A pinch of basil and a dash of cinnamon

No, this is not going to be one of those cooking/ baking posts (although there’ll be just a teeny weeny bit about it. Guilty as charged!). I figured since I have been procrastinating on my writing, and sitting on my stories, might as well I present this week’s post as a collection of sorts. Not very professional, but hey, better than none I’d say! So here goes. 

The Three Musketeers 

As the title suggests, we are now a band of three! We have just gotten another close friend of mine, S, to join us on board our little journey to mummy entrepreneurship. She’s amazing with people, I tell you. She’s probably one of the few people I know who’s got incredible EQ levels! We welcome you on board with big wide mama bear arms, S! Do look out for S’ blog posts, as she will be co-writing the blog with me, and she’s got tons of mummy stories to share. I personally can’t wait, so please share some love and give her posts all the likes and shares you possibly can as encouragement! 

Cogs in a wheel

Just an update on our business set up. The jigsaw pieces are finally falling into place. We received our final sample romper pieces, and had a fun (and tiring!) photo shoot with our amazing model babies last weekend. They were cute tiny balls of energy, I tell ya! We definitely can’t wait to put these pictures together on our website, as well as our very first look-book. Looking to have our soft launch on 8th July, so do sign up for the pre-launch sales by then!

Food strike

So little M has been on a bit of a food strike lately. Kicking up a fuss and refusing to eat her solids. Tried all sorts of methods to get her to take her food. Used her father as a decoy, sort of like monkey see, monkey do, where he will eat (making slurping sounds and loud chomping noices along the way) and she will follow suit. Yea, worked for like 5 mouthfuls, and then back to square one. Mouth closed shut. I decided to then change her baby soft spoon to a metal adult teaspoon and even chopsticks! And she eats! Weird, but anything goes, as long as it works.

Michelin Star Menu for the Little Miss

And I overhauled M’s menu. Gave her pasta (angel hair with tomato and basil and fried macaroni with tofu, egg yolk and eggplant), pancakes and french toast. She loved them! So kwailo, this child of mine (note: kwailo is a colloquial term for a white person). For the pancakes, I mixed her usual iron-fortified oatmeal cereal with organic multigrain flour, egg yolks and expressed breast milk with a dash of cinnamon (hey!). You can add in any mashed fruit/ vegetables of your choice for added flavor and wholesome goodness – banana, pumpkin, sweet potato, etc. As for the French toast, I used wholemeal bread, soaked in mixture of beaten egg yolks and breastmilk with a dash of cinnamon (hey hey!). Come on. Who doesn’t love cinnamon? 

While papa was away…

Hubs went away on a working trip to Vietnam for 3-days, and I’m left to rule and conquer the fort all by myself. 

First day went surprisingly well, survived the day without any tears (both baby and mum). Although I did get exasperated when M decided to test Newton’s law of gravity and Galileo’s theory of projectile motion out of her high chair instead of submitting to the law of consumption, i.e. putting her food where it belongs. Her mouth. And her OCD mum almost went crazy with all the mess she left behind from her little science experiment. The woe and agony any OCD mums out there can so relate! 

Second day, M decided that it’s going to be her super fussy and clingy day. She refused to sit by herself, only wanted to be carried. Took her out to a nearby neighborhood eatery for mum’s brunch. She was distracted enough by the nearby table’s kids, she finished 2oz worth of pear & plum puree. And her mum got to eat her meal in peace. Oh, do check out this place Charlie’s, it’s clean and decently priced. And the owner actually personally sanitized the baby high chair without me asking! So thoughtful of him. So yea, pop by the place if you happen to be in the area (click on the hyperlink for their Facebook page). 

Still another day to go before hubs return. I think I might just be able to survive this. Till the next post (who knows who will be writing next!) everyone. Happy weekend! xoxo

ps. The hubs commented that he actually had a whole 8-hours stretch of sleep for the first time in ages. Ok. I need to look up the dictionary for the word sleep. Not very familiar with that word. Apologies for my obtuseness. 

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A letter to my baby girl

To my precious darling

I still remember the day you were born. It was close to 10 hours of labour pain, managed by epidural.  The immense pain from the contractions, was to the point I was whimpering, all curled up in a ball of utter mess. The doc refused to up the epidural dosage, he wanted me to feel the pain so that I know when to push! But when you finally arrived, I remembered feeling a huge relief that it was finally over. And that I’m now a mum! I remembered turning to look at you while the nurses cleaned you up. I thought you looked back, wondering why was it so bright and cold. I didn’t know what to feel at that moment. It hasn’t hit me how my entire world was going to change. Oh, how clueless I was!

