Mombrain

MOmBrain can be dangerous. I am very thankful right now that so far, I have not made a grave mistake of leaving Ninie in the car or under a running water in the tub. But I still have those horrible forgetful moments.

Like how I just went to the kitchen a few minutes ago with the aim to get her clean bottles and put in on the dresser in our room. So it’ll be easy to prepare  her milk at night. On the way out of the kitchen, I saw some of the groceries have not been put away and so I placed the bottle on the table and proceeded to do just that. Mombrain made me forgot. I switched off the kitchen lights, went back to my study area only to realize that the bottles are still on the table.

2 kali kerja nak gi dapur balik.

There are other examples. And being forgetful can be tiring. As you tend to have to repeat a task. Being sleep-deprived is also tiring. Hence MomBrain is no fun when it’s already 5 months down the line with the Bebe turning 6 months by the end of this week. I am looking up on Youtube for tips from enthusiastic moms. Any readers with practical tips? I also pray to Allah that  He may ease my daily activities.

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The picture above is Ninie today as we brought her out to the mall. Look how lovely she is with her headband and little shoes which is for the first time today.

I just realized that she was never properly dressed to go out, often without at least a pair of socks until I browsed the many Instagram accounts of moms bringing their own babies out. Nasiblah I ingat nak pakaikan dia baju n pampers. At least she gets the cue that when we dressed her up nicely, that means she needs to behave coz we’re going out.

 

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The Shore Oceanarium, Melaka

Ever since Baby Ninie came into the picture – it was very difficult to have a one on one Mother-Son moment with Ee. I still manage to squeeze some quality time (meaning focused on him) in our everyday interactions during dinner, bedtime chit chats or that morning breakfast.. but any activities more than an hour stretch was hard to come by.

I finally did get that chance to spend time with him during one of my precious off days on a weekday when Baby Ninie was at daycare!

We went to The Shore Oceanarium, Melaka. I picked him up from school that afternoon, had a quick lunch at home and changed our clothes. The place was less than 10 mins from where we live by car and I managed to secure a parking lot for FREE at the 2nd floor.

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We showed our MyKad and Mykid at the ticket counter and soon we were on our mini excursions. Mind you, there are no toilets inside the Oceanarium itself, so please try to empty your bladder and the kids, before coming in.

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This was the price we paid for. The Combo was apparently for the 3D Theatre Package stuff and Souvenirs. Our Welcome Gifts included an expensive looking Fridge Magnet and a Badge. I added the Feeding Frenzy Package for Ee for an extra RM10.60. I’m not quite sure if it was worth it though. I will tell you later. We were given a plastic bag yang bergulung-gulung for that feeding part. You have no idea whats in it guys..

We were also given a piece of paper which had questionnaires on it. Kind of like a Treasure Hunt. The answers were inside the Oceanarium and upon completion, we were to hand the paper back to the reception to claim a complimentary prize even though you did not get 100% right.

Our first stop was the ‘petting area’. We get to touch a starfish, a rayfish and some other fishes. There was a lady, very friendly and was all smiles tending to us. Ee macam geli, so he refused to touch anything. Before long, we were on a momentum admiring the facts about some of the sea creatures through the questionnaires and the beautiful boards on the wall.

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Everytime we get an answer to the questions, we would put a chop to the answers. Ee really enjoyed that part. Tapi jawapan main taram je. There were plenty of places to strike a pose and there were also Augmented Reality areas where someone like Ee can berlakon a bit before taking a picture.

The Feeding Frenzy Area was our last stop. We opened the plastic bag and I was disappointed. Isi ikan yg ntah brp ketul je with plastic glove. Just that for RM10.60. I would put the price for that package for at least RM5. Bagus lagi bagi kura2 Farm in the City makan kangkung sampai buncit. But since Ee enjoyed that part of the trip most –  I was torn on whether the package was worth it after all.

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We handed over the paper to the reception and hey ho – we got a quality keychain each. Takyah susah2 beli souvenir. Unless you want to get extra for your family and friends.

