Revisiting Torticollis

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Chanced upon this article in a Mother & Baby magazine I picked up while waiting for my turn at the doctor.

Brings back memories… 

This was the reason I took time off to stay home with her. Little Foot was born with this condition.

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Little Foot at 3 Days Old, started her physio journey by sleeping on pillow on her left. 

The mother in the article spoke about how trying it was to do the stretching exercises.

I know.

A fragile newborn crying while everyone looks on in horror thinking the mama’s gonna break baby’s neck… most times I caved in too and stop the exercises. Thankfully,  I found my routine and made it a fun session for her… singing “it’s a small world” while we stretched, and added a lot of neck and tummy kisses while we stretched. 

Well, today Little Foot has extremely good posture and a balanced head (although we tilt the charts on head size!).

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Take that Torticollis!

Makes me feel a great sense of achievement as I really did the exercises diligently (and still occasionally do them).

So here is our success story. And we thank the nice physiotherapists and Dr Frances Chia at KKH for journeying with us to fix this.

50 Weeks + 1 day

It’s 11pm. A newborn in the neighbourhood is crying. He/she has cried a few times already.

I sat in my quiet living room having a cup noodle (my 2nd one since a long time before I gave birth). Little Foot had slept at 9pm sharp today, after a tiring afternoon out at Punggol Waterways.

As I sat and listened to the distant crying, I’m reminded of Little Foot’s colic days… even then, as Daddy Long reminded me, she had never cried for too long. We always had some tricks that magically worked to soothe her.

Today, Little Foot is 50 weeks old… those colicky days felt like a long long time ago. With this thought, I suddenly felt just a little old, a little wistful, perhaps a little slow.

2 weeks to her 1st birthday.

I haven’t quite gotten my head wrapped around the fact that my precious baby Little Foot will no longer be a baby anymore. (Now we know why some people enter adulthood with their parents calling them Ah Bee!)

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While she hasn’t learned to sleep through the night, we have established some sort of routine (a baby led one) that gets her to bed most days at a decent hour. Nevermind that she would wake several times at night.

I don’t envy the parents who are dealing with the crying newborn.  It used to be all these “what do you need??!”,  “What can I do to make you feel better??!” going through my head, whenever the baby keeps bawling and I start ticking off the mental checklist in your head and arrive at “I don’t know what the fishcakes is wrong with her!”.

To the newborn’s parents, trust me, it will get better. YOU will get better at it. And trust me, 10 months down the road, you will be like me, sitting in the living room reminiscing about your baby’s newborn days when you hear other babies cry… days that were so fleeting and you somehow miss. As those days were so trying, they became such precious memories. Because they symbolised the kind of mother I was. Those days laid the good foundation for me. They gave me courage to say “Come what may, I am a mother, I will wing it” whenever things gets tough.

I miss my newborn Little Foot, I miss the tiny baby I used to hold with 1 arm. At the same time, I love this adventurous, cheeky Little Foot that she has grown to become,  and I look forward to more exciting and heartwarming times with her.

Facebook prompted me that on this day a year ago, our diapers orders had arrived. Those newborn size diapers are long gone. What left was the memories of a baby whose butt was so small, and who looked overwhelmed in those diapers while her umbilical cord peeped through.

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This is Parenthood. Chasing the future, missing the past, and more importantly, embracing the present.

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It’s a lovely journey isn’t it?

Just another moment, please?

My Little Foot is pushing her bed time.  Nowadays, she end up trying her hardest to be up till 9pm. An hour later than her usual bed time which she set herself months ago.

My guess is, maybe she just wants a few more minutes and a few more moments with me. For that, I am grateful.

Today, I missed her while I watched her play through the baby monitor. So near, yet so far… I could sit there and stare all day watching her go through all her toys, pulling herself to stand supported, but there is work to be done, and I want to quickly wrap it up and not do OT.

Every working mama goes through this. A sense of wistfulness,  and also a secret prayer to the Big Guy Up there to not let you miss a milestone –“No, don’t take your first steps while I’m not there…”

When I used to have 24/7 with her, I didn’t really maximise the time we had together.  Now that time together is a scarcity,  there are times I rather not take my dinner till we’ve played and she’s fast asleep. Every morning,  I keep saying to myself,  “just awhile more…” before I have to peel myself away from her side.

