Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter



I've been really busy at work recently. Project issues, development delays and testing problems.. Nothing new except... a few key people in my team are also leaving.. and that means I'm busier and more stressed out than usual.

I've only been back at work for about 2 months but it feels like forever already.

Anyway, it's Easter today and I thought I should eat some hot cross buns to celebrate. Easter is a time of hope and new life.. and a reminder that God is in full control.

This hot cross bun is from one of my favourite bakery at Serangoon Gardens food centre. This bakery in the food centre sells rustic, old-school favourites like potato curry buns, luncheon meat buns, kaya buns and good old banana cake. Every year around Easter, the store will put up hot cross buns for sale.

These aren't as good as the ones J usually orders.. but as they are good enough for me. I had them plain with cold milk today.. Would be much better toasted with butter but I was too tired to even do that..

Happy Easter!

Serangoon Garden Bakery & Confectionary
Serangoon Garden Way Food Centre
Stall 45

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sleeping Through The Night

Every new mum I know (including myself) looks forward to the day when baby starts sleeping through the night. There are many books, blogs and resources promising to help mothers help their babies achieve precisely that.

Here is a hilarious article going around on Facebook, by an anonymous 7 month old.

How to stop mummy sleeping through the night

'OK, here’s my situation. My Mummy has had me for almost seven months. The first few months were great. I cried, she picked me up and fed me, anytime, day or night.

Then something happened.

Over the last few weeks, she has been trying to STTN (sleep through the night). At first, I thought it was just a phase, but it is only getting worse.

I’ve talked to other babies, and it seems like its pretty common after Mummies have had us for around six months.

Here’s the thing: these Mummies don’t really need to sleep. Its just a habit. Many of them have had some 30 years to sleep and they just don’t need it anymore.

So I am implementing a plan. I call it the Crybaby Shuffle. It goes like this:

Night 1: Cry every three hours until you get fed. I know, its hard. Its hard to see your Mummy upset over your crying. Just keep reminding yourself, its for her own good.

Night 2: Cry every two hours until you get fed.

Night 3: [Cry] every hour. Most Mummies will start to respond more quickly after about three nights.

Some Mummies are more alert, and may resist the change longer. These Mummies may stand in your doorway for hours, shhhh-ing.

Don’t give in. I cannot stress this enough: CONSISTENCY IS KEY!! If you let her STTN (sleep through the night), just once, she will expect it every night.

I KNOW ITS HARD! But she really doesn’t need the sleep, she’s just resisting the change.

If you have an especially alert Mummy, you can stop crying for about 10 minutes, just long enough for her to go back to bed and start to fall asleep.

Then cry again. It WILL eventually work. My Mummy once stayed awake for 10 hours straight, so I know she can do it.

Last night, I cried every hour. You just have to decide to stick to it and just go for it. BE CONSISTENT!

I cried for any reason I could come up with. My sleep sack tickled my foot. I felt a wrinkle under the sheet. My mobile made a shadow on the wall.

I burped, and it tasted like pears. I hadn’t eaten pears since lunch, what’s up with that? The cat said 'meow'. I should know. My Mummy reminds me of this about 20 times a day. LOL.

Once I cried just because I liked how it sounded when it echoed on the monitor in the other room.

Too hot, too cold, just right - doesn’t matter! Keep crying!! It took awhile, but it worked.

She fed me at 4am. Tomorrow night, my goal is 3:30am. You need to slowly shorten the interval between feedings in order to reset your Mummies internal clocks.

Sometimes my Mummy will call for reinforcements by sending in Daddy.

Don’t worry, Daddies are not set up for not needing sleep the way Mummies are. They can only handle a few pats and shhing before they declare defeat and send in the Mummy.

Also, be wary of the sleep sheep with rain noises. I like to give Mummy false hope that listening to the rain puts me to sleep sometimes I pretend to close my eyes and be asleep and then wait until I know Mummy is settling back to sleep to spring a surprise cry attack.

If she doesn’t get to me fast enough I follow up with my fake cough and gag noise that always has her running to the crib.

