Thursday, May 13, 2010

A reminder

As you can tell, this blog is pretty much dead. The time I get to blog is really limited and my time is mainly to focus on the updates of my girls and I do update their blogs whenever I can.

Anyhow, I just wanted to blog about what happened today.

In my line of work, I do meet up with my customers at least 50% of my time at work, at times more. And the people I deal with under my portfolio ranges from all sorts level, to the end-users of the services my company provides to the middle management as well.

And the interesting thing that can happen when I do meet with these people is when our conversations can digress to a personal level. Perhaps it has to do with my personality in that I am a friendly person and one of my strengths (and I admit at times can be a weakness too) is that when you do talk to me, I’ll somehow give you this vibe that I can be trusted. I have turned some very difficult clients into friendly ones in that they will become my friend instead (I’ve been invited to their personal events, etc which is why I dare say this!)

Don’t get me wrong, they will still give me a hard time if we fail to meet up to their expectations but after them throwing their frustrations to me and all, they will soften up and say that it’s nothing personal and it’s work. And I have totally accepted this as part of my working life.

Anyway, today, I met up with this just retired man whom I have met several times before but never gotten into a those discussions that touched our personal lives. After we discussed what needs to be discussed about work, I asked him some questions about the industry his company is in and somehow, we ended up talking about our personal lives.

In that conversation, I learnt that his only son and the youngest out of his 3 children passed away at the age of 10 about 5 years back. He didn’t want to tell me what his son died of but he mentioned that his son needed treatment towards the end of his life. His son was born healthy and achieved many things in his short span of his life that I ever did when I was 10. He was a Grade 5 piano player and a red belt tae kwon do player too. So when his son fell ill at around 9 years old, it was a huge shock to him and his family.

He had an advice for me as a mother with two young kids other than the fact that to always monitor closely whenever the kids have fever (as this was how it started with his son), is that to never ever take those close to you for granted. He said that after his son passed away, he realizes that it happens to everyone around you and it is a very common thing. We spent so much time at work or doing the things that you want that you tend to neglect the people right in front of your own eyes.

This advice is nothing new to me. We are all aware of this in one way or another but somehow, it gets forgotten especially when we are so busy trying to live our lives. It is when you lose someone or when you come across someone who has grieved so much that you are once again reminded of how you should be treating your loved ones.

My colleague whom I’ve known for 10 years, lost her husband last Monday at the age of 44 to a heart attack. They have 2 young kids at the age of 14 and 10. I was so disturbed by the fact that I could not sleep one of the nights and I cannot imagine how she is feeling. And because of this, I’m also once again reminded of how precious life can be and we should not be worrying ourselves to death about the things that we cannot control but on what we can actually do about it.

Life is short – do what you want out of your life but do not forget your loved ones and also yourself!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Boobs can be trained!

They really can be trained! LOL.

Since mid October, I have stopped pumping at work because :-

a) Haye Li is 1 year old already (she was approaching 1 then and I still had some supply left in the freezer which lasted for a few weeks after that)
b) My supply is decreasing big time
c) It takes too long to pump to get the quantity I want
d) I think I have achieved a whole lot pumping for a year! The fact that I lasted a year; something I thought I couldn’t pull through initially. So this is a huge achievement for me. *a big pat on my shoulders!*

I’m still breastfeeding the girl but only at nights, through the nights, mornings and weekends. I don’t know for how long more will I be doing this and I think I would let it just be, as long as the girl wants.

Back to the story…..the first two days of not pumping at work was kind of a discomfort for me. By 3-4pm, my boobs were really engorged. I had to just deal with the discomfort. The first day itself, when I was driving home that evening – I was getting desperate on how can I ease the discomfort. And all I could think of was Haye Li. So the second I entered the house, I asked for Haye Li and when I saw her, I went “Mummy is so happy to see you, you want nen-nen?” and she nodded her head yes. So I happily gave it to her but she only drank like halfway of one side and didn’t want anymore so I was still at a discomfort on the other side till it was her bedtime.

