Thursday, November 13, 2008

Surgery is over and Inarah is recovering well

I have to apologise to all for such a long silence. The important thing is that surgery went well and we are back home and Inarah is recovering well.

If she was fully clothed, you wouldn't be able to guess that she went through a open heart surgery.

Thank you for all your prayers and support. I really feel that it's everyone's prayers that pulled all of us though.

I did update on the events that took place at the hospital and will upload that as well as some pictures soon.

Thank you again

Thursday, October 09, 2008

HE just knows best

Just as we were all packed, the hospital called to infomrm that due to another emergency case, Inarah's op has to be moved to Friday.

There was an amazing sense of relief. HE just knew I needed this day and the day was just great. I was very calm and relaxed and got to spend a lot of time with both my girls as I was off work. Played board games, read lots of books, watched some TV with them, got them dressed like princesses and went for prayers.

So we are set again to leave for the hospital tomorrow for admission and the surgery is now scheduled for 9 am on 10th of Oct, Friday.

Please keep this little girl in your prayers, that everything goes well and she recovers well.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Big Day is here

I am trying very hard to stay calm whist preparing for surgery. But it’s been so difficult. I am all nerves Sleep has been very restless. Work's been busy and I have to e thankful for that co'z it keeps me away from thinking about it again and again.

I see this image of my baby in the IT getting knocked out by the strawberry flavored gas and has no clue as to what is happening or about to happen. This image is from the last time she was there for the catheterization procedure. And just that image scares me so much. Will I be able to see this through without breaking down? I can’t. I have to be strong for her for everyone else.

We are supposed to check in by 1pm tomorrow.

Please pray for Inarah that her surgery is a complete success, that she recovers well and is back home with her family and friends living a normal healthy life.

I read this in Evan's blog and it's exactly what I need to know

I am not skilled to understand
What God has willed, what God has planned
I only know at his right hand
Stands one who is my savior

Saturday, September 27, 2008

We have a surgery date

We have a surgery date, its 9th Oct. A week after Hari Raya. Hari Raya is going to be very different this year. Its going to be us waiting in anticipation and worry for the date. Will try to keep her home and away from crowds and kinds.

She is well right now and hopefully remains well till surgery.

We just found out that the cardiologist will usually recommend the elder sibling to be off school for 2 months co'z that's where the infections will come from. Thank goodness school ends in a month. I gave Alysha the option of going to school and stay at her grandma or off school and stay at home. She wants to go to school. She must really love this school and her friends.

Please keep her in your prayers and pray that we all have the strength to see this through.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Postponement of Surgery

Sorry for the delay. Things are little chaotic. Inarah is still not recovered from her very bad bout of infection. Had to go see Dr. Lim for another round of antibiotics.

So this is really a continuation from the last post and I have to apologize to some who thought that we proceeded with the surgery.

The nurse came every ½ hour to check on her leg coz they could not feel a pulse on one of her feet. Then Dr. Lim came in a rush which alarmed me immediately, I think it was 1 a.m. He said they are going to put her on “heparin” as she seem to have a clot somewhere in her leg and they cant feel her pulse on her feet. Her right foot was cold. If heparin does not work they have to put her on another medication (just can remember it now) which will thin her blood and open up her veins. If they need to use that medication, surgery is off for 3 weeks at least.

If heparin works, she will bleed at the spot where the vein is punctured and that’s good news. It means the blood is flowing well.

Of course we were not supposed to sleep that night and watch out for the bleeding upon which they would stop the medication. I could not have slept having her in that condition anyway. Heparin was supposed to be on for 24 hours.

But after 8 hours and no pulse at the feet still Dr Lim decided to proceed with the 2nd medication. He looked at me or rather the state of me and decided to put her in the high dependency unit so that there was a dedicated nurse for her.

16 hours later, per pulse was back and strong as in the left feet. We were back in the ward and Inarah was back being herself. Surgery was off. We were discharged after 3 nights. And then next day she catches a horrible infection, fever, cough, lots and lots of phlegm that made her vomit every time she coughed.

So here I am thinking surgery would have been off anyway with this kind of infection. It’s just meant to be. Now we have to get another date. And I would like to wait till Dec if possible coz we have a religious thing in Nov possibly.

But while she was ill in this past week, she has been so frail and tired at times with her finger nails showing blueness.

So here I am in a situation where I have to now decide again whether to proceed with surgery right after raya in Oct or wait till Dec.

She is recovering better now, no more fever. It’s just the cough that will hopefully start subsiding with the new anti biotic.

Thanks for all the prayers and concerns that I have been receiving through SMSs and e mail. Please continue to keep her in your prayers. Will try and post some pictures of her after the procedure when she was in high spirits. That’s all me managed to catch.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

It finally here-Cath and Surgery date

It’s finally here. Inarah’s surgery or rather it was here. We had to postpone it. I know it's confusing. Please bear with me. I'll start from the begining. I did not blog about it earlier coz I just could get myself to do it yet, I think.

Inarah’s cardiologist finally said very firmly, fix a date for surgery. It’s no point waiting. Her heart is ready-fully developed.

We had a date for surgery for the 5th of Sept and for the cardiac cath on 3rd. And then we were all preparing for it, mentally and emotionally, or rather thinking that we were preparing for it. But you can never prepare for something like this, especially if it’s our first time and we have no clue what to expect.

Did all that I need to do. Made arrangements for mom to sleep over, drive Alysha to school, got my leave papers approved. Met up with the surgeon for a chat.

Nice guy, Lee Weng Seng, in his early 50’s but looks much younger. It was an interesting meeting. We walked in and he said “yes, what can I do for you ? Looks like a straight forward case, what do you want to know?”

Of course, we wanted to know everything. But I didn’t know where to start. After warming up bit, he started talking. Giving us statistics on why we should do the surgery now and not wait any longer, talking about brain abscess and other risks. Then telling us what to expect after surgery in terms of recovery. It was a very short meeting, less than 15 min at the end of which I don’t know if I felt any better about the whole thing. But it was sure that we just have to go ahead with it this year.

Hospital called on the 26th and said we can do the cath on the 28th. Called my Suben and he said it’s too soon and I said yes, I agree. But both of us knew that it was not. We had a day to digest it and Inarah was well, so it’s the best time to do it.

Got admitted by 1p.m.. Had to keep her off food and drinks which was okay and she had a good meal before that. I left the room when they put in the IV line. Suben stayed. She did not even flinch. Just smiled at Suben when it was done. And from then, I knew this little girl is going to be the bravest, strongest girl I will ever know.

Took her to the OT for the cath and good thing the anesthetist let me in. For a while she looked like she was going to tear when she thought I was going to leave her there. They let me put her on the table and hold the mask on her. In less than 20 sec she was out.

It took an hour for the cardiologist to come out and tell us that there were 2 other narrowing that the echo did not show and that the surgeon will tell us tomorrow how he plans to do the surgery. I could hear her crying for me after a while. It was horrible. She must have felt so confused once she came out of the anesthetic. The minute I went to her, she asked me to carry her. I was so afraid that I might hurt her. But they told me to go ahead. I carried her to the room and she cried to sleep.

She woke in 2 hours or so asking for milk and water and cried herself to sleep again when she realized she was not getting any for a while. Somehow, even though she was groggy and all she understood after a while when I told her that she has to wait to drink or eat. After a while, she just slept which made it easy for all of us.

Once she ate and drank she was in good spirit and back to her normal self and I was amazed by the fact that she was just so okay, happy, just her cheerful self again. It’s amazing how strong she is. It puts me to shame.

Now that I am writing this, I feel I can talk about it without any emotions. But the feelings involved are indescribable. I was scared then angry then calm and then nothing for a while and then when I saw her crying after the procedure, I had to hold back my tears and be strong for her.

One thing for sure, I am so glad she is 3 months short of being 3 years. I really don’t know how I would handle it if I had to explain to her why is this all happening to her. Why does her heart need fixing.

I’ll post again on what happened next.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Convent Bukit Nanas vs SRK Bukit Damansara

Alysha goes to Std 1 next year. I am so confused as I have had good reviews about both schools.

So if you have had direct experience with either or know people who have their kids there. Pls do let me know.

I know some of you might think "Aiya! what's the big deal. But really now a days from what I know it is a big deal and the wrong school can really screw things up.

Friday, January 25, 2008

All for a hug

Seen this morning. A 5 year old refusing to share her cup with her 2 year old sister. 2 year old sister ran behind the couch with a grumpy face. 5 year old sister went behind the sofa and said "Ben (sister in gujerati) will share it with you if you give me a big hug" 2 year old grins and hugs her sister so tight the cup and the sisters fell on the floor laughing.

