The little bubs is growing up

It seems like just yesterday when I was still expecting Ezra. And he just turned 18 months this month! Kids really do grow up so quickly, especially at this early stage of their life. It’s like they don’t stay the same way they are for long and are constantly growing and changing. One moment they can’t walk yet and a few weeks later you are chasing after them. So thankful that with the camera and videos, their growing moments can be captured and remembered. Some lovely pics and memories of the bubs growing up this past one and a half years.

  

Swimming

First bites

Bumbo and toilet seat

Outdoor playIndoor playground fun

Celebrating birthdays

Nov 2016: Celebrating Ezra’s 1st birthday and Daniel’s 5th birthday. My babies are growing up so quickly!


IMG_1172

18 month old Ezra. So thankful to God for watching over him and that the baby is growing well!

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Big Brother Daniel

This is another long belated post.

One of the things that I am really thankful and grateful for is that Daniel adapted quite well to being a big brother. Have heard many instances of kids not taking well to younger siblings and this was something I was worried about. Perhaps it is the bigger age gap of 4 years or more likely due to the Lord’s grace.

Having a good and loving relationship with siblings is something which I appreciate in my family. Hence it is one of my desires for my kids to be able to enjoy this blessing too. And I believe it really starts when they are young. When I was expecting Ezra, we made it a point to get Daniel to pray for his baby brother in the womb everyday. We also included him when we were choosing a name for the baby. Ezra was Ivan’s choice. I had another choice name. We could not decide and so we asked Daniel which he preferred. Daniel chose Ezra (much to my disappointment!) and so we went with it! When the baby was born, we also gave him a present.

He took pretty well to Ezra from the start. Perhaps it also helped that the baby seemed to naturally like Daniel right from the start. Today, Daniel is quite confident that he is one of Ezra’s top favourite people! And I think he is quite right about that. Ezra seemed to adore Daniel even as a little babe. I was amazed at how Daniel was one of the few able to make the baby chuckle when the babe was a few months old. As Ezra grew older, his face always seems to lit up when Daniel is around, and he often wants go look for Daniel now that he is able to walk.

Of course they have their bad times too. Daniel hates it when Ezra ‘destroys’ whatever he is playing with and often gets quite mad when that happens. He is not the best baby sitter too – he is easily distracted and often more interested in whatever he is doing. But on the whole, I am thankful that there are more good times than bad and am happy that Daniel seems to be quite comfortable in his role as a big brother. Sometimes, he does try to share his stuff and food with his brother which is very heartwarming to see. He also loves kissing and hugging the baby goodnight.

Transiting from being only child to having to share attention and everything else may not be easy for a child to adapt to. As parents, we do try to manage this sensitively. But there are times where we fall into the trap of asking him to ‘give way’ to his didi and to be more ‘sensible’ when daddy and mummy are busy with didi. These could possibly cause a child to become resentful towards the younger sibling and I am glad that Daniel did not.
  
  
     

Thoughts on being a full time working mum with 2 kids

As of 29 Jun 15, I started working and got back to life as a working mum, this time with 2 kids.

It’s been almost 4 weeks since and I survived! Thank God for a supportive hubby who helps with some chores at night and helps to put the baby back when he refuses to sleep after nursing in the middle of the night! Yes, the babe still wakes up 2-4 times every night. Sobs!

Work has been pretty busy, so it’s just full steam ahead in the day ….. don’t have much time to miss the baby. The few days before I went back to work, I was starting to miss him already after spending so much time with him the first seven months of his life and rarely away from him.

Certainly life has changed quite a bit. Time at home and with the kids is much shorter and hence seems more precious. The baby adapted quite well to the change. We had been preparing him quite a bit and he was finally taking bottle quite well. Something which I wasn’t expecting was for Daniel to actually feel the difference. He seemed more moody after I started work and after talking to him, he did express that he was sad that now he saw less of me. Did not expect the impact on him to be that great as he is after all in childcare full day 3 times a week. But I guess it does make a difference to a child when he sees you when he gets home. Thus it can be really painful as a working mum, knowing that there are some things your kid has to get used to – like having less time with you. It also happened that these few weeks have been really busy in school and I have to come back later quite often.

This week, things got worse as Daniel came down with hfmd. I really felt sad that I couldn’t be with him more while he was sick and having painful ulcers. Guess this is one of the woes and heartaches of a working mum…..not being able to be fully available to your child.

I happened to read an interview with Jaime Teo this week. Something that she said resounded in me and brought tears to my eyes. From: http://sg.theasianparent.com/jaime-teo-interview-motherhood-and-breastfeeding/4/#

Q: Has being a mum changed the way you do things, especially when it comes to your business?

I’m a mum first and a businessperson second. I think that being a mum makes people more effective workers because you want to finish everything quickly and go home.