On the second day, same thing but it wasn’t as bad as the day before. By the third day, it was bearable and the rest of the week till now is a breeze. :D

But I have to admit, since then, my supply has decreased big time and I don’t get engorgements anymore. I also need to give Haye Li some formula in between weekends now when I feel that I do not have enough for her but she doesn’t drink much of formula when I’m around.

So this is the end of my pumping sessions – I am so happy! But there were 2 occasions I had to pump as I had a business dinner with a client and another time, Haye Li was really ill and didn’t drink much so I had to pump some milk out. But still, I am so happy that I don't have to pump anymore at work. :D
*I've got some more posts I want to update like my one and only time of expressing milk overseas and also the time I was so ill that I could not breastfeed as I was on strong medications. When I have the time...till then, stay tuned! :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My experience with snatch thieves

This is my first time ever getting my handbag snatched from me and I want to share my experience with all. Now, on hindsight (although I’m still in shock), there are some key takeaways I have learnt from this.

Yesterday evening, I went into the day-care’s compound like any other normal day to pick my girls up. I was alone at that time in the compound. As I opened my car door to get down, I heard a motorbike but did not think anything of it as one of the parents do come in a motorbike to pick his girl up. As I got down, I realised my front passenger door was opened and when I looked, I saw a guy in a helmet grabbed my handbag and started running towards the gate. That few seconds I was totally stunned and then I realised I became a victim of a snatch thief.

Without thinking properly, I ran after him and shouted. When I got out of the gate, there was another guy on the motorbike further down waiting. And while I was shouting at them, the guy that took my bag got on the bike (they did turn back to look at me and even smiled!) and sped away.In all that anxiety, I managed to remember the motorbike number plate, BJK 3242.

As I am writing this, I am so grateful that both the bikers are not armed and also they did not attack me. I am also grateful on the fact that no one from the day-care saw this especially the kids. I’m even more grateful that I was alone and that my girls were not with me. But I am mentally and emotionally scarred (I could not sleep peacefully at all last night and even my toddler could not sleep well because she could sense the fear in me although she did not witness the incident).

Just to add that in the last 3.5 years that I have been in and out of the day-care, I have always left my car running with whatever belongings left in the car in the day-care’s compound. I have taken this act for granted.

Key lessons learnt:

a) Sending and picking kids up, whether it’s at the day-care, school, extra classes, etc, we are easy targets for the snatch thieves as this is the time where we’re focused on the kids rather than our surroundings. DO NOT think that when you’re in the school’s or day care’s compound, you will be safe. These thieves are getting bolder by the day!

b) Same goes for handling kids at car park areas, please be extra alert!

c) Always look around you when you’re getting down from the car and the same goes for when you’re entering the car.

d) Please psycho yourself never ever to go chasing after the thieves. Seriously, I do not know what I was thinking when I chased after them on foot. It was on impulse and at that time, I was really angry and shocked. On hindsight now, this was a foolish thing to do. I am so grateful that they did not retaliate. It is okay to lose your belongings BUT not your LIFE!

Please be safe and alert always!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My de@rest mummy

It’s an interesting point to note that I’ve encountered a few of my friends asking me whether my mom is still alive. The first time I was asked this question, I was surprised (not offended) but after my friend explained it herself, I never really gave it much thought. This was during college time.

I think there was also a time in Uni that I was asked this question again. I also didn’t really give much thought in to this.

Several years ago in my current company, my colleague again asked me the same question. And just like the previous times, I was informed why she thinks that way. She said that in my conversations about my family, my father was always mentioned and not my mother. So in time, she got curious and had to ask if my mom is still around.

Yes, my mom is around, very much alive and kicking. In fact, she’s enjoying life to the max now with her Macbook & Oprah Winfrey shows.

And from the above, you can pretty much sum up that my life has been mostly influenced by my dad.

