Oh, the lovely smell of her sweaty head!

Sounds funny. How can sweaty heads be lovely?

Yes it is… it is the smell of victory, the smell that brings relief, the smell that says “we’re gonna be alright”.

Because it means the fever monster is at bay.

Little Foot has been battling fever since Sunday night, coupled with a slight cough that had made her throw up twice on Sunday.

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All puffy from her fever from the first day

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Groggy on Day 2….fever went over 39 degree Celsius

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Spotting a double eyelid on Day 3, side effects of the fever, but fever broke before dawn

Not going to celebrate too soon since today she still had 2 doses of paracetamol to bring the fever down when it spiked suddenly, but definitely,  my heart was warmed to smell her sweaty head tonight while she slept, and to see the big patch of sweat on the bedsheets.

Fight on, baby! Get well soon!

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Our battle tools against fever:

♢Medicine – Paracetamol, Neurofen (only when fever goes too high)
Koolfever soft cooling gel pillow which we would try to make Little Foot rest her head on (from Watsons/Guardian)
Koolfever forehead sticker.used to be more effective when she was younger. This time round we had to see her mood. She tended to yank it off her forehead.
Cooling towel to keep her neck and back of the head cool ( once upon a time, we wanted to buy Frog Toggs, but a mis-marketing by Lazada saw us end up with a pile of the no brand cooling towels. Eventually Lazada refunded us for some, but we stuck to some of the purchases. Turns out to be extremely useful. Easily found on Taobao)
Sponging with water and face towel. This still had to be done. Just remember not to do it in an air – conditioned room!
Holey Rompers, basically keep the clothing light and airy. Ours are from Uniqlo.
Baby Apple Juices for hydration when baby rejects water and milk (Little Foot drinks Earth Best and Pigeon brand)
Barley water. The home-boiled drink (little or no sugar) can help bring the temperature down and keep LO hydrated.
Essential Oils (Peppermint and Thieves, we use Young Living Oil). I rubbed peppermint on her soles at night and we diffused thieves and peppermint in the room at night.
Breast Milk, thankfully we haven’t stopped yet. So I was able to keep her hydrated when she refused milk bottles and water.
Baby Carrier. Being sick meant baby was extra clingy. We used our Tula and Kinderpack to save our arms and get her to nap peacefully.
Vitamins. For us…we can’t afford to fall sick!

Besides these,  we fed her porridge and mee sua, but she had so little appetite it was worrying. So I also got bread and sponge cakes (including pandan cake) from confectioneries… my foodie baby managed to wallop down 1 slice of the cake today, once she got her taste buds back, she managed to eat rice and soup!

I hope this list helps parents who are new to fighting persistent/viral fevers.

Thought I’d share the collective wisdom of our few experience with fevers and the advice I have gotten from my mummies support group over time.

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My little warriorette

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My imperfect husband

“That’s how marriage can be. Two imperfect persons trying their best to make themselves perfect enough for the other, and accepting that the imperfect other is what God has gifted you.”

Friday, I cried briefly.
In frustration, in anger.
I questioned why I married this man.

Recently, we changed routine, so he drove and I went back to public commute – the long walk, a short squeeze on the train, and a long walk uphill in the morning. Reverse that for the commute home.

I hate it. Even though it’s just one stop.

And my health hasn’t been good –  weight is still creeping downwards, back still giving me grief, and let’s be honest, I am having a lot of panic attacks. Just turning onto the highway for a long drive can cause me to have clammy hands. The world seems to cave in whenever the MRT door closes.

So back to Friday… no dinner at home, so I went to buy dinner on my way home. Texted the husband, only to receive no replies, so I just assumed he needed food and bought for him too.

Carrying laptop, milk and ice pack,  food for three people onto the train… my shoulders were aching. Train was packed (when is it never?)… And then my gastric acted up.

Husband replied. He just reached home. Thanked me for dinner.

My first thought was, “if I could remember you need food, why couldn’t you remember I may need a ride home?”

Tired, sad, disappointed, feel cheated. He said if he took the car, he could pick me up after work. He only did it once.

I have become less than an afterthought.

I somehow plodded home without fainting, just a lot of cold sweat. I reached home, dropped the food on the dinner table, briefly said hi to Little Foot and went to lie down in bed.

At that point, I hated my life… I hated how weak I have become – physically and mentally….I hated how my other half can never remember my existence when away from me.

Fast forward to today.

He dutifully did his Sunday morning duties, changing diapers, feeding Little Foot,  bringing her down to play, while I slept.

We went out the whole afternoon — went in search of lunch and then spent the afternoon at Gardens by the Bay. He accommodated me when I said my head was pounding and let’s not go to his parents’ place. We went for waffles and ice cream..and visited two playgrounds.

By many women’s yardstick, Papa Long would have been a flying colours papa. And I agree.

I guess you could say he is a better father than a husband, or maybe, like how I have forgotten how to be a good spouse, so has he.

Online, people tend to post their fairytale stories. Everyone then goes green when envy.

