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Theodore

Sleep Training

I thought I knew exactly what I signed up for when we found out there was a third baby on the way. Tiny baby clothes, breast-pads, infant car seat, golden poop, wonderful baby smells, and night feeds. Since I am responsible for mixing up a good bottle of go-back-to-sleep milk for Amelie who still wakes like clockwork every 5.58am, night feeds are going to be a breeze, right? Right.

WHO WAS I KIDDING?!

With Theodore being the last baby (this factory is closed, y’all), I am extra determined to see through the ‘breast-feed as long as you can’ idea, only if because it is the last time I get to savour this whole attachment-parenting phase (excuse me while I sit in a corner to sob). Teddy latches on demand, which sounds scary but really it’s just convenient because I don’t have to worry about pumping and bottles and sterilising. Night feeds are usually twice or thrice, but thankfully it’s all good after my boob is offered as sacrifice as he lops back to sleep without much fuss. Yet, I have found it increasingly hard not to doze off in the day time! Sleep deprivation is real, people. So much so that I am treading cautiously into the dodgy waters of Google Searches for HOW TO SLEEP TRAIN YOUR BABY and DOES SLEEP TRAINING REALLY WORK. Mom to kids who are now 6 and almost 2, you’d think I have this by now. The truth is, I ain’t got this! These babies of mine have such different personalities, there really is no one-size-fits-all approach to getting these babies contented and willing to sleep according to schedule.

Aidan was generally a sound sleeper and rarely fussed. Set him on his bed and voilá, he drifts off to ZZzs all on his own. Amelie was fine for the first few months, but as she got into the latter half of her first year, no amount of patting, shaking, or cajoling worked. I remember carrying her in our ErgoBaby carrier and walking around the house for HOURS. I ended up doing modified squats with Amelie still straddled to my chest, to make my time as baby-toting mommy-prisoner walking-machine count. If I stopped moving, I was bestowed with an onslaught of needy so-tired-but-just-cannot-sleep wails.

Then came Theodore. I couldn’t bear to let him cry for more than 2 minutes and wound up in a cycle of carrying baby, walk around the house, sing songs, baby getting drowsy, put baby down, baby cry, carry baby, repeat. Sounds familiar? Thus came Google. Sleep train a 6 week old baby?? Are these parenting articles supported by evidence-based research, or even tried and tested on actual babies???

There are hundreds of methods recommended online and preached to parents on how to cure them of their own sleep deprivation help baby sleep better, but I have summarily categorised it into two:

  1. Let them CIO (Cry It Out)
    This one, I just cannot. How can you bear to hear the sad cries of your baby, all by his lonesome, just begging to be snuggled and soothed? In intervals of 15min/10min/5min, go into the room where the crying baby is and give some reassuring pats, then leave. What??? How??? I’d feel like a horrible parent!
  2. Don’t let them CIO
    This method calls for parents to give baby all the attention baby wants in a firm and consistent manner but don’t overdo it. OK… Question, when is it considered overdoing it? Cry, pick up, pat, calm down, put back down, cry, pick up, pat, calm down, put back down, repeat… you get the idea. Apparently one parent did this for 146 times one night, and 30 the next night, then 4 the night after. OK, I definitely prefer this over the CIO method, but 146 times?? HOW????

After an hour of carry/walk/sing/pat, Teddy sleep until ‘lao nua’ (drool)

 

While I continue to try and wrap my head around thiswhole sleep-training business, if you have any tips on how you helped your baby to sleep better (which does not include the ingestion of alcoholic beverages), please feel free to share!

Life

Nail Avulsion

At the beach

Two weeks ago we spent a fun-filled day at East Coast Park. We built sandcastles, played tennis and kicked ball. When we returned to the car I stopped in mid-track because there was a sudden sharp pain in my left big toe. I bent down, inspected it and spotted a small black plastic splinter-like object near the fold of the nail which was removed easily so I thought nothing of it after that.

A few days after, the nail fold area turned red, swelled up, and was basically a pain in my… toe. You know how nurses love to self-diagnose, self-treat, and self-medicate? Well that’s what I did. I expressed whatever exudates (pus) I could daily. I also religiously soaked the toe in chlorhexidine solution.

