A day in the life of…

After two days of going out with sis, decided to stay home this day to re-establish the routine.

– 5 am –
First feed of the day. Woke up with stiff neck. Arghh… Faith has actually awoken at around 4am and made suckling sound. Decided to wait it out rather than going into her room to soothe her to sleep. The hubs was up also and when asked why he didn’t want to go back to sleep, “I’m reading the population white paper. You know, the population is projected blah blah blah…” 

The hubs set off for work at 5.30am and I had breakfast, cleared some work emails and then did laundry.

– 7am –
Faith woke up. Feed again. Bathing time ensued and after that Activity A commenced.

– 8.30am –
Faith took a nap. I took the chance to bake Matcha Chocolate Coffee cake. Nope, there isn’t coffee in it (silly me). It turned out less than satisfactory in terms of the appearance. The cake turned out dense, all thanks to Yours Truly. Otherwise, the cake is flavourful and I actually quite like it. Hey, I used quality matcha and dark chocolate, ya know? Recipe and explanation of mistake after the jump.

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– 10.30am –
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The cake was baked and dishwashing done. Faith woke up (just in time!) for feed and Activity B. More difficult to get her to nap this time (needed to carry and soothe her) but nonetheless, still ok. Faith and I had ‘face-time’ and she looked intently into my eyes and the movement of my mouth when I sounded out ‘Mama’. She cooed and laughed at my expression which was really sweet. Put her on the rocker (thanks to sis) and it could sustain her for about 15 minutes before she sounded her displeasure. Meanwhile, I was running in and out to prepare my lunch.

– 12.30pm –
Faith finally napped and I could have my lunch in peace. Lunch was pork dumpling soup with Gai Lan. Washed the dishes again and then sat down to catch up on news. I don’t normally do that but the hubs’ interest in the population white paper made me want to find out more. Erm, I don’t find it too interesting and went on to read up on some baking stuff. Hahah. Gongcha – the hubs went to buy one for me after work yesterday. *sweet*

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– 2.17pm –
Faith woke up. Fed again and had a short-lived tummy time which she loathed. Thereafter, it’s a cycle of sleep, wake, carry, soothe.

– 3pm –
Finally fell asleep amidst the noise made by the grass cutters.
Prepared dinner.

– 6pm –
The hubs’ back. Had dinner.

– 6.35pm –
Faith woke up. Fed her and spent some time with her.

– 8pm –
Faith slept.

– 9am –
Zzzzzzzzzz…

Matcha Chocolate Coffee Cake
Makes one loaf pan

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Back

Tried running with the hubs today and oh, how difficult it was!

The legs felt heavy and the abdomen, a bit strange. It’s…just different.

But what’s good is that I got to run with the hubs, and the route so familiar; it’s what we did pre-pregnancy times. What’s even better is that FIL looked after Faith while we were jogging.

Nice!

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FIL bought so much food for us. And I could see a change in the dishes he bought. Soupy stuff! =)
Felt so ❤ by the family.

Thankful Tuesday

After a whole morning of raining, the afternoon was just right for an outing at ECP. Yay! My favourite playground!

Love the slow walk from McDonalds to bicycle kiosk near the food centre.
Love Dallen’s laughter from playing with the bubbles. It’s a reminder that we shouldn’t rob our children of their childhood by being overly anxious about preparing them for formal education. Children learn through play and if learning is fun, they will naturally want to learn.

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Love a photo with Faith.

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Love to watch Faith’s smiley facial expression, assuring me that she is secure and happy.

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Love it when I could spend some time baking – Vanilla cupcakes with raspberry jam topped with chocolate frosting.

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Getting back…

… in shape, that is.

It has been 8 weeks since Faith’s birth and generally it is quite ok for a mother (natural birth) to exercise. I have been feeling rather unfit and obviously unhappy with the extra fats sitting at the waistline. The back aches as well and I thought a Yoga or a Pilates session would help. Between a centre who offers Yoga/Pilates for mums and gym, I went to sign up for a membership at the gym in the end.

Went down to Tampines 1 and had a tour of the facilities. The concept very mucht1image002 resembles any other gym that I had been with but this has a lap pool and a room for children (if you have a helper or anyone who can take care of kids below 4 YO; children above 4 YO are taken care by the staff). The lap pool did it for me and the fact that very few use this facility is super enticing.

