Saturday, October 21, 2017

Wonder in These Years

IMG_9221

We’re starting to settle into a normal routine. We get up around 6.30-7am. Everybody has breakfast, shower. Hubs leave around 7.30 – 8am. I send Naila to school around 8.30am. I started taking Ibrahim with me lately so after sending Naila, we sometimes walk downstairs at the playground area.

Then I ask my maid, Dewi to play downstairs with Ibrahim. I put baby to sleep. I’m starting to exercise a bit but I don’t have a fixed routine yet. I start doing work on the laptop. Follow ups, putting up ads, attending to enquiries. On days that I have to go out, I’ll maneuver around that timing.

Sometimes I leave Naila in school. I try not to leave all 3 kids with my maid for more than 2 hours. Sometimes I’ll take one of the babies with me for viewings or meetings or inspections. If I plan to leave the baby at home, I’ll pump milk in the morning. I don’t collect frozen expressed milk, only a few bags in the freezer for emergency too long outings. So far I haven’t used them for baby.

I usually pick up Naila at 12pm. The kids nap in the afternoon except for Naila who usually does her colouring/play doll house/lego/sticker book or ipad time. Afternoons are usually varied depends on whether I leave house or not that day.

By 4pm I usually wrap up my laptop time though I still answer calls or messages. I take them down to the playground while my maid cooks. 6-6.30pm we have dinner. Bath time. Story time. Mengamuk time. If I’m not too tired we do our sleeping time routine.. play shadows, read books or telling stories with a flashlight in the dark. Actually this is only possible if the baby is asleep or he’s surprisingly quiet. By 8.30pm, lights off.

The kids will usually be asleep by 9pm. If I don’t accidently fall asleep as well, I’ll wake up to update my listings, make a to do list for tomorrow. Then if it’s still early, I watch a movie or tv series. I gotta be honest. I love my nights. I wouldn’t be able to survive without my nights!

The days are long, but the years are short.

I still remember the days with Naila alone, and thinking “this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done”. Obviously I haven’t met Ibrahim and Hassan yet at that point! Honestly if I see other moms out there, I’ll be like “how the heck does she manage?” I sometimes ask myself the same question but the answer is that.. you just do.

It’s one day at a time.. Suddenly everybody is grown up. Naila is turning 4. Ibrahim has started walking. Hassan has started smiling. 2 months ago Hassan was still a bun in the oven!

I will never forget these wonderful years. Tiring, but wonderful.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Pantang with three

ibrahim smile

I’m not going to attempt to write a backstory to all this. As it is now, I currently have an almost pre-schooler, a toddler and a newborn. I’m nearing the end of pantang but it wasn’t much of a pantang to be honest. I broke all the rules of pantang. Not wearing socks? Checked. Go up and down the stairs? Checked. No urut? Checked. Carry heavy objects? Checked. The heavy object is actually my one year old bumbling Ibrahim who’s 9.5kg.

Aiyaya…

As my number of births go up, I start to have a different perspective on pantang. Right now, for me berpantang is being comfortable, enjoying my time with the babies, eating healthy food most of the time and funny enough, catching up on afternoon naps. I have a newborn and a toddler.. can’t say I’m catching up on nighttime sleep.

The first week was a breeze. (My confinement is always at mom’s house and we have a maid. It was very manageable because my mom basically insists that I do nothing at all other than to tend to the newborn)

The second week was when the horror started. Naila came back from school with a viral fever that turned out to be HMFD. Then, surprise.. Ibrahim caught it. So bye-bye sleep. He couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat and can’t even drink his milk. It was horrible! My poor baby.

The worst part is when I cannot touch or hold him because we didn’t want it to spread to the baby. HMFD is worse than chicken pox. I mean the effect on him. He was crying and wanted to be carried all the time.

But luckily the baby didn’t catch it.

By now nothing is shocking anymore. I’ve become the unfazed mother.

Daughter HMFD with 2 babies in the house? Manageable.

One year old crying asking to be picked up while holding newborn? Manageable.

3 kids crying for milk at the same time? Manageable.

I’m not saying that I’m doing it all alone.. I’ve got mom, dad, husband, bibik and my two brothers occasionally. So it’s VERY manageable. I’ll say compared to when I was alone handling only one baby. That was harder because I’ve got no one to pass the baby to.

My pantang days are almost over. We’re ganna have to settle into the new normal. I never ever in a billion years imagine that I’ll be a mom of three by 30 but it’s always funny how things turn out, right?

