Archive | December, 2011

The ‘Dreaded’ Sleep Training and How We Did It

29 Dec

merry christmas and happy new year!

unlike last year’s christmas, which we spent at mt. sinai hospital getting phototherapy treatment for miss ej, this year’s christmas was… just perfect!

we spent christmas day at my in-laws with 10+ relatives, eating loads of food and drinking merrily. miss ej usually finds difficulty adjusting to a new environment/house. the last time we went to my in-laws, miss ej cried for hours, non-stop. surprisingly, this time around, she was an angel. she spent hours chasing after their 2 cats, which are the apples of my father-in-law’s eyes. she even tried to use one of the cats as a pillow, putting her head down on the cat’s prone body. she must have ran/walked around the house at least 20 times.

i’m allergic to cats and i was worried that miss ej would be too, but she wasn’t and she loved them! i’m worried that when she grows up, she will ask to own a cat one day. i was also worried for her sleep because she usually needs our bed in order to fall asleep and she has a hard time falling asleep when there are a lot of people or noise. so, i didn’t even bother to try putting her to sleep, even when she showed signs of fatigue. however, her dad, without even consulting me, took miss ej to her grandfather’s bed and tried to put her to sleep. eventually, i lied down with them, not believing that she would actually fall asleep. however, to my surprise, 15 minutes later, miss ej was deep asleep. it was unbelievable! ūüôā

we came home really late and although miss ej awoke from her deep sleep, she didn’t shed a single tear, said goodbye to her grandparents and then sat in her carseat quietly, all the way home. i ended up falling asleep because she was so quiet.

speaking of sleep, a couple of weeks ago, my husband and i decided to ‘try’ sleep training miss ej. as i have mentioned in a previous post, miss ej has been co-sleeping with us ever since she was 4-5 months old. now that she’s a year old, we knew sleep training her wouldn’t be so easy, so we decided to try it out during my husband’s 1 week vacation, which is this week. we were dreading the day. ideally, we wanted to start from monday, but things got busy that we forgot. then, wednesday came along and i felt the pressure… i felt like it was going to be now or never. when i discussed my concerns to mr. jq, he felt the same way and all of a sudden, we were extremely fearful and anxious. ok, we were scared to our wit’s end!

we must have discussed a million pros and cons. the good outweighing the bad. the bad outweighing the good. we thought about every possible scenario and examples of other kids. i purposely didn’t go to google search because i knew it will only make me more confused. finally, the decision was made. thank god for my husband who possesses the ability to make a decision (more often good than bad). so we decided to start sleep training and we chose the most debatable ‘cry it out’ (CIO) method, which is also known for its cruelty.

for those who do not know CIO, this is the method we used;

1. bed time routine – bath, read a book, pray together, hug, kiss and say good night and we love you.

2. put the baby in the crib and leave the room. the baby will cry – miss ej cried hard (as hard as she could).

3. you let your baby cry (it out) for about 5 minutes – miss ej wailed.

4. after 5 minutes, go to your baby, say comforting words (without making it sound sad or guilty) and without picking up the baby – miss ej wanted to be picked up and she cried so much that she was shaking a bit. it was incredibly hard to witness and i also cried a bit. i know i wasn’t supposed to show any sadness or guilt, but i ended up putting my face against her crib so that she can touch my face with her fingers. she poked and stroked my face, begging me to hold her. i told her i was sorry and i love her but it’s her bed time and she needs to go to sleep. i repeated those words many times before leaving the room. it was the toughest thing i ever had to do.

5. leave after a couple of minutes. the baby will continue to cry or cry harder because you left again – i stayed with her for about 3 minutes and then left the room. yes, she screamed and cried the whole time.

