Monthly Archives: November 2012

Pause

In a bid to get Noah to take a nap yesterday, C tasked me with buying us both lunch. I took a really long (to me) walk and noticed this:

20121130-155950.jpg

Interesting, isn’t it? Here’s a closer look at what it is.

20121130-160116.jpg

I never knew something like that existed and I think that for all the complaining we do about the LTA, they do come up with some good schemes, like this one in particular. Giving the elderly more time to cross the road is really very considerate although I wonder how many of them actually know it exists and how it works. Perhaps I’ve just been a little out of touch with what’s going on in Singapore, but I don’t recall hearing about this in the news.

20121130-160625.jpg

When I told C about it, he asked, “Does it deduct money too?” -.-

Well, at least it’s a step in the right direction towards meeting the needs of our ageing society.

PS. Pardon the poorly taken photos! I was in a hurry as I don’t have a senior citizen ez-link card to tap on it. I wish there was someone who was using this special feature while I was there though. Now I’m just curious about whether it actually works and how much extra time is given…

PPS. For the record, Noah did fall asleep in the Manduca while I went on the really long walk to get lunch. He woke up once I got home though. Think he wants me to get more exercise. Sigh.

2 Comments

Filed under Random

Preparing for Solids

We brought Noah to see the PD yesterday for his second dose of his vaccination, as well as his monthly review. To our dismay, he has only put on 11g per day since our last visit, which is below the required 20-30g per day. The PD has suggested that we start him on solids in a week or two, to try and improve his weight gain, and I’m really freaking out now about it. I’m not ready for this!

I can’t believe that my little boy is going to be starting on solids so soon and that I’m no longer going to be his only source of food. I feel as though I’ve failed him somehow, by not being able to give him enough nutrients for him to put on enough weight. It’s not even as though I don’t have enough milk for him! He just doesn’t drink very much and when I try to offer him more milk, he clenches his lips shut and turns away, so I always thought that he was full even though he didn’t empty my boob. I just don’t know why he can’t seem to gain more weight. Right now, he’s in the 10th percentile, which makes me so very sad. I look at his arms and thighs, and I just can’t understand how on earth he can be considered small!

Anyway, I’m frantically trying to figure out what I need to start him on solids. The PD has given me some cereal samples, so that’s what we will be using for his first few feeds. I always thought that we should only start babies on solids after they turn six months old but she said that it’s fine to start after four months. Oh well, she’s the professional, so we just have to trust her.

I haven’t even gotten the hang of breastfeeding yet and I have to move on to feeding him solids. I feel so unprepared, like when I was a student sitting for a Math paper. My baby is growing up too fast for me!

2 Comments

Filed under Growing Up, Noah, Weaning

Blocked Ducts

The massage lady came again on Sunday but she wasn’t able to clear the blocked ducts. My lump remained massive and the fever persisted. She used a really hot stone to try to soften the lump but all it did was cause me to be mildly scalded and even more pain. She also used plenty of force to massage the area so you can imagine the amount of pain I was in. Finally, she told me that I had to see a doctor as she had never experienced such a stubborn and huge lump before.

On Monday morning, I popped two Panadols before heading to TMC to see the lactation consultants. Thank God that I didn’t wait too long before deciding to see them as my boob is apparently quite badly infected. The nurse told me that if it had developed pus, I would require a breast surgeon to drain it for me. She checked the colour of my milk and said it looked okay, so they could proceed with plenty of massaging to soften the lump a little. However, I had to see a doctor to get antibiotics for the infection as my ducts can’t be cleared simply by massaging.

Right now, the lump is still there and my milk flow is definitely affected. I also have blisters on my nipple, courtesy of Noah’s poor latch. The fever is gone though, so I’m really praying that the blockage will clear up soon. I have to keep massaging the area and pump after each feed, which is really exhausting. Noah has also been cranky after his jab and only slept at midnight last night after plenty of crying. He cried, not me, though I really felt like crying too! Sigh. The woes of a breastfeeding mum…

2 Comments

Filed under Cow Talk

Blocked for the Third Time

I don’t know why it keeps happening to me but my left boob is blocked again. It seems as though it happens every month and it’s really annoying. The lady I used previously seems to be overseas and so, I had to get the massage lady from my confinement period to come and help me.

Unfortunately, the blockage this time seems to be quite severe and even after her session with me yesterday, I can still feel the lump there. I’ve used a heat pack on it, massaged it and pumped numerous times but they only provide short-term relief. To make matters worse, the blockage caused me to develop a fever and body aches. Thank God that C is back from his business trip and he could help out more with Noah, bathing him and keeping him entertained.

