Monday, June 29, 2009

Who Says Kids Can't Lie?

Yesterday at church, K and KokoD were sitting in the front row. Me and babyD were sitting directly at the back of them. BabyD feeling a bit restless, snuck up behind jie-jie and poked her back. Of course jie-jie turned around. Immediately babyD pointed to KokoD and said "koko do".

Then, he snuck up behind KokoD and poked him in the back. KokoD turned around and babyD innocently pointed to me and said "mommy do."

Cheeky little fella. Who said kids can't lie?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Kids, Beach, Pool and Swimming

Oooh, it's been a while since I did some digital scrapbooking. Thought I'd give the lazy me a kick in the butt and do one today.

Well, while our American counterparts are starting their summer holidays, we parents in Malaysia have just survived a 2-week school holiday. Kids are back at school again and the noise level in the house is down a notch. The first week of our holiday we spent a night at Port Dickson... courtesy of my mom. We don't go on trips a lot and so I thought it would be a good treat for the kids. Plus, they got to do some bonding with their grandmother.

So, off we go armed with buckets, a plastic spade, swimming floats and a mat to sit on. The kids all ready in their swimming suits, excited and full of energy. I thought we were going to spend a nice evening on the beach, listening to the soothing sound of waves and enjoying the gentle sea breeze. It wasn't even hot out. It was a nice, shady evening. Well, we spent probably 15 minutes on the beach. Yup... around 15 minutes... that's all. You see, we were at the yacht club and they have a swimming pool. The kids would rather enjoy the swimming pool then the beach. In a way, I don't blame them though. Port Dickson isn't the greatest beach around. The water was kinda dark green-blackish. They only went in ankle deep. Even I didn't really encourage them to go in. The water at the swimming pool was definitely more enticing. So, we went all the way to a beach for a holiday, to spend time in a swimming pool. Life is funny.
(Plus, that night was my Desperate Housewives night and right when the show was starting, the tv goes blank on me. Aaargh! Apparently, we share a booster with another room and they must have turned it off, causing me to stare at a static screen. Thank goodness for repeats.)

Anyway, I've always known how much my kids love swimming. I feel bad cause I don't take them to the pool much. Watching my two older kids frolicking in the kiddy pool with floats just didn't sit right with me. So, I finally signed them up for swimming classes. Did a bit of homework and finally settled with Dolphin Sport Adventure at the Panasonic Sports Complex in Shah Alam. It's called "Kompleks Sukan Negara" now. I believe their classes are one of the most affordable ones around.

We've gone for 2 lessons so far. The kids love the idea that they get to swim every week now. Their instructor is very friendly. He seems to handle kids quite well. K is learning quickly. KokoD almost drowned last week. Heheheh. Well, they had to jump from their instructor to the wall. He jumped and didn't quite reach the wall. K said she had to reach in to pull him out. Poor KokoD. He's not so enthusiastic about swimming now. But I know compared to his other 2 siblings, he is the most uncomfortable in the water. I could see that even when he was a baby. So, it'll take him a while to learn to swim. He'll have to get over his fear first.

Anyway, I was watching the instructors a bit when they were having toddler lessons. So, just from observation, here are a few tips.

  • Idea is to get your child comfortable in the water. Play with them in the kiddy pool. Splash a round. Part of playing could be to put their face in the water. You could also blow bubbles and have them learn to do the same.
  • Go to the big (adult) pool. Hold them and bounce them around. You can also let them float, like they are swimming.
Okay, that's not much. I'll need to do more observing. In the meantime, if you have any tips to add, please do so.

Oh, and very important when you take your kids swimming... take a flask of hot drink with you and snacks. They get cold and hungry!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Colic Baby Remedies

One of the things a parent fears and dreads is having a baby that cries and cries inconsolably. We know that crying is the only way baby can communicate their needs to us. But when you are faced with a colicky baby, it's difficult to figure out what that need is.

