Monday, January 26, 2015

My Breastfeeding Diary: 13 Months (Finale)

I was going to update this series every month instead of every 2 months because it became apparent to me that every month that I'm still breastfeeding after 12 months is a month to be celebrated. I'll never know when my boy will decide to stop latching or when I decide to give up and stop pumping before I hit the 18-month mark as planned.

Little did I know that this post will be my last post in this series. Way, way before my heart was ready for it =(

It all started after a long holiday at the end of last year where I had only latched my boy and had not eaten any form of milk boosters. I went back to work this year and found out to my horror that my supply had dipped to only 80-120ml each session. Some days it was only 50ml per session (both sides)! I was horrified! I had to pump twice in order to fulfill one feed for my boy! This had never happened to me before! >_<

Plus Baby Boy got a bad case of the flu, which led to the 3-in-1 package: flu, cough and fever. He refused to latch no matter what so I had to feed him formula and whatever amount of milk that I had pumped out.

Brought Baby Boy to Tiong Bahru Bakery with me even though he was still sick so that both of us can get some fresh air and the mum-in-law can get a break

I thought, "you know what, he's sick that's why he doesn't want to latch. Maybe he will when he's better." And well 2 weeks later, he still refuses to latch!!!!!

Noooo!! This can't be happening to me! I mean I knew this day was coming, when I'd stop breastfeeding and likely not be able to breastfeed anymore because we have decided to stop at 2 (no more unless it was a miracle from God delivered by an angel!), but I DID NOT see this coming. At all.

Ever the optimist, I still harboured some hope that he would miraculously latch again and all would be awesome but deep down inside I knew, my journey of breastfeeding was about to end =(

I know what you're thinking. "Mad, this is great news! You should be happy. You have done your duty and got your boobs back. You can wear real-people dresses (and you love your dresses!) and not the same old nursing clothes that you have worn again and again for the last 13 months. You can finally carry that pretty Longchamp handbag that you had bought in London instead of that bulky backpack that you carry everyday to work. You can go out and not have to worry that you need to pump or need a place to store your milk. You are free!"

True that. But somehow I don't feel very happy. I was not ready to stop the bonding between my baby and I.

I cried real tears of heartbreak in the middle of the night because my baby didn't want to latch. I felt so rejected! And unprepared. I know you think I'm dramatic but if you're a breastfeeding mother, you can identify with me.

Which is a real irony because with my girl, I was soooo ready to stop at 12 months but had to continue till 18 months because my girl refused to stop. Now I'm not ready to stop but my boy is! *sigh*

So although I can continue expressing milk till 18 months if I wanted to, I have decided to stop breastfeeding because I see no point in continuing if my boy doesn't want to. Besides, you know how much I hate to pump.. I had envisioned myself bonding with my baby and not with the pump! =(

I'm still pumping at least once a day though because it takes time to stop completely. If I stop too quickly I'll get engorgement again, which is not something I particularly fancy.

This journey of breastfeeding was challenging; there were a lot of ups and downs but through it all, I realised that there were 2 ingredients for my success: determination and prayer! Thanks for following me on my journey! Hope you have learnt something along the way =)


<< Back to My Breastfeeding Diary: 12 Months

This post is part of my series on My Breastfeeding Journey with Baby #2.
Follow me as I battle the perils of milk production and heartbreak all over again.


My Breastfeeding Diary

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Thermos Food Containers

Sometimes it really doesn't pay to be a cheapskate.

When my girl started eating solids more than 4 years old, we needed a container to bring her porridge with us when we went out. The container needs to be light and able to retain the heat of the porridge. Although I liked the super cute Thermos Food Jars, I thought it was too expensive. Thinking that all food containers are created equal (and therefore I could save a buck), we decided to buy the much cheaper version at $10 only.

To our dismay, the cheap version could not retain the heat of the food for more than 2 hours (not surprisingly). Eventually we relented and bought the Thermos Food Jar, which lucky for us was on discount at Isetan (cost us only $29.90 instead of the usual $49.90).

We bought the very cute Spongebob Squarepants, which is now no longer in production
(On hindsight I should have gotten the pink Dora the Explorer but I didn't know if my girl liked Dora then)

What a difference a quality food jar makes! We brought it with us everywhere and it has kept the baby food warm for up to 8 hours. I truly regretted not buying one earlier!