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I’m sure I’m not alone in this journey.
To my fellow full time working mummies, jia you!

Don’t miss the moment

I’m feeling stoned and shuttling between laptop and baby tonight.

It is one of those days when everything at work has the same deadline – Now.

So decided that, rather than camp in office, I would be home to play awhile with Little Foot and then tuck her in bed…..then I continue to try to finish up the slides I was working on (amongst other things).

Getting her to sleep was rather smooth today. I walked out to the dining table to continue my work… less than half hour later, she cried. So here I am, blogging while she comfort latches back to dreamland.

As we lay here in each others’ arms, I remind myself that she won’t always need me. She won’t always be so physically and emotionally attached to me. She won’t always want to fall asleep in my arms. One day, she will grow up and probably roll her eyes if I asked her to sleep with mummy tonight. 

I tell myself to soak in the moment,  leave the work be for awhile. Her babyhood is coming to an end as we near her 1st birthday. It saddens me a little. How time really slipped us by.

I’m happy to sprint back to the room as long as you need me, my baby… thank you for needing me as much as you do now. I love you to the moon and back! 

Eh eh eh!

I wonder how work-from-home mummies do it.

My first time bringing my laptop home this weekend. Woke up to realise I have to quickly respond to work this morning.

Ran for Little Foot’s music class. (Baby K joined us today!)

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Had lunch, went to City Square to buy a present for the baby party we are invited to tomorrow, bought a toy to add on to my preps for Little Foot’s Big O-N-E party.

Got home… sent her off to the playground with Aunty Lily so I could work on those darn slides which we have been cracking our head over.

She came home, took her dinner, showered…. and mummy was still at it. In Papa Long’s words “She finish playing everything liao…” and mummy was still staring at the laptop. So she proceeded to insist on being in the same room and “eh eh eh!” non-stop and trying to get her hands on me.

Stress!!!

Felt like I was being guilt-tripped, but I pressed on and finished it up before I picked her up and let her glue herself to me.

I doubt I will ask to telecommute. It’s just too taxing on my willpower.

 

 

A tiny issue there….

Being back at work is one thing. Being back at work while still a lactating mum is another thing.  I’m still trying to figure the whole situation out.

I don’t know how my friends coped when they went back at 3 or 4 months post delivery (I remember it used to get so painful if I didn’t pump or latch on time).

Maybe it’s just the way I am. I am happy to inform the blogosphere that I’m a breastfeeding mother. At work however,  I feel inclined not to shout it out loud if I can help it.

I feel paiseh…. whenever I have to explain to someone that I’ll be “downstairs”, especially the guys. So it turned out, my one pump a day around 2pm is almost always delayed.

And here’s the tricky thing, how to survive being at an event the whole day (off-site). I will find out next week.

Not a person to shun duties, so I do feel that it is inappropriate to say “can you don’t roster me?” (Because helloooo. .. I can’t be carrying my pumps and bottles around).

Let’s hope I don’t get one of those epic blocked ducts episodes again next week. Feel feverish  just thinking about it.

So yes, welcome back to work, mama… maybe mothers like me are too conservative and being too hard on ourselves.

1st week as a full time working mum

Sunday is about to come to an end, and Little Foot is finally sound asleep.

Mummy finally gets some time to pause and reflect upon this week, my first full week as a full time working mum aka FTWM.

So many of my very supportive mummy friends have congratulated me at the end of Friday with “yay! you survived your first week!”. I am so touched.  It really takes a fellow mummy to understand the pain of this transition,  especially since mine came so late in the mummy game.

How do I feel?

I think I didn’t do too badly for a fully latching mummy that has been glued to her baby for more than 10 months. I thought I might be so emo on my first day,  but honestly, once I stepped through the doors,  I didn’t really give myself chance to wallow in self pity. (It is good to have a linear brain sometimes. )

I spent the first two days cleaning my old workstation and shifting to the new one. 3+ years of junk and 11 mths of dust.  No joke.

The IT folks took awhile to get things going for me again. So it was only Wednesday that my machines were up. By then some work had already landed on my lap. Thursday morning was spent off site at a long meeting. Friday was the first day I felt like things are in full swing. There were a couple of occasions where meetings brought on migraine. I think some parts of my brain still needs time to be reactivated.