I thought I’d post a real human story instead, so perhaps everyone else who’s dealing with a less than fairytale life can say “ok, I’m not alone here”.

The fact of life is, when life overwhelms, we become careless, thoughtless, mindless.

In the end, it is what we choose to do with the situation. Take it to heart and drown in the anger and sadness, or let it go and be the bigger person.

I chose to cry. And I asked why he didn’t think of asking me if I needed a lift. He gave me his reason (a lame but real one — he was caught in a jam and urgently needed to pee, so he chiong home). And I moved on.

No he didn’t apologise.

I married a person who is also human, and who somehow believes a wife is a person who can be as capable and strong as he is. So my guess is, he’s going to continue to forget me until he reaches home, he’s going to not buy me a mothers day gift because “you are not my mother”, and all the thoughtless things he will do… because he’s too logical for his own good.

And yet, I am not walking away. Because I already knew these before I married him.

For all the careless and thoughtless ways, he is my life partner… the one who has shared ups and downs, braved through life’s scary moments with me, who never got mad at me.

And he is Little Foot’s super Papa.

Love is easy…Marriage is hard work.

We will continue to bicker about what is important and what a husband should do for his wife (the ongoing debate about whether he ought to buy me a branded bag will probably last till we are 90 yrs old), we will continue to irritate each other because our language of love is different.

That’s how marriage can be. Two imperfect persons trying their best to make themselves perfect enough for the other, and accepting that the imperfect other is what God has gifted you.

I made a decision to get over Friday’s incident and stop dwelling. If I hadn’t, it would have been impossible to have thoroughly enjoyed myself today.

When we shared a waffle today, it almost felt like we were dating again, except that Little Foot was trying her best to get her hands on the ice cream and the water and everything else in front of her.

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Here’s us at Gardens by the Bay

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And here’s him dealing with the wormy Little Foot while trying to drink a coffee and eat the waffles and ice cream.

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Some days, I miss the old life

There are pockets of moments some days, where I reminisce about the days before Little Foot came into our lives, especially poignant are the little bits of times that I manage to grab a cider and sit in my balcony. Or just sit in my balcony.

I know many parents are afraid to voice the inner thoughts when they miss the good old times when your designer house looked worthy of a magazine shoot, when there were no invasion of playmat,  high chair, walkers, cardboard books and baby toys everywhere. When you didn’t have a little person who demands to be with you everywhere, even in the bathroom. When sleep is disturbed. When you badly need to pee, but your dearest daughter demands to finish her exploring at the playground, when all you want I’d to sit down and eat, but baby just pooped or needs to be fed. The list goes on.

I think it is ok to admit it. We are humans afterall, and my 16 month old with her boundless energy, and feisty temperament can sometimes make us feel just a tad too exhausted.

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I’m hiding in my balcony as I write…

Yet, if asked, do I want that life back?  my answer is “No”….not even at my most tired moments, not even when she’s testing my patience to the max.  Life without Little Foot would lack flavour, excitement. It would lack meaning.

So yes, it’s ok to say, let me take a break with my beers in the balcony for awhile”, and recharge.

After that,  we are back to being plastered together… loving the clingy moments.

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Love needs absence sometimes.  Just don’t take too long 🙂

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Reflections of my short stint alone with Little Foot

Tonight,  I ended my stay at home week with Little Foot aptly by eating the leftover mee sua that I cooked for her dinner.

I reflected on the past 6 days over the Al Dante soggy mee sua  (which I must say tasted quite good).

First, a pat on the back for me.

Our initial plans to go to JB for a short getaway together fell apart when Papa Long had to cancel his leave.

So our plans flopped.

I then set a fewagendas” — bring her to an indoor playground, to the library, and maybe for a shopping session in orchard. None of the above happened. My back had to choose to scream in pain late last week too, with the aches shooting to the back of my knees. Bad timing. So we stayed home, even though it got better after acupuncture on Tuesday, the only day Papa was able to take leave.

And so we went into the routine we knew best from our good old times – direct & comfort latching on demand. Probably the last time I will be able to use this weapon for a sahm stint as she is now nearly 16 months old.

Looking back, I think I did well because I randomly introduced new play ideas to her on whim. They were all just things that happened on the spot.

Fun with the magic mop happened because she wanted to play in the balcony and I wanted to make sure it was clean (especially since it’s been hazy). Playtime happened when she grabbed the mop from me.

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Ransacking the storage boxes filled with supplies of baby food is another funny thing she seemed to enjoy. Just nice that this spot is in full view of geh bathroom, so she would keep busy throwing stuff out of the box while I prepared her bath.

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The fun part of this room is that it also holds my extensive collection of scrapbooking materials. So of cos I thought,  it’d be fun to let her try some colouring. She had fun throwing the pencils around and poking the paper with them.

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One of my favourite moments was her discovering magnets. She spent a good hour playing with them, I had time to grab my morning drink and do some washing.

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And the next day, she upgraded to pushing the ikea stool, which she placed the magnets on, around the house.

