Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Life with baby #4

So, babyK is now about 2 weeks plus. How is life with 4 kids? Still okay coz' DH is handling some areas such as cooking and bathing baby. It's a good thing I have him to help at home. However, things will get more hectic for me the next few more days coz' I have to take back my kitchen duty. I foresee lots of "sandwich" days.

As for sleep, I'm one of the lucky ones that is NOT suffering from sleep deprivation. This baby has been good so far. Doesn't cry at nights. In fact, she's a really good sleeper and would almost sleep throughout the night. Even if she wakes up for a feed, she's right next to me and I feed her lying down. Sometimes I have to wake her to feed.

My SIL asked me "what's the difference between my eldest girl and this baby?" With my eldest, I kept my eye on the clock. Fed baby every 2 hours (even during the nights). Being a first time mother then, I was more...ermm... diligent (I think that is the best word to describe it). I also would breastfeed her sitting up. With baby #4, I don't really recall what time was her last feed. I just feed on demand. Feeding is not dependent on the clock anymore. Feeding time is when she cries or when the boobies starts to leak. Yeah, you gotta love your own body. It's got its own alarm clock. So with baby #4, things are more relaxed.

I gotta tell ya, one of the most beneficial lesson you should learn as a new mother is how to feed your baby lying down. And I'm an advocate of sleeping with your baby. Don't worry about "how am I going to kick them out of my bed later?" To me, it is more important that you first address the question of "how am I going to get enough rest?" Definitely not by getting out of bed 3-4 times throughout the night to take your baby out of the crib so he/she can be fed (or whatever). With baby lying next to you, you just turn to face her/him and have her/him latch on, then you keep on sleeping (well, that's what I do, hehehe). Well, I'll have to get up at least once to change her diaper.

One thing that I've forgotten about newborns is the many, many, many diapers they use in one day. AND, babyK just loves pooping into fresh diapers. I brought 6 diapers to the hospital, thinking it was enough for 24 hours. Before 12 hours was up, I only had 1 spare left. So pregnant mothers, make sure you have PLENTY of diapers in your hospital bag, like half a pack!

I think I've spoilt babyK by carrying her too much. I can't help it. How often does one get to cuddle tiny little babies. They're just not that much fun when they get bigger. Also I think she gets tummy aches (maybe wind). So the cuddling and rocking helps to settle her.

Anyway, I'm glad babyD is a very understanding boy. He doesn't make a fuss or cause any trouble when he sees me carrying baby. If he needs some loving, he now runs to his daddy. Daddy feels like he is 2nd choice. Only when mommy is not available does he get "chosen". Hahahah.

BabyK in her new baby carrier (Halford Elite Classic).

Monday, September 21, 2009

Baby Poop During Birth

Some people wonder, "do baby's poop in the mother's womb?" The answer is NO.

However, it can happen just before or during labor. That's what happened with babyK. I don't know if she actually inhaled the mixture of meconium and amniotic fluid. The doctor or nurses didn't bother to tell me what was going on. All I know is that she was whisked away and then kept under observation for 2 hours. Even after asking "What's wrong with the baby? What's the complication?" All I got out of them was "Your baby is okay".

So, what's the danger in baby pooping in your womb? Well, meconium is what we call baby's first poop. It is sticky, thick, and dark green. If baby inhales it, baby might have difficulty breathing as it can obstruct the airways or cause an infection. You might also want to know that the real term for this is called meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS).

And to think I had to learn this through the internet. Such a simple explanation and yet they couldn't give it to me.

Holiday Recipe Guide

Found a great recipe resource that many of you might be interested in. It's by Carnation and they are giving away a Free Holiday Recipe Guide. You'll have to give them your email though. The recipes sure do look delicious and kid friendly. They also look perfect for busy moms.

Click here to get your Free Holiday Recipe Guide.

p.s. If you're looking to cultivate good eating habits in your children, check out Kids Meal Ideas: Yummy Healthy Tummy

BabyK is Born!





BabyK decided to come a few days earlier than the due date. This is a record in the family as all her siblings were over due.

The labour was really fast. Actually, I was having some pain throughout Sunday (13 Sept). But it was mild and not very consistent. I did wonder if I was dilated though. Next day I went about as usual. Halfway cooking lunch for the kids I had to turn off the stove and conclude that it was indeed time to go to the hospital. Made sure I took a bath first.

Contractions started around 10:30am. I got to the hospital around 11:45am (darn those big lorries and other slow moving vehicles). Contractions were about 3 minutes apart then and quite intense. Nurse did a quick check and found me 9cm dilated (full dilation is 10cm). So everything had to be in rushed mode. The nurse even said, "please don't push yet, you need to give us time to prepare you." The contractions were pretty intense that I had trouble changing into the hospital gown and climbing onto the delivery bed. Once on the bed, the doctor burst my water bag and gave me the go ahead to push if I felt like it. It was as if she said the magic words coz immediately after that I needed to push. With 3 long, hard and painful pushes baby was out. Time of birth... 12:09pm. Baby was 3.37kg.

