Semi-Pro Tip #2

Sterimar Bebe. Great for blocked noses. Because. Sick babies.

Long story short. We have a sick baby on hand and therefore. Many sleepless nights. Sterimar Bebe helps with clearing the blocked nose and generally reliving the irritation a little. Only problem? He really hates being held down. Really really hates it. Now we just need to figure that out. 

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Semi-Pro tip #1

While I certainly am not a pro, I thought I’d start documenting interesting tips I’ve kinda figured out, usually too late and many dollars in.

For all working and pumping mums out there. When looking to buy pumps and bottles. Buy those that match. Ie. Narrow neck / wide neck bottles. Make sure they match! Cuts down on washing tremendously.

As I’ve mentioned before I own a whole collection of different bottles including both wide and narrow neck bottles. I used to only have a pump that fit wide neck bottles. It meant double the washing to pump and store and separately feed. I now own 2 pumps (long story for another day) but yes now all my bottles fit. My life is so much easier. 

Baby Outings

So recently I realised that there seems to be a parental fad. And that is baby-wearing or rather, the use of baby carriers to bring baby/toddle out (or in some cases even around the house). More specifically though, it seems this fad revolves largely around the Tula. I won’t go too much into the Tula, largely because I don’t have one and I’m entirely sold by the whole nice design/limited-edition design logic. When people ask if I have a Tula? Well yes, I have a baby carrier, it is not a Tula, but it fits my husband and I perfectly fine and the baby enjoys going out in it. But more on the carrier another time.

Today I thought I’d compare the use of a carrier to the use of a stroller for outings with the baby. Quick overview, for the carrier, we use the Chimparoo Trek Air-O which is well ventilated with the mesh backing so that baby doesn’t feel THAT warm. We got this at a babyfair for slightly less than the retail of $229.

Chimparoo.jpg

As for the stroller, we use the Aprica Optia. We got the Apica Optia direct from the wholesalers – Aprisin – although I believe this can also be bought at major retailers like Robinsons and Takashimaya for $999 as well. This is what the Aprica Optia looks like:

There are several colour options, but I like the colour blue. (Sidenote, there is a flower design on the inside of the canopy, which for some reason, the baby really loves staring at, I think it intrigues him. So much for the need for  a toy.)

So, what do we use when we go out? Well, it largely depends on whether or not I’m alone while bringing the baby out, or if we (meaning the husband and I) are going out together, usually with the car. Why is this so? Honestly, it’s probaby because the two of us are too lazy to bring the stroller out of the car and up to the house most of the time, and we just leave it in the car. Also, going out alone, without the car usually means I’m travelling either by taxi or by bus, and it’s just not that convenient to carry the stroller up and down while also carrying the baby. The baby carrier is very useful when i’m travelling alone because it means that I can wear the baby on me, leaving my hands free to do apparently simple things like lock the door or wear my shoes. And while it is NOT true that it is safe to travel with a baby in a baby carrier while in the car, it does provide slightly more peace of mind when I don’t have a choice in the taxi.

However, when we have the ability to, we usually prefer to use the stroller (particularly the husband, he loves the stroller). I think this is largely due to the ease that it provides when we are shopping or having a meal. The stroller is large and comfortable enough that the baby is quite happy lying down in it whilst we shop/eat. The Aprica Optia has a lie flat option, which means we’ve had baby in it since he was born with no problems what-so-ever. But now that he’s getting bigger and more curious about his surroundings, we’ve taken to raising it when he’s awake and he’s quite happy being able to take in his surroundings. The stroller gives us the ability to either face the parent or face out (by changing the direction of the handle bars) and this is useful just for us to be able to decide if we want to be able to see the baby or when he is awake and wants to look around more. *Pro-tip, in some situations I’ve found myself unable to reverse out of a place because there might be people around or something. I’ve resorted to simple changing the direction of the handlebars and pushing it straight out HAHAH.

