Sunday, April 30, 2017

Autumn is here

This post was drafted last week and finally completed the day this post is published!


Brendan
One of the things I love doing is looking back at old photos of my little koala, and chuckling to myself, amazed as to how much he has changed. Heehee. It really tickles me.

Now that B is almost 11 months, I can see his developments progressing bit by bit, from improvement of his motor skills and expressing himself better. There's a lot of baby babble and hand pointing and I nod and respond accordingly, pretending to understand him when I only understand 10% of it!

One of my daily struggles involve preparing his meals. While I wish I was one of those super health freaks who insist their children eat only the best organic food, I can only be partially bothered. *guilt-stricken*


Breakfast are the toughest. I used to feed him some yoghurt when we were in Malaysia but I stopped, fearing for its sugar content. Right now, I alternate between oats with pieces of bread and fruit, and Cerelac with pieces of bread, as well as a piece of bread to keep his restless hands busy (so he'll feed himself) while we watch Sesame Street on tv.

I try to stay away from processed baby food but having Cerelac and some baby rice puffs (for snacks) readily available at hand is very convenient!

What a mess!

I dread cleaning up after his meals, I really do. Well, the hubs does, too. It's hard work!

Sometimes I prefer to feed him to limit the mess but it helps to have some finger food available when he insists on feeding himself.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Running Again - Wyndham Rotary Fun Run Walk 2017

I never thought I'd be running again (in races) until B turns 1. You know, until my pelvic floor and whatnots are functioning properly again. :D

But as a step towards regaining my fitness, I signed up for the 5KM run just two weeks ago as a kick in the right direction. Only then did I start 'training' for it, heh, jogging at least 3 times a week! 

It's a pain to run while pushing the stroller, you know, that's why I'm always inclined to walk around the neighbourhood instead!

Anyway, the goal was to complete the distance within 40 minutes, at most, as the hubs' 10KM starts 45 minutes after my run. Someone had to take over minding our koala.

Wyndham Rotary Fun Run/Walk 2017 was held at the Chirnside Park, Werribee on March 5th.

It was a pleasant Sunday morning for a lovely run as it was cool and cloudy. I love small events as it's less crowded on the route.

We ran along the Werribee River and made a u-turn halfway through (along the highway / Federation Trail) to head back to the field. I wasn't really paying attention to the scenery around me as I was focused on my breathing and trying to maintain a steady pace. I thought I would end up killing myself if I pushed too hard but the actual fact was, I held myself back.

I stopped to walk twice, just to catch my breath up a tiny slope and before entering the finishing chute. I know I shouldn't have!

About 500m before the finish line, I encouraged a fellow runner who was walking, to keep on going as we were nearly there. He must have somehow taken offence when I ran past him while saying that, because he suddenly shot off with a tremendous burst of speed.

(You know how sensitive some older folks can be ...)

Wanted to show off my dress here. :D
Oh, and my cute grumpy boo!

It turned out that my fitness is still OK, despite not running regularly for the past 3 months - there is hope to get back to where I used to be! 

I was pleasantly surprised that I could squeeze into my running dress. I only remembered it when I was getting reading that morning. 

I was also chuffed to finish under 30 minutes in good form! I should have pushed myself, shouldn't I? Heh. Let's not kill myself so soon ... baby steps!


Everyone did better than they expected, the hubs and Eugene. Everyone hasn't been running regularly so they had concerns about how they'd fare. Hehe. 

So, the hubs tells me that my next event (preferably end of this month) should be a 10KM. Whattt ... the thought of training again makes me feel lazy ...

But I confess, running regularly again and to be able to do a 10km effortlessly is this year's motivation. Well, maybe graduate to a half marathon distance by the end of the year. I can't afford to put in too much time into training as little B will need my time and energy as well!


Sorry for ending most of the sentences with exclamation marks! Haha

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Brendan's Bear

Once upon a time, my boy received a lovely gift pack from a good mate (I bet his wife did the careful shopping). He was two months old when we first visited them.

In the pack was a dark brown bear comforter snuggly (what do you call it?) and we'd place it on his chest every time he slept. I believe that's how he grew attached to it. :)

He'd shriek with glee each time he spotted the bear when we put him in his cot, and would proceed to chew on its snout or tag. In fact, he'd suck on the tag until he'd fall asleep during his naps.


