Thursday, August 14, 2014

Eager to help Dada @ 8 months old


I always imagine how it will be like when one day when Ethan is all grown up, probably peering down at me, in his manly voice - when he will be taking our Daddy's job of maintaining the pool.

Until then, we are enjoying our little Ethan, waving at Daddy from the poolside, shouting out happily :-)


Sunday, June 1, 2014

My new baby

Meet the newest addition to our family, here's to our next 30 years (at least!) together :-)


Friday, May 30, 2014

Another milestone @ 23 weeks

Wow, another milestone at 23 weeks.

And yes, you probably guessed right! A day after introducing Ethan to solids via BLW, his first little tooth erupted!

First tooth @ 23 weeks - 26 May 2014

It's not really visible in the photos, but you can definitely feel it. It's very sharp and pointy, and so far I can only feel it on his bottom left.
He is still his happy self, always ready for a smile. He did wake up more times the night before and refused the dummy. Other than that, he is an absolute champion!

And here he is, celebrating his first tooth with avocados and cucumbers!


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ethan's first try at Baby-Led-Weaning @ 23 weeks

We have been reading up on the concept of Baby-led-weaning, which makes so much sense to us, and I wish every moms (and dads) will spare some thought about this before diving into the traditional way of spoon-feeding pureed food into baby's mouth.
Baby-led-weaning is simply a way of introducing solid foods that allow baby to stay in control of what is being eaten. The general idea of pureed food are skipped and baby starts with easy-to-hold solid food. It means allowing your child to feed himself from the very beginning of their experiences with food. Baby-led-weaning is all about exploring, experiencing and enjoying nutritious and delicious family meals from the very first taste of solids. The emphasis is not on how much food baby gets, it's about letting baby play around with flavours, textures and colours of these real food. 
Please do remember, that the term 'weaning' does not mean giving up milk feeds. It simply refers to the introduction of food other than milk! Babies at this age should still get their necessary nutrition from breast milk (or formula), so the pressure is off Moms to make sure they are consuming a certain amount of solid food.
 Benefits of Baby-led-weaning
  • Allows baby to explore taste, texture, colour and smell  of food
  • Helps to develop baby's hand-eye coordination
  • Establishes great eating habits as baby is allowed to eat as much/little as he needs, in their own time
  • Mealtime battles are far less likely
  • Mealtimes are an enjoyable family experience, develops and encourages strong family bonds
  • Encourages confidence
  • Being able to reach out and grab things effectively
  • Being able to take objects to their mouth quickly and with accuracy
  • Able to make gnawing and chewing movements

When to start?

The World Health Organisation recommends the introduction of solids a 6 months of age. At 6 months of age, children start to develop the skills that enable them to instinctively start to feed themselves. Signs that baby is read to start self feeding include:
  • sitting up with little or no support
  • being able to reach out and grab things effectively
  • being able to take objects to their mouth quickly and accurately
  • able to make gnawing and chewing movements

At 23 weeks, a week shy of 6 months, Ethan was showing all signs above, and I can also see that he is starting to watch me whenever I eat. So we set up the high chair (that was given to us by a friend) for the first time, cut some cucumbers and bell-pepper into strips so that they are easy to hold, and Ethan loves it!

Just look at him gumming the cucumbers!
Cucumbers and Bellpeppers @ 23 weeks

A short video of him gumming the cucumber. Nyam nyam nyam!


And this longer video to see how he managed to grab those yummy food!




And here's the No.1 Supporter of BLW-ing Ethan

Ethan is Rainbow's new best friend

To find out more about Baby-led-weaning, get Gill Rapley's Baby Led Weaning book. (I was advised to skip the original book and just get the cookbook as it has a more condensed explanation in the first few chapters). I ended up with the Cooking e-book!

Friday, May 23, 2014

To my 5+ month old baby

I do apologize for the lack of update here. It has been chaotic, and I am sure everyone of you could not believe we are now at almost the middle of the year. Where have all those 5-6 months gone?

In summary, these are the events that happened after our wonderful trip back home in Malaysia. Ethan had a bit of pooping episode (up to 18  poops a day, I am not lying), a few nights of congestion, I got back to work end of April, and trying to get into the routine of expressing milk while at work, coming home and getting baby to sleep, pack up his bags and milk for his daily visits to Oupapa and Oumama.


To be honest, I started writing this post when he was 5 months, and now we are almost at 6 months... 