Getting back home as soon as possible to Renee after work was always my priority, which is why I think mothers are always more efficient — because they have a purpose and they have a place to be at, and that place is always by their kids’ side.

What she said really encouraged me on a few points. Firstly, that perhaps it is possible for working mums to be successful at work without sacrificing family. I always feel that working mums may not be able to shine as much as their counterparts who do not have kids as they have so much more time and energy to give and are more able to commit. What she said made me see things from another perspective ….. that being a mother motivates you to think of how you can do your job better and faster so that you can go home quickly.

Secondly, it made going home quickly and early sound really good. It is important for working mums and for that matter working dads not to stay late as much as possible. As it is, working hours in Singapore are already long. If one were to put in extra hours, you may not even get to see your child at all for that day. And to put it in another way, the child may not get to see his parents at all that day. In my job as a school counsellor, it troubles me when I hear about kids who hardly see their parents at all because parents are busy working and weekends are taken up by tuition and other enrichment activities. In busy Singapore, one has to deliberately make decisions to guard time with family. Kids do need their parents to be around and to have strong presence in their lives especially in their formative childhood and teenage years.

In trying to explain to Daniel why mummy has to work, it also made me think about why I am working. I choose to work because I do believe in the benefits and like the stability of having dual income. Also, I do not feel that I am fully effective and most fulfilled as a stay home mum. I truly do admire some really awesome stay-at-home mums who are able to do so much with their kids! I do like what I am currently doing and I like that working gives you something else other than your kids to focus on and adds another dimension to life. Ideally I would like to work part-time. Unfortunately, part-time working arrangements are not so readily and easily available.

So for now, I am still a full time working mum. And I am inspired to be efficient and effective at work so that I can do my job well and go home and spend more time with my kids!

My two lovelies!

My two lovelies!

Breastfeeding – God’s beautiful design

I decided that I really need to write about this as an encouragement and reminder to myself, especially when the going gets tough in this breastfeeding journey.

Right from the start, when I was expecting my first child, Daniel, my dear husband was very determined that we should fully breastfeed the baby. Hence, it was a joint decision that no matter what, I would try my best to fully breastfeed Daniel. For the first month, I had sore nipples and Daniel also spent a couple of days in hospital due to jaundice. Hence, we had to supplement with formula. But after the first month, Daniel was on full breastmilk …..all the way till I went back to work when he was about 7 months. I was very proud of myself, that I had met the WHO recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months, save for a couple of formula feeds in the first month.

However, I was never fully convinced about exclusive breastfeeding. I was actually ok to supplement with formula and felt that my husband was rather extreme in his position about breastfeeding. But nevertheless, since he felt so strongly about it, I just went along with it. It was not till recently, after I had Ezra that I changed my view of breastfeeding.

I clearly remember one evening in January this year …..my mum and sister were having a conversation about losing weight in preparation of Pris’s (my other sister) wedding. I remarked that my reward for hard work of breastfeeding is weight loss and I didn’t have to deliberately try to lose weight. I was dropping about 1 kg a month since giving birth, thanks to breastfeeding. During that time also, 2 month old Ezra had caught a cough from Daniel and I was so worried for him as he was so young.

That night, as I was praying for the Lord to heal him, I felt the Lord whisper to me ….”Trust in the beauty of my design”. I will never forget those words. I knew that He was referring to breastfeeding. He was reassuring me that the Ezra did not need any medication and by taking in the breastmilk which contains antibodies, he would get better. I also felt the Lord say that losing weight is not the only reward of breastfeeding but there are so much more benefits and rewards for baby and mummy. I never saw any beauty in breastfeeding prior to this. In fact, I personally felt that nursing especially direct latching which I am doing is quite unglam. But that night, I totally changed my view. I wept at how lacking in understanding I was previously ….and now I will never view breastfeeding in the same way ….because I now know it is God’s beautiful design for a mother to nurture a babe. Every pro-breastfeeding article I read now is no longer some ‘propaganda’ in a bid to support breastfeeding by the breastfeeding fanatics but now serves to reinforce the wonder of how God created the human body and His beautiful design. I have been converted! I now belong to the pro-breastfeeding camp! The Lord also put in my heart a certain length of time to breastfeed Ezra to which I cried out that I need grace!!

The breastfeeding journey is not an easy one and also quite a lonely one. Total breastfeeding by latching is not quite the norm here in Singapore and that is something quite difficult for a conformist like me. I don’t like sticking out like a sore thumb. Right from the start, there will always be people suggesting that we give some formula so that I can get more rest. I understand their intentions…cos full breastfeeding is toughest on mummy. Ezra breastfeeds on demand and even now at 5 months, nurses as frequent as 2 hourly or a bit less. Breastfeeding inconveniences mummy a lot …..baby goes wherever mummy goes….can’t be away from baby for long. And sobs …… I can’t wear all my nice dresses ….the type of clothing a nursing mum can wear is also limited. The list of inconveniences goes on.  The challenge would also be to pump regularly when I return to work! I hate pumping!! I really salute mums who exclusively pump. So time-consuming, so much washing and logistics involved and I suck at pumping ….output is poor ….still trying to be more skillful and pump more milk.

