out the washing and butter the bread,
sew on a button and make up a bed.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?

She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue

(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew

and out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
but I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo .

Look! Aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,

for children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.

So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.

I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Honestly, in my house...as long as my mil is in the house...the cleaning and scrubbing can't really wait till tomorrow. She's super clean. Me? I can wait till tomorrow. I will wash the clothes when i feel it will fill 3/4 of the washing machine load. I will iron the clothes when it forms a mountain in the box...and do it all at a go. I will scrub the bathroom when i start to see the grooves yellow. I never cleaned my windows before (someone else did). I vacuum & mop when i feel the floor is dirty, not every two days. I don't mind the mopping, but not the vacuuming(!) especially when we got that heavy iEcologi...the more i dread having to vacuum the floor. Ok call me lazy. But..i believe in doing things economically...ie in bulk.

But really...i love every minute of Eliza. Even the seconds when she drives me crazy. Even the moments when she is a tough ball to handle.

My in-laws went overseas for the weekend. So we have the whole house to ourselves. It's nice really. After we had put Eliza to bed, sorted out all the clothes folding, bottle washing, packing up etc...we settled down on our sofa with coffee for Ww & Yoghurt for me and talked. Ww was saying that he missed the times when we had the house to ourselves...and it won't be for a long time when we can have that again...maybe when our kids grow up and rather be out than at home. Still we can't help, feel warmed at the thought of Eliza, the unique way she cries, or fake cry; the way she gives us that muck lips grin...and 101 things that's so her. I'm glad to see her grow.

To digress....
Eliza babbled her more intelligable word. "BA", "BEAR", "BER" and she'll go on and on....
Ww has now adopted the word "BA" as calling him...-__-

This is what Eliza does sometimes...i think it's only when u have no teeth can u do this...I can't seem to do it the way she does.

Yes and only the cute but powerful two bottom front teeth.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

4-day week

Two more weeks and i'll be starting to work 4-day weeks. :(

We discussed about it and decided that i would go back to work one more day a week, maybe after this year. However, because of some plans Ww's' planning, we decided i could start going back a little earlier to start saving up earlier. At the same time, my boss popped by my table talking about getting me to have more role in the projects than just doing drafting work...and my decision to work an extra day a week is even better for such an arrangement. Personally, I would like to do a little more, yet don't wish to have to spend time OT-ing...or having to come back another day. Then again, 3 day or not...i felt busier these days that I'm still leaving work 1/2-1hr late. :(

My confusion and slight regret started when i was reading the book "A Mother's heart" by Jean Fleming. I quote:
"I cringe when i hear, 'It isn't how much time you spend with your children that matters, but whether the time you do spend is of high quality'. High quality for whom? If we define quality time as that which meets a need, we must ask, 'Meets a need for whom? .... The decisions these mothers made are based on their values. By working, each feels she will benefit her children. Each of these woman must judge whether her absence really benefits her family. ...must confront the question, Is money for college, nice things, or a Christian education more valuable than my being there? Each family must come to grips with the issues and the alternatives. They should weigh the pros and cons, and make their decision in light of biblical values."

If we could, I would love to stop working altogether, stay home and play with Eliza all day and get on with the day in and day out of home life. Miss out on the corporate world? Actually i don't really bother.
To a certain extent, we can't live with one income. Even as it is, we can't save. Although we could try to cut down on some expenses, still there's always the extra stuff we didn't expect to spend, or stuff we just had to spend.
So why do i still work? Because we still need the money. Even if we manage to get by with 1 income, sometimes it seems quite silly to not work when i have my mil to take care of Eliza, and do it so well too. We didn't really need to 2 people to take care of her, though it would be definately be great.
Maybe when baby no.2 comes along, i might take that drastic plunge, as we have planned to & hoped to, By then hopefully i have enough savings, maybe a hobby income or some passive income too. Well...at least when the maternity leave comes, it'll be based on my 4-day week pay instead of 3-day week one?