Lately, I have been thinking about this again and no doubt that my dad has always been the dominant one in my family, my mom also pretty much contributed for what I am today.

My mom is a cool cat. She’s not as dramatic as how my dad can be with his temperamental character but when she gets angry, boy, she really can yell at you (I’m guessing something she picked up from my late grandma). If you meet her, she would appear as a very neutral and calm lady. She can be a very friendly person when you strike the right conversation, if not, then she would be pretty much calm, observing you.

She was a full time mom in our early years; our food provider, our driver to and fro from school, tuition classes, etc. In my recollection of her in our earlier years, she was always there for us (not that my dad wasn't but he was mostly working then).

She attended our schools' activities, sports and concerts. I remember that my mom would be waiting with the other moms in our school hall to pick us from school. This is how she remembers some of my schoolmates till today .

She also disciplines us....with the cane. I remember I was always the one running round and round our dining table away from her. She would tell me to stop and that she wouldn't cane me but she always ended up caning me and my sister (my brother, being the youngest, got away the most with the canings). My sister and I would show off our cane marks on our legs to our friends in school the next day. This became the norm (not that we were beaten everyday but somehow the memories of these still linger on). I think the canings stopped when we got older before we hit our teens but not the shouting and nagging.

My mom is scared of cockroaches and she will scream and run when she sees one. And hence, yours truly is also just as scared of cockroaches and would do the same as my mom. My sister and brother also hates them but they're not as scared as I am - not too sure why on this. Maybe coz my mom and I share the same birthday. Yes, I was induced on her birthday (as I was late) and I came out right smack in the evening of her birthday, smelling like petai. Oh, this is also one of my favourite dishes now! She loves telling this petai story to everyone together with some other embarrassing stories which I shall not reveal here. But there is one story which she told me that I used to tell her not to die young and that if she does, I will sleep at her grave. Well mummy, you know what's the answer now. Not that I don't love you, but you know how scared I am of ghosts! :)

My mom became a mother at 21 years old when she gave birth to my sister (she was married at 20) and had me nearly 2 years later and then my brother less than 2 years after that. So she had 3 kids before she was 25. I'm not sure how she handled 3 kids alone at home but if I'm in her shoes now, I would be tearing my hair out (in fact, I'm just about to tear my hair out with my 2 girls and I'm not even a stay-at-home-mom!).

Being such a young mom and that she had a damn good figure then, even after 3 kids (something I didn't inherit except for her apple-bum shape), I had my fair share of compliments on how good my mom looks in school from my friends. When I was in secondary school, one of my classmates boasted to my other classmates how sexy my mom was (we bumped into her at the mall one day and my mom was wearing this figure-hugging bare back top). I've to admit she did have a sexy figure then. Now, she has put on some weight and she blamed it all on the crazy hormones she faced - at least she doesn't blame it on us 3 kids. :)

My mom did work when we got bigger till several years back. Now, she is a lady of leisure, mostly at home on her Macbook playing online games and on facebook or watching her all time favourite show, Oprah. If she's not at home, she is either busy travelling with my dad or entertaining friends with my dad or entertaining my niece and nephew. She also has her regular catch ups with her schoolmates now and then. I definitely envy her lifestyle now. :)

her profile picture at facebook, yup, it's her as a baby and she claims she's a better looking baby than her own kids and grandkids (indirectly blaming on our dad's genes!)

Below are pictures of us before I left for my tertiary studies

Mummy, I know I don't say or show this often but I do appreciate you and of course I do love you. For without you (and papa), I will definitely not be what I am today. And for that I thank you! Happy Mother's day!

And a happy Mother's day to all of you mummies out there too!

Monday, April 20, 2009

I'm still alive

Yes, I’m still here…thanks for the smses, calls, msn messages to check on how I’m doing since all three of our blogs haven’t been updated for some time. You know I do want to update them badly but as usual, time doesn’t permit me to. It’s the usual busy stuff at work and then after work, I’m tied up with the girls and weekends is just as hectic. Anyway, I’m also glad to know that we are missed if I happened to neglect the blogs. LOL.

