Thursday, May 08, 2014

Mothers, here's to all of us.



Here's to 9 months of nausea, back pain and headache, to mention the least. 

Here's to child birth pain; erased forever at the wonderful sound of your breathing, crying babies. 

Here’s to saggy baby pouch, uneven lactating boobies, ugly stretch marks and apparent c-section scars. 

Here's to the struggle of breastfeeding; the nip cracks, sleepless nursing nights and endless pumping. 

Here’s to celebrating baby poop and fart. 

Here’s to lack of sleep and the glories it brings; eye bags, zombie-ness and surviving on coffees. 

Here’s to new moms; stumbling through diaper change, baby bath, and the art of taking a two-minutes shower. 

Here’s to baby’s first step, first toothless smile, first hearty laugh. 

Here’s to restless nights caring for your sick children. 

Here’s to toddler tantrum, terrible twos and terrific threes. 

Here’s to moms who are in dire need of date nights, coffee breaks, trip to the salon, an uninterrupted toilet visit, a long phone call with your friends; whatever it takes to remain sane. 

Here’s to moms who never get such breaks; may God ease your hardship. 

Here’s to proud moms fighting back tears watching your children singing their heart away at a school concert. 

Here’s to working moms struggling to balance raising kids and meeting deadlines. 

Here’s to stay-at-home moms who are 24/7 on their feet. 

Here’s to imperfect moms who don’t always feed your children homemade organic food, who couldn’t bake the perfect rainbow cakes, who couldn’t even master a simple kid’s craft. 

Here’s to learning to let go of a huge part of your personal social life. 

Here’s to our kid’s little achievements; learning to ride a bike, writing ABCs albeit crookedly, baking cookies, painting their own crafts, dressing themselves, making friends. 

Here’s to everyday drama; that even a simple act of getting ready for school could take longer time and more shouting than it should. 

Here’s to the pang of guilt you feel after you yelled at your kids for well, being kids. 

Here’s to breaking down after you couldn’t handle a bad moment. 

Here’s to other moms who give support and encouragement in those kind of bad moments; no judgment whatsoever. 

Here’s to moms giving in to ice creams, candies and gadgets; for a piece of sanity. 

Here’s to the constant fear for your child safety. 

Here’s to feeling the need to flee from wherever you are to hug your children when hearing news of a terrible accident, a wild storm, a baby dying. 

Here’s to kissing boo-boos, rocking a restless child to sleep, lullaby singing, comforting a tummy ache. 

Here’s to the heartache of letting go of your child; to school, college, out to the wild wild world. 

Here’s to stressed out moms; whose babies won’t stop crying, whose toddlers won’t stop shouting. 

Here’s to clueless moms; whose preschoolers won’t stop asking questions and demanding answers. 

Here’s to moms raising know-it-all teenagers, may God grant you patience and strength. 

Here’s to older moms, learning to let go of your all grown up babies. 

Here’s to the perfect trophy moms, the tiger moms, the crazy cool ones; whichever kind of awesome moms you are. 

Here’s to motherhood and its roller-coaster ride; of trying our best, taking each and every day as it comes and hoping that our kids will grow up to be amazing. 

Here’s to all of us. Happy mother’s day. 

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

"There are certain things you learn to do as a parent - using every single part of your body because you're multitasking all the time. You're holding the baby and you're closing the door with your left foot." - Amy Ryan


I like our new stroller so much it deserves an entry. And it’s not even Stokke, Bugaboo Bee or its kind. 

With Hadi, we used Quinny Buzz, which, although was very sturdy and comfortable, is a pain in the ass in terms of handling and storage. Bulky weh. Tapi memang cun dan melenakan. We still have it stored at my MIL’s. We also have one Mothercare umbrella stroller, which has been a big help to so many other people as well. 

This time around, my specs were a stroller that can be umbrella-folded, easy to handle (which is very very important especially if you're alone with two kids in tow), can be fully reclined for infants and CHEAP without compromising quality and looks. And I found Halford Fliplite

It’s just a simple stroller, really. Entah kenapa aku suka sangat. Perhaps because I got it on sale at only around RM290.00 from Baby Cottage (RP is around RM460) and that it fits all specs that I needed. 


My reviews? (1) Umbrella fold, easy storage di bonet kereta apapun. (2) It has 4 positions seat recline, and yes can be fully reclined for newborns (not totally flat macam infant strollers but reclined secukupnya). (3) Shopping basket kat bawah, but if you fully reclined the seat, the basket becomes not accessible, lalu susah sikit to letak barang. Not a big problem though. (4) Lockable wheels, which is important. (5) It has ‘windows’ on the side and above, which you can unzip which allows your child to look out through netting and vice versa. 




(6) The material nipis sikit, so for babies, I’d recommend you to letak blankie, comforter or buy something like this body support, so that comfy lebih sikitlah. But my Noah is such a good sport, as long as cukup susu and tak panas, he’d sleep anyway. That's what small babies do pun kan. Hehe.