6. this time, go to your baby after 10 minutes and repeat stage 4 (for each subsequent time, add 10 mins and stay with your baby a little less each time) – i didn’t have nerve to go through it again, so this time, my husband went and did what he had to do. i don’t honestly know what he actually did and i didn’t want to know. mr. jq stayed with her for a minute or so. he left fairly quick and she continued to cry hard.

we repeated stage 6 once. we waited about 2 minutes and we noticed that miss ej’s cries became weaker and in 5 minutes or so it died down. i urged my husband to go in and check but he waited until 20 minutes were up and went to see miss ej. apparently, she was trembling a little and sniffling as she was falling asleep. all in all, she was asleep.

sleep training day 1 was successful and it surpassed my expectations by far. i was thinking it would take hours and i would experience continual wake up cries, but it only took less than 30 minutes and she got up only twice, once at 4 am and once around 7 am. at 4 am, she was standing up in her crib, so i held her for a couple of seconds and put her back in her crib. she didn’t cry or get up. she went to sleep right away. at 7 am, my husband simply looked at her as she was lying down and was still sleeping. at 8:30 am, miss ej got up, cried for us and we all got up and had breakfast.

my husband’s and my biggest fear with this method was the damage it might cause (if any) to a baby. would she feel abandoned? will she develop some kind of phobia? will she hate us? will she develop high blood pressure for crying so hard? would it affect her heart as her heart rate will increase for a long period of time?

maybe it did cause some of these things. we don’t know as we have no way of gauging it, but we decided to observe miss ej carefully the next day, which was today. she seemed fine and we didn’t notice any changes. it felt like it never happened so we were relieved.

today was sleep training day 2. i’m happy to say it went well, even better than yesterday.

today, we only got to stage 5, i mentioned above. she was asleep in 10 minutes. i never thought she would do so well. my husband said to me, “why didn’t we do this before?”

hopefully, we will only get to stage 1 tomorrow.

and i really hope and wish that she or we (me and my husband) will not regress (especially, when she gets sick or is teething).

i also hope that this post doesn’t come across as i’m bragging or i’ve experienced a complete success. i know that there are many more trials and difficulties ahead for us. every baby is different and every parent is different. there are different ways to sleep with or without your baby. i’m simply writing about what we (my husband and i) decided to do. we decided on co-sleeping until age 1, then tried the CIO method after the 1st birthday. personally, i’m happy with our decision and if i ever have a second baby, i would choose this option again.

i’m a proponent of co-sleeping. i still am, even more so now because i feel that co-sleeping allowed her to feel secure enough to sleep on her own, when the timing was right. i feel like for miss ej, age 1 was the correct time because i sensed that she understood a lot of things like cause and effect, the meaning of ‘no’ and good and bad (up to a certain point).

mind you, we tried a couple of times previously and it was not successful. perhaps, the timing wasn’t right or it was because we didn’t follow the ‘correct’ method (we never left the room, when we tried previously) or maybe it’s a combination of both. i don’t know.

what i know is that the decision to not co-sleep when the baby is no longer a baby, but a toddler, is up to the parent (and the child) and the timing depends on the child. in another words, there is no correct way and it’s really dependent on you and your child. i’ve said that i will choose this method again with my second child, but who knows, it might be out the window with my second.

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Breakfast of Champions

21 Dec

one of the reasons why i started this blog was to write and record the recipes that i developed for miss ej’s food (from baby food/puree to toddler food). ¬†not only did i want to share the recipes, but i also wanted to look back and actually use them again when and if i ever needed to in the future.

i have tons of recipe, but i haven’t had the time to post them and i realized that i do not have available pictures. ¬†however, better late than never and hopefully, i will be able to post all my recipes here, eventually.

when miss ej turned 9 months, she refused to take her baby/puree food. ¬†no more baby cereal and purees. ¬†so, i had to be creative, to give her the appropriate kinds of ¬†food which do not contain any salt, sugar or additives. ¬†miss ej really wanted our adult food and i had to make sure that her food was somewhat similar to our food, without all the junk. ¬†thus, i started to research, explore and experiment. ¬†i had successful and not so successful results. ¬†i’ll only write the successful ones. ūüôā

i used to worry a lot about miss ej’s breakfast because i did not want to spend too much time making her breakfast, but i still wanted it to be a good and nutritious meal. ¬†i tried giving miss ej a bowl of cereal with homo milk then some toast with jam. ¬†she didn’t like any of them. ¬†after many tries, i figured out that she loves oatmeal mixed with homo milk. ¬†she probably would like some sugar or syrup in it, but i did not want her to get used to the taste of sugar. ¬†i plan to add some berries and give her some variation in the future.

here is today’s breakfast;

a bowl of oatmeal – a handful of organic quick oats with 2 oz. of homo milk

a cup of yogurt – 2 tbsp of 6% fat natural yogurt mix with 1 tbsp of Activia yogurt

