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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Managing Elyssa

----- Warning: this is a ranting post! ------
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I have to confess that these days, I often think that Elyssa is irritating - she talks too much, she talks to loud, her pitch is too high, she whines too much, she cries too much and she doesn't listen to instructions.
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*Sigh*. Then I try to remind myself that my poor girl is dealing with major adjustments - to a new baby sister and to me going back to work.
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Elyssa's nature is such that she just loves and craves attention. The more the better!
But these days, I just don't have the time and energy. Need to wake up early to pump milk, then go to work, then rush home to pump milk again and then one round of direct nursing before I go to bed exhausted. If only there's more time!
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I think Elyssa genuinely loves her baby sister, but doesn't like sharing the limelight. She's probably acting up so that she gets more attention. And of course the more she acts up, the more irritated we get. I try to do what I can - when I come home from work, I greet and kiss her before baby, I try to give her plenty of hugs, I tell her bedtime stories, after I scold her I try not to talk my baby talk to Erin (so that she doesn't get jealous) etc....... but it's just not enough :(
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I feel like she wants a lot more than I can give!! *sigh*. I can't even go up or down the staircase without her tagging along, sometimes with her insisting on holding on to the corner of my t-shirt.
(I hate it when this happens during the morning rush to get ready for work - I run up the stairs to get my phone, she follows while bugging me "why, why? why are you going upstairs". Then I go down again.....then realise I need my breastpump adapter. I run up the stairs again with her going again "why, why, why" while holding on to my shirt.......Aaargghhh...Annoys the he** out of me!!!)
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Then sometimes while nursing Erin at night, I read my old blog entries of her as a little girl...... and I'm transported back to the times when I regarded her as my precious little darling, when I was truly happy just by seeing she was happy.
Then I feel like I want to cry. What has happened? Why is it like that now? Then I resolve to spend more time and be more patient with her.
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But....then the next morning begins and before I am fully awake, she starts to whine AGAIN. And I get irritated AGAIN.
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So, that seems to be the cycle for the past few weeks. When she's with me, I feel irritated by her. When she's not with me, I feel guilty (during lunch today, I bought her a Hello Kitty pyjamas set!)and miss her. Go home, feel irritated when she whines again.
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What should I do????

Sunday, September 25, 2011

First Week of Work

Phew.......just completed my first week of work. It has been absolutely EX-HAUS-TING!

A couple of reasons I suppose - a) 9 months of not working b) first few days was more of orientation so people from different parts of the business were explaining their stuff to me - whole lot of things to absorb since it's a completely new industry for me c) Waking up at 6.30am to pump milk daily - this is a pretty big deal since I've been waking up 9+am for the past few months.

Work wise, it's still a little too early to tell but I like what I see so far. *fingers crossed*

Pumping milk wise, that's another story. It's definitely not easy to balance work and milk pumping. I have plenty of respect for those who succeed! These days, my output is wayyyy below Erin's input. I pump twice at work, getting between 2oz to 3.3oz only. And during the time I'm away, she takes 4 bottles of 4oz each. My frozen stash is depleting very, very fast!

Hopefully my milk production in the office will increase soon. So far, my timing has not been consistent (I had scheduled meetings during the 3 day orientation) and emotionally, it has been difficult to get into the pumping mode in the midst of all the "newness" around me.

But I am really thankful that I have my own office so I can pump comfortably inside (Yayy!!! No need to pump in toilet) and my boss is supportive (his wife pumped for 1 year at work).

May not be an easy journey, but I'm gonna do what I can for the sake of this little princess:)

-photo taken 2 weeks ago-

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Going Back to Work

9.5 months just flew by........I'm going back to work tomorrow. New job in a new company some more!!

I have been dreading Sept 19 for so long, but a part of me is excited as well. I kind of look forward to "reclaim" part of my life again. Staying at home the whole day with a temperamental 3.5 year old girl and a 2.5 month old baby is rather stressful in its own way.

For my preparation to get back to work, I have done stuff like -
1) Hair Rebonding - so that I don't have to worry about my hair having a mind of its own in the mornings.

2) Mini Shopping Spree for Work clothes - not because I wanted to but because I HAD to. Still can't fit into most of my old clothes. Isn't breastfeeding supposed to make me lose weight?????

3) Mentally preparing myself for work again - ha ha...one of the things was to force myself to read non fiction books like on Obama and Jack Welsh. My brain cells have been growing mouldy!

4) Building up my frozen breast milk supply - here's a sneak peek of my freezer:

21 bottles in total! Ranging from 3.5oz to 4oz. Each drop was painstakingly collected over the past few weeks. May not seem like much, but I am mighty proud of my efforts! After all, I could never pump more than 2oz for Elyssa last time, what more a full bottle.
[ pssst : Got to admit that I cheated a little. Some mornings I gave Erin formula (with a personal limit of 2oz per day) so that I can build up my frozen stash ]

One of the things I worry now is about pumping in the office. Preparing myself for worst case scenario of having to pump in the common toilet :(
Plus, will need to explain to my new boss (male!) and colleagues that I need to disappear twice a day to pump.

