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Posted by Zara's Mama in breastfeeding, parenting.
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Zaria Turning 8 Month Old August 29, 2007

Posted by Zara's Mama in baby signing, breastfeeding, development, parenting, Zaria.
24 comments

This month we saw great development in Zaria, in her ability as well as her emotions.

Little girl Zaria doing what she likes most

Put her in the pool of balls she’s happy, put her in the pool of water, she’s happier!

I don’t know what her weight is nor her height, but she’s definitely growing. Clothes are tighter, skirts are shorter.
Her 2 upper incisors started growing 3 weeks ago. With 4 teeth now, and with her very strong sucking motion (Zara never used to suck so hard from what I recalled) nursing her can be a bit of a pain, imagine piranhas nursing! (OUCH!)

Other things the little girl can do :
1) Sitting without support like a pro now, only loosing balance occasionally
2) Clap her hands and give us five
3) Signing more (but it’s Zara’s version by tapping 1 finger on the other palm)
4) Waves bye bye; pats her stomach when we asked if she’s ‘pao pao’ (Cantonese : Full); but I don’t know if she knows the meaning of these actions
5) Raises her hand when we asked if she wanted to be carried; turns her hands and head away from whoever she doesn’t want
6) Making new sounds like ke, pa, te (effect of my new purchase? I don’t know.)
7) Crawl commando style, but right now it’s going back wards.
8 ) Seems to understand words like No (following it is another thing), Carry, mummum (Chinese : food, eat), no more, go park
9) Cover and uncover her mouth which produces the wa-wa-wa sound
10) When she sees food, she smacks her lips and says mummum repeatedly, does this mean she’s uttering her first word already?

Eating :
She absolutely loves eating. When she sees us eating, she tries to reach out and grab.
She has breakfast and dinner at the dining table together with us, so she doesn’t have to stare at us eat. Sometimes she wants to try what is on our plates, so we’ll give her a suck on the fruit we’re eating, or give her 2-3 rice grains to munch.
Still on 2 solid meals (breakfast and dinner, ~2.5 tbs) and have her milk 3 hourly (I let her rest for an hour before giving her a milk feed after her solid meal). Snacks on babybites biscuit at noon time.
She only takes home made cereals, fruit or vege puree. No meat introduced yet (will wait till 1yr old).

Zaria at 8 month

Clock wise top left : absolutely love this pix taken by my neighbour in the park; showing off her clapping skill; On her Tripp Trapp, her new found favourite; Spending lots of time in the walker

Sleeping
She takes 2 naps in the day for about 1hr to 1.5hr per nap.
She sleeps at ~9:30pm. Wakes up 1 to 2 times in the night (depending on how soundly she sleeps), requests for the breast, and drifts off to sleep (most of the time I too drift of to sleep with her) midway nursing.

Emotions
She started having preference on who can touch or carry her. She never used to be that particular, but this month, it’s different!
She dislikes wrinkly people in particular. MIL, out! My sis’ elderly maid, out! She will look at the person, hold the stare for 2s, then she’ll cry, with big drops of tears!
She needs time to warm up to people whom she doesn’t meet that often. SIL once jumped out from no where to greet her, Zaria freaked out, cried like there was no tomorrow.
Every time when we enter someone’s home, she’ll be looking from ceiling to the floor and around, clinging on to the one carrying her tighter, sensing the unfamiliar ground. People started saying she’s ‘papai’ (Cantonese : fussy), but I think she’s just getting more aware of things.

She prefers me over most people. When my maid is carrying her and she sees me walking by, she’ll be calling out for me  and her eyes will follow where I go. If I didn’t stop to play with her or carry her, she would be fretting, making crying sounds. However, she prefers Daddy over me when she’s in a playful mood, because Daddy plays a lot with her.

She likes
1) to touch, shake, knock just about any objects she gets her hands on
2) to stand or to bounce herself up and down
3) anything that makes sound and music
4) go to the park (and she loves to lift her head to watch the swaying leaves on trees)
5) baths
6) grind her teeth playfully (the top with the bottom) which gets on my nerve (hate the sound).

I like it when she feels manja (Malay : TLC required) and lays her head on my shoulder when I carry her.

