Saturday, 31 October 2009

Breath In, Hold It, Hold It.... Push!!!

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As the title suggest, I'm going to talk about antenatal class. You see, I was just telling one of my blog reader (Joey, that's you! :D) of my opinions on antenatal class which I attended Jan-Feb this year, almost 2 mths before I was due (FYI, I delivered in early March 09).

The antenatal class (or some called it prenatal class or parentcraft class) that I attended was held at Subang Jaya Medical Center (now called Sime Darby Medical Centre Subang Jaya). We chose the classes on every Friday instead of Saturday due to the following reasons:

1. Friday classes less ppl, means not so packed (cos normally couples wouldn't want to rush to the class after work on Friday)


2. Attending classes on Friday means I get to relax on weekends. I mean, already I'm working (then...) 5 days a week, then I gotta attend classes on my weekends?! So, might as well cramp everything into weekdays and get it done with.


3. Because Friday classes start at 7.30pm, I requested from my supervisor to allow me to leave office 6pm sharp (my office hours then was 9am-6pm). You might be thinking, I'm not leaving earlier, why need to inform supervisor lah?! Well, in my previous line of work (which is IT by the way), most of the time, users are only free after 6pm and somehow, that's also when the end of day issues cropped up... so, instead of disappearing 6pm sharp and giving ppl impression I couldn't be bothered with all the production issues and entertaining users, I really need to go off at 6pm sharp from my workplace and hope they understand this will only happen for 4 Fridays as long as I'm attending the antenatal classes.


So anyway, how I ended up with this class? It was a last minute decision thing... at first we thought, "Aiya... why be bothered with learning all this? Ppl have been telling us, learn all sorts of thing then when deliver baby time mind goes blank...wasted..." I still remember telling my hubby, "Huh, learn breathing and have to pretend to give birth wan wor!!" But last minute, we decided, what the heck, just go and learn lah... at least can say we tried! So, in January this year, I was surfing the Net looking for all hospitals near my area which conducts this type of classes. Found some:

- Tungshin in KL: A bit far, but I like this hospital as my mother was hospitalised here 2 years ago and I have confidence in the staff and facilities here. Wrote an email asking them when are they having their next antenatal class since their website did not show the schedule and got a reply a day after that they only have 1 class in a year, which was in May... which by then my son would've already been few months old... too bad... So, Tungshin, OUT!


- Kelana Jaya Medical Center: Called them, even email them... but service abit slow... by the time they revert to me, I've already signed up with SJMC... So, KJMC, OUT!


- Damansara Specialist Center: Their classes already started 2 weeks ago... and since I'm already in my 7mth pregnancy, the staff said I can still sign up but I will miss the first 2 classes. So, D'sara Specialist Center, OUT!

- Sunway Hosp: Classes also have started and by the time they revert to me, I've already signed up with SJMC... So, Sunway Hosp, OUT!


- SJMC: I wrote an email to inquire and received the following reply with the antenatal program outline
(Our Pre-Natal Classes consists of 4 sessions. Once a week for 4 weeks, which means it stretches out through a month (4 consecutive Fridays or 4 consecutive Saturdays, starting on the first Friday or the first Saturday of the month). The cost for the 4 sessions is RM310/= per couple and is conducted by trained midwives who specializes in parentcraft education. Ideally participants should start the Pre-Natal Classes two-and-a-half months before the expected date of delivery. ) Lucky thing they still accept my registration although I was 2 mth shy from my due date.


We have missed the 1st class on the 1st Friday in January but we were assured that we can repeat the 1st class again in February. Below are the outline of what we learned in the antenatal class (I copied this from the antenatal program outline emailed to me by the SJMC staff):

Class #1
- Recognizing Deviations from Normal Progression in Pregnancy
(This is more for info and good to know...)

- Preparation for Parenthood
(This is more for info and good to know...)

- Ante-Natal Exercise and Relaxation Technique
(This is more for info and good to know...)


Class#2

- Baby Layette (This is actually where we learn baby care like how to bath & swaddle baby etc)
- Benefits of & Steps to Successful Breastfeeding
(This is where we learn how to and different techniques & benefits in breastfeeding your baby)

- Signs of Labour (Errmmm... not much help really since I don't even realised I'm having contractions until I was about to go to hospital where I was originally supposed to admit to be induced but ended delivering Ben naturally since already started contractions! :P)
- Things to Bring to Hospital (Stupid me... attended the class and yet I only brought ONE clothes for Ben.. and it was quite big sized also... stupid me...)

Class#3
- Tour of Labour Suite
(Interesting but too bad, I didn't deliver at SJMC but it was an experience cos you get the idea on the condition of the place you are going to deliver at...)

- Father's Role during Labour and Delivery
(Really really helpful!)

- Stages of Normal Labour and Delivery (This is more for info and good to know...)
- Pain Management
(Helps alot since I don't go for epidural and too late to get Pethidine... it was in this lesson that my hubby gets to have fun pinching my arm cos the trainer wants us to know the different level of pains during the contractions stages...So, the trainer went and pinch each of the hubby's arm, giving them an idea how to pinch their wife later when the trainer go through each stages of contractions... whoa... hubby was smiling all the way when we had this exercise! Bugger!)

- Breathing Technique of Stage 1 & 2 (Helpful! I remember one funny incident where at one point all the pregnant ladies had to sit on the floor and leaned back to their hubbies and my hubby went "Oopffhhhfh" when I lean at him... now he know what it feels like carrying extra 11kg on your body! Revenge! :P)

Class#4
- Care and Support for Mothers during Puerperium (Helpful as well since we are doing our own DIY confinement)
- Meeting the Needs of the Newborn
(Helpful as well since we are doing our own DIY confinement)



Personally, I think attending this antenatal classes was one of the best decision we made as it really helps in our confidence when we did our own DIY confinement, in terms of baby care and knowing we are doing the right things and doing it right... it also helps cement our decision on breastfeeding and giving birth naturally and also opting for the appropriate pain relief method (in my case is Entonox which is gas and air)


Also, as this antenatal classes was actually done by this company called Jenlia Maternal Services (they also do postnatal home visits and we even bought their book on Asian Parenting), we decided to hire them for the postnatal home visits just to check we are doing everything correctly.


