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Ah… Every new mother’s favourite damn if you do, damn if you don’t topic. First, there’s the decision to breast or formula feed followed by whether to nurse or express and bottle.

With A I nursed and supplemented with formula in the first week of her life, we then moved on to exclusively (cue eye roll) breastfeeding with Mr. P or my mum bottling her at night / when I am out.

How did I get sucked into the express train to hell being food on demand? Again! Damn the mummy guilt. Should have stuck to my original plan of 6 weeks only!!!

Anyway, with my mum gone and Mr. P at work, A is starting to exhibit signs of bottle rejection. Not that I blame her, there’s nothing better than warm milk on tap. She can smell milk on me, it’s hardly surprising she hates taking the bottle from mama. After three awful mornings trying to bottle A, Mr. P and I are at the nursing crossroads.

We went through this with C (I nursed C for 21 long months, I have done my time), I’m determined to nip bottle rejection in the bud. In 8 weeks I have to return to work, there’s no alternative this time. And so we will be hiring a baby nurse for a few hours a day until A becomes a champ at the bottle while I am out of the house.

Here’s a confession: I’m less sad about losing a bonding avenue than wasting my more than ample supply this time (oh the money saved and convenience).

I hate it when nursing nazis use emotional blackmail by citing bonding. It implies that women who don’t / can’t nurse aren’t as close to their children. It is also a disservice to fathers and their bonds with the kids!

I digress.

There are at least 10 litres of milk in my freezer. That’s me expressing only 2-3 times a day (more to prevent mastitis than anything) and throwing out a fair amount of thawed milk not drunk within 48 hours.

Logistically I can’t be bothered with pumping at work and the nature of my job does not allow for pumping twice a day. Also, with an almost 4 year old demanding my attention, I don’t really want to waste the limited evening hours before bedtime breastfeeding A.

I suppose the plan is to wean off the boob in 4-6 weeks and stop pumping by the end of December. That should still keep A fully breastfed until 4-5 months old.

I pray that A won’t put up a big fight against the bottle!

They say it takes a village…

Unfortunately after 6 weeks of having an extra pair of hands, my village mother has gone home.

While we had our differences (mostly relating to confinement practices and baby carrying), it was a much more enjoyable time for my mother and I. I would like to think I have learned to be a better daughter and mother with no. 2. Perhaps I have mellowed with time (and experience)!

Other than having my mum’s company (can you believe it was the longest stretch we spent together in 9.5 years!!), the most enjoyable thing of having her around was all that homemade goodness. I love love love confinement food (by that I mean all that ginger and scallion, I don’t do 猪脚醋).

Last Saturday, we began life as a (standalone) family of four. I don’t think many people understand how difficult it is to handle a spirited 3.5 year old and an almost equally challlenging 7 week old with ZERO help and no easy access to healthy-ish food (e.g. hawker centres and tiffin delivery). In 8 weeks, I have the added transition of going back to work full time (hello 11-12 hour work days). Not to mention, WINTER IS COMING!

The weekend went by in a flash; Clover had her ballet lesson and since we bought a monthly pass to the local college pool, Mr. P took her for hour-long swims on both days. We also managed lunch out at Elysian Cafe. Ava, for the first time ever, slept in her crib both nights; allowing Mr. P to head out for a swifty on Saturday evening!

The real test came yesterday – school runs and nap trainings. I am so proud of Clover who was on her best behaviour for both drop off and pick up. We even painted at home after school.

Ava was a stark contrast. She hardly napped and to prevent us from congratulating ourselves too soon, she would not go down in her crib last night. Argh!! I really hope last night was a one off. I’m not sure how much of this we can take.

This morning Mr. P dropped off Clover; she was again stellar. I then went in for her lesson observation with Ava who thankfully slept in the manduca. The proud sister was off telling everyone about her baby ❤️.

I now have the task of bottling Ava and more nap training today. Wish me luck!

Our outlook for the rest of the week? Challenging to say the least. There’s bad weather (rain, wind and low temperatures) on Wednesday and Thursday. Mr. P has to head to Baltimore for a work trip on Friday at 5.30 am and his train comes in only at 6.39 pm. I need prayers (and a bottle of wine) to get through the next three days!

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I ain’t misbehaving, just misunderstood

We didn’t think it was possible to have a difficult spirited firstborn and another baby in a similar mold. Guess what? We are wrong!

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God made me cute so my parents will put up with me

I’m not quite sure where we went wrong. Genetics? Diet? 胎教; the fact that with both babies I was “blessed” with higher profile and increased responsibilities and worked right up to the day I popped? I didn’t have a restful, chilled pregnancy which resulted in my Type A children?

Can I have a different baby please?

Both my kids are NON-sleepers! How is that possible? Where have I gone wrong?

C never hardly slept; she was more interested in checking out her surrounding and listening to my soliloquies talking to mama. A isn’t much better. She loves sleeping only in a pair of human arms and wakes the moment her head touches anything non-living. What’s with that?

A couple of weeks ago we went apple picking and was on our way home when A woke up hungry. Her cries of hunger sounded more like mewing which prompted Mr. P to comment, “You have to admit, she’s a lot quieter than C was.” Well he completely jinxed himself; for most of last week, she really showed him her operatic tendencies. Once so loud and incessant that he had to manduca her around the block in the middle of the night, just as he had done with C 3.5 years ago!