I think what is truly useful about the stroller is that it has a huge basket at the bottom that we can just throw our shopping into which means we don’t have to lug everything around, and when it comes to outings with a baby, it can sometimes be A LOT of things to lug. Also, the husband really likes that the Aprica Optia has an impressive suspension system which means that going over bumps and humps (and it’s actually quite surprising how bumping walking around Singapore can be) doesn’t jar the baby too much. In fact, it is usually comfortable enough that he’ll fall asleep in it while we walk around. Throw in the fact that the canopy is HUGE and can cover the entire top of the stroller makes walking around sunny Singapore a breeze (not literally cos… HOT). We usually attach a small portable fan to the stroller just to keep baby cool on hot days, but the stroller doesn’t get too warm anyways. Its got some sort of mesh like material that forms the base that allows air to flow.

Which brings me to a very interesting observation/question I’ve been wondering about for a while. Notice how both the baby carrier we have and the stroller have mesh like materials so that the baby doesn’t get warm. This is Singapore after all. So, HOW IN THE WORLD DO PARENTS AND BABIES SURVIVE THIS THING CALLED AN INFANT INSERT?! Some strollers (like the Stokke) and most baby-carriers require the use of an infant insert till the baby is strong enough to hold up his/her neck which I guess is usually around 4 months. And while this might not be a problem when the temperature is a nice 15-25 degrees. How do people survive in Singapore? Most infant inserts I’ve seen are basically a thick additional layer of material (cotton I assume). Doesn’t this act like a comforter or quilt and retain heat? I don’t know. I don’t think I’ll be able to survive much less the baby.

Back to the topic. In summary, I like both the carrier and stroller for outings. I like outings period (so does baby). Given the option? We’d probably choose the stroller over the baby carrier BUT it depends on the occasion. As for our stroller, would I recommend for people to get the same one? Well. Yes and no. I think it comes down to several considerations: cost, functionality and comfort. It is a bit on the expensive side although you can probably get it for less the retail at baby fairs and such. It can go from birth till about 3 years so it can last for quite a while, and is cheaper than popular European models like the Stokke and Bugaboo (no need to buy a base and various components as the kid grows). So it really comes down to how much you want to spend on a stroller I guess? As for comfort, well I can only guess, but I think the baby enjoys it. Haha. and functionality; it moves very well and isn’t a heavy stroller, at about 7kg . Which means I can lug it around when needed, but it also does not fold down to be THAT small ie. it takes up a fair amount of boot space in our regular sedan. That being said as with all baby items, it comes down to preference which means please go try everything before you buy it. Don’t buy into the hype of designer strollers or carriers simply because well celebrities use it or bloggers “love” it. Its about your lifestyle (which usually varies very greatly from celebrities sadly) and budget.

Okay I’m finally done with this super long post. Kthanksbye.

 

Online shopping

So, I just had to post this today, because I just spent MORE money shopping online. This whole online shopping thing is both awful, terrible and amazing. Just some background, the husband and I both don’t shop online a lot. Maybe just black friday for good clothing deals, and really thats about it. The online app/site we frequent are probably Redmart and KnocKnock laundry (we launder our bedsheets cos it just makes life a bit easier). We get just about all our household needs (laundry detergent, cleaning detergent etc) through Redmart because they usually have stuff on sale AND it just easier then having to carry the stuff home. That was such a long sidetrack. What I really wanted to talk about was the fact that everyone keeps telling me that buying stuff online can potentially be much cheaper.

We really didn’t get into this online shopping thing until… 3 weeks ago. I really didn’t want to be buying too many things that might end up unnecessary or worse yet downright useless. BUT when my dear sister (who is very kind and almost always buys my stuff online for me) asked if we needed anything from Qoo10 because there was lots of baby stuff on sale. They had wipes on sale…So…. We got wipes. I mean we figured that the baby will need a large amount of wipes right? So we got a whole carton full of Jeju water wipes. I think it all went downhill from there.

Last weekend, I was just scrolling through her Qoo10 to see if there was anything of interest, and of cos there was. What kinda stupid question is that. I ended up asking her to help me get 4 packs of 40 Newborn diapers (Pampers) for like 38 bucks. Which really seems like quite a steal to me. BUT I ACTUALLY DON’T KNOW IF IT IS. And therein lies the problem with online shopping. EVERYTHING SEEMS LIKE SUCH A STEAL.