Above is one of the pictures I took of his nap times in the past. I just couldn't resist smiling (with total adoration for my boy, hehe) whenever I find him with The Very Hungry Caterpillar cloth book or the bear partially covering his face.

He adored the bear so much that if you were to hold the bear and any other plush toys hostage, he'd dive and save the bear first.

Always.

A few weeks ago, we flew to Malaysia to celebrate Chinese New Year with our families. We made sure the bear traveled with us as his dependable companion on the plane.

Unfortunately, unknown to me, the bear fell out of my bag last Monday at KLIA before we cleared security check for our flight to Melbourne. I only realised this halfway through our flight.

Close up of the bear.

I was so so so gutted.

I felt terrible.

Bin and I were horrified!

The night we got home, I think Brendan had difficulties with heading into dreamland. Not sure if it was because there was no bear, as well as jet lag and tired, but he cried inconsolably for an hour. 

Two nights after that, he cried for 2 hours. 
OMG it was tough for everyone as we were a bit under the weather, too.

I decided then and there that I'd try to replicate the bear for him as the bear was no longer available on the shelves (since months back).

Geez, talk about true love for my baby ...

It took me 3 nights (intermittent hours here and there) and I finally managed to make something which resembled closely to the bear. Granted that the materials I used were not 100% accurate, but colour wise, I almost nailed it. 


Kinda.

When we presented the bear to him, he smiled and reached out for it. He checked its snout and tag, and decided that the bear was alright.

He doesn't have the same attachment as he did with the first one but he's doing much better now. At least he has something to reach out to when he needs it. :)

But should the hubs hold it hostage with the other plush toys, the bear would not be his first choice to save.


Nevertheless, I'm pretty impressed with my newbie skills. Heh.

Friday, January 13, 2017

It's 2017!

Soooo ... looking back on 2016 achievements, I don't recall having any!

I'm just glad that I had a good pregnancy at the beginning of the year, and blessed with a healthy and happy baby boy in May. 

The first 7 months of motherhood have been interesting. 

Taxing. 
Happy.
Lethargic.
Trying.
Laughter.
Love, love and lots of love. :)

Dec 2016: Sleeping side by side in our living room.

We spent a few days of the Christmas holidays in Gippsland, checking out a few local sites. During that time, Melbourne was hit by high temp and we managed to escape it for a while and have the luxury of sleeping in a hotel for 2 nights. Bliss!

When we returned home, well, the heat came back and we camped out in our living room for 2 nights as that was the only room in our house with an air conditioning unit. 

I couldn't bear it anymore after that and decided I'd rather sleep in my own bed, with the fan blasting my direcgion. 


We're flying to Malaysia next weekend so we're left with just this weekend to complete our spring cleaning. There's TONS to do, and it's going to be harder to complete them with a sticky koala needing cuddles and attention every now and then.

Bub is suffering from teething pain and sometimes prefer to stick close to us once he's done exploring. The past 2 nights he has been waking up a few times for feed/comfort. *roll eyes* 

He's crawling about these days and can sit up now. Some mornings, I'll find myself being hollered an "Ehhhhhh!" to wake up - he'll push himself up and go to the corner of his crib nearest to me to do so! 

Sometimes, he'll thump the railing a couple of times for impact.

Often, I'd wish I could continue sleeping and ignore him ...



No such thing as extravagant dinner these days.

I did attempt cauliflower rice a few days ago, to accompany the creamy tomato chicken dish. It was a messy affair to grate the cauliflower!


Then I started reminiscing my childhood days of eating prawn fritters cooked by my mum or grandmother. I did such a poor version of it, just because I was too scrooge to add an egg to the batter. Hehe. Instead, I experimented with sesame seeds and crushed peanuts in the batter. Taste wise, you don't really taste them but they add texture.


Today is Friday, and the hubs initially suggested we go out for dinner instead of cooking. Since he suggested pizza, I thought I'd make them at home instead. (Try this No Yeast Pizza Dough.)

Experimented with pork meatballs as toppings!

Hmmm, had to make the meatballs beforehand, though. So this really was quite time consuming.



We finally opened bubba's Christmas presents yesterday. When I say we, I actually mean me.

Among the stash, he really liked a finger puppet book and a toy xylophone. Most of all, he was eyeing any plastic wrappers he could get his hand on so he could chew on them ...

Oh my gawd, I'm falling asleep here and this is not even a long post!

