Making Paint

December 7th, 2015

The last time I made paint with the boy was the day before Meimei’s c-sect was scheduled. It was his special request, the one thing he liked me to do with him before my time was divided for his sibling.

Today he asked for it again, after nearly 9 months and after I had to cut his screen time. He happily put on the smock and helped me mix the colours. I asked him to pick out 3 colours, he chose 7, of course.

It was his Papa’s idea to let Meimei try finger painting. And a brilliant idea it was. I found her some of Korkor’s darkest old clothing and sat her down with her own sheet of drawing paper.

Korkor set to work with his favourite brushes, Meimei tentatively dipped her little fingers in the palette. Korkor painted wonderful broad strokes on his paper, Meimei made tiny finger prints on hers.

Things started to get really messy when Korkor decided he liked how Meimei was painting with fingers so he started paint on his hands and feet. Meimei chose to focus her attention on a larger, more familiar canvas - Mama.

It wasn’t a very long session because Meimei got tired, and it took a few hot soapy showers to get everyone clean again. But it was such a wonderful bonding time for the siblings, and the best fun we’d had together in a long time.

Everyone has an opinion

June 10th, 2015

Person A: Oh your baby is so chubby! (pause as person looks closer at my baby)
Me: Yes she has a rash on her cheeks. It’s called a milk rash but isn’t due to milk. It won’t clear for months because it’s caused by hormones…
(My monologue gets cut short by person A)
Person A: Have you tried this cream/seeing this specialist/this herbal homemade remedy? I/my so-and-so family member/relative/colleague tried it on their baby and it cleared immediately!


My baby has a milk rash. It also flares up and gets bright red when she’s hot. It also usually happens when someone comes by and sees her. This conversation happens so often it stopped being funny. Person A has been a family member, a relative, a friend and even complete strangers who only met us 3 seconds before that conversation happens.

Fact is, her rashes have irked me long before anyone else because I felt it was caused by me and my milk. I still carry that guilt as I tried cleaning her face constantly with sterile cotton balls and water, applied expensive hypoallergenic creams, washed her face with soap for sensitive skin. But nothing worked. Like her dr said, it’s a hormonal reaction, and creams won’t cure it. Even steroid cream won’t cure it, it only reduces its occurrence. The rashes itself will clear by the time she’s about 10 months.

Have I tried explaining this to everyone who tries to recommend me a cure? Yes. Have they listened? No. Everyone thinks they must know better than the dr.

This isn’t even the first time this has happened. The first was when she had jaundice. A common ailment yes, but everyone had their own ideas about how long it should take to clear, which must have been no longer than 2 weeks. Am took 2 months.

For those two months, all I ever heard was, “Oh, she’s very yellow. Have you tried giving her such-and-such soup to drink?” “Are her eyeballs supposed to be so yellow?” “Maybe you can bring her to see another doctor for a second opinion.”

I tried my utmost to explain that babies who have jaundice will have yellowing at the whites of their eyeballs, giving baby anything that isn’t breastmilk or formula will result in water intoxication. It also didn’t help that her jaundice took so long to clear because hers was caused by breastmilk and she was also fully breastfed. Her dr told us we could continue bf as her jaundice wasn’t serious and told us to be prepared for it to take 2 months to clear fully. He was right.

I’m not sure how I am going to tolerate this for the next 5 to 7 months until Am’a rashes go away. In the meantime, just to stop people from asking, I have tried to keep her in her stroller with a cover so no one can see her, and I have tried using the steroid cream sparingly because it’s the only thing that makes her look like she is getting better. Are these ideal solutions? Certainly not. Especially when family members comment about how the rash is getting better, I smile back meekly while in my head I am screaming, “IT’S NOT GETTING BETTER, I PUT STEROID CREAM ON HER TO DECEIVE EVERYONE!”

You get the idea.

Once, Am had an umbilical hernia which made her belly button bloat. It was harmless of course. Fortunately no one could see it except the few of us who actually bathe her. The hernia grew larger and then deflated quietly without any incident because no one knew about it. Unlike milk rash.

I really wish people would quit asking about it as if it were the only thing that matters. I mean look at her. Just look at her. She’s beautiful! She has bright eyes and she responds so enthusiastically to her surroundings and to people. She has a wonderful innocent smile. She has started babbling to me, Aaron, her own kor kor, and our close family members, and her bff, Naomi too!

And most of all, she is a healthy chubby baby! After her tumultuous life in utero, never asked for anything except that she would be healthy. And that, she really is. Living up to her name of being as positive and full of hope as a new day.

See you later, baby

March 10th, 2015

The night (or morning) before number 2 arrives.