I tell you, having two kids really takes most of your time and not just that, I don’t remember Rye Li growing so fast like how Haye Li is at the moment. The girl can crawl already!

Since I’m here, I want to update on where I last left off (so again, if you’re a guy reading this, don’t read further if you’re not into breastfeeding!) :D

Shortly after the previous post, while still in pain, I pumped out blood with my milk on one of the nights. After 2 oz of pink milk, I stopped. I threw the milk away coz I didn’t like the idea of freezing pink milk. I did allow her to suckle on still after that although it hurt so much. But I didn’t let her for the next 3 days on the effected side, only pumped so that my nipple could heal on its own. I didn’t expect the pain to linger around for so long, I think it lasted for more than 2 weeks but it was getting better at least. Now, I have cracked nipples on both sides. Yes, it still hurts (mildly if compared to the blocked ducts scenario) but my determination to see that this girl gets her breast milk till she is one year old still prevails.

Actually, I have been thinking about this; whether I want to stress myself out over breastfeeding. My stock in the freezer is depleting. I used to have as much as over 3 weeks of supply in there. But now, I only have about a week’s supply. I’m pumping lesser than what the girl consumes during day time and I know in time, my supply will not be enough for her.

It doesn’t help that I think she’s a little allergic to dairy products as I noticed if I consume too much of diary stuff, she has some kind of rash. I wanted to introduce her soy milk instead with her rice cereal to test her but Dr. Koe, the pediatrician cum lactation consultant said that rice cereal on its own is just fine. When I complaint to her my dilemma (sore and cracked nipples plus the fact that Haye Li wakes up so frequent at night), she just said “what to do, a mother’s job is never easy!”.

With Rye Li, I introduced formula earlier as I needed the assurance that I have a backup if my breastfeeding fails so when it was time for her solids, I had no problems mixing it with formula. Now with Haye Li, I’m stuck whether to introduce milk formula or soy milk. At least I’m glad I managed to breastfeed her 100% till she’s 6 months (it was like 90% breast milk with Rye Li when she was 6 months old).

Over the weekend, I didn’t mix my expressed breast milk (EBM) with her rice cereal as the daycare will not be doing this. So I just wanted to mix sure that Haye Li gets the bland taste of rice cereal first on its own. I will be adding on my EBM to her cereals over the weekends after this. I think I will just go get the rice cereal with soymilk to test her in a few weeks time to give her the variety before we introduce to real porridge from 7 months onwards.

I was also asked why I want to torture myself (with the pain) constantly. Firstly, it’s more of an obligation since I managed to do the same with Rye Li although the circumstances then seems much easier. Secondly, I’m thinking to myself that if I can do it then, I can also do it now. Thirdly, when I just feel like giving up and want to introduce her formula (be it cow’s or soy milk), I realized how expensive these are and so I go back to my ‘just-stick-it-through-as-long-as-i-can’ mode. And finally, it does feel good to have your baby cuddled up to you while she’s nursing (although it can be a pain when she uses you as a pacifier!).

Don’t congratulate me yet as I still don’t know how long will this last – I seriously hate pumping and glad that I’m not pumping 5 times a day like how I was with Rye Li (I don’t pump over weekends at all) but still, it is just as tiring having to wake up several times in the night to nurse this girl. Anyway, one day at a time.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

In pain, again!

If you’re a guy reading this, let me forewarned you first that this post is not for you. You would not want to be turned off when looking at women’s boobs after this – LOL! Yes, I’m going into details of breastfeeding again. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

I’m having blocked ducts again. Second time since I had Haye Li. At least it’s not mastitis with the fever but the pain, unfortunately is very much the same. Damn painful!

