Saturday, February 28, 2009

Teaching Ryan all about choices and consequences

We have been practising giving Ryan choices for a while now. Most of the time, it involves little things and the choices are usually A or B. So, he will get things like do you want to drink Milo or milk? Do you want rice or noodles. Most of the time, the choices are things which I am ok with and it is a matter of teaching Ryan how to choose.

Lately, he has been watching a lot of TV at nanny's and I limit him at home. Just now, he wanted to watch his Donald Duck CD and I gave him a choice of watching CD and reading a book before bed. He chose TV obviously.

When it came to bedtime, he was crying out for his book and I had to teach him the consequences of choosing his TV over this. His cries were breaking my heart but I know that teaching him now will benefit all of us later. So I stuck to not giving in.

I know he is sad and he probably thinks I am mean, but if I can teach him from young all about making choices and the consequences to it, I think it is worth him hating me for a while.

Megan babbles

Today, while talking to Megan, she gave me a sweet look and then she started to babble back! I was so stunned that I had forgotten what she babbled about!!

And I am sure that she knows my smell and pats very well. Every time she is cranky, all I need to do is to hold her and pat her, and she will be all calm.

Ahh ... the little moments which makes motherhood worth it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hitting the malls

I had thought that one of the things I would like to do before I go back to work is to hit all the major malls in town. Some of the malls I thought of are:

1 Utama
Bangsar Village
Bangsar Shopping Centre
Sunway Pyramid
Mid Valley
The newly opened Tropicana Mall
The Curve/ Ikano/ Ikea

I managed to cover 1 Utama on Monday and Bangsar Village on Tuesday. I thought I can cover Sunway today and tomorrow, but then I had to go fetch Ryan. So much for my malls coverage now ... don't think Ryan will be able to get on his regular ride next week and so, my aim to cover the major malls are dashed : (

The funny thing that took place when I went to the 2 malls is that I did not feel the urge to buy anything! All I ended up with were stuff for my kids and a pair of shorts which I badly needed to replace.

If this keeps up, I am going to be a little depressed when I continue to visit these malls ... I really wanted to buy something, but the urge is not there ... wonder why leh?

Monday, February 23, 2009

One on one with Ryan

My mum will be the first to tell you that there is no such thing as sibling rivalry nor is there a thing such as the older one left out.

However, I have felt that Ryan has been different recently and since we had Megan, things seemed to be more difficult too. However, I would not say that it is entirely because of Ryan, I think I also share some of the blame because I am also more short in temper and patience.

Having said that, I decided that we needed to have a one to one time together. Hence last Saturday, I brought Ryan to Mid Valley, specifically to the toy shop - Toys R Us. We spent about 2 hours there in total. He was so hooked with some of the toys on display that he managed to make some friends too playing there. I settled into a corner reading my mags while observing Ryan and his friends.

He seems to be very happy and e even got a cup cake treat during lunch. We were very tired when we left in the afternoon. I had asked him to hold on to some groceries I bought and told him not to sleep in the car so that he can help me bring it down, since I mentioned that he was such a strong boy. His response? "But mummy, I am a tired boy and a tired boy is not a strong boy". So much for helping me there!!!

That evening, his father came back with a surprise for Ryan - a remote controled helicopter. And they spent the night and the next morning playing with it. They even extended their session to the next evening.

However. Ryan had a little accident when he tried to touch the propeller and this made him afraid to go near the helicopter. But this did not stop him from bugging hubby to play with him!!!

Ahh ... sometimes we need this one to one session with the older kid to remind ourselves why we wanted to have kids in the first place and why we chose to have more. Ryan has been a dear to us and will remain to be so. We are reminded everyday of his smiles and mischiefs and I (at least) thank God for giving me the opportunity to be a parent to 2 wonderful kids.

May we have many more of happy times and days to come!!!

Hitting the gym

I was so so looking forward to the gym and when I got the go-ahead from the gynae last week, I hit it straight away on Friday.

However, I only did the Wave and pushed myself for 30 mins on it. I used to do about 600cals in 30 mins, but I now only managed to do 492cals. But I am satisfied with this since I had stopped 6 months and just recovered from my delivery.

