Reflections on 2013 and Moving On to 2014...

~ Posted on Wednesday, January 01, 2014 at 7:24 AM ~

Reflections on 2013:

2013 was a year of good memories and wonderful milestones!

  • I colored my hair for the first time in my life! And ended up not seeing any difference since my hair was originally so black that the hair dye color was not showing at all!

  • I learned to make a couple of Chinese soups for the family using slow cooker! ABC soup, Lotus Root soup and Szechuan Vegetable Soup.

  • Being pregnant for the 3rd time and giving birth to our 3rd child and hence completing our number of family members as 5 (for now hahaha)

  • Our 1st child is officially potty trained before he turned 4 years old!

  • I get to review more products which benefited our family.

  • I joined an awesome SAHM group on FB, attended my first playgroup with the mummies and kiddos, made a number of mummy friends on FB, was even promoted to be one of the admins in the group, but sadly after lots of consideration, decided to leave the admin post and the group after that to focus on my family and after realising that I am getting too addicted to the group (that is another story to tell in future perhaps)

  • We joined a playgroup where I bring our 2 kiddos to their kiddy playgroup sessions every Tuesday and Friday which I think greatly helps in their social skills, especially after seeing how our 4.5 years old boy slowly shed off his shyness and tantrums in public.

  • I encapsulated my own placenta and CONSUME it.

  • Hubby and I attended a marriage seminar in Melaka and it helped strengthened our relationship and brought us much closer (we brought our kiddos along btw)

  • We managed to register our 1st child into his pre-school for 2014! He's going to start his K3 classes on the 6th Jan 2014.

 

Moving on to 2014:

I am not big on making new year resolutions - probably because I don't think I am able to fulfill them hahaha... but, oh well... 2014, today is a new day, a new year, I should resolve to be a new person, well at least with new changes and hopefully new positive attitudes.

  • I hope that with Benjamin starting his K3 classes this year, I will still be able to bring our girls to the kiddy playgroup sessions.

  • I hope that Alyson will be independent.

  • I hope that Carolyn will be an easy to care for child just like her brother and sister.
  • I hope that I will have the opportunity to learn to cook more for the family.

  • I hope that our family will remain united and strong.

 

Here's wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful 2014 and thank you for your support!

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Critical Phase For Successful Breastfeeding Journey : 1st Week...

~ Posted on Monday, December 30, 2013 at 7:17 AM ~

I started my breastfeeding journey since March 2009, when our 1st child was born and I never stopped breastfeeding since then. I breastfed our 1st child past 1, 2, 3 years old, throughout my 2nd pregnancy, then went on to tandem nursed our first 2 kiddos for 1.5 years until our 1st child self-weaned at 45 months old. As for 2nd child, she is still nursing right now at 2 years old, I nursed through my 3rd pregnancy and currently tandem nursing our 2nd and 3rd child since 1st October 2013.

With all these experiences gained in my breastfeeding journey, I decided to pen down the critical phases which I think contributed to a successful breastfeeding journey.

 

For my 3rd post today, I will start off with: the 1st week after giving birth to your baby. By now, most likely you would have been discharged from the hospital and already in the midst to establish your breastfeeding routine with your newborn.

I believe the first week is critical because this is when something foreign happens to your baby and will likely to throw you off-guard and being a new parent, of course your first reaction is to do whatever it takes to heal your baby.

By something foreign, I am talking about jaundice. According to Wikipedia, "Neonatal jaundice is usually harmless: this condition is often seen in infants around the second day after birth, lasting until day 8 in normal births, or to around day 14 in premature births.You can read this article to understand more on Breastfeeding and Jaundice.

For our 3 kiddos, their jaundice started on day 5. You can read about our experience with jaundice in all 3 of our kiddos, but in summary:

  • First child's jaundice lasted for about 2 days as we admitted him to the neonatal ICU under bili lights treatments.

  • Second child's jaundice lasted for 2 months, no hospital admission though we caved in to antibiotics on week 6, something which I still regret as we couldn't get hold of our paed to consult his opinion.

  • Third child's jaundice lasted for almost 2 months, no hospital admission, no antibiotics, nothing. We just let the jaundice run its course and clear by itself. Exclusively breastfed baby can have prolonged jaundice up to 3 months.

By letting the jaundice run its course and clear by itself, I actually meant just continue exclusively breastfeed on demand. The more you can nurse your baby, the better. The more pee and poop that your baby can make, the better as bilirubin is flushed out through their pee and poop.

Look at the picture below, this is our 3rd child, Carolyn on day 6. You can see her yellow face and if you look closely to the whites of her eyes, there is obvious tinge of yellow as well in her eyes.