It started with a sore nipple and I didn’t think anything of it as I get this on and off. Seriously, if you ever see how Haye Li drinks from the bottle, you would definitely make a comment. And I would reply “imagine when she drinks off me!”. Yes, she treats me the same, which I am kind of used to it with the discomfort now and then. So when the soreness came, and then the blocked ducts, I thought it would just be for a day or so but it has been 5 days and I’m still in pain! Sob Sob!

The soreness came to a blister like and milk was trapped in it, which eventually led to hardened patches on my boobs. Out of desperation and I didn’t have the time to go see Dr. Koe, I took it into my own hands and had to burst the blister with a sterilized needle, many, many times. And when I’m nursing or pumping, the pain was a nightmare! How I wish we can actually numb the boob while nursing. Even when I’m not nursing, it still hurts as I got trapped milk in there.

Now, I don’t have hardened patches anymore but it still hurts when I’m nursing. And my nipple is still sore. Since this is my second time with Haye Li, I’m really questioning myself how long do I want to do this. It’s definitely the way she latches on. If it happens for the third time again, I think I may just stop breastfeeding altogether.

I am stressed this week – a mixture of my rushed juggling role as a working mom and a full time mom after work. And with hubby away for work, with the lesser supply of my expressed milk and with the blocked ducts, it made it worst, and the pain that came with it. See what a ‘mess’ I am now that I can't even type proper sentences anymore. Hah!

Another thing to add, Haye Li’s gotten into latching on me most of the time while she sleeps lately. You can say she’s using me as a pacifier but she is really drinking when the milk comes. During daytime over the weekends, she won’t let go at all while she sleeps so I’m literary stuck with her and can’t do anything else. My boss was telling me if I can’t seem to finish some of my overdue work, I can do it at home and I will give her the stare and tell her how my life is at home. I have no time at all to squeeze work in and even if I do, I don’t want to as I can’t concentrate with a crying baby every half hour or so. Even when I get the chance to blog, I’ll get interrupted by Rye Li or Haye Li now and then and I will leave my stuff hanging there and I tend to forget what I wanted to say or miss out some other relevant points. So you can imagine if I do my work at home while attending to them!

Back to breastfeeding, it’s tougher with Haye Li and it’s challenging me in the face whether I want to do this till she’s a year old. Ah….I will bite the bullet for now (again) and see if I can withstand the pain if ever I have this again…I sure hope it doesn’t come round again!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Moo Moo Year!

I so feel like a cow alright. :)

Firstly, how appropriate that I’m breastfeeding which also means I’m pumping and hence, what a cow I am. My life now is ensuring I’m producing enough milk for Haye Li (who is still 100% on breastmilk) and since I’ve started work towards end of December last year, it has not been easy! Compared to Rye Li’s time, my job then was a desk-bound one and I could at least pump twice at the office at a scheduled time.

With the current job, I have to see my clients at their office at times. And since I’ve been back to work, I had tried to minimize this as much as I could. But of course, it being the nature of my job, it is tough to avoid seeing my clients altogether. So, for those appointments and meetings I needed to attend to so far, I have tried my best to work around my pumping schedule. This is the 9th week I’ve been back at work and there have been those occasional few times which I only managed to pump once during working hours.

It does get to me as in I feel frustrated, especially when I’ve been trying my hardest to build up my supply even while I was on maternity. And to make up for the ‘lost’ time, I also pump in the middle of the nights when Haye Li gets up for milk.

When I started work, it was really tough on me to get up to pump at the same time while nursing her (yes, I’ve mastered nursing her and pumping at the same time so I don’t waste so much time – something I didn’t do with Rye Li). I was so tired from the lack of sleep that I skipped the in-the-middle-of-the-nights pumping sessions in the first 2 weeks. Then when it got hectic at work and this also affected the quantity of my supply, I started the pumping again, only to affect the quality of my sleep. But I have no choice, I need to get my supply going. As of to date, I think I have nearly 2 weeks supply in the freezer. However, I don’t know how long would this last though.

