Sunday, September 27, 2009

He Can't Stop Running

Yes, I've been a little slack with blogging this past week. Richard is going to be here for a few more days and we have been making full use of the time so far. Of course, the activities we've been getting up to are all those that Aaron has been dreaming about all those months in Palembang.

Since he got here, he's has this sudden burst of activity and a side effect of it seems to be that he runs all the time now. He didn't have anywhere to run to in Palembang but here, he has the impression that each time we leave the house, its to go somewhere fun. So, he just zooms in and out all day long.

Here are some photos from the past few days...

Playing at the beach in Southbank. This is a manmade beach and lagoon in the middle of Brisbane's city.

Riding his new bike in Redcliff:

Attempting to catch some fish:

Going for miniature steam train rides again:

Nobody gets to ride on this but I thought the steam truck was the cutest thing there. They didn't have this one last year:

And of course, we've already been to many many parks:

Once Richard leaves, we'll have to settle down to some sort of normal routine (that will include a regular blogging routine for me). All this running around is way too tiring and its ruining all this nap and sleep times! Oh well, never mind. We're on holidays for now.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Settling In

Finally, some time for blogging. Its not that we've had a lot of activity here but a lot of time has been spent catching up with the family and running the normal household errands to get setup here.

Guess what? I thought I was escaping the heat and hazy air of Palembang. But take a look at this photo. This was what Brisbane looked like yesterday :

For more pictures, go here.

There are frequent dust storms inland but they rarely blow over the major cities. Yesterdays was supposedly the largest since October 2002. Its actually the first time I've ever experienced one in Australia (wasn't around in Oct 02).

It didn't stink like the haze in Palembang and only lasted a day but this definitely requires a lot more cleanup. AND, this one has us all sneezing all day long.

Alright, just a short post but I'll be back soon.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

"Holidays" Tomorrow

We're all packed. In fact, we're more than packed. We're packed and re-packed. When Aaron came into the picture, he made packing a whole lot harder. And now, his little brother isn't even out yet and is already making things trickier. Anyway, things are settled now.

Tomorrow's journey is going to be a long one. We go from here to Singapore and then there are 12 hours of transit time before the not-so-long flight to Brisbane. I don't mind the wait since there are a couple of things I need to buy and there are play areas for Aaron.

Its going to take us awhile to get settled in Brisbane. Richard and my brother will be there for two weeks so I'm sure there will be lots of distractions. Hopefully I'll get a chance to get back to regular blogging in a few days or so. There will be 6 people fighting for limited computer access :D

Friday, September 18, 2009

No Food Left ???

On Wednesday, I mentioned that we are in the last week of Ramadan. The actual end date is determined by looking at the moon and for now, they have almost confirmed the day to be this Sunday. Final confirmation is on Saturday night.

Tonight, we had dinner with Iwan (our driver) and his wife. Unfortunately, we were a few minutes late getting to the restaurant and all the other starving patrons were already seated and ordered.

The way many restaurants in Palembang work is they have a variety of dishes already prepared and laid out on all the tables. You eat the dishes you want, leave the rest untouched and they won't charge you. On top of these, you can order the main meals which are the restaurant's specialties. When we got there, we ordered, then waited...and waited. And then, we were told that there would be another 20 minutes of waiting because they were out of the main dish. Their explanation was that tonight was the last night that they would be open before the holidays and as such didn't want to have any food remainder. I don't know where they were going to dig up the 3 servings of fish that we had ordered since they were supposedly out of it but we waited.

Thats when I noticed there were hardly any of the pre-prepared dishes on the table. We have been here before and it was overflowing with choice the last time. I felt so bad for Iwan because he has been waiting since 3am this morning to eat! He must have been starving and they didn't even serve any rice.

Anyway, the food didn't take the full 20 minutes and we were eating before long. It was nothing to brag about but I didn't mind. I liked the company and we got a good laugh out of the name the table was reserved under:

Usually, the misspelling that Richard gets is "Ricat" which has been pretty funny to us for some time but this new one is definitely funnier.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chinese Confinement Theories

How long have you gone without having a shower? Or washing your hair? I'll admit to a week without a proper shower during our first trip to Western China about 15 years ago. But today's post has nothing to do roughing it. Its still related to China though.