At some point I am positive she will start to realise that she really doesn’t really need sleep.

P.S. Don’t let those rubber things fool you, no matter how long you suck on them, no milk will come out. Trust me

 Fortunately for me, I think Little N hasn't read this article... yet

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Teething

Little N is teething.

I can see one tiny white tooth.. Just to make sure I wasn't dreaming, I stuck my finger in her mouth and I could feel something hard along her gums.

Wow!

No wonder she has been a little whiny of late, especially at bedtime.. More than a little whiny actually.. She has been crying loudly before bedtime, complete with large drops of tears like pomelo sacs.. For a while I'd just say "Good night" to her during bedtime, leave her room and she'd fall asleep after a while.. These few days though, she'd be really upset and cry loudly for me.

Oh well, I supposed teething is a phase all babies go through. Must be a difficult and uncomfortable time for her..

I'm not sure if it is a coincidence.. but according to the Wonder Weeks theory, Little N is in the midst of a "Wonder Week" (The terminology is somewhat confusing.. a wonder week actually last more than a week.. sometimes up to 4 weeks! More like Wonder Months actually).

2 Dutch doctors came up with the term ‘Wonder Week’ to describe the mental developmental leaps babies experience in their first 20 months of life. These leaps occur at 10 specific times and can also be referred to as a baby's 10 Great Fussy Phases. After each phase, the baby will have developed in some new way and gain some new skills.

It's a pretty interesting theory and I guess it makes me feel better to know that Little N is supposedly in the midst of a "Wonder Week".. at least it helps me try to understand that all these fussiness is due to development and new skills!

And teething, probably!

 I really like this picture of her

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Starting Solids

We started Little N on solids this week.

She's over 5 months now and although many books and websites encourage parents to breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months, the pediatrician says it's a good time to start, with just a teeny weeny bit to get her used to solid food.

I was a little sad that on the day she started solids at my mum's, I was at work.. It seemed as if I missed an important event.. but oh well, I got to feed her today.

It's her fourth day and I think she is still not very interested in the cereal..

I handed her a spoon as well as I fed her with another. She seemed more fascinated by the spoon and the bib and was busy chewing those.

I love the brightly coloured utensils that Mummy bought..

Friday, March 1, 2013

Day One

I got my driving license in my thirties.

I have many friends who got their license in college.

But I was never keen.

I never wanted to even learn driving.. There are many reasons for my aversion towards driving.

Firstly, car ownership is very expensive in Singapore. Cars are expensive. The Certificate of Entitlement (COE) which one has to buy to own a car has always been expensive as well.. (Of course, the price now, at about $80K to $100K is plain ridiculous..) Petrol, road tolls, road tax.. all these costs quite a lot.. and they do add up.

Secondly, I like being driven. When one drives, one has to concentrate on the road. As a passenger, I can read, surf the internet, play with my phone, day dream and sleep.. You can't do any of that whilst driving..

Thirdly, I am just not that good with machines in general and the thought of getting lots of scratches on the car as I navigate it around just doesn't feel good..

In short, I don't like driving. But I finally relented when The Husband encouraged me to take up lessons. "It's a skill that will come in helpful."

Oh well... so I went for the test and I passed.

I have been driving on and off since then but on a daily basis, I still take the public transport to get to work.

Until now.

After 5 months of being away from peak hour subway traffic.. the first week back to work was a bit of a shock.. It's not just the number of people in the trains.. it's the behaviour of fellow residents during peak hour.. the train breakdowns.. the long wait time to be able to even get into a train..

Buses are not an option for me because where I live, buses take forever to come and go around half of Singapore to reach my office.

So I finally relented and decided I'd try to drive to work for a month and see if that helps me save some time and energy...

Today is my first day.

I survived the peak hour traffic, one way streets in the Central Business District and the narrow multi-storey car park.

I saved no time and conserved no energy.. I did get rather stressed out though...

But I guess it's still too early to tell.

How I wish at times like this I can "apparate" ala Harry Potter. 

 Very nice views from near the office..

Though I'd rather my office is nearer home than in the heart of the CBD
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