Monday, 30 November 2009

Vintage Ads on Baby Products...

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Came across some vintage advertisements on baby products on the Net. Wanted to share it with you guys. Sorry forgot to note down some of the origins and source of the pictures, cos I accidentally deleted the URLs already (some of them are from this link: http://pzrservices.typepad.com/vintageadvertising/).

I'm not in any way trying to criticize the maker/seller of the products, just want to share with you guys there were such things being sold long long ago... Anyway, here goes:


This ad is from 1920s... Woh-keyyyy... I actually have no idea on how putting this thumb guard can stop baby from sucking their thumbs and actually wonders whether baby's thumb growth might be impeded when they had to wear this?...


This ad was from 1930s... Kinda freaky actually as it kinda shows the baby is all trapped up in a dark room and that you should get a sun lamp for your baby... Thank God I live in a country where it is summer all year round...


This ad from 1950s claims that watching TV can make your kids smarter... woh-kay....


Woow-woow-woohhh.... starting baby on cola? How soon should I be terrified with this??!

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Now That I Have A Baby...

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Came across this article in Baby Center which list down the things that changes when you have a baby and I went through the list and yeah... agree agree... in fact, I'm going to add on my comments onto the list in this blog post.

* You finally stop to smell the roses, because your baby is in your arms.
(Now That I Have A Baby... Well, not just stop to smell roses, more like I stop rushing through life and slow everything down cos each moment spent is so so so much worthwhile!)

* Where you once believed you were fearless, you now find yourself afraid.
(Now That I Have A Baby... Actually, I thought of the other way round.. I used to be afraid of a lot of things, but now, I have to be strong for him! There's another person who actually depends on me now!!)

* The sacrifices you thought you made to have a child no longer seem like sacrifices.
(Now That I Have A Baby... We tried for 3 months, a short time compared to many other couples who have been trying and trying and trying - in any case, however long or short the time taken to have Ben, it is never a sacrifice...)

* You respect your body ... finally.
(Now That I Have A Baby... Yup, in fact, people around me respect me too! The fact that I go from 1-10cm in 4.5 hours and delivered naturally in a short time. Maybe some of you mummies beats my record but people who know me and have experience in childbirth told me that they've never seen or met anyone who deliver their 1st child in such a short time!)

* You respect your parents and love them in a new way.
(Now That I Have A Baby... Yup.. the fact that they both brought me up and I turned out alright.. I miss my parents... if only they are both still alive to see their own daughter becoming a mummy now...)

* You find that your baby's pain feels much worse than your own.
(Now That I Have A Baby... Yes... tiny things that occurs to them seems to be magnified thousands times worse... I remember how heartbreaking it was seeing the staff nurse taking Ben's blood for testing when we admitted him to the hospital for jaundice when he was 5 days old... I've never been a fan of having MY own blood being extracted out for whatever reasons... and to see your own baby being in that condition is so so heartbreaking!)

* Your heart breaks much more easily.
(Now That I Have A Baby... Yup, refers above comment...)

* You think of someone else 234,836,178,976 times a day.
(Now That I Have A Baby... Agree, agree ;D)

* Every day is a surprise.
(Now That I Have A Baby... Not just surprises, new discoveries as well!)

* Bodily functions are no longer repulsive. In fact, they please you. (Hooray for poop!)
(Now That I Have A Baby... Oh yeah..! I cannot believe I actually keep a folder containing all of Ben's piss and poop pictures!)

* You look at your baby in the mirror instead of yourself.
(Now That I Have A Baby... I chuckle and smile along when I see Ben smiling cheekily at his own reflection in the mirror!)

* You become a morning person.
(Now That I Have A Baby... Actually I wasn't much of a morning person anyway...but I go to bed later now :P)

* Your love becomes limitless, a superhuman power.
(Now That I Have A Baby... Me? Superhuman power?! Now that I think of it... I, a 45kg woman having to carry a going to be 9mths old 10kg baby around... yup... I am a Supermum! :P )

* You no longer rely on a clock — your baby now sets your schedule
(Now That I Have A Baby... How true....!)

*
You learn that taking a shower is a luxury
(Now That I Have A Baby... Bingo! This is getting freaky....!)

And other than above lists from the article, now that I have a baby:
~ Every songs I sing magically has my baby's name in it.
~ My stuff instantly becomes a toy. Huh? What hand phone?

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Eeekk... Germs!

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This article explains why we are so paranoid with wiping things around Ben (especially when we go out for family outing etc) as germs are everywhere!! In the article, it mentioned 4 common places where germs can hide which are:

Restaurant high chairs:
High chairs are pretty germy at home or at restaurants. However at a restaurant, you’ve got other kiddos germs to contend with. Use a natural wipe on the parts your child may touch or use a travel high chair cover.
(My feedback: What we do is before we place Ben into the high chair, hubby will hold Ben 1st while I, armed with a pack of baby wipes will go all around the high chair and wipe it all over. Surface, top, front, back, sides, underneath, plastic, wood, metal, whatever parts they are.

Hmm.. on another note, maybe we should consider getting a portable high chair or baby booster seat for dining purpose, at least we are assured of the cleanliness and no need to worry not enough baby chair at restaurants. But so far those I check on the Net is for up to 1 year old... 3 more mths left for Ben to fully utilise it before he turns 1 year old.