I just love this little chilli padi!

There’s Always Something To Buy August 22, 2007

Posted by Zara's Mama in breastfeeding, my two girls, notable, parenting.
34 comments

Do you realise as a parent, you always have something to buy for the kids?

The purchases

The last 2 weeks, I’d bought quite a few items for the kids (and no, they have nothing to do with the mega sales), and got my loot over the weekend.

I met Chanel on Sunday and picked up Zaria’s new Kissaluv and Drybees (washable) diapers together with a set of inserts. I ordered them from Miabambina and got them delivered to Chanel together with a few parents so we could save on shipping cost (I discovered this is called a SPREE from Domestic Rat).

The Kissaluv diapers are so soft and they come in such nice colours! The only thing is, I didn’t know this is a fitted diaper which means the outer layer is not waterproof, so after 2~3hrs, expect to feel the wetness from the outside. Unlike Drybees, the outer layer remain dry even after 4hours of wearing.

I also collected from my best friend’s cousin The Leap Frog Learning DVDs; Badger Sunblock; and Busy Baby Wrap which came from New York.

I want Zara to pick up phonics, and I was hoping the set of Learning DVDs will do the trick. She watched 1 of the DVDs repeatedly over the weekend (probably 5 times in the 2 days) as she really likes it, and started saying, Ssssss Sssssss, Ke Ke Ke, Je Je Je, etc to herself. So I guess, the money spent on this will not be wasted.

The Busy Baby Wrap will make nursing in public easier away from prying eyes. I started with a small nursing cape, but as Zaria becomes more active, she likes to yank the nursing cape when she’s nursing, and have my breast play peek-a-boo with the world. The Busy Baby Wrap material is a bit on the thick side though, it’ll be very warm if I wanted to use it outdoor. 😦

My best friend got me 2 tubes of Badger Sunblock as birthday presents, it’s a sunblock for the whole family and supposed to be one of the best sunblock available. Domestic Rat had done a very good research on this.

Finally, the biggest item is Tripp Trapp, for Zaria. Daddy was tempted to get an immitation initially, but after looking at the finishing of the fake, we decided against it.

Zara has been using her Tripp Trapp since she was 6 months old, she eats her breakfast, lunch, dinner at the dining table (not away like most high chairs do because of its bulkiness) together with us. She gets up and down the chair on her own since she was very young (how many high chair allow a toddler to do this safely?). Not once, the chair has toppled or fell. Her chair still looks as good as new without any paint chipped. The chair is adjusted every now and then to follow her growth, it’s her chair which grows with her, and she can still use it even when she’s a full grown adult!

Added later :
I forgot to add, in the warehouse sales that we went with Chanel and family, we also managed to get some plastic animal figurines for Zara (RM1 per piece), a real working microscope and statescope.

