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:: No 2 :: Ava @ 2 Months

All dressed up at 2 months

All dressed up at 2 months

I am working on getting these out on time if only the bub would take her naps at the scheduled time and place (i.e. not my arms).

:: Eating :: 

We are down to 6-7 feeds a day (7.30am, 10.30am, 2pm, 5.30pm, 7pm and 1-2 times between 8pm to 7am).  I am not sure what her weight is but as my sister puts it “look at those arms and thighs”. Nom nom nom!

She loves her boobies and is exhibiting signs of bottle rejection. She will, however, take the bottle if she is starving or semi-asleep when Mr. P feeds her at night.

Bottling is something we have to work on in the next few weeks.



:: Sleeping :: 

Still not napping in her crib :(

I spent most of the week trying to put her on a schedule and moving her to the crib with mixed results but I shall persevere. Her night sleep is fine (touch wood) even if some nights she is a nightmare to put down. Once she is in, she is starting to do 4-6 hour stretches (7 hours on a couple of occasions).



:: Physical Development ::  

Ava smiled properly toward the end of her first month; in the last 4 weeks she is smiles and coos a whole lot more. Ava is most delightful to be around first thing in the morning and she loves it when Clover talks and sings to her. She is starting to notice her hands and when I bring her close to the mirror, she stares at the reflection. I am pretty sure she isn’t sure what the heck she is looking at.

Her neck is really strong now; she loves being held upright. Of late, she likes it when I stand her up (holding her under her pits and semi-supporting her neck) and “complains” when I set her down on the play mat or against a pillow on the couch.

I moved her well baby appointment to next Tuesday (well it’s a big weekend, we don’t really want to deal with post-vaccinations grumpiness), we’ll find out what the PD thinks then.

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Ava @ 1 month

:: No. 2 :: Ava @ 1 Month

A whole month late, but better than never right?

 

1 month old

1 month old

满月 or full month marks the end of confinement for both myself and Ava. Given that I have school runs to deal with and Ava has her well baby appointment, photoshoot and passport appointments, we didn’t really abide by the main confinement requirement (not leave the house!!).

As you can see I am far from traditional but now that I have kids I think some of these Chinese traditions are fun to introduce to both kids. Since my mum was still here, I got her to make red eggs to mark the day. Clover had a lot of fun peeling and eating them (she is back in an egg phase).

红鸡蛋

红鸡蛋

 

:: Eating ::

Ava is feeding about 8 times daily. Other than the first week where I supplemented before my milk came in, she has been on breast milk and mostly nursing. She is a little sleepy on the breast but with my ample supply, she looks to be putting on weight (unlike her skinny monkey sister which had me worrying all the time back then). There were a few times when she spat up from overfeeding. Oops.

She wakes up to feed 2-3 times a night.

:: Sleeping ::

It seems I have a non-sleeper (AGAIN). During the first 10 days, she was fairly good with napping in her crib. But the last 2 weeks, she had “woken up”. Since my mum is still here and Clover is sleeping in our room, she has been sleeping on the couch at night. Not great but we don’t really have a choice. I don’t want to wake my mum up every time we have to feed her.

Unfortunately, my mum we have been carrying her a fair bit.

Arms make the best bed

Arms make the best bed

 

:: Physical Development :: 

Not much to report here; she is generally healthy (other than a slight stuff nose at 2 weeks old thanks to Clover) and the PD is happy with her progress so we are good. I have to say she is one noisy baby. All that grunting and wheezing (newborn reflux due to immature gut) can rival Monica Seles!

Ava loves to be held upright and in the last few days she is starting to lift her head off our shoulders for a few seconds at a time. We haven’t been too diligent with tummy time per se but the holding her upright definitely helps.

So that’s that. We survived the first month!

15 days old

15 days old

:: Life :: October 31st

It’s kinda a big deal around here given that it’s our anniversary!

5 years, 2 kids, a big international move and a new home later, marrying Mr. P is still the best decision of my life. (Even if some days I don’t like him very much and want to throttle him! #justsaying)

Just us (and a hidden baby)

Just us (and a hidden baby)

Halloween is also huge in this part of the world. Last year we moved on Halloween (so romantic I know), so Clover had to miss the Rag-a-muffin parade.

This year we have big plans for October 31st.

I’ve hired a baby nurse to watch Ava when we head off to Clover’s school party in the morning. Mr. P and I will hopefully have a lovely anniversary lunch at ABC Kitchen. Post lunch, it’s off to the Rag-a-muffin Parade; deck out as The Wiggles. (Not sure if our Red Wiggle is coming along given the weather forecast.)

In any case I’m looking forward to tomorrow and an action packed weekend (ballet and a birthday party upstate on Sat / driving, grocery run and swimming on Sun).

Happy Halloween and have a wonderful weekend!

My two bubs from this morning

My two bubs from this morning

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

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