Baby colicImage via Wikipedia
I remember one night, when my eldest daughter was still a baby, she just screamed her little lungs out. We carried her, rocked her and did all we could think of to soothe her but she just kept on screaming. In the end, we bundled her into the car and went for a ride hoping that would help. Thank goodness, it did.

Now, let me be clear that she was not a colicky baby. That screaming incident was just a one time thing. But it was enough to give me a glimpse of how a mother with a colic infant feels: worried, helpless, sad and frustrated. If that girl of mine didn't stop crying, I think I would have joined her. I cannot imagine having a baby scream like that for several hours, several times a week for several months. It will definitely drive any parent crazy.

Well, to all parents that are currently trying to survive infant colic, I hope you find that magic colic baby remedy that will stop your baby's colic days fast.

Here are a few ideas that might help:
  1. Baby Massage.
    If you believe your baby's pain is caused by gas trapped in your baby's stomach, then there are several baby massage techniques that can help to release the gas. Here are some suggestions:
    - holding the baby's knees, fold it up to the stomach and hold for 15-30 seconds.
    - holding the baby's feet, move the legs in a bicycle motion.
    - bending baby's legs at the knees, cross it and then rock from side to side.

    Below is a video on how to do a circular massage on baby's tummy. You'll probably understand better watching a video than me trying to explain how to do it.

    Here in Malaysia, the old folks (and some new folks) highly recommend using YuYi oil. It's a blend of oils traditionally used to rid baby’s stomach of wind. What you do is put a few drops in the palms of your hands and rub your palms together to warm up the oil. Then go ahead and administer the circular massage as demonstrated in the video above.

    Did I use YuYi oil for my children? Yes indeed. I'm not sure if it helped to prevent colic. All I can say is that my kids were not colicky (crossing fingers coz' another baby is on the way). Of course, YuYi oil is not available to everyone in the world. But there are plenty of baby massage oils available in the market.

  2. Gripe Water
    This is what our parents and grandparents probably used. But, you have to be careful on the kind of gripe water you buy. There are some gripe water that include artificial ingredients, preservatives, sodium bicarbonate and alcohol. It's important you inspect the ingredients when you buy gripe water. Search out gripe water that use natural ingredients such as chamomile, fennel, peppermint and ginger.
  3. Baby Wearing
    "Don't carry baby too much or you'll spoil him/her". That's what a lot of well meaning folks tell you. I, on the other hand, will tell you otherwise. If you carry your baby when they need you, they'll grow up to be happy, independent individuals. Of course, your arms will get tired. That's why it's good to invest in a good baby sling. Baby is comforted by your closeness and also the motions of being in a sling. I don't know how those Indonesian maids do it. They just use a piece of sarong and with one hand, tie it into a sling. I had an Indonesian girl I met at the hospital teach me but I wasn't much good at it. Don't know if I was doing it wrong or what but it kept coming loose or it hurt my shoulders. So, unless you are an expert like them, get a good sling that will keep baby snug and your shoulders and back pain-free.

  4. Change Your Baby's Formula
    Some baby's colic may be due to the formula milk they are taking. Some mother's have mentioned how changing their baby's milk to a hypoallergenic formula was the trick to getting rid of their baby's colic.

  5. Rhythmic rocking
    Put a baby in your arms and you automatically start to rock or sway right? Well, here is another way to rock baby: Put baby face down on your lap and gently sway your knees. This may help baby get rid of wind or gas in the tummy.

Ok, if anybody wants to add to the list of colic baby remedies, please go ahead. I'm sure there are lots of desperate mothers out there who will appreciate your input.
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Monday, June 01, 2009

Mommy Burnout

Mommy Burnout

It's the school holidays and that means life gets a little crazier for moms. As it is, my kids have been at each others throats since yesterday. Thanks goodness my mom suggested we take a 1-day holiday to Port Dickson. We will be leaving tomorrow. Let them dispense some of the extra energy at the beach.
Anyway, I know mommy burnouts are common. If you are looking for a way to survive your mommy burnouts, check out this guide. Click on the picture below:

Mommy Burnout

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