Have to hold off shopping for a while after this lot. o.O

Recovering the Milk June 14, 2007

Posted by Zara's Mama in bitching, breastfeeding, trips.
45 comments

continues from here

2:30am : Still no news from MAS Lost & Found counter. Tried calling them numerous times, no reply.
Called MAS 24hrs line, to check if they can locate someone in the airport to understand the situation. Repeated my whole story for the 3rd time (Breast milk, precious, urgent, spoil if arrived late were words/phrases I have to keep repeating to add urgency to the situation). Harry from MAS checked, and confirmed MH610 already landed. He would try to call his colleagues in KLIA, and then will call me back.
3:00am : No calls from Harry. I called the 24hr line again. Rosa was the one who picked up my call. She said they are still trying to locate someone in the airport, but wasn’t able to. She kept silence most of the time when I asked her, “What is happening on your side?” “So how now?” This really frustrated me. Asked her for the manager. A Patma came to the line, and she said she’ll try her best to locate someone.
3:15am : Roslan from KLIA called, said my things were with them, but they could only deliver to me at 5am. WTF?!!! He called from his mobile so I have his number. I paced around the room wondering if I should wait till 5am.
3:30am : Decided to drive to KLIA on my own to collect my liquid gold instead. Called and informed Roslan, I could hear a delighted tone in him when he added, “So we don’t need to send it over to you?”
4:15am : Arrived KLIA. Roslan’s crew handed my things to me. “Sorry yeah miss, lots of problem today, that’s why can’t call you earlier.” I just sped off. Niah mah fu lat!! Now how do I claim my toll and petrol to the airport?
5:00am : Reached home. Sorted the milk. What was still frozen, I quickly tossed it back into the freezer. What was partially thawed, I poured out the thawed milk into the bottle and then tossed the frozen back to the freezer. Took me half hour to do this.
Wrote a note to tell Daddy and the maids I wanted to sleep in, and I wanted no disturbance. Moved a mattress over to the study (didn’t want to be awaken when the kids wake up at 8am), and dozed off.
6:00am : Daddy came over with a crying Zara. “She wants you.” Dropped her on my mattress and walked back to the room. I was too tired to argue with him or I would have given him a big knock on the head for doing this since I needed to sleep. I carried Zara back to the room and tried to pacify her as well as get her back to sleep.
6:15am : Went back to the study and when I was about to doze off. Daddy came over again as Zara woke up and cried when she didn’t see me!!!!
6:30am : Made sure Zara is asleep. Since the maid were all up, I told them I’ll be sleeping in, and moved my mattress to their room, locked the door, and slept!
10:00am : Woke up feeling like a zombie.

I’m the kind who has to take 8hrs of sleep every night.. so I’m not in my element today!

Screw Malaysian Airlines for such screw up and such customer service! Damn the new regulations and Changi not giving exemption to nursing mums!

Now let me see if I can claim back my return trip to KLIA to collect the missing baggage the airline caused!

Crying Over Spilled Milk June 14, 2007

Posted by Zara's Mama in bitching, breastfeeding, trips.
17 comments

I was on a business trip for 3 days.
I woke up daily at 6:30am to express milk.
Shortened my lunch hour to 1/2 hour to express milk.
Instead of going shopping immediately after work (Great Singapore Sales is on), I stayed back in the hotel for another half hour to express milk.
Every night, after I’d expressed milk for the last time, got the hotel to store all the milk in the freezer for me, washed all the bottles, it would be 12am.
Now, is the milk precious or not?

8:00pm : Arrived Changi airport for my 9:20pm flight MH610
8:15pm : Checked in my suitcase, and was told MH610 has been delayed to 9:45pm. Suitcase tagged with MH610.
8:20pm : Before passing immigration, I asked security check point if I could carry my 2litre of frozen milk with me on board. I was denied entry, even though it mentioned “special dietery requirement” is excempted. They let me get out to ‘sort out’ my problem.
8:30pm : Got some masking tape from the shop, and taped up my cooler box and cooler bag.
8:45pm : Checked in my cooler box, and cooler bag. I was told flight MH610 has been delayed infinitely, and we would be put on MH608 departing at 9:30pm instead. Both my cooler box and cooler bag were tagged wtih MH608 tags.
9:00pm : Rushed through immigration, and went to the gate.
9:30pm : Started boarding the flight.
10:00pm : Flight took off finally.
11:00pm : Arrived KLIA. Went straight to claim my baggage.
11:15pm : Suitcase appeared.
11:45pm : Still no sign of my cooler bag and cooler box (anxious).
11:50pm : Was told no more items left in cargo, and I should proceed to Lost & Found to lodge a complain. (fuming)
12:00am : Have to tell the guy the content in the cooler box and cooler bag, and how important it is. He told me there’ll be no more incoming flight from Singapore. Have to tell him Susu Ibu is Breast Milk in English, to help him type that in to the report to indicate the urgency, and see if Singapore can help me to store the milk back into the freezer. I also took the Changi baggage handler number from him.
12:10am : Boarded my cab. On the way home, called up Changi baggage handler, phone was answered in 3 rings. The guy who took my call told me that at his end, he couldn’t see the cooler box or bag, he told me to call MAS counter in Changi. Called MAS counter in Changi, Nur who answered (picked up within 3 rings as well), told me she’ll help me trace the bags, and will call me back.
12:20am : Nur told me bags have been located, they have been mistakenly (she didn’t use this word, but how else could the bags ended up in the wrong flight) loaded into MH610, which will depart at 1am or later from Singapore.
12:35am : Reached home. Called Nur again, and she confirmed MH610 would be departing at 1am. Called MAS Lost & Found counter, it took me 6 attempts, infinite rings, before I reached a Roslan. He’s aware of my situation (probably became the big talk among the boys, this susu ibu thingy), and said he’ll send the bags immediately when the flight arrived.
1:00am : Called Nur in Changi again, and she said MH610 has taken off.
1:40am : Waited and Waited and Waited.

