Sunday, September 17, 2017

Roller-coaster ride.

The first weeks of pantang (confinement) has always been a torture for me. Everytime I think about the recovery process --- the engorgement, the fear of doing number two, the healing of wounds (c-section for the first and vaginal wound for the next two), the seram sejuk nak demam tak demam, restless sleepless nights, roller-coaster emotion --- honestly it scares me more than the labour itself.

Most moms I know say the same thing. Recently I talked to a close relative whose youngest is already 8 but she could still recall in vivid details the horror of early weeks of pantang. Most moms have different set of stories to share but it all will lead to the same conclusion that early days after labour is certainly not a bed of roses. A bed of rose thorn, maybe.

I wrote about post partum depression before on my old blog. It is real. It could happen to any one of us. But physical recovery is another hellish issue altogether. Your recovering body will feel foreign and it will sometimes feel like it is betraying you. What's more with lack of sleep, abstinence of ice cream and iced mocha, minimal fresh air, adjusting to your newborn, aah the whole drill. 

But call me crazy; a precious sweet smelling newborn baby is somewhat worth the ride.


Saturday, September 9, 2017

Unconditional.


The husband said this is favouritism sums up in one picture. LOL. 

I don't think any normal parents have only one particular favourite child --- we may have one that we like more at that particular time because he was behaving better, or eats the food we cooked without complaints, or simply because he takes morning naps LOL --- but we love our children equally as much, or as little (depending on the situation). It is just common that the smallest one gets more attention because he needs it more.

When I was pregnant with Noah, it was a bittersweet journey for both me and Hadi. Hadi was already 3 when I finally found the courage for another child, so it's been a while that it was just me and Hadi. I knew things would surely change once he had to share his mommy's love and attention, and even I was not sure I could love another child as much as I love my firstborn. 

Oh boy was I wrong. Your heart is surely made to expand for the love of your children (Children! NOT WIVES!) 

And like I always say, that’s the awesome thing about a mother’s love; there’s always room for more.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Perfectly imperfect.


(This is from my phone notes from September 2, 2017)  

I just saw a video made by a mom with a wheelchair-bound kid. The video tells a story of how one day, two curious kids stared & asked many questions to their mother about her special boy - why can't he walk or talk, why he looks like that etc and after the mother failed to silence them, he brought his boys to meet the special boy to say hi and she awesomely took the opportunity to educate them about special need kids.

The video talks about how moms with special need kids are used to the stares, and comments and whispers because most people are scared to engage with these special kids & the ones who are not scared, sometimes make inappropriate comments. 

Yes Noah gets stared at a lot. He doesn't need a wheelchair yet but a kid lying down doing nothing in a stroller does look a bit odd. Sometimes they are pity stares, sometimes they are loving but sometimes, believe it or not, they are shocked look. I mean come on, do you really live in your perfect little bubble that you never seen a non-typical kid before? Cover your shocked faces, aunties.

If you go to the therapy centers, especially those government-owned ones, you'll see a lot of these non typical kids with their loving family, so loved and cared for. But why do you rarely see these kids in the mall or at the park? This is one of the reasons! People often fear what they don't know. They give you pity stares, they openly show you their shocked faces, they ask private, inappropriate and sometimes judgmental questions (like, "he is 4 and still can't walk?", "ooh why don't you bring him to specialist / therapy/ bomoh or whatsoever?", "have you tried everything?") Sometimes when questions got asked lovingly and I am in the mood to answer, I'll explain shortly but precisely. But when they are unkind remarks, I'd just smile politely while grunting in the inside.

I understand that it is hard to be understanding when you've never been there. You may be sympathetic but you can never truly get it. I understand that I too, could have been one of those inappropriate aunties had I not been blessed with this journey. But community need to be educated and enlightened that there are a lot of special need people around us. And that it is OK to be OK with them and their own special ways.

So I thought it is beautiful what the mother of the two boys did. She educated them that there are people in this world that are born different. That just because there are none in their family, doesn't mean they need to be fearful or judgmental of one. That God made them different. That it is OK to be different. That it is OK to be OK with people who are different. 

It really is OK. We have accepted our fate and Noah's too but we have never ceased hope and prayer. We go to therapies and do everything we can to keep him happy and healthy and to help him thrive in his own non-typical, special ways. And it really is OK.



Monday, September 4, 2017

Ain't no river wide enough.

LOL my blogging mojo came very rapidly and went away just as fast. So random. 

Did you read about the successful Muslim lady who built her $2.3M Shea Terra organic beauty business while homeschooling her kids? Ain't that something? I can't even last more than an hour of teaching my eldest. Even helping him with his school works could sometimes stressed the hell out of me. How did Tammie Umbel do it? Making herself rich while at the same time raising and teaching her kids? That is one extraordinary woman!

But like all things, you just need to have the right attitude, the drive and the willpower to get things done. If you put your mind to it, there ain't no mountain high enough. Wow writing positive affirmations is certainly so much easier than practising them LOL! (But you gotta start somewhere)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

In sickness and in health.

The firstborn caught a nasty bug at drama workshop recently and had to skip school. Poor baby but he looked just fine when he gets to stay home and watch TV. Typical! LOL. In this one I am gonna share what to do if your kid fell sick - this is not in any way a medical advice, merely a tips from one mommy to another. 

What to do if you child caught a fever?

First of all, DO NOT PANIC. As a young mommy-of-one, I panicked a lot. Three sneezes was all it takes for me to take him to see the paed. LOL. Fever is not something you should take for granted, true, especially in very young children, but you shouldn't panic too easily either. Know what works or could work for your kids, and you will be more confident to tackle their issues. 

