Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Blake Flips

7 February 2011: This video contains a milestone of Blake's first year :) That very evening, our little boy learned how to flip himself, from his back to his chest! We were so excited when we saw him achieve such an awesome feat the first time, we were eager to video the process. He was pretty tired by the time we finally caught him doing the complete flip (previous recorded videos he only managed to turn to his side).

On hindsight, I don't know if we were being horrible parents for leaving him there, crying and very frustrated. Or, if we were doing something right; teaching him values of never giving up when one's determined to do something, no matter how tough the process might be.

Monday, May 28, 2012


22 January 2011:

One of the things most babies have to go through is vaccinations.

I dread whenever Blake has to go for one. I always fear the fever that comes after and the losing of sleep that night. But, I know if my son don't develop the fever (and if the fever don't go away overnight), then he is not building immunity against that particular whatever they injected him with. Not all vaccinations means fever will develop though, only some.

The first time Blake developed fever after one of his vaccinations, he had two injections to his thighs. It was rather funny actually, seeing how it all unfolded.

Dr. Yip, injected one thigh, and naturally, Blake cried out loud but only for a split second, and then he was ok. Or so he thought... Dr. Yip then injects the other thigh (yes, we sometimes inject 2 different vaccinations at a go), and he screams even louder than the earlier injection.

I'm terrified of needles, and I didn't watch the doctor inject Blake (thank goodness for Sean!), I just concentrated on Blake's face the whole time. After the first injection, his face really did look like it was saying, "Phew! It's over!" And when the second injection went in, his face went, "What!? Again!? I feel cheated!" It took a lot longer to calm him down after the second injection.

Blake starting developing his fever when we were heading home, after we walked around town for most of the day. We already had those cooling gel patches on standby to put it onto his forehead to keep the temperature down. Problem was, it wouldn't stay on. Either Blake peels it off, or it drops off on its own when Blake's sleeping on his side. So we came up with our own solution - using plaster to  hold it down.

It lasted the whole night, but it was rather painful to remove it cos some of Blake's hair got caught in it. Not very pleasant. We have since changed to using those white surgical tape (not sure if that's what it's called), which are easier to remove when in contact with water.

  My brave little boy! I don't think I'll even be ready to play the very next day after a vaccination!  

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Tummy Time

Tummy times are great for babies. It a way for them to learn how to use their body muscles to the fullest, which is essential for babies cos this will progress to sitting, crawling, standing and eventually, walking. Tummy time helps 'teach' your baby how to lift their heads up, how to flip, basically use every muscle in their body!

We didn't start Blake on tummy time as early as some parents do (some start as young as 1 month old!). No, it's not cos we were afraid or anything. We didn't know about it! I only found out about it after reading some materials that were sent to me via a website called Baby Center (Singapore). It's an awesome website, by the way, if you're a first time parent. It helps you track your pregnancy progress, and your baby's first year. It was sort of the guide that got us through this period.

So, when we found out about tummy time, we started to do a once a day 'training' for him. In the beginning, he wasn't very please about it. He cried quite a lot, but slowly, he got used to it! He even begin to enjoy being on his tummy more than on his back!

14 January 2011:

We had tons of fun during this period! I remember spending almost every waking moment that's free of feeding, cleaning etc. on our bed having tummy time with him (this was after he has gotten used to tummy time and enjoyed it). It was also the period where I can just leave him on the bed (he couldn't turn yet!), cushion all corners, and fall asleep on the end of the bed. Haha. Not recommended, by the way. But I was often tired and lying on the bed... Well, it just goes one way. Haha!

18 January 2011:

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Chinese New Year 2011

Chinese New Year, or Lunar New Year, 2011 was really exciting for us. I believe every 'first' celebration together as a family is really exciting. I remember buying new clothes for both father and son really early. I believe I bought the clothes 1-2 months in advance! And yes, I was worrying quite a bit - what if Blake outgrows the clothes before Chinese New Year? Fortunately, one of the outfits was still a little big and the other fitted nicely :)

2 February 2011: The eve of Chinese New Year (CNY) was a belly-full event. We had steamboat at both our parents' place for dinner! Travelling with Blake was not much of an issue for us as our parents stay really near us, we could walk most of the time :) It was also really sweet of my dad for loaning us the car, just in case the weather changed or something.