And all I am thinking while watching this is "Wonder if it gets better than this if I had another one?"

Ms. Mousy the bully

Alysha is becoming quite of a bully. Initially I was just surprised as I always feared that Ms. Mousy would be the one being bullied in school. But this mouse is roaring quite a bit now.

I have seen her bully Gitanjali, Inaya, Kakak Siti and now she has moved on to Inarah. She messes with her hair, pulls her pants down, snatches things from her, says nasty things, manipulates her and all kinds of stuff that I never would have thought my 5 year old little mousy was capable of. Sri did mention that she does it only with those whom she is comfortable with.

The past 2-3 weeks have been difficult on me and Inarah. Inarah for being bullied and me for trying not to intervene so much and hoping its just sisters discovering their boundaries with each other. Inarah of course throws a fit, bites, cries and comes running to me for rescue when she is bullied.

So what do I do here? I started by telling Alysha that its not a nice thing to do, Inarah does not like it and that she should stop it. But it didn't work. I then started scolding her, again threatening punishment and I have even spanked her for it. It still has not stopped. I am not there all the time so there has to be a way of managing this without my presence.

What would you do?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Losing it, over a napkin

You know I am a good mom. Pleasant, patient, well manered, caring, open to reason, you can go on.

And I was doing all those things when I took my my 5 year old and 2 year old to IKEA. And so we all had a great time, you know, hot dogs for lunch followed by ice cream, singing in the car all the way home. And so it's only natural to expect the day to end in a equally pleasent mood.

So we get home and excitedly open up this colorful storage thing that we bought from IKEA, which I had intended to use as a laundry basket for the kids and placed it in the room.

And so, my 2 year old is so exited and wasted no time putting a napkin in which she used to wipe her wet hands. A while later my 5 year old changes her clothes and puts them in the laundry basket and "RAAAAAAAAAAAH". No, not Harry's dinasour but something had got into my 5 year old. She roared, she wailed, she screamed, she stomped and did every single thing that I did not expect her to do.

All for the fact that there was a NAPKIN IN THE LAUNDRY BASKET. Its not a place for napkin. Its only for clothes.

So what would a pleasant, patient, well manered, caring, open to reason mom like me do? Let her finish throwing her tantrum and patiently reason with her about the napkin, something like that right?. But it's the way she did the whole thing, showing she was incharged and she decided what went where. Now that really threw me off. And so there was a need, an overwhelming need to exert my authority as her mother, as the person whose rules you follow. And as much as she insisted that the NAPKIN should be OUT I ensured that it remained IN. And needless to say that I won the battle shamelessly exerting my authority as an adult, threatening punishment and injury, for which I am so very shameful now.

Why does it happen? Why do we end up like this? I really don't know. She is clearly behaving like a 5 year old but why do I feel the need to behave like one as well?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Tipping Point

Events in the past one month have brought me to the tipping point

What events? you ask, here's a summary so that I don’t forget.

1. We are all just sick - 2 bouts of bronchitis (me), 3 asthma attacks(Alysha), chicken pox (hubby), high blood pressure and anxiety (mom and also me for having to live with her)
2. Suryani (my maid of 4 years, my partner in parenting and household crisis management) left for Indonesia for good
3. My MIL's maid was packed away for good which means she is staying with us, no need to mention further
4. Inarah has stopped eating again and has lost weight - this stresses me up the most
5. Either there is such a thing as terrible five which the books just don’t mention or Alysha is reacting to Suryani leaving very badly. We have yet again lost connection and at the moment it feels like we are never going to get it back.
6. We are staying with my mom in a very tiny room which is like an oven, dealing with her nagging since hubby has chicken pox
7. I am physically, emotionally and mentally tired - running up and down to send and pick Alysha from school, send food to MIL and hubby, work was ultra busy last month not showing any signs of slowing down till December.
8. I have had no sleep with the bronchitis and asthma and fasting month and all the running around
9. I am sure I have forgotten another 5 things that happened

I knew why I wanted put it all in writing coz firstly I will forget this phase in the next few months. Secondly but most importantly I need to remind myself that this is temporary and things will be back to normal again.

And it was just last night when I was having a long conversation with hubby on the phone while watching my 2 kids asleep in bed and thinking of how blessed I am.

Monday, July 02, 2007

You've just got to try this

I am serious. Just go ahead and try this receipe

6 cups rolled oats -- not quick-cooking or instant
2 cups mixed nuts and seeds: sunflower seeds -- sesame seeds, chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds or cashews.
1 cup dried unsweetened shredded coconut -- optional
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon -- or to taste
dash of salt
½ to 1 cup honey or maple syrup -- or to taste
1 cup raisins or chopped dried fruit -- optional

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine oats, nuts and seeds, coconut, cinnamon, salt and sweetener. Place on a sheet pan (lightly oiled) and put in oven. Bake for 20 minutes or a little longer, stirring occasionally. Mixture should brown evenly; the browner it gets without burning, the crunchier the granola will be.

2. Remove pan from oven and add raisins or dried fruit. Cool on a rack, stirring once in a while until granola reaches room temperature. Transfer to a sealed container and store in refrigerator; it will keep indefinitely.

No oil, No sugar. Guilt free and so yummy. Great snack for kids.

I mixed Golden syrup and honey coz didnt have enough goldern syrup. The only mistake I made was that I made half the protion coz I wanted to try the receipe out first. Its almost all gone. Have to make another batch soon. Like today.

Meanwhile, went to one of the Taman Tun parks with Manju, Sri and the kids. What a wonderful experience. Was so happy that we have something so wonderful around. I guess there are many others. We just dont explore enough. For more info on the trip, go to Manju's blog coz I am rushing for a meeting

Till next time

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Prayer for another heart baby

We have another heart baby , Elijah. He's got TOF like Inarah but with an extra complication of pulmunary atresia. He had a corrective surgery 5 days ago. We know of the risk of a stroke and infections in this surgery. There are many many complications that can arise. This fighter is having a difficult time. Everytime I read details of the surgery and see his pictures in tubes and all , I just cry and cry my heart out. Please pray that his recovery process goes smoothly.

Meanwhile, I just got back from my holiday at Pangkor. It was a good trip for me but kids just had a blast. Alysha just refused to get out of the beach and Inarah cried everytime I got her out of the pool.

Will post pictures when I get the time. Meanwhile, these were taken from the hp.

Alysha focused

Inarah's laugh
The cheeky little one.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mothers Day

On Saturday, I had bought and packed the gifts for the trip to UMMC to celebrate Mothers day with mothers who have been by the bedside of the little ones tirelessly caring for them for days, months and some even years. Its called the Mothering Mothers Project that MMB embarks on every year.

Saturday night while in bed I was recalling the moms I had met a 2 years ago. I didn't go last year as I was still recovering from having to deal with Inarah's condition.

I remember a mom who was feeding milk to her 4 year old partially paralysed son, from the bottle. He was obviously quite heavy but she had him in her arms probably for hours feeding him (coz it took him forever to drink). She was talking to me about how it happened; half crying, half embarrassed about crying to a stranger.

I remember a mom who was playing and laughing with her daughter on the bed. You would have never known that the daughter has leukemia and her mother is there by her side going through treatment after treatment; keeping both their spirits alive.

There were many many more but I dont think I can talk about it coz as I am writing this, I cant stop my tears from flowing.

I remember holding in my tears back after meeting each mom and giving them the presents and wishing them Happy Mothers Day.

Saturday night as I feel asleep, thinking about these moms and my trip the next day, I woke up crying. I cant remember the dream but I could remember having Inarah in my arms and running and that's it.

I decided not to go for the visit. I went with Alysha much earlier, left the gifts with the security guard and a note of apology for Ros. I dont think I would have been able to take it. I would have just broken down and cried all the way and that's the last thing you want to do with mothers who are trying very hard not to cry in front of their children.

Its a great gesture to have gifts beautifully wrapped for them to bring a smile on their faces. And thank you MMB for this. But Mothers don't need gifts. All they want is for their children to be happy, healthy and safe.

And that is all that I wished for on Mothers Day. That is all that I pray for.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I am into baking

I have been visiting food blogs lately. I love food, I like cooking but I have realized that I love baking.

It started because Inarah does not eat much, all the good stuff, vege, sweet potato, oats, tofu, honey, yoghurt – basically all the good stuff that you would want a toddler to eat. She doesn’t. On the other hand, Alysha loves food, anything at all, mostly sweet stuff. She loves snacking on cookies, buns, choc muffins, twiggies, etc – stuff she will easily get at my mom's no matter how much I try and stop it.

