Saturday 29 September 2012

Breastfeeding: Pumping and Feeding Schedule

It has been 3 weeks since I returned to work. So far, 10 week old Little Dragon is still taking breastmilk only.

This is currently our schedule. (When I am fifty, I can look back at this post and marvel at my effort OR I can simply use it for emotional blackmail on Lil Dragon)

11 pm:
Breastfeed before bedtime. I will wake her up even if she is slumbering. Better than going to bed, only to be awaken an hour later.

3 am:
Lil Dragon will kick and squirm until she wakes lazy mommy up. She greets me with her beautiful smile (yes, even at this ungodly hour). A quick diaper change followed by breastfeeding. She usually finish within 5 minutes on one breast and we fall asleep together. Most of the time, I fall asleep first :p 

Anytime from 7 am to 8 am:
Morning call. She usually does not go back to sleep after this time, preferring to have 'girl talks'. After  feeding, I pump before leaving for work.

From 9 am to 5 pm:
Mommy's at work, so Little Dragon takes 4-5 oz per feed every 3-4 hours with NUK bottles.
I pump at 11 o'clock and then again after lunch.
I use Medela Mini Electric pump at work. Each time I express, I get 4-5 ounces. Like most cheaper Medela pumps, it makes noise that puts the lawnmower to shame. Forget about using batteries if a power socket is not available. The weak suction will drive you mad.
* So if I am pumping while out and about or simply chilling out in front of the TV, I will use my manual First Years pump that I bought for RM 80 only from a warehouse sale. It is not as great as the Philips Avent Manual pump but it does the job well enough. For RM 80, I ain't complaining.

6 pm:
Power pump if I have no other obligations.

9 pm:
I breast feed if Lil Dragon's awake and fussy/refusing the bottle. If she's asleep, I will pump so that I can play 'school' with Tiger :)

The cycle repeats.

My 3rd pump:

At home, I am using my old Unimom Forte pump (made in Korea) that I bought since Tiger was 2 weeks old and it is still doing a fine job right now. Motors of breast pumps tend to wear down over time with heavy usage. (I exclusively pumped for Tiger)

For its hospital grade, double pumping efforts, it retails at RM 399 to RM 490 only (depending on sales). A Medela of the same function and power would cost 5 times more.

This time being a smarter, more experienced mama, I bought XL shields because my boobs 'grow' out of control during these times. I also changed the original membrane and valve with Medela ones which fitted perfectly. The Medela ones just seemed sturdier. Also, it saves me the hassle of going crazy looking for the original clear, transparent membranes during washing and steaming.

My only complaint would be its huge size (almost 2 kgs) which makes it inconvenient for working moms.

So, yeah...I have three pumps which brings the total to about RM800 for 2 babies. Not a bad investment considering all the benefits of breastmilk and money saved from buying formula.

Supplementation wise, I am neither a milk nor pill person. So, I take my daily 'dose' of Anmum Lacta (the only milk I can tolerate) to make up for any nutritional deficiency since I don't take the recommended 2700 calories per day. If I am not getting my fresh fish for the week, I will take my fish oil supplement.

Excerpt from
  • Mothers who get 2200 calories per day may need extra calcium, zinc, magnesium, thiamin (vitamin B1), vitamin B-6 & vitamin E.
  • Mothers who get 1800 calories per day may need extra calcium, zinc, magnesium, thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin E, folic acid, riboflavin (vitamin B2), phosphorus and iron.
  • Breastmilk levels of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, iron and folic acid are fine even if your diet is deficient. If supplements are needed, they are for your benefit — not baby’s.
  • Levels of B vitamins in breastmilk are related to the mother’s intake, but a deficiency in the mother serious enough to affect her breastfed baby is very rare in the United States. (Hamosh, 1991; Lawrence & Lawrence, 2000)
I am not a crazy ass YOU MUST BREASTFEED snob. I didn't breastfeed Tiger exclusively and he is still doing fine. I am just grateful that I have been given the opportunity to do it this time.

If you are having problems or simply need a listening ear, feel free to drop me a pm. I can recommend a lactation consultant if required.  Cheers!

Thursday 27 September 2012

Painting: Fun With Stencils

I have lost count of the times he asked for painting during my confinement period.
Now that we are back in business,
we gathered his bottles of paint, stencils and brushes for some messy art goodness.
Boy, was he excited!

Yes, you may stack the bottles while Mommy was reaching for the camera..

Mommy's not required to squeeze out the paint anymore.
He loves doing this by himself.
Must be the ever growing sense of independence.
One day, he is going to stop saying, "Mama, help"
Sob, sob...
Please excuse me, feeling a little nostalgic at the moment.

I love the concentration these activities demand.