1/2 ripe banana

a 3 oz. cup of homo milk

recently, i weaned miss ej off of her bottle and decided to give her milk in a cup. ¬†i’ve introduced her to a plastic cup when she was around 6 months old and she’s been learning how to drink from it. ¬†she had some difficulties (i.e. choking) initially, but now, she’s pretty good at drinking from a cup.

when i weaned her bottle, i also weaned her formula and switched over to homo milk. ¬†although, she knew the taste of homo milk, she was very hesitant to drink more than 1 oz. ¬†initially, i gave it to her in a plastic cup and she shook her head as soon as she saw the white liquid (instead of the clear liquid/water) inside the cup. ¬†as always, i decided to trick her… ūüôā ¬†i noticed that she’s been staring at her dad when he drank his shot of espresso from his starbucks’ espresso cup. ¬†a couple of times, she reached for it, wanting to play with it and imitate her dad. ¬†so, i quickly switched it with a new, but same type of cup and instead of a shot of espresso, i poured in 3 oz. of homo milk. ¬†and voila! ¬†she drank it all and then some! ūüôā

for tonight’s dinner, she had these;

a bowl of clam meeyukgook (seaweed soup) mixed with rice

1 clementine orange

1/4 cup of water

here is the recipe for clam meeyukgook (seaweed soup) with no salt, sugar or any additives;

ingredients:

1 tbsp sesame oil

1/2 tsp crushed garlic

1/4 cup of clams

a handful of dry seaweed (meeyuk) – any korean supermarket sells these

2.5 small dry anchovies

3 cm of dry kelp (thicker and wider than seaweed/meeyuk)

directions:

1. boil 1-2 cups of water and add dry anchovies and kelp.  lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

2. soak the dry seaweed in the cold water for 5 minutes.  make sure to soak it in a big bowl (seaweed will expand quite a bit).

3. cut the soaked/expanded seaweed into small pieces (size that your baby is able to swallow)

4. soak the clams in salt water and wash throughly (some of the clams are not very clean, so make sure to wash them).  cut the washed clams into small pieces.

5. heat up a small pot, add sesame oil, garlic and diced clams.  lower the heat and stir.

6. take out the anchovies and kelp from simmered water.  pour the simmered water to the small pot with prepared clams.

7. once the water boils, add the diced seaweed into the boiling water.

8. boil in medium heat for about 7-10 minutes. (i usually add rice at around 7 minutes and boil for another 3 minutes because miss ej likes her rice in the soup)

make sure to taste! ¬†it should taste good and shouldn’t taste too bland, because the natural flavours of anchovies and clams should help the soup to taste more flavourful, although no salt or additives were added.

my girl is a picky eater and if the food isn’t up to par, her mouth is closed tightly and no coaxing will get her mouth to open.

luckily, she loved this soup and she had a pretty big bowl and probably would have had some more.

it may not work for you, especially if your child isn’t into seafood. ¬†my miss ej is a fan of seafood and prefers fish over meat, so this soup works well for her. ¬†even if your child isn’t into seafood, you should try giving it to them! ¬†who knows? ¬†they might love it and it is a nutritious meal!

just be careful if your child is highly allergic, since shell fish (clams) may cause allergic reaction.  however, out of all the shell fish, i find that clams are the safest.

My Current Parenting Struggles – Top 5

19 Dec

motherhood is a wonderful experience, but it is also an experience that brings numerous struggles. i often say, “one thing after another”. you think you’ve overcome one thing, then there is another one awaiting.

the first 3 months were the toughest time for me. my girl wanted to be held, nursed and wanted to sleep in a particular way. until this day, i am in awe of those moms who are able to nurse their baby in public (with a cover over their shoulder). it was very difficult to nurse my daughter away from home, because she didn’t like to be covered and wanted my full attention while nursing. for some reason, whenever i looked away, she immediately stopped suckling and cried.

now that she is one year old, i no longer have theses struggles that i mentioned above. however, i must have traded those struggles for others and here are my top 5;

