Same same but different

Friday, June 27, 2014

Many people have told me that Big and Small K look alike.  Well I certainly agree that when their eyes are closed,  the resemblence is scarily high!  However,  when their eyes are opened,  haha the difference is significant.  Small K's eyes are,  well, smaller. Quite contrary to what I was looking at most of the time during my pregnancy : Big K. I guess he has to choose the recessive gene from the father.  Another difference is their skin. Small K is definitely fairer. I attribute this to the fact that I drank quite a bit of soya bean (which might explain why he's so phlegmy whilst Big K isn't) and I stalked famous blogger,  Xiaxue's son's ang mo son - Dash, on Instagram, during my pregnancy.


Inspiring Quotes

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

In the blink of an eye, it's already Day 35 of my confinement. I'm aiming to do 40 days though the cantankerous nanny had left. well, at least the food department i'm not slacking. This whole DIY confinement and looking after an infant and toddler thus resulting in an average of 3hours of sleep each day is no joke! I think i completely deleted the tough parts of bringing up an infant. No time to even pee let alone blog! But i need to vocalise! so much to say/ type. but for now, let the pictures speak for themselves. Many of which (apart from no.1 and 2) spells me!

A peek into the after work hours of a FTWM

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

"Singapore's the best place in Asia to be a mum," proclaimed a headline in The Straits Times recently.

They must be mad. Clearly I wasn't being surveyed. Ok in all honestly, if you compare us to neighbouring countries, perhaps we are doing better in terms of infant survival rates and care for the mommies. We have extensive services like getting our supplies online from diapers to clothings. Thank goodness for that!  However, we are woefully thwarted by the price it comes with. Which explains why I'm a FTWM (full time working mom otherwise known as Freaking Tired Working Mom)
Despite much introspection on plummeting fertility rates and the obvious need for more babies there is still the glaring need to match it to our standard of living. Take childcare help for can be anything from a few hundreds to close to $2k! And should HFMD strikes (which it did in Big K's school recently), every day of absentee, stabs my pocket bad! No refunds instead lots of logistic headaches.
I am quite thankful that my role as a FTWM is a pretty flexible one. My job allows me to spend time with my children in the day,  send Big K to school before heading to work and occasionally be back in time for bedtime stories though am usually home only at 930pm or 10pm. I'm also able to take urgent leave as and when i like without being accountable to a boss. As such,  the arrangement is much to the envy of many mummies. However if you think deeper,  it isn't that easy wearing the hats of a SAHM, FTWM, a maid,  a chef,  a chaperone,  an educator,  a mother,  a daughter,  a daughter-in-law and a wife. Prevalent social attitudes don't augur well for moms who aspire to do less at home and more at work. It's really crazy and a madhouse on and off work.  Here's a peak to a typical day prior to Baby K2's birth (coz I haven't quite figure out a plan when I have to deal with the two Ks!)
730am Big K asks for her milk
730-8am We laze around in bed and sometimes I get to sleep in for another half an hour should the Daddy decides to report to work late and deal with the morning routines
8am-830am Pooping (normally Big K as mummy often constipates), brushing of teeth and washing of face
830-915am Breakfast time.  Mainly for mummy coz Big K hates breakkie. Occasionally when I'm in the mood I'll create food art to entice her to eat. Meanwhile it is free play or tug-at-mummy's-leg time for Big K. Yup, mummy just can't have breakfast in peace. 
915-1015am simple chores like laundry and washing of dishes and preparation of lunch
1015-1115am home learning, cooking of lunch and preparing my work for the day.  You might ask why can't I do this the night before.  That's because my work station is in my room where Big K sleeps with me. We currently have only 2 rooms and now the other room is occupied by Baby K2.. all the more challenging
1115-12noon food battle aka feeding time
12-1230pm shower battle.  Big K hates getting her hair wet thus the coaxing takes a tremendous amount of time and effort. 
1230-1245pm Getting ready for school
1245pm-2pm Drive off to school,  find a shady spot in the vicinity to chill whilst Big K sleeps in the car and I start replying emails or catch up with some work.  That's the only way to get her to nap because if I had waited for her to nap naturally at home, it'd take eons n I run on a very tight schedule 
230pm school starts and mummy is off to work. My dad will pick her up and send her to my mil's place for dinner and typically the Daddy will pick her up. If Daddy is overseas (major headache), I'll have to speed back like an F1 driver to pick my lil one as anything after 9pm is her winding down period and if she gets overstimulated, I'll have hell making her sleep thereafter
930pm Average time i m home, sans dinner. Sometimes a little later,  sometimes a little earlier.  If I'm home earlier,  I'll read to Big K and get her to sleep  often I'll doze off with her only to wake up in shock much later
1030 - 2am Me time which include taking a shower, taking my dinner, chores, crafting, online shopping,  catching up with drama serial, following up with work (things are so flexible, often I've to work 24/7) and preparing Big K's homeschooling materials 
2 -730am źzzzzzzzzzzzz (this is so not happening with breastfeeding in the works right now!)
I believe all these are gonna change drastically once my confinement is over. Which is SOON!! In particular,  the nights are gonna get shorter unless Small K miraculously decides to sleep for longer periods and I don't have to pump milk every 2-3hrly to match his voracious appetite. 
Despite my daily rants (read: I'm such a complain monger nowadays it irks me! ), i eschew my career by choice (read: I don't have a choice do I? We are a typical family trying to survive the inflations!) and feel happy and fulfilled by being full time wives and mother. Am very thankful for all these challenges at times. Yes, sadistic as that might sound but it makes me a tougher person (read: haggard, exhausted and grumpy old hag) and I appreciate the arrangement thus far. No matter how tough it is, I'm glad I'm able to be there for my kids during their formative years.
Making homelearning materials takes up a lot of my time but seeing the results makes me feel it's all worth it. Plus I get an adrenaline rush by doing such stuff.  Perhaps an occupational hazzard. 

