Category Archives: Growing Up

With All My Love… #7

My dearest Noah,

You’re five months old today! I marvel daily at how much you’ve grown, especially when I’m nursing you, because that’s when I get to zone out look at you closely. You’re taller now, and Daddy and I were just reminiscing last night about how tiny you were when you were born. I remember how auntie, our confinement lady, would bring you to me at night for me to nurse you, and how much we struggled to get into the routine of breastfeeding. She would help to position you properly, and then help me to latch you on, like fixing two Lego bricks together. You were so small then that your legs barely extended past the width of my belly, but now, you can rest your feet comfortably on the bed.

Speaking of Lego, I’m really looking forward to the day that you’ll be old enough to play with it. Right now, you don’t have a favourite toy, apart from Daddy, I mean. Your fingers are really quite short, something which I think you inherited from me, sorry, but it means that you have difficulties holding big items. You’ve got no problems grabbing our fingers and pulling my hair, but your fingers are too short to curl round Sophie the Giraffe’s neck. Soon, okay?

You’ve learnt how to play with people and everyone loves what a happy baby you are. You smile readily at everyone and chortle with glee when we play with you. Sometimes, we don’t even know what you’re laughing at, but hey, we’re not complaining! Just today, you peed on yourself four times and you seemed to find it hilarious, giggling away as I cleaned you up and scolded you for creating such a mess. Your eyes twinkled and you kicked your legs so happily that I just couldn’t get upset with you. I love pretending to chomp on your chubby arms, which always gets you giggling. You’ve been sucking on your hands and everything that you can get your little hands on, but as long as it keeps you happy and quiet, I’m okay.

Oh yes, grandma taught you how to ‘knock heads’ with people and we’ve been getting you to do it quite a bit these days because you’re so cute when you do it. I confess that when grandma told me that you could understand her when she tells you to ‘knock head’, I told her that you probably did it involuntarily as your neck isn’t strong enough. I was so surprised and amused when she demonstrated it to me a few days ago!

I still haven’t started you on solids yet, because I really don’t think that you’re not growing well. You seem perfectly fine, smiling away all the time and I mean, look at your chunky thighs! Anyway, after discussing it with daddy, we decided to put it off for a while more. I enjoy nursing you, even though I keep getting blocked ducts, because you seem most baby-like then. You’re growing up so fast that I just want to keep you as my baby for as long as possible. Solids can wait!

It’ll be your very first Christmas in two days time, and I’m looking forward to it. You probably won’t know what’s going on, but we’ll take photos and show them to you when you’re older. We’ll have to come up with Christmas traditions soon, but one of them will definitely be going to church on Christmas morning itself. I look at you and imagine how much love Mary must have felt for her baby that night too…

Baby, you’ve brought papa and mama so much joy these five months and we are truly very blessed to have you in our lives. Happy fifth month, darling. May our God continue to watch over you and bless you with good health.

With all my love,
Mummy

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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!

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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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

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Planning Ahead – Weaning

I’ve been trying to plan ahead and think about weaning Noah, or rather, to be more accurate, about how to start him on semi-solids. Originally, I was going to go with the norm, get one of those steamer-blenders and start with the standard puree and rice cereal. However, I’m now thinking if we should go with the baby-led weaning method instead. I know it’s still a little early to be thinking about it but I do need start doing some proper research soon. All I read previously was about pregnancy, breastfeeding and taking care of newborns, so I’m beginning to panic because I feel utterly unprepared for this next stage!

I am now torn between the Philips Avent steamer blender and the Beaba Babycook. That is, IF I choose not to try baby-led weaning. I need something that will save me time, both in terms of preparing the food as well as washing up, because Iย foreseeย myself getting busier as Noah grows. I will then need to start investing in those freezer trays for storing purees too, and free up some space in our freezer. Right now, our freezer has quite a bit of frozen breast milk which I think can’t be kept for much longer. My mum has been asking me to donate the frozen breastmilk but I don’t know anyone who needs it! Seems like quite a waste to throw it all away but since Noah can’t be bottle-fed, it looks like that’s the only option at the moment.

If any of you have tried baby-led weaning, I’d love to hear what you think of it! C doesn’t think I’ll be able to do it as I’m not very good at handling messes and from what I’ve read, baby-led weaning is a really messy but rewarding process. Feedback on the two different steamer-blenders will also be most welcome. I need all the help I can get!

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The Third Month

I can’t believe that our baby is three months old already! I do this ‘Photo a Day’ thing on Facebook with him after I got the idea from my friend, and when I look through his earlier photos, I’m so amazed by how much he’s grown. He’s still much smaller than the other babies around his age but I’m just glad that he’s growing pretty well. I’ve also had people telling me now that they thought he was super scrawny at birth and that his legs looked like chicken legs, but they just didn’t dare to say it at that time. Now that he’s put on some weight, his limbs no longer look that scary. Phew!

