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Saturday, 27 July 2013

Fragility

The Little Girl and I were heading out to the mini playground on the sky deck one fine Saturday afternoon.

It was going to be a short and sweet stint of monkey bars and slide for her so I left a note on the kitchen island for The Other Half, who was then napping with Bean.

Since it was going to be brief, I left my iPhone on the kitchen island as well. I would later regret this move.

So out the door we went, locked up and The Little Girl pressed the button with arrow pointing down to summon the lift.

Our lift car arrived and in we stepped, chatting and singing happily with so much enthusiasm of the fun ahead of us.

(Here is the part I have now learnt to say my bismillah and doa selamat/doa keluar rumah before leaving home, a small gesture of faith but ever so important in completing my faith in Him and relying on Him for His Protection).

The lift door closed, safety lock clicked and what happened next is a life changing experience.

One that taught me to live fully.

But most importantly, to complete my practice and faith as a Muslim.

I was holding The Little Girl's hands and standing at the side of the lift closest to the access card sensor and emergency button when in a very brief flash a loud metal crashing sound with chains breaking and dragging came from the top of the lift car.

Exactly like a scene out of a Hollywood blockbuster. In Dolby surround sound. Better than any 6D cinematic experience.

Within those few seconds but what seemed like eternity of free falling, we plummeted ten floors down and the numbers of floor changing flashed ever so quickly on the display board before our very eyes.

I don't know what The Little Girl was thinking but I recited my shahadah and prayed that we will live.

Just so she gets a chance to grow up.

Just so Bean will also get a chance to grow up knowing his mummy who loves him so much.

Just so my last words to The Other Half does not involve requesting him to jump into the shower before his much needed nap. I have nicknamed him "snowflakes" because his dry skin was shedding everywhere. Surely, those cannot be my last words to my best friend, companion and love of my life!

The lift car finally bounced to a stop. Instinctively, my survival mode + frantic lioness syndrome ensued. 

The Little Girl remained very calm and quiet as she didn't know what to make out of what just happened. She had held my hands and stood very still. The usual chitter chatter and sing song air head was in pause mode.

Emergency button was rung, intercom activated and the rescue mission followed after a 20 minutes interval. The technician arrived, locked the lift car between floors, and doors were forced open. 

A plastic chair was placed into the lift car so that The Little Girl and I could climb out between floors, out to safety.

Chief Security Officer of our dwelling place then escorted two very shaken and pale looking ladies home using another lift. By then, we were quite petrified of lifts!

The Other Half woke up blissfully and recharged when we got home, unaffected by it all. When he heard the verbal recount from his wife and three year old daughter, he was still in disbelief that something like this happened.

So we informed his parents right away. Luckily for us, Grandad is also the Chairman at the condominium Management Committee - that really sped up matters.

Needless to say, an incident report was immediately filed and remedy actions were taken to correct the blunder. That particular lift car was out of commission for the following two weeks.

Despite the legalities and technicalities complications, I am just glad to be alive, syukur alhamdulillah!

Now, every single time before anyone leaves the dwelling, I say a little prayer. Also, I now never leave home without my phone. You'd just never know!


Friday, 26 July 2013

Milk Factory

Bean is 37 days old now. Drinks 100ml every 2 hours on average. Total per day is 1.2 litres.

Hampshire Mummy Milk Factory is pumping every 8 hours with yield of 300ml per session. Total per day is 900ml.

Simple math: Deficit of 300ml.

Obviously pumping intervals need to be changed to every 6 hours to allow for adjustment to meet demand.

Hopefully increment can be achieved in 2 days.

There is an emergency stash of frozen EBM and formula but let's just be positive for now.

Red date tea and Manuka honey with fenugreek reinforcement in place. Armed with faith that Allah s.w.t. is The Sustainer. 

Amin!
 
Update:
Feeding Bean (on demand) directly results in less colic, with same amount/duration of sleep. Awesome! 
 
Best part about direct latch: No washing/sterilising of the breastpump and bottles. My sensitive and dry hands really appreciate the break.
 