From L to R: My father-in-law, Sean carrying Blake, me, and my mother-in-law

Didn't take any with my parents that year cos we were all so busy catching up!

3 February 2011: Day one of CNY was spent with the family. The morning was pretty rush for me as I had to get everything ready before Blake woke up. I have since come up with a smarter, and not so rushed, method of doing things. Pack everything the night before! I will be able to get more sleep too :P And if I throw in the clothes to be worn as well, there will be less to think and do the next day!

Once we were all ready, we stepped out of the house and walked over to my mother's place, where we had lunch with my cousins, uncles and aunties (Blake's aunts and uncles, grand-uncles and grand-aunts).

The star of the day was none other than Blake! Everyone wanted a piece of him, but the little boy is picky when it comes to who can carry him. I think only people with similar body structures to me or Sean were able to carry him.

4 February 2011: Day two of CNY, we did a little visiting.

We went to my paternal grandma's cousin's place. We call her Bei Po, which means elder grand-uncle's wife (I think. That's what my mom taught us to address her, from the time we could speak). I remember going to her place every year for CNY growing up, and visiting her place was always fun cos there will be tons of goodies for children to eat!

That year, we went over to her new place to pay her a long awaited visit, and to also introduce Blake to her. She became a great-grandmother not too long ago!

Here's my mom with Blake on her lap, giving mandarin oranges to Bei Po. It's a way of exchanging well wishes and greetings over CNY :)

We had an awesome time there. Blake really enjoyed himself! Good company makes babies feel comfortable and relaxed :)

After spending some time there, we went back home to enjoy the rest of the public holiday as a family, where we taught Blake how to hold the oranges. Hehe.

Gong Xi Gong Xi (our way of saying "good luck")

Looking at his Reflections

4 January 2010: Blake’s cute expressions caught on camera. He was looking at himself through the flip screen of my camera.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Year 2010 Review by Blake

1 January 2011: Blake giving us a short summary of the wonderful time he had in 2010 :)

Blake's Laughter

1 January 2011: The first recording of Blake’s laughter. We were swinging a red tiger plush that my aunt (his grant-aunt) gave to him after returning from an overseas trip. For some reason, it always cracks him up whenever he saw the red tiger plush swing! In my book, a baby’s laughter is always good stuff happening :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Christmas 2010 and New Year 2011

24 December 2010 - 1 January 2011: Christmas Eve 2010 through till 2011! :)

Christmas Eve, we spent some family time at home. We don't really fancy squeezing with the crowds, plus, whatever Christmas shopping that was to be done, was long done!

Our first Christmas as a family.

On Christmas day itself, Blake was wearing a shirt that my mom bought back from USA. It was way too big for him at that time, but we couldn’t resist it!

That Christmas morning, while we were out for breakfast, Sean bought a dancing poodle for Blake! Blake enjoyed watching it dance so much, but a couple of days later, he got really frightened by it for some reason! It’s funny how babies can like one thing so much at a moment, and the next thing you know, they are so terrified by it.

Then came New Year! We had quite a bit of fun on New Year's day, playing with Blake and videoing him speaking baby. It was also the first time we heard him burst out laughing! :D

Bathing the Baby

The first three weeks since giving birth, I have never bathed for Blake. It was my grandma who had been doing it for me. I was a little afraid, and with me still in confinement, I'm supposed to touch water as little as possible.

On the first day of the last week of confinement, my grandma told me to watch and learn how to bath for Blake for when we return home. The next day, she asked me to give it a go, but I didn't dare to. I never dared to until we really went home, and I had no choice but to bath for Blake on my own. I even thought of bringing Blake over every single day to have my grandma bath for him! I laugh at that thought now, but I remember being very serious about it then.

Cleaning his ears, face, and washing his hair were the starters. These are all done before Blake goes into the bath tub, which was set on top of our sink. Diaper will be kept on until the very moment before he goes in. We don't want any accidents - big or small! After which, Blake goes into tub!

His mittens are kept on throughout most of time as he had the tendency of scratching himself. I guess most babies behave this way? The mittens only come off to have his hands washed just before he comes out of the tub.

It wasn't so tough, actually. I just needed confidence and practice. Gradually, bathing for Blake became an easy task. And it only got easier!

Bath time on weekends are all done by the super hands-on daddy! :)

Blake started to take showers instead, like a big boy, after turning 13 months old! :D

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Art of Baby Manicure

Trimming fingernails for babies is truly an art. It requires skills, good eyes, sturdy hands, and a whole lot of patience.