The first 2 weeks wasn’t easy, with me struggling to breastfeed you. Almost non-existent supply (or so I thought) coupled with nagging from the elders, as well as utter lack of sleep, I was a total wreck. Papaya soup. Hot compress. Massages. Midnight pumping sessions. I was so worried that you weren’t getting enough that I timed myself feeding you. I made sure you feed at least 15-20 minutes, nothing less than 10 minutes each side. I even downloaded an app for this. Every 1.5-2 hours, you’ll wake to feed, to the point that I can awake before you do! I was so zombified to the point of hearing things. I thought I heard you cry from your room, that I immediately rose from my bed to check on you, only to find you still sleeping soundly.

When the confinement lady left, and you were 2 months old, I was left to care for you on my own. Oh, it was tough! You would cry for no reason at night, not willing to sleep. Everyone said it was colic including the doctor. But I wasn’t convinced. I researched online all there is about colic and why babies cry. A mother’s instinct is never wrong. You weren’t colicky. You just had a bad case of wind. A simple, old fashioned solution saved the day. Gripe water! Google and my mobile is now my new BFFs. I read and I read all there is to read about babies.

And you refuse to sleep on your own! During the day, you would only sleep when I wear you in a ringsling. During the night, you would only sleep for 30-45 mins before you were up again! And I would take another 30-45 minutes to lull you back to sleep. I would sing, dance, rock you to sleep (yes, your mum developed new skills overnight, thanks to you!). But you just wouldn’t sleep! Swaddle the baby tightly, they say. Please, this feisty tiny little cute parcel of joy were kungfu fisting and kicking, no swaddle can hold her in! I finally gave up. I need to sleep, and so do you. Off to your parents bed, you came. I nursed you while lying down, and I could catch up on some badly needed rest. Might not be deep sleep, but hey, this beats standing and rocking you to sleep anytime! Your mum has got a bad back no thanks to her herniated disc, so thank God for co-sleeping. No looking back.

The first day I went back to work, that morning when I dropped you off at your grandparents’, I cried in the car. It was one of the toughest day I had to go through. But you know what? That evening when I came to pick you up, you seemed like you missed me too! You were so chatty, good thing I recorded you on video. And I would play that video over and over again whenever I missed you. You have no idea how much I missed you every single day when I’m at work. Even until this very day. I dread being apart from you, that when Monday comes, I’ll just have this huge heavy rock pulling me down on the inside. Well, counting down to saying goodbye Monday blues! Can’t wait.

Like any other proud mums would do, I would leap for joy whenever you hit your new milestones/ achievements, like you playing along (or we liked to think you did!) when your papa gave you your piano lessons every morning since you were 4 months old. We are hoping that you’ll be a music protégée and go into Juilliard one day. Hey, your parents has big dreams ok!  I’m just so proud of you for all the little new things that you can do everyday.


This was you when you were just over 4 months old. 

You loved the song Yesterday by The Beatles, probably because your papa used to play this song to you when you were just a tiny little baby in my womb. You’ve always been comforted by this song when you were younger and now that you’re a little older, you switched to a more age-appropriate song, Frosty the Snowman. Funny little thing, you. Oh, not forgetting the countless of nursery rhymes too! I counted your little toes to the Little Indian song when you were really little, and you loved it till today.

There’re always ups and downs, days when you’re fussier, clingier. You’re still waking every 2 hours at night to feed. The nights where I get a whole 3-hours stretch, gosh, for the life of me, it’s so far and few, I can’t even find the right adjective to best describe that feeling.

I used to tell people that having a child is a liability, where the ROI (it’s Return on Investment, for you non-finance folks out there) is negative, therefore why bother? But despite the challenges and negative ROI, I now know why they always say having a child is the best decision a woman can ever make for herself. Seeing you smile that toothless grin (thank God you’re not having your pearly whites yet, otherwise, my poor nips!), giving me that wet kiss, chuckling and giggling at my silly antics (at the expense of you hiccuping), is just enough to turn that negative ROI into a positive for me any day! All I want is for you to grow up happy and strong (in health and in character), surrounded by people who truly care and love you for who you are. I’ll not be around forever, although I would wish for the world to be able to be there for you when you become a mum yourself, but I promise to be here for you as long as I physically and mentally can.

You’re turning 9 months soon, how time flies! I can’t remember how it was like to be able to carry the tiny little you in one arm without breaking a sweat. You’re now more than 9kgs! I’m glad that I’m able to breastfeed you up till today, and to many more months to come! Every time I look at your thunder thighs and folds of lovely chubbiness, I’m a proud mana cow. I’ll truly miss the baby you, my dear precious daughter. For now, I’m enjoying every single minute I get to spend with you. And I think you do too.