1. weaning the pacifier

when my girl was born, i made up my mind that i would not let my baby use a pacifier. however, my girl loved to suckle. before introducing her to a pacifier, she wanted to be nursed continuously. she obviously had a need to suckle and it seemed like her suckling needs were much greater than most babies. so i gave in and it made my life much easier. however, she became very dependent on her pacifier and it was in her mouth all the time! when she was awake, asleep and even when she ate. she would take a spoonful of her food, then suck on her pacifier. this repeated throughout the entire meal. i tried to take it away but she screamed and cried until she got it back. she even has a name for it; it’s “mamamamama”. she says this word a lot more than umma (mom in korean) and abba (dad in korean). not only that, her pacifier is in most of her pictures. you can’t hardly see her lips in any of her pictures.

i researched “how to wean pacifier” and read many mom’s blogs talking about their success stories of weaning the pacifier. many used a “cold-turkey” method and surprisingly, it often led to successful results! well, not for me. i tried. i tried to get her to use it only during her naps and sleep time. i almost succeeded… until, she got sick and it went back to square one!

none of the kids in her class use pacifiers. often times, the kids in her class pop my girl’s pacifier out of her mouth. i think it’s because they find it very interesting that my girl has it in her mouth all the time. most kids are usually limited in their pacifier usage… their pacifiers are kept inside their crib to be used only for nap and sleep time. today, a mom glanced at my girl and said to her baby daughter, “you only use your pacifier in your crib, right?”.

2. co-sleeping vs sleep training

some of my friends know that i am a proponent of co-sleeping. i believe that co-sleep allows a child to feel safe and secure and in turn, enhances their self-esteem (i hope). my husband and i decided to co-sleep and placed her crib right beside our bed.

i’ve tried different sleep training methods early on, until my girl was about 5 months old. it worked well until she started to have teething pain during the night. around 6th month, she was up 4-5 times throughout the night and i ended up bringing her into our bed. she was much happier and slept better (even with the teething pain).

when we started to co-sleep, we were all happy. the baby slept well and i slept well.

then… my girl started to crawl and walk. she crawled up to our bed, crawled over us and ended up sleeping in our bed. this repeated and eventually, the 3 of us slept together in a cramped queen size bed.

one night, i got up from my sleep because i was certain that my nose was broken. i heard a crack and tears were rolling down uncontrollably. i woke up my husband and said, i think my nose is broken. thank god, it wasn’t, but all this happened because my girl dropped her head on top of my nose while sleeping. incidents like this happened quite a bit.

so, i began to think… perhaps, she is too old to co-sleep and it’s time to sleep train. OMG…

i heard that the older they are, the harder it is to sleep train. i don’t know where to start…

one day, we put up the side of her crib which was down, previously. so, she was trapped inside her crib for the first time. we were still in the same room, right beside her. she cried and cried, wanting to come out of her crib. we ignored but still kept our eyes on her. maybe 5 minutes passed. her cries got stronger, became more like wailing. she became more and more angry and then… she threw up.

we had to change her crib sheets, wash and change her. she ended up sleeping with us in our bed, once again… she won.

me and my husband have no idea how to resolve this issue. we do not even know where to start. it’s scary to even think about it.

i think our only choice at this point is to put her crib in her room and try the cry it out method. we are thinking about setting aside 4-5 days during the holidays to try it out. i wonder how many times she will throw up…

3. how to parent a spirited child

while i was pregnant, i’ve looked at many different parenting books. one of them was called how to raise your spirited child. the author of this book defined a spirited child as a child who is sensitive, intense, perceptive, persistent and energetic. miss ej is definitely all of these. she has always been very sensitive, even as a newborn. she liked or disliked certain houses, she didn’t like certain soap that i used and until today, she favours certain people. some people, she refuses to even look at, but to some people/strangers, she will not hesitate to go hug or play with them. when she’s angry, i can’t get mad at her because that will make her more angry and her anger becomes uncontrollable. when she’s upset, i need to talk to her gently and give her hugs and kisses. this is the only way she will compromise or even consider listening to me. don’t get me wrong, she doesn’t cry or get angry very often. it takes a lot to get her upset.

the scary part is that when i was growing up, i behaved somewhat similar to miss ej. i wasn’t as strong and energetic as her, but i was a sensitive, persistent child. thus, i understand her to a certain degree and i know it’s important to work with her rather than just correct her.

i would love to read more about raising this type of child or even to learn from a professional. i don’t believe that miss ej has an issue and i know that spirited children are smart, loving children who have a special place in this world, accomplishing great things. i just want to help her and direct her to become all that she can be.

