Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Emmet is allergic to…

Cow’s milk
Goat’s milk
Soya milk and all soya products like kicap
Nut products
Certain fish
Seafood (udang, ketam, sotong, kerang)

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Success: Weaning

I haven’t done any research on this matter yet, but somehow I feel like babies progress naturally. Nonetheless, a little encouragement and training helps quite a lot.

At 6 months of age, Emmet was starting on his solids. I remembered I tried giving him Farley’s rusks. He didn’t like it at all. All he did was shut his mouth tight and pulled his face away from me. And there I was thinking all babies definitely like Farley’s rusks. The rejection made me feel dissapointed and depressed. I tried shoving them into his mouth, he screamed and cried and gagged. I was already thinking ‘Apsal la anak aku ni tanak makan pulak…’

Only then did I know that he was actually allergic to Farley’s rusks because it contains milk. That why la I noticed the area around his mouth was so red and patchy. I haven’t tried giving him cow’s milk since he was just 6 months. But when I tried some Petit Felous fromage frais, his whole face was swollen and puffy. That was the moment that I knew he had food allergies. From then on every new food introduced, I had to conduct a smear test…hehe…calit sikit the food at his wrist and if he’s allergic he would get a reaction within 2 minutes. This I learned from my mom.

So back to the dificulties I faced…I tried carrot puree, potato puree, sweet potato puree and he kept pushing them away. I didn’t know what else to to. I felt like I’ve lost hope. Cewah…over sikit kedepressanku time tu. Tak tau macam mana boleh terfikir satu hari tu I tried making bubur nasi with chicken, carrot, some onion and garlic. I blended everything together and nervously tried giving him a spoon.

There you go, terus bukak mulut luas-luas. And he just can’t get enough of rice porridge after that. After finishing a bowl he wanted more but I said ‘Finished!’ for a few occasions and he knew he’ll get no more no matter how hard he cried. And I always say ‘Last one!’ when I gave him the last spoon of porridge so he’ll know meal time is about to finish or to encourage him to finish his porridge. Tu la dia budak-budak ni. Tau aje ape yg suka and ape yg tak suka.

When I was just starting to cook food for Emmet, I made one full pot that would last for 7 days. At first I froze them in ice cube trays coz Emmet started eating only 2 cubes per meal. I gave him for lunch and dinner. The cubes increased to 4 when he was 7 months. By 9 months I stopped freezing Emmet’s porridge because he finished one pot in 5 meals (2 and a half day). So I just put them into individual plastic containers and inside the fridge.

For breakfast Emmet still eats oat porridge until now. I remembered I was thinking hard about what to give Emmet for breakfast. He can’t eat cereal with milk. He didn’t like fruits at all. I tried giving him some plain toast since he’s allergic to butter. He tried for a week or so and got bored. I was reluctant to give the oat porridge thinking it must be mixed with milk. But I went ahead and tried mixing it with just hot water. He loved it eversince!

By 1 year and 9 month or so he started to get bored of the rice porridge ans was showing interest in Daddy’s rice. Always tryng to steal Daddy’s rice from the dinner table when I was heating up his porridge. The reason I didn’t want him to stop eating his porridge earlier was because he won’t take plain water or fruit juices before. So the only fluid that he was getting were from his porridge and my breastmilk. I didn’t want him getting constipated for having not enough fluid in his body. And I guess I was a bit lazy to prepare separate dish since he has too many allergies.

But by 1 year and a half, after every hour or so every day encouraging him to drink plain water from his sippy cup, I guessed he finally learned that drinking water could quench his thirst and wash down all the biscuits that he ate. And he was also slowly trying to take fruit juices as well. He even ask for drinks or search himself for his sippy cup when he feels like drinking.

Since his water intake increases, by close to 2 years old I started giving him plain rice with baked chicken or beef or lamb with olive oil, garlic, parsley and rosemary with some baked vege, all baked together in a tin foil. He seems to favour plain taste. He doesn’t like anything in tomato sauce or anything with colours in the sauce.