Quirky & fun stuff Eliza's up to
- she holds me hp to her ear like i do, as if talking on the phone. (she's starting to imitate what we do nowadays...my fil taught her to do it too with her toy phone)
- she understands the word "NO" but it doesn't work all the time
- she understands 喝水 and drink water...and so will turn to get her water or point to her water bottle
- she can understand & sign 'milk', though it can happen all out of the blue, as if practicing the hand sign
- she responds to music most of the time by clapping her hands, she especially enjoys worship time in church, and sometimes hums with you, as if she's singing along with you.
- she used to climb from the low coffee table in the study room to the sofa...now she has moved on to climb up to the study table...or any higher stuff by lifting her legs really high
- she loves scratching out stickers/price tags on things with her salvia & two bottom teeth
- she can now open caps, those lift up types, with her two bottom teeth. so no more giving her the diaper rash cream or whatever container tubes, and even our new Nalgene bottle to get the contents out.

I didn't catch her in time,. I left her to her own devices for a while and later found her with one of the tubes open, and smelling of the fragrant cream.
- she's into pulling out drawers
- she'll sometimes pretend to be in sleeping position, or lying down on her tummy when you tell her to go to sleep. how you know she's pretending? she's smiling away while she does it, and few seconds later gets up, pleased with what she has done.
- she's still playing peek-a-boo with us :P

Friday, October 17, 2008

Busy october

There were a few big stuff this october which has kept me busy, which u'll see some photos later on. Eliza's being more and more fun to play with as she becomes a busy explorer in the house and outdoors.

On play...
Her all time favourite game of peek-a-boo is really fun. And she tend to play it with us more often nowadays. It's really fun to see her having fun and joining in with her in the little game to bring on the pearls of laughter. Recently, we've been playing with chasing after a ball but so far she throws it backwards. I think it's the atmosphere...if i'm really 'on' and ask her to chase it or try to get it before her, she'll crawl fast after it, laugh along the way and throw it backwards, again. Else she'll forget about it and look for something new & novel to play with.

On sleep...
Eliza's sleeping better after bedtime. The waking up to cry part gets lesser and lesser, not that she doesn't but sometimes after putting her to bed, i can peacefully do my stuff for 1-2hrs without a sound from her. It's been normal that even after i put her to bed, she'll still stir and cry, sometimes i think it's a nightmare cos she'll still be in the same sleeping position i last saw and crying, sometimes she just sits up and cry. Previously, it can happen so often as 5times in an half hour. It's such a thing of the past that i think i may forget about it eventually.
I've can't be bothered about sleeping methods anymore. While i tried the Baby Whisperer method of getting baby to sleep without carrying, my mil still carries her to sleep. Still, Eliza seemed to have outgrown it and can fall asleep on her cot or on my bed if she's sleepy enough. The thing is that she's such a playful curious lil ball of energy, i'm always spending energy trying to concentrate on making her fall asleep, not checking out the side of my bed, or what's outside the cot, or what's on the floor. So i've recently also resorted to carrying her till she's drowsy enough before putting her in her cot, at least i can restrain her from trying to check out something new. It's really faster. I think faster works for me, if i chase after her w/o carrying her, it can take me 1hr to get her to be tired enough to lay quietly on the bed. By then, mummy is sapped of her energy, grouchy and snappy.
I surmise that in the end it's what works for mummy & baby and what mummy & baby's character is like. If my lil girl is a angel baby (like described in Baby Whisperer), i think i can just leave her on her cot to fall asleep on her own. Eliza's isn't. But i like it Eliza's way anyway. The process has made me understand her & myself better.

On naps...
Still on 2 naps a day. Anytime from 45mins to 2hrs. Outside, min 30mins, max 1hr. Today we did a record breaking nap...215pm - 515pm. I knew i was going to take a nap with her so after she fell asleep, i went to clean some things up and prep some stuff, read a book and eventually fell asleep. She woke at 4pm for milk and cos she drank it in the room, which was probably still so cozy, she half went back to sleep..and because i dozed off as well, both of us slept till 515pm.
I love taking naps with Eliza. :P

On food & milk...
There was this phase when she'll wake up at 4am+ for milk, somehow it was a phase that went away. Nowadays whether she drinks her last milkfeed at 9pm or 11pm, she'll still last till morning. Only thing is that i get a hungry crying alarm clock threatening me to get up to make milk while i snooze. Yes i wake up at 7am. EVERYDAY! Thank God she doesn't wake up earlier.

On flashcards...
I've recently started on showing her flashcards based on the Glenn Doman book "Teach your baby to Read". Actually, i've only shown her two words so far: mummy, daddy. Today i started with 妈妈 & 爸爸. Cos it's only two words, i finish in 30seconds. Just that i have to try to do it many times a day. At first she was excited seeing the cards cos i think it's paper (edible chewy fun thing). She'll smile at it and get back to playing other stuff quite fast anyway.
My hope is that she'll learn the joy of reading early on. Flashcards with her will help her start reading earlier, and that'll open a whole new world of learning & knowing.