Also, since I have been absent from Haye Li during daytimes, this girl wants to latch on immediately she hears me when I get back from work. Lately, she only wants me when we get back home from the daycare – she will be crying at the top of her lungs while I rush to shower to get myself ready for her. This girl can really latch on, her longest time so far was over an hour! She is sleeping and at the same time drinking. So you can pretty much get the idea what my life is about after work and it gets worst when Rye Li also wants my attention at the same time – usually when her papa is away for business.

And as for work, it has been crazy. Hence the non-blogging for me lately. I don’t have time anymore for myself – as at times I also do bring the work home which usually I can’t do much as I’ll be attending to the girls.

This year Chinese New Year wasn’t a good one – we were at Pangkor and the girls were sick. It started with Haye Li and then Rye Li and then me and then hubby as well. We had to cut short our holidays (we skipped Camerons after Pangkor) because of the girls. We all have recovered except for Rye Li who is still coughing badly and on antibiotics now.

I am physically and mentally tired – seriously, I feel like a cow! Well, I guess the cows also have their decent rest but I definitely don’t. Now I tell people who wants a big change in their life is to have kids…not one but many! This will definitely be a wake-up call alright. LOL.

Due to the limited time I have – this blog will take the backseat for a while. I will update the girls’ progress now and then when I can on their blogs as this is main priority – they grow so fast!. As much as I would love to glorify or bitch about my life (which is therapeutic at times), I feel I really need to prioritize what is important now. But I’m sure I will blog when I can squeeze in the time. Haha…you all take care now!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

5 years anniversary

We’ve been married for 5 years already! And dated for 9 and half years. I can’t believe it has been that long. LOL

So how did we celebrate it? With the girls of course. We had Bubba Gump at the Curve, the only baby-friendly place we like to hang out at. And most of the time, I was standing, mostly to soothe Haye Li and also the table at the booth we were sitting was too close to my body and hence, I can’t put Haye Li in front of me.

Hubby attended to Rye Li who was pretty well behaved (also made me wish Haye Li is at that age so we all can have a decent meal…haha!).

Haye Li did a mega ‘bomb’ and I was too lazy to take her to the baby changing room as it would mean I’ve to walk a fair bit so I changed her at our booth. Luckily, it didn’t smell that bad and that our booth was at the main entrance of the restaurant.

It wasn’t a romantic meal of course (although we had some nice live music from outside) and that I would have preferred Japanese instead of all the fried stuff. What do you expect with 2 young kids?! LOL. But still we have always wanted to try out the place and I must say it is not as bad as I thought it would be. Their Clam Chowder is good but don’t try their Shrimp Heaven though which was a huge disappointment considering the fact that they’re known for serving Shrimps.

I would still go back there to try their non-shrimp stuff and I would want to sink my teeth into their Chocolate Chip Cookie sundae again. Even Rye Li love it….well, she loves anything with ice cream! Yum-yum!

Happy Anniversary Tauke! I wonder when we will get to celebrate without the girls. ;)

Men are really from Mars!

I have yet to read the infamous book but I feel men are really from Mars! I just don’t get it.

I just don’t get it. How can a father sleep soundly through the cries of his child?

I just don’t get it. How can a father sleep peacefully when his toddler roams freely around the house while he’s sleeping?

I just don’t get it. How can a father not be worried when his child is not eating well and doesn’t force her to finish her food?

I just don’t get it. How can a father just let his child do whatever she wants throughout the day and not remember that she needs a bath or to eat at a specific time?

I just don’t get it. How can a father be so insensitive to his wife’s needs especially when she is showing signs of going insane?

I just don’t get it. How can a father feed his kids junk food, thinking that it can replace their proper meals?

I just don’t get it. How can a father think that it is alright for the kids not to wash their hands after they’ve been through playing out of the house or at the playground?

No wonder most kids prefer their father over their mother when it comes to play time! And thank god there is such a thing as mother’s day! Too bad there is also father’s day! :D