I'm planning on having this next baby in Brisbane and recently, Malaysians have been asking me "Who will help you with your confinement?"

There is a set of Chinese beliefs about the 40 days after a new mother delivers her baby. Those 40 days are called the Confinement Month because the new mother is confined to the home (and perhaps her room). These practices may sound ancient but many people still believe in it strongly and follow the rules.

Its all to do with helping the body recuperate after pregnancy and childbirth. During the days of confinement, there is often a confinement lady that is hired to care for the new mother and baby. These ladies are often expensive and their duties encompass everything to do with the care of baby and mom. This includes cooking all meals for the mother and in the very traditional sense, being the primary carer for the newborn. In Malaysia, there are also Confinement homes which are a little more affordable where new mothers will go and stay for the 40 days or so.

The theory is that pregnancy is a 'hot' state to be in and after delivery, the body is susceptible to 'cold' and must be kept warm. And if a new mother doesn't follow these rules, she'll 'pay for it when she's old'.

Here are some of the rules:

- Mothers must stay indoors the whole 40 days.

- No baths or showers for mum. I have heard that they can bathe in a special herbal bath if they want.

- Not allowed to wash their hair.

- Not allowed to brush their teeth (???)

- All the windows should be kept closed to prevent any breeze cooling the mum down.

- Head should be covered.

- Can't eat 'cold' foods. This doesn't just mean ice cream...there are many vegetables and fruits also deemed 'cold'.

- They should eat bucket loads of ginger. When I was living in Malaysia, I saw one mother-in-law prepare what looked like 5kgs of ginger for a new mother.

It all sounds crazy doesn't it? Many modern mothers today believe in the Confinement Month as taught by their mothers but I think most cheat on these rules. Especially the personal cleanliness ones! Perhaps in the old days, in China, all these practices were more logical because they had cold winters.

My mother never followed any of these practices because I was born in Australia and so she never passed any of these ideas on to me. She did come to stay with me when Aaron was first born and the only Chinese thing we practiced was cooking with lots of ginger and Chinese wine.

My mother is reaching the age where she would be 'paying for it' but she seems fine so far. I have no intention of 'confining' myself, especially since the baby will be born in the middle of summer. Lets hope I won't pay for it either!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Last Week Of Ramadan

There are only four or five days left to the fasting month of Ramadan for the Muslims here. I've been told that this has been a particularly difficult year because instead of the usual rainy season, this past month has been completely dry and has been one of the worst haze seasons in recent years.

Of course, work slows down during this month. At work, Richard was requested to schedule any 'major' maintenance for the night shift as the day shift teams would have no energy.

The shopping malls seem to be quite crowded, especially in the afternoons as people go there to stay cool and try to past the time more quickly. Some are drifting around window shopping but I've also come across people just leaning over the racks, resting. The crowds have been building steadily too and is reaching its peak now with the last few days of shopping left.

I usually do my shopping on the weekdays to avoid the weekend crowds but look at the place yesterday afternoon.

This was the line to pick up my purchases. Before I got to this line, I had to go line up at another queue to pay for my purchases. And because I bought items from two different areas of the store, I had to go line up at two different cashiers to pay and then another two different pick-up lines. The funny thing is that somehow, I've grown more tolerant and I understood it.

Almost all Muslim employees will receive some form of salary bonus before Hari Raya Idul Fitri (thats what comes at the end of Ramadan). This will go to the new clothes, the food and drinks for entertaining and trips to visit family and friends. As you can probably guess from reading some of my older posts, the salaries here are small so, even a bonus of a month isn't a lot and so, this also seems to be the season of incurring debt (just like credit card debt near Christmas I suppose).

The best thing about this time of the year is that there is almost no traffic on the roads at 6pm (but don't go out before that). By 6pm, everybody is at home (or at a restaurant), waiting to break their fast and the roads are clear for us to get anywhere. Although, if we're planning to eat out somewhere, we'll have to call ahead to make reservations because all the restaurants seem to have a full house every night.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Aaron And His Brother

Aaron has been steadily including the baby more and more into our everyday conversations. He has noticed that my belly keeps getting bigger and has been asking why the baby doesn't come out yet. I think he expects him to arrive any day now. I've told him January, after Christmas but I don't think time means anything to him.