Anyone can recommend where to get a portable baby chair which is easy to carry around, preferably just strap onto existing adult chair?)


The park or other play area:
Not surprisingly, studies show that kid play areas are stuffed full with germs. While you can’t avoid these germs entirely, you can teach your little one not to be that child on the playground who licks the slide.

Mouth and eye contact is a fast way to spread icky germs. Make sure your child avoids mouth-equipment contact and that she doesn’t rub her eyes after playing until she’s washed her hands.
(My feedback: We try our best to wipe whatever that we're going to put Ben in or the very least we can do is to ensure he doesn't stuff his hands/fingers into his mouth until after we wiped em' clean)

The doctor’s office:
Some pediatricians have well-child areas for kids who only need check-ups. See if yours is one of them. If not limit exposure to other sick kiddos by making sure your tot shares no kisses with others, keeps toys out of her mouth, and washes her hands after playing with the toys in the waiting area. One smart idea is to bring your own toys and books, but most kids really want the toys at the office, so just wash hands after.
(My feedback: Oh heck... guilty guilty guilty!!! Although we hold and carry Ben around either in our arms or in the baby sling/carrier, I totally forgot about the weighing machine, the measurement deck and the bed where we placed Ben on for the paed to examine him. Gaaaaaahh... must be careful next time!)

Shopping cart handles:
I saw one study that noted that shopping cart handles are especially germy and dangerous because someone may have touched meat, then touched the handle. If your child touches that handle she could be exposed to illnesses like salmonella. This is one place where disinfectant wipes can be a good thing. One good choice are Mrs Meyers surface wipes. These are more environmentally friendly than other wipes, not tested on animals, and biodegradable. Plus they come in a small pack you can carry with you. (My feedback: We not only wipe the handles, we also wipe the seat all around it and the sides as well. Actually we tried not to put Ben in the shopping cart by bringing along our own baby stroller but Ben fusses after sitting long in the stroller and we got tired of holding him after a while - mind you, we had to push the stroller, shopping cart, occassionally push MIL in wheelchair and lug a 10kg baby so, in the end hubby put Ben in the shopping cart while I push the stroller and MIL. Picture shown here was Ben's 1st shopping cart adventure at Tesco)

To wrap this post up, we can never be too comfortable with anything around us. Germs lurk around in all places, just because we don't see the dirt and grimes at the surface doesn't mean its clean. Remember to always carry baby wipes and disinfectant stuff around with you at all times.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Chewie...

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Nah, I'm not going to blog about Star War's Chewbacca. Just using his nick to blog about myself - well, more like on my (some said weird) habit of chewing my food 24 times before I swallow it.

Yes, you read it right... I chew my food twenty-four times before I swallow it. Saying this also makes my mouth tired... :P

Before I begin, I would like to declare I am NOT a weirdo. I don't do this out of curiosity or boredom or to audition myself for the role of "World's Weird Mummy Who Got Nothing Better to Do Than to Chew Her Food 24 Times" for Guiness World of Records.

Now how the heck do I get myself into this? From as far as I can remember, I was watching this programme on TV and found that it is good to chew food at least 24 times before you swallow it.

I started out trying to count to 24 times while chewing before I swallow my food, and soon enough, I automatically chew at least 24 times before I swallow my food.

I think I was just entering my teens then. So since then, it was 24 times of chew-chew-chew-chew-chew-chew-chew-chew-chew-chew-chew-chew-chew-chew-chew-chew-chew-chew-chew-chew-chew-chew-chew-chew before I swallow my foods.

Of course, this does not apply when I am having fruits or drinks or liquids. It gets really tiring sometimes not to mention painful especially when I had my frequent mouth ulcers. It's also disgusting when I had to do this while eating veggie since I'm an anti-vegetarian.

Now that I'm all grown up and had time to surf the Net to find out info on stuff, let me show you the goodness of chewing food so many times before you go on thinking I'm a cuckoo lady... hehehe...

Why Chew? (Source from this article)
* The process of chewing is a vital component of the digestive activities that occur in the mouth, inextricably linked to good digestion, and therefore, good health.
* The action of chewing mechanically breaks down very large aggregates of food molecules into smaller particles. This results in the food having increased surface area, an important contributing factor to good digestion.
* In addition to the obvious benefit of reduced esophageal stress that accompanies swallowing smaller, versus larger, pieces of food, there is another very important benefit to chewing your food well that comes with its ability to be exposed to saliva for a longer period of time.
* When food is not well chewed and the food fragments are too big to be properly broken down, incomplete digestion occurs. Not only do nutrients not get extracted from the food but undigested food becomes fodder for bacteria in the colon which can lead to bacterial overgrowth, flatulence and other symptoms of indigestion.
* Chewing relaxes the lower stomach muscle
* Chewing triggers the rest of the digestive process
* It will cause you to slow down when you are eating, making more space for the enjoyment of your meal.

And there's this article which encourages the Japanese to chew their food at least 30 times before swallowing as a key to good health.

So there you have it. I'm not a weirdo. Phewwww.... :P

Sunday, 22 November 2009

All Things Cute and Pretty...