See my predicament, one kid who loves eating and easily puts on weight (just like me), one kid who we have to trick into eating and we celebrate when she finally puts on a few ounces.

Anyway, I started baking for them. I figured if I give Alysha good and healthy home made snacks she will not eat all that other junk and I can disguise all the good stuff that Inarah does not eat.

So this is what I have baked so far. They are all low sugar and I don’t get to have more than once slice of it coz it just disappears as soon as its out of the oven. That’s also because I usually save some for Sri, Gitanjali, Alysha’s other friends at religious class and school and my mom. So you see, its also community service:

Oatmeal and coconut crunchie
Oatmeal and banana muffin
Oatmeal and prune muffin
Sweet Potato muffin
Tofu patties
Banana bread pudding
Oatmeal and raisin cookies

This is what is next on the list :

Orange cake (for my mom - mothers day)
Pumpkin Pie – (specially for Inarah)
Banana Nut bread
Oatmeal and yoghurt muffin
Cinnamon roll
Peanut butter muffin (specially for Inarah)
Strawberry chocolate upside down cake (for me and Sri- will try and keep it away from the kids)

As for me, I have been losing some weight. I have started yoga which I like very much. Makes me feel a lot lighter and flexible. I am doing some swimming which I plan to do more of and drinking lots of water (thanks to Sri’s water therapy advise). I also am drinking some herbalife shake on days when there is nothing exciting for lunch/dinner and I am not too hungry. I am doing it very inconsistently though so don’t know if that’s working. The best part about losing weight this time is that it does not feel like I am on a weight loss mission (which is usually the case). Just eating smart (less carbo), which probably means pretty slow weight loss but I am in no hurry. And I am nowhere close to giving up my "cha" and whatever goes with it, oh! and also chocolates

Now you are wondering, how I am going to be losing weight while baking all that stuff, right? I am wondering too . But the thing is the stuff is so yummy that there is never enough to go around, let alone have an extra slice and its low sugar, remember!

Will let you know that outcome of my weight loss as well as of the success of my baking expedition, soon.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Alysha with her magic wand

Was putting Alysha and Inarah to nap on Saturday afternoon. Nap times are getting more and more challenging with both of them napping together.

Anyway, Alysha was upset as I kept getting her to be quiet and lie down even if she did not want to nap.

She had her little magic wand with her.

Alysha : "If you get me to sleep I will change you into a leopard."
Me : I could eat you up if I was a leopard"
Alsyha : I will change you into a cat.
Me : "Meeaaww"
Alysha : I will give you so many kittens so you have sooooo much work.

Totally cracked me up.

I guess she does realise how challenging and tiring it can be to raise children like her.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Blogging is therapeutic

I really feel better, a little refresed after all that posting. Umm, it may be true. blogging may truely be therapeutic.

Have a great weekend, everyone

The little entertainer, Inarah

I am on the roll here, so bear with me. I just could not end the week without writing about the latest and greatest of my darling Inarah.

1. She has learnt how to pretend cry. She goes around with this sad look on her face trying to imitate herself crying. it sounds somewhat like an owl hooting, really "hooooo..."

2. She goes around shaking her head saying, "na, na, na, na" for no when she does not want something or does not want to give you something back, like the remote control.

3. She points at hubby's nipples and goes, "mik, mik" for milk, cracke me up :)

4. She points the remote to the air cond or Tv and goes, tit, tit. No idea where she got that sound from.

5. She nods her head and says, "k" for okay, when we are explaining something to her or telling her to do something.

6. She loves the book, babybug, where Julie puts teddy in the suitcase and yells "surprise, its teddy" in the next page. She goes "pri" with her hands up in the air.

7. She walks around the house and suddenly squarts. We run to her coz we think she wants to go potty ( trying to toilet train her). She gets up the minute she sees us and gives us this look like she was shitting us. Cheeky little baby.

8. She end mostly all the sentences in her favorite books

"baby's boat is a silver": she says "moo"
"sailing in the" : she says "ky"

"And the quite old lady wispering" : she says "hush" with her finger on her lips.

9. She says "moo" for cow, "quack" for duck, "pak" for chicken, "on" for pig, "aaa" for lion.

10. Like a robot goes into the batnroom after her meals to wash up (with us running behind her) and then to Suryani's room for a change. Without us telling her to.

10a. You really have to see her dancing. She bends down jutting out her butt and truely moves it, her hips moving too. It's just a sight you wouldn't want to miss.

Where did she learn all this. I really dont know. I really have to give credit to Suryani for this. She is puttting into practice what she has learnt in the past three years with Alysha.

I am truly going to miss her. What am I going to do when she leaves. That's another story all together

This age just amazes me. Love this stage compared to the bratty toddler I have. just kidding!

Connecting with Alysha

And so Alysha is disconnected to me? What ? you ask.

This is how it goes with me. I have the need to connect with ALysha from time to time when I feel she is disconnected to me. I don’t know if other moms feel this and can relate to this or it’s just something that I feel. My personal need.

After I had Inarah, due to the juggling and my inability to slow down and enjoy little precious moments with them, I feel torn between Alysha and Inarah. Inarah needs me most of the time when I am home, coz she is one. Alysha used to need me a lot until I had Inarah and I couldn’t give her the kind of attention I used to. So she has gotten used to it.

I use to come home, have Alysha run to the door to greet me, give me a hug, sit on my lap and tell me about her day or anything that she wants to talk about. Now I come home, Alysha yells Hi! form wherever she is, although I make it a point to go to her and give her a hug. Most of the time she is too busy doing whatever she is doing.She does not even look at me in the eye until I insist sometimes because I want to get a point across and I need her to really listen

Inarah on the other hand wants to nurse as soon as she sees me, so she is in my arms for a good 10-15 min (this is when I feel connected to her) before she goes off to play. .

Maybe its because she is growing up, she is 4 after all. Do 4 year olds still need hugs and kisses as much as 2 year olds? maybe not.

And for me, I need to connect to effectively discipline her. Otherwise I just end up yelling at her and end up with her getting all violent and saying hurtful things. Or maybe she would do that anyway, whether or not I feel connected when I am disciplining her.

Its so much easier having just one kid, where you can focus on her and not feel torn between the two and so many other things.

Oh I dont know, this thing is so difficult. Anyway bottom line, I need to connect. And we will be spending some quality time together , just her and me, tomorrow. And hopefully , it gets easier after that.

Of course I have to keep doing it. Its a continuous process. I just wonder how do people with 3 or 4 kids do it.

Chocolate or a spa experience ?

I need either now, right now! but the chocolate has to be the real expensive bitter ones, like the Belgian ones they have at Mid valley for RM7 each. which is like oooh lala, you just want to savor every bite.

I make this awesome crunchies, coconut and oatmeal ones. I brought some at work as we were supposed to be in a working meeting all day and in 3 min, it was all gone. This one was good as it had the right amount of sugar. Sri, always complains that anything from my kitchen is usually low sugar which takes away the uummph! so I was generous on the sugar when I made this batch.

But it does not do to me what chocolates does. Of course not ! you would say, if you knew chocolates the way I do.

Anyway, its been a heavy week. With sick kids and work not showing signs of slowing down. Good news though, the forum that we were working towards, for which we were suppose to work over the weekend got postponed to sometime in April.

Yay! Yay !. I have my weekend with kids and Sunday afternoon with hubby. I still have work to do over the weekend but I can do it from home.

My eyes are hot and truly feels like they are on fire. What does that mean, it means I probably need sleep more than the chocolate or the spa. Maybe I need a holiday.

All by myself by the beach, no kids, no hubby, no one. Just me, chocolates, a book ( a few maybe) and the sky and the sea and the breeze and me lying down on the beach on my belly reading my book, while this masseur is oiling and kneading my back for the longest time.

Oh, I want, I want. I want. No. I need, I need, I need.

Ah! Just have to make do with some chocolates, I guess.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

My partner in parenting, Part II

I really have to give credit to hubby for being a wonderful partner to me in caring for my children. Of course, I wont be able to do this without Suryani and my mom.

But hubby has been consistently giving me the support I need to make it through. He has driven up and down dropping things off to Alysha; visiting her; looking after Inarah when I had Suryani over at my mom's to keep Alysha entertained; giving me that occasional, quick back rub after a lousy night (with Inarah up , more than 8 times); and many more thoughtful things.