In the first two months, Sean was the one who did the trimming. However, due to a tiny accident, he decided to stop doing it, and I have taken over since.

What happened? Well, Blake was struggling quite a bit, lying on the bed, as Sean trimmed his fingernails and then, Blake cried. Sean had clipped, and Blake moved his fingers. No prizes for guessing what was clipped instead of the fingernail!

Sean quickly took some tissue to press against the open wound, while I went to get some first aid supplies (very important, people! always good to have them around!).

We did our best in wrapping up such tiny fingers, while still allowing some breathing space for the wound to heal, with big grown-up first aid stuff. It took us a while to figure the best way to wrap the open wound that's secure but not too tight.

Note to all parents with babies: Buy baby-size first aid stuff!

Babies heal small wounds like these at an amazing rate. His fingers were all healed the very next day! No signs of it ever gotten cut in the first place!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Moving Home

The first month after giving birth was spent at my mom's place, where my mom and grandma took care of Blake and me. After Blake turned one month old, we moved back home.

We were more tired than ever cos we had to handle every single thing on our own - housework, taking care of Blake from day to night. We hardly had any sleep. His colic didn't help much either. Blake wanted to be carried to fall asleep, and when sleeping. He wanted to be carried all the time.

Honestly, during his second and third month, Sean and I quarreled every other day due to lack of sleep, and for me, the lack of hygiene as well. I almost don't get to shower (and breastfeeding is seriously messy business!) when Sean's not around, much less be able to wash my hair. Those days I get to stand under the shower for just one minute, I feel very, very blessed.

We took naps whenever we could and slept for as long as we could. And yes, this was how I ate for 2-3 months when I was home alone with him, and he needed to be carried to sleep.

It took me a while to even get out of the house to buy me some proper food for lunch. I was eating instant everything during that period. Not that I mind, I kind of love eating instant stuff like instant noodles :P

On hindsight, I actually kind of miss this period. I miss him wanting to be attached to my body 24/7. Now, he's just running all over the place! Haha.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Admitting Blake into Hospital

Blake returned to the hospital, five days after he was born, for a check up. His pediatrician,  Dr. Yip, says he has a case of jaundice but a blood test was required to determine if Blake had to be hospitalized for treatment.

Sean held onto Blake when the nurse was preparing to draw blood out of our little boy. Only one of us was allowed to be with Blake, so I waited outside. According to Sean, the nurse drew blood from the heel of Blake's foot. The minute the needle entered, Blake struggled and cried.

An hour later, when the results were out, we were told that Blake had to undergo treatment for 20+ hours at the hospital, and us parents were not allowed stay. All infants are placed in one big nursery where nurses looked after them. We had no choice but to leave our baby's side for one night.

After we admitted Blake into the hospital, we left for lunch and headed home for some much needed rest.
Immediately after dinner, we went to the hospital again to visit our little boy. We only had two hours with our boy before he had to return to the nursery for his treatment.

Blake scratched himself badly throughout the entire UV treatment. He had to be stripped down to just diaper for the treatment, and so his hands were free to scratch. It broke our hearts to see his face covered with bloodied scratches!

Time passed so quickly. Very soon, the nurse came to tell us that he had to return for his treatment. She said if everything goes well, we will be able to bring Blake home the very next morning.

I wasn't able to sleep well that night, and woke up early the next morning, waiting for the hospital to call. When the call finally came, I rushed out of the house to pick my baby up.

While waiting for the nurse to process his papers for discharge, I changed him into the clothes I brought from home, while he laid asleep.

Blake still had a bit of jaundice when we left the hospital, but it was in the safe zone. It cleared up on its own eventually :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Our first family photo :)

9 September 2010:

Minutes after I got to my room, after delivering my baby, Sean came into the room with our baby.

He was so tiny! I remember looking at him wondering if it was all real.
Up till this day, I can tell you, it still feels surreal.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Baby's Arrival

Let's start from the day before Blake was born.

It was 8 September 2010, our estimated due date (EDD) for Blake was 9 September 2010. I felt a lot movements, which was as usual, but I also felt some pain. Not intense but it was discomforting. I have been quite paranoid in the last 2 weeks of my pregnancy (the day my gynae said, "anytime now!"). I had tons of worries and fears about actually giving birth, and whether my boy will be born healthy (or even born at all!).