Have I every felt like giving up? Often! But after understanding and revelation on breastfeeding from the Lord, I am more determined that I am going to breastfeed.

Welcoming Baby Ezra to the family

Finally, after 38 weeks in the womb, Baby Ezra arrived on 11 Nov 2014.

The past 38 weeks have been a time of trusting in the Lord and am really thankful to God for seeing me through this pregnancy. Apart from the nausea and fatigue during the first trimester, the rest of the pregnancy has been pretty smooth and energy levels have been better. I even managed to attend the ladies conference organised by church for 2 nights in JB!

The Lord has really been so faithful even at times when I have been lacking in faith. Even as we prayed every night for the baby in the womb and committed every fear and anxiety to Him, He has really been faithful. Everything that we had prayed for Ezra was answered. The c-section operation went smoothly and Ezra was born a healthy baby. The few days at the hospital were quite painful …… the wound hurt quite a bit and I was down with flu and every time I coughed, the pain was terrible. I had sore nipples and engorgement too. It really put me in the place of dependency on the Lord and really had to lean on the Lord for strength to get through it. After I was discharged, things got better quickly. We were blessed with a good confinement nanny and also the breastfeeding got better and my supply was quite good this time. Did not have to supplement with formula. Ezra was also a relatively easier baby and my confinement period was pretty restful.

As we celebrate his one month of life, we are thankful to the Lord for this precious gift and for His faithfulness in fulfilling His promises. Hence I chose a rainbow theme for Ezra’s baby shower to remember the Lord’s faithfulness.

Looking forward to life with this new addition to the family!

IMG_5402

Getting ready to go into OT

 

IMG_5420

Baby Ezra is out! First pic with Daddy and Mummy!

IMG_5421

First cuddle with mummy

 

IMG_5428   IMG_5455

 

IMG_6184

Rainbow theme baby shower to remember the Lord’s faithfulness in keeping His promises

IMG_6185

IMG_5836

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let the little children come!

“Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.” Mark 10:13, 14

More and more in recent years, this verse is beginning to hold more meaning for me. I do not naturally like children, especially young kids. When I was younger, I used to find them irritating and a nuisance. However, over the years, the Lord has been doing a work in my heart with regard to children. In my first job as a teacher, He began to mould me and give me a shepherd’s heart to love, guide and protect my students. After my teaching stint, though I had a heart for youths (I was teaching in a secondary school), I was still not particularly fond of younger children. I could never understand why Jesus said ‘Let the little children come to Me’ and he was even displeased with His disciples for forbidding the children to come. On the other hand, I could understand why the disciples forbade the children to come – children are so noisy and active – they are disruptive and would wreck havoc! The Lord so many times had to use this passage to gently rebuke me for my attitude towards young kids. And every time, it blew my mind when He would whisper to me how much He loves children.

It was only until I had Daniel that I begin to appreciate little kids so much more. As I watched him grow and am part of the process of nurturing him, it began to open up my perspective of kids. In the midst of loving my own son Daniel, the Lord enlarged my heart to love other kids as well. As I went for children’s activities, attended Sunday school etc with him, I began to fall more and more in love with children. Just the other day, I was picking Daniel up from his childcare and I heard the children singing a song. The chorus of their voices seemed to me the sweetest sound I had ever heard and I just melted.

I feel that I am finally beginning to understand a little of the Lord’s heart when He said those words “Let the little children come”.

Daniel turns 3

Daniel turned 3 this week. How time flies! Looking through snapshots of him over the last 3 years really brought back fond memories. How quickly kids grow up! Really need to cherish every moment of their growing years and create many wonderful memories.

We decided not to have a party since he does not have many friends and a party would just be for the adults. Maybe next time when he has more friends to invite. Nonetheless, we had a great time celebrating with family and friends which made it a very memorable occasion. We are thankful to be able to celebrate with our family and close friends and we were much blessed by their prayers and gifts. Daniel sure enjoyed himself …..being able to sing the birthday song and blow candles a few times with different groups and he enjoyed his many new toys.

Highlights of his birthday this year:

photo (3)

IMG_3393 IMG_3392

IMG_3352  IMG_3349

IMG_3335 IMG_3351

Playing with the game Shane and Anne gave him …..love his expressions!

IMG_3368 IMG_3367

IMG_3363 IMG_3315