And yeah... back to the part where ppl tell me "learn all sorts of thing then when deliver baby time mind goes blank...wasted" - hehehe... it is true! Well for me anyway! But thank God, my hubby attended all the classes with me and has good memory! Probably he was scared at his wife turning into Cyclops (read on why I'm saying this in my previous post on my "Supernatural Childbirth" blog post)

It was my dear hubby who asked the doctor whether I can use the Entonox when I was not allowed to take Pethidine (too late and risky).

It was my dear hubby who remembered the breathing techniques when I wasted the first push by screaming away all my energies instead of focusing on pushing Ben out...

So, although the antenatal classes might be wasted for me since I don't remember anything at the brink of life and death (life for Ben and maybe possible death for hubby since I'm turning into Cyclops :P) luckily hubby remembered! That's all that matters right? So, I'm really glad with our decision to attend the classes! :D


So pregnant mums to be, please consider this option! And do it fast, don't be like me, looking for the class at last minute! :P Have fun learning and cherish the experience! :)

Friday, 30 October 2009

Blogging with Integrity!

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What a fitting title! Stumbled upon this website as I was browsing for stuff and read the integrity pledge and decided, yeap, count me in!

Ever since I quit my full time job early June 09' to be a full time SAHM, I have decided that blogging will be one of the activities to keep me sane (hehehe...). I have told myself that I will share things that I came across which might be useful or just cheer up someone's day.


Of course, when I don't have writer's blog, I mean, writer's block, I do most of all, want to blog about my mummyhood experience and magical moments I had with my fast growing son.


Anyway, I copied out the integrity pledge and added my comments for your info:


BLOG with INTEGRITY

By displaying the Blog with Integrity badge or signing the pledge, I assert that the trust of my readers and the blogging community is important to me. I treat others respectfully, attacking ideas and not people. I also welcome respectful disagreement with my own ideas. (Yeah, for any of you whose blog posts I've commented on, please know that I am not trying to pick a fight with you whenever I wrote things that might seem like I'm attacking you...it's your ideas, not you... :P And yeah, I totally understand if you disagree with my comments)

I believe in intellectual property rights, providing links, citing sources, and crediting inspiration where appropriate. (Yup! Truly agree! If I got an idea to blog from any other place other than my own brain, please be assured that I will note down the source of the info. Be it from email forwards, website, heard from friends etc etc... I absolutely loathe copycats and although friends have been telling me that plagiarism is flattering, nope, I disagree.. God gives each of us a brain and a heart. If you don't use your brain to think of an idea to blog on, at least have the heart to appreciate the source of where you get the idea/inspiration to blog about! :) )

I disclose my material relationships, policies and business practices. My readers will know the difference between editorial, advertorial, and advertising, should I choose to have it. If I do sponsored or paid posts, they are clearly marked. (I'm trying my best to watermark those images that belongs to me. I'm kinda lazy to edit older posts but I promise, future posts' images from now on will have my blog address as watermark to indicate they are mine. If you don't see any, means I got them from the Net)

When collaborating with marketers and PR professionals, I handle myself professionally and abide by basic journalistic standards. (I haven't reach this level yet but rest assured, I try not to post any vulgar stuff, ok?)

I always present my honest opinions to the best of my ability.
(Of course!)
I own my words. Even if I occasionally have to eat them. (And give myself a kick on my rear-end...)


So anyway, I have signed the integrity pledge and displayed the badge on my blog. Happy blogging and remember to blog with integrity! :D

Ten.... Ten... Ten.... Ten..... (drum rolls please... )

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About 1 week ago I was blogging about Benjamin's weight ("He Ain't Heavy"). And the last I weighed him, he was almost touching 10kg, that was about when he was 7mths old.


I just weighed Benjamin on our Ikea weighing scale. Look at the picture above... he was so fascinated at the weighing machine, sit quietly let mummy take pictures hahahahah...!!

So, drum rolls please.... ten, ten, ten, ten....


It's official!

10kg now...Benjamin is 10kg now!


I am officially carrying an equivalent bag of rice with me - for now... :P

(And just to add a note, the diaper he is wearing is still brand new - just changed not long before weighing him, so no added artificial weight yah! :P)


Thursday, 29 October 2009

Know Thyself...

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Wow... I didn't know there's so much interesting things to be learn about our own body! And to think we're seeing, touching, feeling it every single moment! Came across this article of "100 very cool facts about the human body" and below are some of the facts which I find interesting to share with you guys...

Cool Facts About The Human Body
----------------------------------------------
* Nerve impulses to and from the brain travel as fast as 170 miles per hour. Ever wonder how you can react so fast to things around you or why that stubbed toe hurts right away? It’s due to the super-speedy movement of nerve impulses from your brain to the rest of your body and vice versa, bringing reactions at the speed of a high powered luxury sports car.

*
Scientists say the higher your I.Q. the more you dream. While this may be true, don’t take it as a sign you’re mentally lacking if you can’t recall your dreams. Most of us don’t remember many of our dreams and the average length of most dreams is only 2-3 seconds–barely long enough to register.(Now if only they did some research on why certain people ~ aka me... always seems to be dreaming of toilets...hmmm...)

*
The brain itself cannot feel pain. While the brain might be the pain center when you cut your finger or burn yourself, the brain itself does not have pain receptors and cannot feel pain. That doesn’t mean your head can’t hurt. The brain is surrounded by loads of tissues, nerves and blood vessels that are plenty receptive to pain and can give you a pounding headache. (I recalled seeing an email forwards on how people in China eats this monkey brain... they actually chain the monkey by its neck, put it right in the center of the table with a hole in the middle-something like how we eat our steambot and they scalped the monkey's head leaving its brain exposed... with the monkey still screaming in pain while the people around start scooping its brain and eat it...)