…. to be continued

Hands Free Breast Feeding May 9, 2007

Posted by Zara's Mama in breastfeeding, notable, Zaria.
46 comments

I hosted a 3hours morning workshop for 7 days recently. I had to make sure speakers arrive on time, participants have no problem joining, Q&A are jotted down etc. Thank goodness for technology, they were all done through audio conference and virtual meeting room, making it possible for me to attend at home.

However, being the host and with all the coordinations to do (and all the problems related to logistic to solve), I have to be at my desk more than 3hours in the morning. What happened when Zaria needed her milk after her morning bath?

Thank goodness I invested in My Brest Friend, a nursing pillow which can be strepped around your waist.

My Brest Friend

This is my best friend.

I know I shouldn’t do this hands free, but when worn while seated close to the table, it prevented her from rolling down from the other end of the pillow. Now with this, I could feed Zaria hands free, still able to do my typing, notes taking, talking.
My Brest Friend

(oh boy, doesn’t this sound like a PPP/sponsored post? Unfortunately it’s not.)

Breastfeeding – The Ugly side April 26, 2007

Posted by Zara's Mama in breastfeeding, parenting.
46 comments

I’m pro-breast feeding, I know there are lots of benefit for the mums (reduce risk in breast cancer, getting back in shape faster, savings on future medical expenses etc) and the babies (better immunity, better DHA absorption). I enjoy feeding the kids, the way they look at you when they suckle, the smile they give you after they are full. The most satisfying feeling I have is knowing I’m the nutrient provider for my kids, I’m in control! For Zara I did it until I was conceived with Zaria, i.e. when Zara was 18months. And with Zaria, I plan to at least do it for 1 year, and see how we go from there.

Zaria Feeding

As much as I enjoy it, it’s not all rosy though. Here is the ugly side which I experienced. (Potential breast feeding mums out there, you know you are not alone if you too experienced this when you start breast feeding your kids)

1) Painful nipples for the first few days – Some people stop breast feeding because of the pain. I thought it would be better the 2nd round, but since I’d stopped for 6months before Zaria arrived, the nipples got tender again. I had to bite my lips and endure the pain, and I could see the layer of skin coming off, sometimes pieces of them found in Zaria’s lips. Blech.
Luckily, it was only for 2, 3 days and the nipples ‘toughened’.

2) Rock hard super big breasts – I don’t mind being super big (think 2 cup size increase the least), but when you get an engorgement, fuyoh, the breasts become rock hard (and of course big) and pretty uncomfortable until they are emptied! After Zaria drank from one side, I can see my 2 obviously different size breasts, a funny sight!

3) Block Ducts – Hate it, but it happens sometimes. I have to put warm AND cold compress on the breast, massage it, COMB it (supposed to unblock the duct). Daddy won’t help to un-clog it, but he wouldn’t mind bringing the warm and cold towels.

3) Breast leak – I used reusable breast pads for economic reasons (disposable pads per pair are more expensive than a piece of Mami Poko diaper!). When Zaria feeds, and let down happens, the other breast will start to leak big time. My breast pad can’t hold the milk, and it sips through the bra and I get a wet patch on my top. Oh boy, not a pretty sight especially when I’m out.

Sometimes in the night, the breasts get so engorged that they start to leak even though there’s no feeding taking place. I wake up feeling a cold draft on my chest, caused by a big wet patch; and I get milk stain on my bed sheets and bolster. The room smells of milk!