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Was surfing the Net lately and found some of these cool, cute and pretty stuff which I want to share with you guys in my blog here.

World's Smallest Book
The leather bound book takes the art of printing and bookbinding to an entirely new dimension of precision. Renowned German typographer Joshua Reichert especially created a colourful alphabet for this tiny ABC-picture book, exclusively produced in the traditional book city of Leipzig where the idea was originally born.

Measuring 2.4 x 2.9 mm and presented in a wooden box including a magnifying glass, this is the world’s smallest book in a published edition. “It was printed in the usual way, but all the machinery and tools had to be created in miniature first.” The book is published by Die Gestalten.

I think if I had this (which costs about 70 pounds each since it's a limited edition thingy), Ben would have easily stuffed it into his mouth without me realising it's gone... :(

Bubble Calendar
A poster sized calendar with a bubble to pop everyday!


Features:
-----------

* Huge! 47" x 18" (120cm x 45cm) poster calendar
* American, Australian, British, Canadian, New Zealand holidays
* Weekends bolded for quick reference
* The calendars are printed on thick paper (80 pound cover stock)


Wow... if I was still a small kid and I had this bubble calendar, I'd be busy at home popping these! :P


Mini Travel Towel - Just add water

No prescription required for these multi-purpose travel towels packed like pills. Simply pop one out, soak with a little water and the pill instantly transforms into a sturdy 11 inches x 9 inches textured towel.

Great for camping, hiking, cleaning dirty faces after an ice cream cone, or anytime you need a towel on-the-go. Easy to carry in purse, diaper bag, briefcase, backpack or your clear carry-on for the plane.

Card has eight towels. Pill measures 7/8 inch W x 3/8 inch deep; card measures 5 inches H x 2 ½ inches W. Caution, please do not swallow!


I think this is super convenient and space saving! But the hassle of looking for clean water to soak the pill towels with first in order to get it to expand is kinda s*cks... I also saw some T-shirt designs similar to this, just add water to get the T-shirts to expand... love the idea of this!

RobotiKits

These 3 mini solar kits are easy to assemble and demonstrate alternative energy principles. Running on sunlight they require no batteries. Little or no experience required. Recommended for ages 10 and up.

Super Solar Racing Car-The solar powered car has surprising speed. It can be stopped quickly by shielding its power source.


Frightened Grasshopper-In sunlight eyes jiggle, legs wiggle, and antennas sway to-and-fro as the frightened grasshopper dances.

Happy Hopping Frog-When placed in sunlight this little green amphibian sporadically leaps using its hind legs and rubber feet.

Hmmm... no batteries toys! Great idea! I wouldn't go for the grasshopper though... not with Ben at this stuff-all-I-can-grab-with-my-hands-into-my-mouth stage... :P

Hoppop Potty
The new potty training chairs from European brand Hoppop have it all: looks, user friendliness, and easy cleaning / ‘content’ disposal.

Wow...these are uber cute!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

The (full time) Mummy Returns...

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Alright y'all! I'm back!

For those of you who didn't even noticed I'm gone, here's a short summary of what happened to me.

I
burnt my fingers last week and was in the process of healing and getting used to seeing my boils on the left thumb merging into 1. Pictures below taken on my left thumb which suffered the most from the burnt accident...

This was after the burnt incident...

And this was taken just 2 days ago...

And then I took MC from full time mummyhood for the day as I was down with stomach flu, which I originally thought its due to food poisoning.

All the symptoms indicates we had stomach flu instead of food poisoning as its just not me alone who gets it... and we're not even sharing any same food and puking or diarrhea-ing at the same time.

Luckily Ben is still breastfeeding so he gets the least impact out of this. It seems that one after another in our family got it... Ben started to puke once on Sunday night, then hubby's niece puked and diarrhea on Sunday evening, then it was my turn on Tuesday morning followed lastly by MIL puking and diarrhea-ing on Wednesday. We have all recovered since then and everything is fine and dandy again though we are very very cautious with tap water especially now. We will only re-rinse after wash all the kitchen utensils with boiled water instead of previously just wash with tap water.

Anyway... stay tune, will be posting up some new stuff on my blog when I get to it.

In the mean time, this full time mummy will be surfing the Net, catching up on the latest news these few days.

Cheers!

(p.s: Pic of Ben 2 mths ago :D)

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Full time mummy is on MC...

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Yeap... barely a few days after this full time mummy burnt her fingers in a cooking incident, she is down again - with food poisoning.

It started yesterday morning, woke up as usual, remembered telling hubby I don't feel well and as if I'm having stomach cramps (gastric-like). Hubby suggested we all go out for breakfast since he needs to fetch MIL to fix her dentures.

After about half hour (while waiting for MIL to get ready), I really feel tired and told hubby to go ahead and buy me something for breakfast. He brought Ben along with MIL leaving me home alone.

I was resting on the bed when suddenly I felt my stomach churned. Ran to the bathroom and wait for the disaster to come. At that same instance, I felt like vomiting. Oh gosh... these are the times where you feel like you're in a life and death situation. To poop or to puke? Top or bottom? Which one is messier?

I hold on and prayed that I can sh*t fast enough before my vomit comes. After I was done with my sh*tty business, I cleaned up and was just a step out of the bathroom when I felt like really really want to vomit.