I am due to start my PT sessions this week, and I am so looking forward to sessions to trim down my tummy. Really have to do that la ... cannot afford to have jelly belly. But I hope my body adjusts quickly so that my legs do not ache as bad.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Megan smiles

This happened to me 3 days ago when I was playing and talking to her. I am really not very good in doing this seeing that she cannot respond much yet.

However, when she smiled at me 3 days ago, it made my heart melt. Sweet little Megan ...

Megan going to nanny's

Today, we started Megan at the nanny's. I must admit though that I was a little worried if the nanny can cope with a baby and a pre-schooler.

When we got there in the morning, we left Megan with clothes, nappies and lots of expressed milk. Nanny took her and put her in the sarong. Megan went straight to sleep. She looked so contented. She was a darling anyway before I sent her there. I had expected her to kick a fuss, but all was well.

Just before Ryan was due back, I called to check. Nanny said Megan was well. I must say that this time, the experience is more relaxed. I find myself less anxious and more open to the possibility of uncertainty. 4 years of parenting has taught me that anything can happen with kids, best to plan but except anything that comes our way.

With Ryan last time, I went back to see him 3 times on his first day, always imagining that something bad will happen. This time, I left her and set off to Pavillion to see my friends and to shop for a bit.

I had expected Ryan to be happy to see Megan at nanny's ... he was. Nanny later told me that Ryan cannot resist touching and poking her. I think by now little Megan can recognize her big brother's nudges already. Nanny also said that Megan likes to be rocked in the sarong and cannot be left alone for she will start to stir and cry. And thoughout the first day there, Megan did not leave any poop for nanny to clean, nor did she continuously eat - only took 3 feedings the whole day. I imagine if she was with me, I would have been functioning harder than a cow!!!

Looking forward to sending her again tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Talcum powder and cancer

I have been using talcum powder all my life and I have never thought much about it except that I feel terribly uncomfortable if I don't use it after a bath. I also use it on my 2 kids .... till I read this today.

The Star article states that there has been links found between talcum powder usage and cancer, specifically ovarian cancer. There could be a likelihood as high as 40%! Not only that, but babies inhaling them can also have drastic health side effects. OMG! And I have been using it like nobody's business!

As an alternative, we are advised to use bedak sejuk which is made from corn flour or rice flour. Well, I am not one to be all jittery about this and so, I think I will continue to use talcum powder but I will definitely change it for my kids.

It is very scary when we use certain products all our life and then suddenly found that we have been exposing ourselves to all sorts of dangers. I am not even sure if I should be mad at the manufacturers about this. Damn, wonder what I cannot eat/ use/ do tomorrow.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Ryan's development in school

I have always been very happy with Ryan's development in school. However, I noticed that there is something different with him - both at home and in school.

I sent him to school this morning and decided to have a chat with his teacher. Sure enough, she confirmed my hunch and said that lately Ryan has been less focused and does not do as he is told. My heart broke knowing that this is happening to him. His teacher said that the baby's arrival could have an impact on him and thus, in his own way of seeking attention, he will do this.

I suddenly feel like I am to be blamed for making him feel alienated and needing to seek our attention. I really felt sad. When I got home, I started to tear and hubby was like "Aiyo, what is the matter ah??" But his take was that we have to make sure that Ryan is aware of where he needs to toe the line and not so much on the possibility that Megan's arrival prompted him to act this way.

Sigh, I guess that nobody but the mother would feel like I do. And I have to exercise more patience so that Ryan knows that he is well cared for and loved and that he does not need to misbehave in order to get our attention.

Darling Ryan, mummy is sorry for losing my patience at times. But this does not mean that mummy loves you any lesser. Mummy loves you more and more each day, hope you know this too ...

My maternity clothes

I started to clear my maternity clothes just now. Although I know that I do not want another baby, somehow, taking them down and knowing that I will not wear them again gave me a sad feeling.

They bring back good memories about how I successfully carried my 2 babies. I was feeling very gung-ho about just packing them and giving it away. Now, I think I will hold on to it for a while.

With Ryan, the clothes were more cotton like and resembled the typical maternity dresses. A-cut, knee length, good air flow etc. With Megan, I wanted my clothes to be more clingy - I saw some of the clothes in the UK and Australian Parenting magazine and thought they were really nice and less ah-soh. So, I bought them!