(7) Oh it says it can hold up to 18 kg which I think is true because this big baby Hadi of mine weighs a whopping 17kg! 


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

"A newborn baby has only three demands. They are warmth in the arms of its mother, food from her breasts, and security in the knowledge of her presence. Breastfeeding satisfies all three." - Grantly Dick-Read


I breastfed my firstborn for more than 2 years, and exclusively for over a year. But except in cars and planes, I’ve never ever nursed him in public. So yeah, planes memanglah sangat public sebenarnya but it was inevitable, I need to keep my baby full and/or asleep to ensure smooth plane rides. But other than that, no other public places. The reason? Amat sangat segan! And to tell you the truth, it was very tiring having to run around looking for baby rooms and/or more secluded spots to nurse him while he was wailing for milk. Stressful tau! Kasihan ibu dan anak!

As we all know, breastfeeding is feeding on demand and when a baby demands it, you can do no reasoning with the little creature; they have got to have it. And Hadi, well well well, he was a milk monster with little patience, phewww. 

Oh once, I even breastfed Hadi in the toilet at the USS, Singapore because the baby room was too damn far away from where we were. I am still ashamed of the fact that I was too penyegan that I had to feed my darling baby in a freaking toilet! Disclaimer: Singapore toilets are super clean though. But yeah, tetaplah toilet kan?! I'm not proud of it. Really.

So this time around, I told myself, no more. I shall not menyusahkan diri lagi. Nak segan apa? Rileks sudah. And the first time I nursed Noah in public was when we were still in pantang, curi keluar makan at Marche at The Curve. I did not have my nursing poncho with me but my shawl was wide enough to cover his tiny baby head and everything else. And honestly, the feeling was liberating! Satisfied baby, happy mommy. 


This was me yesterday, nursing Noah at Marco Polo while waiting for my Steak Sandwich to arrive. And by the time my food was ready, Noah was full and asleep. Bukankah membahagiakan?
 
Since that very first time, I bring my nursing poncho (given by my darling Ayin) everywhere I go and feed Noah anywhere suitable. People still give me the stares sometimes, but I couldn’t care less anymore. It is seriously way too convenient to NIP and once you get the hang of it, you’ll be like, yeah I’m feeding my baby with my boobies under this wide burkha underneath, if you have a problem with it, you can shove it up you know what. Yes, something like that.


It is funny how NIP dipandang serong especially in countries like the USA where most women are practically naked all day long. It is acceptable for girls to be frolicking around in their tiny bikinis and tank tops, to be wearing lingerie-like dresses to the clubs and what not, but it is not OK for a mom to nurse her hungry, innocent baby in public? Seriously?! More so if it is done discreetly, under a poncho or covered with a big shirt, how is that a problem? People who have problems with it, are you mentally retarded or too perverted that breastfeeding turns you on? Sheesh!



Damn right. Fellow mommies who breastfeed in public because you care more about the happiness of your babies and yourselves instead of how the minority retarded society feel about it, I salute you! 


Wednesday, December 04, 2013

My mother groaned, my father wept, into the dangerous world I leapt.” ― William Blake 


Noah and I, we clicked the first time we saw each other. He, of course looked a bit dazed as to whom I am and why am I shoving my you-know-what to his mouth, teaching him to latch on it. But me, I fell instantly in love. I mean, I have loved him from the moment I knew I was carrying him in me, but the first time I held him in my arms, I fell in love. Head over heel. Told ya, a mother’s love knows no limit, has no capacity. 

Anyways, the birth story. Alhamdulillah, this time around, shorter labour, easier delivery. I told my doctor that I was determine to try for vaginal birth for this baby, which would make it a Vaginal Birth After Caesarean (VBAC), which naturally, comes with more risks. 

Two days before Noah was born, I was admitted for heavy blood show. Pad-soaking heavy, it was quite worrying. So they attached me to the CTG machine for almost the whole night to monitor the baby and did vaginal scan the next morning but everything seemed normal and there was no other labour symptom just yet. Blood show, Braxton Hicks, 1 cm opening but nothing else. They sent me home and I went on a date with the husband the whole day. 

October 18th, at night, I was starting to feel more sharp contractions, lebih sakit dan lebih kerap, and by midnight, rasa dah sakit sangat. My firstborn Hadi was already asleep so we angkut him and sent him off to his Tok’s, not without some drama of course, sebab dia terjaga and wanted to sleep with me. Berjaya lepaskan diri at around 1 a.m. and they immediately admitted me and called my doctor. 

Starting from around 2-3 a.m., the contraction semakin sakit but baru buka 3 cm! 3 cm! Rasa nak meraung when they told me that. Still a long way to go, man. There was no single room that night so I had to share with 4 other heavily pregnant mommies in distress, macam berlawan-lawan mengerang. Sometimes I would remember to change position, berzikir, do the labour breathing and what not, but other times I would just join in the mengerang session (which as we know, was so not helping with the pain sebenarnya!) 