Days of Eliza...
Because i have to be in the kitchen often when preparing food, or washing & hanging & keeping the clothes, I finally gave Eliza a drawer that's safely hers. It doesn't stop her from opening other drawers but at least it keeps her entertained for a while.

This set of drawers are the 'forbidden' drawers which of course doesn't stop her from opening them. One day she'll know enough not to open those to pull all the things out. Meanwhile, i'll be using my foot to stop her or using a chair to block the drawers from being opened. (still she'll try to push the chair away)

Sometimes if the bottom one can't be opened, can try the second one...

Or the third one....

Daddy's birthday party. Ww got his class to come over for his birthday party, just nice it's the end of PSLE. I ordered this really cute cake...maybe will try to order one for Eliza's 1st birthday too!

She's obviously the centre of attention...

BK&Huey's Wedding.
I finally decide to bring Eliza along to the morning's gatecrash & tea ceremony. Eliza sure had fun despite having to adjust to so many aunties & uncles (OK...jiejies)

Family photo! And Eliza's looking far off...dunno what's she's staring at.

I bought this table corner protector a few weeks back, and was surprised that Eliza didn't even bat an eye at it. Oh dear and when she did finally set her eyes on it, it was gone in a few days. First she'll use her bottom teeth to get the plastic part out, then she'll try to eat out the sticker (cos she's not that successful with her fingers at that). In the end, mummy peels it all out, in case she eats the sticker up. So now...it's gone from our coffee tables. So much for protection...

Yes? You were talking about me??

Saturday, October 4, 2008

I stopped breastfeeding

Some weeks back, just when the china milk contamination news was all over the news, i somehow stopped breastfeeding. It was mostly because my skin was dry and it hurt + bled when i expressed milk, and partially because of a dwindling milk supply, that i eventually stopped.

I enjoy the ease at preparing formula milk, although initially it was frustrating to see clumps of milk powder stuck at the bottom of the bottle. It's not easy to get the powder to dissolve! Moreover, there's so much bubbles, i have to read below the bubbles to read the milk volume. Even as Eliza drinks, more bubbles are formed! I wonder how come it doesn't happen so much with BM. Nowadays i prepare FM beforehand to minimize the bubbles when i shake & stir the milk powder. I read of one mum in the forum who prepares a portion beforehand and puts the milk in the fridge, and add hot water when it's time for milk feed. ok..i'm going to do that...for tmr's milk.

Now i understand what they mean when they say that milk powder finishes very fast! IT DOES! A 700g tin gets emptied in less than a week! Eliza's drinking an average of 700ml a day. which is an average of 180ml, every milk feed. There's always one feed that she'll drink less. Which makes me wonder whether i should increase the amount and cut the frequency to 3 times a day.
That's the thing with milk feeds...it's quite fuzzy on when to start cutting down one feed, in particular in the day time. I can't remember how we did it previously anyway. It just happens, i think?

Days of Eliza

We finally plunged into the pool with Eliza today!! yays! i'm so happy. and i'm also really glad Eliza enjoyed it, (i wonder if that was why she missed her morning nap...too excited to sleep?)
A lot of daddy photos, cos mummy's the one behind the camera, again, and it was a lil hard to bring the camera into the pool.

see me fly!!
overall it was a great experience, though the packing was confusing with more things to bring. bathing wasn't too easy too, i made the mistake of bathing her before i did..so she was clean & dry while i still had to change. I found it too inconvenient to bring her out then come back in, so i sat her on a towel while i changed..while trying to keep her within the towel perimeter and not touch the drain, partition parts etc...
Eliza loves the water, she'll splash the water and squeal with delight, she'll watch the other kids play in the pool, she'll sit in the shallow part of the water and try to crawl out...i will bring her there again! :)

Eliza finding that hiding behind the glass is a fun peek-a-boo game too :P

Daddy hug her with the bear..

Eliza waves daddy away....don't tickle me!!

Do they look alike?

My little tomboy...i dressed her up in t-shirt and shorts and found her looking so much like a boy that i didn't bother if someone asked if she's a boy or not.

Eliza knows how to tilt her bottle to drink water...and milk too.

Giving her president wave...

Mummy...gimme your handphone!! I WANT IT!!!