Here they are now, all hanging and nice ... it's really hard to take them down. Any suggestions on what I should do with them?

Noises in the night ...

When you have 2 kids, you will risk the fact that you will compare them. I know I swore I would never do that (they are, after all, individuals on their own) but I did ....

One of the things I noticed different about them is their sleeping mannerisms.

With Ryan, even in the womb, I cannot talk after 11pm, else I will get a good kick. And by 7-8am, I would have to get up, else, another kick. And so, when he was born and till now, this is largely his bedtime.

Megan was a little different. She wa awake when I am awake ... even if it means I am only getting up to pee in the middle of the night. I can feel her moving her little fingers. I used to tell hubby that her past life must be an octopus. When Megan was born, it is true that her fingers are always moving, but luckily, she does not get up when I do. She will stir a little when she realizes that I (and my smell) is not near her.

Apart from the hours, Ryan was a relatively quiet sleeper. Megan is however, a noisy sleeper. She will make all sorts of stretching noises and I will find myself stirring up quite a bit in the night. She sometimes stretches herself so much that she wakes herself up!!! This, Ryan did too. And they will both scream their lungs out!!! Putting them to the breast will do the trick of calming them.

Wonder what else I can find significantly different about them!!

Something is up my nose

When I was small, I used to stuff biji saga up my nose. My mum, the panic person that she is, would turn me upside down and pat me so hard that the little red seeds would fall out. This to me is really funny ... I would imagine my mum doing it and then I will be laughing about it.

Just now, Ryan was sitting in the toilet doing his big business and when he was done, he told me this "Mummy, just now the toilet paper went up my nose. I cannot sneeze it out." I thought he was joking because I could not see the paper up his nose. And so, I ignored him. Then, he repeated it again, this time, his voice sounded like a plea ... it must have been very uncomfortable for him.

Remembering what my mum did, I calmly closed Ryan's left nostril and asked him to sneezed his right one .... and lo and behold, out came a piece of paper!!! And it came straight at my face!!!

My mum was with me and she gave me this look as it to say, like mother like son .... I am still laughing ...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Hope it is not too late to wish everyone this ; )

This year, our Valentine's Day is a little different because hubby is away and will only be back tomorrow. However, he sent me a sweet MMS with a photo of our little girl with a message and I replied with a photo of our son.

These things mean a lot more to me than flowers and chocolates, although I won't mind receiving them ... But anyhow, looking forward to hubby coming home tomorrow. I am just exhausted from taking card of the kids although my mum is helping out.

How have your Valentine's Day been?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Our news

Since the last election, I have been reading less of the main stream media (MSM). It's not that there are no news, it's just that the news are so ridiculous and embarrasing even. Every other day you will read about what some policy maker said/ did but then it will be openly challenged by their own people, or there will be some cop who will say something (like there is only 1 cop for 800 people in KL, so we are short handed blah blah blah, some stupid excuse for their incompetencies) that will only highlight their stupidity etc. Nett nett, I have pretty much given up on the MSM. If I ever buy the newspapers, it is only to read up on the latest joke in Malaysia.

Today, I happened to read the online version of The Star and what do you know, this made it to the news - "Abdullah trapped in lift for 30 mins". Yeah, something like this made it to the news. And it is not like his 30 mins made a difference to the lives of other people. He was just fashionably late for some event which, again, does not make much difference to the majority of the people.

Ahh .... one just need to pay RM1.20 to read about all the jokes that we have in the country, sure beat the money you have to pay to watch a stand-up comedian!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ryan's language development

I have always been impressed with Ryan's language capabilities. True, he does not speak Cantonese, but he is able to speak Hakka, apart from English, very well. And his Hakka is only to his nanny, nobody else.

Ever since he was a baby, we have been speaking to him in Cantonese at home but somehow, he chose to converse in English to us and not Cantonese. However, he does understand the language and so, there is no chance in us bad mouthing him in it.

When he started school, his English vocab improved a lot and I am constantly amazed by the words that he uses - some, I did not even know till I was in primary school!! However, lately, he has been using words/ phrases that I do not approve of for a 4 year-old.