Conducting sprees occasionally.  Ya sometimes I think I'm too free

Online shopping.  Ordering diapers and  essentials online.  Whoever invented the Internet is a genius! 

Every morning,  Big K will demand that mummy does activities with her. At times when I didn't prepare the night before,  which happens very frequently for the last few months,  she'd be happy just to paint.  But I'm not too happy to clean up haha.

The mundane chores coz we don't have a helper. In all fairness, the hubs does his part. He's in charge of all the menial chores in the house if he's around. But typically he does it only once a week.

I make it a point to cook on Sundays and usually this is done with Big K tugging at my foot and the hubs out for his weekly soccer game.  I'm mighty pleased with myself coz at times I cook for more than the three of us. Sometimes I wish I were a man! They have it so easy! 

The house is mostly in a mess.  The OCD me however will try to press the reset button every night simply because Daddy can't lift a finger to even pick a toy strewned on the floor. He'd either kicks it aside or steps over it. Sounds familiar or is this unique to only my man? 

They say we should not reject help when they come knocking at your door. I get occasional 'help' from my cutie pie. How not to love her? 

If you ask me what's my secret to keeping sane and getting all the above done? People hail me as some supermom especially when they see the amount of effort I put into the kids' meals and the homelearning materials I constantly churn out even during confinement. However, when i look around me, sometimes I find myself not all so special coz this is a normal situation faced by many mummies alike. How i survive? I seriously have no idea! I have minimal help from Empress Dowager who works and no helper at home.  I used to be such a planner and go insane should things not follow a schedule. Doesn't help that the hubs takes the plane more than I take public transport. I'm terribly militant at times when it comes to my kids but over the years I've learnt to close one, if not both, eyes. The OCD in me still prevails as there are times I get utterly depressed looking at the mess I've to clear every day and night. Sometimes I just feel like throwing everything away and press the reset button. 

Ok, if you really want some TIPS, here's three for you. But beware! Not everyone can do it:
1) Sleep less do more. I know many mommies out there sleep very little as it is, but sometimes i cross the line. I could have slept more, but I'll engage in some bo liao (useless) in the eyes of some, activities eg blogging, crafting, online shopping etc (ask the hub, n he'll tell you more)
2) Close both eyes on chores or Train the husband. This is an extremely important tip. I incorporate both in my household. Since marriage, the hubs has been very enthusiastic about mopping the floor, vacuuming, washing the laundry and the toilet. You got to love him for this! However, due to his constant travelling stints, he has been pretty slack in this department. Time for me to have a refresher course with him! Very timely too with the arrival of Small K.
2) Shut up and just do it. Whining won't get you anywhere. But i do it anyway! haha Things will get better, or so said by many other experienced mommies. I'm sure it will, but for now, I'll just need to bite the bullet and go with the flow! Wish me luck!

This post is part of a blog train hosted by Christy from Kids ‘R’ Simple on “A Peek into the After Work Hours of a FTWM“. Read about how 21 FTWMs from Singapore Mom Bloggers handle their kids and household everyday from 1 June to 21 June. The aim is to give other working mums motivation, ideas and support to deal with the everyday demands of juggling work and family while keeping sane. We will be happy to hear your story, tips and even an encouraging word will make our day! Share your thoughts in the comments!