What a fun way to learn about the animals too.
I was a little surprised that he could name them with just the outline.
He chose to paint with the animals, alphabet, shape stencils.
No prize for guessing his favourite piece of 'art'

Yes, you may paint on the floor too..

I give Tiger a lot of freedom and space when it comes his art materials.
All of his paint, crayons, markers, chalk & papers are within his reach.
He has never tried to scribble on the walls or strewn his material all over.

I respect his needs and in turn, he respects his belongings.

<<< >>>

A man paints with his brains and not with his hands.

Wednesday 26 September 2012

Life: My Favourite Moments

Glad to be back in 'School' a.k.a. Tiger's Room

Copy cat

Tiger's 'smile' for the camera

Wednesday 12 September 2012

Tot School: 27 months

My dear boy is 27 months :)

Gross Motor
Brave enough to go down tunnel slide, thanks to Papa!
Expert on the jungle gym
Kick ball

Fine motor
He can use the mouse!! Surprise surprise...actually, he can even click and drag. Kids nowadays!
Able to eat well with utensils. No more cave man style.
Stacks about 10-15 blocks or more
Copies dotted lines
Draws vertical straight lines
Draws circles
Writes certain alphabets like i,l, t, o, v,etc
Expert on writing alphabets on apps (but that's easy and doesn't really count)
     <<< >>>

He is so much more talkative nowadays.
My fav, "Mama, Tiger love you" & "Mama, Tiger arry(carry) mei mei"   I almost cried....
Most disliked phrase: "No Nice"
He loves to sing! Fav: ABC song, alphablocks, Rain, rain go away

   <<< >>>

Understands multiple instructions well
Can recite his alphabets (A-Z) and phonics well
Counts from 0 to 20.
Questions Who buy? Who spoil? ALL THE TIME
Understands behind, on, in, below
Understands concept of tomorrow
Able to match pictures
Name all nine planets
Excellent attention span
  <<< >>

Ask for milk whenever he sees mei mei feeding
Typical 2 year old tantrums and outbursts when disregarded.
Very loving in nature towards other children. Also a 'chicken' at times. He moves away from confrontational situations faster than you blink!
Better at handling situations with strangers

Care of self
Still refuse potty at all cost

Significant event for this month:
A really ugly haircut. Sheesh, all I requested for was for it to resemble "fei fu" hairstyle...headache.

After walking around in a daze for two months post partum,
I have finally recovered some of my enthusiasm for life in general.
We started Tot School activities sporadically again.

Little Dragon's initiation into Tot School.
She celebrated by pooping midway.

Day 1 of school:
We just played with some flashcards and read some books

Later in the week:

Mommy's latest shopping haul from Mothercare.
 Another floor puzzle is missing
Tiger chose the bottle of playdough equipment

Why all the fancy mancy equipment?
Well, it provides lots of fine motor exercise.
With all the squeezing, pressing, kneading, rolling...

How I missed schooling with Tiger.
He seemed to have matured so much in the past 2 months when we took a break.
When I ask him, " Can you do it?"
He answered with a confident "Yes!"

There was an apple mould in the set.
After we made one, Tiger said, "A is for apple"
Then he ask, "B is for ball where?"
So, I made a ball.
Then he asked for a cat.

We stopped at C is for cat because
my D is for dog would resemble a cat anyways...

He finally got to play with his colored rice bin after requesting for it for 2 months!
See the mess?
He also requested for his stickers

We ended the night with some reading:
Dr Seuss's ABC
Phonics book by Kohwai & Young

He was so happy to be in his room again that he didn't want his milk or go to bed..hehe!
There's more to come baby, I promise.

Little Dragon: Happy 2 Months Old!

Little Dragon is 2 months old today which also means that my boy is exactly 27 months :)

In terms of milestones:

My precious little girl is such a smiley one. I just call her name and she will warm my heart with the biggest, toothless grin, dimples and all.

She is going to be a talkative me...*grin*. We have mini conversations where she coos back to whatever I say. Occasionally, she squeals in delight.

Her head control is steady and she is still doing her mini push-ups.

She is still having fussy evenings but easily consolable with us lying together in a darkened room or clustered feeding.


She is breastfeeding/co-sleeping bed-hogging at night.

During the day, she takes breast milk via bottle.

So far, I am making enough milk without requiring any supplementation and that makes me a happy mama :)

During the day, she sleeps in a swing which is the only way she could rest with a cheeky and boisterous two year old brother around. We have tried pack-and-play, bouncer, you name it...nothing else works besides the old, trusty 'sarong'.

Now that we are co-sleeping at night, I have no idea how often she is feeding. I just offer her a boob and she is happy suckling, hugging or sleeping. Yay for boobies!!

