it just takes time

Sorry for being MIA the last two months.

In brief, my father suddenly passed away in March and my family’s been working through it since. Things are calming down a bit now that the initial flurry of activities is over. Still plenty to forge on but at least most things are in motion or tied up now.

On my parents’ anniversary, we laid my father’s ashes to rest. The place my mum chose is nice, a quiet and fairly well kept Christian cemetery. We didn’t plan for it to be on my parents’ anniversary, it just so happened it was the only day that my mum, my brothers and I would all be together before we all head off to various destinations.

The little ninja and I have not been home for longer than a week – we were in Malaysia for two weeks initially, then two weeks in Perth with my mum with a (too) brief week’s stint back home with the husband before flying back to Malaysia to put my father’s ashes in his final resting place.

Three more days and we’ll be back in the arms of my loving husband whom we miss terribly.

It’s been 1.5 months since my father’s gone but it still doesn’t feel real. I miss him so much.

losing hair

So around the 12 week mark was when I started to notice my hair had gone back to its pre-pregnancy shedding state. It’s a pity because I have really enjoyed being one of the lucky ones to have minimal hair loss during pregnancy. It was so convenient not to have clean hairs from the shower plughole every time I washed my hair or from my fingers/brush after combing.


Now? Shedding hair everywhere! I’ll often find a strand of hair in the ninja’s fist/stuck to his neck folds when I’m babywearing him. I discovered that there’s this thing called ‘hair tourniquet” where hair can get wrapped around part of baby tightly. OK, so I know it’s not a cause for over reacting but I’m more mindful now of my stray hairs and am motivated to vacuum more often.


Lunar New Year starts tomorrow! I’m hoping to bake a batch of cornflake cookies tonight. Owing to a small ninja who occupies most of my time and arms, I cheated and bought a pack of frozen pork and chive dumplings plus dried flat egg noodles for our reunion dinner tonight. It’ll be the ninja’s first Lunar New Year! He’s even got two new red outfits to wear. Sadly, I’ve not yet done his special Year of the Goat/Sheep applique owing to lack of free time and arms. Next time…

nighttime cuddles

The hubs is still on the mend after his minor surgery which is good but he’s still not able to be 100% hands on deck. So this mama bear is shouldering most of the parenting and household maintenance till he’s able to help out again.


It’s been a lot harder than I thought it would be.


At midnight last night, after feeding the little ninja, I held him up on my shoulder to burp him. The little one was milk drunk and softly snoozing. I savoured the feel of his round velvety cheek against mine. Breathed in his baby scent and nuzzled his soft hair. Tried to imprint into my memory the feel of his warm weight against my body, his little arms draped over my shoulder.


Moments like these make the late night feedings and nappy changes just a little more bearable. It’s no fun stumbling out of bed and across into the other room with him in my arms, desperately trying to get him on the boob in a bid to make him stop crying so he doesn’t wake the hubs. The bleary eyedness and zombie mode of feeding and nappy changing.


But when I look at this little face in my arms as he slumbers, my heart melts and I’d do all over again. When he was back in his cot, I couldn’t help but plant soft kisses all over that cutie’s face. That kid…he’s got me, got me good.

thank goodness we think our baby’s cute

You would be wondering, “Why on earth would you entitle your post that?”


Well, yesterday was rather stressful. Hubs had a day procedure that required us to be at the hospital by 7am (thus meaning 5.30am start to the day to get ourselves ready and out the door). I knew that after his procedure, he wouldn’t really be able to do much the first day as he would need to just rest and let the healing begin.


Admittedly, the ninja was pretty good during the day. He slept heaps probably because it was cooler than it has been the last few days so it was nice and quiet.


The stress for me began after we got home from collecting hubs from the hospital. Bub had become a little hyper/attention seeking and I was trying to get dinner ready while hubs zonked out on the couch. I’d also discovered my left boob had become lumpy due to plugged ducts (in just one day!) so was desperately trying to get bub to feed properly on it to help relieve it. But, of course, he didn’t – the time I needed him to feed like the champ he usually is, he decided to fuss and scream at the boob. Argh!!!


Had dinner in peace (which involved putting him in the bouncer to stare at us) then he started whinging again so figured he was ready for a sleep. As I was trying to get him to sleep, hubs’ parents rang up to see how he was going and I gave up on the sleep idea because the ninja just wasn’t cooperating. Halfway through the Skype conversation, he starts fussing AGAIN so I pop him on the boob (still trying to clear the blockages in my left boob but again, fussing/screaming after several minutes) but he must’ve either gotten enough milk OR enjoyed the sucking sensation because that kid went to lala land. I went to have a shower while I asked hubs to keep an eye on him. As I nearly finishing my shower, bub woke up and started shrieking. SIGH…Hurriedly finished my shower and rushed downstairs to try and console bub before taking him to have a bath and settle down for the night.