I had returned to work a changed person, but it wasn’t just me. The place seemed to have changed too… many of my kakis were no longer there. I don’t quite know what to make of it, but perhaps it migbt not be a bad thing. I feel less attached and so it doesn’t make me feel so bad when I left on the dot.

My mummy routine at work?

I set aside half an hour after lunch to visit the mothers’ room. Supply is slowly but surely dwindling,  so 1 pump session in the day works, as long as Little Foot latches in the morning and when I return home. It is during this pumping time that I think of her and miss her the most.

I try not to call home more than once daily. Simply because I know she jolts awake if the phone rings. If I do miss her, I have photos and videos on my phone /Facebook to get me through. We did 2 video calls this week 🙂

I find myself quickening my pace when I knock off. So, it’s a good thing I decided to drive instead of take the train. I definitely want to be there for her evening bath time and bed time.

I didn’t really have time yet to process whether I felt my time with her was more precious now that it is confined to the small pockets before and after work, but I was secretly happy when she pushed her bedtime,  because it meant more time to hang out together and play. I found myself more patient with her when she’s being cranky or resisting sleep.

As we had a hectic Saturday with the Winter ONEderland party and quite a tiring day today, maybe what I will miss most is being able to sleep till later than office hours on weekdays.

Is Little Foot coping well with our separation? I think she’s not doing too badly for starters.

Mornings,  she would cling to me for dear life once she saw me out of my PJs(clear signal mummy’s going out!)

Evenings, around the time I’m home,  she starts fussing. Once, she was there at the lift landing when the lift opened. I was soooo happy to see her face all lit up,  it brought me nearly to tears.

I think we both deserve a good pat on the back for doing so well in our first week of transition.

So this more or less sums up my transition from SAHM back to FTWM. I do feel that returning to work that I’m familiar with is less daunting than say, if I had gone to a completely new posting or workplace. Let’s hope my positive feelings continue.

To my Little Foot,

Mummy returns to work for us –  You, me and Papa. I firmly believe Papa should not be burdened with the role of being sole breadwinner. It is a psychologically draining position for anyone to be in, even if he doesn’t feel it.

And Mummy was brought up to believe that one must work hard and not be reliant on your spouse financially. What’s more, Papa and I have always been equals, and maintaining the equilibrium makes for a healthy marriage. With both of us working, we will be able to afford the best for you within our means. I believe we can do this without compromising our love and attention for you.

Thank you for nearly 11 months of company… and thank you for the bright smile you reserve for me when I reach home each evening. Thank you for letting me go back to work a changed person. You let me see that there are more important things to life than being a workaholic. Yes, you changed me, for the better.

Love you to the moon and back.

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A Winter ONEderland celebration!

What a day it was yesterday!

In the dead town of the CBD area on a Saturday (seriously,  it’s so different from the weekday hustle bustle), something exciting was brewing on the 8th floor of One Marina Boulevard. We gotta thank our fellow mummy organisers for pulling this gig off!

About 90 babies, their mummies, daddies, siblings, some grandmas and helpers gathered for a very special party aptly themed “Winter ONEderland”.

It’s our December 2014 babies One Year Young mega bash! The party was scheduled ahead of December so it wouldn’t clash with our individual parties.

We set off bright and early, but only managed to arrive on time (after getting a little lost downtown), collected our goodie bag and went to explore the toy zone and photobooths.

Didn’t capture much of the toy zone as my hands were full making sure Little Foot didn’t topple off the bouncy horses or fall headlong down the mini slide into the ball pool, but she enjoyed her short play for sure.

Here’s our fellow Panda babies enjoying themselves (taken by Huiyuu)

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A Major highlight was the photo booths.

Awesome setup by Phooth to suit our theme. (Photo By Papa Long)

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We also loved the pink DIY booth by our fellow mummies.

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Phooth also sponsored a large setup for instant photo prints. We didn’t manage to get a family shot in time as Little Foot fell asleep, but we got something more special — a Panda Mummies group shot!