*
80% of the brain is water. Your brain isn’t the firm, gray mass you’ve seen on TV. Living brain tissue is a squishy, pink and jelly-like organ thanks to the loads of blood and high water content of the tissue. So the next time you’re feeling dehydrated get a drink to keep your brain hydrated.

* The strongest muscle in the human body is the tongue. While you may not be able to bench press much with your tongue, it is in fact the strongest muscle in your body in proportion to its size. If you think about it, every time you eat, swallow or talk you use your tongue, ensuring it gets quite a workout throughout the day.

* Every tongue print is unique. If you’re planning on committing a crime, don’t think you’ll get away with leaving a tongue print behind. Each tongue is different and yours could be unique enough to finger you as the culprit.


*
Every day the average person loses 60-100 strands of hair. Unless you’re already bald, chances are good that you’re shedding pretty heavily on a daily basis. Your hair loss will vary in accordance with the season, pregnancy, illness, diet and age.(I think I lost more than that 4-5months post delivery... sort of revenge for not shedding any hair during my 9mths of pregnancy... )

*
The human heart creates enough pressure to squirt blood 30 feet. No wonder you can feel your heartbeat so easily. Pumping blood through your body quickly and efficiently takes quite a bit of pressure resulting in the strong contractions of the heart and the thick walls of the ventricles which push blood to the body.

*
The acid in your stomach is strong enough to dissolve razorblades. While you certainly shouldn’t test the fortitude of your stomach by eating a razorblade or any other metal object for that matter, the acids that digest the food you eat aren’t to be taken lightly. Hydrochloric acid, the type found in your stomach, is not only good at dissolving the pizza you had for dinner but can also eat through many types of metal.

*
You get a new stomach lining every three to four days. The mucus-like cells lining the walls of the stomach would soon dissolve due to the strong digestive acids in your stomach if they weren’t constantly replaced. Those with ulcers know how painful it can be when stomach acid takes its toll on the lining of your stomach.

* Feet have 500,000 sweat glands and can produce more than a pint of sweat a day. With that kind of sweat-producing power it’s no wonder that your gym shoes have a stench that can peel paint. Additionally, men usually have much more active sweat glands than women.(Err... I do know that by now... my Ben sweats quite easily...)

* The feet account for one quarter of all the human body’s bones. You may not give your feet much thought but they are home to more bones than any other part of your body. How many? Of the two hundred or so bones in the body, the feet contain a whopping 52 of them.


*
During your lifetime, you will produce enough saliva to fill two swimming pools. Saliva plays an important part in beginning the digestive process and keeping the mouth lubricated, and your mouth produces quite a bit of it on a daily basis.

*
Babies are, pound for pound, stronger than an ox (This makes me wonder... my baby is born in the year of Ox... so he is like errmmm.. super strong then?). While a baby certainly couldn’t pull a covered wagon at its present size, if the child were the size of an oxen it just might very well be able to. Babies have especially strong and powerful legs for such tiny creatures, so watch out for those kicks.

*
If saliva cannot dissolve something, you cannot taste it. In order for foods, or anything else, to have a taste, chemicals from the substance must be dissolved by saliva. If you don’t believe it, try drying off your tongue before tasting something.

*
Your nose can remember 50,000 different scents. While a bloodhound’s nose may be a million times more sensitive than a human’s, that doesn’t mean that the human sense of smell is useless. Humans can identify a wide variety of scents and many are strongly tied to memories.

* Your eyes are always the same size from birth but your nose and ears never stop growing (Good!!! Then my Benjamin will always have his cute big eyes! :D). When babies look up at you with those big eyes, they’re the same size that they’ll be carrying around in their bodies for the rest of their lives. Their ears and nose, however, will grow throughout their lives and research has shown that growth peaks in seven year cycles.

*
A baby’s head is one-quarter of it’s total length, but by age 25 will only be one-eighth of its total length. As it turns out, our adorably oversize baby heads won’t change size as drastically as the rest of our body. The legs and torso will lengthen, but the head won’t get much longer.

* Humans can make do longer without food than sleep. While you might feel better prepared to stay up all night partying than to give up eating, that feeling will be relatively short lived. Provided there is water, the average human could survive a month to two months without food depending on their body fat and other factors. Sleep deprived people, however, start experiencing radical personality and psychological changes after only a few sleepless days. The longest recorded time anyone has ever gone without sleep is 11 days, at the end of which the experimenter was awake, but stumbled over words, hallucinated and frequently forgot what he was doing.

* It takes 17 muscles to smile and 43 to frown. Unless you’re trying to give your face a bit of a workout, smiling is a much easier option for most of us. Anyone who’s ever scowled, squinted or frowned for a long period of time knows how it tires out the face which doesn’t do a thing to improve your mood.

* You use 200 muscles to take one step. Depending on how you divide up muscle groups, just to take a single step you use somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 muscles. That’s a lot of work for the muscles considering most of us take about 10,000 steps a day.
(One small step for me, 200 muscles for my body...)

* It takes twice as long to lose new muscle if you stop working out than it did to gain it. Lazy people out there shouldn’t use this as motivation to not work out, however. It’s relatively easy to build new muscle tissue and get your muscles in shape, so if anything, this fact should be motivation to get off the couch and get moving.


Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Making a Mountain Out of a Molehill...

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I found one mole on Benjamin's back 2 days ago. And was broadcasting to anyone who approached me. MIL said 'tai keng siu guai' (aka making a mountain out of a molehill). MIL also said, so small cannot even notice la!!

Actually, come to think of it... it is really really small... like the size of the dot at the end of this sentence. Wait... it's actually smaller... hmmm...alright, alright... I'm just sua-ku-ing myself again... just that I'm fascinated at discovering new things on Ben's body! :P

Then yesterday MIL told me that according to Chinese beliefs, if the mole is those that swells up/grow bigger in size (I think Chinese call it 'sang mak' or live mole) it means something depending on where it is located. Those that stays the same size doesn't have any meaning.

