Nature speaks

It seems like of late little plant by the sidewalk and the orange sky are speaking to me. Let me explain. One late morning, I just got off the bus with Dot and was on our way to my mom’s place. As I walked, this little plant by the sidewalk just seems to speak to… Continue reading Nature speaks

Childhood, so pure and innocent, passes by so fast – such beautiful memories ought to be captured cos’ they are so precious!

I was flipping through my old childhood photo albums and they brought back beautiful childhood memories. I told Dot that I used to be a baby and toddler just like her. Pointing at the photos, I asked Dot, “Mei, where is mommy? Ah Yee (aunt)? Ah Gu (uncle)?”.  Then we were still babies, toddlers and children. After a while, she could recognize the younger version of her mommy, her aunt, her uncle and even her grandparents.

Recently my childhood playmate got in touch with me via Facebook. We lost touch with each other for more than 15 years. It warmed my heart to be able to get in touch with her again. She told me she still remembers that bottle of paper cranes I made for her. So touched!

I remembered life back then was so carefree and fun. We always got to play “zero-point”, hide and seek, hopscotch, “five stones” with our neighbours.  We visited our neighbours’ home often as well to play.

Christmas celebration at my neighbours' house

My parents and relatives brought us to many interesting places during our younger days – zoo, bird park, parks, playground, Haw Par Villa and many more.

My siblings and I visited our grandma often who stayed in a kampong.  We enjoyed running and chasing the dog, fishing, rearing chicks, climbing trees, catching ladybird – many fun things that kids nowadays rarely have chance to do.

This was our childhood playground
My dear siblings in our younger days

As much as we could remember, we would like to share with Dot our childhood memories and our lives. Just in case, she does not know that her mommy and daddy used to be young too!

I am thankful especially to my parents, grandma, relatives and childhood playmates who left such beautiful childhood memories for me. Thank you!

 

Being pregnant to being a mom was totally different experience. The prelude to Dot’s arrival was a bliss, where everyone gave me all the attention, care and love. Only after the arrival of Dot did I really have the real taste of what it was really like being a mom.

The initial three months were the toughest for me.  I did not have enough sleep as I had to breastfeed my baby every two to three hours. On top of that, I experienced pain from my c-section wound when I moved about.

When we first brought her back home, I could feed her for more than one hour and yet she was still not satisfied. After trying for a few nights,  I was at wit’s end.  I tried pumping out my milk to see how much milk I had – only 30 ml in my first pump.

As we did not engage any confinement lady during the first month, Jay and I had to care for Dot on our own at night. I decided to do full pumping so Dot could finish the milk within 30 minutes, as compared to 45 minutes to 1 hour of direct feed.

It was real hardwork providing for Dot physically and emotionally. I pumped every two to three hours even waking up at night to keep the supply going. Then I wondered whether I could have the energy to last for even one month.

One month passed and things looked more hopeful. I continued providing her nature’s best – aiming to provide her at least six month.

After about six weeks, I tried switching from bottle to direct feed as I was advised by friends that direct feed will help to keep supply going if I want to provide her for a longer period. It was a struggle for Dot to switch from bottle to direct again and it took her about two weeks to get her to get used to direct-feeding again. Thankfully she made it.

Actually, I was aiming to stop breastfeeding when Dot was around one year old but decided to extend as Dot fell sick several times when I was trying to introduce formula milk to her. After she got well, she rejected my several attempts to feed her formula milk. I stopped trying for a few months and then try again when she was around 14 – 15 month old. She accepted a little and gradually increases her intake of formula milk up till now.

It never fail to amaze me how wonderful is God’s creation – breastmilk. Its supply will adjust based on the principle of demand and supply. There are so many benefits when we breastfeed our babies and none can compare to breastmilk for being the first baby food.

By God’s grace, Dot is 21 month old now and my “job” is almost done. I am thankful that though my breastfeeding journey is not all smooth sailing, it is a good one nevertheless for Dot and I!

It’s a kite.

Recently, we went for kite-flying with J, my brother and Dot. It has been so long since we last flew a kite. Anyway, I didn’t fly the kite that day.

I was watching and observing Dot at play on the field. A child learns to know the world through the senses. She ran around the field, knelt down to see the grasses on the field, touched the grasses and stones, took a rock and hit a short rod that was stuck to the ground. She had so much fun exploring the field while J and my brother were trying to get the hand-made kite to fly.

I observe that simple things like little stones and grasses intrigue and excites her senses. They hold her attention longer than the sophisticated toys she has at home.

 

[catablog category=”kite”]

 

“I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw.” – Proverbs 24:32

Recently I’m reminded that I need to learn to observe and reflect more. It’s like seeing the world with a pair of new lens – to gain new insight from a new perspective. Observe. Learn. Apply.

“Within the child lies the fate of the future. Whoever wishes to confer some benefit on society must preserve him from deviations and observe his natural ways of acting. A child is mysterious and powerful and contains within himself the secret of human nature.” – Maria Montessori

Seeing things from a child’s perspective and understanding a child’s motivation for learning need keen observation from the adults, especially parents, in order to provide a stimulating child-oriented environment to cultivate a love for learning.

I’m still learning to observe and observing to learn.

 

 

7 month, 2 weeks old Dot

The transition from a pregnant mom-to-be to a real mom is tough. The learning curve was very sharp and there was no way I could just throw the towel and call it quits. The early months, especially the first month of breastfeeding, was very challenging and draining due to lack of experience, knowledge and rest. Thankfully, at that time I was able to seek practical advice from friends who are already mothers.

As I got the hang of things, things are more predictable and I could manage myself and time better. However, I went through a period of ‘soul searching’ where I struggled with self-worth for several months as I could not imagine myself being a mom who just provides physical needs to my child – life must be more than that. I could definitely do much more than these!

I prayed. And that faithful day came! I felt convicted and convinced in my heart that I should be the primary care-giver of Dot, my adorable girl.

Never in my life would I imagine that I would make such decision but something in my heart said that I should give to what is more important – Dot. Being a mom starts to take on a new perspective.

It is a whole new learning experience being a mom- whether we learn from books, experienced mothers, doctors or teachers – the learning never ends.

As I am a rather forgetful person, I like to write them down so that I can refer to them on and off. Here I will share some of my experiences – fun, struggles, new findings, notes and so on. Feel free to share yours too. Learning together can be fun!

God bless your heart!