Words like "Hey, that's my ..." or "I am NOT your friend" or "Stupid" etc. It makes me feel really like smacking him at times. But because his friends uses them, he thinks that it is ok. Hmmm ... I think I'd better go have a chat with the teacher to see how we can tackle this problem. Although I tell him it is wrong, he will tell me that his friends also talk like that.

Any ideas on how to deal with this?

Megan's cries brings back memories

When I was a baby, I used to be my mum's worst nightmares.

I would wake up and cry when people usually sleep and I will sleep when people usually get up to work. And my cries were usually insistent and persistent. My mum would put me on the table and just watch me cry, sometimes she joins me too. There was no way to determine why I was like that. Doctors said that it would be good for my lungs.

On some occasions, my mum was taking care of Megan when I was out/ running errands etc. She would insist on being carried, otherwise she would be crying her lungs out. She would also kick up a fuss when her nappies are wet or when she has pooped. And her cries brought back memories to my mum. She said I had the same loud, screaming and continuous cry .... athough my mum did say that I seemed to have bigger lungs and so, louder and longer than Megan.

The strange thing is that with Megan, once I step into the house, she would stop being fussy and would willingly sleep on the bed without a single sound. My mum says it is because she can smell me and be comforted in knowing that I am around. Apparently this did not work on me when I was a baby .... my mum was a little worried that my brother will turn out to be like me when she was pregnant with him. Thank goodness he slept through everything, so long as his tummy was full!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Megan's full moon

This is going to be a short post to mention that my baby has celebrated her full moon.

We had a small a-do at home with red eggs, ang ku kuih and ginger. We had the traditional flower bath and cutting of hair. She was a darling all through this and was even happy enough to put on her new pink dress.

We also had a small prayer session at MIL's house followed by lunch. Before the lunch, Megan had her feeding session in the car and that is when she did a big big poop and it was all over her new dress as well as on me!!!

After lunch we came back home. I changed and headed out to an evening with my girlfriends. I had thought that Megan would be alright with my mum, but then she was actually crying her lungs out and refused to be put down!!! However, as soon as I came home, she stopped crying and went to sleep!!! So much for my night out.

I had also arranged for Ryan to go to the movies with his dad and my dad. Sort of like a guys' night out. They went to watch Bedtime Stories. Again, the guys did not give much details except for "Okay", "Not bad" .... but I think it is a good way for Ryan to bond with the father.

So fast, one month already ...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

CNY celebrations in school

Ryan had a CNY celebration in school today. For some reason, he was more excited about the Christmas party than this.

He had refused to wear his "sam fu" to the party and so he went in his usual street clothes. I was thinking that he must have very exciting news to report at night when he comes back at night.

Instead, what he said was "Mrs. K told me that during CNY there are monsters and so, we burn the fire crackers to scare the monsters away." That's all. And he also claimed that he did not eat nor play in school.

Sigh, boys. Getting details from them is really not the most easy thing to do. Most of the time, they just ignore things or have selective hearing/ seeing capabilities.

Either way, glad that Ryan had a good day in school.

Friday, February 6, 2009

4 weeks now ...

Today marks the fourth Friday from which Megan was born.
And it also means that my confinement will end in another day - hooray!!

This week has been better for me although I am bored to death because I have nobody to talk to. Megan has also been showing signs of being more matured, one of which includes having a louder voice when screaming and crying.

As we prepare the full moon celebration, I reflect once more on the day that she was born. It really seems like it was just yesterday that it happened.

Ryan is loving his sister more and more each day and he is learning to be more gentle towards his sister.

I am really looking forward to the end of this confinement thingy in 1 day's time. I really need to get out of the house without being frowned upon.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Poop-ed on!!!

Yesterday, Megan poop-ed on me. And she did that again this morning.
It was really a little yucky, but then I thought ... it is not everyday that a mother gets poop-ed on. And there are women out there who would love to have babies to poop on them, but cannot.

Ah ... the joys of motherhood. I am uncovering them one by one, day by day, enjoying it bit by bit.

Confinement ending in 3 days

My confinement period is set to end in 3 days!! Yay!!! Technically though, if I am counting 30 days, it should be ending in 2 days, but never mind la, what is another day right?