Couldn't run to the toilet seat or sink in time. Just sat down at the bathroom edge and puked right there and then. Three times.

Each puke make me feel horrible. FYI, I have NEVER puke in my life.

Not when small (at least not that I can remember), not at all during pregnancy... and now, I'm puking three times in a row.

It is so horrible and with each puke that comes out, its as if my throat is being clamped down and shrinking with each seconds.

By the time hubby got home, he saw me sitting at the edge of the bathroom with my trails of vomits. (Sorry, do not mean to be so gross here...)

Anyway, to cut it short, I told hubby I need to apply MC for the day.

No full-time mummy for the day.

I really need to rest and it would be great if Ben only appears when it is his feeding time.

So for the whole day, I only see Ben every 3 hours or so while I rest on the bed. MIL helped out as well to care for Ben while hubby handles his biz from his office (which is in our next room)

Now, a day after the incident, I still need to go toilet every now and then but no more puking for now. And my body still aches as if I've been to war. All my muscles ache and it feels especially bad when I had to lug my 10kg baby boy so I tried not to carry him so much.

And, this morning, it was MIL's turn to get food poisoning. She is resting in her room now. I tried my best to serve her as I'm still recuperating as well. Hubby is out to client's site, so I told hubby to come home as soon as possible and not spend so long time at client's site if unnecessary.

Who
ever say it's easy being a full time mummy? If you are sick, who is going to look after your baby? I'm lucky to have hubby who doesn't need to report to work 9am-6pm and lucky also to have MIL's help. Thank God for them and I pray we'll ride out of this storm soon...

Monday, 16 November 2009

Burn, Baby, Burn...

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No, I didn't burn Ben. I burned myself.

Yup... you read it right.

This full time mummy burned herself. I mean, it's just a couple of fingers but it's still a bad burn with boils popping out now and then. My other thumb has red burn streaks on it.

That's why I haven't been blogging lately. I can still type (slowly) just that I don't have the mood to blog for now and would rather take a nap when Ben naps. Felt especially tired when my thumb is 'handicapped' like this... :(

Don't think I should dwell further on how I got myself into this situation, suffice to say, it's a lesson learned. And it's entirely my own fault.

I've been having a difficult time especially when handling Ben, but luckily, he's co-operating with his mummy. So far no incidents of him smacking/slapping/banging stuff at mummy's hands, so all is fine and dandy at the moment.

I just hope that the boils on my left thumb (its where the major burns are) heals nicely and not burst out.

Aihhhhh... I would just like to apologize for the slow updates on my blog in case you are following and wondering what happened to me but well... it's not like anyone would miss me anyway...


Thursday, 12 November 2009

I've Been Eating Like a Hippo...

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and still look as thin as a stick...

Heck, I was out today accompanying hubby (with Ben along of course) to visit his friend's 2 weeks old baby boy and his wife commented to me saying that I'm thinner than before I got pregnant... Bah....


I'm not sure whether its because of me still breastfeeding Ben exclusively or that I'm losing more weight because I've been taking care of Ben full time?

I've been on a steady 45kg ever since I was 17 years old, no matter how much I eat and eat or fell sick or whatever... I will still go back to 45kg.

When I got pregnant early June last year, my 2nd gynae told us I had to maintain maximum 12kg weight throughout my pregnancy. Anything more than 12kg will require me to deliver Ben via Cesarean. As my body frame is small, gynae advised not to gain so much in order to increase/maintain chances to deliver naturally.

In my 2nd trimester, gynae said I've not gained enough weight and ordered hubby to force me to eat more. So I ate more, double portions, drank full cream milk, etc etc... Whenever I go to McDonalds, I'd ordered double sets of Mc Chicken meals (that is 2 burgers, 2 fries, 2 soft drinks) + a chocolate sundae to finish it off (I made it sound like I'm in a kungfu fight or something! :P). I alternate soya drinks and fruits (mangoes or papayas) every day at work. I buy buns for tea time at work.

2 weeks before I delivered Ben, while having dinner with hubby at Ikea, I measured my ehem- waist with the Ikea paper measuring tape and I couldn't even bring both ends together.

My waist has exceeded the measurement scale... If I'm not wrong, Ikea's paper measuring tape is 40 inches long. So, I guess I should be around 41-42 inches by then.

And then by the end of my pregnancy, I gained a total of 11kg bringing my total weight to 56kg, which is just nice to deliver Ben naturally without any complications at all.

And after delivering Ben, I started my breastfeeding regime and within 10 days, I lost 7kg and since then has been steadily losing weight. When Ben turned 7 months old last month, I am back to my good ol' 45kg and maintaining it now. And I still eat like a hippo 8 months post delivery.

Nowadays at dinner time, just as I started my dinner, I was already planning what to eat for my supper after that. I eat double portion of my meals, heck, I eat more than my hubby. MIL sometimes just gawked with her mouth open. Of course, mostly she went "Wah! Hak Sei Yan ar Lei. Sik Kom Toh!!" (In English, "Wah! You scared ppl to death ar! Eat so much!") when I go back to kitchen to and fro for 2nd, 3rd helpings... :P

This was taken early this month during a family outing to a shopping mall to get books and toys for Ben.