After one and a half week of somewhat bearable sufferance, I caved and went to a trusted friend who is a GP to make sure that I wasn’t going to die from a toe infection. He got me started on antibiotics as a optimistic first choice of treatment because we all know how unpleasant the other option would be – SURGERY.

But it didn’t get better.

So I went to Mount Alvernia’s 24h Walk-in Clinic and was advised to get to the root of the problem with a minor outpatient procedure with a referral to an Orthopaedic specialist.

The process is supposed to be relatively quick, simple and painless. You get an injection to numb the toe, the offending nail (or part of it) is removed with surgical pliers, and the nail bed is “explored” to remove debris (if any).

Before Avulsion

Waiting for procedure

// This was how it went.

The Doctor injected the base of my toe with local anaesthetic (LA), waited a few minutes for it to work its magic so that he can work his. He pinched the tip of my toe with a toothed forcep and asked if I could feel that, and I reply with a yelp (that means yes).

So there was more of wait, pinch, LA not working, inject more LA, wait, pinch, inject more LA. I got a comment that my big toe was unusually “resistant” to the LA. I apologised on behalf of my toe.

The Doctor proceeds to yank out half of my toe nail with surgical pliers, forceps, and scissors. I felt the full effect of it and wore a brave silent grimace while colourful words exploded in my head.

Then he began to explore. There was digging, poking, prodding – this was done when I was mostly sensorially intact. Then I could hear the forceps scrape against something repeatedly, every movement triggering more unkind words held back through gritted teeth. The Doctor smiled and said, That’s your bone.

After Avulsion

After traumatic avulsion

To say I was traumatised is a gross understatement. On a side note, I think I have an unhealthy tolerance for pain to the extent of being a lil’ BDSM 😑

Recipes

Recipe: Juicy Wet Thighs…

Things have been a little unhinged around here. We have dinner parties coming up this weekend and menu planning has been a pain in the arse. Thank god for Redmart otherwise I would be going to Fairprice every other day to restock on groceries. Saturday we have the husband’s friends over for dinner, and Sunday we will have friends from my previous workplace over for… what do you call a meal eaten between lunch and dinner at 3pm? Lunchner? ?

Last week we attended a bachelor and bachelorette’s night for close friends of ours and it was really fun. The “sisters” and “brothers” had a cook-off at Cookyn, Inc.! I will share more about the night out in a separate blog post. It was a fruitful evening – we picked up neat knife skills and new recipes, which I will bravely attempt to recreate this weekend. And because sharing is caring, here is a recipe that I plan to use this weekend!

Juicy thigh recipe

Juicy Wet Thighs in Sexy Raspberry Dressing (Hen’s Night Style)

This is a vietnamese dish, so naturally it will be a tad spicy. I tweaked it a little to my preference. Leave out the chilli if you don’t do spicy – it should taste just as nice!

Cooking time: 20 minutes
Portion: Serves 4

You will need:
8 pieces of bone-in skin-on fresh chicken thigh

Marinade:
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Dipping sauce:
1 clove of garlic
1 shallot
2 stalks of red chilli
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp raspberry vinaigrette

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 220°C.
  2. Mix all the marinate ingredients in one bowl, add chicken thighs in and set aside in the fridge for 2 hours.
  3. Blend all dipping sauce ingredients in one bowl, set aside. You can use a hand-held blender for this, or if you have ninja knife skills feel free to manually chop everything by hand.
  4. Remove marinated thighs from fridge and bake in oven for 15 minutes or until cooked-through.
  5. After the chicken is cooked, do not throw away the juicy chicken grease in the baking tray! Add juicy chicken grease to dipping sauce and mix well.
  6. You have the option to serve chicken with dipping sauce separate, or simply drizzle dipping sauce on the chicken thighs. Serve and enjoy!
Life

The cure for anything

At the beach

The cure for anything is water – sweat, tears, or the sea.

I first read this quote many years back at a period in time where it felt like I have lost everything important to me, and its meaning resonated with me deeply. Until today, this advice stands true.

When I feel lost and blue, sitting on the beach helps me put things in perspective. I could sit for hours. It’s not a happy place. It is where I can go to be sad by myself for a while, and then the waves and breeze will lift me like a kite. Then I soar. And I simply accept wherever the winds may take me.