April 9, 2014

A 9 Month Old Clam!

If I had to use photos to describe Z’s personality at 9 months, without any doubt it would be this first photo. Feet dangling from the slots of her crib and yet, happy as a clam! 







Z now weighs 7.62 kg at 9 months, she can very slowly crawl forward, attempts to stand up (usually using my knees as support), and is just a little moving machine! She still does not sleep through the night (woe is me!) and wakes up a minimum of twice a night which is not too bad considering sometimes it can be a whole lot worse. She recognises us; her Mama and Daddy and can look for us if we ask, “Where is Daddy/Mama?". She loves playing hide and seek, especially in bed in the mornings. She now knows how to scrunch up her face and tilt her head to the side when she wants to be loving (which is so ridiculously adorable!) but somehow, she has gotten people shy. Before she used to smile openly at anyone and everyone but now, not so much. She doesn’t mind strangers looking at her or saying hello but she doesn’t smile back; it’s just a blank stare back at them.

Still, no sign of ‘em teeth though! She alternates between being a happy baby and a cranky, drooling baby thanks to those darn teeth. Oh, and we have also started using the big bathtub for Z’s baths. She absolutely loves it! She splishes and splashes and sometimes she even tries to eat the bubbles! The not so great part about it is that she loves the bath so much that she cries when I take her out to dress her up. And that’s when you get to hear all sorts of nursery rhymes from the resident entertainer i.e. Mama!

 Z is still a fully breastfed baby at 9 months. And while feeding that is the time when I’ll usually tell her that I love her and we’ll share kisses and cuddles afterwards. She has also gotten better at giving ‘kisses’ which is more of her smashing her face/mouth to my face! I have to say though that his girl is quite rough. Her kicks are really painful and she just lunges face forward towards us. Sitting in her crib, a place that’s supposed to be relative safe, she has hit both her face and head at separate times. The worst bit, she even pinches my nips which really gets on my nerves because 1. it hurts and 2. IT REALLY HURTS!

She hasn’t gotten discharged yet from the children’s hospital but when we went for her follow up checkup, Z’s surgeon was really pleased with the way everything was. He was happy with her weight, the way her scar looks and the general way that Z was. We have another checkup in a years time and of course we will keep praying for everything to continue progressing the way it has been; wonderfully!

Happy 9 Months, bubba!

April 8, 2014

Of Zia and Allison

Today we went to the Baby Matters clinic in our area and by chance the nurse today was Allison. Now unfortunately I don't know Allison's full name but I do know this; she is the kindest and loveliest person I've met in this whole journey of being a new Mama to a baby that had gastroschisis.

When Z first came home with us, Allison would visit us every week to weigh Z and just keep track of how things are going. This basically meant that she had to lug a weighing machine up one floor to our flat. She also constantly reassured us that we were doing well and Z was doing beautifully. And as a new Mama, she gave me heaps of confidence when it came to my judgement and decisions.

It was wonderful to see her again today after months as Z didn't need to be monitored so closely. We usually go to the Baby Matters clinic right before Z's monthly birthday and it's not always the same staff.

So today, Z was given some extra lovin' from Allison and she soaked it up like a sponge! And I have to admit, I loved seeing Allison doting on my girl. It's just...something else that feeling. ��

If only Z's grandparents, uncles, and aunts were nearby to dote on her too. *sigh*


April 7, 2014

Of Zippers, Chubby Cheeks and Swings





It was a perfectly lovely Sunday; bright blue skies, wonderful warm sunshine and a guilty as hell Mama. Z looks all smiles in these photos but 20 minutes before this, she was crying her heart out. I had been wanting to take her to the park for her first time on a swing in ages. Unfortunately it was either cloudy, rainy or extremely windy. So, Sunday was perfect.