4. sleeping habits

miss ej slept through the night from her 2nd month, sleeping 9-10 hours straight, every night. i stopped night feeding from her 2nd month and never had to be up to feed her in middle of the night. it was a little different when she started to teeth but all in all, she’s been a good sleeper. on average, she has slept 10-11 hours a night and took 2-3 hours of naps.

ever since she turned 1 year old and started to walk on her own… everything changed. she no longer wants to take naps and getting her to fall asleep has been soooooo painful! i said to my husband, this is worse than labour and giving birth (and i had 26 hours of labour!)

she fights her sleep so much that it takes 2-3 hours of fussing and crying before she actually falls asleep. we even tried letting her play longer, thinking that she might not be tired, but it got her more tired, over-stimulated and then more fussing and crying. before she falls asleep, she has to have 2-3 crying sessions, 1-2 laughing sessions and 6-7 walking around the house sessions.

we take her to our bed several times. she gets up and gets out of the bed an equal amount of times. then, when she’s ready to go to sleep, she crawls over us several times, rubs her face (more like drops her head on top of my face) several times and kicks my face a few times… then, ends with a final cry.

it is the most frustrating thing, ever!

5. extreme attachement

i usually spend a whole day with miss ej, everyday. it’s natural that she’s attached to me. however, she has a hard time playing by herself or being alone for even 5 minutes. even when she plays, she has to make sure that i’m attached to her (physically). she make sures that i’m holding her hand or my leg is touching her back or leg or any part of her body. she cries when i go to the kitchen or go to the bathroom. she’s always been this way and i thought she would eventually grow out of it, but it hasn’t happened yet. the worst is when she refuses to stay/play with anyone else but me, not even her dad. i often take a shower when my husband comes home so that he can watch miss ej. at times, my husband had to stay in the bathroom with miss ej while i take a shower because miss ej didn’t want to be away from me, not for a second.

my daughter has numerous characteristics that are amazing. she is a healthy, happy, good hearted and affectionate child who loves to play with other kids (sharing toys and taking turns). she possesses many good characteristics (although kids’ personalities change many times) and she is a joy to be around. so, i hope people don’t misunderstand that my struggles are not due to her inadequacy, but they are struggles that most parents go through around her age.

i am writing this post, not just to complain, but i write because the struggles are part of parenting and i want to be able to look back and remember everything – the good parts as well as the bad.

Happy 1st Birthday!

18 Dec

my beautiful miss ej is one year old today!

we had a wonderful birthday celebration party with 60+ people yesterday. miss ej was tired, but nonetheless, she had tons of fun. the worst part for her was getting changed into 4-5 different outfits, but she cried only once! mr jq and i, were extremely proud of her and we had a wonderful day. one of the best days of our lives.

thank you miss ej for being our wonderful, healthy, sweet and pretty daughter. you bring so much joy into our lives. your dad’s and my life have become much more richer, meaningful and happier because of you. we love you so much.

thank you jesus for creating such a wonderful little girl, giving us an opportunity to raise her and helping/guiding us along the way. i know that i would not have survived the past year without christ.

a big thank you to my wonderful friends, who have been there for me in the past year; giving me tips, encouragements and just being there for me to hear me vent. i don’t know how i could have survived without my wonderful community of friends!

oh… how can i forget… my mom, who’s been there for me from the day miss ej was born… forcing me to eat so much meeyukgook (seaweed soup), judging my milk supply… ūüôā but she has helped me so much in the past year and has been there for me every time i needed help.

last, but not least, thank you to my wonderful husband. we’ve had lots of ups and downs… lots of laughs and cries… wasn’t it all worth it? thank you for becoming a wonderful dad (you had to learn so much in the past year)!

the past year flew by… what an eventful year it has been!

i thought i would never say this, but yes, i would do it all over again. ūüôā

DONE!