Sorry peeps, I'll have to cut it short. 
I know if I don't keep this short and sweet, I'll have nothing to say but gush on and on about how happy it makes me feel to see my sticky koala happy and laughing every time. 

And that would be quite a pain to read. :)


And no, I don't have any new year resolutions.

Friday, December 16, 2016

What, December Is Here??

Soooo, I've been a mum for 6 months now, and gosh, how time just seems to fly when you're not sleeping enough! 

I swear I've aged 10 years since.

I've yet to make a few more to complete the fleet.

Little B is no longer the little dumpling he was 6 months ago, but is now mummy's little sticky koala. He's a cheeky fella with a ready grin and restless hands, and doesn't take mummy's "NOOOOO!!!!" seriously.

In fact, he'll chuckle and think it's one of mummy's sound effects. (I do a pretty impressive clucking hen and yapping puppy!)

Not impressed with the toy mummy made for him.

I wish I could proudly say that it has been a breeze but we all know that it would be a terrible lie. I struggle with putting him down for his naps and bedtime - bedtime is a constant battle as he often screams and wails. I amuse myself by singing "The End Of The World" which puzzles him. Hehe. I find it amusing because I suspect he thinks being left in his cot to sleep is equivalent to a death sentence and it really is the end of the world. 

Fell asleep after mummy refused to entertain his wails. Yes!!!
But only a half hour nap, though. Booooo!

And when he finally sleeps, I rejoice!

And then comes the dilemma: do I catch a few winks, too, or get on with my chores?

Bugger.

Such is my daily struggle. :)

Hiking the Northern Range track at You Yangs Regional Park.






We try to go for a hike every weekend so the parents can get some exercise in and also expose him to the outdoors where he'll be spending a good chunk of his childhood. Unfortunately there are a lot of flies and mozzies now that the warm weather is here.

Poor bub gets so bored on the trails that he tends to take a nap while mummy will huff and puff up the incline.

So far, there hasn't a need for me to feed him on the trails. Thank goodness for that!


I'm going to talk about something else besides my little bub now, lest I end up rambling about him. (Let's hope he'll continue napping until I finish writing this post!)


This is our neighbour's plum tree. Every time I step outside into our backyard, these fruits stare at me so invitingly that I wished one of its branches was leaning over to our side so I could pluck them. I found a fallen fruit in our yard that day and we tasted it. It was decently sweet, not sour at all. Lucky neighbour!



This is one of our blueberry plants. It was exciting for a while to see them turning ripe, until I realised how I had to check on them on daily basis to know when they were ripe enough to be plucked. 

I guess that's the reason why they cost quite a bit as you need tons of plants to yield enough blueberries to fill a punnet!



One of the herbs we have been trying to grow since 2 years ago is the coriander/cilantro. We bought 2 or 3 punnets from Bunnings a few times and every time they'd struggle and just die.

Then the hubs decided that he'd try and grow them from the roots of store bought ones. They flourished for a while, grew seeds and flowers, and died.

The ones pictured here are from those seeds. It turned out to be a pleasant surprise as we really didn't expect them to find its way into our vegetable patch! 

We're now waiting for it to 'pass on' for the next generation. I've even chucked some cuttings onto our nature strip in front of our house to see if they'll shoot up next year. :P



We grew some curly kale from a packet of seeds and we didn't expect them to grow so well. I lost interest in them when I realised that stupid aphids loved kale - they're a pain to clean off the leaves prior to cooking and consumption!

Not only that, we had a short stint of caterpillars happily leaving lots of holes in the young juicy leaves. The hubs had to check the plants regularly and 'dismantle' the caterpillars from the leaves and give them a new home some place else. :P



We are excited that our persimmon tree is fruiting!

It's still struggling to be a very healthy tree so we're obliged to give it tons of TLC and pray its fruits will stay with us until they're ripe.

Gosh, gardening is a tough job.

It's a pretty Aussie thing to do, I suppose, to have a vege patch. It does gives a topic of conversation to have with like-minded friends. :D


------
My post from our trip to New Zealand last December is still in draft!

Tsk tsk.
It's going to be another new year by the time it's ready.

I hope not!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Fears Of Being Pregnant and Being a Mother

For years since we got married in 2011, we've had people asking us to have a baby pronto while we were still "young". Only a few people (and friends) advised us to do what we wanted to do first before jumping into parenthood. You know, like travel the world, win the lottery, etc ... haha!

