Monday, February 28, 2011

Take A Break

We are on holiday now...
We went to Jakarta  last Saturday and planned Richie will be staying in Jakarta for around 1 month, while daddy and mommy are going to Europe for 2nd honeymoon.
It's been 2 years since mommy and daddy have travelled and enjoyed time together.

I guess it's important to have "couple" time together to recreate the romance and enjoy the time when we were young hehe...
Richie will be staying in oma's house and hopefully he behaves well and be a good boy.

Mommy and daddy will miss you

Coughing coughing

After one month survived from cold virus, mommy's and richie's immunities gave up haha...
finally we catched the cough bug from daddy. It has been 2 weeks and we haven't recovered yet...
still coughing and coughing with phlegm.

Both of us usually cough badly early morning after wake up perhaps the throat is so dry...

Hopefully we recovered soon so we can enjoy holiday

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Artificial fruits and vegies

Finally, mommy managed to hunt artificial fruits and vegies
And Richie likes to play pretend with it especially kiwi fruit, 'cos the outside texture is like the real kiwi

Entertaining himself with the chick

Happy 17 months old

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

This is home truly

Recently, Ch5's showing this song again with different video clip "This is home"
It's usually played before and during National Day.
Well, I love this song, I can feel that Singapore is really my home even though I was not born here.
Hopefully, Singapore is always be in my heart


Whenever I am feeling low
I look around me and I know
There's a place that will stay within me
Wherever I may choose to go
I will always recall the city
Know every street and shore
Sail down the river which brings us life
Winding through my Singapore

This is home truly, where I know I must be
Where my dreams wait for me, where that river always flows
This is home surely, as my senses tell me
This is where I won't be alone, for this is where I know it's home

When there are troubles to go through
We'll find a way to start anew
There is comfort in the knowledge
That home's about its people too
So we'll build our dreams together
Just like we've done before
Just like the river which brings us life
There'll always be Singapore

Playing pretend - cleaning the house

This is another playing pretend, he wants to help mommy but becomes more hindrance haha
Anyway, it's enjoyable to see how he wants to copy mommy sweep the floor and clean the bathroom

Good habit starts since young

Since he likes to throw any things into trash bin, so mommy makes use of this habit turn into good habit.
After drinking yakult, mommy will direct him to throw into the bin, and now when we are in the playground, he will pick some fallen leaves and throw them into the bin
Future green baby... hehe

Monday, February 14, 2011

Brain Stimulation for Babies - Myth of Fact

Brain stimulation for babies has often been a contentious subject for many parents. Many parents may doubt the efficacy of these child development programmes due to the difficulty in observing immediate beneficial effects. Many may in fact deem the entire idea of brain stimulation as a myth promulgated by brain stimulation centers as a way to make a quick profit off parents.

However, such thinking would ignore the research that demonstrates the positive impact of child development during early childhood. In the 1960s, a group of scientists in North Carolina sought to prove the efficacy of child development programmes. They came up with the Abecedarian Project in which infants receive early childhood education programmes. The curriculum includes many of educational tools that are prevalent in today’s brain stimulation programmes for babies. This included games that emphasized age appropriate parent child interactions which offer infants ample opportunities to develop their cognition and language skills. And as the child become older, the child development also evolved to emphasize more on individual development.

The results of the Abecedarian Project were astounding as the scientists followed this select group of children from early childhood into their adulthood. The children who had the opportunity to receive this unique childhood education outperform their peers at I.Q. tests and various other academic achievement tests. In fact, they were more likely to complete their college education and secure a skilled job compared to their peers who did not receive similar childhood education. The benefits extended beyond the academic spheres but also into the social spheres. These children are less likely to suffer from teenage pregnancy or get involved in drug and tobacco addiction.

These results firmly dispel the myth that brain stimulation for babies is merely a way to make a quick profit. They clearly show that children who received this type of education in their early childhood are likely to benefit from it throughout their life. As such, it is clear that brain stimulation for babies is more fact than myth.
As such, parents have a duty to ensure that their children receive sufficient stimulation during their early childhood. Effective child development programmes will ensure that their children receive sufficient brain stimulation. This in turn makes sure that their childhood education will provide a solid foundation for them to build upon as they move on with their lives.

Recent research has shown that the environment a child is exposed during his early childhood has a significant impact on the development of his brain. A child’s brain undergoes an enormous amount of development during his early childhood. This presents a time limited opportunity for parents to ensure that the child receives adequate stimulation.