Noah’s appetite seems to be getting smaller and I think that might be why my boob got blocked. He also seems to spit up in his sleep, causing the neckline of his rompers to turn a crusty yellow and his neck to trap moisture and become very red.

I pray that the blockage will clear as soon as possible as Noah is due for his vaccination tomorrow and I need to be well enough to monitor him. I also pray that he won’t develop a fever this time, so that he will be able to nurse more regularly.

Sigh. I don’t know how I’ll be able to stop breastfeeding in the future if my boobs get blocked so easily.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cow Talk

Four

Noah turns four months old tomorrow! Sometimes, I still can’t believe that this little baby is ours. After so much heartache and waiting, he truly is our little miracle and I thank God daily for giving him to us. 🙂

These days, Noah naps rather erratically and there have been days that I run completely out of things to do with him and end up taking him for a walk or two downstairs. I talk to him as we walk, and more often than not, he falls asleep after a while. It’s funny how I used to try and keep my boys awake in class previously, and now, all I want is for this little boy to sleep. I guess I could always try to teach him how to identify literary devices in the books I read to him!

He’s been batting at the crocodile on his activity gym quite a bit, but is quite disinterested in the penguin for some reason. Noah also likes to hold on to things, but because he has such short and stubby fingers, he can only hold really thin things, like my shirt or his burp cloth. I also stuff Sophie the Giraffe’s leg into his pudgy fist once in a while, and he waves the toy around for a bit every now and then to humour me, before letting go of it to suck his hand.

Ah yes, the sucking of his hands. That really has become his all-time favourite past-time and I’ve learnt that it is a waste of time trying to stop him from doing so. I’ve also learnt to put on his mittens right before his very last feed, which is when he will fall asleep, as they’d be soaked through with saliva if he gets a chance to suck them. He still needs mittens at night because he likes to scratch his head and face in his sleep, and on nights that he manages to fling his mittens off, he inflicts such horribly deep wounds on himself that I’m afraid people will think I’ve been abusing him.

Noah hasn’t learnt to flip yet, and tummy time is still not in his list of fun things to do, but he’s been making a bit of progress. He doesn’t cry the second he is placed on his tummy and on good days, he even lies there sucking his fist for a little while before remembering to start whining. These days, I don’t really keep track of all the many milestones, or fret over his weight gain as much anymore. I remind myself that what matters is that he is happy and healthy, that he WILL hit the milestones one day and that a year ago, I didn’t even have a baby to worry about, so I should just count my blessings and not sweat the small stuff. It’s not easy to stop comparing him with all the other babies I know, but I’m trying my best, for my own sanity’s sake.

Have I mentioned how I love hearing him laugh daily? The slightest thing can set him off, and as I type this, he’s giggling away because C is talking to him and getting him to touch his ‘beard’. He also gets excited when he knows we’re going to lift him up high, and starts squealing when we count down to it. I love the little twinkle in his eyes, that cheeky grin and the way he kicks his little legs excitedly. I love watching him sleep and I love seeing him smile at me when he wakes up. I hope he’ll always be this happy to see me even when he is older!

Happy four months, sweetheart. Mummy and Daddy love you very, very much.

20121122-215206.jpg

Leave a comment

Filed under Growing Up, Noah

Online Shopping – iHerb

I’ve been looking to replenish my supply of DHA and Multi-vitamins and decided to place my order on iHerb after doing some calculations and realising that it’s so much cheaper than what I’ve found in the pharmacies. This is why I love online shopping! 🙂

I bought a bottle of Nordic Naturals, Prenatal DHA (180 Soft Gels) and a bottle of Rainbow Light, Just Once, Prenatal One, Food-Based Multivitamin (150 Tablets) for myself, as well as a box of Atkins, Endulge, Caramel Nut Chew (5 bars) to try, since I had a discount. There’s also a 10% discount off all orders placed before 27 November 2012.

If you are a first-time shopper on iHerb, use the code DRM056 to get a discount of up to $10!

Leave a comment

Filed under Shop till you Drop!, Tips

Nursing Room Review: Nex

I visit Nex quite often as it’s pretty near our home and the shopaholic in me needs to go window shopping it’s a good place for meals with friends every now and then. My first ever outing alone with Noah was to Nex, and to meet a fellow nursing mummy and her little one, so we had to make sure we knew where the nursing rooms in the mall are. I was pleasantly surprised to see so many nursing rooms listed on their website!

