Mummy’s gals

IMG_8975It’s nice to spend the last week of my maternity leave with one of the days with my Mom and sisters. So we kinda made a little song-and-dance out of it and headed for a chi-chi high tea in town.

IMG_8973I don’t always spend a lot of time with my sisters and my Mom but ever since Sophie’s arrival, family outings have become way more chaotic but also a lot more loving. It’s nice to see my sisters, my Mom and Dad showering their love and attention on Bubba and for my nephews to act all lovey dovey around her when we spend our Sundays over at my parent’s place.

IMG_8977I’m also very grateful that Mom is also able to look after Sophie exclusively at least one day of the week when I head back to work. Growing up, I’ve never been close to my maternal nor paternal grandparents, but I had a lovely network of aunties and cousins that I grew up with. So I want Sophie to be able to experience growing up with grandparents, aunties as well as cousins.

It’s true what they said. It takes two parents to produce a child but it takes an entire village to raise a child.

Letter to Sophie x 4

IMG_9080Dear Bubba,

And just in the wink of the eye, you are now 4 months old. Wow.. all these monthly letters that I write to you just goes to show how quickly time just pass by and how quickly you are growing.

Loads of stuff took place this month. Well, probably because I know I am heading back to work, I try my very best to spend most of my days with you. We took our first family holiday and spent loads of time together. Before your arrival, Daddy did say that when you turn 10, then you will be able to go on a holiday with us. I’m actually glad he didn’t stick to this ‘rule’. The family holiday was great, not that you will be able to remember the holiday or what you did with us. The important thing is that we manage to spend all this time together with you. Watching you sleep, wake up and amusing us with your coos-and-gaahs. Those moments are etched in our memories for now. I hope we will be able to take another holiday with you in a couple of months time. Perhaps a beach holiday and we can bring you swimming proper?

IMG_9075At about 4 months, you have also hit your baby development milestones: rolling over, holding up your head steadily, bringing your hands together and holding your rattle. You also like to stare at lights and will turn your attention when there are sparkling lights or towards the telly. No TV for you for now, young lady! Tsk..

IMG_9069You’ve also taken an interest to soft toys and textures. Although you don’t hug on tight to your Jellycat toys yet, but you do love hugging them to sleep. I kinda long for the day that you will hang on to your Jellycat Bunny everywhere we go. That will be kinda cute actually.

IMG_9062Mummy is still waiting for the day for you to sleep through the night. Some say that their babies have already slept through the night or some babies would only wake up for one feed in the night. As for you, you are still waking up about 2 times a night. Thankfully, Daddy helps to do the midnight feed and I then take over the graveyard shift but please do try to sleep more. It’s amazing how little you nap when we are at home. Like right now when I’m typing this post to you, you are just by my side looking at the light emitted from my laptop refusing to go to bed. I can count the number of hours that you napped the entire day, my little Energizer Bunny!

Oh and you recently found your voice and learned how to scream! It’s kinda scary because you now show your displeasure by scrunching your face and screaming loudly with big fat tears streaming down your face. Let’s see how you will fare with this. Please don’t make it a habit.

Alright, gonna finish this post now for I gotta make you sleep for you are busy rolling on our bed and making those grunting noises.

Know this my darling gal, Mummy loves you very much! Looking forward to creating more adventures with you, Bubba!

xoxo: Mummy

Talk about timing..

Well, I think this could only happen to me!

My first day back at work and I thought I did pretty well. Went into the office, password to PC expired so got that sorted out and was rock-and-rolling emails and tried to get up to speed with work. Missed Bubba loads but am thankful for technology and the peektures of her happy face that kept me going for a good part of the day.

IMG_9151The Man was really sweet too! Sent me these flowers as an encouragement to keep me going. I hadn’t imagined easing back into work to be a breeze so am thankful for whatever support that was given to me personally and at work with understanding colleagues.

IMG_9152I mentally prepared to schedule at least 2 pumping sessions back at work so as to keep my supply going. The first session went well. When I did my second session, I realised to my horror, the LCD screen on my Medela Freestyle Pump froze. The usual timer on the clock no longer worked and in place, numerals zero filled the screen. My heart sank! I simply couldn’t afford to have my one and only pump breaking down on me at this point in time!