Mummy loves you to the end of the universe and back, my darling.

Big hard hug and big wet kiss,

Mummy

5 Types of Mums

A new colleague just joined us today. First thing she asked me was “Oh I heard you’re quitting your job to be full time mum?”, and with THAT LOOK on her face. You know, the pitiful look as though I’ve just thrown my career out the door. And is there such a thing as a part-time mum? Or maybe I’m just being overly sensitive to comments. And looks. 

But hey. It got me thinking. I count myself really fortunate to be able to quit my job, start up a business and spend more time with M. I’m pretty sure there are loads of mums out there who would do the same if they can (or, to quote a friend, A, if she’s got the balls to do so. She’s a banker too, by the way. So, totally understand her predicament). 

Well, mums these days don’t really have it easy. Some do, but most don’t. There’re career mums out there who doesn’t sweat about all things domestic (let’s call her Mrs Career) and leaves everything to the helper and nanny at home to take care of everything. And then there are mums who has no choice but to be the breadwinner of the house (Mrs Long Pants sounds fitting, don’t you think?) meaning longer working hours and higher stress levels for the mum, perhaps? Some has to share the financial responsibilities (Mrs Superwoman!), hence having to hold a 9-to-5 job, send their child to the daycare or to the nanny/ parents/ in-laws, and be the domestic help when she’s home after work (cook, nanny, cleaner, etc). And then, there are the blessed bunch of socialite and not-so socialite mums (let’s call them Mrs Awesome. Come on, who wouldn’t want to be one?) who has the luxury of having a helper (or helpers!) at home, assisting them with household chores and childcare, all within the comfort of their own home. Lastly, there are mums out there like me, having to manage a business as well as child care. Let’s call us Mrs CEO (Childcare & Entrepreneur Officer. Yes, I made that up. How cool is that!). 

Let’s start with Mrs Long Pants. I’ve got a friend, who’s a corporate banker and has a close to 2 years old daughter. She is torn between juggling her career, and spending more time with her lil’ precious. She, like me, used to be able to spend long hours at work. Bosses loved her! But when she had her girl, she now have to spend time away from work, to excuse herself to the nursing room and pump. She’s an express-only mum, i.e. she expresses her breastmilk for her daughter who refuses to direct latch. The persistence and tenacity that she has for her child, ensured that her baby is breastfed up to at least a year old. She can’t quit her job as she doesn’t have the guts to do so, as she sees that her household depends on her paycheck. But, she would if she could.

Then there is the lady boss, a mum of two, Mrs Career, who couldn’t understand why Mrs Long Pants (or Mrs Superwoman) who needs to pump and breastfeed the child when she returns to work after 2 months maternity absence. Mrs Career leaves the child minding to her helpers at home, perfectly happy that she spends most of her time at work, or entertaining clients, instead of spending it at home with her children. She wouldn’t even if she could.

Mrs Superwoman, works around the clock, not having any time for herself on most days. She preps the baby in the morning before she drops the baby off at the childcare or nannies. Goes to work, and try to fulfill her office obligations to her best ability before clocking off at 5pm to pick up baby. Then she heads home (not forgetting having to brave the horrendous traffic), prepares dinner, and bathe the baby before putting her to bed. When the child sleeps, she would need to do laundry or any other household chores, before it’s time for her own sleep, at probably past midnight. She definitely would if she could.

The blessed Mrs Awesome, oh how we envy you! To be able to afford helpers, to be there for your child during their formative years, and not having to worry about bringing home the bacon, it’s just every mothers’ dream! Ok, I can’t speak for every mothers, but I think I can speak for myself and a big handful of others out there. Good for you, Mrs Awesome!

Then, there’s me, Mrs CEO, in a month’s time. Childcare & Entrepreneur Officer. I will be taking care of baby M full time, as well as manage my baby clothing line business, on top of managing the finances for our co-owned cafe. I think it’s the best decision I’ve made so far. It won’t be easy, business is tough, customers hard to come by in times like these, but I have faith that my sacrifice for M will be all worth it. And that the business will flourish in no time! So, please do share our Facebook page amongst your friends, encourage more readers to visit my blog, and hopefully when our merchandise is ready for unveiling, sales will soar! Thanks to all of your support! 

So there you go. Whichever category you fall under, you’re still a mum to your child, and your child loves you for that. Happy mid-week everyone! xoxo