Of course when we had Baby Boy, we knew we had to get the same for him. Coincidentally, Thermos Singapore kindly offered to send me one and I love it!

Thermos Hello Kitty Food Jar

I know, I know, it's Hello Kitty and it's pink (ironically my girl had used a blue food jar *sigh*) but it's so cute! Anyway, real men wear/use pink right?!? *laughs*

Curious.. What's this?
Close up of the details

The vacuum insulation and stainless steel interior and exterior of the food jar retains the heat of the food for a longer time. The jar is also leak-proof so you don't have to worry that your food will spill out (that happened to me before with lousy containers and it was really very inconvenient).

Rubber rim in the lid to prevent leaks and heat escaping
Wide mouth allows us to put food into the container and feed him easily

The tip to ensuring that the heat gets retained to the maximum number of hours is to put pipping hot porridge immediately into the container after it is cooked (don't worry, it can withstand the heat as it is quite hardy). Then you can be sure that the food is still hot even after 8-10 hours (tried and tested)!

Of course if you are only going to feed your baby 2 hours later then don't put the food in when it's piping hot because it will be too hot for your baby when he/she needs to eat it later. You'll end up blowing on the porridge while your hungry baby screams for food (true story).

He's looking angrily at the Thermos food jar because mummy would rather take pictures and not feed him when he's famished
(Baby Boy now knows that if he sees this cutesy pink food jar, he'll be getting food!)

Now this container goes everywhere with us! I don't think I will ever get tired of the cute pink! *laughs*

GIVEAWAY!

We are giving away 1 Thermos Foogo Food Jar to ONE lucky winner and 1 Thermos Foogo Straw Bottle to another ONE lucky winner (2 winners in total)!

Prizes sponsored by Thermos Singapore

Simply follow these steps to qualify:

(1) Leave a comment on this blog post on the ages of your children, which prize you would like to win and why
(2) Enter the above entry into the Rafflecopter widget below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The other entries are optional but you may enter them for more chances of winning! Good luck! =)

Terms and Conditions of this giveaway:
a) This giveaway ends on 30th January 2015 (Friday) and is only open to readers living in Singapore.
b) Participants must complete the entry above and enter them into Rafflecopter in order to qualify. Other entries entered into Rafflecopter must also be completed (I do check!). Incomplete entries will be disqualified without notice.
c) Limited to one prize per household.
d) The winner/s will be drawn randomly via Rafflecopter and must respond within 3 days after being contacted otherwise another winner will be drawn.
e) The winner/s will have to collect their prize at Thermos Singapore’s head office at 16 Arumugam Road. Prizes that are not collected in a month will be given to the next randomly drawn winner.


Disclosure: Complimentary food jar was received from Thermos Singapore for the purposes of this review and giveaway. No monetary compensation was received; all opinions are my own.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

35 Before 35

Have always wanted to come up with one of those "30 before 30" lists but since the first on my list can't even be realistically fulfilled before I'm 30 years old (*sigh*), I'll have little choice but to improvise!

Building on the goals that I had set 2 years ago, these are the 35 things I want to achieve before I'm 35!

My 35 before 35

Travel
1) Visit Disney World in Florida!
2) Visit any Disneyland!
3) Visit Japan (visited Hokkaido in Nov 2012)
4) Visit Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul (visited in April 2013)
5) Visit C3 church in Sydney (visited in May 2014)
6) Visit Christian Cultural Center in New York City
7) Visit USA at least once
8) Eat French croissants under the Eiffel tower
9) Visit Austria and the alps
10) Visit Norway/Finland/Sweden
11) Visit Holland and the iconic windmills
12) Skydiving in New Zealand
13) Visit Tokyo/Osaka
14) Visit Melbourne/Tasmania
15) Visit my daddy in Shanghai

Home
16) Give birth to Baby #2 (Baby Boy was born in Dec 2013)
17) Breastfeed my boy for at least 12 months (breastfed Baby Boy for 13.5 months)
18) Buy our own house
19) Renovate and decorate our house my way!
20) Successfully toilet-train my girl
21) Successfully toilet-train my boy
22) Enroll my girl in a primary school within walking distance from our house
23) Enroll my boy in a preschool within walking distance from our house

Professional
24) Attend an international conference (Attended the ICCAP in London)
25) Publish my first paper in a recognized journal
26) Attain membership in Singapore Psychological Society
27) Go back to lecturing in a tertiary institution
28) Apply for PhD

Self-Care
29) Lose 20kg of my post-partum weight
30) Reach my pre-pregnancy weight!
31) Learn oil painting
32) Paint 5 paintings for friends and family
33) Complete a scrapbook for Baby Boy
34) Complete a big painting for our new house
35) Learn something new that I've never done before

I still can't believe that as a hardcore Disney fan, I've visited Universal Studios three times but have never visited Disneyland even once! But oh I'm going to! This year is THE year! *cross fingers*

What is on your bucket list of must-do things?