THIS is where it went berserk. He was perfectly happy during the bath but after I’d taken out to dry him, this is the start of where I felt like I was being pushed to the max. I hadn’t been able to wrap the towel around him properly so went to place him on the changetable so I could rearrange the towel. At this point, he began to scream at level 10000000x. He went from a happy pink to a bright angry red with shrill wails. I swear our neighbours must think we’re torturing him with red hot pokers every night. Nothing I could do initially would calm him down, he just wailed and wailed while my heart was bleeding and my stress levels were rising. I was desperately trying not to lose my cool. Hubs was still rather out of it so whilst he tried to help, he really wasn’t in a position to.


Eventually, I got a nappy on (yes, he was still butt naked in the towel) and put him on the boobs (again, lefty was still lumpy) and he calmed down eventually. Thank God for natural milk drugs. Got him dressed then thought I would have a chance to clean up but no, the crying started again. OMG kill me now! Paced between the bedrooms while waiting for him to calm down. Hubs is lying in bed, drifting in and out. It was really hard as normally we can tag team so it’s times like these that I mentally salute all single parents.


Anyway, the ninja calmed down and I zipped up into his sleep swaddle bag, stuck a pacifier in for extra precaution and YES, he finally fell asleep. Hubs took himself off to bed while I went downstairs to put the cloth nappies laundry on and clean up the kitchen. Once that was all done, I munched on some dark choc buttons while looking up how to clear blocked milk ducts, heh. I think I must’ve been able to finally relax because as I was firmly massaging the lumpy area, milk started flowing so I hurriedly went over to the sink. Aaaahhhh, relief! The lumpiness started to go and when I fed bub at midnight, my boob was back to normal! Phew! The fun of breastfeeding, huh? 😉


I called up a friend to have a rant/destress and she was absolutely lovely. She hilariously said at one point, “Good thing babies are designed to be super cute so you get sucked into caring for them. Imagine if they weren’t so cute, you’d probably be not inclined to care when they drive you crazy!”


When I told her about bub’s screaming fit, we both agreed it couldn’t just be reflux as he would be doing that after every feed. So we figure it must either be that bub’s arsenic hour is around 9pm or he’s going through a developmental phase thing (look up “wonder weeks”) which is what hubs had said earlier in the evening. We’re really hoping that a SUNNY week of happy behaviour is coming up because this screaming gig ain’t cool.

the sounds of a ninja boy

Wow, it has been a while since our last update! The past week the little man has been rather clingy and needing extra attention. Not sure if it’s due to a growth spurt/wonder week thing but he’s certainly kept us busy!


Our little ninja boy is working on his voice, haha. His squeals are getting louder and he’s working out a myriad of sounds. He’s loving being a little chatty man now and definitely knows how to squeal to get someone’s attention! When hubs reads to him at night, bubs likes to “talk” as well, very cute to see my two loveys together “chatting”.


In addition, we’ve noticed he’s starting pulling a new face that’s like a half cry, half pursed lip look. Hubs and I have wondered who pulls that facial expression!


He’s definitely working on doing a proper laugh – can’t wait for the day it happens. For now, it’s still pretty much a happy gurgle.


His hand-eye coordination is improving fast too! He’s getting pretty good at grabbing his bib and bringing it up to his mouth to suck. Speaking of sucking, that kid is drooling so much that we’re swapping his bib at least once a day now. Plus he’s worked out how to suck on his forefinger/thumb – wetness alert!!


Tummy time is getting better, the kid will happily play and talk/squeal to himself for at least 3-5 minutes each time now. Before, he used to scream his head off until he was picked up. Now, he sometimes just lays his head down and chills out on the floor, haha.


Over the weekend, I volunteered at the GroVia stand during the recent Pregnancy, Babies and Childrens Expo. Took the ninja along in the Manduca carrier and we had a ball! He slept for most of it while I shared my GroVia cloth nappying experience with expectant parents. Plus, we were given GroVia nappies as a thank you for volunteering – so yay for adding to my cloth nappy stash 😀

the ninja’s sleep quirks

Sometimes, the ninja will cry in his sleep and oh, it’s so pitiful it just breaks my heart.


It’s this high-pitched little wail, like he’s having a nightmare and it always makes me want to scoop him up into a big hug and cover him with kisses but nooo…I must refrain to doing so as he’s normally still asleep. I usually end up patting him and giving him a small kiss in the hopes that he knows I’m there for him.


He has also “laughed” in his sleep before. I put laugh in quotation marks as it sounds like a laugh/giggle but he’s not yet laughing/giggling when he’s properly awake.


It’s also very adorable when he gives a contented sigh as he snuggles down to sleep. Just so sweet.


I love it best when he grins in his sleep. There was one day I was stroking his head to help him fall asleep and as he closed his eyes, he gave a few grins. My heart just about melted into a puddle on the floor.

past the 12 week mark

Wow, the 12 week mark came so fast! Just think, only a year ago, our little ninja hadn’t yet existed! The fourth trimester is officially over, haha.


He’s changed so much in this short period. As I fed him earlier, I marvelled at how long he is now. In the early weeks, he was so tiny he fit entirely on the feeding pillow and it was so easy for me to flip him around to feed on the other breast. Now, he’s so long I end up with just his head resting on the pillow and he’s not as easy to flip around.