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I spent a lot of time catching up with mummies whom I haven’t seen since Little Foot was about 4 mths old or even younger. We had all these playdates before many went back to work after the 4 mths maternity leave ran out… I missed them  a lot. It was a rather emotional gathering for me too as I see how everyone’s little ones had sprouted.  No longer fragile looking, there was a lot of laughter and mayhem with the little ones crawling everywhere and some had already started walking!  Here’s us with one of the dear friends I missed.

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Another interesting sponsor was the freshly pressed juices from juiC… just nice,  I was thirsty after chatting with so many mummies, the juice samples were refreshing. You know me and fruits are not really friends, but the concoctions were really quite good!

Of course…what is a party without cakes and a dessert table right? (Giant cake kindly sponsored by Prudential. I heard it was just nice and not too sweet).

By the way, the super animated Penguin mascot was one of the Daddies in disguise!
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Admidst all the madness, my closest friends, the Panda mummies, tried to get a decent shot of our babies… a little tricky! By the time we were done, I was sweating like mad!
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And then we went back for the mega photo session. Imagine the chaos!
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Post party, Little Foot simply couldn’t wind down for the evening. Too much adrenaline! We had her camp out in her cot and do shuttle runs up and down our tiny corridor in her walker to burn off her energy.
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Thank you sponsors and organisers for the party and the memories… till our next party!
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The perils of Facebook interest groups

Just awhile ago, on a babywearing Facebook group, a mummy posted that her husband was angry with her for buying another Tula. It made her scared. As the story unfolded and people jumped in with ideas and suggestions, it came out that they owed credit card bills (it’s her husband’s debts not hers) for months. She bought a Tula. And she is extremely reluctant to sell the other Tulas she own to offset the one she just purchased.

Addiction? Peer pressure? I don’t know.

In all these Facebook interest groups, whether it is babywearing or Ju-ju-be or Daiso, it becomes easy to get carried away and think that it is “normal” to have excess… and after awhile the price tag becomes just a number you are immuned to.

I am very guilty of it.

I see people posting stash shots. I want to have a stash like that too! And being a person prone to excesses (remember my wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling cabinet for shoes), I did definitely build my own stashes.

The scary thing about these Facebook groups is that when an item goes up for sale on the BST (Buy Sell Trade) pages, people almost immediately reply with “PM!” and that makes you freak out and anyhow PM the next seller in case you miss out that “good deal” or “hard to find design”.

I am guilty as charged. The only  consolation is, I’m not eating into money meant for necessities, and I have the next paycheck coming again.

When the mama made that post anit really saddened me..why would owning the next tula take higher priority than getting the family out of debt which is obviously causing some sort of stress to the husband? We have let something good like babywearing become that evil thing that drives a wedge between husband and wife.

I have shared all the merits of babywearing and using SSCs all this while.  Today, I feel that we need to go back to why we babywear. It is a tool for bonding with baby; an aid for tired arms and restless babies. However, the most important thing a baby needs is not a branded carrier. It is LOVE and a happy family will provide that love, not material needs.

I am happy that while we are not filthy rich, we are not lacking financially. I’m grateful that my husband while not entirely indulgent,  has never seen a need to get upset over my spending habits. He just sporadically reminds me whenever it gets too out of hand.

I hope that the mama, and anyone else in the same situation out there will make the right choices eventually.

Don’t get swept away by the craze online.

Lots of giggles and chuckles on our last day

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DAY 331.

5 days shy of Little Foot turning 11 months young.

Instead of wallowing in self-pity, we went out and played the day away.

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Thanks to a few of my fellow Dec mummy friends. We went to Giggles at Marine Parade and had loads of fun.

Little Foot always loved a good swing,  so she was completely happy to sit in the swing for a loooong time. And slides, and things to bite, touch, pull and throw. Awesome! And she no longer fears the ball pool.  Yay!

There was more playtime at her grandparents’ place in the evening. It’s amazing how one rainbow coloured big bouncing ball could keep her clapping and chuckling and occupied for quite awhile 🙂

Tired Little Foot is finally asleep after we got home and showered her.

Tomorrow is a brand new beginning as we adjust to life away from each other in the day.

I’m getting a grip on my thoughts and emotions. May absence make our hearts fonder!

Thank you my friends for making my last day as a SAHM a memorable one. XOXO!

And now, to pack my bag for tomorrow. #feelingbleargh