He's also developed a strange habit of bumping his head against my bump and giving it a kiss. Its really strange but sweet at the same time. And if there is anybody thinking of names, its Aaron. He has suggestions for me everyday. And usually, they are names of one or other of Thomas the Tank Engine's friends. There is one that isn't an engine that he has consistently been throwing out - Ivan. He doesn't even know anybody called Ivan. Anyway, I won't be going for that name, its too similar to Aaron.

As he's shown so much interest in the baby, I've been using this opportunity to start letting him know that there will be times that I can't play with him or that I will have to do things for the baby. Aaron has proudly volunteered to help me with everything.

"I know how to sleep already. I can teach him."

"I'm bigger, I can carry him."

"I can help you change the nappies. I'll hold his hands."

Oh, Aaron also thinks that his little brother is going to start playing with him from Day 1. They are supposedly going to be playing with trains and his railway. Aaron has generously proclaimed that he will share ALL his toys.

I hope they both have a close relationship. It has really been heart warming to hear everything that Aaron has to say about his brother now.

Being Courteous Without Being A Wimp

One of the things that I emphasize a lot with Aaron is to be generous and share whatever he has. Of course, initially, he needed to be reminded repeatedly and didn't understand why he had to let somebody else get their hands on something he had his eye on but he's gotten the hang of it now. I usually 'prep' him before we meet anyone to remind him about sharing, taking turns and not snatching. It works on most days and he seems to share with both children older and younger than him, and shares his toys as well as other people's. Yet recently, I've been wondering if I condition him too much to "share" that he will just automatically give up the toy in hand whenever somebody else asks for it. After all, thats what happens when I say "Remember so share, Aaron".

The other thing that I've noticed myself doing in recent weeks is instructing him to apologize. Sometimes when he is clearly in the wrong, its a no brainer. And even he seems to understand why he needs to be the one to say sorry.

The incident that has me wondering about this whole business of apologizing is something that happened at a cramped indoor play area a few days ago. I didn't see what exactly happened but my friend told me that Aaron might have accidentally collided with another girl. This girl was crying, quite loudly, in her mother's arms. I quickly asked Aaron to go apologize. He needed some convincing and actually went elsewhere to get away from the situation but in the end, he listened to me and said "I'm sorry". I'm pretty sure he did not understand what he did wrong.

As I watched the whole thing play out, I thought to myself that as an adult, I would have automatically said sorry and moved on. The "sorry" would probably be more of an "excuse me" because nobody did anything wrong. What am I teaching Aaron here?

The crying girl looked about 6 years old. Thats 3 years older than Aaron and just because she seemed to be the one hurt, I had jumped on Aaron to apologize. I actually think she may have been a bit of a cry baby because she was crying a few minutes before that too.

Anyway, its not my intention here to dwell on what happened. Its just that the situation made me wonder if by always insisting that Aaron shares (and gives in) and that he always apologizes, I'm actually grooming him to be a Yes-man, pushover or one of those people that are always apologizing even if they haven't done anything wrong.

I want him to grow up to be a courteous and polite person but not a person who always feels inferior or feels that if anything is wrong, it was their fault. I want him to know how to stand his ground and not always give in.

Maybe I'm around too much and should leave him to interact independently so that he can exercise restraint and have some freedom to follow his own instinct. I guess thats another reason why he's getting a little brother.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Can I Read Aloud Without Yawning?

Aaron and I spend a lot of time reading. He will drop anything he's doing if I say "Lets read a story". I am definitely as interested in sharing the books with him as he is interested in listening.

Unfortunately, reading aloud makes me yawn uncontrollably. I'm neither bored nor tired but the yawns just keep coming. Some days, like today, its worse than others. I've tried sitting by the door, near a fan, on a proper chair, on the floor - EVERYWHERE. Perhaps its because reading automatically causes a person to exhale more than inhale. I've tried taking a deep breath after each sentence but I'm still yawning. And, it breaks up the story. So now, I basically try to just read through the yawns.

How do those people who read audio books do it? I've been Googling this but no answers so far. And, it seems that many other moms experience it too. So far, Aaron doesn't seem to mind or think that I'm disinterested in reading. I just tell him that I need breaks after every story.

While there are no solutions for me yet, I did come across some interesting trivia on yawning from Howstuffworks:

- The average yawn lasts about six seconds.

- Your heart rate can rise as much as 30 percent during a yawn.

