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Kids

Children’s week

The kids had so much fun during school week because it was Children’s Day! They were so pampered by their teachers who put so much effort to come up with funfair-like activities and SO MANY presents. The school was decked out in colorful decorations and could you believe it, they set up a bouncy castle at the playground! It was definitely paradise for them!

The good week continued into the weekend, and we brought the kids out to West Coast Park for sand play, kite flying, and *drumroll*… McDonald’s brunch!

 

I know a couple of dieticians at work so if you are reading about my choice of brunch over the weekend you will probably be tsk-tsk-ing me right now, but hey, here’s a picture of Teddy to distract you –

Can you believe he’s already 6 months old? Teddy is such a cheery little fellow. He doesn’t like to be left by his lonesome, not even for a minute, and he wails loudly in protest until his not-so-big sister Amelie comes running. She’d say, “Whutsh rwong Teddy?” and shower him with hugs and kisses. Then they will hang out. Great chilling buddies. Like this.

Unfortunately I probably had too much sun and too little fluids going that weekend, the mild flu that’s been bugging me since the week before that escalated into a full blown sinus infection and I was so miserable on Sunday! I returned to work Tuesday but was kicked out of the office 10 mins in for coming to work sick (in hindsight rightfully so). On the drive to work that day, I coughed so much that I puked in the car. Husband’s cool about it, xo ūüėÖ

Diligently taking the antibiotics and decongestants prescribed, hopefully I will feel 100% by Friday because the husband is traveling (again!) so it’s me and the 3 kids (again!!). I will need all the energy I can get!

Family Kids

It’s too difficult

Our oldest boy is 6! I cannot believe that I’ve been a mom for 6 years now. Where did all that time go?

He’s such a great kid. Sociable and bubbly, he’s great at having fun, and best of all he’s motivated to learn. Recently, his home-school work has become quite challenging, and he’s having a really hard time moving past the fact that, drumroll… he does not always get the answers right on his first try. When we ask¬† questions about the methods he used to arrive at his answer (which is important because you want to know which part he understood and which needs work), he gets super defensive and irritated, at times even bordering on rudeness.

It was difficult to see him having so much trouble processing all that frustration and unhappiness. The look on his face when he reluctantly said, “this is too difficult!” is all too familiar because I’ve been there. We have all been there. I wish I could make this easier for him to understand but kid, you don’t have to have it all figured out from the get-go.

Your attitude and the method, the process, the fighting spirit – it’s everything. Be an explorer! Not just a conqueror. We are here to challenge you, guide you, and love you (even if you currently suck at multiplication and division) ūüôā

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.” – Martin Luther King

 

Thankful

4 months later

Hellooo everyone!

I’m back after a long (unexpected) hiatus. The three kids have kept me/us very busy. We have had time to visit Germany with Theodore in July, then Australia with Aidan and family friends in September. I will share more of those in the coming weeks (sorry! Sleep is #1 priority whenever I can get it).

It’s been a really good year, a year which I am very thankful for. I won’t deny this – some days are hard with 3 kids and a new ‘old’ home, but there are so many more days that bring me nothing but joy and gratitude. This is me penning these thoughts down to reaffirm my positivity, I guess!

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 ūüėĎ

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¬įC.
  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!