Monday, October 30, 2006

What they never told me about babies

Before I became a mother, I was not very comfortable around babies. I felt awkward handling babies. I was afraid to pick up a newborn. They look so fragile. Now that I'm a mother, I'm still not very comfortable handling other people's babies, come to think of it. Lol!

Until I became a mother, I didn't know that......

  • babies poo so much (sometimes they poo before, during and after a breastfeed!)
  • babies eat so often (sometimes I feel like all I do is feed them all day long!)
  • there would be so many immunization trips to the paediatrician (you practically have to organise your life and appointments around those monthly trips during the first year of your baby's life)
  • someone so tiny would make such a big impact into your life
  • babies bring so much joy, laughter and love into your home (sometimes you just look at them and they make you smile for no reason at all)

Well, now I know. And if only, I were a little bit younger, I would want to have more and more and more babies. Hahaha.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Lazy Mom's Approach Towards Toilet Training

I don't potty train my kids. By that, I mean I don't take them to the potty every hour each day in the toilet training process. I don't have the patience..... nor the time. And........... I'm lazy. So.......... I wait! I wait till they are nice and ready. My motto when it comes to toilet training is "I ain't ready till they're ready."

When they are ready, I take them straight to the adult's toilet (with a child seat of course). I find it so much easier this way. No need to clean up dirty little potties. No need to do double training ie have to retrain them in the transition from potty to the adult big seat. All I have to do is flush the toilet after they're done.

Just like any development stage of a child, you can easily tell when they are ready. Just pay attention and watch for the signs. I like this article on Potty Training Readiness and totally agree with it. Here is an excerpt but do read the full article from the link.

"The most important factors are not necessarily age, but rather physiologic, physical and psychological readiness. Before a child can be "toilet trained", she must have attained a certain amount of physiologically readiness, namely "bladder readiness"

The article went on to say that the child must be able to recognise that she is voiding, be physically able and be willing to learn. I also agree with the following statement.

"Last but not least, look at yourself and your family situation. In order for toilet training to be as painless and smooth as possible, make sure that you AND your child are ready."

So, now that my boy can tell me:

  • that he wants his diaper changed
  • he can use a term to describe the process which is "Shh shh" for pee and "Umm mmm" for poo in our home
  • he is showing willingness to learn

Well, it looks like he is ready so its time for me to show him how.

My boy is 2 1/2 years old. I am unfazed by anyone who tells me that I am starting the toilet training process late. To me, every child is different and every parent is different. When it comes to parenting, there is no right or wrong. Whatever feels right for your child and you according to your family circumstances is the right thing!

As for my girl who is 4 1/2, I've put her back on diapers for afternoon naps and during the night since she's had too many bed wetting incidents. I may have tried to get her off the sleep time diaper before she was ready causing us both a lot of stress. So now we have to backtrack and wait till we're ready to try again. Oh well, like everything else in life, you get some of it right and some of it wrong. In this case, the timing was not right. (The daytime toilet training process was quick, easy and painless ie over in about 2 weeks but I think we got the timing for the nighttime training all wrong). My big worry now is that it'll be harder to get her off the sleep diapers now, since we've failed once before (and I gave her a hard time by getting worked up over it) and she may have developed a bad habit of peeing in her diaper.

Related Links:

I'm Ready For Toilet Training
Bed Wetting Troubles

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Mothers have no time to exercise?

When you are a mother of very young children (like babies and toddlers) who cannot be left alone or out of your sight for too long less they get into trouble or mischief it can be hard to find time to exercise. In fact, it can be hard to find time to do anything else too! However, hard though it may be, we still need to take care of ourselves and our bodies.

We are ourselves (women) first, then wives and mothers. Becoming a mother does not mean we let ourselves go. We still have to take care of our health and appearance. I always believe that we must look after ourselves first so that we can look after our families better. Looking after ourselves means taking care of ourselves physically and mentally. We need to sleep well, eat right and exercise.

How do you find time to exercise when you are the primary caregiver to your babies? If you have someone reliable who can look after the kids for an hour or two, by all means, go join a gym and take an hour or two off to exercise. I don't have such luxury. First, joining a gym means $$$$. Being a one income family, we have to save, so no gym for me. Secondly, hubby often has to bring work home, so how can I expect him to watch the kids while I go off to the gym?