- 55 percent of people will yawn within five minutes of seeing someone else yawn.

- Blind people yawn more after hearing an audio tape of people yawning.

- Reading about yawning will make you yawn. (Have you yawned yet?)

- Olympic athletes often yawn before competition.

- In humans, the earliest occurrence of a yawn happens at about 11 weeks after conception - that's BEFORE the baby is born!

- Yawns become contagious to people between the first and second years of life. (I read in a separate link that contagious yawning may have something to do with empathy so maybe thats why its only contagious after we have a year of experience.)

*yawn* *yawn* *yawn*

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thursday Thirteen - Things To Look Forward To

It turns out that yesterday was a pretty lucky day after all. We had patches of blue skies in the morning and the smelly haze seemed to have only been working at 30% for the whole day. I was really grateful for the break and had a happy day.

Actually, living in Palembang for the past two and a half years has taught me to become much simpler in my wants. Just take a look at the 13 things I'm looking forward to in Brisbane ...

1. Obviously first and foremost, I want a breath of fresh air.

2. Using water from the tap to brush teeth. We're now using bottled water.

3. Using water from the tap to cook. Once again, bottled water.

4. Drinking water out of the tap. Yup, bottled water. Obviously we buy the HUGE 19L bottles.

5. Opening my mouth and eyes in the shower without being too worried.

6. Being able to walk outside in the evenings and not get attacked by a zillion mosquitoes.

7. Being able to drive myself out and about in sane traffic.

8. Being within walking distance of shops, the river and the city.

9. Going for storytime at the libraries.

10. Going for picnics and enjoying the parks.

11. Watching Aaron play in the backyard where there is grass.

12. Sleeping with the windows opened instead of the A/C on.

13. Laughing loudly with my family.

After several hours without electricity, I'm adding another one...

14. No Power Outages!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Haze : Candle in the Wind

Yesterday was a miserable day. Not only was in hazy all day long, we also had a blackout in the afternoon!. This morning is a little less smelly but I still have that lingering headache and we all keep sneezing.

So, 09/09/09. Mike left a special comment on my last post because I get to the day first. I'm early enough today to schedule this to post at 9.09am so, why not? 9 is a lucky number in Chinese and we definitely need some luck over here....luck that we get rain or the winds blow in a different direction.

I found this on Chao Mugger. It was written for Singapore but is just as applicable here.

Haze : Candle in the Wind.

Goodbye clear blue sky
Though we never see you anymore
We hope you've not forgotten
to come back to Singapore
The fires won't stop burning
And no matter how hard we try
It seems we're edging closer
towards one thousand PSI

And it seems to me you lived your life
like a candle in the wind
Never staying a moment longer
when the haze set in
And your memory will always haunt us
when the CD sirens wail
Your candles burned out long before
our lungs completely fail ....

Monday, September 7, 2009

Hazy Time Of The Year

We've escaped the haze for the past two years but this year, its caught us. We experienced the Indonesian haze when we lived in Malaysia and I definitely didn't want to experience it here. This is a yearly 'event' during the dry season where farmers burn forests to clear land for agriculture. It causes massive blankets of dust/ash/smog to spread across Sumatra and fly over to Malaysia and Singapore as well. In recent years, Malaysians have blamed the Indonesians but I've also read that many of the fires are started by Malaysian companies in Indonesia. Whoever it is, they certainly make life miserable for everyone on both sides of the straits.

In 2007, I planned to be in Brisbane from the start of August (the supposed start of dry season). And in 2008, I left at the end of August and didn't need to breath in any of this rubbish. What happened this year? We definitely put thought into our trip but I wanted to travel together with Richard instead of going ahead alone first. So, we're booked to leave in just under two weeks.

A couple of weeks ago, we started waking up to a smoky stink in the house and a layer of dust on the floor. The days seemed much clearer. It wasn't pleasant but it was bearable.

And then yesterday, we woke up to this:

We were out because we were heading to church and then after wards, we couldn't go home because our house was too polluted. We headed to a hotel for breakfast and then to a mall.

I was prepared for a terrible night last night but when we woke up, the skies were more or less clear. And then, after lunch, the winds must have changed direction because we were covered in a horrible, smelly blanket of haze. It makes me feel as if I'm in a room full of smokers. And what makes this worse is that people in the neighborhood will join in and burn their own rubbish, adding to haze in our area! These are people who still smoke around babies so what can I expect?