A child is born with brain cells that has a huge capacity and if properly used will allow the child to have phenomenal potential in a wide variety of areas ranging from musical to physical activities. However, if this time-limited opportunity during the early childhood is not taken advantage of, the brain will begin to prune away neurological connections that are not being used. As such, parents have significant influence in deciding whether their children will lag behind their peers in their later life.

A high level of parent child interaction will be of significant impact on the child’s development during his early childhood. This can range from simple activities like playing peek-a-boo or just allowing the child to grab on to the toy that the parent is holding on to. And as the child grows older, this interaction should also evolve to ensure that they are age appropriate and continue to stimulate the development and enhancement of the neurological connections in the child’s brain. For example, to stimulate the growth of his memory capacity, a parent can talk more about past experiences of the child. A child can also build up on his strength if a parent gives him ample opportunities to practice crawling and walking.

During the early childhood, it is also critical that parents avoid negative stimuli for the child. Exposure to negative experiences like abuse or violence will affect the neurological connections of his brain and his future development. As such, parents who are unable to provide constant attention to the child should be careful when they pick their child’s care givers.

With so many critical developments occurring during the early childhood, parents very often feel overwhelmed by the constant need to stimulate the child and to expose them to positive experiences. Hence, parents can turn these responsibilities over to professionals like those at My Little Genius. With a wide range of programmes catering to the age-specific needs of young children, it ensures that the child receives adequate and appropriate stimulation at all stages of his development.

For parents who still find it difficult to accept the importance proper child development during early childhood, they need only to refer to research on feral children. From the late eighteenth century to even today, feral children are often found in the wild. Many of these feral children actually take up the characteristics of the wild animals that have helped to raise them. This may be difficult to believe but one only need to Google feral children to find a myriad of examples.

To use just one example, two girls, Amala and Kamala, were raised by a she-wolf in India. They were described to be ‘wolfish’ in both appearance and behavior. They walk on all fours and were actually fond of raw meat. In fact, like wolves, their tongues are permanently hung out of their lips and they even consumed their food and liquids in a crouched position. Furthermore, they had a very acute hearing and were also able to smell meat from a great distance.

Feral children demonstrate the efficacy of child development to the extreme. Hence, the role of the parent is very critical to a child’s development. Whether the child grows up to be an effective hunter of small animals or a boy genius will be highly dependent on the type of stimulation he receives during his early childhood.

Courtesy from Today's Motherhood reading

The importance of reading

Children of all ages benefit when parents read to them. Reading aloud stimulates the growth of a child’s brain and equipped them with the ability to acquire language skills. In fact, it is the fundamental way of teaching your child how to read. Exposing children to reading opportunities at an early age develop fluent readers than other children who are not read to.

A baby enjoys hearing the parent’s voice even when they do not understand the word. Books with lot of rhyming words are comforting and interesting to them.
A toddler learns how to hold the book and flip pages. They also begin to notice details in the books and relate experience similar to theirs.
A preschooler listens to books with more words. They enjoy following through the sequence of events that happen in the story and enjoys funny stories.
A kindergartner memorize the story before they begin to read. They enjoy retelling or enacting the story to others.

Reading should be a pleasurable activity to children. Reading to your child daily when he or she is in a good mood, is one of the best ways to cultivate your child’s love for reading. When more reading opportunities are provided for your child, you are on your way to cultivating a fluent reader.

Some strategies that parents can adopt:
1. When reading a book with large print, point at each word as you read it. Your child will understand that the word being spoken is the word she sees.
2. Read a favorite book over and over again.
3. Read stories with rhyming words and lines that repeat, and have your child join in.
4. Read from a variety of children’s books, including fairy tales, poems, and non-fiction.
5. Creating a quiet, special place in your home for your child to read, write, and draw.
6. Keeping books and other reading materials where your child can easily reach them. Having her own bookshelf or small bookcase will not only make her feel special, but will also communicate to her that reading is special.
7. Reading books, newspapers and magazines yourself, so that your child can see that reading is important.
8. Limiting the amount and type of television you and your child watch.

Courtesy from Today's motherhood reading

Toddler schedule time

When he's 16 months old, his afternoon sleep time change to once a day but longer, around 2.5 - 3 hours.
Sometimes, he takes late lunch and skip afternoon milk.
So here's his regular schedule now (weekday)

8am                      : Wake up
9am                      : Breakfast time (200cc milk + a slice of toast )
930am                  : morning shower
10am                    : Playing in playground + Yoghurt / yakult
1030am                : learning indoor
1130 am - 230pm : afternoon nap  or  12pm : lunch + fruits
3pm                     : lunch + fruits           3pm : afternoon milk (150cc milk)
4pm                     : leaning indoor
430pm                 : playing in playground
530pm                 : afternoon shower
6pm                     : dinner
630pm                 : free play with daddy
9pm                     : 180cc milk
10pm                   : night sleep

Discipline and Punishment

What's different between both?