In all honesty, I was always terrified of going through pregnancy and motherhood. No, it wasn't about 'being pregnant' but going 'through pregnancy', if there's a difference. Which I think there is.

Or maybe not ... :D

My main fear was being an overweight pregnant woman and an overweight mother soon after the 9 months were over. I was terrified of putting on too much weight and never be able to shed it off. 

I thought I'd be able to lose some weight first before being pregnant but I don't think I tried hard enough! 

I didn't enjoy the weight gain during my first two trimesters because I was always hungry (1st trimester) and I didn't exercise enough during the second trimester. I was annoyed with myself, especially when my weight kept increasing and my appetite was not fading.

It was hard to stop worrying about the unnecessary or excess weight gain and focus on being healthy and fit. Somehow through time, I did adjust my focus. It made me feel better when friends commented that I looked OK for a pregnant woman.

Nevertheless, I would remind myself every now and then about how lucky and blessed I was:
1. My pregnancy was normal and there were no complications;
2. My weight gain was 14kg, which some might say was still too much and some will say that's not too bad. I made sure I walked more during my final trimester and did my best to eat well.
3. I don't have too much stretch marks, just a little bit below my abdomen.
4. I was able to sleep well through the night - you hear stories about babies in tummies kicking up a storm when mummies are sleeping at night.
5. My baby was (and still is) a healthy one.

Made these bibs in April. Haven't used them yet as they are quite big for him at the moment.

Moving on, now that the bub is out and 6-7 weeks old, let me tell you about what I feared about being a mother. One of the main reasons I felt that I wouldn't be ready for motherhood was being selfless. I could never imagine myself devoting 99% of my time and energy to a helpless child nor the patience it required. ('It' as in motherhood, not baby!)

I still can't imagine myself being unselfish but no doubt motherhood will slyly change me all for the sake of the bub. Hmmm ...

The first few weeks of postpartum were hard. I was irritated by the constant crying and my inability to decipher his cries. The lack of sleep didn't help either. Nor did it help that there were restrictions in my movements during confinement, e.g. I had to walk slowly and carefully so that I didn't tear my stitches. And he was just so fussy - he hated being changed out of his clothes and diapers, didn't enjoy his baths, took more than an hour to settle after feed to go back to sleep, and wanted to be carried often.

What I thought I'd get, was the ideal baby who could sleep through the night with less fuss after feeds, the independent one who could be put down to sleep without having to be rocked and held to sleep first.

Well, it's a hard knocked life and I had to be more realistic, Bin said.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Making A Mess With Sewing

14 July 2016 
Gosh, this post has been in the draft folder for a few months now and I'm already a mother to a 6.5 week old baby boy! :D :D :D
~~~~~~~


Sooooo in February, I finally took out the sewing machine I bought last year. I finally had the guts to test it out and see if I'd enjoy sewing.

I had so much fun that I find myself hunting for things I could sew, without it being too complicated for a beginner like me.

The bigger elephant cushion will be handy for the bub's tummy time, I think.

I started with a small elephant pillow and was surprised how small it turned out. So I got the hubs to enlarge the pattern which he drew for me.


Made a pink striped version for my ex-colleague who's expecting a baby girl this month. 

I was so pleased to finish my crochet baby blanket and sew a pale yellow flannelette backing to it, which makes it feel *really* comfy, I didn't expect to be emotional whilst sewing the flannelette to it, but I started to think about my late paternal grandmother, who is the only person I know in the family who used to sew us pillows, pajamas and patchwork blankets. Despite my shoddy handiwork, I hope she's proud of me for picking up sewing as a hobby. :D


I made 2 kiddy tote bags for a friend's daughters and they were pretty excited and happy to receive them, despite my really poor handiwork. A shame I didn't have enough of that glittery striped fabric to complete both bags!


I had to use 2 - 3 different pieces of fabric to piece 1 bag together!


Lil Miss K posing with the bag.

I made another tote bag for a friend to use as I had this great idea that it would come in handy, especially when you're out and about with the kids. Of course, when it came to execution ... that was another story. :P

Once again, using Fat Quarter fabrics and trying to match the colours.

A different colour inside.

I was hoping I'd be able to make myself a nappy tote bag but decided not to stress myself and wait for some free time in between baby's naps but ... well, seems like that's going to be impossible until he starts napping for more than 30 minutes!

I can honestly say that sewing is fun, but a shame that the materials you need can cost a bomb!