After I was all stitched up and cleaned, they called DH to come in. So, just for your information, if you deliver at Sg. Buloh hospital, they do allow your husbands to come in for a few minutes and that only after baby is delivered. With regards to the service there, it is okay. I just wished they did a better job at informing me what was going on. For example, I had to ask if I was dilated before the nurse announced I was at 9cm. After delivery, baby was put under observation for 2 hours. I was not told about this and was left in the delivery room waiting and waiting and waiting. Even after I asked what was the complication, there was no explanation, just a simple "your baby is okay". Other than that, the staff is pretty nice.

I was discharged the next evening. Total bill = RM44. Hah! Can you beat that? For my stay, they charged RM3 per day. Most expensive item on the bill was the blood test at RM28. All my prenatal checkups were also free coz' I did them at the g'ment clinic. So you see, you really don't need to spend several thousand dollars to have a baby.

Well, I'm enjoying having a tiny baby to hold again.Breastfeeding is going great. She's been a really good baby so far. Going through a lot of diapers though. Her siblings adore her and all fight for a turn to carry her.

So here we start babyK's story. Check back for more updates.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

SpellQuizzer Contest Results

And the winner of the SpellQuizzer Contest is..... ALOHAMOLLY!

Congratulations to Molly. I hope you and your children will enjoy the software. To my only other entry, CrazyMommy, thank you so much for joining in. Next freebie I come across, you'll be the first one to get it. Really appreciate your support.

Sorry for the delay in announcing the winner. Baby did decide to come out earlier than the due date. Will update on the new babyK soon.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Kids Meal Ideas: Macaroni

Looking for a quick dish that your children will love? Try these 2 macaroni meals.

MAC AND CHEESE
I haven't really tried cooking Mac and Cheese before. The biggest reason is because cheese here in Malaysia is really expensive. But I wanted to do something simple that the kids would love and so, I came up with this version of Mac and Cheese.


Ingredients:
  • Macaroni pasta
  • Cheddar cheese (You could add a mixture of different cheese if you want. I wish I had some Mozarrella as well. Just love the stretchy, chewiness of it)
  • Italian seasoning (oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme). You can buy a small bottle of it at the store. It's all mixed together already. Just open the cap and shake-shake onto the dish.
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Campbell's cream of chicken (or cream of mushroom)
  • Campbell's cheese and herbs spaghetti sauce


How to cook?
  1. Cook the macaroni in boiling water until al dente -- meaning don't cook it too long until it's too soft. Also, don't under-cook it. When you bite into it, it still has some firmness. So don't boil it in the pot and run away. After about 10 minutes, just scoop one out and try it. When you've got it at the texture you want, remove the macaroni from the boiling water and set aside.
  2. Start working on the sauce. Melt butter and then add some milk. If it's too fatty to your liking, you probably can skip the butter and milk.
  3. Add in the cheese and herbs spaghetti sauce.
  4. Add in the cream of chicken. If you use 1 whole can, fill up the same can with water and add to the sauce. Whatever amount of cream of chicken you use, add that same amount of water.
  5. Sprinkle in some Italian seasoning
  6. Put your macaroni in whatever baking pan or dish and pour the sauce over it.
  7. Top it off with cheese.
  8. Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes at 180 degrees Celcius or until cheese melts and a little brown on top.
Okay, I didn't list down any measurements because I didn't follow any measurements myself. Heheheh. BUT, this much I can tell you. The bag of macaroni pasta I bought was 500g. I cooked half of that packet. I used 1 can of the cheese and herb spaghetti sauce and 1 can of cream of chicken soup. I felt the pasta was a little salty but the kids and DH said it was ok. Anyway, I think I should have just used 1/2 the cans.
Also, I felt it was too plain. Next time I think I'll try adding some chicken meat or mushrooms. Maybe you could sneak in some veges like broccoli in there too. Anyway, experiment and enjoy.

MACARONI ASIAN STYLE
Okay, this recipe I copied from a church friend. Sorry I didn't take a picture of it before it was all eaten up. It's got a little bit of sweet and sour taste to it.

Ingredients:
  • Macaroni
  • Sausages. Americans prefer to call them hotdogs. Slice it.
  • Garlic (2-3 pips all chopped up to small pieces)
  • Plum sauce
  • Oyster sauce
  • Chili sauce (this is not available in the US. Maybe you can substitute with ketchup instead)
How to cook?
  1. Boil the macaroni until al-dente then put aside.
  2. With a little bit of cooking oil (or butter), fry the garlic.
  3. Throw in your sliced sausages. Stir fry until they become nicely cooked.
  4. Add in macaroni pasta.
  5. Pour in your oyster sauce, plum sauce and chili sauce. Oyster sauce and chili sauce not that much. Plum sauce you'll have to add quite a fair amount. Just keep tasting as you cook. Stop adding the plum sauce when you're satisfied. Well, at least that's what I did. Heheheh.
Both these macaroni dishes were given the thumbs up by my kids. So, if you've run out of kids meal ideas, I hope this post has helped.

p.s. Recommended e-book on nutritious recipes for kids

YUMMY HEALTHY TUMMY
The Secrets of Raising Healthy Kids Every Parent Should Know
  • For parents who want to prepare nutritious meals for their children
  • For parents who want their children to choose healthy foods always
  • For parents having trouble getting their children to eat the right kinds of foods
Click here to discover how you can create healthy meals your kids will love!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

SpellQuizzer Review and Giveaway

Here's another effective spelling software for parents who want to improve their children's spelling - SPELLQUIZZER!

