Monday, January 28, 2013

The glamorous sides of Motherhood

Hi! Wanna know how we have been in the weeks preceding CNY?
Adam finished all the cookies I baked for CNY, developed a sore throat and passed his germs to Ashton.
Apparently, he's been the Smart Alec here and asked my maid to give him the cookies.
I asked Dwi why on earth did she give him so many cookies to eat and she replied that Adam told her he was very hungry. Needless to say, both of them got an earful from me.
At the same time, Adam also developed oral thrush and I, mastitis.
The mastitis came about because Ashton was feeling unwell and didn't latch much, and with two sick babies, I didn't have the time nor luxury to sit down and pump my milk!
I tried latching the baby but his stuffy nose made it hard for him to breathe when my boob is in his mouth so he gave up on my breast and the blocked ducts came on. When he needed them, they gave him supply in abundance and now when my booby needs him to suckle and clear the clog, he gives up on it. I'm feeling betrayed like that.

"I'm really trying.... Mummyyyyy... zzZzzzZ"

I've never had mastitis or clogged ducts so badly before and I can tell you, for someone whos not fond of crying, I was reduced to tears from the excruciating pain and hardness of my breast. I pumped and pumped for dear life and couldn't even get a single drop of milk out. I tried to convince Adam that it's the same as sucking a lollipop but he stared at my "lollipops", giggled, and ran out of the room.
I tried hand squeezing, hot towel compress, massaging the blocked ducts but nothing - I mean NOTHINGGG - worked.
All the cold cabbage in the world cannot save me.
I called KKH lactation clinic and they can't slot me in till Friday. I tried calling Mt Alvernia but never got through.
Drastic situations call for drastic measures.  In the end, I called in a private lactation consultant who, God bless her soul, does house calls and agreed to come to my rescue at 8:30pm on a Monday night. God bless the person who invented Google too.
$160 poorer but my milk jugs will be saved!

As if my life isn't melodramatic enough, I'm happy to announce that I am also going bald.

This is the amount of hair that comes off everytime I bathe and brush my hair.
Sometimes I run my fingers through my hair and more clumps fall out.
By CNY I'm pretty sure I'll be BALD.

The glamorous sides of motherhood! You have been warned.

As a side note, these are the Cornflake & Raisin cookies I baked for Adam that he polished off batch after batch.

They are really child's play to bake! My Mum used to bake them for me and my brothers during CNY when we were kids, and now I'm paying it forward, baking them for my child(ren).
- Raisins 1 cup (cut into halves if they are too long)
- Cornflakes 1 cup (pour into ziplock bag and crunch them lightly)
- Plain flour 240gm
- Icing sugar 160gm
- Corn starch 60gm
- Butter 240gm (1 block, softened at room temperature. It forms a slight depression when you press with your finger)
- Egg yolks x 2
- Vanilla essence 1 teaspoon

It's doing those Mummy-things that make me very happy.

- Pour icing sugar into a mixing bowl and add in the butter, cut into cubes.
- Using an electric beater, beat the butter and icing sugar at low speed until they form big lumps.
- Add in the 2 egg yolks and vanilla essence and continue whisking at low speed.
- Then, slowly add in the plain flour in batches and continue whisking until you achieve a smooth and fluffy consistency that does not drip when you hold it up with a spoon.
- Pour in raisins and mix.
- Using teaspoon, dish out the batter into small cookie paper cups.
- Sprinkle corn flakes and lightly pat them to stick onto the batter.
- For decoration, you may add 1 raisin on top of each cookie.
- Bake in preheated oven at 180-deg celcius for 15 minutes.
- Hint: they don't brown very much so careful not to overbake otherwise the bottom becomes burnt.
Hope you have fun baking!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

That time of the year again.

It's that time of the year again.
Parents and married couples go broke, whereas children and the unwed are laughing their way happily to the banks.
Moral of the story: it's good to be children, or remain single :P
Love the intricate envelope-style angpaos from UOB :)

and a gold embossed greeting card adds personalised touch!

Happy Chinese New Year all!
Looking forward to all the pineapple tarts, cornflake & raisin cookies, Bak kwa and family get-togethers :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Cheers to motherhood, you will need that alcohol.

Have you ever felt this way?
You had a long week at work and it's finally the weekend, you come home to kids who behave like pests. Terrors. Naughty little urchins.
You attend to their 1001 needs, read books, go through the same nightly routines you have been doing for the past three years, eight months and duno-how-many days.
After both kids go down for their bedtime, you thought you finally have some precious time to enjoy the peace and quiet.
However, your husband attempts coitus and you feel like you are never ever gonna have enough rest.
Sure, there is the love and joy. You love your husband and the both of you created two beautiful human beings and brought joy to your lives. But I have to be honest. Motherhood is hard work.
If constant worrying, keeping your children out of harm, dealing with cries and tantrums, reasoning for thousand times over the same ol' thing, putting their needs before yours, is what you do day in, day out x 365 days a year, then when you finally get some me-time, you want to jump for joy and shout Hallelujah.
That's why I have a cabinet of bubbly in my home. For emergencies and tough times... although it has become one time too often lately. Tonight is one such night.
Once both kids are knocked out, I wasted no time in popping a bottle to enjoy the quietness and me-time. I told Andy not to talk to me unnecessarily and thankfully he retreated to watch his soccer match without disturbing me.
Even drinking champagne in my balcony wearing my ratty T-shirt and shorts feels like a treat!
Oh, cheers to being Mumzilla! I need the alcohol.

Brother's birthday treat: Peach Garden

 We went to Peach Garden again! We celebrated my younger brother's birthday but my Dad and youngest brother could not make it.
My family is one bunch of (extremely) busy people so apart from Reunion Dinner on CNY and perhaps a handful of other occasions, it's hard to get everybody together.