According to the Chinese (and some cultures') beliefs, after the birth of a child, the mother is expected to go through a confinement period. Typically, this is to help strengthen the mother's health. And I really appreciate this fact more than anything. No matter how strong you are, right after delivery, the mother is bound to go through some sores and resting is really what she needs.

However, there are some practices which I think are really nonsense and it does not make sense if we follow blindly. Some of the things which I thought was downright sillly were:

1) Cannot eat bread and biscuits - yeast will cause infection to wound.
2) Cannot drink plain water - got wind and your veins will swell.
3) Cannot exposed to wind/ fan/ air-cond - fear of wind getting into the body.
4) Cannot wash hair - else headache.
5) Cannot bathe - else wind will get into body.6) Cannot read/ watch TV/ see computer - else will go blind.
7) Cannot cry - else will go blind too.
8) Cannot go wondering in the malls/ streets etc - else you will get leprosy! So, a confinement lady is expected to always have her sanitary pads on so that the virus will not get in. There is also a belief that a confinement lady has "fire" on her heads, so when she goes out, she needs to put on a hat, else she will anger the Sun God.
9) Cannot touch tap water - else wind will go into the hands.10) Cannot eat eggs - else wound will not heal and a tendency to get puss, infection etc.
11) Cannot stand and drink water/ soup etc. - else you will lose bladder control later.

Having said all that, some things I observe are:
1) Cannot lift heavy things - fear of causing back aches. Apart from that, excessive pressure can also cause pain and discomfort on the c-sec wound/ uterus, so I observe this.
2) Cannot eat cooling/ cold food - else wind will go into the stomach/ body. This one I observe because ordinarily I also cannot stand too much cooling food.

And there is a list of things that I should be eating - and it does not contain anything cooling and cold. So, ice blended drinks and ice-cream are off the list.
1) Sesame oil
2) Old ginger
3) Longan
4) Bak Chang soup
5) Red dates soup
6) Chinese herbs - I do not know what they are called, but they are costly!
7) Sweet/ Sour vineger soup
8) Red bean soup
9) Black fungus etc.

All of these things I observe. More because it is not something one would get easily everyday and also because I do not mind the change in diet.

In my previous confinement, I also took things like kunyit water - supposedly to expel wind but this time round, I decided that I did not need to drink something so horrible. I also took a lot of red bean soup and fenugreek - supposedly to help in breast milk production, this time round, I had to forgo it because I had too much of a good thing in me.

With Ryan, I also felt weaker and hence, observed most of the dos and don'ts of the confinement period. With Megan, I feel significantly stronger and hence, am more relaxed with the customs. I am not sure, but I think it has to do with the birth process.

And in the current confinement, I also downed Coke, Sangria and beer - all the big no-no but then, I cannot resist ma. No, no, I just took sips only, not gulps!! So, so looking forward to the next 3 days - I can then leave the house without being lectured!!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

January 2009 in review

I got this idea from WSL's blog. She made a comment saying that 12 months in 2008 flew by so quickly that she will attempt to keep a monthly review of the months in 2009. Being a mother to 2 now, sometimes my memory also fails me and so I thought that I should attempt this too.

So what happened in January 2009 for me?

... We had a wonderful New Year's celebration at home with chips and drinks and cheese cake, watching Fantastic Four while waiting for the fireworks.

... I cleaned the house from top to bottom, nesting instinct in full swing.

... I prepared Ryan for the arrival of Megan and the fact that I will be in hospital for a few days.

... I attended Ryan's orientation session in school and got myself stressed with his activities.

... Ryan started his Year 4 term and I am so proud of him. He is growing up so fast! Both of us sent him to his first day of school.

... We had animals in the family. I am Mama Dinosaur, there is Papa Dinosaur and Baby Dinosaur.

... We celebrated the arrival of Megan a night before with dinner at Tea for Two. It was wonderful as the place was quiet and we had a good meal with a whole jug of Sangria!!

... Megan arrived on 9th January 2009, at 3.92kg. She looks more and more like her big kor-kor as the days go by.

... WSL, JH, CC and Mag came for a visit after the first week. It was a fun afternoon. 2 childhood friends came by as well. It is always a good things to see good friends, makes life feel good.

