Monday, September 28, 2009

Breastfeeding after puasa

My breastmilk production decreased during Puasa month. I could not pump more than 2 - 3 oz a day at work during Ramadan. When I got home, Salma seems to nurse as usual, which means I was producing on demand, but lately I can tell that I am not producing enough, even though Puasa is over and I can eat and drink (and replenish my stock) as much as I want. I can tell I am not producing as much milk as before because she will stop drinking to do other things and then continue to drink again.

A lot of moms at my office were worried their breastmilk production would decrease during Ramadan, and some even stopped fasting so they could feed their babies. I fasted on all the days I could, though, and as a result, I think my body is producing less milk now. Tomorrow marks the day that Salma has been exclusively breastfed for a total of 1 year! What an achievement! I give myself a pat on the back for that. Exclusively breastfed means that my baby does not drink any formula milk, and only breastmilk. As a result of that, she is slim and not overly fat, healthy, gets sick less frequently than other babies, and seems to have a healthy appetite! We have also saved a lot of money since we do not need to buy tins and tins of formula each month! Some of my colleagues who are also moms tell me that their babies can drink up to 5 large tins of formula each month! That's approximately MYR 350 a month! Whew... I'm glad I don't have that extra expense!

But, as a result of being exclusively breastfed, my baby girl is extremely attached to me. Whereas other babies her age can sleep through the night, she still wakes up at least once each night to nurse. And she steals my bodily calcium through the milk, and my nails are brittle now and break easily. I feel like my teeth ache a lot more than before, too. I have calcium tablets, but I worry that they cause me to get headaches, so I have stopped taking them. I have to consume more calcium rich foods, but I am lactose intolerant, so that limits it a lot as I can't consume dairy products. But I read that brocolli is high in calcium, so I will try to eat more of that everyday.

The doctor that delivered my baby encouraged me to breastfeed til 2 years old, but maybe that's too long. My husband thinks we should stop now and try feeding her milk from a bottle, but I know she won't want a silicone teat. Maybe as my production slows, she will just know, and stop asking for milk completely. Then maybe we can supplement with formula milk in a cup.
Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Hari Raya (Eid)

Officially, this is Salma's second raya, but first time celebrating it. The day before, as is my routine every Ramadan before the first day of Syawal, I iron all the baju raya (Raya clothes). This time I am not doing it so begrudgingly as I sewed Salma's baju raya myself! Then we went to get new rims for my car (my husband's idea). It is a raya present. :)

The next day, I could tell she knew something different is going on. After I bathed her, she didn't complain when I dressed her in the cotton baju kurung. I put on a matching white hair band and matching white shoes, and made her stand in front of the mirror to admire herself, all the while saying, "Cantiknye!" ("So pretty!")
Here is the photo of her looking pleased with herself in front of the mirror -

I must say that even though I should have made the sleeves looser, the baju kurung I made fit her well. Hehe.

But as the day wore on, the clothes irritated her because the day got hot. And she took off the hair band. I brought an extra dress for her to change into in case she got grumpy, but my husband made her wear the baju kurung the whole day, sebab "penat mummy buat untuk Poppet." We raya in KL and in PD, and she remained cheerful throughout, thank God! Was afraid she would get cranky and naughty, but she didn't.

Maybe next year I'll make a baju kurung with pockets so she can collect lots of duit raya!
Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Friday, September 18, 2009

Suddenly bigger

You know the feeling that suddenly overnight your kid has grown bigger? That's what happenend to Salma! Suddenly yesterday I spied her through the web kiddie-cam being carried by one of her teachers, and she took up like half of that teacher's body! I thought, "She's so big!" Then last night, my husband dressed her in a shorts & t-shirt ensemble meant for 2 year olds, and it fit her (though with room to grow), and she looked like a big kid in it. Mummynye Poppet dah besar.

She has started walking confidently anywhere, now. She wants to start running too, but can't yet. So she'll just walk really fast. It gets tiring to chase after her. Me and my husband used to think that it was really bad of parents to make their toddlers wear that vest with the "leash", but now we can understand why they do it. When we were at One Utama old wing, she just walked on and on and on and on, and I had to call her to come back cos I was too tired to chase her.

At Petaling Street, it was wet and rainy, and still she wanted to walk! She's prone to stumble and fall, so we didn't let her, but she insisted, so we found some dry patch of level ground and let her walk. She had time to also stop and say hello to two French ladies, and until now I regret not greeting them in French, since I do speak French. But that night, entah, I forgot the most basic words like saying "She's one years old." ("Elle est un ans.") Haish. I understood every single word they said but could not reply a single thing. How is that possible?

We bought her these "sturdy" running shoes. Like with the jagged rubber sole for extra friction. I think she's pretty pleased with them and learnt how to balance in them straight away! (They still roomy at the front) I don't know how this raya is going to be like with her being newly mobile....