As I put Z in her clothes and zipped up her jacket, she started whining, and whimpering. I just ignored it thinking that she was just being fussy and got on with getting ready myself. A few minutes later as I unzipped her jacket she let out a looooong wail and started crying. It was the full works; red faced, tears from her eyes, and snot dribbling down from her nose. I couldn’t figure out what happened until I had a lightbulb moment and checked her neck, you know, that bit of body underneath the rolls of fat. And that’s when I realised that I had accidentally zipped up a teeny tiny bit of her skin while dressing her up. Her chubby cheeks and double chin had blocked my view and I felt horrible. Absolutely horrible.

I know it was an accident and I am sort of over it. The thing that bugged me (and still is bugging me) is the fact that it didn’t click in my mind that something was wrong. And I just thought she was being fussy, as she is every time she has to wear a coat/jacket. That, is where my guilt is from. I was so angry with that jacket that I was telling husband that I felt like burning it! And of course husband replied with, “I think you’re watching waaaaay to many dramas on TV!” and that was that. The bit of skin has become a scab and I of course make sure that I remember to put cream on it so that it’ll heal fast.

As for playing on the swings, it was perfection! She loved it and I loved seeing her so happy. Her face lighting up whenever she would swing towards me. I’ve even got a video of it but I was making weird kissy noises to make Z laugh so yeah, not gona post it here! Haha. Of course being the curious cat that she is, she loved looking at people and other babies/children in the park. Before she used to smile freely at everyone, now though it’s not so much. I don’t know if this means that Z is becoming people shy or just that her smile is expensive yo! LOL.

And that was our imperfectly perfect Sunday afternoon, spent on the swings and under the wonderful sunshine. Spring is here you guys! ;)

March 25, 2014

Outgrowing Coats





At 8+months, Z has finally finally outgrown of her size 3-6months winter coat. I bought the coat from Zara when she was still an itty bitty baby in a moment of pure and sheer madness! It was the new fall line on display at Zara and I was pretty much delirious due to all those sleepless nights (not that much has changed! Pffft!!) and paid for it, in full price. Now normally, I never shop at full price and it’s something that I am pretty proud of actually. I don’t mind using hand-me-downs, which most of Z’s earlier clothes were, and of course, I always wait for sales. But that day, madness struck and I bought this beautiful coat for my itty bitty baby. There really is no fault in the coat other than the fact that you can’t machine wash it; it needed to be dry cleaned, something I didn’t notice when I was making my naughty little purchase. Not a great idea when babies do spit up which of course happened a lot. Fabreeze was my best friend during all those little mishaps!

But now that Z has grown out of it, I am at a loss of what to do with this beauty. A few nights ago, when the whole house was still (husband and baby, both asleep) I was removing bits of fuzz from the coat, preparing to get it dry cleaned before I hung it up for good that I got kind of emotional about it. It was Z’s first coat; the one I bought and waited for in anticipation of when she would finally fit into it. My mom was with me when I bought it and I remember her telling me to send her photos when Z finally wears the coat. It seems as though, all of a sudden Z is just growing up way to fast and slowly, the number of ‘firsts’ are dwindling. And if you were wondering, I flooded my dad’s email with photos of Z that first outing while wearing this jacket.

Now normally, when it comes to things like clothes I’m not really sentimental. It’s just material things; so no big deal, right? Husband is completely the opposite. Like right now, Z has outgrown of most of her clothes up to size 6months. If you ask me, the ones that are faded or stained should be either donated or binned. And the nice ones can be kept but packed away. But husband, he wants to keep it all. His reasoning; we can use it for the next baby. And I’m just like, ‘Say what now?’. What if our next baby is a winter baby? Z was born in the summer obviously all her clothes are bought according to season. And bigger yet; what if the next baby is a boy?

So right now, I’m not sure what to do. Should I put it up for sale, where another mama can create memories with her baby girl? Or should I just selfishly keep this beautiful coat hanging in a dark closet? Although the thought of letting it go makes me extremely emotional, I did pay a pretty penny for it. Urgh I hate this so much but I’m so grateful that Z is growing so well and thriving.

Fellow mamas, what do you think?


March 21, 2014

Sleep Training Is Not For Wussies

Urgh how do I start this? Most people would be wondering, what the heck am I talking about? Why would I need to sleep train my baby when clearly, I am a stay at home Mama and don’t need to go to work? Why do I need to sleep train my baby, when I can as easily take a nap while my baby is napping. WRONG. SO MUCH WRONG!