Hubby and I had lunch at Carl's Jnr and I ordered the Crispy Chicken set. The burger is almost the size of Ben's head!

I'm not concern with my weight now that its back to 45kg.

I'm more worried on why am I looking thinner than before I got pregnant?

Where did my flesh go?


I thought so.... ;P


Classic ahhhh....

5 Awesome Comments!
Back when Ben turned 1 month old, we received a full moon gift from our neighbor. It was a 2 piece CD of classical songs (Beethoven, Mozart, etc) - which they said can stimulate baby's intelligence, increases baby's imagination, etc etc.

Sorry, I can't translate the Chinese words on the CD as I'm not Chinese educated :P

I started playing the CDs last 2 weeks and noticed Ben sleeps longer when I played the CD.

Other than this 2 CDs, there are 2 more albums which I regularly play for Ben, one is a bit hyper (as in sung by children) which I will play when Ben is active during day time.

The other album entitled 'Bless My Little Boy' sung by a gentle voice lady which I will play when Ben is going to sleep (seems to lull him easier)

I personally loved quite a number of songs in this album!

We started with this album during my DIY confinement time so it brings back a lot of memories when I play it now... :D

There is another version for baby girls called 'Bless My Little Girl' - kinda similar except they changed the word 'boy' to 'girl', I guess... :P


So far, I've noticed when I play the classical music CDs during Ben's playing time, he doesn't bother much with it.

But when he is going to sleep or midway sleeping and I play it, he will sleep longer :D


His normal daytime naps is around half hour, there are times when I played the classical music CD, Ben can sleep up to 2 hours...

I actually recorded a video of Ben asleep with his fingers moving as if he's trying to tap the piano key or something while the classical music is playing at the background... so cute!

Last pic shown in this post is of Ben examining the CD... :D Wonder if this classical music actually works? Hmmm...

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Can You Afford to Stay Home?

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This is the title of an article I came across few days back, something which I have personally gone through... sort of like a been-there, done-that kinda thing... I'll copy out the main points from the article and add in my comments in purple:

It's a question every parent has struggled with: Can you afford to stay at home when you have children? The answer has always been complex, often involving a lot of number crunching and a plain, old-fashioned trial run. But in this economy, things are even more complicated. So not only do you need to consider the change in income and expenses, but you also have to put precautions in place so you're protected in case things don't turn out as planned. Here's how to do both.

Evaluate Your Financial Situation
...have at least six to nine months' worth of expenses stashed in a liquid savings account before you even consider giving up your full-time job. Twelve months' worth is even better, particularly because you're dropping down to one income. (One way to easily beef up your emergency fund is to practice living on one income while you're pregnant. Bank the other, and you'll have quite the cash cushion at the end of nine months.)
(My feedback: Yup... this is what we went thru'. I don't have the luxury of doing what was recommended here which is to practice living on 1 income while pregnant but I do save my salary ever since I started working at 20 years old)


... Finally, try to be as realistic as you can about the job security of the partner who is going to continue to work outside the home.
(My feedback: Hubby's biz is slowly picking up so we both think we can get by on his income if we work together and don't simply spend our $, cut down on shopping and unnecessary spending or travels, etc)

Do the Math
It starts as a fairly simple calculation: You need to figure out what will be going out each month and what needs to come in. So start with your fixed monthly expenses, including the mortgage or rent, your car payments and insurance, your utilities, other insurance payments (life—which you need when you have children—homeowners, disability), savings and any debt repayment, like student loans. Then add in your flexible expenses: things like groceries, entertainment, new baby expenses, including daily childcare.
(My feedback: We're not from rich family but we're lucky cos the house we stays in belongs to MIL, fully paid already and we're practically the last of her 5 children who is going to stay with her. The rest of her children has their own family and house already. Hubby's faithful 16 year old Iswara is still in very good condition and already paid for in cash from hubby's own savings so nothing outstanding on our end.


So practically our $ will go to insurance, utilities and groceries. As for childcare, by being a SAHM we saved RM750/mth of nanny expenses of which, if I am still working is just a small amount of $ only but after comparing child under own care and under stranger's care... priceless... cannot compare in monetary values lah...

Then by being a SAHM, hubby no need to fetch me to and from office which can take up a lot petrol cos my previous working area are quite a high traffic area, also no need to fetch Ben to and fro had we gone for a nanny, then by being a SAHM, I don't spend so much $ on food at work, we save $ no need to buy formula milk to feed Ben as I can breastfeed him at home anytime - I can guarantee you I will have no more milk supply had I continue on working as my last week at work I can only express up to 2oz a day... which is bad because of the work stress.

Look at Your Benefits
The finances are not the only piece of this puzzle. If you're leaving your job, and it provided health insurance for the family, you need to make sure that your spouse's job can provide comparable benefits. Likewise if you had a flexible spending account at work that saved your family a bundle by allowing you to pay for medical expenses and contact lenses with pretax dollars. And finally, don't forget to save for retirement
(My feedback: Ok, luckily the insurance benefits provided by my prev company is crappier than my own insurance benefits. During the month before I was due, the company has already started cutting cost measure to save $, so quite a number of those benefits are no longer given and those that are still given like bonus are reduced and clinical claims are also more stringent.)

