Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Good 8 Months

Alhamdulillah, as Raees celebrated his 8th-month birthday, he never experienced being sick. I believe breast milk contributed to his good health :)

However, I came across an article that says...

"If your baby hasn't has his first fever by his eighth month, chances are he may soon."

Waddaya know, it happened!

Raees woke up at 2.30am to feed but cried as he latched on. I guessed as much he had stuffy nose as I could hear the stuffiness as he breathed in.

He cried very tragically and was difficult to calm down. When he did calm down he actively played til 4am. Ah, the joy of parenthood :)

The stuffiness recurred the next time he woke up for feeding. This time his cries were less tragic compared to before.

Turns out he had a slight fever. Lucky thing we had fever medication on stand by. His temperature was back to normal by the afternoon.

The article also added...

"Almost all infants will have at least one episode of fever by their first birthdays."

I hope that was Raees' one episode..

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

He's Mobile!

It all started with creeping and then a little dance.

16 April 2010 was like any other normal work day. I came back home and was greeted with a smile by my pride and joy, Raees. I put him on the bed and he instantly flipped over and got on his hands and knees. And then it happened...

Right hand, left knee forward...left hand, right knee forward.

Raees was crawling! Woohoo!

Did I tell you how active this little boy is nowadays? We can't let our eyes off him, even for a split second. Learned that the hard way as he fell off the bed and on the carpet yesterday. He landed on his side at a height of 1.5 feet. He cried for just a while and was back to his active self in no time. Phew!

Don't give mommy another heart attack, OK handsome boy?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What Time Does Your Baby Sleep?

Raees' bedtime is at 1am.

And I have no idea how to make him sleep at 'normal' baby-sleeping hours ('normal' referring to anytime between 8-11pm). I thought it was just a phase but it has been going on for so long!

Raees doesn't sleep at 8pm, he takes NAPS at 8pm. He wakes up about an hour later all energized. I tried to keep him asleep...

- dim the bedroom lights...didn't work.
- keep the surrounding quiet...didn't work.
- if he wakes up, feed him straight away...didn't work.

Since all else failed, I tried not to let him sleep at 8pm. But no can do. No matter what I do, he would sleep anyway (wouldn't it be great if he does that at a slightly later time?).

So, he's fully charged after the night time nap. What now? I would make sure no one plays with him and keep the lights dim. At times I fall asleep and Raees would pat me as if asking me to wake up!

He usually sleeps while feeding on the bed...snooze along with me. And he still wakes up 2-3 times a night, which is tolerable.

What should I do to get this little boy to sleep early?

Monday, April 19, 2010

I *Wrote* To The PM

I still remember how difficult it was to return to work after my 60-day maternity leave. Non-mothers may think it's more than enough but as a new mom with a newborn baby, it definitely wasn't!

I googled 'maternity leave' just to see how our country's 60-day/8-week maternity leave compares to other country.

Did you know that more than 100 countries give 10-20 weeks of paid maternity leave?!

But what surprised me the most was the fact that USA gives 0 paid maternity leave. Zero, ziltch, telur ayam. They give 12 weeks UNPAID leave instead. Kesian...

So we're not so bad, I guess. But why compare to (one of the) worse cases when there are many more countries giving better benefits to new moms, right? That's why I wrote to our Prime Minister to consider increasing the number of paid maternity leave in Malaysia from 60 to 90 days.

Well, technically I wrote my name and signed it :D

I truly support this campaign and pray that our dream to see a 90-day paid maternity leave materialises in the near future. Amin...

Look What Came In The Mail!

Haih...mommy ni...

She has been going on and on and on and on (and on!) about New Zealand, hasn't she? I am very jealous! What about me, mommy? What about meeee?

I look like a prisoner of war, don't I?

Well, mommy did buy a lot of things for me from...what's that place called? New Zealand, is it? Yeah...but she saved the best for last! Look what recently came for me....

...a postcard with mommy's picture! Can you see her in there?

And here's what she wrote at the back...

Thank you mommy! I missed you too and I'm glad you're home. It's good to sleep on the bed with you for over 2 weeks now...every night without miss. Hehe! Don't go away again OK. If you have to, bring me along will you?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mommy Never Stopped Thinking Of You

My darling Raees,

Did you know that you were always on my mommy's mind while I was a few thousand miles away from you? Every few hours mommy would quietly pump away, imagining you were with me right there. In fact, mommy was so discreet that people hardly noticed what going on underneath the scarf.