I called the Medela Service Centre in Singapore and hoped that the problem could be rectified by a simple reset of the button. But sigh, it couldn’t. Apparently, it’s an LCD display issue and when I asked how long must I leave the device at the service centre, I was told it could be ready within 30minutes to an hour. Ok great! But, I had a full day tomorrow at work (Wednesday) and can’t send the device in for repair all the way in Toh Guan (Jurong)! Sigh!

Thankfully, a cry of despair sent to the Man and he is going to help me to sort this out. We decided that we will just a courier to help us run the errand on Thursday.

Like I said, this can only happen to me! Sigh…  I just hope the device will go on working tomorrow. Fingers and toes crossed please!!!

Update: Medela has given me a new device since the device can’t be repaired.. all’s good I hope.

Sophie’s milestones : Rollin’ over

I realise that when I head back to work tomorrow, I may miss the milestones that Bubba will be hitting. I won’t be there when she learns how to sit up, crawl or take her first step. What if I miss her first word? I felt absolutely gutted thinking ahead the milestones that I will have to miss while her primary caregivers soak up the joy and happiness of being there to witness her firsts. :(

This particular milestone of rolling over meant a lot to me for I spend so much time with her within these past 4 months or so and I knew she was going to roll over on her own sooner or later. She kept practicing her rolls but was not successful on doing it on her own. She would cry in frustration when she couldn’t roll and very often, I would go in and ‘rescue’ her by nudging her to roll over. I was really hoping that she would roll over on her own before I head back to work tomorrow. I wanted to be there to witness this milestone and to cheer her on.

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Well, my baby girl did it! After a Mummy-and-Baby playdate with Aunty Mag and Ashleigh, we went home feeling a little tired. I knew Bubba didn’t want to sleep, so I laid her down on her play-gym. Minutes later, she rolled over! She didn’t stop just at one roll-over, she rolled over a couple of times for me to grab a video, take more pictures and beam with pride and joy that my baby girl did it! :)

PS: The Man said that Bubba was already practicing her rolls while he was doing the midnight feed with her. But since she was not fully awake, I’m claiming the roll in the afternoon as a first instead. Haha…

Nurseries in Tokyo

We’ve always loved Tokyo for its vibrancy and fast-paced life. It’s always the city that we would have no qualms about going in a heartbeat. We weren’t too sure if it was going to be all that child-friendly so as new parents, it’s time to take on the city that we love with a fresh perspective. Apart from the tips that I have shared so far, thought I share this other one on diapering/ feeding if you are ever planning on traveling to Tokyo with a young one.

Some have asked if we have planned a travel itinerary with Bubba. Well, we didn’t. Probably because we are so used to going back to Tokyo that we didn’t really felt the need to plan properly what to do with Bubba. We did however have a couple of places we wanted to bring her, for instance, Shinjuku Koen, Yoyogi Koen (Park) and Tokyo Tower, etc. However, it also depended largely on the weather and whether she slept well the night before. So our plans were rather fluid. We didn’t felt the need to do much sight-seeing instead, we hung out at shopping malls because we wanted to eat our fave foods and also to squeeze in a spot of shopping. Plus, it felt better to be in shopping malls because it’s air-conditioned and they have these superb nurseries for young kids. I hope the malls in Singapore would follow suit so that Mommas here can also head out with their young ones with ease.

Here’s how a typical nursery / nursing room looks like in the shopping mall in Tokyo:

IMG_8813Love how the Japanese thought of almost everything.. from changing stations, feeding stations and even nursing rooms.

IMG_8811I’m truly impressed with their feeding stations where one can feed their child his/her meals in this special area. The several malls that we went too, almost all of their feeding stations were equipped with Stokke Trip Trapp high-chairs. Talk about feeding in style and their high-chairs came in such fancy colours as well. My fave was the purple which unfortunately is not sold in Singapore. Damn!

IMG_8812And here we have the changing stations and also the nursing room which is out-of-bounds for the men. I must add that most of the nursing rooms are really clean and comfy. One of them that I entered with Bubba was so huge that I think at least 8 women could be nursing their child in that confined space. In place of a private room in the nursing room, there were special curtains that mothers could pull for their privacy while nursing. I thought it was super impressive as it provided a private space for mothers to nurse their little ones.