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It was an educational afternoon for both of us. I just wished that the ladies at the reception and at the turnstile gate be more charming or at least smile. Like the girl at the petting zone tu ke. Diorang sangat masam ok. Like helloo.. you are working in a place that caters to kids and family. They should learn something from the Farm in the City folks. Yang kerja kat Zoo Melaka and Legoland pun happier. Blom lagi yg kerja kat Everland Korea. Mampu nak pusing2 tangan cakap Hi?

Putting that aside, it was still a fun and expensive entertaining trip. I’m already scanning my calendar for our next Mother-Son date. Perhaps Mamee Factory at Jonker Street?

 

 

Baby Ninie. Deciding between Daycare and Babysitter. Ended up choosing daycare. Why.

Mr Husband voted for daycare. I voted for a babysitter. I even made a few mental notes of the type of babysitter I’d choose or avoid.

  • Not having too many kids they babysit at home. Something like not having 2 babies less than 1 year old at one time.
  • Mothers with small kids of their own ( < 2 years old) is also not preferable because their kids would also demand attention. It’s normal. This is also for safety reasons as the carer could be stressed out and impose harm to the kids.
  • Avoid those with home/ online business that involves baking or food prep related products. My fear would be kids getting near hot utensils or sharp objects. But then comes the question – if they need to post their items for those selling cosmetics for instance, do they bring my child to the post office as well or have the postman pick it up?

I was hoping that once I choose a proper babysitter, Baby Ninie would be in a less crowded centre with personalized care. Full attention.

Mr Husband however, said it was dangerous to leave the child with A Babysitter. That one stranger whom you’ve never actually met before to care for an infant who couldn’t speak for herself. To him there are risks of unwitnessed abuse or assault, unwitnessed negligence, abduction (gosh) and what not. It does sound scary when laid out that way.

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While he agrees that in daycare, the numbers may be bigger and risk of negligence may arise – the key is to find a registered Daycare as a start. At least we know that a certain policy or training is in place to maintain the harmony and safety of the centre. And if reported for God forbid, some sort of offence – a penalty will be ensued. There may be bad apples but it would be rare for all of them to be horrible carers.

We found a daycare near our home. It had a registration number and was owned by a couple that my father in law knew. While the couple had a respectable background, we cannot say the same for the workers but we hope that surveillance is done promptly to monitor them. Because I understand how stressful it is to even care for one baby, what more with possibly 5 in one day. Not to mention the screaming bigger kids.

I took tips from friends and my sister – to ease the caretakers job and to protect Baby Ninie as well. Some of these tips include;

  1. Prepare a reasonable number of bottles to daycare, so they wouldn’t have to worry about washing the bottles too much. let them know you are okay with bringing back the unwashed bottles. Baby Ninie had 3.
  2. Choose a teat with a slow flow for infants. I personally chose Pigeons Peristaltic teat. It costs me about RM45 per bottle. mahal kan. sebab tak nak tersedak. It’s supposed to have that protective measure of not flowing if the baby is not sucking on the milk. But in a few months when she can sit up, I would opt for cheaper bottles.
  3. Provide enough milk formula and bring back the milk during the weekend. so you could monitor how much milk your child consumes and see whether it tallies with the usual amount you give at home. Some pre-packed the milk in small containers or straight in the bottle but I worry that sometimes Ninie may need small topups in between of an ounce or 2.
  4. Similar to diapers – some provide the whole pack. I prefer to supply on a daily basis so I could keep track how often her diapers are changed in a day. My magic number is 7. Some mothers advise in investing for the more expensive diapers that could hold urine more since diaper changing can be less frequent in certain centres.
  5. Prepare her grooming stuff in a bucket that is mobile so you could bring it back home at the end of the day.
  6. Finally, pray, Pray that god will look after her and keep her away from harm. InsyaAllah.