Noah’s neck is a lot more stable now and we no longer have to really support his neck when we carry him. This makes things so much easier! I can just pop him over my shoulder and he ‘sits’ quite comfortably on my arm while I walk around the house, instead of having to put him in the cradle position that we used previously. He enjoys being in the Manduca carrier too and can sleep for hours when he’s in it. I’ve gone out on my own with him in it and didn’t even need to nurse him during the four hours that I was out, because he was sleeping so soundly. The Manduca carrier is also the only way we can calm him down when he gets colicky at night, and I think it’s really worth every cent we paid. C remarked that it is money so well spent that our Bugaboo has become redundant, as Noah doesn’t sleep when we put him in the stroller and can get quite cranky if we leave him in it for too long.

We’ve also started putting him in the Bumbo a few days ago, after we visited the PD. Dr Ellen noted that Noah’s back is straighter now and so we figured we can try getting him to sit up more. He still needs to be closely monitored if we put him in the Bumbo, as his neck isn’t very strong and he bobs forward now and then. Noah seems to enjoy being in his bouncer too, so we use the bouncer more at the moment. I’m looking forward to letting him use the exersaucer but Dr Ellen suggested that we wait till he’s about four months old to try it.

This month, he got his first dose of the Pneumococcal vaccine and the poor boy wailed quite a bit as it’s a more painful jab than the 6-in-1 shot. The good thing is that he didn’t develop a fever this time round, for which I was really grateful, as I’ve been down with a sore throat, cough and blocked ducts for more than a week. C has been helping out more because I’ve been so tired and feeling unwell in general. He has been changing Noah’s diapers more frequently (and gotten poop exploding all over his hand while he was cleaning Noah’s bum) and also bathing Noah on a couple of occasions when I was just too exhausted. Noah adores C and I love how he looks at C and smiles.

Noah’s skin is still pretty sensitive and he keeps getting rashes all over his body and face. Dr Ellen says it’s most likely due to the heat and I’ve also noticed that if he’s kept cool, the rash isn’t as pronounced. I’m also trying out some new products on his skin, so hopefully, things will get better. He scratches his head quite a bit and we’ve resorted to making him wear mittens at night, so that he doesn’t end up with horrible wounds in the morning.

I miss being able to sleep through the night and being able to wake up late. As C puts it, Noah is an alarm clock with no snooze button. But when I see that adorable face smiling at me from his cot, or hear him ‘talking’ to his bumper or mobile, I forget how tired I am for a little while, and thank God for this very precious gift. ๐Ÿ™‚

Our happy baby

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Yakety-yak

Noah has started ‘talking’ quite a bit more recently and boy, is he a chatterbox like his mum. Yesterday, I plonked him in his bouncer, next to C, and he just kept cooing and ‘talking’ non-stop to C. C said he was presenting his PhD thesis. Haha. When our friends visited in the afternoon, Noah kept up his chatter while the adults talked to each other. I think he thought we were talking to him, but hey, he seemed happy to just have us seated around him and talking, so I try not to don’t feel guilty about not engaging him more.

This morning, we were woken up by his endless coos, which is something new. He usually wakes up and stares into space at his cot mobile, waiting patiently for us to wake up and notice that he’s awake too. Yes, I know, he’s a sweetheart! ๐Ÿ™‚ I just lay in bed, savouring the sound of his voice, until he got a bit upset that he was left unattended for so long and started to whine a little. Can you blame me? It’s so nice to wake up to the sound of his voice! I love that he doesn’t cry when he wakes up, although I wouldn’t mind if he woke up a little later so that I can get more sleep.

I’m really enjoying this new development, and it’s such a joy hearing him laugh too. He chuckles when we talk to him, when I sing old Sunday School songs like ‘With Christ in the Vessel’ with him, complete with hand actions. His eyes light up when I raise his arms above his head/shoulders and that is usually what gets him laughing. Sometimes, he even laughs when we remove his romper before his bath! Of course, he starts wailing once we step into the bathroom with him, but that’s a different story.

Noah hasn’t been putting on as much weight as he’s supposed to, doesn’t enjoy tummy time and shows no sign of being able to flip over any time soon, and has become a little attention-seeking, whining if we leave him alone for too long. He also seems to be having a severe case of hair loss, has cradle cap again and somehow manages to get his mittens off to scratch his head till he draws blood every night. But all these don’t seem to matter right now, because what truly matters is that he is a very cheerful baby, and I thank God for that. ๐Ÿ™‚

Mr Yakety-yak

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His First…

… Hockey match!
C’s hockey team played in the Division One Finals on Saturday evening and it was an exciting introduction to hockey for Noah. He napped through most of the first half but woke up in the second half, just in time to watch daddy score a goal too! The other team was much stronger though and they had a lot more supporters, who came with a banner, party poppers and, get this, a rhino mascot. It would have been really embarrassing for them if they didn’t win. Our team had five supporters: three wives and two babies. Better than none!