4) Can’t be away from the baby too long – We sometimes leave Zaria at home and go out with just Zara in tow. Maybe this is a good thing, I can’t be away from Zaria for more than 6 hours (i.e. 2 feeds). If we do go out, I have to pump before we leave the house, and pump again immediately after I get home. If we leave her longer than that, my breast will get engorged and uncomfortable, and I can’t pump when I get home as it’s too near Zaria’s next feeding time (or she’ll not have enough to drink during her feed).

5) Pump and Pump and Pump – I like to direct feed more than pumping out. But if we need to go out, or if I need to go to the office, I have to pump. I hate it more when I come back from an outing, no matter how tired and sleepy and late, I have to pump; just so the bottle of milk taken can be replenished (and also to maintain supply). Zzzzzzzz.

And have you seen the nursing clothes available in Malaysia? Totally utterly ugly! So I just wear normal clothes and when I have to breast feed in public, I’ll cover myself with a nursing cape.

Delicious Milk April 5, 2007

Posted by Zara's Mama in breastfeeding, language, my two girls.
39 comments

You know your milk is delicious when :

1) Your baby drinks it up with no complain
2) Your fussy toddler (with acute sense of taste) waits by the side when baby is drinking the milk from a bottle and excitedly says, “Meimei, you don’t want huh? Cannot finish huh? Faster give jiejie drink then.”
3) Whatever your baby can’t finish (from the bottle), you toddler grabs it and happily empties the bottle, exclaiming, “Yummy” or “So nice” at the end of it
4) Your toddler occasionally cries and asks to be fed from the breast. When you tell her she’s already a big girl, she replies, “I’m only a baby, I want to drink from mummy’s breast.”

And if you want to know, nope, I didn’t let the toddler feed from the breast.

Short Take – Back to Work April 3, 2007

Posted by Zara's Mama in bitching, breastfeeding, my two girls, myself.
37 comments

The kids were still sleeping at 9:45am! Not being awaken. I asked Tuyam, “Kalau mereka tidur sampai 12pm, you biar kan saja lar?” (Malay : If they slept till 12pm, you’ll leave them sleeping?)

My boss commented, Full time mum and you have a part time job eh?” when I had my 1 on 1 with him. Apparently he read this post  “=.=

Zara was so happy to see me home yesterday, she wanted to sit on my lap while I had dinner, and kept stroking my face. I was away from her for 10hours (the last I was away this long, it was when I went for my biz trip in Jul ’06).

Zaria refused to drink milk from the bottle and cried every time the bottle was placed in her mouth. She took less than 4oz while I was at work. She preferred to go hungry, and waited for me. She drank hungrily when I offered her the breast when I got home. =.=”

Work?? Pile high! 3000mails and every thing is urgent!! Well.. almost.
There’s also this new program, which I have little knowledge of and I have to pick it up and run!

Whooosh – Maternity Leave Is Over!! March 30, 2007

Posted by Zara's Mama in breastfeeding, development, my two girls, myself.
31 comments

How time flies, my 3 months maternity leave came and went, WHOOOOSH…. just like that.

So how did I spend my time at home these 3 months? What have I achieved?

I moved to wordpress, did some blogging, watched a few DVDs, read a couple of books. I looked after the girls (bathed them daily & fed them),  brought them out couple of times in a week, played with them at home, brought them to the park every evening etc.

Books and Movies

Books read and movies watched

Achievements :
~ Toilet trained Zara. She tells us when she wants to poo and pee, and with our help, do it on the toilet bowl. We only let her wear her diaper when we go out (just in case we can’t find a toilet) and in the night for ‘accidents’ (but she wakes me up when she needs to go to the toilet in the middle of the night and never wet her diaper the last 2 months)
~ Almost back to my pre-pregnancy weight, 2Kg more to go
~ Successfully breast fed Zaria exclusively (except the time she was in hospital for jaundice she had to be supplemented since I didn’t have milk stored)
~ Stock up on breast milk : 100oz (close to 3 litres) of frozen milk, almost enough for Zaria’s 5 days feed, just in case I have to go for any business trips.
~ Hired and trained a new maid

KLCC Water Park

Play time – KLCC Water Park

Kidzsports

Play time – Kidzsports

Park

Play time – Park

Zaria

Watched Her Grow

On Monday, it’ll be BACK TO WORK. Bummer!

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