Now I wish nursing rooms in Singapore would be just as nice as the ones that we have come across in Tokyo. I guess everyone will also need to play their part of keeping the nursing room clean as well and I honestly think that the Japanese do a better job in this.

It’s over…

IMG_8861Just like that, my 4 months of maternity leave is finally coming to an end. I head back to work next week with mixed feelings… A part of me wondering if I can cope with my work and another huge part of me feeling sad that I have to leave Bubba behind.

Motherhood did not come instantly for me. It was really tough in the beginning, I wondered hard whether I can be a good enough mother to S. Post pregnancy, my hormones went out of whack and I sunk into depression for a period of time. No one ever talked about those hormonal changes, so I learned the hard way and bawled my eyes out. The first month was tough, trying to adjust to a tiny human in our lives, taking on the challenge of breastfeeding and having to deal with the different dynamics at home. Not saying that it’s all peace and calm now, it still takes time for tiny human is growing every day and with it, new challenges to take upon at each growth stage that she is in.

Thankfully, I have my family to count on when I was feeling down plus a network of friends that I could go to when I needed advice, help or just to let off some steam when things get a little too challenging with Bubba. Most importantly, I also learn to let go a little and not be too hard on myself when things with Bubba get tough. If she doesn’t want to nap, then I will just play with her. When she is cranky and screams, I just hug her tight and try to put her to bed.

It’s not always a bed of roses with this little one but it’s been an amazing journey when I let things go a little from the second month on. Things also somewhat fell into place as well when I learned to read her cues and also establish a routine with her. Here’s a typical day in homeland with Bubba:

  • 7ish in the morning : Nurse Bubba and then bid Daddy goodbye as he heads to work. If I’m lucky, she falls back to sleep. If she refuses to nap, I will put her in her cot, turn the hanging mobile on and buy 5- 10 minutes of time for a quick shower.
  • 8ish – 9ish : The time she finally wakes up. We muck around in bed together with me singing songs to her and talking to her. Then I bring her down for my MIL to play a while with her while I grab a quick breakfast.
  • 9.30 – 10am : Shower and then feeding time.
  • 10/11is – 1pm : After nursing, she usually will take her long morning nap of about 1.5 – 2 hours. That’s the time I have lunch and relax or stand around her bassinet and stare at her while she sleeps. If I’m bringing her out, this is the best time I like to bring her out for she’s napping and I get to either chat with my friends or have a proper meal.
  • 1ish – 3pm : Feeding time and then play-time before attempting to put her down for another short nap which usually lasts anywhere between 45mins to 1 hour.
  • Fast forward to about 5.45pm – 6pm where we bring her out for a walk around our hood.
  • 6.45pm – 7pm : Evening wipe-down and feeding time. Again, if we are lucky, she takes a short nap. If not, I will try to put her down to bed at about 8pm after letting her roll around in her cot. Sometimes it can take up to 2 hours to finally put her to sleep. Phew…
  • 10ish / midnight : Feeding time
  • 3am / 5ish – 6ish : Feeding time

That’s basically what we do everyday. Sounds boring when you glance at the above schedule, but somehow time just flies by pretty quickly when fussing around her. Of course, some days, the time just seems to be ticking by slowly. Usually those are the days that she drives me up the wall by refusing to nap. But arh well, I just try to deal with it.

I don’t know if I will be able to juggle motherhood and work when I go back to work next week. But I will try.. I think for the first month or so, it will be tough and caffeine will be my best friends since I can no longer nap when Bubba takes her afternoon naps.

IMG_8864I will definitely miss all the time that I have with you, my darlin’ Bubba. I only hope that when I go back to work, you won’t forget me… :X

Dining with baby in Tokyo

The Man and I, we love our food very much and every time we head back to Tokyo, it’s a food-feast where we plan our food itinerary meticulously to include all the food that we so love. Of course, with Bubba as our new travel companion, we can’t exactly do that. Most of the fine-dining restaurants and famed sushi joints would frown upon us should we attempt to bring a baby along into their restaurant.

So our meals were planned rather fluidly and mostly by the Man or what we felt like having for the day. Thankfully in Tokyo, a lot of the establishments that we visited were good enough for our bellies and our littlest travel companion was such a charmer most of the time, so we are blessed to be able to enjoy the meal.

