26 Jul 2013


We're here in Hawaii!

It's beautiful especially here in Maui. I would come back with my whole extended family (and friends) to Maui it's so ..... beautiful. The people are laid back, the weather is bearable, there is ample of family friendly activities and so much delicious foods to try.

I've been keeping a travel book, as I do whenever I go on holidays so I'll elaborate on our experiences and our adventures when we get back, but here are some photos of the beautiful islands of Oahu and Maui I've taken so far with my iPhone.

The Royal Hawaiian, where we stayed first three nights

Morning walk views on Waikiki Beach

The Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort - beautiful property perfect for families

What we spent doing most days. Relaxing and taking in the views

Watching the sunset

14 Jul 2013

Terrible Two's

Lately we've noticed a behavioural change in Eli and as much as I accept children change constantly, the "change" we've been experiencing lately we've come to realise is here to stay a little longer. We thought about what it could be and it hit me one evening .... he's reached the "terrible two's."

It's not terrible at all. As in it's a milestone in their development. They've realised they have options, they're testing their boundaries and want some control - a progression not previously reached or realised. 

I think he may have reached this milestone a while ago, I was just not paying attention to the "signs" indicating this new phase. Signs such as:
  • Tantrums! Yelling or screaming back at me when he doesn't get his way. Alligator tears sometimes make an appearance so it looks like he's really upset but the moment you give him what he wants the crying stops.
  • Over use of the word "No!" by both mum/dad and Eli. To him the answer to every question is no and even when he wants to say yes he doesn't say no but moves his head in the other direction. We on the other hand begin every sentence with "No! Don't ...", "No! Eli ...", "No! Stop ..."
  • Sudden change in appetite. I've tried changing his menu but still he doesn't seem to eat as much as he use to. He's realised he doesn't have to finish the wholesome meal I've prepared and discovered chocolate, cookie and ice cream are a lot tastier. And he can say those three items very clearly too.  
  • Independence to want to do things on his own like feed himself, wash his own hands, brush his own teeth. That's great you might think, but adds time to getting ready or creates mess - basically additional work for me if I hadn't just assisted him instead.
  • Mr  Bossy pants. He's suddenly discovered how to get his way, is to boss you into doing it for him. And if you wont then expect a tantrum. 
  • Selective hearing. Previously he would help me put everything away now he ignores me but if I bribe him or suggest an activity we can do post helping me he seems to have heard me loud and clear.  
  • Threatening him with "time out corner" suddenly has no impact and once he's there he cries like its bloody murder.  
  • Increase in slapping, hitting and or banging objects with his hands. Even after asking him nicely to stop he finds it more amusing if he continues.  
So how does a parent deal with this new phase. I've been doing a lot of reading .. ok googling forums and unpublished advice. And the general answer is as a parent you need to look out for the signs and take control when it occurs. It's a time your child is discovering new things but finding it frustrating to explain or communicate what they want - hence the "terrible" behaviours.

Explain Boundaries: I've discovered this with Eli's sudden desire to imitate other kids with no fear. He'll climb up some play ground equipment designed for older kids or run towards the road when we first open the front door, he doesn't know where his boundaries are. As a parent you need to explain do's and don't and why. Why he can't climb the top of the juggle gym or why he can't just run off. Apparently expect to be repeating these conversations until they finally get it.  

Give Selected Options: They want to feel a sense of control so instead of telling them what to do give them options that allow them to choose what they want to do. For example this morning Eli was jumping on my back during breakfast. He obviously wants a piggy back but obviously this isn't the time so I explained this to him and asked him whether he wanted to sit next to me on another chair or sit on his couch? He chose to sit on his couch.   

Communicate: Only way they will understand boundary limits, right from wrong or get them to start to tell you what they want is to be constantly communicating with them. I've never heard the sound of my voice as much as I do now as a parent. Also if people have never heard me raise my voice spend an hour or two with Eli and I.  

Know When to Walk Away: Ultimately you are the parent, you control the situation and your child needs to understand this. So there will be some battles where you will need to put your foot down - so be prepared. I'm open to administering a good firm smack if the behaviour deserves it, that's how our parents did it back in the day.

So another discovery in mummy land, another milestone for my little boy. He turns two in a few days and it just makes me reaslise how quickly he's growing.

Some photographic evidences of this new milestone.
Tantrums anywhere ... he does not discriminate on location

 The world is not big enough for him. Always exploring and running around. 

 "I do it!" to feeding himself

Climbing equipment obviously too dangerous for him

Going down slides are over rated ... he is fearless. I, on the other hand had dashed over the first time I witness this

11 Jul 2013

My Love for Blogs

Sometimes I think about closing this blog. Main reason is the fact I don't really blog or blog as openly as I'd like to. I told myself when I started this blog I was going to be completely open about my experiences in motherhood and life but what holds me back is I think ultimately I am a private person.