11 Dec

my exams are done and i have officially completed two of my TESL courses!

i am so happy.

i can now spend as much time as i want with my little princess, miss ej and i can finally finish reading my book, ‘sacred parenting,’ that i started to read from months ago. ¬†i can’t wait!!

i also had the best examination experience today. ¬†teachers should learn from my exam invigilator/full-time grade 7 teacher. ¬†before i started the exam, she made me feel relaxed, comfortable… assured me that i will do fine. ¬†she was organized, accommodating. ¬†she offered 5 different pens (i guess in case they run out?), offered different types of drinks, fruits, and yummy snacks. ¬†the exam room (invigilator’s house) was bright, warm, beautifully staged and decorated with the prettiest and trendiest furniture and christmas decorations… which were mostly created/modified by her!

this individual always inspires me, every time i see her and speak to her. ¬†no wonder she’s a great teacher, mentor and friend to so many people. ¬†she possesses many talents and abilities that are worth bragging about yet, she is so humble and unpretentious. ¬†she is one of my favourite people and¬†i absolutely adore her.

today was the first time i’ve been away from miss ej for a long period of time (11 hours). ¬†apparently, she had looked for me all day by checking each room a thousand times to see if i was there. ¬†at times, she stood in front of the bathroom, thinking that i would come out soon. ¬†apparently, she was sad all day and cried a lot. ¬†i think she missed me more, because she was sick. ¬†she needed my comfort and i feel awful that i wasn’t there for her.

today was also my husband’s company’s christmas dinner. ¬†it started at 6 p.m. and i finished my exams at 7 p.m., arrived home at 7:20 p.m. so we didn’t ¬†end up going. ¬†again, i felt awful that he missed this event because of me and i regret not texting him during my exam to tell him to go without me. ¬†my apologies to mr. jq’s bosses…

overall, the exam wasn’t too bad. ¬†it was difficult, but at least, i knew the answers to all of the questions. ¬†does it mean i did well? ¬†probably not, because i’m not sure if i was able to explain my knowledge clearly and¬†succinctly. ¬†i’m glad it’s over and i’ll be happy with any mark, as long as it’s a passing mark.

it’s been a long day. ¬†i’m finally going to get my well-deserved sleep!

I Wish I Was 34 Going On 14….

8 Dec

it’s funny how bad things happen all at once, usually at the worst time…

so, i have one and a half days left until my finals.

i came down with a cold or flu about a week ago, which progressed to bronchitis. i’m on antibiotics and a puffer.

and now… my dearest miss ej is sick with the same cold or flu and she’s in quite a bit of pain. she wakes up throughout her sleep due to her nasty cough, which sounds very painful. she hasn’t got a solid nap or night sleep for a whole day now and she’s not her usual self.

it’s the worst, watching your kid suffer and the worst part is, i know how painful this cold/flu is!

so… i’ve been living on power naps. 1 hour here and 1 hour there… whenever i can, i nap.

obviously, my studies have not been productive at all and i’m really thinking that i might fail my two exams. i don’t think i’ve ever been this unprepared! i have 1 and a half days left to review but i have no energy to do anything. today was one of the toughest days with miss ej because she didn’t want to be away from me, not even for a second. i guess the only comfort she finds is her mommy and i feel horrible that she can’t have other forms of relief, other than baby tylenol. sometimes, i’m really tempted to offer her my cough medicine! so, all i can do is pray and be there for her.

last night, i stayed up until 2 a.m. to finish my readings. miss ej was up from 3 a.m., not being able to fall asleep again. at 7:20 a.m., i prepared miss ej’s breakfast and lunch as well as other chores. fed miss ej, took her out for a ride so that she could fall asleep before her gym class, which was at 11 a.m. at 12 noon, we came home and fed miss ej her lunch. i also tried to have my first meal, but miss ej cried and wanted to be held, so i inhaled 2 big bites and cleaned up real quickly, while holding her with one arm. miss ej’s fever went up a bit and after a dose of baby tylenol, she finally took her nap which consisted of waking up every 5 minutes or so. i tried to call her doctor but every time i picked up the phone, miss ej was real upset and when i managed to call, no one answered. so i called my husband to get hold of our doc, but i called at the wrong time and he denied my request.

we don’t have a good thermometer, so it was really hard to gauge how sick miss ej really was. it’s little late, but i thought getting a good thermometer was what i needed to do. i called my mom, asked her to babysit. meanwhile, i called 20 times to my doc and finally got through. i made an appointment for 8 a.m. tomorrow. i quickly went to costco to get the thermometer, medicine (that’s running out) and shopped for our dinner tonight.