If you are against modern medicine, you can stop reading now. I am the type that will go with whatever that works for my family so yeah that includes liquid PCM, suppository med, essential oils, honey, chicken soup, lotsa plain water and lotsa hugs. As a mommy, it'd best to have these on stand-by: digital thermometer, liquid PCM & supp. 

Sponge till it drops!
The moment your kid's temp reaches 37.5c, take off his clothing and start sponging, using sponge or soft cloth, soaked in room temp water. Trust me his temp would drop immediately. Pay more attention to armpits, joints, behind ears and private areas. 

"Medicines are like colouful little doctors" - Hadi 
Administer some liquid PCM (check kids weight for dosage). If it's night time, insert a supp as well (this is a protocol taught by our family doctor). Give PCM every 4 hourly if necessary. Sponge every now and then. Make him drink lotsa plain water. Give some honey. Feed him homemade chicken soup and give lots of hugs. Oh and force them to sleep / rest. 

Rub a dub dub
If you're into essential oils, lavender, lemon, peppermint and/or eucalyptus can be diluted with carrier oil (I usually use organic VCO) & be massaged on your kids' feet bottom, base of the neck, temple. They can also be diffused; your house will smell fresh and nice too. Some mommies use lemons socks (put lemon slice inside socks and make kids wear them) but this never work with my kids because they hated it. Well, I would too. 

If after all these protocols have been done and still the fever doesn't subside, take him to see a doctor for blood test and all that. Better safe than sorry! Oh and mommies, be prepared to hear LOTSA WHINING. They come with that, yes.


LOL. And be sure it isn't just that before you let them skip school.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Snapshots of moments.


(The first two paras are from my phone notes written back in March) 

The life you see on Instagram or any social media that is, is not real life. They are snapshots of moments, a small fraction of someone's reality. 

We see photos of young children behaving impeccably and we look at our kids and think, why can't you be more like them? When in fact what we see is only a frozen 2 seconds of their life. Marion Caunter's life, for instant, seems picture perfect on Instagram but who really knows what goes on behind the screen? (I bet her reality is perfect too though LOL) This is why sometimes it's really shocking when we hear of news like when a couple got a divorce, because I just saw them looking happy on an overseas trip together last month? Or that she just got retrenched? But she is always happily sharing her new handbag collections! She's a bitchy boss?! But she seems so loved by her people?!

Behind the fabulous family vacation we see on Instagram for example, are just the same thing we parents face everyday. Sibling fights, whining bored/ hot/ sleepy / tired kids, struggle to get them kids to eat / sit quietly / nap. LOL. But the snippets of moments we choose to share are almost always the sweetest, because that's just how we want to remember it.

I can't imagine if social medias exist when I was growing up. The process of personal growth and self discovery was hard enough without peer pressure constantly bugging your life at the palm of your hand. Sigh I weep for younger generation.

We share a small part of our lives that we are comfortable to bare to the world, but you don't always need to know about the night I quarreled with my husband and felt bad, or the day my firstborn made me so mad my heart almost burst out of anger and sadness, or the tears I had every time I feel melancholic about my special child. Only recently after 3 years did I first openly write about Noah and my heart felt at ease after I did that, because sometimes getting things out of your system can be detoxifying for your soul. 

Most of us pick and choose what we share with people, even more so on social medias. Some people are of the view that this is another version of hypocrisy. I don't think so. Social media is after all just a platform for us to connect to the people around us, via snapshots and sharing of opinions and what nots. 

Choosing the best photos among all that have been ruined by your kids making ugly faces, putting on some filters to hide your overly tired mommy face, thinking of a funny / insightful caption to match ---- there's nothing wrong about all this, simply a quick editing skill. Hypocrisy comes in when you start stretching out the truth and sharing make-belief moments just to get validations from others. Don't! Stay true to yourself, take beautiful photos of your life for memories sake, and be kind -- if you have nothing nice to say to others on social medias, just STFU.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

The boy with the sketchbook.

I am now renaming Hadi to The Boy with the Sketchbook because more than 300 people have made the same comment to me: Hadi ni sentiasa ada buku untuk melukis / Hadi always has a paper and pen to draw on. 

For a 7 year old, he draws quite well. Better than I was when I was 7 at least. I never really noticed this until I have lots of people coming to me commenting on his drawings and the fact that he draws from his memory. Dozens of sketchbooks fill our house, all filled with his drawings from when he was smaller until now. He brings sketch book / paper and pen almost everywhere and if he forgets them, he'd be really mad if I don't have a paper in my handbag that he could borrow, but I usually do. He'd even draw on tissue paper if he has to. This is partly because we only let him have my phone or his dad's tab occasionally (kalau dapat gadget lupalah about drawing) and partly because he doesn't really like to talk to people, so I guess drawing is part of his escapism from having to socialize. People will come to him and ask about his drawings and he will just smile and continue sketching. This is one weird boy I tell you. 

At a Raya open house recently, I heard a girl gushing to her friends and later to her dad, about Hadi and his drawings and I was like, my Hadi?! Really you were talking about my Hadi? LOL. She was all swooning! 

Apparently there are still girls who are into arts, Hadi, like when I first saw your dad's depiction of Super Darbi (our Jurisprudence lecturer) in a lecture hall LOL, but you wouldn't know that until you're much older because boo hoo you go to an all boys school.

Me at the said open house, with The Boy with the Sketchbook.