My dearest Ethan, 


Watching you grow before my eyes is so bittersweet. 
I think this feeling is only something you understand once you become a parent as I never understood it before. On one hand I love seeing you grow and reaches another milestone but on the other I am sad that you are no longer my tiny little baby that once fit in my tummy! 

Ethan with his hand-knitted jersey from Oumama @ 20 Weeks

Character
Everyone always mentions what a happy baby you are. You are always ready with smiles and seldom fuss. You are such a good boy, Mummy and Daddy must thank our lucky stars to have you as our first one! You let anyone holds you, as long as you are being held. You love being held. You started laughing a lot, and we always laugh with you. Chatty, giggly, happy, you warm our hearts, as well as everyone around you.


@22 weeks


Health
You had a bit of pooping episode  a day before we were about to leave Malaysia. You were like a little pooping machine! You made up to 18 poops a day, and I was stressing how many diapers I should bring with to the plane with me. I eventually brought about 25 diapers and we survived the 26 hour flight and layovers. It must have been yet another phase where you were more niggly and wanting to bite on anything you were given. We believe it must be your teeth wanting to come out, but three weeks on ,we are still waiting. After a week of pooping overload, we took you to your first visit to the doctor. You were still a happy chappie while the doctor gave you a thorough check!


Gp visit @ 19 weeks

It must be a new parent thingy. You got through it yourself, it must just be a growing phase. You are handling them so well now and they are all now stories of the past. I am so grateful you are generally a very I love being in this wonderful growing phase of yours. You are now drooling a lot, and we have to put a hanky or bib on you.  It must be so much hard work, growing up.


Donning his new Cotton On bib and toy @ 23 weeks


Size
You have nice chubby and smooth cheeks, everyone just wants to give you a squeeze. I commented to Daddy how I love your size, chubby and healthy, but not overly fat. Just right, I would say. You have those nice baby rolls on your thighs as well. 
Check it out!


Rolling @ 23 weeks

Three weeks ago you weighed 7.4kg at 19 weeks, now at 22 weeks you can very well possibly be at 8kg! We will be going to the clinic to weigh you again tomorrow, so we shall see. 


@ 20 weeks



Feeding
It's now my third week at work, and have been expressing milk 4 times while at work to make sure you get all the goodness you deserve. You started off with drinking 200ml a day, and now you drink up to 450-500ml while at your Oupapa and Oumama. You are still exclusively on breastmilk, as we believe there is no need to rush you into solids. I miss you so much when I am away at work, that I trully treasure every breastfeeding moment we have together in the evenings. I don't even mind the waking ups at night! You will know one day that you are one of the few people I would sacrifice my sleep for. We are now just waiting for signs of you ready like sitting up by yourself. I am still trying to decide if I should go vege/fruits puree way, or baby-led-weaning.


Sleep

You have the most awesome biological clock ever. Sleeping well at night in Malaysia, and adjusted immediately once you are back here in Cape Town. 


Really asleep @ 20 weeks

@ 20 weeks

You usually get sleepy around 7-7.30pm and be in bed by 8pm. You wake up twice for feeds, but that's it, you sleep immediately after a feed. While the first two weeks we "woke you" while preparing and tuck you in the car with Daddy, but the last few days you woke up 10 minutes before our alarm clock. It's as if you can read the time!

We are also co-sleeping, and we both wonder how can a little person like you takes so much space on our bed! However we love it so much, and you always wake up with a smile on your face which makes it all worthwhile.


Morning-time @ 20 weeks


Milestones / Updates

You did your first rolling on our last few days in Malaysia at 18 weeks. It was so sudden and we were so excited that you got hold of it so quickly.





- Coordination. You are a lot more coordinated this month. Now when you grab for something you rarely miss. You can guide items into your mouth too.

- Communicating. You are very ticklish and playful. You laugh so easily. Everyone commented what a happy baby you are. And you are exactly that! Our little sunshine who is always happy and laughing, so very special. Your laughing is so contagious.





Video taken @ 21 weeks.


You love people. You like faces and Your face lits up whenever someone speaks or gives attention to you.  Everyone loves you for your smiles.You love to watch our dog Rainbow and spreads out your arms wanting to get a feel of her hair.

@ 22 weeks

- Posing. You like to put your hands on your cheeks and chin and you look sooo cute doing that. Those little huge cheekies must be quite heavy!


@ 22 weeks

- Sitting up. You are very strong and steady when it comes to sitting. You can sit with only a little bit of support from us. You are still a bit wobbly but you are getting there. I wouldn't be surprised if you will sit very very soon! 
Update : Ouma just took a video of you sitting up for a whole minute almost!