Linking Up With:

Mum's the Word

And no.. I'm not 40. Not for another decade *laughs*

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Finding The One

Infographics have been taking the world by storm, with more and more people learning to convey complicated information to their audiences in simple, visual formats.

As part of my work as a researcher, I'm constantly challenged to come up with better and more efficient ways of presenting our research findings. Thought I will kill 2 birds with 1 stone and practice my skills on Piktochart by coming up with infographics for this blog! *grin*

Introducing my first ever infographic on a very important topic that I've had long conversations about with a number of friends, who always ask me how I knew the hubby was the one at just 23 years old (the age I said yes to the hubby's marriage proposal).

How do you know that the person that you're dating is The One you should be marrying?

Summary of a Sermon by Rick Warren
(Listen to the whole sermon here)

So should you have conversations with your girlfriend/boyfriend about whether to have kids or not? How the money is being kept/spent? Whose parents to live with?

The answer is a yes!

Sometimes these can be deal breakers for certain people so being truthful and upfront about it can save you a lot of heartbreaks in future. For instance, if one really wants kids and the other refuses, how can that marriage work? More often than not, it can't.

Think and choose carefully.. =)


P.S: Look out for more infographics coming your way! I enjoyed coming up with this so much, I'll be developing a whole new blog series using it! Watch this space =)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Evolution of Club 25

My BFFs and I go way back. One of our favourite things to do when most of us were still in school and full of energy is.. take photos!

2005
When I was still wearing spectacles
2006
When Vivocity just opened and the roof pool was the coolest thing ever
2007
With our carefree cell group
2008
When I was at my thinnest I think. Try as I might, I could never fit back into that blue dress in the bottom right.. *sob*
2009
Polaroid of us in one of our favourite hangouts, when I was already pregnant with Girlee
2010
One of our meetups with my baby girl
2011
Girls night out at Artease @ Esplanade and Wild Honey @ Mandarin Gallery
2012
Various meetups and celebrations
2013
 My first announcement of my pregnancy with Baby Boy to the girls (top right) and my very pregnant belly (left);
If you look carefully, you'll see that there were 2 preggies in the polaroids =)

It's heartening to know that nothing much has changed since then except that nowadays, our selfies include a tripod, a selfie stick and elaborate phones and high resolution cameras. And babies.

2014
With 2 of 3 kids at the Marina Bay area
On our way to Gardens by the Bay via the Helix Bridge and Marina Bay Sands
So lucky that Baby Boy has baby friends his age to grow up with!
This one is/will be his 青梅竹马 (qing mei zhu ma), a Chinese idiom for a boy and a girl growing up and playing together since childhood
Gardens by the Bay
We took this using my Olympus OMD and a tripod
Shots of the kids
So many expressions
Left: The youngest and only single of us;
Right: The 1st time expecting mom. I think she looks radiant!
Two in our hands, 1 in the stomach and counting
(Technically still got one more but she's in school)

These are the kind of girls you can count on when you need a good group photo in a compromised position..

Grass Selfie
(This photo looks good right but it was not easy getting all to lie down on the damp grass)
Sky Selfie
Our group photo
(So hard to get both kids looking at the camera!)
Discovered this back alley that is great for photos but we couldn't stay long as there were a lot of flies!

I think it's safe to say that my boy likes selfies (side effects of being a blogger's kid)!

Our usual selfie polaroid to end the day

Babies and adults alike were exhausted at the end of the day! But I love how the photos turned out! Looking forward to more photos to add to the memories as we go along =)

Oh, and why Club 25?

Because 3 out of 4 of us got married at 25 (and were pregnant with our first child at 26)! We're still hoping for the last one to do so in the next 2 years but she is adamant that she'll only get married at 30..

Oh well, you'll never know =P
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