We finally got to today and I’m actually feeling quite excited. Even though reading about the c-sec process and recovery has been utterly depressing.

It’s not like I had a say in that anyway.

Plus, I had a sudden flood of recollection about my recovery period after Abel. Ugh. Ugly. The things we go through for our kids. Love your mommies, folks.

Got to get up in 4hrs. See you in 7 hrs baby!

Heavy hearted Mom

March 3rd, 2015

Never expected to be reviving this blog at a time like this.

Many times I told myself I would put down the little stories and antics that Abel gets up to just so I can remember them in future. But life with kids, it just happens. I would be lucky if I got enough pictures of him while my stupid phone has a shred of memory left on it.

But life also enjoys taking many turns.

Week 36. I think.

Number two is coming. A lovely little companion to Abel. Our little girl. The one we planned to have 3 academic years after Abel, so we have some breathing room in between.

Her existence has been peppered with more drama than I’d ever experienced my whole life.

-Acute appendicitis that initially masqueraded as morning sickness.
-Indecisive doctors who nearly killed us both.
-A rush to see a specialist, who eventually helped us back to health.
-Abdominal pains, Gastritis, Bouts of colds, HFMD scares.

We nearly made it through, until last Friday, when the Ob Gyn told us the placenta is still too low. She can’t come out naturally the way her brother did. So we were given 3 days to choose for her caesarian section.

That was not how I’d wanted. That’s not how I’d planned. I don’t want to go under another knife, I don’t want to be unconscious when she arrives. I wanted her papa to see if she had lots of hair like her kor kor. I want to be alert and awake and cry when we first meet, just like the way we first met her brother.

I need to fight back tears of disappointment and fear.

We are going to see what options we have available on Friday. Perhaps, things will not be as bad as I imagine. We already know it’s the only and best way for her.

At least, at least we know we will see her very soon.

Mama will be strong for you, meimei.

Waiting game

October 11th, 2012

Week 39, with 5 days to EDD.

Been on leave since the start of October, in preparation of my room for our move back to mummy’s home for confinement, and to wait for the tell tale signs of labour. Won’t go into too much detail for that. Labour isn’t very pretty or glamourous.

I couldn’t wait for him to arrive. I dreamt one night that he was born and that I was learning to feed him. But woke up disappointed to see that he was still in my tummy. Sigh.

Of course there was also a see-saw of emotions:

  • Baby, are you coming out yet?
  • Baby, wait don’t come out yet. Daddy needs to finish his work.
  • Baby, today can be the day.
  • Baby, maybe another day. Mummy wants to enjoy another day’s quiet breakfast and go shopping.

Everyone I know seems really excited:

  • The Godmama-to-be asked if there were any signs from baby. I told her there were. It said “Do Not Disturb”.
  • The sister in law has been dreaming about baby. Apparently he’s fat and chubby, and has started walking already.
  • My whatsapp has been flooded with excited comments about baby’s impending birth. Some who can even tell me when my EDD is.
  • Big sister calls me every morning to check if I’m on my way to the hospital, and has been reminding me to go for a stroll everyday to induce labour.
  • A guy friend calls me out of the blue to see if the baby is arriving soon. He wants to visit the baby before flying off for his holiday.
  • Not to mention the countless messages I’ve been getting on Facebook from new mummies and expectant mummies.

There was some speculation that baby would be early because both Aaron and I were 1 week early. But that’s nonsense of course. Though I couldn’t help wondering if it might be true.

Most of what we need to prepare has been prepared already. So there’s really not much else to do. Besides wait some more.

Come out soon baby! Daddy & Mummy want to meet you!


September 24th, 2012

During Sunday dinner, little one was messing about so much in my tummy that I could hardly eat without constantly being interrupted by his kicking. He was stretching his little long legs to my right side in quick and sudden movements which sometimes really hurts.

So I decided to put him in his place. Kind of.

I’d tried restricting the extent of his kicks before, in the middle of the night, by pressing my elbow against my side so he couldn’t kick beyond it. And it worked, allowing me to sleep that night. I decided to modify it this time.

I placed my hand on my side, to where his little feet had landed, and gently pushed his foot closer to the centre, where it didn’t hurt me. He isn’t in any pain or harm of course, I’m just coaxing him to bend his leg.

Unfortunately, little one thought mama was playing with him, and decidedly pushed back against my hand, with nearly the same amount of force, until his leg was fully extended to my side and my hand was back to where I started from.

The pain came back of course, but I was more amazed that the little one could play with me, while separated by several layers of fluid, tissue and skin.

And at least, I hope he was playing. Because he could have just as easily been showing me exactly how territorial and stubborn he can be.