I really like the trolley-style dim sum which saves a lot of lead time from orders placed to the food eventually arriving on your table.

Birthday boy!

Like a boss

So much fussing over a tiny baby...
Same pudgy faces, Popo and Didi.
Happy 26th Birthday JJ!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sunday: Marriot dinner with family

It was raining all day, so we spent the afternoon indoors at Robinsons Centrepoint buying some items for the household. For the record, Adam's new Transformer belongs in the home and therefore is considered a household item.
We ended our weekend with a 3-hour long buffet marathon at Marriot Cafe with my in-laws. You heard right! You know you are a parent when criteria for a good dinner is if you manage to finish your meal without tantrums from either kid (or yourself).
Beaming proud Momma here.

So loving my black sequin scallop top which I bought from a pushcart at Terminal 3 B2.
Shine bright like diamonds in the sky!

My greedy foodie asked me to take a photo of him eating. He's vain like me!
The staff at Marriot Cafe were extremely friendly and helpful. Adam dropped a part from his new Trasnformer and the waiting staff helped look for it everywhere under our tables! We didn't manage to find it but I would like to commend their excellent service and going the extra mile. Thank you Marriot, for the wonderful dining experience!

Funny read: For mummies lacking in sleep!

Read this from my cousin's Facebook wall some time last week but for some reason the original poster could not be linked so there's no way I could give credit to her.
P.S. If you are the hilarious author, pls drop me a note so I can give due credit... and Thank You for posting this stuff :)

"How to Stop Mummy Sleeping Through the Night!

OK, here's my situation. My Mummy has had me for almost 7 months. The first few months were great. I cried, she picked me up and fed me, anytime,...
day or night. Then something happened.

Over the last few weeks, she has been trying to STTN (sleep through the night). ...At first, I thought it was just a phase, but it is only getting worse. I've talked to other babies, and it seems like its pretty common after Mummies have had us for around 6 months.

Here's the thing: these Mummies don't really need to sleep. Its just a habit. Many of them have had some 30 years to sleep and they just don't need it anymore. So I am implementing a plan. I call it the
Crybaby Shuffle. It goes like this:

Night 1: cry every 3 hours until you get fed. I know, its hard. Its hard to see your Mummy upset over your crying. Just keep reminding yourself, its for her own good.

Night 2: cry every 2 hours until you get fed.

Night 3: every hour. Most Mummies will start to respond more quickly after about 3 nights. Some Mummies are more alert, and may resist the change longer. These Mummies may stand in your doorway for hours, shhhh-ing. Don’t give in. I cannot stress this enough: CONSISTENCY IS KEY!! If you let her STTN (sleep through the night), just once, she will expect it every night. I KNOW ITS HARD! But she really doesn’t need the sleep, she’s just resisting the change.

If you have an especially alert Mummy, you can stop crying for about 10 minutes, just long enough for her to go back to bed and start to fall asleep. Then cry again. It WILL eventually work. My Mummy once stayed awake for 10 hours straight, so I know she can do it. Last night, I cried every hour. You just have to decide to stick to it and just go for it. BE CONSISTENT!

I cried for any reason I could come up with. My sleep sack tickled my foot. I felt a wrinkle under the sheet. My mobile made a shadow on the wall. I burped, and it tasted like pears. I hadn’t eaten pears since lunch, what’s up with that? The cat said "meow". I should know. My Mummy reminds me of this about 20 times a day. LOL. Once I cried just because I liked how it sounded when it echoed on the monitor in the other room. Too hot, too cold, just right - doesn’t matter! Keep crying!! It took awhile, but it worked. She fed me at 4am. Tomorrow night, my goal is 3:30am. You need to slowly shorten the interval between feedings in order to reset your Mummies internal clocks.

Sometimes my Mummy will call for reinforcements by sending in Daddy. Don’t worry, Daddies are not set up for not needing sleep the way Mummies are. They can only handle a few pats and shhing before they declare defeat and send in the Mummy.

Also, be wary of the sleep sheep with rain noises. I like to give Mummy false hope that listening to the rain puts me to sleep sometimes I pretend to close my eyes and be asleep and then wait until I know Mummy is settling back to sleep to spring a surprise cry attack. If she doesn’t get to me fast enough I follow up with my fake cough and gag noise that always has her running to the crib.

At some point I am positive she will start to realise that she really doesn’t really need sleep.

P.S. Don’t let those rubber things fool you, no matter how long you suck on them, no milk will come out. Trust me."

Just wanna share this photo of my Fatty bom bom which has drawn lots of laughs from my family, friends and colleagues.
Charmaine says he looks like a croissant with all the folds on his body. My colleague says he looks like a teapot. Heh!
Why Sooooo chubby and cute! In love with this baby max, even though he is the culprit making me lose sleep!

Ashton takes his first baby bites

I am rather sad. As Adam is my firstborn, I anticipated every milestone and literally counted down the days on the calendar to when he could start feeding. Being the over-zealous new parent, I started feeding Adam at 4 months old.

With Ashton, I have been very relaxed and in fact, wish that he would stay a pudgy baby forever!
But Ashton has a mind of his own and doesn't think he should start solids later than his brother.
Sigh. Plan A out the window.
He's doing a very good personification of my husband staring at me like that. Eeek!

Very focused and eager to eat!

He's one happy bubba after his breakfast.
Ohh Ashton, you are Momma's pudgy baby. With you, I wanna delay growing up and also implement the things I didn't have a chance to do when with your elder brother.
Can you please stay a pudgy baby forever?