Downside of direct latch: I am not able to step away from Bean for too long during my much needed manicure/pedicure/haircut/facial appointments. I arrange appointments and treatment time around his feed. I frequent places that are breastfeeding friendly, even if they cost slightly more than places that do not. Priorities!
 
Oh well, win some, lose some. As long as everyone is happy and Bean is thriving, I'd keep trying my best.
 
Thursday, 25 July 2013

Dry Heels

So we all know that during post-natal recovery period it is ideal to apply the bengkung and firming creams on our tums to tighten and firm the flab that comes with stripes of pahala.

Let's not forget the feet.

They really take a good beating with all that extra weight before delivery, and now have to shrink to its pre-pregnancy size (some women never see their pre-pregnancy feet size again).

What I have also learnt from my previous recovery after delivery is to observe the following diligently after bath:

Apply heel balm.

Apply moisturiser to feet.

Wear socks to lock in balm and moisturiser.

Results in smoother skin for feet - anti-aging no brainer, really.

Oh, and a fortnightly/monthly session of pedicure doesn't hurt either. It feels good to spend time treating myself to some much needed feet treatment and coming home as a better, recharged, gorgeous mum of two.

Hello again, smooth and pretty feet!

 

Colic

Bean had colic.



Bean got 2.5ml Dentinox in his EBM twice daily, one with his afternoon and evening feed respectively.

Problem solved.

But, alas.

No coffee and spicy food (rendang, tom yum or red and green curries) for Hampshire Mummy. 

Sigh...
 
That said, avoiding spicy food is still better than our colic experience with The Little Girl. Back then in 2010, The Other Half and I were first time parents and we did not know how to deal with it.
 
The Little Girl fed at about 4 pm at Day 22 and soon after, she started crying non-stop. Settled only when I carried her koala style. She could burp and pass gas but just would not settle. When I put her down, she started crying non-stop.
 
After 4 hours of that drama, I knew something was off. The Other Half came home from work (we were living at The House then), and we rushed her to her paed at SJMC after getting permission from The Grandparents.
 
She was as quiet as a mouse during the medical examination so Dr. Sofiah Ali advised that we admitted the young lady for observation. The downside was that all the wards were fully occupied that night so the 3 of us had to be bunked into an examination room in the observation hall with just a miserable examination bed and chair. It was very uncomfortable indeed!
 
The Other Half went back to The House to pack what we needed for the night and we all slept poorly that night. Whenever I was about to fall asleep after a feed, the nurse would come along for routine checks that left me hanging on to my last nerve. Sleep deprivation did not (and still does not) suit me one bit.
 
The following morning, I carried the then 23 day old newborn to the X-ray room. Her intestines were found to be slightly long and gas would have taken quite a long time to pass. We were so thankful that other than that, there was nothing wrong with her.
 
What followed after that admission/discharge for colic is what I would now look back and be able to call myself na├»ve and too easily fooled.
 
Firstly, my MIL told me to cuddle The Little Girl to ease her wind. The young lady then grew to enjoy the heartbeat and warmth too much to go down to her bed and I slept holding her for the following 4 months, could not sleep train her till today (age 3.5 years old!!). Grrr.
 
Secondly, my MIL had wondered if feeding her exclusively on breastmilk had caused wind/gas. I was under pressure to give her formula at night to "help her sleep better". My caving in to the pressure was an expensive mistake. The Little Girl eventually suffered an eczema outbreak which led to a RM700++ blood test to screen for allergens. The culprits were confirmed to be cow milk protein and egg white. Grrr.
 
The well-meaning MIL then backed off after seeing confirmation of allergens via blood test, but The Other Half and I were left to pick up the pieces. Expensive trial and error skin care, my having to avoid the allergens in my diet and fending off comments from "people" soon followed us until The Little Girl outgrew her allergies at 30 months old.
 