I read some forums and articles in newspaper.
Parents and teacher need to discipline their kids, well it's a must but how?
Some said that they scold the kids if they are naughty, some said that they punish the kids, some said that they will say in the firm words.
Well, I do believe that the kids are not in totally fault, they like to explore, try, learn in their own ways which sometimes make inconvinience for adults.

For eg, if the baby likes to open the drawer, 'cos for him it's very interesting to see the mechanical of the drawer by pull and push. We will get annoyed or worry that he may hurt his fingers and we warn him.
But, the more we try to warn him, the more he eagers to try and ignore our warning.
So what should we do? scold him? just let him be? distract him with other toys?
It's kinda a dilemma, isn't it

For me, I do a lot of combination for disciplining my baby.
I have ever tried do punishment by putting him into the room and close it. But it doesn't really effective.
First, it makes my boy become traumatic when I leave him in the room, secondly, he still repeat again and again.
So I change the method. As long as it's not dangerous I will let him be.
If it turns to be danger, I will warn him, and if he doesn't want to listen, I distract him with other objects.
And turn out it will be more effective.

That's why, from my own experience that punishment doesn't really work best to discipline the kids
The kids never accept "NO" words or other negative imperative. The more we say "No" the more agitated they are and the more they eager to try.

Just some tips for parents 
* Instead of saying no no no, say it in positive way but firm tone
for eg...instead of saying don't run, say walk slowly or instead of saying don't eat the paper, say hold the paper
* Distract the kids with other objects
for eg, your kids are playing with drawer or cupboard, and you don't want your kids hurt, distract him with his favorite toys
* Let the kids learn from the mistakes
for eg, if your kids are persistent playing with drawer, just let them be, provided that you make sure that the inside is not dangerous to kids. If they accidentally hurt their fingers, they will learn how to be careful next time
* Don't use violence
I really don't agree using violence to discipline the kids, 'cos it will have negative impact for the kids in the short and long term.
They will see you as dictator and become more rebel than before, besides they will put in their mind that violence can solve the problems. 
Therefore, in the future, when they start schooling, they will be easily using violence to get what they want and worse they become abusive parents
* If the kids are older enough to understand, give them reasons why they shouldn't do this or that
Usually kindergarden kids have enough understanding when we tell them the reasons why they shouldn't do this or that...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fried Spagetti in Face Shape

It's first trial mommy making so called bento for Richie.

Ingredients :
Spagetti angel hair
diced meat luncheon
carrot for garnish
Soya sauce, pepper, salt

Boil the spagetti according to the packet instruction until it's soft.
Heat oil into the pan and add diced meat luncheon and broccoli and cook until it's soft, add the spagetti and soya sauce, pepper and salt for taste.
Meanwhile, makes egg and cheese omelette in the pan and after it's cool, roll it and cut thinly
Arrange them in the face shape liked

Playing the ball at Botanic Garden

Since daddy had blocked nose quite sometimes, daddy suggested to go  to botanic garden for some fresh air.
So here we are with the ball...
Richie was playing the ball for a while, after that he's tired and sleepy 'cos it's very hot and sunny

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Playing Pretend

the pretend toys

pretend cooking in the kitchen@ikea

pretend drinking from the cup

pretend drinking coffee and eating apple pie

Richie now likes to play pretend, he pretends to eat, drink, sweep and mop the floor. What mommy does, he wants to copy too.
That's why mommy bought him some plastic plates, cups, bowls, spoons, cooking ladles from Ikea.
Mommy wanted to buy the pretend cooking set but it's expensive, the price is almost the same the real one.
Well, it's good quality though, 'cos the cooking set is not like toys, it's like real one but in smaller size.
So, mommy still can use them for cooking small quantity.
Hmmm..well let me think first then hehe...

Besides, mommy also bought McDonald's miniatures, it's small but not very small that can choke the kids.
It's cute as well and Richie likes to play pretend with them especially the apple pie
Now, mommy's hunting for artificial fruits and vegetables and eggs for Richie. So mommy can teach him the fruits and vegetables names while he can play pretend with them

Monday, February 7, 2011

Thanks God it's retractile

Following my previous entry about undecensed testicles, we brought him to do check up yesterday at GP as was told. During the check up, the GP didn't find the testicles yet therefore he referred to PD for another advises.
And we went to new PD this morning at TMC since his baby's PD has resigned from TMC.
New PD was a lady and very nice and not so crowded like his baby's PD and she mentioned that it's probably retractile testicles and to make sure her diagnosis was right, she referred to PD surgeon at Gleanegles.