Video taken @ 23 weeks

Bathtime. You love your bath time. You now kick and use your hands to touch the water in amazement. I always wonder how your brain cells must be busy working to get all this new knowledge and experiences in.


Video taken @ 19 weeks


@ 21 weeks

Reading. You love story time. We read stories to you every night, while Oupapa & Oumama reads to you during the day. We are starting with 'Goodnight Moon' and you love using your hands to touch the books, sometimes even trying to eat them!

@ 22 weeks


Ethan, you keep us in awe every single day being happy as you are while learning and absorbing all the knowledge from all the new things around you. You are really the best thing that has ever happened to us and we are so proud of you.

Getting ready to Oupa & Ouma @ 20 weeks

We love you, our little cuddly one.  More than words can say.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Happiness is..

Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family.


Ethan with PhoPho and AhKong



Ethan with PhoPho


With cousins


With his eldest Yiu-Shern korkor




"Family is not an important thing. It's everything." - Michael J.Fox


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Is it even possible...

Is it even possible for someone to be this sad and cute at the same time? *melts*

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Penang. Malaysia - Food Paradise

Penang is home to one of the country's finest cuisine. It is well known as a gourmet's paradise with people from nearby countries travelling all the way here to satisfy their taste buds.

Penang has a mixed culture of Chinese or various origins, Malays, Indians, Mamaks or Indian Muslim, Eurasians and some Thais. These ethnic groups have also merged within the Malaysian ethos and plays an important role to the culture and food.

And satisfying my tastebuds is exactly what I have been doing for the past 3 days upon reaching my beloved hometown. 

Dim Sum at Cititel


At Sin Lee Hin Coffee Shop, Tanjung Bungah


Laksa from Farlim


Nasi Kandar from Tanjung Bungah Tuesday night market

Home-cooked meal
And all these are just the beginning! Yummy!

I'm sure all Penangites living abroad miss the food here as much as I do, and will only trully understand that this is definitely not considered overindulging.

And I'm sure Ethan is also enjoying all the exotic flavours straight from his milk!

Penang, Malaysia - Safe & Sound

It was a long flight from Cape Town to Penang, Malaysia.

Cape Town - Dubai - Kuala Lumpur - Penang

With 18-hour flight and another 6 hours layover time, it was indeed exhausting for both baby and me.

Daddy missing Ethan already
Ethan's very symmetrical pointy face - and some newborn scabs on top of his head still waiting to peel off

It is a blessing that Ethan was so well-behaved. He barely cried, spending the whole day sleeping and chatting most of the time. I can see though he is tired as he was woken up a lot by the pilot's announcement or when the crew served food and drinks.

Sitting on the aeroplane seat

However, he didn't fuss at all as he was amazed with the lighting in the plane and entertained with many things to look at. He was so contented sleeping my in arms, and being carried in the Boba Carrier during transit.

So contented in the baby carrier

We arrived safely and happily greeted by the grandparents and family.

With Phopho

With KongKong and his cousins

Everyone in Penang was so happy so see him, and he is enjoying the joyous atmosphere that sometimes he looked a bit shocked with all the noise...haha (like the picture above).

Before I end the post, a last picture of the happy & friendly baby!


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

And we are off tomorrow!




Hahaha, that must be the roundest baby face I have ever seen. Yes, that is Ethan's temporary passport and we are flying, TOMORROW!



It must have been the quickest flying decision I have ever made, all in less than one week.

Friday I decided to go back with Ethan - besides visiting my family while still on maternity leave, I could also renew my passport and license.
Saturday whole morning was spent standing in the queue to apply temporary passport for Ethan.
Then it was booking a good priced flight.
Tuesday I went to collect his passport, confirmed the tickets.
And now Wednesday today is packing day.

It has been surreal. I am full of mixed feelings.
Excited to be going back home.
Worried if baby is going to be fine in flight.
Sad that Ian can't go with.
Guilty that I am taking Ethan away from his daddy and Oupa and Ouma.
Grateful that Ian, Ouma and Oupa has been so supportive and excited for us.

Flying alone with a 3 month old. Hmmm...Lots to blog about! 

Wish us luck xxx

Monday, March 17, 2014

Love to Dream Inventa Sleeping Bag Review and R100 Discount Giveaway

Love To Dream is finally in South Africa!
With Ethan sleeping every night in Love To Dream Swaddle Up Lite since birth, I practically jumped excitedly when given the opportunity to try on the Love To Dream Inventa Sleeping Bag! 