Nursing Rooms are located at every level of the mall.
SkyGarden (Level 4R) – Near Serangoon Public Library
Level 4 – near Food Junction & near Virtualand
Level 3 – near Isetan 
Level 2 – near Isetan & near Watsons
Level 1 – near G2000 & near Crystal Jade Kitchen
Basement 1 – near M1 & near Shokutsu 10
Basement 2 – near Kim Eng Securities & near Jean Yip Hub 

We visited the one on Level 1, near G2000 and Crystal Jade Kitchen, and I visited one on Level 3, which is actually in Isetan itself, at the Children’s Department, on a separate day. (To be reviewed in a later post.)

Nex Nursing Room (Level 1)
Note: I think all the nursing rooms listed above are equipped with the same items as they are all managed by Nex. I didn’t manage to check the other nursing rooms out but the one we visited on Level 2 initially was occupied and looked exactly the same from the outside as the one on Level 1.

Facilities: 2.5/5
What really bugged me was the pathetic nursing stool, yes, STOOL. Excuse me, but the person who decided to put a stool in there instead of a chair, has clearly never tried to nurse a baby comfortably before. I don’t know about other nursing mothers, and maybe everyone else but me has a baby who doesn’t squirm or kick at least once while being breastfed, but a chair with a proper backrest would have been nice.

The sad stool 

Oh and did you notice the location of the nursing stool? Yup, right next to the sink. It has also been chained to the changing table next to it, perhaps because someone has removed/stolen the stools before, although I really can’t understand why people do these things. Where are you going to put that stool? Are you going to steal the stools from all the nursing rooms in Nex to complete your collection? I can just imagine it:

Guest: Oh what interesting stools you have! Where did you get them? 
Thief: Nex. I only have five now, but I’ll go and get another one to complete my dining chairs set soon, once I get a chain cutter. 

Seriously? SERIOUSLY? Why on earth would you want a stool from a public nursing room that resembles a toilet? But I digress.

To be fair, the nursing room is fairly well-equipped with a water dispenser, sink, hand dryer, changing table, bin and a large roll of toilet paper. However, the height of the changing table was a problem for me. I think the architects who design such facilities need to take into consideration that there are short mothers who are of average height. It really is quite difficult to change a squirming baby’s diaper when your arms are stretched awkwardly just to be able to reach the other side of the diaper. My friend who is taller than me wasn’t all that comfortable changing her baby’s diaper and I’m sure she’s not the only one who will appreciate a lower changing table.

Water dispenser 

Changing area

Close-up of changing area 

There also isn’t a lot of space for a diaper bag on the counter, although I guess you can put it on the nursing stool. There is a hook for you to hang your bag, but it’s behind the door, and any mother will tell you that it’s too far from the changing table. Your baby can easily roll off the changing table while you turn your back for just a second to grab something from your bag.

Cleanliness: 3/5
The soap dispenser was out of soap and the sink looked like it was clogged, with bits of unidentifiable material in and on it. The floor was relatively dry and the changing area was dust-free. As it is situated next to the toilets, it wasn’t all that pleasant smelling either.

Conclusion
While I appreciate the fact that there are so many nursing rooms in the mall, it would have been nice if they were larger and didn’t feel so claustrophobic. I would also prefer to nurse in a restaurant or cafe, rather than in one of these rooms, as it just feels too much like a slightly modified toilet cubicle.

2 Comments

Filed under Reviews

O Happy Day…

How do you define a good day?

*******

Waking up to the coos of our baby and being greeted by his sunny smile when I pick him up from his cot.

Hearing his giggles and seeing his eyes light up as he plays with his daddy.

Watching C set up the exersaucer for our baby, although the little one is a tad too short to use it properly.

Holding our baby close to me and dancing around the room to a song playing on the radio.

Standing hand-in-hand with C as we watch Noah bat the crocodile rattle on his activity gym with one hand, while he sucks his other vigorously.

Going out for a dim sum lunch and having the baby sleep through the meal in his Manduca carrier.

Enjoying our favourite tv shows while our son naps.

Seeing Noah beam at me from his car seat as we head out for dinner.

Having my favourite Portobello Mushroom Burger and CrissCut fries from Carl’s Junior, while Noah sleeps through our meal again.

Reading bedtime stories in bed with my two boys.

Spending time as a family: just the three of us, for the whole day.