After that, we went straight to Gleanegles hospital and met the doc for 5 mins. He checked Richie up and confirmed that it was retractile testicles and all were normal. His scrotum muscles were very active therefore they didn't hold tight the testicles. Therefore, when the weather was cold, the testicles were went up and sometimes will be back to its position again.

We were relieved to hear that, meaning that no operation for Richie and we just need to observe and do regular check up in one year time.
Thanks God

Growing up appetite again (16.5 months)

Recently, he has been eating and drinking very well.
The key of success is mommy let him drinking milk by himself. Mommy makes him like a big boy by holding the cup by himself. In the morning mommy let him eat the bread using fork and hold banana by himself too.
I guess it makes him feel that he's important person and big boy, not like baby anymore hehe...

Sample of his meal :
Breakfast : 180cc milk, a slice of white bread with cheese, a whole banana, a tub of yoghurt
Lunch : soup and rice, banana and orange or apple
Tea time : 150cc milk (sometimes mommy gave biscuits)
Dinner : soup and rice
Supper : 150cc milk (sometimes if the dinner is not full, mommy add cereal into milk)

Well done boy!

Eating out and self feeding

Last weekend, mommy brought Richie out to have lunch and dinner outside.
Mommy just want to test him whether he's ready to dine out.
On Saturday noon, we went to Ikea since the place is kid's friendly.
Daddy ordered organic pasta for Richie, since he's so hungry, he finished one bottle of heinz baby food that mommy brought and continue with pasta. He finished it quarter of portion which is pretty a lot
Mommy let him feed by himself using fork.

Then on Sunday noon, we had dimsum at Chinatown and ordered chicken porridge and char siew pau for him.
He ate 2 big charsiew paw and one third of chicken porridge and before that he ate some biscuits that mommy brought from home...he really ate a lot
In the evening, we went to Xin Wang HK cafe at IMM and ordered porridge for him, and he ate one third only. I guessed he's still full 'cos we had dinner quite early around 5pm. Before that he had milk

Well, he passed the test. But mommy just make sure to bring some biscuits to munch on just in case there's no food that he likes

Breastmilk VS Formula Milk

I happen to read some groupies in one of social network about breastmilk. And there are some comments that breastfed babies are smarter, laughter and smile more than formula fed, even some insist to feed the baby on breastmilk alone after 1 year old regardless the weight of baby. Well, I just want to write this facts based on my experiences about some myths and claims.

Claim no.1 
Breastfed baby has stronger immunity than breastfed baby

I totally agree with this, breastmilk has natural immunity booster that can't get from anywhere else.
I breastfeed my baby for 13 months plus and as far as I remember, he never suffer from severe flu or cold.
Even if he got fever, it lasted for 2 days and he still had very good appetite. When he catched mild cold, he never has severe cough or runny nose until he can't sleep, eat or difficulty in breathing
Whereas, I was brought up by formula milk since I was 1 month old and I easily fell sick. I remembered within first 5 years of my life, I have been in and out from hospital and took many antibiotics.
Therefore, those who breastfeed the baby can put mind in ease, while those who don't, just be prepared mentally and physically if your child gets sick more often

Claim no.2
Breastfed baby is thinner than formula fed baby

Well, I agree 50%, it's true that formula milk contains more sugar and fats than breastmilk.
After 6 months, baby starts eating variety of food and no longer drink milk alone.
Unless the baby drinks milk alone for 2 years, then we can see that formula fed baby is fatter than breastfed baby. But if the baby starts eating solid food, it's difficult to judge whether the milk makes the baby fatter.
If the kid is eating too much deep fried food, junk food, sweets, even though he's breastfed, I guess it will make him fatter as well.

Claim no. 3
Formula fed baby will be more hyper active than breastfed baby

I don't totally agree with this, hyper active is also very subjective.
If your baby is between 1 - 3 years old and very active, it's good, meaning that they are learning and exploring.
Formula milk has more sugar sometimes it makes your baby wants to do his own activities more and has less sleeping time.

Claim no.4
Breastfed baby is smarter than formula fed baby

I don't agree with this, smart is very subjective and can't be judged with what milk the kid drinks.
IF the parents nurture and stimulate the kid's brain from beginning, I guess regardless what food or milk they have, they will turn to be smart kids.
Both me and hubby are formula fed, and we are top class in school so it's really myth to claim that.