Observations of a very preggy lady

September 18th, 2012

With 1 month left on the pregnancy clock, my tummy is now looking rather advanced. In fact, I’ve heard so many people telling me that I’m looking “VERY pregnant”.

Of course, there’s no such thing as being very pregnant or less so. Either I’m pregnant or I’m not. It’s just people’s nicer way of saying, “OMG, you look like you’re gonna explode!”

Yes, I get it.

Considering that my baby is probably going to weigh about 3kg at birth and be about 50 cm in length, it’s hard to contain something like that in a container/uterus/tummy that is anything smaller. So fine, I’ll give or take a few clothing sizes and a couple more smart ass comments.

But things do get rather inconvenient with a tummy this big, as I’ve come to realise.

  • Carrying heavy loads - I couldn’t do this one for quite a while already, but in the earlier stages it was mostly due to the sheer exhaustion from it. Now that I’m bigger in the belly, there’s another problem. I can’t quite balance both my bag and my belly and it makes for a very clumsy sight.
  • Changing sleep positions - The preggy tummy is a heavy load, and it gets tiring sleeping in just 1 position for the entire night. But the tummy also has a life of its own, my cheeky little one living inside. When the little one settles into a certain position in my tummy, it gets difficult to shift myself with his arm or leg in the way. So I find myself waking up in the middle of the night, just to gently and slowly move myself to another position. And if his settled position hurts me, I also have to coax him into another position for me to move at all.
  • Sitting on the ground, getting off the ground, lying down, getting up from lying down - Basically, anything that requires me to change my position from the ground or from a lying down position is a challenge. It’s the weight of the tummy, and my inability to use my abdominal muscles. At this stage, when I try to get up, all my abs can do is try and flex itself, resulting in a triangular looking tummy, with no real effect on my position. (sigh) So I have to get up sideways, and slowly hoist myself from a squatting/kneeling position. It looks just as silly as it sounds. On some really tiring days, I can’t even do the hoisting on my own, and baby papa has had to come to my rescue several times.
  • Putting on complicated shoes, picking things from the ground - Not quite as bad as the shifting position, but just as silly looking. I’ve learnt the technique of getting around the big belly by squatting with my knees wide open and leaning slightly forward (with the support of a wall or heavy cabinet) to pick things up from the ground, and to put on my nice velcro good-for-feet shoes.
    It’s really unsightly, especially when I’m wearing a skirt or dress, so I have to face a wall when I do it. But it’s either that, or leave my trash on the ground and not wear my shoes at all. Not much of a choice there.
  • Cutting toenails - This one deserves a special mention. It never occurred to me before how complicated the cutting of toenails can get. But it requires a certain amount of flexibility and dexterity, because you need to fold your legs close enough to you to hold your toes with one hand and clip it with the other. I can assure you, they don’t quite fold with water retaining feet and calves.
    I spent over 20 mins trying to get all my toenails trimmed nicely, starting from my right foot which being the closest to my nail clipping right hand made it the easiest side to start from. But then, I got stuck at the little right toe because my tummy prevented me from folding my legs close enough to me. I had to clip it freehand, being careful not to clip my flesh as well. The left foot nearly made me give up, because I could barely reach the middle toe and I couldn’t even twist the big toe around far enough to make a clean clip. By the end of the ordeal, I’d used my uninitiated left hand to clip the last two toenails.

So yes, being pregnant isn’t always all nice and pretty. I didn’t even mention the acid reflux from overeating, the constant burping/farting, or even the awful awful waddling. My colleague said I’d started waddling, but I refused to believe her and vehemently denied it. (Actually I suspect I did waddle. Waddling is an easier way to move about fast.)

But, with the end result of seeing the little one born safe and healthy, I’d take the silliness of pregnancy any day.

Tummy break

September 18th, 2012

Little one is now at the start of 37 weeks. Which basically means he can be born anytime now and still be considered full term.


His little coccoon of a tummy is unfortunately getting a little tight for him. As of yesterday, he hasn’t been able to shift around, and has only been able to push and kick me in the exact same spots all day.

Poor baby. Pain mummy.

Baby papa thinks his little one is going to get upset, but at least he can sleep quite comfortably resting against my stomach. Which is true, seeing as he has decided to give my innards a rest and settled in for a snooze.

Anyhow I read a little piece of information in my weekly newsletter from Whattoexpect that has fully explained my excessive consumption habits.

Moms carrying boys tend to eat more than moms carrying girls.

Loving a stranger

September 12th, 2012

“I knew I loved you before I met you, I think I dreamed you into life. I knew I loved you before I met you, I have been waiting all my life.”

Anyone who grew up in my era would remember this Savage Garden love song. It spoke of love that is almost predestined and captured the hearts of every single girl friend I knew at the time. Granted we were all teenagers and such heart melting songs were always well-loved, and oversung.