Of course, there were times, he switched off the lights and blasted the tv so loud that I had to take Inarah to the room until his movie was over. But I guess he needs that to unwind.

And today after seeing the symptoms on Inarah he said "Don't worry, I'll look after her", I was just so touched.

Thank you, jannu. Love you.

Hand Foot & Mouth

Alysha was diagnosed with HFM last Friday. We were supposed to go off for our Holiday to pangkor on Saturday morning.

I didnt sleep all night, worried and tired. Did all my research and found out all about Coxsackie A16 and and enterovirus 71, totally impressed my pead. I also re-scehduled my trip to may (next school holidays) as I had fully paid for the package.

Saturday onwards I sent Alysha to my moms and Inarah was at home with Suryani, my maid. I travelled up and down every 3 hourly during the day, taking 3-4 showers in between, coz I am so afraid to spread this to Inarah. Thank God Alysha is okay to sleep with my mom. Actually she really likes it coz she gets all pampered.

Thanksfully, she had it quite mild. I would say its probably due to all that fruits and veg she has been eating. She didnt have any fever, has been active as usual and did not complain of any pain, except some discomfort on the first day. But I think that was just to get some ice cream from me as she heard the pead mentioning that its recomended during this time. The sores in the mouth started going off after 3 days and she is now back to normal.

This morning Suryani spotted a spot on Inarah's finger and some redness at the roof of her mouth. So far, no fever. I hugged her so hard and just feel like crying. Inarah is finally at a good weight. You can see it on her. She is even developing a little belly like her sister. And now this!. This will surely bring her down a few kilos.

I am so afraid and worried for her. The last time she was sick she had completely stopped eating. I just cant imagine her in pain with all that sores. We are just praying hard that she has a mild one as well. Hopefully all that immunity that breastmilk is suppose to provide comes handy this time around.

Meanwhile I thought my schedule was already too full for a stressful crisis like this. Work has been ultra busy, with the possibility of having to work over this weekend.

But of course, all I want is to be by my childrens side in times like this.

I also deal with stress pretty badly, so really, any survival tools will be helpful.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Inarah and me

A picture I have been wanting to post for a while.

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day

Yes, its Valentines Day today and its also Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day. I was just sitting in front of my pc reflecting on my life since I have had Inarah. How it has changed and how it has changed me.

She just turned one. Time has flown by and I have had a wonderful year with her. She is capable of so much love.

She almost flies into my arms when I get back home from work. When I leave her even for a while, she sprawls on the floor with big huge tears rolling down from her eyes. It truly breaks my heart. She wakes up in the middle of the night just to be sure that I am next to her, snuggles with me and goes back to sleep. When she is up in the morning, all she wants is for me to carry her so that she can plant the sweetest kiss on my lips, point to my nose and say “ose”. And then this little girl with big twinkling eyes smiles at me the sweetest smile I have ever seen; and I know that its all worth it.

I always thought I could not love anyone as I love Alysha. I love Inarah with all my heart and soul. I didn’t know I was capable of loving her so much and just cant imagine life without her. I truly thank God for giving her to me.

I have been truly blessed as she has been keeping well. If everything goes well, surgery will take place only next year. There are many parents who are not so lucky.

There are parents who are at the stage I was a year ago when I was told that she had CHD. I remember feeling frustrated, confused, lost, feeling so much anger and pain. I was just broken for a while. I was one of those who thought that something like this would never happened to me. I was totally oblivious to CHD and what it meant to a parent with a CHD child.

And there are parents who are in hospitals fighting together with their little child who have to go through surgery after surgery.
And there are parents who have lost their children to CHD. I cant even begin to think of the pain they feel.

To all parents with CHD child, I say a special prayer for you and your child today. A special prayer for gavin who has just had a heart surgery and suffered from a mini stroke. (about 10% of heart babies have a stroke during heart surgery).

This is a beautiful poem that I picked up from Evan’s blog that brought tears into my eyes.

Somewhere...someplace... today...
A family is waiting to hear...
Is something wrong with their baby?
The answers aren't quite clear...
This family has entered an unwanted world...
And they just don't know what to expect...
Somewhere...someplace... today
They first heard the words: heart defect.
And how they hoped this was not true...
And thought... this cannot be...
I too... know just how this feels...
For one day...this was me.
And how they hoped this was not true...
And thought... this cannot be...
I too... know just how this feels...
For one day...this was me.
A man and a woman embrace...
Their baby is in surgery...
They long to see her face...
They haven't got to hold her yet...
Without...a cord or line...
They pace the room awaiting news...
And hope she'll be just fine.
Prayers fill this busy waiting room...
And mom and dad are scared...
The tiniest hearts are repaired.
A child's growing fast...
His mom thinks...can this last?
It's almost forget...
That anything is wrong...
Her child seems so strong.

Somewhere...someplace... today...
A little boy fights...just to live
A father holds his tiny hand...
His love...all he can give...
The doctor's are all baffled...
They fear that he might die...
A family says goodbye...

Somewhere...someplace...each year..
More than 40,000 families will see...
What it means...when something's wrong...
They'll face a CHD.
Today...for just a moment...
Make time to tell someone you know...
"I've been changed by a heart defect".

Author - Stephanie Husted

Friday, January 12, 2007

My partner in parenting

My hubby has never been the kind of father I was hoping my children would have. He was never really involved in the daily care for my first born and from time to time tried to do the parenting thing but I could tell he was doing it either out of guilt (that I made him feel) or duty as a father. I never thought he truely enjoyed doing things with her (except for watching TV, LOL)

And maybe thats the reason he is not very connected to my elder girl. And of course it does not help, when your only daughter says, "I love mama, kakak, nani and everyone except papa" And the more you feel disconnected, the more you would not bother, the more you keep a distance and then it gets worse. Its a visious cycle.

With Inarah, its really different. He told me he wants to do better. I said okay, lets see. He did make an effort, much much more than with Alysha. Until now, you could not really see the results. But now, you can see it. Inarah will gladly run into his arms from mine (most of the time) and really enjoys being with him. He plays with her, tries to feed her, he can even put her to sleep. I am suddenly so impressed.

The other day when she was down with fever and I was holding her most part of the night, at some point of time he came by and took her from me and I could lie down and give my back a rest. Other nights he has volunteered to hold her as well. Like I said, its a cycle. She responds to him and because of that he genuinely likes being with her and wants to do things with her.

For the first time after a long time I feel that I am not doing this alone. I have a partner. I hope its not short lived and will get better. I guess its a learning process for him.

Its all part of being a Mom

I know I sound really bad in my last post. Its just how I was feeling then. I had a comment that said You are a good mother, Be strong. I know I don't need to be told but its good to be reminded that I am a good mother. I really am. I give them 110%. I love them to bits, a little too much maybe. Most moms do, I am sure.

Being a mother means your heart is no longer yours alone. You give some of it to them.
Yesterday night when I was holding her and putting her to bed. Her head resting on my shoulder, feeling her skin against mine, feeling her heart beat against mine, hearing her breathe through her little stuffed nose, seeing her feeling so much peace being in my arms, her eyes telling me there is no other place she'd rather be but in my arms and my eyes telling her the same. I breastfed her, her eyes closed and I put her down to bed with that little mouth curving up into a smile, (probably a wonderful dream ahead). I know she is okay and I know its all worth it.

Its all part of being a mother. The sweet moments, the bitter moments, the worries, the peaceful feeling, the pain, the sacrifice, the perseverance, the list goes on. And I wouldn't exchange it for anything in the world. Nothing comes close to it. Nothing at all.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I just looked at the date of my last post, Dec 11. Its been a month since Inarah as eaten a proper meal. It was the chicken kurma and that was it. She has refused to eat since. Hubby, maid and I are pulling out our hair everyday trying to get something or other in her tummy. She has lost so much weight. She was finally above the 8 kg mark, she was close to 9kg and now she is back to 8kg.

Don't ask me to try different kinds of food. We try at least 10 different foods a day. You name it, I have tried it. Mashed stuff, chunky stuff, crispy stuff, Indian, western, Chinese combinations, just plain cheese, crackers, bread, soup, juice, raisins (someone advising me asked "which kid would not eat raisins?" well mine doesn't )

I just cant understand it. For someone who use to take good 3 meals a day, how does she decide to not want to eat anymore? Does she not feel hunger? If she opens her mouth to take the food in or if we force it in, she stores it in her mouth and just does not swallow. She drinks milk. She has been surviving on milk and whatever food that we manage to push down her throat or trick her into eating.

