Thursday, November 24, 2011

In laws are here!

It has been a tough week. A week of much adjustments. I had a good week of sleep training Emily. (she did a record breaking 1.5hr nap the time my in laws arrived. Actually she slept through all the commotion...until my fil wanted to see her and kinda woke her up. Grrr. She was obviously upset having someone else greet her from her slumber). She managed to nap at least 30minutes. Not more but it has improved from 20minutes to 30 minutes. So i do get some quiet time to read or do activities with Eliza. 

It's also a tough week cos Ww and I have been doing driving practices everyday till today when i took the test. (which i failed). I'm ok with failing it, at least i know what i did not know! I probably need more practice but i do feel a little too overwhelmed and exhausted to do so now. It didn't help that today is also the day my second last molar acted up and was aching at night at the whole morning. We had to make a unscheduled trip to the dentist (which thank God there was a slot at 1pm) to get some antibiotics. The inflammation is easing out now, and i'm still a little exhausted. Actually i'm waiting for Emily to wake up from her sleep for her milk feed. I was expecting her to do so since 9pm but it's 10:50pm and she's still asleep! 

It was also overwhelming because as much as we were excited about my in-laws arrival, I realized how much I enjoyed being on our own. Yes, handling two kids isn't easy + cooking + teaching + getting a baby that doesn't sleep well to sleep + washing etc. But we have settled in our nice routines, Ww & I have found our sweet spot at night to do our stuff and chat, we got Eliza to be more independent (she wears her own clothes, can go toilet on her's more challenging now without the potty and the tap that's difficult to turn, she falls asleep on her own for naps and bedtimes...etc). I have also found my ways of being efficient with the cooking and washing, something that is not gonna be the same with my mil around. She does more things to wash which i do find quite a chore like soaking the white clothes in dynamo and scrub, put all the clothes in the laundry bags (if the laundry bag is full, isn't there any space for it to be spinned and washed?), take a long time to chop the veg/meat or cook (i usually finish cooking in the mornings under 45minutes)...etc. Ww & I also know what to expect to do each time when we go out and I love the being in sync with him to do we know what to do, how to handle the kids etc. 

Gonna super miss all that in the 9 weeks he is away. 

Feeling like this is a more difficult separation than the last 2 times, after having to live on our own, without having to depend on our parents for things. (yes it's great that my mil is here to cook and my fil to help out).

God give us strength in these weeks... that Ww can find what he needs to find, get what he needs to get, be safe in the freezing winter where he is going to, that I can find that peace of staying with my in-laws, and be able to survive without my FIL (our driver till i pass my driving test) after Christmas till Ww comes home. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Finding the balance and flow

It does take time to find that fine balance for each day. I always wonder how SAHMs...with more than one kid, do it. I mean i read a lot of blogs where mums manage their homes with 3, 4, 5, or 6 and more kids! :O *screams* Ok...the kids do grow up and after having so many i guess you would have found that routine and balance to get things..and the food going.

So how am i getting on? I'm still learning..there are days where Eliza and I vegetate..ok not that bad but i let her run wild watching dvds (no more than 3 hours?) while i try to get Emily to sleep and stay asleep.  She doesn't watch that long also..cos she'll get inspired by something and run off doing something else while the computer stays paused. cute. There are days when i feel like i have accomplished things like washed the rugs, baked, did some packing, did mini projects with Eliza (argh..which reminds me of what activites i have left to prepare for tomorrow). Despite Emily's short naps and having to carry her when she's short-napped..i still do get things done and Emily does sit in her walker or roll on the playmat on her own.

It's good to know what to expect and of course having a baby throws that 'expectation' off course most of the time but since she's on some 'predictable' schedule i can plan things ahead. It is usually dependent on what time she wakes up in the morning. Why are kids such early risers? If she wakes up at 6am it's still ok..but not when she wakes up at 5am! The best is when she wakes up at 7am but that's still rare.. This is beacuse i have to calculate 2 hours from the last time she wakes to send her off to sleep. So complicated.

I cook in the morning during breakfast time, most of the time. Emily's in the best of mood and Ww's still home. Most of my chopping/cutting etc is done the night before, with the exception of leafy veg when i have to do that in the morning. I can't help but cook everyday though...there are days when i pull out our frozen stash from the freezer and just heat up but it's not much so i try not to use it except for days when i can't or don't have time to cook. I don't quite like to cook at the time closer to lunch time cos that's when I'm trying to get Emily to nap/continue napping/she just woke from a nap (=cranky). Never a good time to cook then when i can't predict what will happen. Usually dinner will just be heated up and i have my whole day to do whatever i want or plan for without worrying about our meals.
Weekly, there's always a pasta/spaghetti dish, mostly veg or meat with rice dishes, a noodle dish, and weekend picnicable food. Sometimes we just have homemade burgers & fries on the weekends. I don't quite like to repeat the meals but i find some dishes come up quite frequently just  because Eliza loves them. ie sweet and sour chicken, cauliflower (+broccoli & carrot) stir-fry, 'satay' chicken in whatever marinate, braised chicken wings, meatball pasta, ham & pineapple fried rice, spinach with ikan bilis...