I'm seriously considering changing our departure date but .... its complicated.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Do I Get MCs?

MC stands for Medical Certificate. In Malaysia, if you need to take a sick day from work, you call it an MC. It stems from the need to show your boss the medical certificate if you say you're out sick.

I don't know why I never thought about it before but I started wondering about my MC entitlement today. What if I need to call in sick? Hold on, I'm in charge (supposedly) so who do I call? Maybe the second in charge? But then, he'd have to go get himself an MC to cover for my "absence" at home.

I needed to go read the terms and conditions of this job so I dug up an old email about motherhood. Its been around awhile but is still fun to read:

POSITION : Mother, Mom, Mama, Mommy, Momma, Ma

JOB DESCRIPTION: Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an, often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities. Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.

RESPONSIBILITIES: The rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product. Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.

POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT & PROMOTION: Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE : None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.

WAGES AND COMPENSATION: Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.

BENEFITS: While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life if you play your cards right.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Pink For Boys, Blue For Girls?

Its easy to find the girl's section for children's clothing. SEA OF PINK! We all know that...

Little boys wear some of the other colors but mainly blue. And have you noticed that the younger the clothes, the more clearly they are designated into their boys blue and girls pink categories?

So far, I haven't consciously avoided pink for Aaron. They just don't make boy clothes in that color. It hasn't stopped me from putting him in pink socks. And when we're doing our coloring/drawing, the only color I use less of is brown because I just really don't like it.

Aaron doesn't have a favorite color but there have been several occasions that he has selected a pink item, just as he has selected blue, yellow and green items. Yesterday, I was picking out some grey hairclips for my mother and he insisted on getting a couple of pink ones for himself.

Grown men wear pink and I think many of them look good in it. So, I really don't see why little boys should be taught that pink is the color for girls. The only reason I wouldn't encourage it would be that he might get teased in school if he did end up showing a preference for the color. I'll deal with that when the time comes.

So have you ever wondered why the colors were matched to the genders this way?

The origins seem a little conflicted but here's what I got from the Color Matters website...

According to Jean Heifetz, for centuries, all European children were dressed in blue because the color was associated with the Virgin Mary. The use of pink and blue emerged at the turn of the century, the rule being pink for boys, blue for girls. Since pink was a stronger color it was best suited for boys; blue was more delicate and dainty and best for girls. And in 1921, the Women's Institute for Domestic Science in Pennsylvania endorsed pink for boys, blue for girls. (When Blue Meant Yellow. pp. 20 -21)

On the other hand, the idea of associating blue with male babies may stem back to ancient times when having a boy was good luck. Blue, the color of the sky where gods and fates lived, held powers to ward off evil, so baby boys where dressed in blue. In Greece a blue eye is still thought to have powers to ward off evil. The idea of pink for girls might come from the European legend that baby girls were born inside delicate pink roses.

Another theory states that the sexual origins can be found in ancient China. At a time when certain dyes were quite rare, pink dye was readily available and therefore inexpensive. Since blues were rare and expensive, it was therefore considered to be more worthwhile to dress your son in blue, because when he married the family would receive a dowry.


In 2007, there was some research published that the color preferences had a biological origin. Supposedly everybody prefers the color blue, but females prefer redder shades of blue. Here's the TIME magazine article on it.

I think I might go buy some matching pink shirts for Richard and Aaron....

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My 2 Biggest Issues With A Newborn

WOW! So many of my friends are expecting babies soon. Another one of them, this time a guy, shared the good news with me yesterday. He was funny! "What should I prepare for? What do I need to get ready? I haven't done anything yet." He suggested I should have an entire post on the subject as he reads my blog every day and needs pointers now.

Perhaps in a very general sense, parents-to-be need to discuss the type of parenting style they think they'd like to adopt. Thats a very broad term so I'm going to focus on the two areas which were the biggest issues with us - Breastfeeding and Sleep.

Most people know that exclusive breastfeeding is what's recommended for the the first six months of a baby's life. The WHO also recommends extended breastfeeding for the first two years. I think the majority of people have the intention of breastfeeding but only a minority realize that it can be quite hard (and painful, and frustrating). If I knew how hard it would be, I wouldn't have focused all my reading on labor and delivery. Kellymom is a great site to get some background knowledge, find out about potential problems and also refer to when you have problems. I wish I studied that site before stumbling and crying through the first month of nursing.