Think Ahead
You are very likely going to want to go back to work one day, so keep your skills sharp by taking classes when you can, doing volunteer work in your field or staying on top of any changes to the industry. And don't forget to network. Just grabbing a coffee with a former colleague once a month or so will give you an in to reach out when you're ready to go back to work.
(My feedback: Maybe... maybe not... at the moment I just want to focus on raising Ben. I don't want to think so far ahead. In my previous line of work, the demand is still high as there are not many ppl who are skillful and has the expertise like mine.

Qualifications does not matter in my line, its the years of experience and skills possess that matters. I earned more than my friends and relatives who went university and overseas etc. I only had a diploma in NCC Computer Studies but I had 9 years of working experience. Most of the banks and financial institutions in Malaysia are running on iSeries (formerly known as AS/400), so I don't worry much about my type of job dying out or become extinct should I decide to return back to work one day...

For my case, apart from the above mentioned points in the article, hubby and I also weighed the pros and cons on having our child placed under nanny care, our work schedule against our family time (meaning will we still have quality time to spend with our child?), is all those worth it? The following were the other things that went through my mind as well when deciding to be a SAHM:

* Time goes by and does not rewind or cannot be return to you. Is it worth it to go on working while your child grows up everyday while you are at work 9am-6pm?

* Your child grows up and you missed the highlights and milestones on their life, is it worth it? No amount of money can be spend on being the 1st to see with your own eyes, the 1st time your child smile at you, coo at you, laught at you, laugh WITH you, roll sideways, crawl, sit up, say their first meaningful word, stand and so on...

* You go on working and bring back money to the family but there's just something lacking and missing between the bond you have with your child. And in the case of a nanny, this person has also become a person your child is close to. Is it worth it?

* I have a friend who used to get his maid to take care of her daughter. When the child was about 4-5 years old, my friend said everytime they go out shopping, his daughter will surely want to include the 'kakak' as well, as if she is part of the family. Of course, I'm not saying we should treat maid as slave or outcast them or anything, but if your own child is to call anyone family, it should be you and your partner. Not some other stranger. But how would your child know better if she has been cared for by ppl other than you or your partner for so long? Is it worth it?

* Compare the actual time your child spends with your nanny/maid and with you. I will just take the example of week days to compare.
Time spent at nanny's place : 9am-6pm a day = 9 hours a day, 45 hours from Mon-Fri
Time spent with you at home : 6pm - 9am = 15 hours a day, 75 hours from Mon-Fri

But then think... 75 hours minus 45 hours, it's still more time your child had with you right? Wrong... you have to take into account of travelling, sleeping, eating, relaxing... after working for whole day, getting stuck in jams to and fro work and dropping and picking up child from nanny's place, how much actual hours you clocked in with your child? Is it worth it?

* I also thought of what would the nanny, no wait.. let me rephrase myself... I also thought of whether the nanny would teach my child anything? I mean, unless I'm so lucky can get a nanny who just solely babysits my child and is dedicated enough to teach my child things... sadly, this is not the case... the few nannies we interviewed (we went to their house during day time while they are on the job) had at least 3 kids under their care. Now think... will they have time and patience and strength and the dedication to teach my child anything? Does my RM750/mth babysitter fees covers that?

* I also thought of this: It is me and my hubby who brought Ben into this world. It's our responsibilities to provide and care and nurture him. Now, why am I here having sleepless nights and worries of what is going to happen if we do this or that and why am I even thinking of getting other ppl to care for my son?

Other parents who happened to read my blog and whose children are under the care of other ppl (not you or your partner), please forgive me if you feel insulted or angered at what I said. I am not in any way trying to justify and put you down and critisized your actions or pointing that what you are doing is wrong.

Of course, I know, deep down all mothers would love to stay home to care for their children. So I am in no way trying to be judgemental or saying that my way is the right way. I too have given the thought of getting a babysitter or even considered getting a maid but just that it doesn't work out due to the above reasons and my high expectations of ppl other than my ownself taking care of my own flesh and blood.

I have spent time weighing the pros and cons, the yes and no and the what ifs... but who are we to worry so much into future when we don't even know whether we'll still be alive tomorrow? Do what you think is right for you, your family and your child. Pray to God for His will and cast your worries to Him. And do remember to love and cherish your child dearly, after all, we only have this 1 lifetime together with them...

Psalm 4:5 (NIV): "Offer right sacrifices and trust in the LORD."

Romans 15:13 (NIV): "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."


Monday, 9 November 2009

Baby Items Do's... Which We Don't Do... :P

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Rebel! Rebel with a cause! In my previous post on "Baby Items Don'ts... Which We Did Used Anyway..." I blogged about using some of the baby items which parents have been told NOT to use... but which we end up using anyway! Of course I do justify our actions in going ahead in using those items, but please note that we are not promoting and recommending that you should follow our suit. My blog post is merely to share my experience on my parenthood :D

So now, I go the complete opposite direction... This post is on the baby items which a lot of parents use and do... but we on the other hand, don't use or do it... Well, maybe some of them we did at least once or few times but no more after that... So here goes...

Baby Changing Mat

In the beginning, we used it. We placed our changing mat on the table and changed Ben's diapers on it. But after a few accidents where hubby (phew...lucky me!) got sprayed by Ben's piss... and poop (yup, you read it right!)... hahahahah....