... Mum was here for the week after Megan arrived to help with the confinement phase. She left me with good preparations and a smile.

... Gynae and ped visits for me and Megan. Thankfully each of the visits assured me that all was ok.

... Completed all 3 seasons of Prison Break and seasons of Everybody Loves Raymond.

... Celebrated CNY at home since confinement ladies are not allowed anywhere!!

... Completed one book - What to expect when you are expecting. Still behind goal.

... Megan turned 3 weeks old : )

Wow, quite a bit took place huh?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Lap Chun for 2009

Today marks the beginning of spring, also known as Lap Chun.

Today is also the 10th day of the Lunar Calendar and is supposedly one of the good days to start work. So today, I will answer some of the mails my boss sent me ; )

And today is the beginning of the Ox Year. I used to think that the change of the animal signs began with the first day of the Lunar Calendar, but actually it is not so!!

Have a fabulous Ox Year ahead then!!

Diapers n more diapers!!!

Megan is now more than 3 weeks old now and she has established a pattern, although there are some variations noted. She will poo-poo in the morning and in the evening before settling in for the night.

However, this poo-poo is not just once - it can be up to 5-6 times in the morning. This is apart from the wee wee that she does too which needs her nappies changed. Thank goodness I am not using the disposable ones, it will definitely create a dent to my wallet!

Now, don't get me wrong, I love her very much, but after 3 weeks of changing diapers the whole day, it is not so fun anymore. I know of some mothers who will trade their daily jobs to be with their kids and to watch them grow up. I also had this thought some years back when Ryan came along but somehow, I decided not to do it.

I love my kids, I would love to see them every second of the day, to see them grow and to see them develop. I also like to be able to ferry them around for their development classes, school etc. But then I thought .... aiya, what will be come of me?? I know that although I love doing all these things, there will be a day that I will snap and then I will be very miserable. I know it, I have felt it before. And then you feel so sorry for the poor kid because it is really nothing to do with him/ her, it is I who cannot handle the routine.

So there, I am not ashamed to say that I am looking forward to go back to work. Most of my friends have Monday blues, but I actually look forward to Monday so that I can regain some form of sanity and be with adults. And it also makes me happy. And I think everyone agrees that a happy mum is a better mum. And I really want to be a better mum to my kids. Really.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Clutter, Peter Walsh and Oprah

This morning, I had the rare chance of watching Oprah on TV. She is one of those talk show hosts that I like to watch but can't because of various domestic issues.

Anyway, this morning when the boys were at work and at school, I sat down with Megan and watched this episode where they were talking about clutter and its effect on us.

She interviewed a man called Peter Walsh, who is an organizational consultant. I was a little surprised that there is such a job because I would really like to compare notes with him! (I am a freak too when it comes to being organized).

According to him, there are 2 main reasons for clutter - people who store things for memory sake and people who store things for usage at a later date, just-in-case etc. He also said that clutter can have an impact on the way we view our life, our weight as well as our sex life. This is because we will have an impaired view of our life when we are surrounded with clutter and this will lead to how we see the world (of course he says it in a nices way, but that is the meaning). Clutter in our kitchen will also lead to us getting fat because it makes us feel like there is fat all around us. Clutter in the house, specifically the bedroom will have an effect on our sex life because we will have no room for us to roll around!! Well! Finally an incentive to be clutter free!

I used to be a big fan of storing for usage at a later date. Then, one day, I snapped, I just cannot bear to have all the things around me. I felt a little suffocated and a little pissed. So, I took many plastic bags and began sorting things out. Most of my things went to donations. Others went to recycling bins. I was a little shocked with the amount of plastic ware I have accumulated over the years. I also started to clean from room to room, instead of cleaning the whole house at once, gave me the illussion that it was more manageable - according to Peter, I was actually on the right track!

The other rule of thumb I have is that if something is not used or worn in the last 6 months, it would have to go as well. Peter was a little more generous - he said 12 months.

Anyway, now my house looks more "free" and not so cluttered for sure. I even organized Ryan's toys into boxes. While he may not get the idea yet, it certainly helps me when I have to look for some of his things which he claims are missing. And I am determined to teach my kids these organizational skills, at least it will lessen work for me!