*******

I had a lovely day on Saturday! Nothing fancy, just time alone with my husband and baby. I just realised how rare it was for us to have the whole day to ourselves, and I think we really should have more of such ‘family days’. It’s so nice to be able to spend so much time together, without having to rush around trying to make sure we’re home in time for C to take a conference call or head out for tennis, or for us to meet up with my parents or our friends. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy spending time with our family and friends but I think this was the first time we didn’t have any other appointments, and it made all the difference to me. I’m already planning to have another one of these special days when C comes back from his business trip! 🙂

 

Happy to be out!

Leave a comment

Filed under Family

Product Review – Mii Organics

Noah has rather sensitive skin and I’ve been trying for some time to find a skincare product range that will suit him. The poor boy had been sporting a really red neck, which his paediatrician attributed to our hot and humid weather. She gave us two different types of cream to try but they couldn’t get rid of the redness. I also tried calendula cream, which came highly recommended on various forums, but it didn’t help much either.

The Mii Organics Pure Baby range appealed to me because its main ingredient is Baobab oil. After doing some quick research on it, I was impressed by what I found:

Baobab oil is extracted from the seeds of the fruit that bloom on baobab trees. These extremely old trees (some species live up to a thousand years or more) are native to Africa and feature thick trunks and thin branches. Often called “upside down trees” because of their spindly branches that resemble roots, the flowers of baobab trees bloom once a year and interestingly open at night. Once pollinated by hungry bats, bees and wasps, the flowers produce fruit, or pods, which house the seeds used to create the prized baobab oil.

Most organic beauty products use unrefined baobab oil, which is extracted by cold-pressing the seeds, leaving the oil completely raw with no additives. As a fixed oil, it’s safe to use directly on the skin and won’t evaporate like essential oils.

Source: http://www.organicauthority.com/delicious-beauty/baobab-oil-what-is-this-exotic-ingredient-in-your-organic-beauty-products.html 

I also learnt that Baobab oil is highly moisturizing and soothing, and contains vitamins A, D, E and F, as well as Omega 3, 6 and 9. It not only moisturizes the skin, but also helps to improve skin elasticity while encouraging regeneration of skin cells without clogging the pores. Baobab oil is easily and quickly absorbed into the skin, ensuring no oiliness or greasiness, making it ideal for treating dry skin, cradle cap and eczema.

To create the various Mii Organics Pure Baby products, the Baobab oil is carefully hand blended with other organic ingredients of the highest quality. This is done in small batches, ensuring that the quality of the products is not compromised.

I’ve been using the Pure Baby Sensitive Wash, Pure Baby Hydrating Oil and Pure Baby Protective Balm for almost a month now, and so far, I’m quite pleased with the results. Although I’m discussing each product individually, please note that I used all three of them together, and therefore, the improvement I’ve noted is most likely the result of that combination.

Pure Baby Sensitive Wash
Prominent ingredients: Baobab oil and Aloe Vera   

As I mentioned earlier, Noah’s skin is rather sensitive and he had a pretty bad rash on his neck, armpits and back. My first impression of the Pure Baby Sensitive Wash was that it left Noah’s skin squeaky clean after his bath.

Initially, I was worried that it would cause his skin to be even drier but my fears were unfounded when I saw that the rash on his back in particular had cleared up quite a bit.  In fact, when I accidentally used a different body wash on his back one morning, I found more red blotches on it in the evening and hurriedly cleansed his back more thoroughly with the Pure Baby Sensitive Wash.

My only grouse with this product is its packaging. I would have preferred to have a pump dispenser as I still use one hand to hold Noah in the bathtub. I end up having to squeeze the soap onto Noah’s shoulder, before spreading it all over his body. However, this is quite a minor issue that will be resolved once Noah is older and able to sit properly in the tub on his own.

Pure Baby Hydrating Oil
Prominent ingredients: Baobab oil and Calendula  

I apply the Pure Baby Hydrating Oil on Noah’s head as he had cradle cap. After about a week, I thought that since the cradle cap had cleared up, I could stop using it on his head. However, I found that his scalp was too dry without any oil on it, and that on very warm days, bits of skin would start flaking off.

I also use the oil quite liberally on his neck, armpits and back. I find that the oil is absorbed quite quickly and his body doesn’t feel as greasy as it did when I used a different type of baby oil previously. The rash on his neck hasn’t cleared completely, mainly because he is so chubby that his neck can’t even be seen, much less aired. The rash on his armpits cleared up relatively soon after I began using the oil on the area. In addition, Noah wears sleeveless rompers during the day and his sweat isn’t trapped there anymore. His back rash makes occasional appearances on very warm days and when he lies on his back a lot, but his skin is better after I started using the oil and balm on him.