Friday, June 23, 2017

Getting Ma Babies To Sleep Early

Both my babies are sleeping while I'm writing this. They usually go to sleep around 8-8.30pm. It started before Naila was born and hubs gave me this one baby sleep book. So being the excited first time mom, I read like, 10 parenting books even before I delivered. I ate them up.

But one thing I really feel I need is my sleep. If that sounds selfish.. well you know they say that you have to take care of your self first, to become the best mom for your children. Because you gotta give and give and give. What happens if you're out of steam?

That's when you start becoming mommy monster. Not that I've never been.. but the key word here is 'trying' to take care of yourself.

So that's why I started putting my babies to sleep early.

I love my alone time.. I think I'm more of an introvert, I need my space. Even from my babies. ESPECIALLY from my babies after a looonngg day.

And I love having adult conversations at the end of the day with hubs, as opposed to baby talk the rest of the day.

Anyway according to the books that I've read.. babies are programmed to sleep early.. you just have to help them go to sleep! I've got friends who complained that their babies won't sleep way into midnight.. and I think the babies are just too overstimulated.

Naila is currently 3 years old and Ibrahim is 11 months old.. Both have NEVER slept past 9pm except during Raya or special times. We went on vacation and they slept at 8.30pm outside. So yeap we trained 'em good.

During Naila's time I was very methodical.. as in we had a sleep routine down to the minutes. When Ibrahim came along, I had to adjust for 2.. and I might skip a few things one day.. and do it another day. But it's really the same routine overall.

NUMBER 0: Last nap of the day ends at 5pm, or 3pm depending on their age. Let them play outside.. burn some energy, swim or do whatever that keeps them occupied.

NUMBER 1: Start bathing them around 6.30pm. Or sometimes they eat first.

NUMBER 2: Eat dinner. Around 7pm.

NUMBER 3: Play... puzzles, books, colouring.. sometimes things get out of hand with 2 kids because they'll end up overexcited but I always try to get them to wind down. Maybe play with torchlight in the dark.. That's Naila's favorite. Until around 8.15pm. I'll squeeze in Maghrib prayers while the kids play & hubs take over for a few mins.

NUMBER 4: Lights off. By 8.30PM. Or earlier if I'm too tired.

They will doze off within 15 mins.

Rinse and repeat for the next 10 years! HAha.

I know it sounds simple but only if you start early. And as a parent, I had to stick to schedule every single day. I'm not ashamed to admit that I really love this part because once they're asleep, I'm FREEEEE.

I started training them since they're 1 month old.. before that newborns are just too little to care about routines. And newborns are adjusting to alot of things. They don't know the difference between napping in the morning and sleeping at night.

Everybody has a circadian rhythm or 'sleep wake body cycle' and in babies, they're not developed yet. So first thing is to teach them that we sleep at night.. starting 8pm, it's lights off for the baby. If the baby doesn't want to sleep, just let them lie there in the dark... with you of course.

If they wake up at 3am cooing and you smell poo.. just change their diapers as fast as possible and get back to bed. No playing, no making faces, no talking to them. I swear the baby will get it within a month. They'll poo and cry.. but they will be asleep when you change them.

The baby will be prepped by the time he's 2 months old. Some babies start sleeping through the night.. of course mine doesn't.. I bf my babies but I still manage to get them to sleep by 8.30pm and by 9 months, they're sleeping through the night.

I know, some people will be like, why do I need to put my kids to sleep early? I like having them around!

NUMBER 1: Babies need 14 hours sleep for their development. Some babies don't even like to nap...so getting them to sleep early is one way to fill up their sleep quota.

NUMBER 2: Good habits die hard. And I believe sleeping early is a good habit to have especially when they start school. And haven't you heard? Successful people wake up very early in the morning to start their day. Sleep early=wake up early. Subuh pun senang. Ehem.

NUMBER 3: Like I said... I get some alone time.. to zone out on my phone, to talk to hubs, to read, to clean up the mess etc etc etc. It does wonders on your mental health.. I promise!

So that's it! How I get my kids to sleep early.. I don't believe in having kids 'who don't want to sleep early'. It's probably because their not helped to sleep early.. They won't just miraculously fall asleep early. I Wish!

Just have to keep trying until eventually... they tell you when they're sleepy! I'm off to drink hot choc & read. In peace and quiet. Kids Free.