I know I once was terrified on this live mole on the tip of my nose.. it is growing bigger (about 2mm in diameter) then and it got to a point that I really freaked out at the thought of it turning to those mole which is like a berry knob with a hair sticking out of the mole! My mum used to have one of those on her back, so it really freaked me out that I might have it on my nose. So, at 13 years old, my dad brought me to this dilapidated shop on the 1st floor of this shoplot in KL (forgot where) - apparently there was this sifu who was famous for removing moles from your body and face.

He told dad and me that he will removed 2 moles from my face and he can only removed those live moles. One near my lower eyelid which the sifu said makes me cry alot... and the other on my nose which is what I wanted to remove anyway. Couldn't remember much of the procedure but the sifu used this joss stick and sort of poked it at my moles for few seconds and then he put on some kinda lotion or ointment over the mole and told me not to touch or get it wet and to leave it like that until it fell off by itself.

The worse thing is when the mole is in the process of drying (or dying) and scabbing up, the ointment became dry and stuck with the scab. I sort of look like a clown with black tipped nose instead of red tipped nose and it lasted for about 2 weeks... not to mention I went to Singapore with my mum and cousins for holiday trip (to celebrate me getting all As in my UPSR then) with that big clown scab... :(

After the 2 weeks, I couldn't wait.. the scab are dry but a small part still stuck to my nose flesh. The one on my lower eyelid fell off days earlier with no more signs of the mole. So, with my itchy 13 year old hands, I scratched the scab off. And the mole is still there. Although it's now flat and dead (no more swells up and size stays the same), it is still on my nose. Well,... we cannot remove dead moles according to the sifu so it stays on my nose until now. At least I have the peace of mind knowing my nose mole will not grow big anymore and sprout any hair in it... phewwww..

Anyway, the mole he removed on my lower eyelid that he said makes me cry alot... well... not true... I still cry easily and it seems Ben inherited this from me... hahaha... :P

So, old childhood memories aside, I will be on watch for any moles that appears on Ben's body... hahahahah...

Time of Your Life...

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Was playing this "Music Challenge" game on Facebook and came across this song by Green Day called "(Good Riddance) Time of Your Life". This song was popular back in my high school time... brings back memories as the lyrics are meaningful. Lyrics as shown below:

Another turning point, A fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go.
So make the best of this test, and don't ask why.
It's not a question, But a lesson learned in time.

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

So take the photographs, and still frames in your mind.
Hang them on a shelf, In good health and good times
Tattoos and memories, and dead skin on trial.
For what it's worth, it was worth all the while.

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

(music breaks)
It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.
It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

This song is sort of telling us to make the best of our live, enjoy it for what its worth and no matter how it seems unpredictable life is, in the end, we turn out OK... Enjoy this song and your life! :D

Monday, 26 October 2009

Hanoi & Halong Bay...

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One of my ex-colleagues recently asked me about my previous holiday trip to Hanoi & Halong Bay. I couldn't remember much so ended up digging back my backup CD of the pictures taken during my holiday trip with hubby about 3 years ago. Browsing through my album of pictures taken during the trip sure brings back tons of memories. Below are some pictures which I love and reminded me of our trip to Hanoi & Halong Bay...

We went to Hanoi in Dec 2006 (arrived on Christmas) and spent 2D 1N at Halong Bay on board an old junk. I missed Halong Bay... the peace and tranquility of the surrounding views and scenery.... wah... speechless..

This picture was taken in the late afternoon, as we were climbing down one of the many hills which are open for tourists in Halong Bay.

The climb up was easy but when going down, hubby was feeling queasy and he was breathless when he saw how steep the stairs were coming down.

For me, no difference, heck, I was actually rushing him to come down faster... probably this was due to my 2 decades of staying in the 15th floor of a government flat during my childhood days... (quite often the elevator broke down, so its normal to climb up and down the 15 flights of stairs...)

Believe it or not... this picture was taken at 4am Vietnam time... Thanks to my handphone alarm, which I dutifully set to wake me up at 6am so that I have time to freshen up and take a morning bath before going to breakfast at 7am... Well, my handphone alarm did rang at 6am... Malaysian time.. which is 2 hours ahead of Vietnam time...

So while my hubby happily snores away for 2 more hours, I am wide awake... gazing outside my bedroom window... soaking in the view outside... cannot believe its so bright but the time is still 4am!!

Back in Hanoi, this was one of the restaurant we went to. Had a great view from the top floor where we had our lunch. You can practically see the traffic below and how the cars and motorbikes and peddlers swerved and avoid each other which such acrobatic skills.

At one point, I remember one of the bikes knocked into an old lady carrying 2 baskets of oranges and you see the oranges spilling out onto the floor and getting squashed by the oncoming cars... poor lady!

Which reminds me, crossing the roads in Hanoi really takes skills and bravery! Once you decided to step out into the road, you have to continue walk on to the other side and not hesitate and stop to allow the oncoming vehicles to go. They will automatically swerved around you.

Also, in Hanoi, the sounds of horns are constantly blazing through. When we touched down at the airport, we hailed a cab to our hotel. It was about 7pm then and the sky is turning dark. Every few seconds, you will hear the vehicles around you pressing their horn. The cab ride itself was an adventure already! Cos the cab driver try to swerve around to avoid the motorbikes and honking them every few seconds!

This is what hubby and I ordered for our lunch.

(Clockwise from top): Vietnamese spring rolls, burger, cha ca' (one of those famous Vietnamese dish) a grilled fish (Cha Ca) dish which was created some 130 years ago. I totally love the dish, had it at this place so called the original shop called Cha Ca' La Vong. Address: 14, Cha Ca Street. One night we went there for dinner, gotta share a small table with a foreigner couple but the dish is worth the space cramping and sharing!

I also missed the cramp shop lots in Hanoi! Very cute!

Some of the ground was actually converted to a parking lot to park their cars so when you walked on the walkway, gotta walk carefully and look out in case a car suddenly swerve out right in front of you!

Another unique thing about Hanoi is they seem to have food stall at almost every part of the walkway and roadside!