AND I have 1 free license to giveaway (valued at USD29.95)

Let me tell you a little bit about this software. I was given a license to this and have tested it on my own children. What can I say, they love it even though there are no cartoon graphics or animation. It's a simple program where you input your own list of words that you want your children to learn.

The interface looks like the image above. So first you click on "create a spelling list". There will be a place for you to type in the word. Then you record your voice and give a sentence that contains the word. So for example, you want your children to spell the word "butterfly". You type in the word "butterfly", then you press the record button and say "Butterfly. A caterpillar grows up to be a butterfly." End the recording session.

So you do this for each word until you've created your list. Obviously you'll need a microphone to record your voice. If you don't have one, you can still use this software. You'll have to type in a description of the word instead. However, it's better to do the voice recording. That way children can hear the word instead of trying to guess the word by reading your sentence.

Click here for a video on how it works:
SpellQuizzer Spelling Software Demonstrations

Don't feel intimidated about recording your own voice. It's quite fun actually coz' you can say funny things to make your children's spelling practice more enjoyable. For example, one of the words I gave my children to spell was "over", and I said "baby like to crawl over jie-jie's stomach". They thought it was so funny. Also, my daughter insisted she wanted to record her own voice. That was even better for me coz' she not only get to practice her spelling, she also gets to practice making sentences.

Actually, you also have the option of importing a spelling list. These lists have been pre-recorded by someone else. Click here to see the downloadable spelling lists.

So after you've created your list, you give it a name and then, when you want your children to practice their spelling, you go to the interface and select "quiz me on a list!" The words will be played one by one. If your child spells it incorrectly, immediately a box will pop up with both the right and wrong spelling (so they can compare and know where they went wrong).

Who is SpellQuizzer for?
  • Children who have to take spelling tests in school.
  • Children who want to prepare for spelling contests or spelling bees.
  • Homeschoolers. (Click here for a page specially for homeschoolers: SPELLQUIZZER FOR HOMESCHOOLERS )
  • Parents who want to improve their children's spelling and improve their vocabulary.
Here is a video of my 2yrs 8mths old son using this software. He knows the sounds of all the alphabets and can also recognize what they look like. I'm guessing he likes to "play" SpellQuizzer because he gets to type on the keyboard like us adults :) So for him I have a simple list of "a-h". His spelling lists goes something like this "/a/ for apple", "/b/ for ball" etc.... And he just types in the right letters. He does get it wrong sometimes because the keyboard is in capital letters instead of smallcaps.


video

This is a downloadable kids spelling software, not an online program.

JOIN THE SPELLQUIZZER GIVEAWAY!
As mentioned earlier, I have 1 free license to giveaway. This is what you need to do to participate in this lucky draw. Each action is considered 1 entry for the lucky draw.

1. Leave a comment here, tell me why you like this software. If you want to test it out for yourself, click here to download a FREE TRIAL.
2. Subscribe to my Family Book Store (http://valuebookshop.com). Go to the website and you'll find a box on the sidebar where you enter your email address. There's a button that says "subscribe".
3. Write a short blog post about SpellQuizzer. In your post, use these words "downloadable kids spelling software" and link it to http://valuebookshop.com/2009/spellquizzer-downloadable-kids-spelling-software/. That's where I have my full review of the program. Give me the link to your post.

Since my baby is due to come out 17 Sept 2009, I will have to make this contest short.
Last day for entries: 14 Sept 2009
Who is eligible: Everyone, all over the world

Once again I will assign each entry a number and then use random.org to choose the winning number. I will post who the winner is on the 15th Sept 2009. Hopefully, baby doesn't decide to come out earlier than the due date. Hahahah.

Winners for ClickN Read Phonics and ClickN Spell Giveaway

The 2 lucky winners for the ClickN Read Phonics and ClickN Spell kids spelling software giveaway are... (drum roll)

Sweetmomblog
&
Miela77

Just to give you an idea of how the winners were selected:
1. I assigned numbers to each entry
2. Went to random.org and used the "true random number generator" to pick two numbers.

To the winners, congratulations. You also need to email me the following details so we can set up your free account (send to limailian at gmail dot com):
  • First & Last Name
  • Email
  • Mailing Address
  • Phone
To all participants, thank you for joining in. Don't be disheartened, I have one more contest coming up and it involves another spelling software! Check back here soon!