Just look at his hand for instance – this was at 5 days:

thumb5daysThis is his hand today (so chubbeehhh!):


Hubs just came down after changing his nappy to show me the ninja’s newest “trick” – he can now briefly stand (while holding onto his arms)! It was really cute watching hubs try to coax bub into showing me his new trick. Little man just kept slowly sinking onto his bottom, haha!


I think we’re finally getting into a better routine of sorts but of course, still need to remain flexible. For instance, today bubs is feeding every 2.5 hours instead of his usual 3-4 hours and is a bit clingy. Yesterday, however, he was super chatty and chirpy – he talked and squealed to himself so much last night while playing with Spike the dino.


The ninja is now uber drooly too. I’m having to change bibs at least twice a day because he’s either munching on it or drooling while munching on his fist.


Baby’s first Chinese/Lunar New Year is coming up too! Unfortunately, we’re not in Asia so don’t have easy access to finding cute baby Chinese outfits. I did manage to score a cute little red romper for him to wear and will be making a custom appliqué to sew onto it. Will post a pic of it later if it works!

a couple of firsts (for me)

Last night, I had my first glass (OK, it was half a glass) of wine in nearly a year. An easy drinking red after a long day. Bub wasn’t too hard on me but I just needed some “me time”. Paired it with vanilla ice cream and a slice of apple berry pie, yum!


Then this morning, after feeding the bub, I was carrying him upstairs to change his nappy when I realised that I could feel wetness on my left thigh. My initial thought was, “Oh no! Not a pee leak!” After quickly putting the ninja down on the change table, I looked down and no, it wasn’t a pee leak. It was a milk leak from my left boob. Quickly retraced my steps from the lounge downstairs to upstairs (with bub of course, can’t leave him on the change table alone!) and saw my breadmilk crumb trail. Quickly mopped it up before heading back upstairs to change the ninja’s awesomely heavy nappy. So yeah, first time I’ve left a milk trail.


Phew, the bub is down for a nap (after his usual grizzling) and I will now attempt to finish my breakfast that I started nearly two hours ago.

12 weeks since you came along

The little ninja’s hit 12 weeks. 12 weeks! Sounds like a long time but it sure didn’t feel like it in retrospect. Sure, there were days that it just felt like Groundhog Day, doing the same thing over and over again (feed, play, settle to sleep…oohhh, the settling to sleep!) but I’m doing my best to soak it all in.


Hubs says I take too many pictures of ninja. I blithely ignore him and continue snapping/videoing away. The other night, I was scrolling through the pictures/videos on my phone and I was just in awe of how much he’s changed in 12 weeks. We had friends over for a dinner of home-smoked meat (hubs’ specialty) and board games seeing as it was a long weekend with Australia Day. One of the couples hadn’t seen the ninja since he was 4 weeks and they kept commenting just how much he’d changed e.g. his cheeks had filled out more and he was obviously much bigger/longer.


It wasn’t until I went for my first parent group last week that I realised I’d already forgotten how small he started and what he sounded like in the early weeks. He was so tiny I could easily carry him in the crook of one arm and he mewled with the cutest little quivering bottom lip/chin (my paediatrician friend informed me that was due to his immature nervous system. She also said to record his early cries because that’s the only time it’s cute and not that loud – sadly I didn’t get a recording). Now he’s developing quite a robust cry and it cuts me every time when he gets to that stage of his crying where he makes no sound because he’s crying so hard that he has to catch his breath. I can feel my heart just splitting open when he cries like that 🙁


I love that his little personality is starting to show through. He’s loves “chatting” to me and it’s quite adorable to hear him learning to squeal happily. The ninja is learning to be independently content for brief periods; I sometimes hear him talking to himself while I leave him to do something. It’s pretty cute to hear 🙂


I constantly have to remind myself to prioritise spending time hubs and bubs when they’re around. Like when I’m staring at the laptop/phone screen and bubs will start cooing/chatting to me to get my attention. The massive grin he gives when I look at him and smile with a “Hi!” just does (good) things to my heart.


Today I made sure not to overreach myself after having a bit of a meltdown on Sunday night. Hubs quite firmly insisted that I take a nap at some point during the day and to not stress about getting stuff done. So I took a nap on the lounge with one hand resting on the ninja’s belly as he slept in the beanbag next to me – having one hand on him seemed to be a comforting weight for him and he slept for longer than an hour! Bliss!


We went for a walk around our area today in lieu of babywearing exercise as I wasn’t feeling up to it. He loves being in the Manduca carrier, it’s a surefire way to put him to sleep for sure! Felt good to get some outside air and move around a bit compared to being holed up inside.


the parenthood

Right now, this is the little bit of calm in the day after a morning where the little ninja had a massive spit up on my shoulder just I put him to bed after a feed and then woke up screaming two hours later probably because he was hungry, poor mite.


Yesterday, I came across a couple of funny videos about parenthood that really struck a chord with hubs and myself. All you mothers and fathers, enjoy. All you without kids (yet), enjoy it too 🙂


The Mother ‘Hood by Similac – why it’s just not worth judging other parents


The Motherhood by Fiat 500L


The Fatherhood by Fiat 500L