Then they have this cute little short plastic stools and tables.. looks like those used for kindergarten... cute...!! :P

We didn't try the roadside food though... scared of food poisoning and the thoughts of those cars and bikes passing by... with all those exhaust fumes... nah... anyway, we frequented this 4 star hotel which serves great delicious foods!

Another thing that makes me amaze with Vietnamese ppl is their ability to carry almost anything on their motorbike!

Big piles of stocks, mattress, even dead pig (saw on the way to Halong Jetty)... amazing! There's other pictures I took of bikers carrying weird big heavy stuff on their motorbikes but I'm just showing one here so that I won't be labelled a 'sua ku' again... :P

We went to the Old Quarters, which consists of the famous 36 streets, each street selling their own unique things.

From toys, to silver items, to flowers, to tombstones, etc etc... amazing and very organized!

Hanoi is a place to go if you are into foods and cultural, laid-back life...

Halong Bay is for you if you just want to forget about the hectic life you have back in Malaysia for a day or two (depending on which tour package you choose, and of course depending on your wallet... :P)

Sleeping on the junk is really nice, very very peaceful, you don't even feel the junk rocking at all... very nice! And you wake up (albeit at 4am when everyone else is still sleeping) gazing at the mountains and calm seas and nice sky view... God's creation is so amazing!

In summary, it was a great holiday trip. Only regret we didn't get a hotel near the 36 streets (then can easily shop until we drop :P) cos we sort of thought it might be noisy if we stay around there. The people there are friendly and are accommodating.

If you are planning a trip there, don't miss out the Water Puppet show (warnings to anyone with long leg.. the seating are quite cramp) and try out the famous dishes there! :D


Saturday, 24 October 2009

He Ain't Heavy...

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Was browsing through some old pics taken since Benjamin was born early March this year. The following are pics taken of his weight since born...

This pic was taken when Ben was 4 days old.

He weighed 2.4kg at 4 days (his birth weight was 2.71kg) - the decrease of 300g is due to the passing of meconium which was cleared within few days after birth.

We hired a postnatal consultant from Jenlia Maternal Services for home visits since we are doing our own DIY confinement, just want to make sure we do everything correctly, and one of the thing they do is to check his weight and height. He looks so cute lying on the weighing machine then... So fragile!

I missed taking pics of Ben's weight during his 1st and 2nd month.


I can only remember Ben doubling back his birth weight when he was 2mths old.

This pic was taken from my handphone when we brought Ben to his paed checkup when he was 3mths old. Weight at 3mths: 6.956kg





This was Ben when he was 4mths old, at our paed clinic for Ben's scheduled jabs.


Weight at 4mths: 7.796kg




This was Ben when he was 5mths old, at our paed clinic for Ben's scheduled jabs. We gotta put on a bib for Ben that time because he was drooling alot then.

Weight at 5mths: 8.206kg



This was Ben when he was 6mths old, at our paed clinic for Ben's last scheduled jabs (for now until he turns 1 year old). Noticed he was much much taller now!

Weight at 6mths: 8.750kg




The last I weighed him at home using my trusty Ikea weighing machine, which was when Ben is 7 mths old... touching 10kg. This was done by me placing Ben sitting tripod style on the weighing machine without supporting anything.

As he is approaching his 8mth soon, I'm still in awe... all this weight... and I'm still exclusively breastfeeding him (no formula still) and just started solids since June. MIL often teased that he is heavy because of my breast milk. Hmmm...

He ain't heavy... he's my baby.... :D

Friday, 23 October 2009

Walk like an Egyptian...

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I think some of the lyrics in The Bangles "Walk Like An Egyptian" song applies to my situation now...

"Slide your feet up the street bend your back
Shift your arm then you pull it back
Life is hard you know (oh whey oh) "

Now why am I saying this? Hmmm... Hubby received an invitation few weeks ago to his client's (belated) Hari Raya Open House celebration which was held around the vicinity of KLCC (actually at Impiana Hotel & Spa). So he brought me along to the raya treat (since I have no chance to try any Raya dish/food this year!)

And of course, since its a Raya treat, I donned my baju kurung and high heels to match it. FYI, I have not been wearing any high heels since I quit my job in early June this year... so imagine... 4 months on after that and I'm suddenly wearing 3 inches high heel and walked quite a bit of a distance... Heck, actually when you are wearing high heels, any walking distance seems to be real far!
The raya treat started at 4pm and ended at 6pm and since its around KLCC, the area started to have massive traffic jams from 5pm onwards. So, at 6pm, hubby and I decided to go to KLCC and wait out the traffic jam by shopping instead.

So, walking to KLCC is through the KLCC Convention center, then through the underground parking between the Convention Center and KLCC, then only we reached KLCC.

There, we went to Kinokuniya and Toys'r Us and bought Ben a fluffy hammer soft toy.

Then I treated myself to a RM1.05 Burger King's ice cream cone (OK, I treated myself with hubby's money hahahah!). And we walked back the same route to our parking at Etiqa (used to be MNI) Twins, right next to Impiana Hotel. About 15 mins each walk (which seems like 1 hour with me in high heels)

As we were heading back to where we parked our cars at 7pm+, the traffic jam is still the same, moving quite slowly... so I took out my camera to snap some pictures of the KLCC Twin Towers and of course, I snapped my high heels.

Didn't snap in details cos hubby was going "Aiyor... sua ku-nya....". Actually I completed his sentence of sua-ku before he managed to finish it... hahahaha... yes, yes, I am such a sua-ku...

* Note: I think sua-ku means something like a hermit or someone who has never seen the world, been living under a cave or something lah! :P

These are the pictures I managed to take of the Twin Towers from where I was standing at.

With all the cars' drivers and passengers who are stuck in the traffic jam staring at me.

Not only that I, a Chinese look kinda weird wearing a baju kurung (on a Thursday night), I am also standing there in all my sua-ku-ness busily snapping pictures of the Twin Towers..., not to forget of my high heels too... hahahaha!!

I think if I'm not wearing a baju kurung, I might get away with ppl thinking that I'm a tourist... but nah... let ppl think what they want.