Lots of challenges ahead! *Breath in, breath out ; breath in, breath out*

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sleeping Princesses

Elyssa jie-jie hugged Erin mei-mei to sleep. Awww....... so sweet :)



Monday, September 12, 2011

Elyssa's Food Strike

A few weeks back, I had my very first experience of Bribing Elyssa to Eat. A very big deal indeed since it's normally the case of Bribing Elyssa With Food!!

A recap-

Thursday night

Poor girl vomited 3 times. But after each time, she seemed perfectly ok (proudly and loudly announced that she vomited, then went back to sleep)

Friday - Day 1
Quieter than usual in the morning. Around 12pm she vomited again. She said she wanted to stay at home (she normally goes to Ah Kong/Ah Mah's house in the afternoon). Went to sleep without eating lunch. She woke up around 3+. I let her play with the Ipad next to me on the bed then I must have dozed off for a while. When I opened my eyes, I was surprised that she went back to sleep again. She slept until 6+pm.

She didn't have much appetite during dinner. Hardly ate her rice and soup. But was back to her normal self (i.e. talking a lot!). After dinner, we went to the nearby Speedmart to buy some groceries and she was happily walking around as usual.


Saturday - Day 2
She didn't want to drink her morning milk. Purged twice. Hubby brought her to the clinic. Doctor gave medicine for wind and diarrhoea. When she came home, she refused to eat anything. For the first time ever, I had to bribe her to eat since she can't take her medicine with an empty stomach. Words like......."If you finish this biscuit, we can go kai-kai, If you finish this Strawberry Rocky, we can go swimming today".
Also resorted to threats "If you don't eat anything, you will vomit" [She refused food cos of lack of appetite plus fear of vomiting again]

Took me a full hour to get her to eat 2 small pieces of biscuit and 2 sticks of Strawberry Rocky! *faint*

She was rather active the whole day, but still hardly ate anything during lunch and dinner. She kept asking to drink water only.


Sunday - Day 3
Again, hardly ate breakfast and lunch (Even with Ribena as a bribe, she took forever to eat only 4 fishballs). When we returned from lunch/shopping trip in Pavilion, hubby and I were really tired and wanted to nap......but this girl was jumping around like a monkey. Where on earth did she get the energy from?????

Ate more during dinner.

Monday - Day 4
Regressed. Only ate a few spoonfuls of rice during lunch. Slept a lot.

Tuesday - Day 5 onwards
Progressively got better.

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The whole food strike episode lasted slightly over a week. What an unpleasant experience!!! Really broke my heart to hear my greedy, eat-like-no-tomorrow girl saying "Actually, I don't want to eat this. I don't want to eat ANYTHING at all. "

Even after the food strike, it took a few more days before she ate reasonably well (i.e. can finish her portions with gentle coaxing). Now, she's back to her normal self (i.e. after finishing her portion, it's not uncommon for her to say "but I'm still HUNGRY!!").

For breakfast these days, she can take 1 full bottle of milk plus TWO pieces of bread with cheese. That's almost equivalent to my breakfast portion! But after the food strike incident, I'm thankful she's eating well :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Carrying Mei Mei

Elyssa was thrilled when I finally said she could carry her baby sister!

She stood right in front of me with her arms outstretched and happily said "Mei mei come. Jie jie carry you".
Ha ha.... my dear Elyssa, you're not ready for that yet!!
I told her can only carry while sitting down on the bed with her back against the headboard.


Attempt 1
Baby Erin bawling away. Oops...wrong timing cos she was hungry

Attempt 2
Baby Erin fed and changed. Head flopped a bit so Elyssa jie jie tried to hold her head.

Attempt 3

Baby not crying and head not flopping down.
Yay......jie jie was soo HAPPY. Just look at the smile!

BIG smile until cannot even see eyes :)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

2 months, 1 week old

Baby Erin is now 2 months, 1 week old.

Smile

Serious

Smile again!

Some short updates :

1. She loves it when people talk to her! And we love it when she smiles and coos in return.
I don't remember Elyssa being this responsive at this age. Hubby loves the way she responds and has officially named himself "Erin's Personal Clown". Speaking of names..... that makes me "Erin's Personal Cow". :)

2. A verrry light sleeper. She always wakes up whenever the auto gate opens. She's ok with white noises such as tv and people talking.

3. Physically, she doesn't have her jie jie's big eyes and deep dimples. But she's much fairer and has a small dimple on her right. She has "chang moh" hair i.e. hair that sticks up, just like me when I was a baby. :)
She has long fingers and toes, also just like me. Got potential to be a tall girl!

4. She has pulled her own hair a couple of times. Poor baby screamed while she pulled on a tuft of hair so tightly that it was difficult to unclench her little fist. I'm sure she had no idea it was self-inflicted pain!
Thus, need to make sure she has mittens on all the time. (ok, another reason for mittens is that mummy is too scared to cut her little nails)