But she eats papaya and grapes from time to time. So you see, its not a eating disorder or painful when she swallows. She has just suddenly become the most fussy eater ever. There was a day where she just had 3 grapes, that's it.

I have made numerous trips to the paediatrician who finally reluctantly advised me to give her Pedisure. She has been exclusively breastfed so far and yesterday she had her first formula milk. Its sad that my milk supply may slow down or even stop if she takes formula but she needs it to grow. I just have to pump and dump. She took the formula well. I plan to give it to her once a day for now and still continue to try and give her solids.

She has also been down with a bad flu. Its been more than 2 weeks. After I course of antibiotics, she has still got lots of phlegm and a very bad cough. Its causing her to throw up every time we give her medication. So most of the medication comes out. She has thrown up 3 times this morning. She was so tired and breathless after that and immediately slept off.

She is not dehydrated and is still quite active most of the day. But you can tell she is losing her energy. She does not stand that often anymore and prefers to be carried all the time.

She just turned one and tomorrow is the appointment with her cardiologist to set a date for surgery.

I am totally stressed, worried sick and dead tired. Two days ago, she had fever of 38.3 and just refused to be put down the whole night. I still have to work and its quite a busy month for me at work but I manage to take emergency leave from time to time to take her to the pead. Like today. She does not have fever anymore but she is still down with a bad cough and lots of phlegm.

The pead tells me that its nothing got to do with her condition but I cant help thinking that her body is not strong enough to help her recover because of her heart condition. And of course its also because she is not eating.

I just don't know what to do except keep taking her to the pead to make sure that there is no infection. I just went 2 days ago and plan to go again today.

I dont know what I am feeling anymore. Scared, sad, worried, tired, frustrated, angry, all at once.

Monday, December 11, 2006

My baby likes Chicken Kurma

Inarah has not been eating well for the past 3 days. Barely a few spoons. That too she keeps her food in her mouth forever and we have to keep giving her water to make her swallow her food. I did not think much of it coz she was down with a throat infection and fever 2 days ago. But when she refused to eat even lost night, it got me a little worried.

Her staple breakfast is : french toast/scramble eggs (with cheese)/oats with fruits

Her staple lunch/dinner is : mashed pasta/rice/potato with fish/chicken/beef. And its cooked quite well - with onions, garlic, tomato and herbs/indian spice.

Quite good food, wouldnt you say for a 11 month old?

Today when she refused to eat for lunch my maid gave up and tried feeding her some chicken kurma whcih she had cooked for the rest of us. Its got all the idnian spices as well as chili and cocunut milk. Inarah loved it and after a long time had a good meal.

Although we never gave Alysha any salt/sugar in her food till she was 2, Alysha migrated to adult food quite quickly, but chicken kurma at 11 months, I dont know!
What do you think. As long as she is eating , right?

So does this mean that she will refuse food that does not have salt/sugar? How now?

TOF Babies

Brayden and Kendall just had their open heart surgeries for TOF. They have been on my mind and in my heart and maybe that's the reason I have been a little nervous and not at peace for the past week.

They are doing well after surgery and it just amazes me how brave they are and how much courage and energy this little kiddos have.

Please pray for them and their families coz its even harder for the people who love them so much.

Meanwhile, Inarah is doing just great. She has started walking while holding on to one of Alysha's chair. Infact it’s difficult to keep her seated most of the time. You can see, she is getting ready to start running.

She is so wonderful to play with. She knows and points to her ears, hair and nose so well. She has got 6 scary looking teeth and bites real hard if you dare put your finger in her mouth, lol.

She loves her books and can tell the difference between zebra, pig and girrafe on her bed sheet.
She almost can say "kakak" (Sister) to Suryani but now it sounds like "katak" which means frog in malay, lol

She can say, "pull" while pulling her ears and "boo" for peek a boo. And its lovely to sing rhymes to her specially :Hickory dickkory...." coz she will say the "dock" and laugh away right after that.

She understands most of what we say and will ignore what she chooses to ignore, like picking out the decoration from the Christmas tree (yes! its up). Alysha and her play so well now and just the other day when Alysha was at prayers with my mom’s he called back to say she misses Inarah and not to let her sleep till she is back.

Alysha will scold me if I raise my voice to Inarah and then very gently tell her not to do what she should not, lol. It’s wonderful to see them together.

Inarah is due for her check up in January and I know I am going to be all nerves during the visit to the cardiologist coz this is when he will start taking about when to schedule the surgery. I just don’t want to think about it right now.

I am back

I have been back for a while now actually, a week to be exact but just have not had the time to blog. Been busy with work and kids. My trip was okay. I survived without my kiddos and so did they. Inarah woke up every hour the first night and drank bottles and bottles of milk. The next night she woke up only twice, once for milk and the other time hubby patted her back to sleep. Maybe after a few more nights without me she would give up feeding at night completely, ....very tempting but its amazing how much joy it gives me to continue breastfeeding her. No matter how much I might seem to hate waking up night after night to breastfeed her, I silently love it, every moment of it.

I didn’t manage to bring back any milk from langkawi altho I went all prepared. The hotel screwed up with my ice sheets. They was no ice at all, when I picked them up on the last day. So with a heavy heart I had to throw away all the milk. But its okay coz my supply is fine, infact better since I religiously pumped every 3-4 hours.

Alysha did not sleep at home at all. First night she was at my brother's and the second night, she told hubby " I cant sleep here without my mama. I am going to nani's ( my mom) house, and off she went getting my mom to pick her up and all, lol.

Managed to take last Thursday off and took the kids to the park in the morning and Mines Wonderland in the evening. The boat ride was really nice. We had a good time, only that when we went to the ice world/land, there was no snow. It was -10 degrees and the only thing they had was ice carvings. No more ice skating ring too. very disappointing for Alysha. Thanks God there was the train ride and the inflated octopus to cheer her up after that. Anyway I plan to write them a letter soon coz' their website still goes on and on about snow and ice skating....very misleading.

Weekend was tiring with Inarah down with a throat infection and Alysha is in this whining and screaming mode now a days. She just does not know how to deal with her feelings except to cry and whine and scream. I and trying to deal with it very calmly hoping its a phase that will go away altho my patience is wearing thin. cant wait for school to start.

Alysha got a very nice medal for her good work in religious class yesterday and she did so well yesterday in a performance. She also got wondeful comments in her perfromance record. I was so proud of her, my baby is growing up.

Lost more to post but works calling

till later

Friday, November 24, 2006


I have been trying to take take time out to watch some movies with hubby. We watched Casino Royale over the weekend. I really like this Bond. So Sean Conory like. Machoism Personified. He was oozing with it. Yum!

I loved Dhoom and cant wait to watch Dhoom2. Its playing , so for those who are looking for weekend entertainment. Go catch it. I am going with hubby on Sunday.

Incentive for guys : Aiswariya Rai in bikini ( hope they don't chop off the scenes)
Incentive for ladies : Abhishek Bachan (he is yummy in anything that he wears)

cant wait!

The tickets are here

I just got them and its finally sinking in that I will be leaving my kids behind for 3 days, 2 nights. I am off to Langkawi for work next Friday.

The freezer is stoked up with enough milk for Inarah.
I have purchased what I need to to bring back the milk that I will express in Lankawi.
I have been mentioning it again and again to Alysha so that she gets used to it and so I get used to the idea too.
I have asked for help from my brother and sister in law to take Alysha out so that she is not couped up at home when I am away. She will also possibly stay over at their place for a night.
Hubby is supposed to be free of appointments on the 3 days (most importantly in the monrong and nights).

What else?

Alysha's bithday is on Wednesday, the 29th and I have taken leave the day before (afternoon) and the day before (morning- have a meeting in the afternnon that I cant cancel).
I am also off on Thurday so that I can spend some time with them.

What else?

I have never left Inarah alone without me at night before. With ALysha I was away once only after she turned 2. Anyone who have left their 4 year old and 10 month old for a trip somewhere before, please let me have your suggestions. What can I do to make this easier for them and I think more so for me?. I am already in tears thinking about being away from them.

School Holidays

Every working mom I have spoken to is cracking her head about school holdidays and how to keep their children occupied. Well, I think if you have a 8 year and above kid, maybe its not so bad. The kid might be able to entartain herself quite abit. I am guessing here. Will only know when Alysha turns 8. But when you have a 4 year old child at home with a 10 month old baby. The baby becomes the only entertainment for the child and that can be difficult and possibly dangerous if you dont keep an eye on the baby all the time.