Pic next to this is of hubby's luckier than winning a lottery strike of being sprayed by Ben's poop and piss (poop was later and not shown here :P)

Of course, when I became a full time mummy, I changed Ben on the bed, its nearer to the bathroom. From 2mths onwards after advice from sis in law (with 6 kids), we changed to washing Ben's butt directly under running water whenever Ben poop by hovering Ben's butt in the sink. We used to use the baby cotton pads and facial cottons to wipe his buttock clean. But no more of that already...

In short, why we didn't use it?
* Convenience - for poo-poo, I just take off his diapers, lug Ben to bathroom and wash his butt in the sink. For pee-pee, I just take off his diapers, wipe with baby wipes.
* Ben is growing taller, putting the changing mat and changing him on the table doesn't work anymore as his feet will jut out - more dangerous
* I had this weird paranoia on the hygiene of the mat (thanks to my visits to baby rooms whenever I go out - btw, do read up on my blog reviews on baby rooms!) a bit skeptical on the poop that might get stuck in the lining and layers of the mat

What we did to minimize the danger risk of not using this?
* Our bed mattress is soft and comfy, so no risk of Ben falling off the table where the changing mat is.
* I normally put a nappy cloth on the bed before placing Ben on the bed, but sometimes I just don't bother due to critical level of the diaper :P

Note: That doesn't mean mummy doesn't get her share of being sprayed by Ben's piss... so here goes the picture for you (and daddy) to enjoy!

And yes, Ben was on the bed, on a towel I laid before placing him on the bed. Goes to show no matter how you prepared yourself, whether you use changing mat or not, accidents do happen.

And in the case of a baby boy, please take note that their piss flies off upwards like in a rainbow curve ... :P

Baby Booties & Mittens

Take a long and hard look at this pic cos other than this, we didn't continue using booties & mittens for Ben.

Why we didn't use it?
* I don't know about you guys, but it' kinda hot here in Malaysia... why torture your baby somemore by wrapping them up? Already they are swaddled up like a nangka (or jackfruit), don't you feel pity looking at your baby all hot and heaty there?
* Fresh air = good circulation. Enough said.
* My Benjamin hates it. Actually he hates being hot (as in temperature hot, I know my baby boy is sexy cute hot :P). Everytime we try to put on the booties and mittens, it'll be off in few seconds. No matter how we swaddled him tight, his hands will find the way to escape out. He's like a mini Houdini or something... :P

Of course some of you may say if don't cover their hands and feet, they will chew their fingers etc etc. So again, would just like to highlight this is my experience not trying to generalise everyone else.

What we did to minimize the danger risk of not using this?
* I trimmed Ben's nails and toes every other day. Thank God for my weird fetish to have short and nicely trimmed nails, I proceeded to trim Ben the 1st day we brought him home :D

Cleaning his tongue

Just because I'm a SAHM and no longer works and less 1 income for the family, it's not that we're poor until no $ to buy things or whatever it is you guys used to clean baby's tongue, it's just that we've learned its not necessary to do it.

Antenatal class trainer said it, postnatal home visit consultant said it, baby websites said it even our paed said it.

Why we didn't do it?
* Ben is nursing every 2-3 hours. His tongue will always have milk residues on it. Unless the whitish spots are also in other parts of his mouth (symptoms of oral thrush), then there's absolutely no need to clean it!

Of course we did get the flak from MIL and even hubby's grandma that we had to clean Ben's tongue but we just turn a deaf ear and look today, Ben is a-OK!! :D

Pacifiers

Heck, I am not able to find any pictures of Ben with pacifier. MIL being old-fashioned like normal Chinese old folks keep saying we had to get one and use it on Ben when he cries and fusses, which we ignored until one day MIL went and bought one from Tesco (she rarely spend her money buying unnecessary stuff, so for her to buy the pacifier means its very important to her already!) Then she tried using it on Ben and Ben pushed it out with his tongue.

Why we didn't do it?
* Of course... he is so used to mummy's nipple... which baby in their right mind would want a silicone nipple when you can have the real thing?! Well, MIL did managed to use the pacifier on Ben for less than 10 times within the first 6 months but after that, no more. Ben's pacifier is mummy's nipples and his own fingers, hahahaha...
* Compared pacifier and own fingers... imagine if your baby get used to using and depending on pacifier (especially if going to sleep), then its like the sarung... everywhere you go, you have to bring the pacifier. Imagine not bringing the pacifier or worse... losing it? Not to mention, if your baby goes to sleep with the pacifier in his mouth, imagine the hazard of choking on it?
* Here are some other reasons of why we should not use pacifier as written in Baby Center article.

Shaving Ben's head bald when he turns 1 month old (normal Chinese custom to shave baby's head bald when full moon)

No, we are not kiam-siap (aka stingy) or vain pot that we don't want our baby to go bald. Just that we read enough and learned enough to know its not necessary to do that.

Why we didn't do it?
* Even our paed said we are doing the right thing cos ppl often have this belief that after they shaved their baby's head bald, their hair will grow more and thicker. Wrong! According to our paed, it seems that way but in actual fact, normally around 2-3 months old, that's when baby's hormone stabilises and their hair starts to grow, giving the impression that its because the parents shaved their baby's head bald.