So anyway, back to my blog title... yeah... after the ordeal of walking 15 mins each to and fro, I repeat, in my 3 inches high heel, again I repeat, 4 months post hanging up the office clothes and attire... I am done...

My toes are aching... places on my toes which I have no idea can cause pain are showing their existence to me...

I practically had to drag my feet and every chance I get to stop for a while, I'd take out my feet and flex my toes...

The pain... whoa.... I consoled myself with the thoughts of being able to get a toy for Ben and of the delicious food I had earlier... (9 roti jala, smal pieces of lemang, ketupat, fruits and desserts...)


Thursday, 22 October 2009

Baby Room Review - Ikano, Mutiara Damansara

3 Awesome Comments!
After my previous baby room reviews for First World Plaza (so called baby room review lah!), Jaya Jusco One Utama, Ikea Mutiara Damansara & Berjaya Times Square, here is another review for the baby room I used just yesterday night while out shopping at Ikano's Popular Bookstore for more books for Benjamin.

I didn't use the baby room for breastfeeding though cos' I fed Ben right before we went out but because of that, our dear prince kindly return back my generosity of breastfeeding him by pooping a nice smelly & sticky one for his mummy... bahhhh....

Sorry if the picture is not clear as it was taken using my 2MP handphone - so quality not as good compared to my other pictures in my blog... :P

When: 20th Oct 2009, at night
Why: family outing to shop for Ben's books
Location: Same floor with Popular bookstore. Sorry, forgot which floor but it is at the other end, next to FOS if I'm not mistaken.

MY FEEDBACK
============
Location of the baby room: I'd give it 8/10. There is proper signage that will lead you to the baby room but because its at the other end of where I was, that's why I give it an 8.

And also, as I was strolling towards the baby room, there's a woman standing right in front of the baby room (doors open) - no baby, no stroller, she's just standing there as if enjoying the aircond or something... weird...

Facilities: I'd give it 9/10. Dustbin, mirror, sink, handwash liquid, towels, 2 diaper changing station, 2 sofas with 1 of them having a curtain around to cordon it off for breastfeeding mums.

Comfort Level: I'd give it 10/10. The room size is just nice, cosy, not too cold/hot/stuffy, nice setting and comfortable lit.

What I don't like: The one thing I don't like is that woman standing right in front of the baby room when she is not using it at all.. she left immediately when I went into the baby room. Weirdo...


The 2 diaper changing stations.


Door closed-view from inside the baby room.


Ben happily slapping his stroller after a fresh change of diaper.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Benjamin's Solids Journal & Why I DIY Ben's Solids...

3 Awesome Comments!
OK, apart from the Nestle baby rice cereal which we bought for as a solid food starter for Ben, the rest of the solids ingredients are all home-made. We have so far gone through carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, apples, mangoes, papayas, bananas.

Below is the summary of Ben's solids intake:

Day 1 morning (Ben 6mths old)
- Intake: 2 teaspoon of Nestle baby rice cereal + few drops of EBM on the spot (means I hand express right into the cereal bowl)
- Objective: Please note that the above is just for first trial to see whether Ben can take food into his mouth.
- Notes: He has always been stuffing things into his mouth so when my spoon hovers near his mouth, he opened his mouth and there goes my 2 teaspoon of cereal + EBM. I was left sitting there thinking, what the heck happened? Then I saw him looking at me, wanting more. Heck... I thought first time was supposed to be a trial? I did not express any extra EBM and those I have in the freezer need to thaw and well, I am lazy.. :P so, continue by breastfeeding Ben.

Day 1 evening (Ben 6mths old)
- Intake: 1 tablespoon of Nestle baby rice cereal + few more drops of EBM on the spot
- Objective: To up the intake and see whether Ben can take it.
- Notes: Again, mouth open, clam spoon in his mouth, open mouth, spoon empty. Greedy-more-more-food look shot at mummy. Bah.... breastfeeding again...

Day 2 morning (Ben 6mths old)
- Intake: 2 tablespoon of Nestle baby rice cereal + 3 oz of EBM (done about 1 hour before feeding solids)
- Objective: To up the intake and see whether Ben can take more of it (also got nagged by MIL for giving Ben so little).
- Notes: Again, mouth open, clam spoon in his mouth, open mouth, spoon empty. Repeat few times - cereal bowl empty... Greedy-more-more-food look shot at mummy. Bah.... breastfeeding again... but this time, lesser time for breastfeeding.

Day 2 evening (Ben 6mths old)
- Intake: 2 tablespoon of Nestle baby rice cereal + 3 oz of EBM (done about 1 hour before feeding solids)
- Objective: To maintain the schedule now of giving solids twice a day.
- Notes: Same as in the morning.

Day 3 morning (Ben 6mths old)
- Intake: 2 tablespoon of Nestle baby rice cereal + 3 oz of EBM (done about 1 hour before feeding solids)
- Objective: To maintain the schedule now of giving solids twice a day.
- Notes: Mummy starts to panic as 2 days no bowel movement from Ben. Mummy prayed for shit to come :P

Shit comes on day 4... phewww...

In between day 3 to yesterday - we have gone through 2 tins of Nestle baby rice cereal (I got the one mix with milk since I am still breastfeeding), pureed pumpkin, pureed carrots, pureed sweet potatoes, pureed purple sweet potatoes, pureed apple, pureed mangoes, mashed bananas, mashed papayas.

General bowel movements noted:
- Twice a day if having sweet potatoes
- Once a day if having pumpkin
- Once in 2 days if having carrots

My formula for each meal intake is:
- 2.5 to 3 table spoon (which we use for eating) Nestle baby rice cereal
- 2 oz EBM
- 1.5 to 2 oz pureed veggie/fruits (normally is vegie cos fruits I give as snacks at night)

As of today, I started mashing foods instead of pureeing. So my current formula is:
- 3 tablespoon mashed veggie (this week's menu is pumpkin, after this thinking about mashing sweet potatoes and add thin slices of carrots)
- 1 oz EBM
- 1 tablespoon cereal (to slowly reduce as I increase the mashed veggie)

I also keep an Excel log to track what I gave Ben everyday and when he poops and his behaviour and poop texture (to track whether got diarhea, allergy, constipation etc) and I actually took pictures of his diapers everytime he poop ever since he started solids.