My plans for the holidays :

1. Barbie live show @ 1Utama (I dont know how Alysha talked me into it but I am going on a saturday afternoon, Oh God! save me)
2. Mines Wonderland probably early December (With Sri & Gitanjali). This was supposed to be her birthday treat but might have to push it to early December. She has been waiting to play with snow and is all geared up to go with her winter clothing which I have to borrow from somewhere.
3. Megakidz@ Midvalley - probably on her birthday
4. Day trip at some beach in Sepang, yay! This is for me as well (with Sri & Gitanjali)
5. I want to go to Penang again
6. Then there will be Christmas and putting up the Christmas tree, shopping mall christmas decorations, christmas shopping, Santa clause, Santarinas, etc, etc

The other usual stuff that will keep her occupied would be the usual
1. Swimming at my moms condo pool, at least 2 x a week after work (she loves swimming)
2. The park on Sunday mornings
3. Craft, painting, play dough, some new Barbie cds

So what else ? Ideas please.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A House for Hermit Crab

I know, I know. This blog is fast becoming a book review blog for pre schoolers but what to do, I love these books and so does Alysha and I just want to share how wonderful they are.

This is another one of Alysha's favorite. Its by Eric Carle.

Time to move," said Hermit Crab one day. "I've grown too big for this little shell." Alysha usually reads this line, then I have to continue.

Its a book for children who dread change--whether the new shell is a new home, a new school, or a new experience. In the story Hermit Crab looks out for a newer, bigger shell, but it seems very " plain" Then he meets some beautiful, swaying sea anemones, he asks if one of them will come to decorate his home and one agrees. In time a colorful starfish, some corals, a snail, sea urchins and lantern fish all decide to live in his home, each one helpful in their own special way.

An then, suddenly after a year (yes, it also teaches the child, the months in a year) he finds he's outgrown his shell yet again. Instead of being sad, he spots a newer, bigger shell and cant wait to start decorating it and making it his new home.

But before he leaves he comes across a smaller Hermit crab looking for a home and gets him to promise to look after his home and friends.

Alysha knows all the sea creatures in the book well and this is the first time she is introduced to the Hermit Crab.

An absolutely lovely book!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Inarah's favorite book

This is Inarah's favorite book. I kow it by heart because it was also Alysha's first and favorite book.

In this bedtime book, a baby sails a sea of sleep--rumpled sheets--in an infant-sized boat in front of an Easter-egg purple starred sky.

This is how it goes :

Baby's boats a silver moon, sailing in the sky, sailing over a sea of sleep till the starts flat by, Sail baby sail, out upon the sea, only dont forget to sail back again to me. Baby's fishing for a dream fishing near and far, her line a silver moonbeam is her bait a silver star. Sail baby sail out upon the sea only don't foreget to sail back again to me.

Apparently its is poetry that has been repeated through generations of parents and babies.

I will usually place this book and "Goodnight Moon" both the books somewhere around her in bed and just have to say " Baby's boat is a silver moon sailing in the sky" and she will start looking around for the book, she will pick it up and start flipping the pages.

I guess its never too early to have a favorite book.

It's Time for School, Stinky Face

Alysha has been picking this book out to read for the past 3 nights. This is another one of Lisa Mc Court's book. I love her "I love you, Stinky Face" and Alysha knows it by heart.

Its about this imaginative little boy who is not at all sure about going to school, and he has a whole bunch of questions for his mom. What if the school bus gets a flat tire? What if he gets lost and ends up in the principle's office? What is the door to the class gets stuck with glue? And what if all the desks start flying around the classroom?

His mother responses with real cool imaginative solutions which are so funny. Alysha loves the part about the door getting stuck and how his mom gets him a pogo stick and he "Boings" right into the class.

It ends with how his teacher forgets how to tell a story and the boy needs to tell a story and his mama says " I know you will do just fine, stinky face".

Its an okay book as far as I am concerned but maybe Alysha likes it quite abit. I suppose because it reminds her of school and funny things that can actually happen in school but I suppose she too knows it the probability isnt much. But she feels that she might need to tell a story in school one day ( maybe she has been asked before) and she knows she will be able to. She told me so!

Since we are on story and story books. Alysha is known in school and in religious class for not being able to wait to know what happens in a story, i.e how the story ends. I suppose any other person would too. Ms Lily once told me that she told a story from the book. The tin soldier or something? and since it was time to go back she said she would continue the story tomorrow. But thats surely not an option for Alysha and she told the teacehr she needs to know what happens and so the teacher lent her the book and I had to read the rest of the story for her at home the very same day.

Same thing happened in religious class where her teacher had to finish the story about "The Prophert Muhamed and the unkind women" after class because she just had to know how it ended. My curious little baby!

Well, dont they say "a curious mind is an intellegent mind" or something along those lines.

CDH and support group in Malaysia

Firstly, some promising new research being done with amniotic stem cells. This research could mean big improvements in treating congenital heart valve defects in newborns. Got this from Sophia's dad. Thanks Michael.

Here is a link to an article in the Washington Post.

And here is a link to the Associated Press coverage from the meeting.

One thing that I feel really sad about is that here in Malaysia we lack support group for CDH families. I have to fall back on support groups that are in other parts of the world. They are great but sometimes I wish there was something closer to home. Parents I could meet to share experiences to to just listen to when one needs to talk. I would love to meet the brave little children with CDH who have gone through surgery or who are about to go through surgery.

For now, I wouldnt even know where to start if I wanted some contacts in Malaysia except for the one or two that I already know through friends. I guess the only place to meet them here is at the hospital when they visit their cardiologist.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I am never too busy for you, baby

Alysha's birthday falls on 29 Nov which is during the school holidays. She has been asking me for months when will she be cutting her cake in school like all her friends. So I decided to celebrate her birthday on the last day of school, which is tomorrow. There will be a party in school anyway and childern will be in their part dresses so it will be really nice.

I prepared all the party packs and odered her cake. This amazing strawberry cream cake that I discovered in Maju Junction, yum. I got gifts for all her teachers.

There is this shop in Mid Valley called Hinode. Its just amazing. I wanted to buy the whole shop. Everything is RM5 and the things they sell is very different from the other RM5 shops, which I dont really like. But this was great. Got a Barbie bag and a glitter paint set for Aysha all for RM5. And lovely gifts for her teachers also at RM5. Go check it out!

Last night, when I was putting her to bed, she said :
"mama, do you have a lot of work on the day i will be celebrating my birthday in school?"
I sort of knew what she was getting at, so I said "No, why?"
"Can you and papa come to school and cut my cake with me?"

I had not planned to be there actually and I dont know if they allow parents to be there. Its usually just the kids. I had planned to just drop of the cake and the party packs and let the teacher take care of the rest.

So I said " I dont think I can come, its only your friends who are invited.
"No, some of my friend's mama and papa come for the party"
"Okay, lets check with Ms. Lily, if it is okay for us to come, mama and papa will love to be there"

I was very sad after that. My poor baby actually thought that I would not be part of the party because I had to work.

I took her in my arms and said " mama is usually very busy at work but remember you are always more important than nama's work, always. Mama will always be here for you, isyaallah (She knows that it means God willing as I often use this word to tell her that at the end of the day, its all in God's hands)

She smiled and said " you too are my bestest sweetie and I will also always be there for your birthday party"

Although it broke my heart to think that she thought I had my work as my priority, in a way I was glad that she realises that the world does not revolve around her. Mama and papa have got other important things to do, like work.

Those who know me will know that work has never been my priority. My life are my 2 kids and I would give anything to be with them all the time. But I need to work coz I am the breadwinner in the family. I just hope that I am never too busy for times when she really needs me to be with her.

And I will surely be at the party tomorrow, insyaallah!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Now which class?

Choices, choices, choices. Decisions, decisions, decisions. This becomes a major part of life when you ahve kids. They may not be life changing decisions but are non the less important to my child and may determine whether she will be happy or not in school for the next one year at least.

After deciding which school to enroll her into, now is which class for next year. Alysha's current teacher is just great. She is just so sensitive to Alysha's feelings and is very patient about the fact that she still cries once a while when I drop her to school.

For next years (4-5 year olds) I have a choice of 3 classes. One is a Chinese medium class which I have decided not to go for. She will still have mandarin classes in the other 2 classes. This class is more for children who are planning to go to a Chinese medium school. They emphasis as much on writing in Chinese as they do on reading.

The 2 other classes have different teachers.