A Peek into the After Work Hours of a FTWM

Read about Klessis, the next ftwm on this blogging train and her experience tomorrow.
The J Babies is all about the life of two little girls - Joey & Jayne, and their little adventures in life. Mummy Kless shares about the places they visit, activities and programs they engage in and just about anything fun and interesting to do in Singapore!

Big K and her meltdowns

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I have new found respect for Motherhood. Especially towards mommies with no or very little help and have multiples at home! They say it gets easier, but i can't envision it. Not yet at least. Every morning i wake up (wait! Do i even sleep?) with new enlightenment that today will be a better day. That i'll gain more wisdom and patience in handling the two at home but when faced with a 2.5year old who goes "I want I want I want" or "no no no" whilst I'm latching or pumping for no. 2, oh boy, everything is thrown into another dimension.

Today was no difference. I was actually looking forward to a nice time doing a family shot which I'll talk about hopefully in another post. However, as usual things don't usually turn out the way you want. Small K was terribly difficult, kept wanting to be carried and wailed bloody murder the moment he is put down. I latched till my nipples got tired. What was suppose to be a 2/3 hour shoot dragged till 4hour! from 10am till 2pm! Halfway through, the hub came to me and said: stop torturing my son! Let's go! I was lost. I really did not want to subject the little one and everyone else to such torture, but they are only an infant once! Prior to that, we tried to involve Big K into the shoot and guess what? She'd rather run around checking out stuff and the moment we didn't give in to her demands, she's start to throw a sissy tantrum! To be honest, I cannot deal with the drama that comes with them and within 1.5hours I was exhausted beyond words. But i had to persist, otherwise, the hub will go " see i told you not to waste money on your stupid wants"...But babies are only babies once and I did not do this for Big K. Small K might possibly be our last kid so I really want to seal in the memories. PS: It was really worth it when you see the photos! Pity i don't have the budget to get the entire collection. :(

Fast forward, we arrived home at almost 3pm with lunch settled. Talk about efficiency. By then, my boobies were exploding and I pumped and let the nanny feed the baby. At this point in time, I was actually glad she's there to help. Took a long nap with Big K (thank goodness she cooperated) and was awoken by the nanny who came in announcing that dinner was ready. It was then that the drama started. Big K started whining and Small K needed to latch. I tried coaxing Big K but to no avail and decided it was easier to shove the younger one in and shut him up. That threw Big K into a bigger tirade. After a long feed, i tried to cajole Big K into having dinner, but all she wanted was her milk. These days, it's madness, she can be demanding for a feed thrice in an hour! I know that things will be thrown off track with the arrival of Small K but i didn't know it could be this bad. So naturally, i didn't give in to her milk request and she started throwing stuff and messing things up and of course, screaming her lungs out. I was knackered and cranky. In addition, the hubs has once again escaped the drama by going out with friends for dinner. How convenient. While I'm in house arrest (like always, confinement or no confinement), he goes out to have a social life. Geez.

Right after dinner, while giving Big K a shower, I got another request. Somehow, she thinks i'm her fairy godmother. She wanted cotton buds and lotion this time. I told her we shouldn't waste resources but *drum roll please* after a 5 minute tantrum plus it was again time to latch, she got her cotton bud and lotion. She was all good till she realised it was more fun to throw the bud into the bin. Which she did and requested for yet another bud. By then, my hands were full and clearly the answer was no. And Oh boy, that was so not the answer she was looking for and guess what happened next? You should know. It was then I sent the hub an sos text. I probably did so almost every other day when he's out with friends or golfing etc. The text went something like this: I'm gonna throw ur daughter out of the window soon. She's driving me insane! It didn't help that at that moment, Empress Dowager called. Silly me, thinking that she'll understand the predicament I was in, i told her I was very stress till I wanted to throw the kiddo out and she actually said "throw la throw la". What's up with this woman? I felt so guilty (towards Big K of coz) thereafter. I sat. I took a deep breath (with her screaming Mommy mommy i want i want i want). Then, I went up to her and told her that I didn't mean to scream and shout like a cantankerous mad woman and explained to her the consequences of her actions. She seemed to understand. She seemed like an angel there and then, nodding her head in agreement. That was enough for the moment. Everyday is a different day. I didn't add in the random messes made, the one hour meltdowns, the sick days (yup, Big K has been ill for the last few days, thus explaining why she's been extremely difficult) or the errands. I love kids and really appreciate Big K's sweetness. But i never factored in the roadblocks and challenges that comes along.