Off the top of my head, I would tell the new parents (both mom and dad) hoping to establish a successful nursing relationship to :

1) Nurse as soon as possible after delivery.

2) Understand that it will be colostrum for the first few days before your milk comes in. Colostrum is liquid gold in terms of nutrition for your newborn. There is "stuff" coming out even if you can't see it happening. Trust yourself.

3) Do not let your baby be bottle fed for at least 6 weeks. Babies also need to learn how to nurse so it is important that they become experts at this before being introduced to the much easier way of drinking from a bottle.

4) Nurse on demand. There is no sense in trying to schedule breastfeeds. Breastmilk is also much more easily digestible than formula so breastfed babies may need more feeds than a formula fed one. Don't question it or count the number of times, just nurse.

5) Have the number of a lactation consultant ready so you can run over there at the first sign of trouble. Also, bring some breastfeeding cream along to the hospital and use it from the start. Thats what I'm telling myself anyway.....I don't ever want to see cracked and bleeding nipples again. Prevention is definitely better than the cure here.

The other problem we had was sleep, or lack of. Everybody expects this but I found it to be something that differed greatly between babies. Just comparing notes with some of my friends, I found that many other babies were sleeping through the night at 3 or 4 months. Aaron didn't for nearly 2 years. Also, some babies slept for stretches of 2, 3 or 4 hours within a couple of weeks. We were still on the 2 hourly wake up calls for the entire first year I think. My point here is that there were huge differences but all are normal.

So whats my point here? Have zero expectations. Thats how I'm going to approach baby No. 2. I found that once I accepted Aaron's sleep habits, things just seemed a whole lot easier. I didn't feel that I had a dud baby, or that I was a weak mom for not training him better. He was just who he was and I could adapt to it.

My final piece of advice is that I believe baby-led breastfeeding is the key to a good night's sleep for all. At the start, I worried that I was creating a bad habit when Aaron used to want to feed to sleep. I fought it for as long as I could but gave in. Can you imagine how much easier it is to just feed a baby to sleep rather than rocking, walking or doing some other funny dance till it dozes off? I'm hoping that this next baby will figure our feeding to sleep as soon as possible. Also, once the baby is able to feed with the mom laying down, use that position. Baby wakes up at night, just roll over, feed while you snooze. Once the baby has had enough it will fall asleep and fall off the breast. EASY! No more getting out of bed, setting up for a feed and then walking the floors to put the baby to sleep afterwards.

So, seeing that my friend is a guy but he'd have to be actively involved in both these aspects of a new baby, I think he needs to talk to his wife about what her thoughts are. You'll notice the bulk of the work is on her. Having said that, his supporting role is crucial in the success of both.

That was two cents. With only 3 years of experience mothering, I'm far from the expert but these two points are foremost in my mind as I prepare for the next baby.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Self Imposed House Arrest - DONE!

I'm free at last!

Over the past few weeks, I've stayed at home almost every day. The only time I venture out is on the weekends when Richard will be on hand to help with Aaron if needed.

The morning sickness faded about a month ago but I still found driving around in the car horrible. The roads here are terribly bumpy and the traffic is stop start for most of the way anywhere. I'm not a person who gets motion sickness but any trips in the car left me feeling a little green. Its probably also got to do with the fact that the ventilation in this car seems to let a lot of the outside fumes in!

Well, my days of self imposed house arrest are over! Car rides still make me a little bit uneasy but nothing I can't recover from after 5 minutes.

The motivating factor that got me out today are two new pairs of shorts. In a toss up between a new pair of maternity pants and TWO pairs of "normal" shorts that cost the same, I picked the shorts. But I needed to make an accessory - a bit of elastic with a button on the end.

So off I went to the haberdashery in the Perumnas market. Where else would I go? Its become my favorite go-to place for almost anything.

Just look at the range in this place. It was my first time there because I rarely do any sort of sewing here in Palembang.


My elastic extension cost me approximately USD 0.05 and it saved me from buying a pair of pants that I will no longer be able to wear in February. Instead, I'll have two extra pairs of shorts!