I think back to other reasons why I started this blog and I think its because I enjoy reading other people's blogs. I'm nosy and enjoyed reading other people's personal experiences from the comfort and animosity behind my own lap top. I enjoyed reading some humorous and heart felt stories and antidotes that it made me reflect on my own experiences and made me want to share my own with the world wide web. 

Admittedly, I probably don't write as witty or stir any emotions from others with my writing. If anything I think I tend to write very vague and too much like a formal complaint letter. I am well aware I don't write often and so when I do finally have something ready to say, I feel the sudden rush to post it and tend not to re read and publish posts with lots of gramatical and spelling errors. 

The point to this post is I love reading blogs and lately I've come across some posts that have struck a cord with me personally which I wanted to share. These entries either made me smile and laugh with agreement or cry with validation. 

Sorry they're mostly about being a parent ... 

7 Jul 2013

26 Weeks

This post is late as my 26 week was last Wednesday but better late than never .... 

  • 22 week scans. Results from the 22 scans not only told us the gender of our baby but also discovered a very small mass on the baby's brain. We were told not to worry about the results as this was very common. Meaning it could be just a shadow in the ultrasound but it's in their due diligence to report all abnormal results from the scan. Also the fact that it's just one mass and no other discrepancies elsewhere they're somewhat confident it's likely nothing serious. However we will be repeating test again at 34 weeks just to double check mass is nothing or check to see whether it has grown. 
  • Glucose test. Passed the drink test meaning I don't need further tests to see whether I developed gestational diabetes.  

  • Helpless and scared when I heard about the results relating to my scans. As a parent you wish there is more you can do, you would move heaven and earth to make it go away. I feel anxious waiting another 8-9 weeks until the next scan and the results. All we can do is pray and claim in Jesus name the mass will disappear and our baby will be healthy and complete in every way. 
  • Bigger. During my last antenatal appointment I mentioned that I feel so much bigger this time around. I feel like my stomach is a lot heavier and bigger. I questioned whether it means the baby is a lot bigger too and is there anything I need to worry about? My midwife advised me I probably popped out a lot quicker and faster because my abdominal mussels hadn't fully strengthened since giving birth the first time. So my tummy has easily expanded because I lacked core strength since my last pregnancy. So ladies don't neglect your core post baby. But even after a good hearty meal or a big drink I feel like my stomach is being stretched. Sometimes its not even comfortable to sit 90 degrees. Sometimes I just want to lie down so I can be comfortable. 
  • Realising I'm 26 weeks and about 3 months to go I'm starting to think about the things I need to prepare for baby number two.
  • A bit nervous about our holiday which we leave for in a few days time. I worry about the flight in particular with a two year old boy who doesn't sit still for very long. Also started thinking about my safety and the worst possible scenarios keep entering my head, like the baby comes prematurely and the complications associated with that. But Ian reminds me to focus on how much fun (and memorable) this first family holiday is going to be and it I'm sure it will be. 
  • Getting kuya ready for the transition of not being the only child. I ask him where the baby is everyday and show the baby some love. I'm teaching him to help himself and directing him with instructions ... hey, you got to teach them early. I ask him to put away his toys after play, his high chair after his meals and to pick up the random objects he leaves lying around. He does it 70% of the time. Just today we were at the dr's he tipped out a tray of coloured pencils. I asked him to pick everything up and he did it. One pencil at a time but he did it. I was very impressed and proud cause there was a room full of people watching to see whether he'd do it or judge us if he didn't.
  • Child care options for Eli. I would like some alone time with the baby once he's born, even once or twice a week. Ian and I discussed asking our parents to look after him once a week again but we also want Eli interacting with other kids his age. 

3 Jul 2013

Motherhood ... S#!t Just Got Real!

Today my son experienced his first real attack by another child. I say "real" cause he's been hurt by other kids before but they were genuinely innocent however today was not the case. 

A friend and I decided to take our sons to one of those children play centres. I've recently discovered these little gems which is a God send cause it allows my son to run, climb, jump, pull and push various objects and himself around a relatively safe environment. At the conclusion of an hour at one of these venues he's usually knocked out for a few hours.

Today was the first time Eli went with another boy and I discovered he was a lot more confident with a friend in tow. He didn't drag me along onto the ball pitt or want me to hold his hand on the jumping castle. I was actually surprised to witness him jumping on it by himself for the first time. He followed and interacted with my friend's child, he basically tried everything my friend's older son did, it was really interesting to watch.