After all, I just want to say that whoever moms can breastfeed her babies, well done and go for it !
But whoever can't breastfeed her babies due to some reasons, don't be sad....
There's good news, breastfed baby won't like other milk then breastmilk, therefore during the weaning time will be very difficult and they won't like to drink any milk.
And for the formula fed babies, they will still like milk until they are grown up.

Milk is very important especially the first 2 years of baby's life for bones and teeth.

So good luck moms !

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Chinese New Year Celebration 2011

This year we celebrated Chinese New Year in Singapore, because daddy wants to save some annual leaves for our long trips.
Few days before the CNY the mall, supermarket and furniture shops are so crowded with people. The parking lots are full every where and the traffic is bad. But surprisingly during CNY day 1 and 2, every where is very quiet like ghost city. And we spent most of the times at home.

On CNY day 1, we invited Daddy's friends uncle Marcel and aunty Suri and also aunty Fanie to come over for lunch. Mommy just cooked simple dishes, precooked steamboat and beef satay with rice cake.
Aunty Suri brought home made CNY cupcakes, it's very cute and delicious hehe...Richie likes them all...thanks aunty Suri

On day 2, we spent the whole day at home to get a good rest and have McD in two rows haha...
Then on Saturday, we went out to visit mommy's friend who just gave birth then had lunch at Ikea.
Well, we have a quality time as family but we prefer to go back to Indonesia next time during CNY

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Breastfeeding Basic Steps for First Mom

I know this topic is so classic...but I just find out that some of my mommies friends have struggle with it.
So, this is just some tips from my own experience. Hopefully, it helps those mommies to be and first time mommy out there

Week 36 onwards (your pregnancy period)
1. Start massaging your breasts in circular motion when you shower.
2. Start cleaning up your nipples mini holes with warm water and cotton bud
3. Start manual expressing your breasts, when there's liquid come out from your nipples, either it's like plain water or yellowish color. You are safe, meaning that your breasts are already producing milk and ready for your baby.
Notes : Don't do above below week 36, 'cos it will stimulate early delivery

D-Day (Delivery Day)
1. If you are delivering normal, and you are not so tired, ask the nurse to put your baby into your breast right after deliver.
2. If you are delivering by c-section, and you feel tired and drowsy like my case, just take full rest until you have energy and more sober to start breastfeeding.
Well, in my case, I delivered my baby at 7pm and have full rest the whole night. I only met my baby 8 am the next morning.
It's better to have full rest than worry too much to see your baby
3. If you are not breastfeeding right after delivery, just ask the nurse don't feed the baby with bottle.
The baby could survive for 3 days without any milk right after birth. But if you worry that your baby is very hungry, you could tell the nurse that you will do exclusive breastfeeding, so just give a little bit glucose or formula milk by spoon.
4. Before you breastfeed the baby, massage your breasts first and squeeze your nipples to make sure the milk come out. First time, it will be colostreum, which is yellowish transparant color.
5. Latching should be in the correct position, otherwise you and your baby will suffer pain. If you are not sure, you can ask the nurse or lactation nurse
6. Try to breastfeed 15 mins each on each breast, this is to stimulate producing milk. The first 2 days, you can do the feeding every 2 or 3 hours

Notes : 
* for first time mommy, there will be a little bit pain in your nipples, like a bit cracks etc. It's normal as long as it's not bleeding heavily. 'Cos there's a friction between your soft nipples and baby's tongue
Just put nipples cream (I prefer medela) and breastmilk
* It's normal for first time mommy not to have abundant production in the first 2 months. So you can complement it with formula milk, but make sure that your baby latching on to your breast first before having bottle.
And latching as much as possible to stimulate the brain to produce the milk

After D-Day
1. Don't worry about how many hours you need to feed the baby, just base it on supply and demand.
If you baby is hungry, feed him. Sometimes it could be 1 hour each or 2 hours or 3 hours depends on the baby
2. Finish one breast first then continue with the other one
3. If you have abundant supply, express it by manual or electric pump. However, I prefer manual express though
4. Make sure you drink plenty of water (2L/day), eat plenty vegetables, have enough rest (especially in the night) and don't stress out yourself.
Breastmilk is produced abundantly at night - early morning

Notes :
* Some food that you can have it a lot : Green vegetables, sweet corn, green beans, salmon fish, milk
* Some food that you have it less : Cabbage, broccoli, beansprout / taoge, chilly (those gassy vegetables could upset your baby's tummy or create colic)
Shell seafood, egg, nuts (just make sure that your baby doesn't have allergic of those )
* Some food to avoid : Raw food (raw salad, sushi and sashimi, not well done beef steak or satay), coffee and tea, alcohol drinks

Good luck Mommies!