'Till then, TC.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Milestones & Parenting the Danish Way


Naila is having a 2 week holiday so naturally I've got my hands full. It's a blessing that she now knows how to play independently but at the same time, she still needs my company after 1 hour playing alone.. Ibrahim naps 2-3 times a day. 

This week it seems both had a milestone jump.. Naila suddenly started looking at her Lego Duplo in a new light. If she was building 4-5 block structures before, now she's suddenly interested in building mega structures.. finishing all the lego blocks in one go! 

One day she just came to me and said "Mommy! I need to show you something!!" 

So I went to her room.. low and behold... a behemoth structure by her previous standards. I felt so proud of her for figuring it out by herself! 

We played lego soo many times together. I tried showing her many ways to assemble the lego but she couldn't care less. Then she went on to discover stuff by herself! 

Major mind shift on my part.. 

Then I found out about Danish parenting.. which means that you don't have to actively play with your kids all the time. You can just let them learn to play by themselves sometimes. 

One more thing that Naila started doing is to scribble zig zags. It might not sound like much. I was even getting worried that she doesn't seem to have any drawing skills or even remotely interested in writing.  

If forced to draw, she'd be doing circles over and over again. She'll say its Olaf or something. I'm expecting her to draw like a stick man or something by now... but nope. So I'm pretty happy that she suddenly enjoys writing zig zags in the notebook.. And they're pretty nice zig zags too. 

Ibrahim on the hand started playing imitation games last week. He'd nod and shake his head. He would move his fingers when we sing twinkle-twinkle little star. Honestly, he's at such a fun age.

Giggly and funny. He'll be 11 months soon. Ahhh time flies by! 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Full Moon

Another year has passed.. and it feels like deja-vu. Ramadan is here again, back so soon when the memories of last Ramadan are still fresh.

Today I heard a news of a blogger who passed away at 29 because of cancer. It shocked me in a way that I didn't expect. I didn't know her personally but I read her blog since forever. The news left me feeling fragile but at the same time extremely grateful for my life.

Lately I've been thinking about mortality. I even discussed it with hubs and friends. Now that I've got children, I kind of feel responsible to be healthy and live as long as I can... so I can take care of them. I just can't imagine someone else taking care of my babies. I don't drive nearly as reckless as I did during my solo days either.

The way that the blogger went.. I think is the best way to go.. with family members by her side, reading quran and giving her doas. In Ramadan, on Friday. In a way it sounds like she hit the jackpot. How will we go? Will it be in a dignified way, with a warning?


"Our lord! Grant us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the chastisement of the fire" [2:201]


Suddenly all other worries sound pesky and almost meaningless. What was I worrying about yesterday? Everything is temporary. But to pass on means that you're on your way to the permanent life.

Suddenly it seems like I was overreacting everytime I complain about being pregnant again. Or those times when I was angry at Naila for being hyperactive. Or that time I fought with hubs over something silly. What nonsense.

May Allah forgive us this Ramadan and triple fold our deeds.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Third

Just a short update since forever!

I'm ganna come out and just say it! I'm preggers again! Lolz. Alhamdulillah. There are a few things that I planned on doing this year.. and to be honest getting pregnant again is not one of it. You can say it's a surprise.. I went into shock the first few weeks of finding out. I cried at the doctor's. 
Very dramatic stuff...

Hubs? I guess we went into shock in different ways. That's what I can say. 

Right now, we're.. getting there. Ibrahim is only 9 months old so this will be like the case of the Irish twins.. only different year. 

But again, alhamdulillah we have a lot of support from our families.. my parents and in laws, from daycare and from my wonderful maid. 

I worry about how would I balance my work & being a mom of three..... with 2 under the age of 2? There's breastfeeding involved. The time and effort needed is just wow. 

Ya Allah please give me strength to become the mother you want me to be. 

It's a process everyday.. some days are tough, some days are wonderful. I always remind myself that the babies will grow bigger so I better buck up. Actually since we found out about the baby many wonderful things happened.. we went to Krabi AGAIN. I LOVE my real estate work. Many many things that I can't express how grateful I am. 

My pregnancy is easy, again. No nausea or morning sickness.. I climbed Broga with Hubs & Naila when I was 3 months along.. 




I'm already 7 months along now and at most I get hungry alot. Alhamdulillah again. 

Ibrahim is 9 months old and thriving. Eating and playing lots. We're going to start sleep training him soon. 



I hope I can keep writing regularly. There's so many things unspoken that only makes sense when written down. 

Till then. 
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