So, I brought the gym home to me. Lol! Hubby and I got an exercise bike from a points redemption program. We place the exercise bike in the living room in front of the tv. I read and watch tv at the same time while exercising and place the kids nearby so I can watch them. Sometimes I place their own little cars or rocking horses beside my exercise bike and ask them to ride along. Otherwise they like to run towards me. (When you have exercise equipment at home, make sure they're childproof.) Ours does not have open spokes where little fingers could get stuck.

I also bought some exercise videos to do at home. Most of them are salsa dance videos. Its more enjoyable and fun. The kids like to join me. When I first started, it was hard because the kids interrupt me all the time. Baby would run towards me to be carried. Instead of allowing myself to be upset by the interruption, I sometimes pick him up and dance along with him if he fusses too much. He loves it. It makes him giggle and laugh.

Sometimes, baby would sit on me when I'm trying to do sit-ups. I just carry along with my sit-ups with the additional "weights". Now they are more used to my exercise routine, they don't interrupt that much. My girl would sometimes jump or dance along with me. She likes that. It makes her giggle and laugh. Sometimes the children would lie down on the floor beside me and try to copy my sit-ups or raise their little feet into the air too. Thats really amusing. It makes me giggle and laugh.

Usually, I would set them up with an activity beforehand so that they would be preoccupied. Sometimes I even give my girl lessons while I'm exercising. I teach her a little, leave her alone to do her work, then I exercise and talk to her at the same time and check her work periodically.
Its crazy. Full of interruptions. Its sometimes annoying. Sometimes fun. I multitask but most importantly, I still get my exercises done.

The exercise I enjoy the most is my Sunday morning walk. The kids are usually still asleep or hubby can watch them for a while. On Sundays I like to take a walk (instead of drive) to the nearby coffee shops to buy breakfast for the family. I try to walk briskly and to shops that are further to work up some sweat. I love the morning air. I love watching people. But most of all, I love my solitude. Its one of the rare times, I get time alone to myself. And to add to that, I get my exercises done.

So you see, "I have no time to exercise" is really just an excuse afterall. When you set your priorities and your mind to do something, you can!

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

What happens after a chemical pregnancy?

I experienced a chemical pregnancy in July this year. After I tested a faint positive followed by bleeding/my period a few days later I was worried and wanted to see my gynae however I was busy and couldn't make it for an appointment. I wanted to at least speak with her but I couldn't get pass the receptionist. That stressed me up even more. I had no choice but to read up what I could and wait but I knew I had to go for a follow up examination to make sure everything was ok.

I had so many questions in my mind then. Did I have a chemical pregnancy? If I had a chemical pregnancy, then what should I expect next? When will my menstruation cycle return to normal? Will I require any further treatment? When is it safe to conceive again?

Eventually, I waited for another cycle to pass which was again slightly late and then I went to see my gynae. She did an ultrasound scan and announced that everything was "all cleared". This meant that the miscarriage was "complete" and that there was no need for a D&C ie that I had experienced a "natural" miscarriage. She said that I had experienced a "false positive" or chemical pregnancy which resulted in the false positive pregnancy test. (very faint positive or positive then negative when tested again) Then she gave me the green light to try again for another baby, should I wish to. The next month my cycle returned to normal.

Here are some other resources which I found useful:

"It is believed that chemical pregnancies occur when the fetus dies immediately after conception. This happens before the embryo has a chance to implant in your uterus where it can grow and develop. " Read more here: Women's Health Information on Chemical Pregnancy.

"Most of the time, in an uncomplicated miscarriage, the bleeding is like a heavy period for a few days and the embryo passes with no further attention needed." Read more here: iVillage Q&A on Early Miscarriage: When to contact your health provider

"Ovulation can occur 14 days after a miscarriage with the next period 28 days after the miscarriage, but there is great personal variation. It may take a few cycles before your regular pattern is re-established." Read more here: Miscarriage Support Auckland Inc on Your Health After Miscarriage

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