quickly drove home, just in time to feed miss ej’s dinner. quickly prepped. asked my husband to feed her while i quickly organized everything, made a decent dinner for my husband, who worked hard all day.

i got a quick breather when my husband bathed miss ej and got her ready for bed. i went to bed with miss ej with her bottle. she refused to drink and after a long time of fussing, crying…. she finally fell asleep. i took a quick power nap… maybe half an hour. miss ej continued to wake up due to her cough. i sat there for awhile, watching her… thinking maybe i should take her to the urgent care. luckily, she has no fever.

i come out of the bedroom and i see my husband lost in the wonderful world of www. the house is a mess. it’s like a tornado passed by our house. i quickly clean as much as i can and as i sit down, i feel upset and defeated. upset because i’m really behind with my studies and all i want is some time to prepare for my exams. defeated because although i feel like i did a million things, i got nothing accomplished, well so it seems. and as i cough and clear up my congested chest…. i realized that i’m sick also.

days like today, i wish was a kid again. all i would have to worry about is my studies, school, friends, hair, zits and maybe a little about my future. i miss those days when i had some time to just chill and be bored… i would love to sit on the sofa and stare at the wall, thinking i’m so bored. no, i just want 2 more hours added to my day.

i never thought, being a grown up, especially being a mom and wife would require so much work.

i was going to study and not write this post but i’m glad that i have this space to write, so that i could take half an hour for myself. i think this is good for my sanity.

my duties(?) have not ended yet. i’m going to go to my husband, hug him, maybe watch a fast forward version of x-factor with him, talk briefly about our days and when he goes to sleep, i will devote my 100% to my studies.

at 2 a.m. my day will finally end and begin a new day an hour later (at least until miss ej gets better).

i can’t wait until this week is over.

just like the movies, it would be awesome, if i was 14 years old when i wake up. if that happened… the first thing i would do is… go back to sleep and sleep as long as i want!

When Do You Lose Your Pregnancy Weight?

1 Dec

i’ll tell you up front. i gained somewhere between 45-50 pounds during my pregnancy (i stopped counting after 43).

i’m 5″ 3′ and my weight used to be within a good, healthy range. i’m a big eater but i like to exercise and stay active.

although i’m a big eater, luckily, i’ve never been very large. i always wore size 0-2 clothes. however, once i got engaged and moved into my thirties, i gained 8 pounds. i had bought my wedding dress as soon as i got engaged (when i was 8 lb. less) then, when i had my second fitting, which was a month later, my wedding dress was way too small and it had to be altered all over again. i almost needed a new wedding dress! oh man, i wanted to cry. my wedding dress ended up not fitting so well on my wedding day.

then, after marriage, i managed to gain 2 more pounds and hit +10 pounds. yay! ūüė¶

yes, my husband and i love eating. we like to eat a lot of food, until our stomach is full that it feels like it’s going to explode! i also cook a large amount of food, which doesn’t help either.

still, my weight was in the healthy range. i wasn’t happy, but i still fit into size 4 dresses and i was happy with that.

then, pregnancy came along… and it was another level!

once i got pregnant, i stopped exercising. early in my pregnancy, there were some complications so, as much as i missed exercising, i had to stop.

not only that, i had bad nausea until 6 months into my pregnancy and the only way to keep my food down was to keep my stomach full. every time i was somewhat hungry, i threw up, so i ate quite a bit.

pregnancy + eating a lot + no exercise = i looked and felt awful. i’ve never been so big in my life!

my mom is very traditional and an easily persuaded person, who tells you what’s on her mind (without any tact or wisdom). she had told me, even before i got pregnant that i ‘must’ lose all my pregnancy weight by 6 months after giving birth. If you pass that point, i will keep the weight forever! she was firm and sure about this myth and as i much as i shook my head and told her that’s nonsense, i was secretly scared.

i also have friends, who lost all of their pregnancy weight within a couple of months after giving birth. they also did not try to lose the weight. no exercise, not watching what they ate and they ‘naturally’ lost it all!

this wasn’t the case for me. not at all.