The sisters won’t take a soother and now at 5 weeks and 2 days we are battling bottle rejection with A. She had taken the bottle like a champ since DAY ONE! Apparently this is fairly common as babies become self-aware in the 2nd month. But how is it that it’s only happening to my kids?!? 😭😭😭

C started rejecting the bottle around this time and never took a bottle, transitioning straight to a straw cup from a super young age so my helper could feed her once a day when I’m out. We ended up nursing for 18 months.

Unfortunately we do not have the luxury of me being a SAHM this time so Mr. P and my mum are having to deal with the feeding in the day until this get sorted. T-12 days till my mum leaves, I hope it works. It has to!!

P.S. One good thing with the bottle battle is that I have to stay out of sight, which means I get to take a nice siesta.

:: Bubba :: On Repeat

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My cheeky, happy bunny

I’m starting to sound like a broken record; I’m so so proud of C the big sister.

(And it’s best record moments like these before they are at each other’s throats when they get older.)

This morning I popped A on our bed next to C who was just waking up. As I cuddled C, I asked, “You are mummy’s girl and A is daddy’s girl?”

“No. Ava is MY girl!”

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C is so in love with A

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BFFs

I do not known a 3.5 year old who has not once acted out against the younger sibling not treat her with disinterest.

C first thought after mama and dada is Baby A. When I pick her up from school, she automatically asks after baby. When we eat ice cream, she says, “When A is older, she can share with me.”

It has only been a month since A came into our lives and yet C has made it seemed as if A has been a part of us all along (as in the last 3.5 years).

It is so amazing to watch C with A; no words can sufficiently describe what we witness everyday.

I pray to God their love for each other will only grow stronger and sustain them through the good and bad times all their lives.

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Our family of four

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Mummy’s girl

Pictures from Andrea Friedman Photography

:: Bubba :: A Loving Sister

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I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot but I’m constantly amazed at what an amazing big sister my beloved firstborn is.

I’m not saying she doesn’t have her tanty episodes; she is 3.5 after all. In the 4 short weeks since A came into our lives, she’s has never once acted out against A. Even in her trying, preschooler moments, she has always been gentle and loving toward A.

Words cannot describe the love C has for A that we witness daily. I hope this will only grow as A becomes more interactive.

I’m so proud of C!

:: Motherhood :: No. 3?

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There is a “How many kids should you have?” quiz making its round on Facebook. I took it, received a result of ONE and promptly tagged Mr. P. He ended up with THREE.

Uttering one of Clover’s frequently used phrases (of late), “NO WAY JOSE!!”

I truly, truly hate the infant stage. As mentioned earlier just when we were almost out of jail, we jumped right back in.

There’s no more travelling light; I can’t pop out of the house carrying just my wallet and keys as I have done with C for most of 2014 (she potty trained herself earlier this year). These days it’s all diapers, wipes, changing pad, change of clothes, nursing cover, muslin cloths, baby blanket (it’s Autumn now). And on longer trips, a bottle just in case Baby A doesn’t want to nurse. #FML

Not to mention I feel like I’m under house arrest at this point; scheduling my day around the baby’s feeding (and there are many) and nap schedule. My boobs are in pain when I wake up in the middle of the night and I smell like sour milk half the time!

I applaud mothers like D and P who make being a mum of three look so effortlessly chic. I am, unfortunately, not one of those Mrs. Put-Together. Sigh!

There most definitely won’t be a Callen or Kayla (those were the names I picked for no. 2 until a) we found out it’s a girl and b) C wanted Ava) in our lives.

P.S. My 5-8 year goal is to be senior and make enough money for Mr. P to be a SAHD. He is a better stay at home parent than I am and he is so patient. Plus he actually doesn’t mind doing that and can teach them Latin!

The Autumnal Equinox is on September 22, which made Saturday and Sunday the last weekend of Summer.

Unfortunately, Clover came down with a slight cold and cough (likely due to the changing weather). We skipped ballet since as I didn’t want her to pass it on to other kids in an enclosed space (and make me look like an irresponsible parent!).

On Saturday, we headed for a quick supermarket run where she somehow managed to pick up a box of cupcake mix when she was supposed to grab only a bag (or 3) of mini baking chocolate chips. (Note to self: do not let Mr. P grab stuff with the kid.)

We ended up baking cupcakes and making our own frosting after her nap time.

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Licking the buttercream

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Decorating her cupcakes

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Et viola

The next day we headed out to Hillsdale, NJ for some apple picking fun. While Fuji apples were listed as ready, I think they could use another couple of weeks on the tree; it was too early in the season to find sweet Fuji. We came home with a bag of 16 apples which were a little too tart for my liking. But as Mr. P said, it was more for the experience than anything else.

Clover enjoyed it thoroughly and we printed a picture of her with the apples to bring to school to show her teachers today.

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Helping daddy with the apple picking pole

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Where is Clover?

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Enjoying her spoils

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Obligatory wefie

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In the pumpkin fields

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Apples AND pumpkins

 

Apple Picking Deets:

Demarest Farms

244 Wierimus Road,

Hillsdale, NJ 07642

$5 per person which includes hayride to the orchard (walking is to and from is prohibited)

$9 per bag of apples

The farm also has a store which has homemade apple cider and apple cider donuts (plain, cinnamon sugar and powdered sugar). The also serve burgers, bratwurst and hotdogs on an outdoor grill.

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