Front and back packaging

It was perfect timing, as at 3 months old, Ethan is now discovering his hands and does not like them to be tucked away anymore. I was so sad to have to pack away the swaddle, and was looking for the right sleeping bag as I believe it is much safer than a blanket, giving me a peace of mind at night.

The packaging has lots of information, yet simple design. It tells you of the sizes (4-12 months or 12-36 months), tog weighting (0.5, 1.0 or 2.5) as well as all the sleeping bag features and other important information such as togs and temperatures.

Upon opening the package, I was glad to see the design and colour of the sleeping bag, which to me, is in good taste. The combination of light grey, blue and white as well as the background design is very suitable for both boys and girls. The material is soft and comfortable, absolutely perfect against a baby's skin. Its silky, soft bamboo lining and filling is breathable, hypoallergenic and makes baby extra snuggly! 

The lovely Inventa - front view

There are a few sleeping bags in the market but none with this innovative feature, allowing you to regulate your baby's body temperature by opening a zip to reveal the breathable mesh ventilation. This cooling strip appears on the front as well as on the back of the sleeping bag, to accommodate both back and tummy sleepers. So thoughtful! 

Left - Ethan with the zipper mesh open ;  Right - Close up of the mesh

This Genius Cooling System feature is most useful for South African weather where it is hot early evening but gets much cooler closer early in the morning. I usually put Ethan to bed at 7pm, leaving the front strip open and when he wakes up for feed at night, I will zip him up if it's cooler without having to wake him up. A must mention as well, is that the zips are the hidden type ones and of very high quality, so it looks very tidy and kept hidden well under the zip covers. 

Ethan with the zipper open early in the evening ; Ethan kept warm and snug with the zippers closed

Awesome quality of zipper

The Inventa also have this very handy feature of a back and front travel slot so you can put your child into a car seat with 5-point harness through without having to take them out of their sleeping bag. It is particularly useful during cold nights when we Ethan was already fast asleep in the sleeping bag and we have to travel in the car. These slots even has velcro to keep them closed so baby's legs won't slip out! I did tell you they were thoughtful..

5-point-harness opening feature with velcro and studs

There's another good news. You can make full use of the Inventa for a long period of time with its generous length and Longa Shorta feature With the option of 4-12 months or 12-36 months, you can press the studs located at the bottom of the sleeping bag to shorten or lengthen the bag, making each size last longer because it can grow with your child. Currently I am still keeping Ethan in the 'shorten' version.

Longa Shorta feature


Ethan in original length ; Ethan in the Shorta setting

On the side are zippers to get a wriggly baby easily into the bag, or snug a sleeping baby quietly into the bag. A piece of fabric placed to be stud closed to protect baby from the zipper. These tiny details I <3 div="">

Side zippers and protective fabric

 With also the help of shoulder studs to fasten while the other slips on like a sleeve, easing baby into the bag while gritting your teeth is something of the past!

Shoulder studs

What I always do is placing the Inventa open like a butterfly on the mattress. Then once baby is asleep I put him down on the Inventa, slip his arm in the bag, fold it over, zip it up, and stud the shoulders. TA DA! And he stays asleep :D

If you want more information or demonstration on how Inventa Sleeping Bag works, view this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVJZS3K3Ilk

I really, really cannot fault this sleeping bag. It's pretty and clever and very well thought of features. Retailing at R600, it is a bargain compared to other sleeping bags in the market. It seems to me like a lot of thought and time has gone into designing this practical sleeping bag for Mums and babies.

TO PURCHASE , visit Love To Dream South Africa's Website or Facebook page

Now here's one happy customer!

Besides the sleeping bag, Love To Dream also makes other thoughtful and innovative products such as Love To Dream Swaddles. For those who have been reading since Ethan was born, you might have realised that since he was a baby we used the Love To Swaddle Up Lite, which I borrowed from my sister.  He sleeps through the night 7pm - 7am (waking up only for feeds and falling asleep straight after), from birth! I believe the swaddle helped him to keep snug and comfy, in his favourite position as when he was in the womb. 


Now for the good news :

FIRST 20 READERS who order these awesome swaddles from http://www.lovetodream.co.za with the code "BLISSFULLYPERFECT" will get R100 off the retail price. (Original price R500)

Grab it before it's too late! xxx

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