After Subuh, the nurse told the husband that my bukaan was only at around 4 cm and they estimated paling cepat akan beranak petang, so husband went home to mandi etc. By then I was already in so much pain I was determined that I wanted epidural. They asked me to wait for the doctor. The doctor came at around 8 and I was so ready with my script nak request epidural but they checked and I was already fully dilated! How did I go from 4 cm to being fully dilated in only an hour, I do not know! 

So they immediately wheeled me to the labour room, while one of the nurses frantically called the husband and the others telling me to try to push. Tapi sebenarnya takyah suruh sebab masa tu all I want to do is nothing but push, push, push! They coached me and cheered on me and honestly, the delivery process was so quick I can barely recall what happened. Pushed a few times lalu dengarlah tangisan Noah bergempita. I thank God for making the delivery bit quite easy, phewww. Husband arrived 10 minutes after I have given birth, with Hadi and his Tok. 


One day old Noah Rashad. Mad love.
 
I wish I came up with a post-delivery plan for the doctor though; would have loved to have the baby placed on me immediately after he was born, he must have felt really scared without his mommy! He was only sent to my room an hour after that and I was told that they have fed him with formula. Apparently it’s the paed’s practice. Pfftt. One of the nurses even “advised” me that newborn need formula milk, to make sure cukup sihat, kenyang and to minimize jaundice risk. Say what?! I was feeling so much love and gratitude ketika itu so I just held back and said nothing much. So yeah, mental note, next baby, tell them: immediate mommy-baby body contact, and no formula please! 


Noah is 47 days young today and Alhamdulillah, he has been a very easy, fuss free baby from the start. He almost always seems contented, only merengek sikit when he wants milk or diaper change, and wakes up at night only for feeding. MasyaAllah, what have I done to deserve this blessing, I do not know; not a day passed without me thanking Him for Noah, the easy baby that he is (setakat ini! Hehe) 

One thing for sure, Noah certainly lives up to the meaning of his name; my darling peaceful baby :)


Friday, November 29, 2013

Through the blur, I wondered if I was alone or if other parents felt the same way I did - that everything involving our children was painful in some way. The emotions, whether they were joy, sorrow, love or pride, were so deep and sharp that in the end they left you raw, exposed and yes, in pain. The human heart was not designed to beat outside the human body and yet, each child represented just that - a parent's heart bared, beating forever outside its chest.” ― Debra Ginsberg 


Alhamdulillah, on October 19th, 2013 I gave birth to a perfect little baby boy, another heartbeat of mine. InsyaAllah I shall share the birth story soon. Muhammad Noah Rashad, my peaceful and wise baby, insyaAllah.


Wednesday, October 02, 2013

"The best learning process of any kind of craft is just to look at the work of others." - Wole Soyinka 


 
Tell me about it! Betapa banyak benda yang patut aku trash kan tapi kusimpan as a result of Pinterest. I just recently kemas my kitchen cabinet storage and threw away beberapa kitchen rolls that I kept for God-knows-what. Pinterest has the tendency to make things look doable, you know? You see something, you thought “Oh that’s fun, I can do that”, you pinned it, and well, you become a hoarder, thinking you could be doing super fun stuffs with kitchen rolls, for God’s sake! 


Kitchen roll kaleidoscope, perhaps?


Or maybe colourful, fun caterpillars and owls (that would later turned into sampah bersepah)?
 
In my defense, those are totally doable and might be fun to do with Hadi tapi simpan punya simpan punya tangguh, the paper rolls pun saggy dek kerana persekitaran and who I am kidding, buang sajalah. We’ll begin the pin-simpan-tangguh cycle again with this next roll.

Oh and also, empty jars! I have been hoarding banyak (from peanut butter to spaghetti sauce bottles) sampai terpaksa buang sikit the other day, eyesore. What can you do with them? Trust me, a lot!


Sewing kit (or craft stuff) jar. A bit tricky to get the small stuffs out nanti tapi cute eh?


A neat gift idea, methinks! You can also replace the cookies ingredients with perhaps candies, chocolates, mixed nuts! Seperti selalu kukatakan, ribbons make everything looks good.

Oh and terrariums! This looks doable kan? (Apa yang tak doable, kau ni?) But but, this is actually memang doable lah and people (like Yuna!) actually make money selling this tau.


OK this one is definitely a bit too ambitious for me, but nice kan kan kan?

 

This is actually what I meant to do with the jars I collected; snow globes. I remember collecting snow globes as a child (God knows mana pergi semua after my parents moved) and saw @yumyumx buat this with her girls. I actually went as far as gluing Hadi’s mini figurine on the lid but gam Uhu was apparently not durable enough for the craft and so I made a mental note to get myself a glue gun and tak beli-beli sampai sekarang. Kisahnya.


 
Har har har so true, most of the time, yeah. See y’all on Pinterest and let’s pin away!