Mommy met this lady who works as a nutritionist, her name is Lynly. We got into talking over dinner and I found out she develops formula milk. Even so, she admits there's nothing better than breast milk for a baby.

Then she pointed out something that got mommy thinking - hard. Most mothers would have low levels of iron after delivery. For breastfeeding moms, most of the iron in the body is given to the baby. As baby is given priority, now the mommy doesn't enough iron. But if the mommy is iron deficient, baby is too. So it's double whammy!

She said iron is vital for baby's brain development so it's really important for the baby to have sufficient iron in the first year of life. That's why nowadays you see mommy popping iron pills every morning :)

Anyways, whenever I saw babies in New Zealand I always thought of you, Raees. This one time mommy was in a ferry from Whaiheke Island back to Auckland, I thought I saw this lady carrying a doll with one hand. But then again, she's much too old to be doing that. After closer look, goodness, it's a tiny baby!

And get this, he was only 11 days old! I couldn't help but stare at the tiny boy dressed in a sweater, sleeping in her mommy's arms. It got me wondering how you were doing back home.

You gave Tok Mama a difficult first 3-4 days, didn't you? I'm glad you gave in and made peace with the bottle.

You ended up drinking more than I expected - up to 6 servings a day. Luckily mommy prepared over 50 servings of EBM for you. By the time I got back, there were only 5 left!

Good thing you still remembered me and didn't have problem latching on. I could see the relief in your eyes to have me home. I was too :)

It has been almost two weeks since mommy got back and it seems like you refuse to sleep in the crib and wanna be on the bed with me. You really missed me, huh Raees?

You know that in mommy's line of work, there will be times where mommy would have to leave you behind. In fact, mommy will be away for 4 days next week. I've been struggling to restock the EBM in the freezer for you. It hasn't been easy since the milk supply dropped slightly after I got back. Alhamdulillah, it has shown improvement. It's your rezeki, Raees ;)

As difficult, challenging and tedious as it may seem, mommy will try my best for you. All because I love you so very much.


From New Zealand With Love (Part 4)

I haven't been much of an adrenaline-junky, adventure-seeking girl. However New Zealand is known for its extreme sports and adrenaline-driven activities. So it's only natural for me to give it a try. I started small by trying out the SkySwing at this recreational area at a mountain called SkyLine. How does it work? Well, imagine a pendulum swing...we were the pendulum.

And it swings off a cliff! So it feels as if we're being thrown out of the mountain...crazy fun! I don't wanna spoil it so wait for the feature on TV soon ;)

At the same place, we had a great time with the Luge. It's a simple gokart-looking thing that works with the force of gravity. Very simple yet enjoyable. We started off at the top of the mountain and went down the track to the foot of the mountain.

There were 4 tracks to choose from - beginner, scenic, intermediate and advance. We went for the scenic track first where my friends and I were busy racing through it and totally didn't notice the scenic view. Hehe..

Round 2 - we went for the advance track which was very challenging and much steeper than the earlier one. I was quite surprise that this time we finished the course lightning quick. Shows how steep it was and how fast we were going.

Then we went offroad where we get to drive the 4x4 vehicle through a challenging terrain. Most of us have never went offroading before so we were guided through each step of the way. There were many heart-stopping moments there alright! And again, I won't spoil it here :)

The ultimate challenge would've been the bungy jump off the Auckland Bridge. However there were change of plans so we went SkyJumping instead. SkyJump is where we jump off the SkyTower in Auckland (something like our KL Tower) at a height of 192m!

I was filled with nerves as I was geared up and went on the elevator to reach the SkyJump platform. Did you know among 7 of us jumping that day, I was the first to go? I was afraid I would chicken out at the last minute. Now I'm proud to say I have jumped off a building and lived to tell about it!

I was informed by a New Zealander (who has tried both SkyJump and Bungy jump) that this one is more scary as it is way higher and we fall longer. Hmm..maybe one day? After going through all this, I've became an adrenaline-seeking girl! Now I'm looking forward for more adventures :D

I had the time of my life at New Zealand..made new friends, went to interesting, beautiful places and did many things I never thought I would do. As great as the trip was, my heart belongs at that's another story :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

From New Zealand With Love (Part 3)

After a day overloaded with kiwifruit, the next few days were fun and games for us! We started the day high in the sky...