The moral of the story is, if it is colic, just treat the colic and do not push formula down the baby's throat! Caveat as usual: Formula is not for every baby. Allah s.w.t. had designed the best milk for human baby in the form of breastmilk. If you are not able to breastfeed for some reason, do not despair - formula of all kinds are out there for you to try, just be sure to ask your paed first! 
 
Conclusion: I love and respect my MIL but I do not follow every word she says now without first thinking, researching and daring to stand my ground. I pray to Allah s.w.t. to forgive me my shortcomings as a DIL always. Amin!
Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Reality Check

When The Grandparents return to The House this Friday, we will:

1. Have to care for The Little Girl after school; and

2.  Cook our own meals for breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner. Plus all the snacks in between.

In conclusion, our reality as a family of four will start.

I am slightly petrified.

Will I be able to handle it all?

Will my two adorable but high maintenance munchkins not demand my attention at the same time?

Why on earth does this transitional phase have to clash with The Little Girl's potty training? 

Keep me in your prayers. I will be needing them!

In the meantime, the weekly pre-planned meals and chores roster will return to ease our transition period between now and end of confinement.

Looking forward to 3 August 2013 - end of 44 days, return to normalcy, in sha Allah. What is even more exciting would be the arrival of The Lloyds from Yorkshire for Eid!
Sunday, 21 July 2013

Urut Lady

One of the recovery and healing process that I enjoyed during confinement is the traditional massage, tungku hot stones and bengkung/binding.
 
Preferably in silence so that I can drift off to nap during those precious moments after being awake all night long.
 
However, my urut lady had to spoil it all with her non-stop chatter. Honestly, her urut skills were pretty good but for the gift of her gab.
 
I had to endure 10 sessions of traditional massage that comes with endless  gossiping about other customers. 

One day, I decided enough was enough.
 
If someone could speak (ill) about others that way, I always believe that the same person would speak in the same negative fashion about me to others.
 
So I told her to stop coming over.
 
Puasa gossip, puasa mengumpat, alright?
 
Hear no evil (for me), and hopefully speak no evil (for her). Bad enough that I now have to vent it out here.

Maybe I do have to specify and request for silent traditional massage in future. Hopefully Tanamera has one...
 
Let this Ramadhan be filled with kind speech and good thoughts.
 
Caveat:
Not to potong her rezeki but I will not be posting her telephone number here (she did ask me to Facebook it, and I won't). If you, like me, enjoy silent massage, send me an email so that I can tell you who not to hire...


Full Moon Package



Preamble: This is NOT a paid post.

In fact, none of my reviews are sponsored, as I believe in writing independently and honestly so that I am able to share reliable information after testing or using the products and services first hand.

Today's post is about a catering company (with an online presence) that comes with a reliable team of customer, kitchen and delivery service.

I found them via Google and could not be more impressed by its delivery of promise.

I rang Citarasa Uniq customer service number given on its web site. Unfortunately, no one answered it the first time so my mobile service provider cut me off after x number of rings.

However, within seconds, a mobile number rang my number. Hesitantly, I answered (thinking that it is one of those pesky insurance or credit card companies). Luckily, it wasn't!

It was Citarasa Uniq customer service staff who returned my missed call. She was concise, polite. Good product knowledge and quick with best option available. A dream customer service staff *applaud!*

From then on, it was all so simple.

In a gist, here is what I did:
1. Discuss full moon package items - all their food are certified halal.
2. Finalise booking and sum payable.
3. Provide name(s) of child(ren) and parents; delivery address/date/time.
4. Pay online and SMS them the receipt number.
5. Citarasa Uniq staff delivered the items to the address provided at the time and date specified, complete with complimentary card bearing the birth announcement.

For slightly more than RM300 purchase, I was given a complimentary delivery to one address within Klang Valley at no additional cost.

Now that is a breezy, easy peasy full moon party pack a mother in confinement can organise in less than an hour without leaving the house!

Reviews from my ex-colleagues on the food: YUMMY! They were especially grateful that food arrived on the dot, for lunch. Bliss!
Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Full Moon Celebrations

Cannot believe how quickly light and dark merge into 28 days in just a few naps and seemingly endless diaper changes and feeds.