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Thankfully, there is the corporate package that I can sign up for and I went for a 6-months membership, knowing full well that once I start work, it would be super difficult to work out in gym, especially since we have a little one now (need to spend more time with her).

I’m heartened to know that Faith has been behaving well in my parents’ place. She even drank the milk from the bottle when Dad fed her which is a great assurance to me that she would be well-taken care of when I go back to work. *Thankful*

It’s time to dig out all my sports attire and dust off those trainers, assuming that I can still wear them. Darn! The body shape has changed, even the size of the feet!

Things to note:
The body produced a special hormone when you were pregnant. This relaxed your ligaments and joints more than usual to allow your baby to grow and increased the pelvic area ready for delivery. You probably still have some of the hormone in your system, so you’ll be more prone to injury if you’re too energetic too soon.  

• Start with some gentle walking, building up a bit of speed after a few sessions.

• Pelvic floor exercises can be done pretty much anywhere.

• Once your doctor says it’s OK, try some aerobic exercise; a local exercise class, dancing in your front room, a brisk walk or swimming.

• Some moms even use their baby as part of their exercise routine! If you’re walking, take the buggy.

The key is little and often. Aim to work 10 minutes of exercise into your routine here and there to begin with, working up to 30 minutes three times a week. But always remember to listen to your body!

Source: dumex.com.sg

Faith :: 2 months old

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Dear Faith
You are 2 months old and how you have grown!

Do you know that each time when you look straight into our faces and gives a hearty intentional smile, our hearts melt? We know this emotionally connected smile probably comes from the limbic system which only fully mature at about 4 to 10 weeks. It’s truly a joy to see you responding to us in this manner.

Every morning, you awake and stretch those developing muscles. You adore your mobile and enjoy looking at the animals that rotates above you. Your eyes will follow them as they move and at times, you even coo.

IMG_2110These days, Mommy cannot carry you much as I have developed tendonitis at the wrists. Daddy helps out and he even tried to bathe you the other day. You were very cooperative and this must have given him much confidence! You are such a sweetie!

And of course, we realised that you have a mind of your own and you have decided that you prefer breasts to bottles. However, do you know that this will cost a lot of inconveniences for a lot of people, especially Mommy? Much as I want to be with you, you know I cannot do so all the time. You have to learn to be independent and know that you can be safe in the arms of those around you, who love you just IMG_2113as much.

Lastly, Mommy wants to say a big ‘Thank-you’ for helping me to breastfeed you in public. You have been super nice and drink your milk without much fuss. This makes a very relaxed Mommy indeed.

There are many things that Mommy and Daddy want to teach you and we would have to learn alongside you since we do not know much about raising a child in the first place. It’s ok. We will learn together.

Some info about settling a child.
Info on Timeline of Baby and Toddler Sleep

= )

Success! Brought Faith out for my checkup and pap smear at Dr Poon’s and she was so ‘kwai’. Dr Poon commented that she was very alert, studying the surrounding and didn’t cry out loud unlike other babies. Well done, Faith! But how come you will make a fuss at home? Hur? Hur?

More confident now and brought her to NEX for lunch. She just slept in the carrier. Sweet!

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Life in pics

These days, there’s not much opportunity to blog. Life is just so different. But the snapping goes on and each pic tells a story.

IMG_2054I’m always looking forward to the hubs’ returning home from work, especially when both my wrists are in pain and the task of carrying her could well be managed by him. They need bonding too. Now, the problem is, Faith suddenly doesn’t like to feed from the bottle anymore which poses a great problem – I can’t be apart from her??? Nooooo…Anyway, the hubs will be training her in that area.

IMG_2069Faith sleeps longer in the day when sleeping face down. Peace.

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After Faith came, both the hubs and I realised that our communication lessened which is not a good thing. When the hubs comes home, he takes over while I prepare dinner and each of us has to take turns to eat. By the time we clean and put her to bed, it’s already bedtime for us.