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After she got tired of magnets, on Friday, we were back in the balcony playing again and she wanted to peel off the mosquito patches I stuck on the balcony door (a habit I had since I felt it was a waste to throw them immediately after a one – time trip to the playground).  I didn’t think it was a good idea to play with the citronella – soaked stickers, so I dug into my treasure trove and pulled out this pack of stickers. Oh… the amount of time she spent concentrating on getting the hang of peeling, sticking, transferring them. Good for training dexterity!

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These kiddy sunglasses amused her quite a bit too!

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Of course, she played with her truckload of toys too. . And other random stuff in the house

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But in the end,  the most time – consuming activity was eating.

Thankfully, our baby is a born foodie… I feel like she needs a master chef in the house, not mummy who cannot cook properly. .. but I tried my best to be creative and vary the dishes.

Like the egg, cheese and broccoli omelette that I conjured up and the potato and carrot (turned out they were sweet potatoes?!!) pan fried with tomato sauce and olive oil, and today’s vehicles pasta (cheated using prego sauce) with minced pork.

She also had the usual steamed cod with carrots and rice, beehoon soup with baby kailan and threadfin,  mee sua with spinach and cod fish (aka boring baby food). We also had yogurt, cereals, puffs and food pouches. My most outrageous moment was sharing my char siew rice with her (being mindful to avoid the oily and sauce – covered parts).

When the weekend finally arrived,  Little Foot got her first kid’s meal order for herself (I’m not counting the McDonald’s party happy meal since she didn’t eat the nuggets). Mini pancakes with blueberries and cream cheese. Sounds yummy, but she decided she wanted my sweet potato fries instead.

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The biggest achievements this week has gotta be Little Foot mastering feeding herself with a spoon on Friday, and able to walk about 10 steps or more without support tonight.

With the spoon,  it was actually a bo bian situation.  She would snatch the spoon from me when I feed her during meal times, so I gave it to her and got a second spoon. Guess what? She took it too! Initially, she couldn’t hold the spoon facing the right way up, so a lot ended on the chair and floor…. by Friday evening,  she knew how to adjust the spoon and aim the food into her mouth! The mess was almost confined to the tray! So proud of her!

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As for the walking, I know she has been practising hard lately, but she was always afraid to let go.  So we spent much of our times walking with her holding onto something or my hand. Including over and hour at the playground with her refusing to be carried and refusing to leave. I had to trot around with her surveying the nooks and crannies of the small kids playground (my back is cringing at the memory).

 

Last night, sleepless, she wanted to go walk the corridor. We end up playing by having her walk from Papa to Me and back again to Papa. She was so full of glee whenever she fell into the safety of our arms. My heart was filled with happiness whenever she hugged me and rested her head on my arm. Today at my mum’s place we pulled the distance further and she would squeal and giggle in excitement walking to and fro.

And then night came. .. dinner was over, yet she was restless. 9pm, she crawled out of our bed and insisted on leading me back to the living room.  “Mummum!” She pulled at the load of bread on the dining table.  Ok, I opened it… she played with 1 slice, past back to me.  I decided to get a slice of cheese and added another slice of bread. It was more for myself but I offered her the bread. Little did I know, she would claim it as her own. Lolz…

The interesting part was when she kept standing and walking while holding onto the bread and cheese for dear life and eating away at it. She seemed to have forgotten her apprehension about walking and covered.quite a distance from the playmat to the dining bench.

Oh my Little Foot,  you really thrive on food! With the bread, you found courage!

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Oh yes, and she’s had her first shower time in the bathroom outside of the bathtub… Stood for awhile,  then sat on the bathroom floor and poured water over herself with the water scoop.

So much done in this short time together… I feel a sense of achievement that I somehow managed to make good use of the time we had together. How life pans out sometimes.  It was supposed to be Papa’s stay at home dad stint, but circumstances gave me the opportunity to bond with our precious little girl. I wonder how it would be if he had stayed home this week instead of me.

This time is so different from last September.  In a way it is more difficult and easier all at the same time… maybe because she can keep occupied with a certain activity for a period of time, which give me chance to sit down and breathe, but her mobility makes challenging to constantly keep and eye on her. And she doesn’t want to be in the walker, stroller or baby carriers anymore (hopefully a passing phase while she’s learning to walk). Definitely a demanding boss here!.

As with the last stint, my meals are simple affairs, sometimes I forgot to eat till it’s past normal lunch time. I couldn’t be bothered with my hair or putting cream on my face.  As long as I brushed my teeth, washed my hands and showered. A part of me learned to let go and say “it’s ok”… esp with the food pouches and missed naps and bedtimes.

Little Foot will turn 16 months in 3 days’ time… no longer a baby, ready to walk and see the world.

I guess I can conclude by saying “We made it!”

Good night my sweetie 贝贝. Sleep tight. XOXO

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P.S. I really loved that incidental tune you played out today on the keyboard. Almost a twinkle twinkle there!

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