Bean is coming of age in 2 days!

I have placed the order for halal full moon party pack (luncheon) with Citarasa Uniq. They also have package for aqiqah parties, if you are looking for one.

Bet you can guess by now that I am culturally and genetically Chinese, and Muslim by faith?

Truth be told, I am also making up for my tardiness back when I had The Little Girl in 2010. 

This time, the full moon party pack will be  for both Bean and his elder sister...like a mini ratification/repentance to redeem myself *erase guilt for good*

Why didn't I do it last time?

My main excuses is that I served my confinement days at The House back then, had limited online access and a much tighter budget as a new stay at home mother. No rezeki?

By the time I wanted to and could place an order, it was a bit too late as the deadline for order came to pass too quickly. Again, no rezeki?

My bad. Totally.

So this time, opportunity has presented itself to make good the double joyous occasion, and alhamdulillah I am able to share both the food and good tidings with those close and dear to us.

Here's to Bean: Blessed Full Moon, son! I love you more than I can ever express in words and action. May you grow healthily , wisely and handsomely! 

Last but not least to The Little Girl: happy belated full moon, darling! You are and will always be loved dearly. No one can ever replace you. Every time you smile my heart grows that much bigger (the reverse is true when you act up or throw a tantrum, I feel like my heart had broken to smithereens).

Oh syukur alhamdulillah for these two amanah...and I pray that both The Other Half and I will be showered with more grace and patience in raising these two beautiful souls on the Right Path for His Glory and Purpose. 

Amin!
Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Fourth Wedding Anniversary

The Other Half and I celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary today.

May Allah s.w.t. bless our union in this life and Jannah, Amin!
Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Salam Ramadhan

Blessed Ramadhan to all my Muslim friends and readers! May Allah accept our fast, prayers and ibadah, forgive us our sins and bless us with more goodness, Amin!
 
I have paid my fidyah online, and so can you if you had forgotten/been too busy. It is never too late as long as your niat/intention is steadfast.
 
As for my non-Muslim friends and readers, enjoy the buffet spread (Groupon deals aplenty!) and be patient on the road.
 
Kindly note that some offices downtown KLCC start at 7.30 am and shut at 4.30 pm to allow for normal transactions to continue alongside adjusted prayer and meal times. Plan your day/month wisely.
 
Note: I am serving out my nifas, and breastfeeding so I am "excused" from fasting during this period. I will have to make up for the missed fasts and pay fidyah to feed the poor for every single day that I miss my fast. In sha Allah.
Monday, 8 July 2013

Post-Natal Weight Loss

At Week 39 gestation of my second pregnancy, my weight was more than 63.9 kg *GASP*
 
Post-natal weight loss record:
 
Day 3: 61.1 kg wearing size 18
(Bean was born 2.96 kg, and I also carried a lot of amniotic fluids. If you do the math, you will be as puzzled as I am as to how I only lost 2.8 kg - did I pile all the weight back on during the 2 nights we were at the hospital?)
 
Day 5: 59.8 kg wearing size 16
(Slightly more believable!)
 
Day 7: 59.6 kg
(I weigh myself first thing in the morning, so I must have lost water and not fat...)
 
Day 8: 59.1 kg wearing size 14
(I had the traditional massage at home, so I'd credit the weight loss to loss of water retention)
 
Day 11: 57.7 kg
(Same as above, although I met my belly button again. It has been a while, belly button! I have missed you)
 
Day 14: 56.4 kg wearing size 12
(Same as above. Sigh. Isn't the expressing and feeding working?)
 
Day 16: 56.1 kg
(Stagnant. Need a new vanity self-care programme)

Day 95: 54.5 kg wearing size 10
Must, must, must soldier on.

Keep in mind: It took me 39 weeks to balloon, so maybe it is only fair to give myself another 39 weeks to decompress to my previous size...
 