Monday, September 14, 2009

She's come a long way

I'm so proud of Salma this last week, she's reached many milestones I thought. She's started to walk more confidently and she's even shown interest in putting on her shoes by herself.
She was very well behaved during a buka puasa dinner we had at a restaurant recently, where another mommy brought her baby girl, and Salma was very sociable. She started talking to the other baby, touched her face (this is how babies say hello), and even wanted to share her Rabbit (stuffed animal) with her. This is the first time I've seen Salma want to share any of her toys with other babies. So I thought this was a huge development.

Then she has also started to ask me to read other books to her other than her usual all-time favorite! I bought 2 new books for her last weekend, and she was so good to ask me to read them to her, without even asking me where her usual favorite book was! Her top 5 favorite books to read are now:

1. Mommy, Carry Me Please! by Jane cabrera
2. I Love You, Little One by Nancy Tafuri
3. Googly Eyes Playful Pets by Matt Mitter (illustrated by Jane cabrera)
4. Just Go To Bed by Mercer Mayer
5. Maisy likes playing by Lucy Cousins
It used to be just Mommy, Carry Me Please!
I was also delighted at the fact that she can be a very considerate and conscientious girl now that she is turning 1. On Sunday morning, my husband and I slept in and woke up quite late (10 am as compared to the usual 8 am). Instead of pounding my back as she used to do to wake me up, I found her reading quietly to herself and her Rabbit. As I pretended to still be asleep I watched as she flipped the pages and "read" the book outloud in her best imitation of spoken English. :) When I woke up, she said "Hi!" with a big smile, and then crawled over to lie down next to me and we read the books together. Reading a book first thing in the morning is our usual weekend routine.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Going green?

Honestly, I don't think I do anything to help the environment as a mom. I use disposable diapers, I don't recycle my plastic and glass bottles, even though I should. I use wet wipes instead of just washing her butt with water. One thing I do though is reuse the cans of baby formula and baby cereal to store stuff like peanuts and muruku in them. Oh and I do use energy saving lightbulbs, but I don't know why some have blown even though they are meant to last for years and years (isn't that what they say?). Must be the wrong watt voltage.

Some people are very into saving the environment, and do a lot of green things. They even go to the jungle to replant trees. I, on the other hand, am a lousy gardener. I just can't be bothered even to water plants. Maybe if I planted them myself, I would care more. We were all given this mini bamboo plant at our office to put at our desks, and some went all out and bought those oxygen balls for the plant and stuff. And every few days they'd bring their plant to the sink to wash the pot and all, and replace old water. All I did was put mine near the window to get more sunlight, and water it. Even then I stopped watering it, cos someone considerate did it for me. Or rather did it for all the people that placed their plants by the window... In the end, I forgot about my plant and it died. I am so bad at keeping plants.

But I don't mind having a small chili plant in a small pot. That I kinda want. Even though I haven't made any effort to get one. We used to have a chili padi plant at my house in LA. Because, you know, it's hard to find chili padi in shops in LA. So we had a plant. I liked taking care of that plant. Or I thought I took care of it. I was quite young then. But I love gardens! I love a well tended garden, with a green lawn and pretty flowers. Tended by a hired gardener, of course. As a child, I used to love to imagine that I lived on a green farm, surrounded by lush hills, where I would go picking wild flowers. I think I was influenced by the Susu Dutch Lady commercials back then as a kid, where they had that milk maid? And I'm pretty sure it was filmed on that hilly cow farm at UPM...

Recently, I bought Salma this colorful pop-up book about what kids can do to help the environment. And it includes stuff like switching off the lights when leaving the room, turning off the tap when brushing teeth, using both sides of the paper... I hope I can raise an environmentally-conscious kid.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

First real steps

Over the three-day weekend, Salma had her first real steps. And when I say "real steps" I mean more than 2 or 3 steps on her own. She walked for quite a stretch from her dad to me, and we were sitting maybe 4 feet from each other? Her legs are still wobbly though and she just loves falling back down onto the floor. She has had no bruises though, thank God.

I think by her first birthday (at the end of this month), she'll be walking on her own! We make her wear her adidas soft shoes each time we go out so that she'll get used to wearing and walking in them. So far she still gets annoyed by shoes, and will try to take them off. Sometimes she forgets she has them on though, and will be happy with them on.

On Friday, or was it Saturday? We went to Tesco before buka puasa (breaking fast during Ramadan), and there was this promotion to get your baby's photo taken for free and entered into Cutest Baby Contest. Although I think we didn't enter the contest because they didn't make us fill up the form... anyway, we just had the hardest time making her smile for the camera! They made her bang on drums, wear hats, and she would just frown and cry. Finally, they made her sit on my lap, and she finally laughed and smiled! And my favorite photo of her is of her sitting on my lap and smiling with her small teeth showing. Since that episode, she has finally learned how to smile for our camera. So when we were all breaking fast at TGI Fridays, my husband video taped her on his camera phone, and she made all these funny smiley faces! She would scrunch up her nose and eyes and grin with her teeth showing. It is the cutest thing. Here's the photo:

I hope that by her first birthday, she'll be able to smile nicely for Auntie Amanda's camera. :)