Here’s what we ate with Bubba in tow:

IMG_8752Revisited Bills at Omote-Sando Hills simply because I really wanted to try either their famed Corn Fritters or have the Ricotta Hotcakes. The place is pretty child-friendly and we were showed to a table where we could conveniently park our Zen Yoyo.  IMG_8747Bubba was in a good mood so we managed to squeeze in a couple of Mama and  Bubba shots. :)

IMG_8739The Man was in need of caffeine and frankly speaking so was I, as I try to limit my caffeine intake occasionally. Finally managed to try the famed Corn Fritters which was really very yummy with the avocado salsa. Would have love to have another go at the Ricotta Hotcakes but was saving my tummy for the afternoon hi-tea instead.

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Our first meal in Tokyo was back at our fave Shabu Shabu place in Ginza called Rangetsu.  We were not sure if babies were allowed but we asked them nicely and they accommodated. The place had steps so the Man had to carry the stroller up. Bubba was fast asleep in her ride so we managed to enjoy most of the meal and then took turns to finish our noodles at the very end when she woke up.L1010226The little one is quite a charmer too. The diners at the next table kept looking at her and played with her while we were having our meal. Fine by us for it also kept her occupied. :)

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My birthday dinner was celebrated at the Ropponggi Hills Club in a private room with an awesome view of the Tokyo Tower. He decided to book the private room so we could bring Bubba along and if she cried, she wouldn’t be a nuisance to other patrons.

IMG_8688The Japanese meal was simply delicious and we had a good time indulging over the meal plus fussing over Sophie who decided to poop and kept us busy.  IMG_8689We were also very impressed with the level of service taken to accommodate the little one during our meal. She had her very own bed for her to lie on while we sat down to have our meal. This place definitely top our list for dining with babies. :)

IMG_8844The Man was itching to do a meal that involved fine-dining. I was apprehensive about it initially. We walked past L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon at Ropponggi Hills. We didn’t have a reservation but he walked in and asked if there were seats available. Well, they did but only at the counter. I wasn’t sure if we could have a proper meal with Sophie  while seated on the high-chairs. IMG_8841Well, perhaps it was a blessing in disguise for we baby-wore her that day. She resisted initially but after a couple of cries, she managed to settle down and fell asleep in the carrier.

IMG_8847Talk about multitasking! The Man baby-wearing Sophie, having his meal and working-on-the-go.

IMG_8845She slept through a good part of the meal for us to enjoy the starter, the main course and our cuppa of tea. Whee.. we felt like we outdone ourselves for this meal.

Well, of course not all of the meals we had were hits. I really wanted to have Teppanyaki and despite booking a private room in the restaurant, it was a stressful meal that the Man and I had for it was cramped and smokey. We felt like we did Bubba an injustice by bringing her to such a smokey place. We gobbled our meal as quickly as we possibly could and even skipped dessert because she was getting cranky and stressed up in such a smokey environment.

The next evening, in order to make it up to her, we decided to order in and have sushi in the comfort of our hotel room instead.

IMG_8824So I guess it ain’t that bad traveling with a bub, sure I couldn’t go back to my fave Ichiran Ramen, my fave yakitori joint or do any Michelin-star restaurant but we found new places to dine with a different kind of experience.

Here are some tips I thought I could share if you are ever traveling to Tokyo with a 3month old baby:

  • IMG_8765Get help from your concierge on a list of restaurants that would accept young babies / kids. Our concierge was of great help, all we needed to do was to tell her the type of cuisine we felt like having for the day (ie: Soba, Italian, Sushi, etc).
  • Some restaurants have private rooms, so you could ask if they would allow you to use the private room for a small fee.
  • Dine at restaurants in shopping malls. We spent most of our time around shopping malls and found that the restaurants there were basically good enough for our bellies. Plus point for doing this is when the bub fuss, you could quickly zip down to the nursery and sort the little one out.
  • Look out for family friendly restaurants by checking out the crowd that goes into the restaurants. If you spy ladies with babies or young kids in the restaurant, chances are they will accept you and your bubba too.
  • If all else fails, either buy back your fave food from the food mart in shopping malls or order room-service. That way, you enjoy your meal in peace with bubba lying in bed.