Now, come to the topic of why I DIY Ben's food instead of buying those jarred baby foods over the counter? Reasons as below:

Ingredients
I am lazy, but not that lazy until I need to buy processed food outside. We do not know what they put inside, although they claim is natural ingredients or homemade, they stored it at the display racks and it can last for long time without freezing or in cold temperature? I am thinking that the jars must have preservatives for that to happen right?

Also I'vebeen trying to get frozen peas to puree/mash for Ben until I saw the ingredients label at supermarkets recently... no matter what, there will be some mg count of sodium (some indicates 1mg in each x amount of servings). FYI, sodium = salt. Babies under 1 yr old do not need salt or sugar. So I am still scouting for salt-free peas now... :(

By DIY-ing Ben's food at home, I know what are the ingredients used, whether they are fresh or not. I peeled/sliced/chopped, boiled and pureed and mashed the food myself. In summary, I'm involved in the whole process of it.

Cheaper
Have you seen how much a jar of baby food costs? I can do few days of Ben's meal with the price of that 1 jar of baby food.

Familiarity
I'm hoping it will get Ben used to eating the same food as the rest of us in the family.

Nutrients
I came across this article which a mom said "What sealed the deal for me was finding out that jarred food is cooked at extremely high temperatures to kill bacteria for longer storage, at the same time taking out many of the food's vitamins and nutrients and taste". I'm glad I DIY Ben's food.

Now before any of you go thinking its easy for me to say and do this since I'm a full-time SAHM, please note that I prepared the foods at night or during weekends when the family is relaxing. It took about max 15 mins (time taken to peel/slice/chop, wash pot, wash containers for storage, pureed/mash veggie) to do it. When you are boiling the veggie, you can go watch TV and leave the timer on. And I prepared for about 5 days storage (first 2 days intake I keep in fridge while day 3-5 in freezer which will be moved to fridge to thaw a day before consuming).

I'm thinking of mashing and mixing veggies for about 2-3 more weeks before shifting to porridge. I had a friend who already started her baby on porridge at 7 mths old. Please note that there are no rights or wrongs on when to introduce different type of solids. For me, I'd like Ben to graduate from puree to mash to more coarse texture foods.

My sis in law who has 6 children (and home schooled all of them) recommended we start on mash potatoes first instead of porridge as porridge = rice = high carbs. Carbs tend to get a bad reputation - but the carbohydrates in potatoes are complex carbs - the 'goodies' of the carbohydrate world! They are the primary source of fuel, helping to feed the brain and providing power to those little muscles! (excerpt taken from this article). So until I get the recipe from her, I'll continue mashing and mixing up veggie 1st.

Anyone can do it if we just put in a little bit more efforts. It's our baby we're talking about here. I hope my journal and thoughts on DIY solids can be of help and you can freely ignore my ramblings here if you disagree with me :)

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

How Do I Make My Breastfeeding Works?

7 Awesome Comments!
(* A note of thanks to Joey for suggesting that I write a post on my breastfeeding secrets. I hope you & other mums-to-be will find something useful out of this post of mine... :P)

OK, before I begin with my blog post, I'd like to give thanks to God Almighty as I'm one of the lucky mums around to have no problems on pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, baby care and so on.


Sometimes when everyone was asleep, I lie awake thinking how lucky I was:

- to have a supportive and understanding hubby who goes thru' all the stages of my pregnancy, accompanies me in attending the antenatal classes, gynae check-ups, delivery, baby care etc with me all the way
- not to experience any morning sickness (no vomit, no dizziness, no weird appetites for weird stuff unless you call eating double McD McChicken value meal sets as weird food appetites... :P)
- not to have gone through induced labour (which I was supposed to on my final gynae checkup when the gynae said I had low amniotic fluid and recommended it or go for C-sect in 1 weeks time)
- to be able to experience the labor pains (hubby would not believe I was such a strong woman and respected the fact I had gone thru' the childbirth without pain medications etc)
- to deliver Ben in 4.5 hours time (1cm to 10cm in 4.5hours time) and it takes only 3 pushes (1 not counted in cos wasted when I screamed away my breath and energy :P) to deliver Ben out naturally!
- not to experience any problems when breastfeeding Ben (he latched on successfully in the 1st attempt) and made no fuss at all
- not to experience any episodes of colic (which was one of the top fears for new parents)
- not to experience any nappy rash problems (we took great care from day 1 so no chance for any rash to appear!)
- that Ben is not sensitive at all towards any brands of diapers (I have friends who changed few brands in order to find the suitable ones for their baby due to the sensitive skin or nappy rash that their babies had)
- not having to worry about baby care when I go to work since I already quit my job
- that Ben takes his solid well! No episodes of vomiting or diarrhea at all!

I know there are many more things to be thankful of but this are the ones that comes right off my mind at the moment. I mean, simple things that we take for granted such as being blessed with a perfect and healthy baby... that calls for a lot of thanks to give for!

So back to my blog topic how do I make my breastfeeding works (FYI, I am at my 7.5mths of exclusive breastfeeding now and started solids twice a day for Ben since early Sept):


#1 - Start with the thought of breastfeeding from day 1
You know, it's the same as having your goals and ambitions. You dream and fix your aim towards it from day 1. Then you only have 1 goal to achieve for and focus all your concentration to it. If you are yoyo-ing from bottle to breast to bottle to breast, then when the baby comes, you'd be lost and ppl around you could easily influence your decision making.


Real Life Example: From day 1, hubby and I decided we must go for breastfeeding. Nothing and no one (except God of course!) can come between our decisions. Unless I really cannot produce even a single drop of milk, then I can't say anything about it. But as long as I can produce even a droplet of milk, we will stand still and be firm on this decision and try, try, try! We even go to the extend by not buying any formula milk, no pacifier, no milk bottles, nothing. The 3 bottles we have later on are baby gift hampers we received from Ben's full moon party.When MIL mentioned Ben seems hungry, we said no. We'll make the breastfeeding works.