So far Baby Ninie is OK. The other bigger kids seem to like her a lot. HAHAHA. The main caretakers although young, seems nice. I hope it is not a front. We are paying RM100 for registration and RM350 per month. We can send her as early as 715AM and hope to fetch her by 530PM.

Yes, she gets cranky sometimes as reported by her carers. Mosquitoes bite her smooth skin once in a while but nothing major. She seems to posset a lot judging from her smell and wet clothes. The colour of her poo seems alright which is consistent with what she is feeding on.

Caring for a baby requires cooperation and proper communication between parents and carers. The child will grow in front of both their eyes and it is important to communicate changes and growth spurts to each other. If everything goes well, we may continue for the next year before she goes to preschool.

 

Husband went to Japan for 13 days and left me with the kids.

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In my HoboMinci

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Yup. He was 3,188 Miles away. I had to make it work. In fact, I was already planning on how to go about my daily activities a few weeks back. My main concern with Mr Husband being outstation was SECURITY for me and my kids.

My second concern was of how well I could perform my duties as a wife and mother to protect MY AMANAH. And this not only involves protecting the kids but also our home, his stuff and of course – MYSELF.

 

 

THINGS I DID FOR SECURITY

  1. KNOWING HIS WHEREABOUTS –  stalking my husband through Watsapp. I made sure I knew his flight details, his place of accommodation or person of contact during his stay in Japan. This part was kinda easy because Mr Husband likes to send a lot of photos and voice messages through Watsapp. Therefore, I had a rough idea of what he is up to there. I could also in turn update him regarding the happenings around the house (like our leaking water pipe in front of the house) and about our munchkins. It was also important for me to identify key people who could help troubleshoot my problems should I encounter any. These were my parents in law of course who stayed nearby.
  2. WENT GROCERY SHOPPING EARLY – I stocked up on non-perishable goods and big stuff like juice boxes and rice packs. And toiletries that may be on low supply for the next few days. Canned items. Ninie’s milk powder and baby wipes. Technically, things that require muscles to carry them because I do not want to burden myself to do all these things later with Baby Ninie in a carrier.
  3. SETTLE ERRANDS – for instance, opening up a bank account (Tabung Haji) for Ninie. Or fueling up the car.
  4. HANG MY LAUNDRY WITH INTENT TO SHOW OFF – meaning I hang up Mr Husbands clothes as well. His work shirts, his pants. I even put out his Size 9 shoes and slippers (or is it a 10?) outside the door. Just so potential burglars could think twice before attempting to break in.
  5. SLEEP IN ATTIRE READY FOR A FIGHT OR FLIGHT RESPONSE – full pants with my hijab nearby. Complete with bra. My car keys at hand, just in case I need to sound the alarm to scare away threats. Some says I’m paranoid. I call it being prepared.

THINGS I DID TO PROTECT MY AMANAH

  1. THE KIDS. Apart from ensuring the kids are safe at all times, I also have to make sure they are clean and well fed. It can be tricky with Ee hence the reason why I resorted to making Bento. Hoping to spur that appetite of his.
  2. THE HOME. I was tempted to just postpone laundry and cleaning till the days for him to come back draws near. However, a dirty abode will attract negative spirits and JINs, so I had to keep up with the cleaning. And I get to mop more frequently than ever.
  3. THE WIFE. Which means I had to protect myself from the seducing words of men.  kang tergoda. Not that I’m drop dead gorgeous but we never know with the works of Shaitan. Never ever allow a man to enter the home even if he is from the water company. Or Poslaju. For safety reasons too of course. In short, jaga kelakuan diri sendiri jugak. Jangan nakal. Dont install wechat no matter how lonely. huk huk.. 

Alhamdulilah. Nothing horrible happened during Mr Husbands absence. It was a bit exhausting though with the baby and from the adrenaline, as I was always in a Hyper Vigilant state. I was so glad when it was over. Takut weyyyyyy kalo ada anak. 