Look at Benjamin... we had never even shaved his head bald. The most we did during full moon as customary Chinese thingy is to cut a few of his hairs like few milimeters long. That's all. And that is what MIL wanted too as well. I had a friend who shaved her baby's head bald only to have her baby growing back her hair in patches... worse than before shaving. Even now with her baby at 10 mths old, her hair is still in patches... and she's been regretting her actions... after looking at Ben's fluffy and silky smooth hair... hahahaha...

Again, like I mentioned in my previous blog post, you may not agree with me... I'm not in any way saying we are doing the right thing or what we are doing is perfect. I'm only sharing my experience on parenting with convenience and proper justifications and with logic of course!

Happy parenting! :D

Baby Items Don'ts... Which We Did Used Anyway...

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After blogging about "Baby Items to Depend On", I'm going to write about baby items DON'TS... which we end up using anyway :P So here goes...

Baby Spring Cot or hammocks (or what we in Malaysia called as "Sarung")

Why we use it?
* Babies love being rocked to sleep, plus the one we had (a hand-me-down from bro in law) had a motor to auto-rock the baby, saving us energy to rock our baby... hahahaha..
* Extra help to rock Ben to sleep while we do our own things. While I was serving my 1 month notice after tendering my resignation, hubby was the one who stayed at home to watch after Ben and he told me he had to use sarung, else he wouldn't be able to do his work.
* Peace of mind for a while when Ben is sleeping cos he ain't moving nowhere in that sarung...
* Baby's own weight pulls the fabric in around him, creating a snug cocoon- or womb-like environment (also mentioned in Baby Center article)

Why we were told NOT to use it? (as told by other parents and antenatal class trainer)
* Some babies love it so much that they had to sleep in it EVERYWHERE they go! So imagine having to lug a sarung everywhere! Worse, imagine if you place your child under a nanny, it means you have to get 2 sarung... one in your house, the other in nanny's house...
* According to Baby Center article again, "There is not enough support for the baby’s back and the baby’s shoulders are always hunched. Then there are the safety aspects: The risk of falling off is very real and sometimes the sarung can be rocked too vigorously."

What we did to minimize the danger risks?
* Ensure the distance between baby in sarung and the floor is appropriate, means when Ben is being rocked, we make sure its at least about 2 feet away from the floor.
* Place 2 sofa cushion underneath the sarong in case baby falls down, also, Chinese superstitions don't want the cold from the floor to go to baby.
* Place Ben on his back not the front.
* Only used the motor to rock Ben until he fell asleep, after which motor will be turned off so that he doesn't get addicted to being rocked in his sleep.

Note: We only use the sarung for maximum 3 months. Cos after 3 months, I had already quit my job and become full time mummy, so no need to rely on gadgets to rock my baby to sleep. Right now, our sarung is still in our room but has not been used since... Look at the pic of Ben in sarung, looks like a giant wrapped up tightly... hahahah...

Baby Walker...

Why we use it?
* To get Ben to start walking assisted and practise his leg muscles :P
* Freedom for Ben to wander and explore himself around the house instead of us holding him and carry him around.
* We had TWO hand-me-down walkers, one from bro in law which I used in our bedroom, the other from my brother bigger size a bit, which we put in living room.

Why we were told NOT to use it?
* Actually, come to think of it, no one told us NOT to use it. hahahahaha... just that I read in baby websites that they don't recommend parents using baby walkers.
* According to Baby Center article, "Putting a baby in a walker is like giving a teenager a Ferrari - a dangerous risk."

What we did to minimize the danger risks?
* Make sure anythings that are reacheable at the walker's level are removed - so that Ben did not get any chance to grab it.
* Make sure the walker are safely and tightly secured, not loose and wheels are working perfectly.
* Make sure if Ben is in the walker in our bedroom, the door is always closed so that he won't venture out and fall down the stairs.
* Must also give time for baby to exercise in other ways, such as crawling and tummy time so that he doesn't become too dependent on walkers and not be able to exercise.

Note: We started Ben with his walker when we brought him to his first baby-date (visit our close friend's whose daughter is 2 mths older than Ben) and we let him try the walker see whether he can maneuver or not. Since then, we found out Ben's back is strong enough and he seems to enjoy his new found freedom, so we decided to use the walkers passed to us.

We're still using the walker now (Ben is 8mths old already) and I'm now dreading the thoughts of Ben able to walk one of these day as that would mean I really have to watch Ben like an eagle 24 hours already... :P At least when Ben is in walker, I can still do my own things and check him every now and then. :P

You may not agree with me on using these baby items... but it works for us... and it has serves us well too! I'm not in any way promoting and saying it's a must have for your baby. Everything has pros and cons, just need to manage your risks well, correct? :P

Happy parenting! :D

Day 4... Finally!

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Yes! Day 4 is FINALLY over!

Daddy is on his way home now. But Ben has already gone to sleep half an hour ago. Can't wait for daddy to reach home! I wonder what did daddy get for Ben and mummy from Bangkok? Hmmmm.... :D

Thank you God for taking care of us and protect us day in, and day out. Thank you God for being there for us, for giving us the strength and patience and care. Thank you, God, Amen...

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