...and got a birds-eye view of Tauranga. Simply beautiful! I don't know how many times I've been left amazed with the beauty nature of this country...and there are more to come!

We had lunch at a lodge about 45 minutes away from Tauranga...

...with another amazing view! This time overlooking Lake Tarawera...

I was hoping to see the places where they shot Lord Of The Rings but there wasn't enough time. Despite of that, I was left with my mouth wide open with other beautiful places I managed to set my eyes on.

Just before lunch, we were entertained by a Maori cultural performance. Very interesting! Now I know the symbolic reason behind them sticking out their tongue and buldging their eyes.

After lunch, we were all set for the cruise at the Tarawera Lake. Woohoo!

I had the chance to handle a jetski for the first time, assisted by our trusted bus driver, Peter.

I went round and round chasing waves which was a whole lotta fun! I could've done it all day but I had to give other people a chance. Don't wanna hog that thing now, do we? :)

There are parts of the lake where we can find natural thermal water. Somehow the water is heated from the earth below apparently from volcanic activities. I don't know the whole story but it was really, really hot! I tried sinking my feet in them...3 seconds later I was out again. Weird thing was the water temperature around it would go hot and and cold.

The trip gets better and better...wait for the next part, coming up!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

From New Zealand With Love (Part 2)

Thousand apologies to my fellow readers for my absence. No I haven't abandoned the blog. After coming back from New Zealand, the amount of work I had was just mountain high! Fret not, coz I'm back to share my long overdued story in New Zealand. Please be informed there's just so much to tell about my trip, so I've written it in parts.

One day after I reach Auckland, my colleague and I were flown to Blenheim, situated at south of New Zealand. Did you know that taking a domestic flight in New Zealand is like taking the bus? You just check in and board the flight without any security screening what so ever. I guess New Zealanders are trust-worthy people.

The airport consists of a small building and a runway. Totally not what I expected. Our Kelantan airport is way, way bigger!

Anyways, over there I stopped by a King Salmon farm. When we say 'king', you can expect it to be bigger than the ordinary salmon. I don't know how much an ordinary salmon weighs but this one is 4kg.

I may look relaxed (do I?) but my arms were aching while carrying it with one hand. Hmm..somehow carrying 9.5kg Raees doesn't have the same effect on me. Well, maybe a little. Hehe!

Next up, we travelled about 30 minutes to check out green-lipped mussels! New Zealand is said to have the best green-lipped mussels. It takes 2 years for it to grow to 10cm long and it takes 10 seconds to eat it. Imagine that?

We were quite rushed through the two assignments as we had to catch the 4pm flight back to Auckland. Here's a look at our plane.

Apparently this is considered a decent-sized aircraft. It fits about 40 people and we were served juice and sweets on the flight :)

The next day we checked out from the hotel and visited a few F&B companies. I had icecream for breakfast by the way :D You may have seen my report about NZ icecream on MHI last Monday.

We were making our way to Tauranga before we stopped at a tea plantation. Yeap, you heard that right. Tea plantation in New Zealand, y' an area as big as 80 football fields! This report was also shown on MHI last Tuesday and Buletin Utama a few days back.

Finally, we reached Tauranga where we met up with 14 other people that were part of the media tour for a kiwifruit company. Among them are print media from Malaysia and India. The next few days were a lot more fun!

We spent the whole firs tday together getting to know the kiwifruit industry and of course, had a whole lotta kiwi!

We went to the kiwifruit company's HQ where we were brainwashed with kiwi. Got to know some of the growers (who live very comfortably with a nice pool!) and I then got down and dirty picking kiwifruits from the orchard!

After 5 minutes, I managed to fill up the bag with 15 kiwifruits. I was told not to quit my day job :P

After working *very* hard the whole day, we were brought to a beautiful lodge at a very private, quiet area up the hill where we sit back, put our legs up and relax.

And the view...

...took my breath away! If we stayed the night, we could even enjoy it while taking a bubble bath..

The chef prepared a nice wholesome dinner for us, which included fish and kiwi-flavoured icecream for dessert. Yeah, what other flavour would there be? What a way to end the day.

By the way, I had a conversation with a nutritionist over dinner and I found out something really important which I will share with you people soon ;)

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Another Me!

I meant to update about my New Zealand trip. So much to share but so little time and so much work stacking up waiting for me to get them done.

As of now, I would like to share this particular FB profile with you...

That's not me! That's a fake me! An impersonator!
These people have nothing better to do. Get your own life lah...please!