Class No 1
One is an old timer.. She has been there for like 20 years. She is a little sticky about discipline. I say sit, you sit or else.....She indicated that she has adapted well to todays style of teaching. At the same time I realized that she focused a lot on learning. Learning to read in a very structured way, learning to write - the proper strokes, curves, etc. I know that with her, Alysha will be able to read and write well by the end of next year. But with her, the apples on the trees have to be red or green "because they have to depict reality, the real world".

What would she do if Alysha decides to make them colorful?, which she most likely would. I don’t know, punish her maybe, I am only guessing here. Or she may not like Alysha very much then.
Alysha would make them even more colorful if you insisted that they should be green or red. Yes! that’s my daughter.

Class No 2
In the other class, there is a younger teacher. She came over from another pre school recently after the new principle came in, also from the same school. The end game is the same. At the end of the year, she to aims for her children to be able to read and write but she is not too structured in how she wants to do it. Alternatively you could say,, she is not to sure on how she wants to do it. A little more laid back, this one. May not get upset or push the child if a child decides not to read or write on any particular day. Whereas the other one I know will insist and try harder.

Alysha may not be able to read and as well as she would if she was in class no 1 but she may be halfway there.

Oh! the apples on the tree must also be green or red but if Alysha decides to make them colorful, my guess is she may be cajoled into coloring them read or green. If it still does not work, she may be left to do what she wants.

Now, the deciding factor. Alysha has 4 close friends in the current class. Sonia, Christie, Venesa and Reshmi. She does not like boys! maybe just Sri Ram and Sonia's brother - cant remember his name. Three out of the 4 frinds are going to class no 2.

Should this be the deciding factor? Will she be miserable if none of her friends were in her class? Very likely.

So is it now obvious which class?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Way I Feel - Book Review

Read this to ALysha last night. After reading "How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk", I decided to get this book because its suppose to helps kids describe their emotions and understand that feelings are a normal part of life.
It describes various feelings : happy, sad, frustrated, bored, angry, jealous, excited and many more. Its lovely coz Alysha can relate to it. She would say something like : "I feel proud too when I can dress myself" or "I get upset when you dont let me have a lollipop".
When I read the verse below :
I’m frustrated because I can’t do it.It’s hard and I want to cryI don’t know whether to give it upor to give it another try.” She would immediately say that she should give it another try like how she tried and tried and now she can put on her shoes by herself.
It ends with : “Feelings come and feelings go. I never know what they’ll be. Silly or angry, happy or sad—They’re all a part of me!”
Another great book !

Monday, November 06, 2006

Surgery options

We visited one of Suben's uncle last night. This is the first time he met Inarah. She was just great with them. So friendly, of course trying to grab everything in sight including vases, all the little fragile decorative items in the house. But they were so wonderful with her. She loved their dogs and kept wanting to kiss her.

Uncle then started talking about her surgery. In my mind, surgery is still far away but of course the way time is flying by its not. They also had another visitor who was a doctor and is a visiting cardiologist in UH once a week. She was a practitioner in India and is now based here.

All of them were of the opinion that we should explore getting Inarah's surgery done in India. the doctors there are the experts of the experts, their medical equipments are the latest and the best technology wise. And it is much cheaper. Uncle mentioned something about Appolo Hospital and some other , cant remember the name now. The doctors do cases like TOF and TGA on a regular basis compared to over here where the good doctors are limited. And we do know that Malaysia is not the greatest place for the best medical equipment and that is why doctors will wait as long as possible at least till the child is 8-10kgs to do complete repair as they don't have the post op facilities as they do in other western countries.

I am now confused. I am wondering whether I should explore this possibility. I know the surgeon in Gleanegles (who was previously from IJN) have done TOF and other complicated surgeries before. I have heard that if I decide to do it at IJN I have to be very careful and selective of the surgeon that will do the surgery and its not easy to get a particular surgeon unless you are in the position to pull some strings. That is why in our minds we know its probably going to be Gleanegles.

Now with the possibility of India,I really don't know. If I do decide that this is a possible option I have to start doing some research. But is it really an option? I am working. Its a new job. I now can get a month or two off from work. If its going to be in India, that may not be enough? What about post surgery follow up? What about complications after surgery if we are already back then. Will I have to fly down again and again? In cases of emergency would it be a problem for the doctors here since the surgery was not done by them?

I really dont know now ? Any ideas?

A Grand Old Tree

A Grand Old Tree by Mary Newell Depalma.

Once there was a grand old tree, whose roots sank deep into the earth and whose arms reached high into the sky. Every spring the grand old tree flowered and bore cherries for the squirrels and birds that made their homes in her leafy branches. And every year, seeds from the tree scattered in the wind, along with many millions of leaves. And lots of baby trees are grow when that happens.

Over the years, she basks in the sun, bathes in the rain, sways in the breeze and dances in the wind until she can sway and dance no more. Soon she becomes very very old. Her branches no longer swayed and danced. Her branches crumble and finally she fells and snow gently covered her. The tree dies. The dead tree continues to provide shelter to for its a house for raccoons and centipedes. But eventually it disintegrates into the soil enriching the soil.

Then they show how the baby trees, "the grand children of the Grand Old Tree grow into strong tall trees and how they then become all that the Grand Old Tree was and how its all a cycle. A cycle of life.

I read this book to Alysha last night. Its truely a great book. She had so many questions about it. This is the first time I read the word "die" from a book. And I paused. She just stared at me and looked a bit sad.

I know she has heard the word die before and I have mentioned how someone had died. I ahve explained to her that it basically means that the person goes back to Allah for good because that's where we all came from. She had once mentioned to me, she does not want to go back. She likes it here.

A smile appeared back on her face when the baby tree grows. She was so happy that it was not the end of the tree. I don't know what else was running on her mind but this is a great book to just introduce the concept of the cycle of life to children. I didn't want to push the discussion too much and just answered all her questions as best as I could. I bet we will continue to have a discussion over it when I read it to her again.

Great book! Loved it.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

UNO for kids

All of you who have children above the age of 4 (although on the pack of cards it says 3 and above), you should go and get a pack of UNO for kids. I bought mine a year ago and since they are made of Pooh and Tiger character, Alysha used to just look at them and play with them in her own way.

Last night, she took out the pack from the drawer and I thought maybe she is old enough to play it now following all the rules. And she LOOOOVED it. She couldn't get enough. Of course I had to look at her cards and keep guiding her and explaining the rules again and again. She just didn't want to stop playing until it was way pass bedtime. I think we played around 15 games.

Initially she wanted more and more cards and was upset when she won coz she had no more cards and could not continue playing anymore until the next game. Every time she got a wild card, she would scream and jump with joy. It was just great watching her play and learn.

Great game for kids. I bet we are playing again tonight.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Leaving the kids behind

I have a Company conference to attend in Langkawi from 1-3rd of December. Its a conference that my department is organizing as a secretariat to the organization. Its in Andaman and I have to be away for 3 days and 2 nights.

I just don't know how I am going to do this. Being away from Inarah and Alysha. I am not ready to give up breastfeeding exclusively ( although its very tempting considering the low milk supply) so I have to start stocking up for the trip. I lost all my stock in the freezer when I went to Ipoh for the Deepavali Holidays and so I have to start from zero.

Lost of preparation to do. Buying the cooler bag and the ice brick and ice pack and having the determination to pump every 3-4 hours. Its will be challenging but I am going to do it.

But firstly I have to work hard at bringing my milk supply up and getting enough stock for the trip. I really have to thank MMB for the continuous encouragement and advise. If moms who have to travel overseas for 17 days away from their babies can do it, then so can I.

My only concern is whether Inarah will be okay at night. Will she take the bottle at night? Will she let hubby put her back to sleep? Will she cry and cry and cry? Just the thought of that is breaking my heart into pieces. Hubby assures me that he will be around most of the time so that she does not miss me too much.

Will she continue to breastfeed when I am back? Will she reject my McB? I sure hope not.

I am going to start making all the soups and eating oats and fenugreek and everything else to try and get my supply up.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006 almost 10 months

My baby is down again with a flu. I rushed to her pediatrician yesterday night coz her cough sounded really bad with lots of phlegm. She has lots 3 grams over 2 weeks and that really worries me. It’s even more important in her case that she puts on weight consistently. She is 8.3kgs now. I am hoping that she will be around 12 kg’s when they decide to do the surgery. She hasn’t been eating very well as well. Its just so different with her compared to Alysha. With Alysha I had no issues with food. She just ate everything I made. Inarah is so fussy with food. Most of the time we have to trick her into eating. She loves water and so we just keep saying, water, water and she opens her mouth wide. Of course after realizing it’s a spoonful of porriage she almost screams but surprisingly they must really have a short memory as she opens her mouth wide again when she hears’ water, water”

It was so sad to leave her behind today. I have been on leave for 3 days due to my brothers wedding and so both of them have been having me all to themselves. Specially Inarah. So in the morning when I left for work, it was very difficult for her and me. She just wanted to be in my arms and kept putting her head on my shoulder as I held her close.

