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Hope your weekend’s going well. Here’s a paragraph I absolutely enjoyed from one of today’s articles on the NYTimes titled “Raising Successful Children.” I’m sure a few of you would’ve seen this, too.

“A loving parent is warm, willing to set limits and unwilling to breach a child’s psychological boundaries by invoking shame or guilt. Parents must acknowledge their own anxiety. Your job is to know your child well enough to make a good call about whether he can manage a particular situation. Will you stay up worrying? Probably, but the child’s job is to grow, yours is to control your anxiety so it doesn’t get in the way of his reasonable moves toward autonomy.”

Something to ruminate over this weekend (or in my case, Monday!). Have a good one.

These last two weeks have seen me returning to some of the things I used to do pre-Benji.

1) Exercise/Fitness: I joined this fitness program for new moms, Fit42 that has classes all over BC and in some other provinces in Canada and started with the least strenuous level as I had not been exercising since Benji’s birth. Overall, the classes have been really enjoyable and went at a good pace: some slightly more strenuous circuits than others. It is a good class to ease my way in to more challenging activities in a couple months, for example, jogging.

20120413-144455.jpgI also started swimming again. It’s an exercise I have always enjoyed and still did when I was heavily pregnant at 36 weeks with Benji. So when I found out that the Vancouver Aquatic Center has child minding services Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays from 9am – 1pm, I went out almost immediately, bought swim gear (did not take it with me from Australia!! How silly!), and hit the pool. Did 15 laps which left me feeling invigorated for the next few hours…hoping to be able to do at least 25 by the end of the month or early next month. Good to have some goals.

2) Sleep: Exhaustion from the swim and taking care of this little guy drove me to stop messing around on the internet or watching unnecessary television and hit the sack early at 9pm. Which was great, because Benji only woke up at 530am and that, if I did the math right, meant I got 8.5 hours of sleep. Uninterrupted. My longest stretch since probably the last few weeks of pregnancy (I had lots of trouble sleeping from about 34 weeks on). Needless to say, the sleep was AMAAAAAZZING. I am so thankful to have gotten good rest.

3) Read: Benji has started occupying himself a bit more these days. In fact, sometimes he just wants to be left alone. Good for him AND me! I started reading again in the day and am actually able to get through about 5 to 6 pages at a go while he’s awake and preoccupied with his toy or his feet (he’s now addicted to uhm, trying to put his toes in his mouth. I am VERY concerned and will express that in my next post to come soon)

4) Dine out: Between the 3rd and 4th month, Benji was extremely fussy during the “witching” hour from 5pm-7pm. Taking him out to restaurants for our dinners was impossible because he would cry and scream and demand our undivided attention. However, since his eczema got better and he started sleeping through the night, his temperament also got better and reverted to how he was in the first couple months: relatively mellow. Seeing this improvement, we decided to take a gamble and try a family dinner out at a restaurant in our neighborhood that serves food with gluten and dairy free options!! The food was great,  and I was able to get a gluten and dairy free pecan pie with coconut ice cream dessert (YUM, first dessert in foreverrr!!) AND Benji was totally chilled out. Win!

I’m know this easy ride is not gonna last long but I’m enjoying it while I can…

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Since about a week ago we have noticed obvious new developments in the little guy. He has been drooling a lot more and putting his hands in his mouth as well. These are all normal developments and they show that the little guy is now starting to be more aware of his body parts, exploring these little movements and hands, and is also able to control his movements a bit more, instead of just continuously flailing his arms and legs. It’s so interesting that these developmental milestones (the drools, the sucking of fists/fingers/hands) are universal ones. That all babies innately learn how to do this at almost the same time, regardless of culture, race, and gender, is pretty fascinating.

God’s creations are marvelous, don’t you think?

Hello new year!

I’m enjoying every moment with our little man. One of my resolutions this year is to start recording all of Benji’s firsts — his first 7 hour sleep stretch (last night; hence I have time to blog!!), his first responsive smile, etc. As I mentioned in the previous post, he’s developing so rapidly: there’s almost always a surprise awaiting us every week. Sure, Bry and I are still battling sleep deprivation; in fact, Bry is down with a mild flu today, what a bummer! And I’m still feeling sore boobs from breastfeeding, but the look on that precious little face surpasses any negative feelings.

STILL loving parenthood so far. 2012, let’s go!

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At day 26, our little Benj is now weighing 4.2kg and measuring 55cm, up about 400 grams and 4cm from about 10 days ago. I’m glad to receive this report as this means he’s feeding well — very well! His measurements are also in the 60th percentile which makes me, an extremely petite Asian mom, very happy. Check out his chubbeh cheeks…

The first 20 days of motherhood has been filled with much love, warmth and joy. I love holding little Benji and rocking him to sleep, and watching him make little expressions with his face. With all the good parts, however, also come the challenging bits. Just as I thought discomforts are over after the pregnancy, I find myself still having to battle pains – both old and new ones. Here’s some of them:

– Pelvic pain: yes, still have them, which is restricting me from walking around too much. I’ve been doing my pelvic floor exercises (or Keegel exercises, as it’s called in America) quite religiously and whilst I can feel huge improvement, I’ve still gotta be very cautious not to exert myself too much.

– Nursing: this is probably the biggest and most stressful bit of motherhood for me at the moment. I’m constantly paranoid that my boobs are going to explode if I don’t get rid of the milk on time be it through breastfeeding or expressing (using a breast pump). Also, nobody really tells you just how sore your nipples can really get the first few weeks of feeding, and I felt totally incompetent and kind of a whimp when for a few days I did not dare breastfeed because of the pain. In fact, I’m still trying to get over the mental and physical hurdles of breastfeeding. I’m into about day 10-12 of serious breastfeeding but am still unable to do it exclusively. It’s stressing me out big time but this is something I’ve got to really pray about and trust that, in time, it will get better. :-/

– Sleep – what sleep? I haven’t had more than 4 hours of sleep in a row since Benji’s birth, which, when coupled with hormonal changes, resulted in an extremely cranky me the first week. I have soon learned to control my temper a little more but still find myself exhausted and brain power running on a low speed. I had friends over a few days ago for dinner and had a bit of trouble keeping up with the conversations because I was simply too exhausted.

In saying all that, I thank God that I have been getting maximum support from my parents and Bry in all areas, especially nursing. They all know it’s a huge challenge for me and I can’t thank them enough for being so supportive and encouraging.

I just hope the road ahead will get a little physically easier for me but even if it doesn’t, waking up to this little face with his variety of cutesy little expressions makes it all worth while.