Pure Baby Protective Balm
Prominent ingredients: Baobab oil, Calendula, Chamomile, Castor oil, and Beeswax 

The Pure Baby Protective Balm is actually a very versatile balm and can be used on insect bites, rashes and mild burns. Initially, I used this topically on little bits of rash that appeared sporadically on his face and back. The balm is gentle enough to be used on delicate areas such as the cheeks and Noah’s facial rash would clear up very quickly, usually within a few hours of applying the balm.

Noah recently had a bad bout of diaper rash and his paediatrician prescribed a mild steroid cream to treat it. I used the cream diligently for some time but couldn’t help worrying about the side effects and decided to switch to the Pure Baby Protective Balm, which is zinc free. I just wanted to see if it would have any impact on the diaper rash and planned to go back to the steroid cream and barrier cream combination if the rash became worse. Right now, the diaper rash still hasn’t cleared completely but it looks a lot less red and the blisters look like they are healing well, so I will stick to the balm for a while more at least.

Noah’s neck before I started using the Mii Organics Pure Baby products 

Noah’s neck after about three weeks  

On cool days, Noah’s neck looks much better 

I love that the Mii Organics Pure Baby skincare products are all fragrance free and gentle enough for sensitive skin. I really hope that with prolonged usage of these products, Noah’s neck rash will clear up completely, regardless of the weather!

PS. If you are interested to see what a Baobab tree looks like, check out the smaller version of it at Gardens by the Bay.

*******

Mii Organics products can be found at:

Bebe Avenue

Moo Moo Kow 

Emokids

Boo-tiful @ Level 2, Millenia Walk

Maternity Exchange @ Marina Square

Gleneagles Hospital Parentcraft Centre (selected range)

Retail Price (L to R):

Pure Baby Sensitive Wash 236ml/8oz – S$42.90

Pure Baby Hydrating Oil 118ml/4oz – S$29.90

Pure Baby Protective Balm 89ml/3oz – S$28.90

SPECIAL PROMOTION FOR READERS OF GROWINGWITHTHETANS! 

Get 20% off ALL Mii Organics products at Bebe Avenue.

To get the discount, simply enter the code MIIORGANIC during checkout.

Promotion valid till 15 December 2012.

*******

Disclosure: I received a bottle of Pure Baby Sensitive Wash (236ml/8oz), a bottle of Pure Baby Hydrating Oil (118ml/4oz) and a jar of Pure Baby Protective Balm (89ml/3oz) for review.

4 Comments

Filed under Reviews, Shop till you Drop!

Me Time

I hadn’t been reading much since Noah was born and one day, when C asked me, “Ey, you stopped reading ah?”, I realised that I haven’t picked up a book in ages. I’ve been watching episodes of this Korean variety show, Running Man, while nursing Noah, mainly because I can watch it without the volume on and just read the subtitles. Yes, I am kept awake and entertained by the show, but after a while, it can get a tad mundane if I watch too many of them in a row.

Reading has always been my all-time favourite hobby and I am ashamed to have neglected it for so long. What better way, then, to rekindle my love affair with books than with my favourite author, Jodi Picoult and her latest book, Lone Wolf? Unfortunately, I was disappointed by the weak twist in the plot but I loved holding a book again and losing myself in the fictional world. It was tough trying to turn the pages while ensuring that Noah wasn’t disturbed by the movement or sound, and I found myself seriously contemplating reading on my iPad instead. Now, I must state for the record that I’ve always championed reading books in their traditional form and the overflowing bookcase in our bedroom is a clear testimony of how much the hubs and I love our books. I’ve scoffed at people who extol the virtues of the Kindle or iPad as a reader, and told them that I love the feel of a book in my hands too much to consider reading on an electronic device. But my lifestyle has changed greatly and I can no longer switch on a light to read in the middle of the night, flip pages with ease, or even hold open a book properly.

After I finished my book, I begun exploring other options. I found that I could subscribe to the digital version of Young Parents, and thought that it would be a good investment. I wouldn’t need to find space on our very full bookshelf to store all the past issues, I could read it without switching on the light at night, good articles could be easily bookmarked, and best of all, it was cheaper than the print edition. I was sold. I had some trouble downloading the magazine initially but a quick email to the Zinio helpdesk resolved the issue and I am pleased to say that I have just finished reading the latest issue of Young Parents on my iPad. I’m now seriously considering purchasing some ebooks too, so that my brain will get some sort of stimuli while I nurse Noah. I know that it can never give me the same joy as a book in my hand, but for now, it will have to do.

6 Comments

Filed under Random