I didn’t really believe it though. I would have liked to believe it, with all that talk about “how will I ever find THE ONE” and “how will I know exactly which one is THE ONE” going on at the time. But my relationships never felt like the song. Not even remotely. I usually didn’t like anyone until I’d gotten to know them more.

In fact, if you think deeper into it, Darren Hayes sounds a bit like a creepy stalker who tries to convince you that you are meant to be with him. Eww.

But I felt it the other day.

Little one had gotten tired after a particularly active day at the office, and didn’t want to play even while I was lounging in front of the TV. I looked down at my tummy and asked him if he’d like to get up.

He shifted a little and stopped. Very unlike him.

I guessed he was still exhausted and decided to pat his little behind gently, and soothe him to sleep. As I patted my tummy, mimicking the action as if he were already born, it made me realise that this little one is the only person in the world whom I can love so dearly, even before I can physically see him.

No pre-destiny involved, no creepy stalkery feelings. Just plain simple love.

Suddenly, the song made sense.

And my baby, though still a stranger, is already dearly and clearly loved by me.

Nesting Instinct

September 10th, 2012

35 weeks starting tomorrow. 5 more weeks to see baby. Last month at work. Woohoo!

The last visit revealed little one’s crop of fine hairs, and super chubby cheeks. And weighing in at 2.3kg, he is doing well in the weight department too.

Activity in the womb? Just fine. The Whattoexpect book says I should count how long it takes for baby to make 10 movements. Anything within an hour or 2 is normal. I have a feeling that is nonsense. My little one makes so many movements that 10 wouldn’t take more than 5 mins. In fact, he has already made 3 in the time it has taken for me to write this far. And that’s for a slow day.

Perhaps the least of my worries in my list of concerns during this pregnancy, has been baby’s level of activity. He never fails to wake me up in the morning with his antics, and proceeds to keep me company during the workday. His favourite activity time is during my TV time, when I’m relaxed and lying backwards giving him extra room to move. (That’s when the movements are most visible to my TV companion, his daddy.) Even on days when I feel faint from breathlessness, or get acid reflux from a heavy meal, he never fails to remind me that he feels none of the sort.

“Do I feel sick Mummy? No. What’s feeling sick, Mummy? Are we going out now?”

3 more movements. 6 now.

Now that he’s so big, the gynae predicts that his movements will start to slow down from the lack of space. Clearly not. He seems to have found lots of extra space around my sides and likes to stick his feet there, jabbing my ribs. I could even feel his feet rubbing rapidly down my side all through the night. I had to lie on my back, for fear of crushing his little limbs by accident. (Which of cos isn’t actually possible, but feels like it.)

Just got to the 10th movement in 8 mins or less. He continues with 4 new movements. I told you he’s quick.

Anyhow, I’m starting to feel the nesting instinct kicking in. That’s the urge to make things nice for the baby when he arrives. Fortunately the nesting instinct kicked in far earlier for my hubby. If left for the last minute as it is now, baby would have a very empty nest to start life in. Thank God for overzealous planners like Aaron.

Our nice Quinny stroller is almost ready. Now I’m thinking of getting a few extra things for it. Stuff I suspect I may not really need, but would be nice to have.

Quinny cup holder - It would be so useful for holding an extra bottle with water for baby to drink, when necessary.

Quinny zapp travel bag - For short trips and holidays. I’m already dreaming of the day we’ll bring baby out for a nice little holiday. I suspect Quinny will be coming out with a new Quinny Zapp Xtra travel bag very soon, now that they’ve announced a new folding seat conversion kit to make the Zapp Xtras foldable with the seats attached. Which also means the conversion kit would be another thing I’d like to get too.

Quinny parasol - For rainy days.

Para Kito hanging insect repellent - Hangs from the stroller. Good for walks without having to apply anything on the little one. The DEET in most repellents are no good for infants under 2 months. Downside: It lasts for 15 days straight and then you need to replace the pellet inside. :(

Hamster side saddle bags for strollers - Quinny strollers don’t have enough storage space for baby’s necessities, save for the small shopping bag at the bottom that doesn’t even have a cover or a zip. I like that these Hamster bags come as a set of two, to be hung on two sides, so it balances the whole stroller and prevents it from tipping backwards from excessive weight. Plus, they can be detached and carried as a sling bag. I love the idea. Hubby hates it. Jury’s still out.

I’m spending way too much time looking forward to baby, checking out these online stores. I can’t even read too much of my book regarding the labour process because it makes me think I might go into labour at that very moment!

3 more kicks from baby who is clearly excited too.

Got to remind myself to calm down. Breathe in. Breathe out.