There is thus the need to make the effort to communicate and to strengthen our relationship. A pair of happy and loving parents will make a secure child, I believe. The other day, I was telling the hubs that I don’t feel as loved by him as before and there’s no small gestures to show that he thinks about his wife anymore (my opinion). So, the next day, I baked coffee buns for him since he really likes them and he bought gong cha and old wives’ biscuits for me. Nice. =)

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I’m thankful that my sis is back for a month or so. I get to go out with her every Tuesday. It’s difficult to go out with friends now since they are working in the day time. As a SAHM, I quite detest staying home all the time. Hahah…so, I jump at every opportunity to go out. My BIL is not around and sis has to handle two kids by herself which is really not easy, especially if you have a very active child. And she is doing an excellent job!

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Dallen, pointing at the horse which he wants to ride and of course, a saddened facial expression because he misses his dad.

IMG_2073A happy mom and one who needs to get back in shape. Hahahah…

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I’ve always loved big, roomy bags and all the more as a mother now. There are so many things to bring and only 20% of them are my stuff. On a normal day out without the hubs, these will be the things in my bag. I’m loving this bag – it’s big and light. If there are compartments to it, it will be perfect!

The 10s wail

Faith went for her 2-month’s 6-in-1 injection yesterday. All was fine until the needle went through.

Then the WAIL. For 10 seconds. And all was calm again.

We are hoping that she will not have any fever. Till now, she has been fine. Let’s hope she will continue to be strong!

Wt: 5kg
Height: 54.5cm

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@ 7 weeks old

Dear Faith
I hope you have enjoyed your last two days with my folks. Going shopping with them is actually a practical session for me. For weeks, I have been afraid to bring you out on my own lest I become panicky when you cry or ask for milk. So, I am thankful that your auntie, cousins and grandpa & grandma took turns to go out with us and helped us along the way.

I’m immensely proud of you that you do not give me too much trouble when we go out. You must have known that I would be super anxious and thus decided to cooperate with me? I have learnt to breastfeed you in public but I’m sorry that I do not know how to use the stroller with ease, especially when we have to go up and down the escalator. Remember, once I nearly dropped the stroller when we were descending? Thankfully, Papa was holding you in his arms. Phew! And yesterday, your auntie had to help me with the stroller again. I think I really CMI, so I would continue to use the carrier which I suspect you adore.

You have also learnt to go to sleep on your own at night without us having to pat you to sleep. You can almost zzzz throughout the entire night and your record is from 9pm to 4.30am. That is really amazing! But since Mama has to get up to express milk in the middle of the night, I really don’t mind if you wake up, you know?

I’m kind of enjoying you now and I always look forward to Papa’s returning home from his work so that I can have a decent adult conversation. Not that I don’t like to talk to you but..but…it’s just a tad different in nature. =p

We will have to go for your injection in a few days’ time. I hope you will be fine.

Dallen's portrait of me.

Dallen’s portrait of me.

Dallen and mom

Dallen and mom

Faith and mom. At last, a photo together!

Faith and mom. At last, a photo together!

muffins, cupcakes, cookies

For a start, Project ‘While you were sleeping’ kicked off with chocolate muffins, milo and vanilla cupcakes and white chocolate & Pecan cookies.

Source: The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook

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Expect more cupcakes.

A confined life…continued

My days as a SAHM pass uneventfully. Faith is on a routine of some sorts and it makes my life a tad easier since I’m able to predict when she will wake up for her next feed. She doesn’t cry much and certainly doesn’t scream for attention which I see as a blessing. All she needs are my boobs and I’ve got the satisfied look in return.

In between the feeds are the household chores that I need to do. Most of the time, it gives me great satisfaction that I’m able to complete them but at the same time (at times) I feel resentful that I have little help, especially from the hubs. If only he knows how much work tending to the kid and doing household chores  is. Of course, my thoughts are only my hormones acting up. On the contrary, the hubs will always lend his assistance when I ask him to.

Just yesterday, I was entertaining some ill thoughts and I cried as I carried Faith in my arms. And I realised that I need to break out from that. It’s time to think more about myself rather than always being busy doing household chores and looking after Faith. I know too that I have set a high expectations for myself as a wife and a mother but if it is stressing me out and making me miserable which will have direct impact on my relationship with both Ken and Faith, then I need to reassess.