It jus so happens that Lazada is having some birthday sale this week. And I chanced upon it. WHICH MEANT THAT OF COS I HAD TO TAKE A LOOK. oh dear. I ended up purchasing YET MORE DIAPERS. This time, Size S Drypers touch, 280 pieces for like 58 bucks. With an additional 10% of the discount price.. so about 53 bucks? Which again seems like a steal to me… BUT I DON’T REALLY KNOW.

If you can’t already deduce, the hubs and I aren’t exactly the most kiasu parents out there. And by that I mean that we haven’t really done the whole price comparison, where to buy what kinda thing. In fact we’re kinda the opposite. We have ended up buying stuff like in the spur of the moment when it seems like its on sale, without really knowing. And I really don’t like clutter at home which has meant that we have not really bought stuff in bulk.

Which is why ONLINE SHOPPING IS DANGEROUS. You don’t see the amount of money you spend or the amount of stuff you’ve bought. BUT WHAT IF ITS TRULY CHEAPER. Such a dilemma. Okay enough ranting. More shopping??

What’s going on?

As I’m writing this, I’m hooked up to the CTG machine at the Doc’s for the 4th time today. Why? Cos they just can’t understand the readings it’s giving out. And why is that so? Cos the baby’s heartbeat keeps dipping every once in a while. The doctor has said that it could be a loss in connection (my suspicions because… Well… I can’t sit still hahah) or something else that might require more monitoring. The doctor has already done her ultrasound scan. And everything looks alright. Soo…. I’ll just sit here. And wait some more.

Anyways the CTG machine also monitors uterine contractions right. So. Much like before. The doctor goes. Oh you’re having contractions like every 3-4 mins or so (but still fairly mild ones) can you feel it.. well. I don’t know!? Sometimes i think its the baby moving. Sometimes i think i feel it. But really. No i dont feel anything too out of the norm hahaha. The doctor checked and there’s no dilation almost (0.5 cm) so… According to her the contractions ain’t working.. soooo.. we’ll wait some more. It seems like this last bit just involves a lot of waiting eh?

[Edit] So the second CTG proved… nothing. The baby’s heartbeat was fine.. nothing out of ordinary it seemed… so they let us go.. Because the baby’s EDD is on saturday (as my father put it D-3 days) we’ll have to come back again on friday if nothing happens between now and then. Here’s hoping that everything happens before saturday is over.. I don’t think people want to wait much longer than that AND one of baby’s godma is flying on Sunday. I do not think she will be pleased to not be around when the baby is born.

So the major question really is… WHEN DOES BABY WANNA COME AROUND !?

Who actually knows what contractions feel like!?

So… we’re in our 38 almost 39 week now. We just had our now weekly checkup with the doc yesterday, where she expectedly asked if I am having any contractions or anything. My answer was no. Because i thought… no. Hahaha. Well they hooked me up to some machine that monitors your contractions and baby’s heartbeat, just to monitor it for like 20 mins.

Lo and behold, the nurse comes back after the doc has seen the readings just to let us know “oh the doctor says that you’re having some mild contractions now, if they become more severe can admit already”. Wow. Like okay so here’s the thing right. What are mild contractions as opposed to like a general stomachache (that I actually did have like 2 days ago, that resulted in.. well.. typical stomachache results in the loo) and like the baby just making things really uncomfortable. I have no idea. I know understand how people can like randomly give birth in the toilet and stuff.

Anyway, this really is just me rambling because I’m working from home and being alone at home makes me bored. And goodness knows when this baby actually wants to come out. Oh wells.

Sidenote, so based on H’s last post, I  realised he actually write really well (and is much more interesting than I am) therefore shall get him to update this more. kthanksbye.

26 weeks.

