Sunday, January 15, 2012

Wearing many hats

It's tough enough being a i'm a mother, a cow, a daughter, a daughter-in-law, a maid and a wife. Rather than becoming overwhelmed and letting chaos reign, it's the cummulative effect of several small steps int he right direction and I think I'm adjusting slowly. It's really quite a struggle to balance the ever-growing to-do-list. No matter how small the item may be eg giving the grandma a call, I have to try to squeeze time for it. The difficulties I face as a new mother caught me off guard. I had looked forward to motherhood and assumed that caring for the baby would happen naturally. Instead, I found that I had no clue. It doesn't help that the hub is constantly travelling...being away for two weeks prior to the Lunar New Year was certainly no joke. Spring cleaning thankfully started early for me, else the dust bunnies on my blog would be passed on to my home. I tend to be an all-or-nothing type of cleaner/ organiser, thus when it comes to spring cleaning, I give myself the added stress. When the hub finally came home for a day in between trips, he had to fall ill! There went my hopes of him helping to take care of lil pumpkin while i catch up on forty winks.

I know that I should not entertain lil pumpkin's every waking moment as that would be really taxing. But trust me, you wouldn't want a wailing child as an accompaniment whilst doing those chores. Thus, I resorted to doing the laundry at 5am and cooking my lunch at 10am. Whenever there's pockets of free time (usually only for 15mins), I would try to do something productive. After spending my last ounce of energy attending to my baby, she would then sometimes cry for no discernible reason, and it puts me over the edge.

However, after 2+months of training, I would say that we have established quite a bit of understanding. I try talking to her quite a bit and she seems to understand that mommy has to bathe, eat and shit. It works sometimes. Her bedtime routine is also more or less fixed, with the fussiness setting in at around 8 - 10pm and dozing off to sleep by 11+pm. That to me is a bonus. Thereafter, she'll wake up at 4am but there were occasions where she woke up at 6am! WOOHOO! At times, I would be the one waking up before her, wondering what's happening? I guess my clock has now been adjusted. These days, mostly, I yearn for more sleep, but would often wake up at dawn with rock hard boobies. Then, Dilemma would strike -- To pump or not to pump, that is the question. You see, very often, shortly after pumping, lil pumpkin seems to sense it and would wake up for her feed! Despite knowing that there's always a constant supply, how can the supply be great right after pumping?

To boost supply, apart from the "holy" fenugreek which everyone swears by it (But i've yet to try), I turn to the kitchen and treating myself well with home cook food. If you recall, I really enjoy cooking, but with the lil one on board, fixing up a simple meal sometimes seems very elaborate and arduous. Below are some of the food I've been pampering myself with:

To minimise the guilt of eating instant noodles, I added fish (生鱼)and egg. Hey, give the woman a break ya, I haven't had instant noodles for eons.

Somehow, I feel that I hadn't had much soup during my confinement and the Chinese believe that confinement should actually be 40days instead of the usual 30 days. My rationale is, just nourish oneself once in a while! the body isn't only gonna absorb during those 40 or 30 days! The hub also benefitted. TCM physician said his body is "cooling" thus would need to take more "confinement" food to "heat" up the body. Thus whatever i drink, I'd give him a bowl.

A rare sight-- 3 dishes and a soup!

Mostly, in the afternoons, I'll just have a fish/ meat and rice. It can get a little bland and boring, thus I try to tweak the recipe at times. The above is pan seared salmon with crispy ginger bits.

Another simple fare

They say you'll have to constantly latch and religiously pump in order to up your supply, so even if it means sacrificing my sleep at 5am, I'll do it. Typically I do it once at that hour when my supply is peak. To date, I'm consistently getting approximately 180-200ml from the better boobie and 90ml from the not so good boobie. A vast difference!

Mom has been pretty helpful, getting me groceries every monday. However, each time she does that, she'd complain that food is expensive. This, despite the fact that I give her additional $ for the food she buys. To top it off, she gets $ from my dad as well. talk about being shrewd. That's Empress Dowager for you.
This was one of the more "elaborate" meals I've whipped up. Preparing and frying the pork chops took a while thus it was really quite an achievement when I manage to savour the fruits of my labour!

530am: Attended to baby's feed
6am: Pat baby to sleep again and got ready to head to the wet market
640am: arrived at the wet market
7am: done with marketing and spent almost $100
720am: bought breakfast for the hub and I at another venue
8am: Arrived home to the above scene (sooo sweet)
830am: was done with washing and packing up the raw produce
840am: decided to pump my rocks since lil bub was sleeping soundly
9am: Thought I could finally take a breather and rest
915am: lil pumpkin decided to wake up for her feed. *YAWN*

Parenthood is a big thing. Make that a big and often lonely thing. Most days, I could sure do with a big dollop of encouragement and inspiration to keep going.


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