But of course there was a moment a familiar cry was heard, so I went over to my son to see what was wrong. I comforted him and decided to stand close by at this point as my friend and I were sitting in the cafeteria area prior. After some reassurance he went back into the ball pit and shortly after I saw a little girl bigger than him, I'd say probably three years of age pulling his hair. I walked up to her and firmly told her "No! Don't pull his hair." Eli cried again and the little girl's mother made her way over to us at this point. She said nothing. 

After comforting Eli once again, I suggested we move back to the toddler area which both Eli and my friend's son relocated to. About ten minutes later the mother and her little girl then appeared. Being weary I kept a constant eye on the kids, the mother however continued to focus her attention on her mobile phone. 

Soon after while Eli was sitting on the ground the little girl pushed herself onto him and began scratching his face. I bolted over to where they were, yelling at I believe at the top of my lungs "No! Get off him!!" I grabbed her hand off his face and picked him up. The mother who was only centimetres away from where the kids were and was oblivious to what was occurring right beside her.  

She apologised, yelled and smacked her child. The only response I could muster was "Watch your daughter she has obviously been picking on him all day!" Eli was obviously very upset as his face was bleeding from four different scars. 

I was fuelled with anger but silenced but the shock. There was so much I wanted to say but found myself voiceless. My friend gave the mother a few words but I'm sure it fell on deaf ears. 

The outcome angered me. I already gave her own daughter a warning and physically moved away from her. The mother bring her back around my son but then doesn't watch her own daughter knowing she's had a go at another child at the centre already. I felt frustrated at myself for not saying more to that mother either. 

Sure, experienced parents may say "that's what kids do" or "it won't be the last" I can accept that. But this is my first time going through this so let me be mad! But the outcome of this as well is I'm ready to be one of those parents now. Those parents who defends their child at all cost, shameless, abusive and all. If another parent wont teach their child right from wrong and crosses my child's path, expect to get a taste of it from me. 


On top of that had an antenatal appointment today and got some unexpected results. I was reassured its common and nothing to be concern about but hearing discrepancies in key organs was the icing on the cake. I broke down and had a cry with the midwife, I think we bonded a little more today. 

I will be repeating some tests just to confirm everything is okay and I will stop googling as it's not helping my fears.


So a tough day today in mummy land. I'm sure it won't be the last and there will be tougher battles in the future. 

1 Jul 2013

Round Two

Parenting, especially for the first time is the one of the most unpredictable and challenging things in life. I say this because the outcomes and experiences are unique for each person that there really is no one right way approach to it. 

However as I await the arrival of baby number two I've realised there are a few things I would do differently next time around. Mind you I say this now and probably look back on this post and think "You're an idiot, that didn't happen.

Things such as:   
  • Get out more when they're not mobile. I feared getting out on my own with a little one especially when I was still breast feeding. How I look back on that time and think that was the easiest. They were content to stay in the pram, could feed anywhere without the need of supplies (bottles, formula, food etc) and basically you could do more because they were content to sleep most of the time.
  • Maintain a routine of somewhat. I have not decided whether I would completely commit to a routine .... I do have a toddler and he's unpredictable and plays a factor in maintaining a routine. I will however, attempt to monitor things such as time between feeds, how long baby feeds on each breast and length of time baby sleeps. I never tracked these things last time and for me it meant I wasn't sure whether my child was hungry or tired making it difficult for me to read Eli.  
  • Trust my own decisions. Being surrounded and having the support of family was really beneficial especially as a first time parent. There was always extra hands to help but meant hearing, doing or witnessing (without consent) other parenting methods you may not be comfortable with. For example every time Eli would cry some person assumed he was hungry this meant I lost track of when he had is last proper feed or when his next one was due. Being on our own this time we can actually maintain the kind of parenting style we want and say "no" to well meaning people.  
  • Minimise co-sleeping. Eli now has his own bed that he sleeps in however he still wakes up at least once at night and crawls into our bed. He hasn't .... ok we haven't taught him how to put himself to sleep in his own bed ... yet. We enjoyed sharing our bed with Eli but unfortunately the next one wont be so lucky. The cot is where the baby will sleep no matter what. Haven't decided whether we will try any controlled sleeping methods however co-sleeping is something we want to avoid this time around.
  • Accept people's offer to babysit or hold my child so I can eat or watch him while I run some errands. First time around I built an expectation on myself that I had to look like "I gahts dis child bearing / parenting gig under control." But with two little perfect humans and getting over my pride I know now sometimes we all need help. The help keeps me mental and actually makes me a better mother. I've also come to realise those who do offer their services are genuine and want to be there for you, so let them.  

What lessons did you learn from your first pregnancy that you applied in your subsequent pregnancies?
Any tips or warnings for dealing with a new born and toddler?

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