Target weight: 50 kg (I was 48 kg pre-pregnancy but suspect that was slightly featherweight)
 
Target size: Size 8 or 10 (Love the prospect of a wardrobe makeover although I would love to be wearing those size 8 clothing again *ego*)
 
Wish-list:
1. Non flabby abs.
2.Thighs with smaller circumference.
 
(That means I can have to start exercising again after the 6 week check up. I can live with the "stripes of pahala" a.k.a. stretchmark for another year. Give them time to fade...)
 
Cheer me on, will ya?
 
 
Saturday, 6 July 2013

B.R.O.K.E.N. S.L.E.E.P.

Alhamdulillah Bean is home safely and is fully recovered from newborn jaundice (no hospital admission required, just lots of breast milk as advocated by his paed).
 
Alhamdulillah I am recovering, relaxing and rejuvenating as much as I possibly can.
 
The Other Half and I are sleep deprived at the moment and are taking turns to manage the household, caring for a newborn and a pre-schooler.
 
He does the school run in the morning.
 
Groceries.
 
Comes home.
 
Cares for Bean while I shower, express breast milk, get ready for my post-natal massage and binding.
 
Picks up lunch tray/tiffin cans/flasks of red date tea from The Grandparents from The Flat Upstairs.
 
Eats gobbles his lunch.
 
School run in the afternoon.
 
Sends The Little Girl to The Grandparents at The Flat Upstairs.
 
Comes home.
 
Cares for Bean while I befriend my Avent Breastpump and VIA cups.
 
We bathe Bean.
 
Naps (if possible).
 
Picks up dinner tray/tiffin cans/flasks of red date tea from The Grandparents from The Flat Upstairs.
 
Eats chomps his dinner.
 
Loads the dishwasher.
 
Return lunch trays/tiffin cans/flasks to The Grandparents at The Flat Upstairs in exchange for The Little Girl.
 
Cares for Bean while I keep the bedtime routine with The Little Girl.
 
I befriend my Avent Breastpump and VIA cups again before "sleeping".
 
Does the night feeds and diaper changes (I sometimes wake up too from the cries and letdown, and end up either breastfeeding or pumping).
 
Subuh again! Subuh already? But we haven't "slept"!
 
Breakfast time!  
 
(It is alright for you to have a headache/feel dizzy/see stars after reading the above list as we are fatigued from carrying out all these tasks!)
 
Now insert : put dirty laundry into the washer and transfer washed but still damp laundry to the dryer in between almost every single task.
 
Don't forget all the self care routines too (as mundane as teeth brushing sounds, one can sometimes miss out when both kids require attention at the same time!).
 
Solat. Don't miss that from his list of things to do. I am excused as I am still in nifas.
 
Then insert ironing some clothing randomly in between. We have started sending a small (but increasingly larger by the day) laundry basket to The Grandparents at The Flat Upstairs so that we can get some decent shut eye (read: nerve preservation). Oh, how my shoulders and neck ache from all that ironing...and the appearance of ugly varicose veins from standing on my feet a lot. Ugh!
 
Finally, do not leave out vital tasks such as renewing car road tax, car insurance, household and fire insurance, school concert rehearsals, school summer programme, 1001 other fun activities to keep the 39 month old pre-schooler entertained, engaged, learning and happy. Some we can complete online, but some require eye to eye contact and actual conversation, get what I mean?
 
Phew!
 
Things are about to get more interesting challenging as we embark on the Holy Month of Ramadhan next week. May Allah bless us with Strength to carry on and fulfil our obligations as Muslims.

When the first 44 days are over, with no help from The Grandparents or Confinement Helper (who is only helping out for the last 9 days), our reality of a family of 4 members will commence. This is the "honeymoon" period so let me just kick back and relax in the smallest way that I can.
 
Guess that birth story will have to wait for now until I gather my composure as posting a summary would not be fair *hehe*
 
Till then
 
<pause>
 
see you soon!
 
It won't be too long, I sincerely hope.
 
P/S: Yes, the fact that we are parents of 2 kids have finally sunk in. It did the moment we took Bean home!