Sometimes, she is awake at 3 am, asking for 'conversations'. I usually just play dead and pray she goes back to sleep, which usually work. Otherwise she is usually wide awake at 8-9 am, unless she decides to poop like today, morning poop-call was 6 am @.@

Here she is at 6 am, straining (with sound effects and all) while pooping like she is constipated.

Her first day in 'Tot School', ermm, also pooping AGAIN!!

Thursday 6 September 2012

Little Tiger a.k.a. The Abandoned Child

Poor, poor Tiger.... my abandoned boy.
With the new baby taking up all of my spare time and energy,
I simply had no time to plan Tot School.

He asked for school all the time but after 5 minutes of trying to do some work,
 the baby would start crying or whining.

During my confinement, he spent a lot of time on the Ipad.
Mostly playing with games like matching memory, etc.
Surprisingly, he wasn't keen on Disney channel ...hehe..

I did plan ahead by moving one of his shelves into my room
Here are some of the stuff we did:

Some line tracing, colouring, and mandalas

We tried to keep up with our right brain practise.
Ermm, not very consistently, I'm afraid.

These are his mommy-made photographic memory games

Physical activities:
He rolled the floor mat and monkeyed around

Stacking his Brainstorm blocks.
We did a lot of puzzles

My little multitasker:
Babysitting little sis and playing with his Ipad simultaneously ^.^

The boss...well, he kinda has been demoted by his lil sis..
He is more like the boss's assistant now.

From week 4 onwards, Tiger tagged along with hubby and I whenever we went out.
That includes going to Daddy's work place. Not a good idea!

I tried to spend some one-on-one time with him which usually meant walks,
ice cream or going to the bookstore.
Nothing that requires a lot of mental/physical work.

This post is my pledge to be a better mom to Tiger soon.
People kept saying that it will get easier..I shall have faith and be patient.

Wednesday 5 September 2012

Our Birth Story

Little Dragon is almost 2 months old. Jeez....where did all the time go?

I am back at work and hence I have some time to update my poor abandoned blog. I wanted to write about our birth story since day one but I just couldn't find the time.

After fussing and fretting about my breech baby and method of delivery, well, I was cut in the end.
Since I wasn't showing any signs of labour up till the due date, we decided for the C-section.  After consulting the Feng Shui Master (Hey, I am Chinese..hehe...actually, it was hubby who wanted to know the auspicious timing), it was decided that the wife (me) will be butchered at 9am.

On the appointed day, I woke up at 6.30 am to get ready for the big day. Scared as hell, of course. As I was having my shower, I felt contractions which subsequently became stronger on the way to the hospital. After admission, the CTG confirmed that I was having contractions. The nurse asked if I wanted to wait and see or proceed with the C-section. At that point, I was already keen to get it over with (knowing the 'auspicious' timing and all). Also, I had already made up my mind and mentally prepared myself for a caesar. All I had wanted at that point was a calm, prepared environment for the baby's arrival. So, C-section it was.

The operating theatre was COLD but the very warm staff made it easier with their kindness. Nobody mentioned what a fat butt I had, just kidding. The anaesthesiologist was very professional. Dr B, my obstetrician who did the surgery for free was superb. While I was lying on the table, I felt very calm and well, drowsy after the spinal was given. The whole time I was praying, "Please let my baby be normal. Please cry. Please have a good Apgar. Please look like me...."

Lo and behold, my little princess came out fine. In fact, she peed all over me for her grand entrance. At that moment, I knew I was falling in love, pee and all.

Then, came the best part, recovery. Let's just say the first 2 days post C-section was f**king crazy painful and unbearable. I wouldn't wish it upon anyone to go through the same experience. Whoever recommended side nursing clearly lost their marbles. I was in so much discomfort that despite the IM pethidine, I could not breastfeed properly. Bonding? Forget about it...So, I breastfed sporadically and let the nurses feed Lil Dragon in the nursery while I rested.

I was thinking that this was another breastfeeding down the drain since she was bottle fed, even at home but hey...guess what? She breastfeeds like a charm after 2 weeks of bottle feeding. By then I was pumping regularly to build up a proper supply and supplementing with formula as needed. After 2 weeks, we were fully breastfeeding and now that I am back at work, I am able to provide enough for her. At night, we co-sleep and she breastfeeds happily. She's a booby kid, this one :)

I digress.

We were discharged by Day 3 and I was terribly excited to go home. Thank God I have a mother who had the common sense to realise that I would not survive without additional help. She managed to find a last minute confinement lady who helped out for 10 days. Boy, was she ever a help. I would have plummeted into depression if it was not for her. Her cooking was so nice I probably gained a few pounds. Also, she makes the yummiest bath water...herbs boiled with ginger and lemongrass...felt like I was in the spa.

So, thanks Mom! You really know best...

We are almost 8 weeks now and looking back, I would not have done anything differently.
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