Have to rely on cute pictures to constantly remind myself to be calm and collected
How can such an angelic face turn into so monstrous at times?
Who can resist such a face and be angry the whole time? Sigh

Just how do you handle your little ones with others in tow and probably no help or little help at home? Do share!  

The confinement nanny from Elm Street

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Many people have asked me to rest more during this period of confinement but between latching and pumping like a cow every 2 to 3 hours and sometimes even more when Bb K2 decides to cluster feed and eating my meals (5 a day literally) and looking after Big K,  I really can't quite find time to rest and relax.  Why? Nope not because no.1 decides to throw some sissy tantrum. It's because of the confinement nanny who has been distressing me since day 1.
Day 1: she said she was impressed with my milk flow. I was reaping 60ml and darn proud about it.
Day 2 morning: she grumbled that my son didn't quite sleep last night coz of hunger. Kept crying coz of hunger n that I should consider (I'm using very polite terms) topping up with formula.  FORMULA is a taboo when u talk to a breastfeeding mother!  it means no latching which potentially reduces one's flow!  Plus she clearly was carrying out the nanny's SOP (standard operating procedure) trying her luck as the oldies think that formula will fill the baby's tummy and allow them to sleep better.  Helloooooooo.... There's no scientific proof!
Day 3: again.. First thing in the morning I was told that the son woke up every 1.5h for feed.  Utter rubbish coz I woke up every 1.5h to pump n didn't hear or see him b feeding! In anycase even it was true, so what? It's normal for babies to get their days and nights mixed up.  N again I was rudely ticked off and told that my supply was not good enough. Ironic isn't it considering what she told me on day 1? I told the husband in hope he'll be in the same camp as me but alas!  He thinks his son is special n truely feeds a lot! Granted that boys drink more but you know how ridiculous things got?  Within 2.5hrs the previous night,  the nanny bottle fed him with 120ml of expressed breast milk and shortly after when he cried,  she said it was due to hunger n that I should offer him my boobies. I did. Two of them!  Wow mammoth appetite for a one week old! So I consulted the pediatrician who said it's important to keep the child happy n if he is hungry just give on demand. I pushed further coz I wanted a professional to see my light, that the nanny is pushing K2 into a food coma.  Finally, he said babies his age take in abt 90ml on average so 120ml is indeed a little too much. (I didn't even mention about the two boobies). Subsequently I told the nanny and guess what that cantankerous old lady said?  "Nonsense!  What does the dr know"... oh wow this is new. . The dr doesn't know n yet he is a doctor. Nice one.
Day 4: I stained my pants and she complained loads stating that in her stint as a nanny for so many years in the only one who stained! Wow! This is new to me.  U mean everyone is wrapped up in diaper and accidents don't happen?  More ridiculous was she had the audacity to ask me to spray water on any future stains top wash it off before passing it to her.  Amazing! Doesn't one of her chores entails such shitty cleaning?  Plus I m not suppose to touch water during confinement no? I was initially feeling awkward and bad for letting her wash such "dirt laundry" but now I feel I should give her more!
Day 5: complained that the NUK teats I'm using aren't good,  that no one uses avent sterilizer thus I'm weird, that my johnson and johnson wet wipes aren't good.  Oh gosh.  Seriously don't know what's wrong with this old lady.
Day 6: kept bragging about how strong she is,  how stupid everyone else is
Day 7: incessant complaints about the mil buying enough fresh produce and not taking initiative to figure what's needed.  Come on! Everyone has different styles,  we aren't the worm in your stomach.  Then again, she was mighty pleased with my mum who bought heaps.  I guess that's the difference between being a daughter and daughter-in-law despite giving birth to the first grandson after 3x years. At one point in time,  Empress Dowager and the cantankerous nanny were plucking vegetables together in the dining area!  Hilarious sight!  I guess it takes one irritating woman to handle another irritating woman.
Day 8 to 11: continuous comments about others (mostly bad) and bragging about her accolades and overseas assignments.  All these mostly done when I'm having my meals or latching which is like almost every other hour!  N I thought I was a genius to turn on some music to relax as I feed my baby.  WRONG! Her voice is so so so loud!  No offence to anyone but she's your typical Cantonese aunty. Reminds me of all my gossipy aunts during Chinese New Year! Even though I was doing my work n not facing her,  she could talk.  N the latest was, she said my son is possessed as he wakes up in fright at night.  Geez!
I really don't know how I'm gonna tolerate her annoying acts and she's causing more stress than help. Granted , she's a good cook but I'd really trade for peace! Getting a replacement now isn't wise too as the next one may be worse.  N the thought of the hassle is tiring. 3 more weeks... just 3 more weeks!  我忍你!