#2 - Remember the 3 Rs!
This come out of the blue, but I decided to call it the 3 Rs! (I wonder whether I can copyright this just in case this appears at other ppl's blog one fine day hahahah!)

So the 3 Rs are: Research, Read up and Rehearse!


Research all you can find about breastfeeding (why do it,
benefits, myths, techniques, how to avoid any problems, what to do if there's any problems etc)

Read up all you can, be it from books, hospital/clinic leaflets on breastfeeding etc. The reason why I don't lump this into Research is because you can research all you want but if you don't read it, then no use right? And thank God I love to read!!!


Rehearse - go for antenatal class where they actually teach you how to breastfeed and different methods to do it. If you don't attend the classes (please please do!), then look it up in the Net, Youtube or anything that shows you pictures or videos on how to breastfeed correctly.


# 3 - Choose your birth hospital correctly!
Now, you may wonder what the heck the place I'm going to give birth at gotta do with breastfeeding? Well, it has everything to do with breastfeeding! You can research, read, rehearse all you want but if you deliver at a place where they immediately introduce your baby to bottle-feeding then no use right?


Sadly, most of the private hospitals and some government hospitals are all for bottle-feeding. I'm thankful one of our close friends were 2 months pregnant ahead of me, so we pestered her to let us know her feedback and she recommended Putrajaya hospital to us when she delivered a day before Christmas last year (I was 7 mths pregnant then and switched my gyane from SJMC to Putrajaya hospital).


Now, what is great about Putrajaya hospital is that they are a semi-private hospital. Service, staff, environment, equipment are excellent (partly cos they are located near the gov HQ). I registered at the hospital during my 7th month pregnancy and signed up under the Full Paying Patient (FPP) scheme - meaning, we still have to pay instead of getting FOC treatment but it is still way cheaper than private hospital.

Don't believe? My friend delivered via C-sect and it cost her RM2.8K. I delivered mine naturally and paid RM1.4K. And we're both under the FPP scheme. This hospital is pro-natural delivery and pro-breastfeeding. You see brochures and posters on breastfeeding everywhere.

In fact, the nurse actually pass your baby back to you right after they clean him up (and after I was ready) and stand next to you and check your techniques in breastfeeding. The nurse and doctor make sure you try to breastfeeding when you settled down back in your room after delivery by checking every few hours and they fill up your medical book after they are satisfied with your 'performance'.

So choosing the right birth hospital helps in making my breastfeeding works!


# 4 - Get encouragement and support from other ppl
OK, we don't have a confinement lady. We did our own DIY confinement. So, there may be things we did wrongly. So, what we did was asked around from other in-laws and friends who have kids already to check whether we are doing the right thing and compared our methods with theirs.


Hubby and I also get the postnatal home visits from
Jenlia Maternal Services - which also conducts the antenatal classes we attended 2 mths before I delivered. They will come in 3 times (depends on your schedule and their availability) each visit lasting for 1 hour and they will check your baby and your progress and conditions. They will also observe and advice on your baby care methods, breastfeeding, and everything you wanted to find out on.

For us, we know we are doing the right thing, just that we need some other ppl to acknowledge and confirm our thoughts. And when you hear from the mouth of experts like them telling you that you are doing a great job and your baby is progressing very well, that sure does a lot of help with your motivation level! :D

# 5 - Quitting my job
One of the reason I quit my job is so that I am able to continue breastfeeding my baby since I am not able to extend my maternity leave. On the 1 month I'm serving my notice (and paid off the other 2 months), I had to force myself to express my breastmilk at office every 3 hours - reason why I said force is because, if I didn't do that, I could be sitting at my cubicle and doing work non-stop, not even going to toilet (until lunch time). And there are times when I only remembered I had to go express when I felt my breasts swollen hard and painful.

On my last week at the office, my supply dwindled down to 2 oz per day... from the beginnng when I returned back to work and start expressing at office I could express about 12 oz per day... down to 2 oz per day... the pressure and busy-ness of the work took its toll on me of course (I could even remember one time I didn't express from 12pm-8pm... total 8 hours...the reason? I was stuck in meetings after meetings and after office hour ended at 6pm, I was again stuck in conference call with vendors and bosses until 8pm) So the decision to quit my job really helps alot with making my breastfeeding works.


# 6 - Pray!
Pray for God's will on whatever you have put your mind to. If it is His will, He will settle the bill :) Meaning, if its meant for you to breastfeed, no matter how hard it is, must persevere.


The first few days when the
breastmilk has not come in - those times are critical. It will make or break a new mummy. Old folks and ppl who do not know better will tell you that your baby needs to feed, he cries because he is hungry, you don't have enough breast milk so must give formula already... Pray for strength and patience and comfort in times of pain and stress like this. The breast milk will come! Babies do not need to feed for the first few days of their life! (This is because they still have storage in their bodies)

And when the breast milk comes, still there will be ppl telling you its not enough. Do not give up! The more you breastfeed, the more milk your body will produce. During the first 2 weeks after delivery, I will keep on breastfeeding Ben every 2 hours. Even the wee hours of the morning, I'd wake up and just latch him on. Suffer now, and reap the benefits later.



Of course, some of you may disagree with what I said above as different mums have different reasons on why their breastfeeding couldn't work and so on. Hence, like I mentioned earlier, this post is on how I make mine works. I do understand and feel that every mother would've wanted the best for their babies :D

For those of you who are in the midst of your pregnancy stage now, please, please, consider breastfeeding. Even if you can just breastfeed for the 2 months during maternity leave, it is better than none at all. At least give it a try rather than not doing anything at all.

The benefits of breastfeeding is so much more greater and advantageous both for you and your baby (not to mention your hubby's wallet too! :P Think of how much you saved by not needing to buy formula milk, bottles, steriliser, etc etc)

Happy breastfeeding! :D

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