The five supporters

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The last game C played was earlier this year, when I was still pregnant and I remember wondering when I would get to bring our baby to watch a match. I think I was more excited about Noah being at the game than C! The season for the year is over and I’m looking forward to next year’s, when Noah will be older and hopefully better able to enjoy watching his dad run around the pitch.

Us at the stadium

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… Wedding!
We rushed home after the game to get ready for our good friend’s wedding dinner. Our original plan a few weeks back was to let my parents babysit Noah while we attended the dinner, but after the incident with my bleeding nipples, I didn’t think it was a good idea for him to be bottle-fed. I was also worried that he wouldn’t be able to fall asleep without suckling, so in the end, we decided to bring him along.

Noah seemed a little overwhelmed by the bright lights and the general noise level in the ballroom, but he was still pretty smiley and cheerful. He had a perpetual shocked look though, opening his eyes very widely and staring at the people who popped their heads in front of his stroller to say hi. He even got to meet my secondary school classmate, who’s a good friend of the bride! As it was his bedtime, he started fussing a little and I spent most of the evening outside the ballroom nursing him. A few of my friends came out and kept me company at various points, so at least I managed to catch up with some of them. Life after having a baby is certainly different but we are definitely learning to include Noah in all our activities. No photo of us at the dinner, unfortunately, apart from the obligatory ‘table shot’ taken by the official photographer.

… Laugh!
This took us completely by surprise! I was about to change his diaper just now and Noah was smiling at me as he lay on the changing table. All of a sudden, he let out a proper laugh and kicked his legs happily. C and I were stunned! It was so adorable and I kept trying to get him to do it again but to no avail. It was really unexpected, especially since he had been a little fussy all day and had been suckling a lot, either because he’s going through a growth spurt or because he needed comfort for some reason.

It’s been an exciting few days for us and I think the next couple of days will be spent recovering from all the activity. I’m loving our family time together, especially because C has been working from home since he got home from his business trip. He’s off again for a few days next week, but at least it’s not for a long time.

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With all my love… #5

Hello baby,

You’re two months old today! This month, you’ve gotten more responsive and when daddy came back from his two week business trip, he said you had changed so much. You now smile quite readily at people, and I love talking to you and coaxing a smile out of you. You still don’t seem to enjoy being carried by either one of us, but hopefully that will change soon. You’ve started sitting in your bouncer quite often and that’s where we have our story time daily. I don’t know if you even know we’re reading to you! I’ve told daddy that we should read the same book daily to you but he insists that he needs variety. So far, we’ve read ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’, ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see?’ and mummy’s favourite, ‘Barnyard Dance’. You don’t cry as much during bath time, except when I’m wiping your face or washing your hair. Diaper changes are slightly better, although you still cry occasionally. You cry each time you have tummy time and we really hope that you will get used to it and stop crying soon.

The past few days have been very stressful for daddy and mummy because you’ve been producing dark green poo, instead of the usual yellow poo that breastfed babies usually have. We’ve brought you to see Dr Ellen and even emailed her photos of your poo (being a doctor means having to deal with disgusting things). We’ve also prayed many times with and for you, asking God to help you.

Last night, while I was praying for you as I nursed you, a song suddenly came to me.

Trust in the Lord, with all your heart
And lean not on your own understanding
In all of your ways, acknowledge Him
And He will carry you through
Don’t worry about tomorrow
He’s got it under control
Trust in the Lord, with all your heart
And He will carry you through

I sang it to you repeatedly and it soothed me, knowing that God has everything under control. This morning, when I changed your diaper, I was so relieved to see that it was definitely more yellow than the poos you’ve had recently. I immediately called for daddy to take a look too and he agreed that it looked more yellowish than green.

We brought you to church today for the first time and although you slept through quite a bit of it, it’s a step forward for us. I had to nurse you quite a bit but at least you hardly cried. You were such a good boy when you had to get your diaper changed! Auntie Angela was a great help, accompanying us to the loo, holding all our stuff and handing mummy the wet wipes, a sheet at a time. She, too, agreed that your poo was dark yellow, rather than green. Thank God for hearing our prayers and healing you! ๐Ÿ™‚

Be a good boy, darling. We pray that God will continue to bless you with good health and keep you safe.

With all my love,
Mummy

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Dreams

Do babies dream? What do they dream about, given that their experiences are still very limited?