On a brighter note, her pead says she is growing well for her age and condition. She is not strong enough to hold on and stand on her own but keeps trying to get on her feet. She crawls with one knee and one feet which was a concern for hubby and me but her pead says , some kids do that for a while.

The other concern I have is milk. That is my breast milk. It’s been more and more difficult to keep up with her milk intake. I barely get 3-4 ounces overtime pump. Sometime as little as 2oz. Its just so tiring. I have to pump so many times a day to have just enough for her next days feed. It’s so tempting to start supplementing with formula. But I really want to exclusively breastfeed until she is one at least. It’s really not so much the nutritional value of the milk but rather the bonding process. When she is at my breast, you should see the look on her face. She looks at me with those eyes that say that she wants to be there for ever and ever. She is so calm and peaceful when she feeds.

She is a very intelligent child, you can tell. She understands a lot of what we say and shows us by doing what we tell her to do. Like sleep (she will put her head on the pillow), belly button (she will lift her top), her ears (she touches them), she raises both her hands in the air when we say hooray, she waves bye bye. She waves both hands like a butterfly when I sing the butterfly song. She will try to comb her hair when you hand her a comb. She will try and write on a paper when you hand her a pencil (thanks to Alysha) She opens and closes her palm when we sing twinkle twinkle little star. She knows all of us by how we call ourselves, papa, mama, ben (elder sister), kaka, nana, nani. She indicates she wants something by pointing her hand towards it.

She has started opening cupboards to dig out things, she can open a book when you hand her one. She knows 2 books very well already. Her favorite baby’s Boat and Goodnight Moon.

She also has a fierce temper and screams at you when you upset her. Like when her sister refuses to share something with her or when she is frustrated with something he can’t manage.
And she just LOOOOOVES to dance. You don’t even need music. Just sing a rhythm or hum a tune and her body just starts moving, she will move her hands in the air as well if someone else is dancing with her. She loves her sister. She could be very upset and crying but the minute she sees Alysha , there is this smile on her face that I don’t even see when she looks at me.

She makes us all so happy. She is truely as her name means " A light in the darkness"

Oh my baby. We are just so happy and lucky to have you. You have brought us so much joy in such a short time. Mama loves you soooo much

My not too sociable little girl.

A few weeks ago I had bloged about Alysha having a great vocabulary, is very loving, considerate and a polite girl. However, the thing that I worry about sometimes is her social skills. She has wonderful social skills with her family and friends (a few other kids). But when it comes to others i.e. my friends, cousins, aunts, etc. she just does not socialize. No matter how hard they or I try to get her to even say her name or to greet them or to say thanks, she will not budge. She just will not speak to them. But otherwise she is the chattiest kid I know.

I always felt like I failed in some way here. Maybe I was too protective as a mom when she was younger. Maybe I should have has many more people around when she was younger.

Today I read a post that makes me feel so much better. Don’t know if it’s true but if it is, it explains a lot for her behavior.

I have been reading for a while now. She is a nanny who has years of experience looking after kids of all breeds and ages. I absolutely this post.

Take a kid chock-full of extroverted genes, throw her in with a bunch of new faces every day, and you get a kid who rises to the stimulation, giggling and interacting, smiling and playing. She thrives on it.

“A-ha!” say proud parents. “Our strategy is working! Look at our outgoing, socially competent child!” They believe it’s their manipulation of her environment, their training, which has produced this social prodigy.

Not convinced? Picture the other side of the coin. Take a kid chock-full of introverted genes, throw her in with a bunch of new faces every day, and do you get a socially skilled kid who thrives on lots of interaction? No, you get a kid who is overwhelmed, nervous, clingy, unhappy, even terrified. The constant barrage of social stimulation is too much for her. Why? Because she’s not an extrovert.

This is not to disparage the significance of parents. For those first years, you are the single most important relationship in your child's life. Even as they gain independence and autonomy, parents are still very important to their children. But we're not omnipotent. There is a limit to parental impact, influence, significance.You can give children skills, and you can hope they learn to apply them, but those skills are always superimposed upon their base character. Bottom line: no matter what your parenting skills, you can’t you cannot turn a child into something they’re not.”

My mom is an introvert. She does not have many friends and is usually the quiet one in a crowd and so is my dad. I am like that too to some extent and maybe that’s just why Alysha is the way she is.

I’d like to think that its nothing that I have done or not done that has resulted in her not being such a sociable person. And if Inarah turns out to be any different it’s all because of my husband’s genes.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Fever's down...all set to go

Inarah's fever is down. I slept well last night after 3 days of very little sleep. I am so glad it was just a throat infection.

We are all set to go to Ipoh for Deepavali and will be back on Sunday fro Hari Raya. Was packing till 1 am last night. When you travel with kids,you can never take enough.

To all friends and fellow mommy bloggers. Happy Deepavali, Selamat Hari Raya and Happpy Holidays.

May you have a wonderful time with your loved ones.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Fever still there

38.3 the last I checked this morning and she has been sleeping alot. I am panicking already.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

My poor sick baby

Inarah has been having fever for the past 2 days and its just not going off. Initially she was just a little warm. And since she is teething ( all 4 at once) I thought it was just that. But the fever keeps coming back the minute the effect of the paracetamol starts going off. And its really high fever. Last night it was 38.5 and she was hot really hot in my arms. I would have rushed to A & E but for the fact that 1/2 hour after the paracetamol the fever started coming down.

Also yesterday I saw 2 mozie bites on her thigh. So a mom like me would just think of the worse.

Took her to the pead this morning who thinks it would be a throat infection coz its slightly red. But she has never had such high fever even with infections previously. Even he looked a little worried.

He prescribed some paracetamol, antibiotics and phenegan. If by Thursday morning if it does not subside then he has asked to come in for a review which may include a blood test for dengi.

Its just scary when you are holding a child who feels not warm but hot against your body. Very scary. She also threw up a couple of times because of the fever and looks so tired. Just not her normal chatty self. The last time it happened was years ago when Alysha had a ear infection.

I just hope its nothing. Please let it be nothing but just a throat infection. Please, please, please.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I feel so proud to be a mom

As I was walking out from Alysha's class this morning. You could see it on my face. I was beaming from ear to ear.

I don't usually drop Alysha off as I have go get to work early. Hubby drops her off. So I don't really get to speak to the teacher much. Today hubby was out of town and so I left really early to drop her off.

The teacher just went on and on about what an angel Alysha is. Of course we all know that she is not an angel all the time. No kid can ever be. But the teacher was very proud of her. "She has contributed to teaching language skills in the class" she said. According to her Alysha speaks very well and many kids have picked up lots of words form her. She also has very gentle, considerate and have good manners and now is willing to share most of the time.

Of course I felt proud but I don't know why but instead of saying thanks I ended up explaining that its all because of the habit of reading. Maybe its the typical Malaysia habit of not being able to take a compliment gracefully.

I have been reading to her since she was a child and till today I have to read her at least 2 book every night before bed. All the reading has not only given her an amazing vocabulary but also she is very knowledgeable about many things for a 4 year old.

For instance, her teacher gets very amused when she says she wants to be an astronaut coz she wants to reach the skies and touch the stars. This is from one of the books where elmo is in an astronaut suit. Books are so wonderful. And she has the most amazing collection of books for a kid.

Anyway, she went on saying how the up bringing of the child makes such a difference. Clearly she is getting a good foundation at home. She has seen many working mothers who neglect their children and work late. They rush off to work even without giving their kids a hug in the morning when they drop them off, etc, etc.

I felt so good. Being a juggler (you know what I mean), work, home, kids, husband, what else ??? is surely not easy. But I have been trying so hard to spend most of the time I have left after work with Alysha and have been managing well so far. Of course I have to give credit to my mom and my maid coz they are with her most of the time. Although my mom has a different style of parenting and often there is conflict between us because of it but she has learn to adjust to my style as much as she can. Same applied to my Suryani, my maid.

Must also give credit to hubby for learning to be a better parent and not screaming away like he used to.

My only fear is that with 2 kids now, I hope she will not regress in any way as I don't have as much time to spend with her anymore.

But then there is also this concept of benign neglect. I read a wonderful post on it and will posting my thoughts and experience on it soon.

Till then