Goals I have none for this year but these are what I set out to do for the next six months.

1) Refuel my passion for baking. It’s really something that makes me happy. No matter how tired I am, when I bake, the exhaustion seems to vanish and is replaced by joy and energy. I have quite a number of baking books that I have purchased in the past and I should really bake those goodies. I hope to bake as much as I can and since it sounds like a fun project, I should name it Project ‘While you were sleeping’ cos I could only bake when Faith is asleep. Let’s just see how many I can manage! =)

2) Travel. Ok, 2012 is not a travel year for me. I missed out on two opportunities to fly both for work and studies due to the pregnancy. So I want to travel again in 2013. Ok, hubs, please take special note. We have quite a few to choose from and Faith can certainly travel: Sapa (for her beautiful surrounding and landscape), Batam (for v. reasonable spa and food!), Hong Kong (for food and remember the “Victoria Peak’ incident?), Taiwan ( loving the food, stores, attractions and people!), Bali (for relaxation)….

3) Exercise! I’m very tempted to start running now and perhaps will sign up for a 10K run later this year. Maybe the Great Eastern run for ladies? =) Yoga and pilates – still waiting for them to call me. Swimming – I need those tan.

4) Hike Hike Hike! I want to go on hikes with Faith and the hubs. Want to expose Faith to nature as much as possible.

5) Read up! Maybe I should aim for a minimum of 10 books?

6) How shall I serve God better this year? By spending quality time with Him and serving the hubs, Faith and the CG!

7) Would also love to spend more time with the older folks, both my family and in-laws. And not forgetting good old friends!

Whoah! So, there are actually a lot of things to do! Exciting!

The first day of school

My facebook feed was swarmed with friends posting photos of their child going to school – nursery, kindergartens, primary schools. It must have been a very nerve-racking experience for both parents and child. After all, it is a whole new experience and like many have expressed, “My child has grown up!”

So while the rest of the world were getting excited about school, I was getting ready to train Faith into settling into a routine. Not that we did not have one previously. Just that I wanted her to learn to get into sleep herself without having to have us cradle or pat her to sleep.

And I suspect babies do understand when we tell them certain things. I was telling Faith that she needed to fall asleep by herself and when I did that, for the rest of the day, she practically achieved that! I was amazed!

Definitely, the book – The contented little baby book- that I was reading helped in setting the routine. Though I couldn’t follow the timing to the letter, I was already contented that Faith could rely less on us to sleep, leaving me with pockets of time to do the household chores in peace.

So, with that, my achievements for the rest of the day were:
– Cleaning Faith without much crying (she, not me)
– Washing and drying her laundry
– Mopping the floor
– Ironing the hubs’ clothes
– Reading to Faith (without much success; she isn’t that interested)
– Tummy time for Faith and with her landing on the face (bad mommy!)
– Cleaning and sterilising bottles
– Wash dishes
– Bake!

So, with a window period of 1 hour after her morning feed, I was thinking it would be a waste of time if I just relax and drink my milo. So, the hands started to itch again and decided to bake! Anyway, I need to have something to munch during breaks (do mothers always eat when they are at home? I do!)

Decided to do something simple since I know she would wake up not long after. It’s chocolate muffins from the hummingbird bakery cookbook. The result is a moist and decadent eat! I like! Please use good quality chocolate if you intend to bake this.

And I am pleased that Faith was able to sleep throughout the night (from 10.30pm to 4.30pm) which was a far cry from her previous routine in which she would wake up at around 1 am to be fed. Please stay this way! Hurray!

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Goodbye 2012. Hello 2013.

What? 2012 is over and 2013 is here to stay?

Usually, I would do a recap on New Year’s eve but this time round, I couldn’t. I was busy tending to the kid.

But to summarise, 2012 had been a year of many beginnings. We each had a new portfolio in our jobs, moved into our apartment (the heaviest investment thus far), bought a car and the best of all, welcomed a new addition to our family.

It had been a good year, in my opinion.

Come 2013, what can we look forward to?

More sleepless nights, pain in our bodies, laughter from baby Faith and growth from every one of us.

It won’t be a bed of roses, that’s for sure but we will embrace it.

Thank you God for life and life abundant.