Noah seemed to have had a nightmare last night, in which he appeared to be fighting off some villains. Maybe they were trying to change his diaper. Or maybe they were trying to steal his milk. Who knows? Anyway, there was a lot of very violent punching and slashing movements going on, together with loud war cries and grunts. Like Bruce Lee, with much less style and skill. We watched him with great fascination, because all the wild actions and sound effects occurred while his eyes were still closed. We didn’t know if we should wake him up, but he woke up for his feed on his own shortly after. However, he seemed rather distressed still and kept waving his arms about vigorously, something which he seldom does at night, and definitely not while he’s drinking his milk. It became less funny and more worrying after some time, so we both tried patting him and making soothing sounds, telling him that he was safe and that nothing was wrong.

The nightmare seemed to be a recurring one as he kept doing his Kungfu moves each time he fell asleep. I tried letting him sleep on my chest for a longer period and there was quite a bit of whimpering and startling, before he calmed down enough to go back to his cot.

This morning, he seems to be back to normal, smiling at us as we tried to change his diaper, and firing off lots of poo in the middle of his diaper change. I guess it means that he’s fine now!

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With all my love… #3

Hey sweetheart,

Yesterday, we had a simple lunch buffet with our relatives and friends for your first month celebration. You were such a well-behaved baby throughout the six hours or so that we were out, even though it was your first time being among so many people at the same time. Daddy and mummy are so proud of you for being so good-natured, darling!

To be honest, we were very nervous about the celebration. It was our first time bringing you out for such an extended period of time and we really didn’t know how you would handle it. Daddy and mummy prayed really hard the night before, and asked God to grant you a good night’s rest as well as to keep you comfortable throughout the day, and He did! You slept from 1am to 530am, and I was so surprised when I woke up and saw a bit of light streaming in from outside, instead of the usual pitch dark conditions that I’ve gotten used to over the past few weeks. You were also very cooperative as we bustled around trying to get you ready for your big day out, apart from your usual wail-fest during your bath. You have to try to be brave when you take your baths, darling. I know it seems very scary, but you know that mummy is holding you and I won’t drop you, right?

Anyway, when we arrived at Clover by the Park where Gan Yiyi lives, you were sleeping so soundly. It was as though you knew you needed to rest before the guests arrived and you actually woke up in time to say hi to all the uncles and aunties! When you’re older, baby, you’ll probably meet all of them again, and perhaps be able to actually recognise them. Just know that you are loved by so many people and that it is a real blessing to have them all in our lives.

Here you are, taking your nap. I love it when you are sleeping so peacefully!

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Mummy made matching outfits for you and daddy! Daddy’s tee says, “Who’s your daddy?” and your romper says, “You are!”

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Auntie Serene was very nice and did up the hot-air balloons and pom-pom flowers in the background for us!

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Mummy also ordered a cake for you and daddy from Bees Cakes and everyone loved it. Mummy will get you another cake when you are old enough to actually eat your own cake okay?

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Uncle Edward and our church friends prayed for you at the celebration too. We asked God to protect you from all harm and danger, to keep you healthy and strong, to let your hands be raised in praise and thanksgiving to God and your feet be ones that walked the extra mile for others. We also asked for your heart to be filled with compassion for the less fortunate, for you to be blessed with wisdom from above so that you will always be able to discern right from wrong, and that you will grow up to be a God-fearing man. We asked for God’s wisdom to be upon us too, that we might be the best possible parents for you. Above all, we asked that God be ever-present in our lives, guiding us in all that we do.

It was a lovely day, all in all, although you were so tired that I had to bring you up to Gan Yiyi’s house to calm you down so that you could nap. Daddy also noticed that you were turning slightly blue and that you were shivering, most probably because I had just nursed you in a rather cold room, so it was good that we went up for a while too. Poor baby! You fell asleep so quickly once there was less activity going on around you that I know you must have been exhausted.

Mummy’s going to take a nap now since you’re napping too. If you think you’re tired, try being me! Getting you to sleep at night is such a challenge on most occasions and I really pray that you will learn how to fall (and stay) asleep on your own very VERY soon. You’re generally such an angel that I know I shouldn’t complain, but boy, I sure would appreciate it if you would start enjoying your baths and diaper changes, and learn to be a better sleeper. As soon as possible please, darling! Daddy’s leaving for another work trip on Monday, and this time round, he’s going to be away for two whole weeks. Be a good boy for mummy, okay? Please?

Happy first month, darling. We love you very very much.

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With all my love,
Mummy

PS. For those of you interested in ordering cakes or cupcakes from Bees Cakes, please do place your orders way in advance if you want them on a weekend. She needs time to make all those lovely decorations! If you have a particularly large order, weekdays might be a safer bet, as she might have more time to fill your order then. Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

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