i lost half of my weight by the 2nd month after giving birth. i was happy because, i thought… at this rate, i’ll lose it all in no time! i ate well as i was breastfeeding exclusively. i was told that breastfeeding helps to shed the weight, so i wasn’t particularly concerned about my weight at all.

the 3rd month came along and i was at the same weight, same with the 4th month. everyone is different, but for me, breastfeeding did not help with weight loss. it actually encouraged weight gain because i was constantly hungry. my baby ate well, at times, eating every 30 minutes for hours, so i was hungry all the time. also, i had to eat well to make sure that my baby was getting enough nutrients from my milk.

around the 4th month, i decided to add one formula a day so that when i decide to wean, it would be an easier transition. miss ej hated formula in the beginning, but with some tricks, she eventually took it.

i weaned her fully, around the 8th month and my weight began to go down. more so because, once i stopped breastfeeding, i was able to exercise (it’s hard to jump, when your boobs are full; they are quite heavy) and control what i ate (i wasn’t as hungry and didn’t have to care too much about eating nutritious food).

i picked up jogging again and i ran almost everyday but i ended up injuring my knee. it was too much exercise, too fast. damn…

around this time, my weight went down 10-15 more pounds. however, it stopped. i reached a plateau and my weight didn’t budge for awhile.

so for 1 month, i started a weight loss program on my own, mainly consisting of eating high amounts of protein, less portions and doing some walking, here and there. this worked for me and after a month, i lost another 10 pounds and i was finally back to my pre-pregancy weight.

anyways, about 9 months after giving birth, i finally went back to my pre-pregnancy weight and now, at 11.5 months after giving birth, i’ve lost a bit more. more so, because babies around this age are very active and following them around is a workout in itself. in my case, miss ej is a big girl, weighing around 21-22 pounds, so lifting and carrying her have been a workout as well. plus, i still continue to eat somewhat healthy. we don’t eat any processed/white rice (which is the biggest portion of our meal) at our house. we eat multigrain rice, consisting of 7 different grains. however, we do eat processed food when we go out to eat or have take-out food.

weight loss is not easy, but losing pregnancy weight was even harder (for me).

just like pregnancy and parenting… losing your pregnancy weight requires your patience. in time, the pregnancy weight will go down.

do not believe people who say that the weight has to go down within certain amount of time – that’s not true. don’t compare yourself to others – it’s destructive. as they say, it took 9 months to gain the weight, it will take same amount to lose it.

as much as i want to say that i do not care about superficial things, such as weight, in all honesty, i do. call me superficial, but it is important to me. not just to look good and fit into pretty clothes, but i feel much healthier and lighter when i’m not heavy. i do not wish to be super skinny like models, but i want to be at a point, where i feel comfortable. i don’t feel comfortable when i’m too skinny either.

i have to admit, it’s difficult to be perfectly happy with your body image. even now, my body isn’t the way it used to be. the parts that were small, got even more smaller and the areas that were big, have gotten even bigger (like my stomach). it’s like all the fats from my body moved to my stomach and upper body. it’s all concentrated there… i guess, my solution is to exercise and tone my body. however, this solution has to wait until i finish my studies and miss ej grows up a bit. i absolutely have no time to exercise… ūüė¶

so all you people with no kids… exercise to your heart’s content (while you can) and for those of you who are pregnant or just gave birth, don’t lose heart! it will come!!

The Count Down Begins Now!

1 Dec

my two exams in d-9.

my daughter’s first birthday party (with about 80 guests) in d-16.

i’m stressed, just thinking about it…

help me, god!!

oh… and miss ej had a blast in her gym class today.

ever since we got her a mini slide, she’s no longer obsessed with the slides in her gym class. however, she still likes the dangerously huge slide. it’s like she’s instinctively attracted to dangerous and trouble-causing objects and kids. she hardly pays attention to other kids but when she sees an older kid making trouble, she immediately follows and imitates him or her.

she tried crawling through a round tunnel today. however, her new favourite is mini-trampoline. she bounces (very slightly) and it’s the cutest thing!

she continues to dislike the parachute time. the babies in the class absolutely love this activity. one of the babies even hyperventilated, while laughing too hard! miss ej is the only one who frowns during this activity. sigh… she is so unique.