Learning with Eliza:
Worship -
Every morning, even if we don't get to do any activities, we still start the day with prayer, a bible story from her children's bible and we read a verse. So far she can memorize two verses. Psalm 139:14 & Colossians 3:20 and we are working on 2-3 more. I'll read and she'll repeat after me. We'll continue as much as we can although i would want to move towards memorizing the verses the Charlotte Mason way. Gonna add some singing time to in the midst of this as well.

Writing -
We have been doing a lot of writing..learning to write the moving on beyond just tracing and to writing on her own. 26 alphabets is a lot to learn and we haven't even gone on to chinese words. She can write her name quite well.

Themes -
I'm starting to do more thematic we are slowly starting on gardening & leaves and trees and flowers. There's so much resources on the web i wish i can glean through them all but doing it is more useful anyway. Eliza loves doing 'activities' and I wish i have more time to do them with her. I am amazed with mums who homeschool and manage their large household. Gosh how do they do that?

Days of the week -
Just that...we change it everyday at our fridge with the magnets :)

Reading -
As it is we read about 2 books every night and usually the same book, as per Eliza's choosing. In the day, we read sporadically and i try to read at least a Chinese book to her.

Outdoors -
We try to observe the outdoors especially now that it is spring, there are so many flowers around!

Would love to add more photos but with my 101 things to do...see my facebook then. heh.

More to update soon! my inlaws are coming on saturday and we are getting ready the place for their arrival! gotta sort Eliza's toys and her crafts cos it's all over the place!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Emily is 6 months!

Emily's First foods
It has been about a week since Emily started eating her first food. Bought brown rice, ground it (not very powdery enough though cos every time i start the blender Eliza runs to the far end of the house and i had to keep blending a few batches), and eventually cook it. Not too bad. On the 5th day i introduced sweet potato to her.
Somehow Emily doesn't really know how to swallow yet and everytime the spoon goes in her mouth, her tongue will intefere and push the food out. Still she managed to eat down about a 1-2 teaspoons of brown rice cereal. Most times she'll be grabbing the spoon and chewing on i'm not too sure if it's the spoon or the food..hmm. Wondering how long will it be for her to know how to eat from the spoon. Gonna introduce avocado this weekend! Then apple and butternut squash.

Eliza's sleep
Eliza has been sleeping in her own room since my MIL left and it wasn't the easiest in the first few weeks but it does get better and has been better. The first few weeks had Ww in her room squeezing in her bed with her. We had some moments when i was so grouchy being woken up then i went to the room to scold her. Oh's much much better now and she knows what is expected. She no longer cries when she wakes up in the morning and our little alarm clock will come to our room to cheerily find us to snuggle in or wake us up. "can you get up now..??? wake up!" Of course on days when she doesn't cry in the middle of the night (sometimes it's cos she couldn't turn her lullaby, or there's no water, or she just needs help adjusting her blanket etc), she gets a lollipop. (yes..there's a big pack of it hiding somewhere in the cupboards).
Also she has been getting on well falling asleep on her own after all the bedtime routines. I'll still stay in the room till she's drowsy and tell her i will go out and will check on her later. She'll tell me not to be too noisy when i check on her so that she won't wake up (her room door knob is creaky). It helps a lot that she doesn't fall asleep with us in the room so that there's no expectation of us there when she wakes in the middle of the night.
Wonder if it's back to square one when my in laws come...

Emily's face
Dear oh dear...this little girl's face has been ruined by her sleeping on her tummy. We have stopped putting her on her tummy to sleep cos she'll rub her face silly till her skin becomes raw..urgh! She does that when we carry her and when i Beco her but a lot worse when she's on her tummy. So we have to pur her on her back to sleep again. It wasn't the best for some nights..not any better for naps either. The past two days i'll rock her to sleep and put her down for her short short naps and continue her nap in the Beco. For nights, it's a little unpredictable but i'm seeing a pattern, as in i need to get her to the bedtime routine in 1.5hrs from when she last woke so that she isn't overtired. Just a little and i'm settling her every half to one hour till the dreamfeed.
Her face is also much better now...we put plaster on her right side of her face and i put QV moisturiser as often as i can, the prescribed cream for eczema in the mornings and nights. but as long as she rubs on our clothes or i just put her on her tummy once, and we'll be back to square one easily.

(photos soon)