So that evening, I called my gynae, Dr. Lim, and told him what I was feeling. He said I could be experiencing early contractions, and that baby could arrive anytime now. The minute Sean came home, I told him and he said, "Let's have dinner first, and we'll head down to the hospital."

The pain was on and off, I had no appetite for dinner. All I was thinking then was, "my baby's coming, and everyone's so calm!"

When we finally arrived at the hospital, we were led to the maternity ward. Dr. Lim arrived a little later, and did a check. He said what I was experiencing was definitely contractions, but in the really early stage. But he said I should stay in the hospital, just in case the baby decides to just 'pop'. The nurses monitored me closely, and we spent the night there. Nothing.

Dr. Lim came in early in the morning at about 7.30am, checked again and said, "Still a little early, but I can tell you, baby's on its way." He asked if we wanted to go home, and wait it out or to just burst my water bag and have the baby now. It was our EDD, after all. Part of me wanted to wait, but the other part of me was afraid - what if I keep him in longer, and he dies? Weird thoughts I have, I know. In the end, we decided to go with Dr. Lim's suggestion to burst my water bag, and have our baby.

So I had needles plugged into me, and my water bag burst. Oh, I had my intestines cleared out too. Whatever the nurse gave me, it only took less than one minute for it to take effect, instead of the supposed ten.

Things plugged into me

Then we text and called our family to inform them, to which my mom rushed down immediately. Did I mention that it was her birthday that day? :)

When the contractions became a little too unbearable, I opt for laughing gas, skipping the thigh injections. Sean wanted to give my mom an update of our progress, so he took a photo and went out to the waiting area to show her.

The first photo shown to my mom

The photo apparently shocked my mom, so Sean came back in to take another one, and went back out to assure her that I was doing ok.

The second photo shown to my mom

Soon, the laughing gas was no longer effective, and I was breathing more laughing gas than oxygen. I was laughing, and crying at the same time, and my eyes could barely stay open. I wasn't high or anything, but I was definitely not in the right frame of mind. I was delirious, I guess. Sean got a little worried when I started crying harder, and asked if I would prefer to go for epidural, which I did.

The Epidural

I was initially really terrified of the idea of a needle sticking up my back, but when I was in that state, I couldn't feel, much less think, of anything! You have no idea how happy I was to have been off the laughing gas, and able to talk normally! Only thing was, I couldn't feel anything from waist down. All I felt was numbness, sort of a fuzzy vibration kind of numbness.

A couple of hours later, it was time. Dr. Lim and the nurses came in. Sean was asked to hold my head forward, Dr. Lim had that sucking machine on standby in case baby needed some sucking assistance to come out. I can't be sure what happened, but the next thing I saw was this thing that the nurse put on top of me, and before I could see much of what it was, it was taken away. According to Sean, I pushed a total of three times, but I was using the wrong muscles for the first two pushes. So technically, Blake took only one push to be out! Hehe.

By the time I was able to lift my head up, I heard the nurse screaming, and a baby crying, and i saw a stream of fluid hitting the nurse's chest. Dr. Lim then said, "Baby's urine is sterile. Don't have to panic."

Baby has arrived!

And there, my baby has arrived :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

The First Post

Just a bit of background information for my first post. My husband, Sean, and I (I’m Mabel, by the way) have been married for 5 lovely years when we got pregnant. The pregnancy period had been awesome and very, very exciting! And when baby (that will be Blake!) arrived in this world, things couldn’t get any better :)

Except, I haven’t been having the best memory of late.

When I try to recall some of the fonder memories from Blake’s first year, almost everything is a haze! And that’s not good! I mean, I can remember it in bits and pieces, but I can’t quite put them all together :( I want to be able to tell my boy about stories of and how he was when growing up - from peeing on the nurse when he was born (first order of business upon arriving into this world, so to speak) to his first baby talk to his first step… everything!

Last night, I kept tossing in bed, wondering how I could best manage a diary of some sort, which won’t require much effort, can be left unattended, and without fear of Blake destroying it. Don’t know why the internet never occured to me until now (I blame my wonked out brain).

I might just print every single post out too, to file them. You know, just in case everything disappears (remember Friendster, anyone?).

So basically, this journal records every possible moment I spend with my little family, and how I grew up with them.