At 8 months old, Z naps twice a days in 1.5 hours blocks. Although this timing is not set in stone as sometimes in one blocks she sleeps longer and the next its much shorter. And while she naps, that is my only window to get some of the following done: preparing lunch for myself, cooking dinner for husband and I, preparing Z’s lunch+dinner, cleaning the kitchen, sorting+folding+putting away laundry, light cleaning of the house, showering. It sounds massive when you have a tight deadline of just 1.5hours. When Z is awake my full attention is on her. As she is currently mobile (hey, moving backwards is still moving in my books) I keep a close eye on where she moves and what she shoves into her mouth. I also play with her as much as I can before she gets sleepy or starts whining for milk. This ‘shift’ of mine ends of course when husband gets home. He keeps Z company while I set the table (or do last minute prep) for dinner.

Once Z is done with her dinner, she gets a bath from either husband or me and we get her ready for bed. She will usually take a last feed between 8.30-9.00pm before husband takes her into the bedroom to read a story and then rock her to sleep. If she wakes up before 11.30pm, husband would be the one who will put her back to sleep but after 11.30pm; Mama is back on booby-duty. On good days she would wake up twice, on bad nights it’s almost every two hours. On really bad nights, she would be awake and crying from 1+a.m. to about 4a.m. in the morning and then wake up again at 5/6 a.m. for milk with some crying on the side. She then wakes up for the day between 8.30-9.30a.m. (sometimes even earlier).

Without a doubt, I love my Z. And would do anything to make her happy. But before I became a Mama, I was also me; and as selfish as it sounds: I love me too. The long nights and patchy sleep are not doing me any good. And of course, I want to be the best Mama I can be for Z and for that, I really needed sleep! A good, solid, 6 hour stretch would be heavenly! Okay, okay…I need the sleep to be a good wife too! (Just so that husband doesn’t feel left out! ;))

Recently, when Z hit the 8 month mark I decided that it was time to start sleep training. Properly. No doing things half-heartedly and chickening out because Z was crying. And on top of it all, my boobs needed a rest you guys! So I decided that because we weren’t fans of Z crying we were going to try out the ‘no tears method’. It’s where when your baby starts crying you pick her up, calm her down and while she’s awake you put her back down on the bed and pat her to sleep. If she cries again, just repeat what you did earlier; pick up, soothe, put baby down awake and pat until she goes to sleep. You do this for the first three days. The next three days would be to soothe your baby without picking her up. The following three days would be to just pat your baby. It basically goes on until your baby has learnt to self soothe and is able to fall asleep on her own without needing to wake up the parents. This method is greatly recommended when you are co-sleeping with your child or in other words ‘attachment parenting’. In our case, we’re not exactly co-sleeping with Z but her crib is right next to our bed so I can just roll over to check on her. I would like to thing of it as almost co-sleeping! Haha! Of course, whatever method you are using to sleep train your child, it is important to ensure that your little is only crying because of sleep training and not anything else.

The first night was pretty rough, I had Z cuddled next to me and was tapping and shushing her. And she was crying away. Somewhere in the middle of the night husband couldn’t take it anymore and said to just give Z milk. I was adamant, I refused and continued on with the sleep training and after a while, she fell asleep. The second night was almost the same, Z was cuddling but spent less time crying as she was busily sucking on her thumb to self soothe. Now, the third night was when I caved. I could see and hear Z sucking on her thumb noisily for over an hour. With her eyes wide open, just looking at me wonderingly; as if asking ‘Why is Mama not giving me milk? Did I do something wrong?’. And my resolve crumbled. Harder and faster than a house made of cards.

And just like that, I popped my boob out and Z latched within seconds. I could hear her gulping milk down noisily.

I, my friends, am a big, fat, wuss.

So for now, this is sleep training Attempt 1. When Z is 9 months old, we’re going to try tackling sleep training all over again unless Z miraculously starts sleeping through the night on her own. *I wish!!*



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