Now why I said 1st week is critical? You see, as a new parent, you get worried when you see your newborn baby turning yellow. And when you get worried, you quickly seek advice from others. From others most likely mean, your paed or doctor.

  • If you are lucky, you will get a doctor who will look out for any unusual jaundice symptoms (blood incompatibility, liver problems, etc).

  • If you are not lucky, the doctor will advice you to stop breastfeeding for 3 days and to solely give your baby formula milk.

I came across this post by Dr. Jack Newman on Facebook about the scoop on jaundice. Excerpt from the article: "So doctors often tell the mother to stop breastfeeding and put the baby on formula for 2 days (some for even a week, which is the same essentially, for many mothers, stopping altogether). Naturally, the bilirubin comes down, proving that breastmilk is the problem. Except that there was no problem in the first place. Bilirubin is known to be an anti-oxidant and may actually protect babies' cells from damage. If the baby has liver disease, except for some very rare causes such as galactosemia, there is no reason to stop breastfeeding either."

I've had friends being told by their paed to stop breastfeeding for 10 days and substitute with formula milk when their baby has jaundice. I was disappointed hearing that despite advising them to continue breastfeeding no matter what.

So, yes, the 1st week after giving birth is a critical phase in ensuring a smooth path to your successful breastfeeding journey. To sum this post up:

Critical Phase For Successful Breastfeeding Journey : the 1st week after giving birth to your baby.

  • Check whether baby is nursing well, peeing and pooping normally, active and alert as usual.

  • If your child is active, alert, peeing, pooping, feeding, gaining weight like normal, just continue on breastfeeding and don't cave in to substitutes, don't stop breastfeeding and don't give antibiotics.

  • If your baby does not exhibit the above signs and you are worry still, by all means, bring baby to doctor to check!

  • Among the things to watch out for and when to see doctor: poop is black in color (means internal bleeding), bloated tummy (means inflamed liver)

  • If your baby has to be admitted to the hospital for jaundice treatment, try to see whether you can stay with baby. If possible, room-in with baby so you can still nurse baby. If no, immediately start expressing (by hand preferably) and storing your breastmilk so that you can bring to hospital to feed baby.

  • If there is no need for your child to remain at the hospital, just continue exclusively breastfeed on demand. The more you can nurse your baby, the better. The more pee and poop that your baby can make, the better as bilirubin is flushed out through their pee and poop.

 

Have faith in your breastmilk and your baby. Just keep on nursing and don't cave in to other factors which might jeopardise your breastfeeding journey.

That's all for my 3rd post in the critical phase for a successful breastfeeding journey!

** Note: I have disabled the commenting feature on my blog engine thanks to all the spammers who happily spam my blog every day. If you wish to ask me any questions, you can find me at my Facebook page (I'm there almost everyday) or just drop me an email if you wish to maintain some anonymity.

Book Review - LEGO Space: Building the Future

~ Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013 at 6:54 AM ~

A couple of months ago, I reviewed a LEGO PDF book called "Beautiful LEGO". Of course, as a mother of a 4.5 years old boy who is a big fan of Lego stuff, I just can't say no when I see another LEGO book available for review!

Title: LEGO Space: Building the Future
Author: Peter Reid, Tim Goddard

Publisher: No Starch Press
ISBN-13/-10:  978-1-59327-521-1 / 1-59327-521-8
Paperback:  216 pages

Description from the product page:
"Come explore an incredible LEGO® universe in LEGO Space: Building the Future. Spaceships, orbital outposts, and new worlds come to life in this unique vision of the future, built completely from LEGO bricks. A selection of step-by-step building instructions will have you constructing your own cosmic creations to play with at home. Marvel at interstellar battlecruisers, space pirates, charming robots, and other stunning builds from an amazing future!"

I'm a full-time mummy

I had initially thought this book was an illustrations of the history of space travel and the marvels of space vehicles and gadgets - redo using Lego bricks. As we flipped further through the book, we realised it is a story of space in future. I am in awe of the number of pages of step by step illustrations on how to build the spaceships, robots, etc shown in the book.

I would however prefer if the book is organised by the story first and the step by step illustrations to build to be located after the story part. That would make it a pleasant experience to read the story fully and then for those who are interested to build the spaceships etc can flip through to the end of the book for guidance.

In summary, it  is a fun Lego book on space adventures and vehicles and all sorts relating to space that is different from the usual Lego books we have! I hope this book is able to inspire our kiddos in creating more awesome space related designs using Lego bricks.

Just in case you want to have a look at some of the creations by our 4.5 years old boy, feel free to hop over and check them out in my FB album.

I'm a full-time mummy

You can get this book here.

I'm a full-time mummy

I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with a PDF copy of the book in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine. And if you'd like to read my previous book reviews, you can do so by reading this post of mine called "My Book Reviews"