So. 26 weeks. 6 and a half months. I have had so many people ask me how I am. And you know what? I definitely lucked out with this pregnancy, because life has been… okay actually. Sleep has been a bit hit and miss, I don’t think I’ve managed a full nights sleep in a while, and my back has definitely been acting up, but aside from that it has been quite manageable. Oh but the stretching bump can get very uncomfortable, kinda like when you’ve eaten too much at a buffet… but about twice as bad. It’s uncomfortable guys, and every time someone tells me to eat more.. its just not possible.

I’ve actually been able to exercise more now than in this second trimester in the first. During my first trimester, I was falling asleep the moment we got home and the thought of exercising was impossible. Right now, I take walks fairly frequently (I actually really wanna go for a run outside, but because the only time I really want to do so is lunch and I think thats just too hot for my body to handle), I run on the elliptical in the gym at home along with some free weights just to keep the arms in shape and pilates about once a week. Pilates has honestly been quite a godsend for my back. I don’t stretch very much either on a regular basis or after exercising (bad i know) so being forced to stretch during pilates, under the watchful eye of an instructor is so good. I always walk away from class feeling so much better.

What else has happened in the past few weeks? Well H and I have made our first major purchases for munchkin. We’ve gone ahead to get a stroller, a playpen, a car seat and a rocker. I’ll elaborate a bit more when we actually get everything delivered? But the moral to this story was… despite the fact that my parents were with us, and we got expert advice for everything… things can get so overwhelming. I think it was even more overwhelming because we’ve read up about all these things, had so many preconceived notions. While having some background was useful, I think allowing the experts (if you have trusted ones) to guide you along and point you in the right direction is also helpful. We ended up purchasing Aprica brand stuff. Aprica is a Japanese brand that you probably will not see so many reviews of online, but in real life was really quite outstanding.

Which brings me to my next issue. Many things we read and see online are from Western moms. And whilst their experiences are likely to be very helpful, there are subtle differences be it size (Asians are IN GENERAL smaller), climate (temperate vs tropical), lifestyle (cars vs public transport etc), the list goes on and on. Don’t let what you read online dictate your decision. Honestly, seeing everything in real life and understanding H and my lifestyle really ended up dictating our purchases more than anything.

Look at me already preaching and I don’t even have a child yet. I should stop. I’m going to stop. Kthanksbye.

So here we go.

So I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and decided it might be a good idea to document my thoughts/this journey whilst it happens, if I can keep it up.

Lets back up a second. What journey? Well, for starters, I got married last year. And sometime in July this year, my husband (lets call him H shall we?) and I found out that we were expected. Que slight freak out.

Why? because i guess you could say that I’ve always been active. I used to run about 4k a day during lunch (because really its the only way to keep the work weight off) on top of regularly playing fairly competitive netball. But its the lifestyle I’ve kept for a long time now, and honestly till I stopped it all it never occurred to me how time consuming (and frankly sometimes tiring) and important to my sense of self all this exercise was.

So back to finding out. We found out I was expecting kinda towards the end of a long-ish netball season. We (namely I because really I don’t think the husband was as inclined) decided that it would be fine to just play on, but more gently (which is difficult, for me anyways). Fingers crossed, nothing happened. We made it through the season and all that.

Then came the hard part. Exercising in your first trimester. Everyone you read online has something different to say about it. Well, regardless, I wasn’t personally able to. Frankly, I as tired all the time (I’d fall asleep at 8 at night on a fairly regular basis), I wasn’t eating well (while there was no real throwing up, my stomach would churn at just about every smell imaginable) and really I just couldn’t bring myself to leave the house sometimes.

It’s been better since. I’m coming to the end of my second trimester and honestly, everything has been better. The baby has been doing alright based on tests and ultrasounds.

The lack of exercise has been frankly quite uncomfortable though. So the moment I could, I signed up for pilates class and have been trying to go once a week. I go to the gym to work on the eliptical once or twice a week. It hasn’t been the same.

So, in summary. I just want to be able to pen down some thoughts i have now and I’m sure in the future about: 1. having a kid. 2. exercising while having a kid. 3. potentially getting back into competitive sport. We shall see how it all goes. This is it for now.