Mr Husband bought us souvenirs. I got 2 new Coach handbags, an Italian leather purse, cute socks and a Baby-G watch. With plenty of Meiji chocolates. Ee also received lots of goodies – Tamiya cars, Bento containers and swords. Ninie had pretty dresses!

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I have another stint of Mr Husband being absent again soon. He will be performing the umrah with his parents and sister. (my social support all going for umrah.. *cry blood). It will be more challenging afterwards because my leave was only granted for 3 days out of the 7 I applied for. Mana aku tak stressssssss. But I believe in miracles. I will find a solution to make it work. I always do.

Running Errands.. and that scary place for any child

I had a lot on my plate on that one particular day. My biological engine was practically already up and running by 430AM. And I’m still doing the 2 till 3 hours ‘patrol’ check around the house since baby is still waking up for her feeds at those intervals as well.

I made early breakfast for myself. Nothing fancy. Plain ol coffee and 2 slices of bread. Then, I prepared my son’s lunch for school (yesterdays leftover) and his breakfast. After my breakfast, I had my early shower because well.. once the baby is up.. there is no way you could take a dump. I try to be fully dressed by 6AM and have my Fajr prayer in peace.

Often, I am tempted to just wear my kaftan to send Ee to school but since I have a wild imagination like what if my car breaks down sorta thing – the last thing I wanna do is step outside the car, bra less in my sleepwear. So yeah..

After the school run, Ninie and I went home for a while so I could clean her a bit before we then again scooted off in our little car to the clinic. My Mantoux test for pre-placement Tuberculosis Screening was due. That itself took me about an hour.

Then, I had to bring her to this scary place. It is not the hospital. But it is crowded. In fact, a homicide took place here a few months ago – THE STATE CENTRAL BUS STATION. A place with people free to move in and out of the state or country is never a good place to bring your young kids especially when you don’t have backup. But I needed to go to this photo shop which could print my passport sized photos. So I had to be prepared. Some of the things I did;

  • park in the proper area. pay for the parking fee. do not be stingy like most people. HAHAHA. even if its only for a while. you can choose a spot near the entrance so you’d be less vulnerable to opportunistic criminals in the parking bay. plus, there’s security on guard.. just in case.
  • locate the photo shop I want to go. No unnecessary detour. take note of its opening time so I wouldn’t have to linger at the station for too long. Locate the police station within the premise as well. There’s always one.
  • choose to run errands on weekdays, if possible – if you have to do it alone. for easier movement as there are less people.
  • if you have to take a meal, choose a place where it’s comfortable and not that open. You want to protect yourself from the eyes of evil. I had to have brunch because even if the photo shop said it opened at 9AM and i was there by 930AM, it was only opened by after 10AM. I chose SUBWAY because apart from it having air conditioning, there were not a lot of customers and if, Allah forbid, someone tries to snatch the baby – he/she would have to make an effort to open the glass doors first.
  • Keep the baby close. Be weary of people getting too friendly. Cause sometimes they work in teams. One to distract, one to extract. Never leave the baby alone. While waiting in line at subway, a kind young man said I shouldn’t put the baby car seat on the floor because of health hazards. I understood his concern, expressed my sincere thank you (people still care, alhamdulilah) but kept my Ninie close anyway. There is no way I’m letting that person at the next table to help me ‘watch my baby’
  • As for myself – to dress practically. Mothers need to be ready to run fast and fight!

It went well and soon after it was already time to fetch my son from school.

Another solo run with the kids afterwards. Ee needed a bigger bag for his religious school. His ustazah was saying that there was no timetable and that they have to bring all their books to school. I can’t quite figure why  they can’t at least say ” for monday, please bring this book and this and this”. I don’t mind them not having a fixed schedule but at least a teaching plan for the coming week?

We ended the run at Aeon with Ee’s favourite meal – the Beef Gyudon at SUKIYA. Then, it was time to go home so he could finish all his homework. Phew.. it really is tough to do all this without an extra pair of hands and eyes. You really do need a village to raise a child.

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