For snacks in between meals, I have to give this a lot. This is to distract him from scratching his whole body when his eczema was at its worst. First stage of weaning, I gave him Organix carrot puff. It’s soft and crunchy melt-in-your-mouth crisps that is suitable from months old. When he was starting to grow his first four theeth, I upgraded to Organix carrot sticks, cereals like regular corn flakes, malt crunchies. He loved malt crunchies the most because it was just the right size for him to hold in his had. Furthermore that was the time when he likes to pick up things with his hand and put in his mouth. Figured might as well give him something that he could actually chew and swallow.

Other snacks like cream crackers, digestive biscuits, oat biscuits and bread sticks were introduced later when he passed his 1 year mark. These snacks contain more salt and I try to keep salt as minimum as possible. But it’s quite hard because there aren’t that many allergy free snacks that he could eat. Only recently that he begins to take interest in fruit puree. Itu pun because he saw Mika loving his fruit puree at tea time. So now I felt more relieved knowing he is getting better in consuming more fruits in his diet.

So overall, I think Emmet is getting on the right track. He eats oat porridge for breakfast. He’s even starting to like a toast before breakfast or during supper. He eats rice with lauk for lunch and dinner. In between that he’ll have fruit puree or cereal or biscuits. He drinks water from his sippy cup and from the mug as well. When we have fruit juice he’ll have them too. Even if my breastmilk is less he still wants to cuddle with them. But he still won’t eat chunky fruits.

Oh yeaaa……his latest craze is popcorn!!!

Monday, 14 July 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday to Emmet!

This year’s celebration was a pretty small one. It’s just the three of us. We woke up early to catch Kung Fu Panda at the Cineworld here in Dublin. This was Emmet’s first movie at the cinema. Daddy took a leave from work today just to be with Emmet.

Emmet was so amazed at the big screen the moment we entered the cinema. There were about four other families with children. I felt quite relieved when I saw a buggy was parked before us. That means Emmet won’t be the only toddler in the room. And we only paid EUR12 for us three!

It was a 11.30am show. We thought we’d cath the 10.50am show but tak sempat. I was just afraid Emmet would get cranky because it was near his naptime when the trailers ended and the movie starts. He seemed more interested to have his milk and get ready to nap, but terus alert balik when he saw the Wall.E trailer.

Halfway through the movie he was concentrating and breastfeeding alternately. I provided him with some Organix carrot sticks to occupy him while he watched. When it came to the serious kung fu fighting part where Tai Lung escaped from prison, he got bored of sitting down and wanted to roam around. I let him off since there were not many people.

He just went to the other end of the row and back at us while still watching the movie and made his comments here and there. Tengok-tengok orang at the back row, flipping the seats, peeping through the in-between seats. I have to have one eye on him, but I know he didn’t dare go any further than the end of the row. He always made sure that I would be within his vision.

After the movie ended we went for some shopping at Henry Street. Rizal and I je yang sibuk shopping, bukan untuk Emmet pun. Hehehe…but before crossing the Liffey River to go to Grafton Street, Emmet was fast alseep in his buggy. So we let him nap while we go shopping!

After he woke up from his nap, I brought him for a walk at the St. Stephen Green Park. He loved it because there were lakes, ducks, pigeons and most important, water fountain!
I gave some leftover popcorn from the movies earlier to the pigeons, I forgot to hide them back from Emmet. Emmet was supposed to be allergic to sweetcorns, that was why I was afraid to let him try the popcorn. But somehow he found it at the shopping basket below the buggy, he forgot all about the water fountain and landed on the ground shoving popcorns into his mouth from below the buggy.

Before the shops closes for the day we went to Smyth Toystore to get Emmet’s birthday present. Nothing fancy, now his favourite plaything is anything on wheels. So we got him a Hot Wheels Big Foot.

We went for coffee with Eena, Aymi and her sisters at Lemon Jelly afterwards and up to their apartment for a while before going back home. It was quite a full day actually. Emmet is happy with his Hot Wheels. Thought about buying him Legos but can’t imagine the horror of the mess he’d make at our small apartment. Somebody will get hurt. Hahaha…

Happy 2nd birthday darling Emmet! Hope this entry brings cheeky smile on your cute face if you do happen to read this when you get older. Don’t worry, your face will still be cute by then. Hehehe…

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Pre Birthday Treat

Aunty San Hung and Uncle Hairul brought Emmet for a birthday treat to Imaginosity in Sandyford.

Emmet had so much fun because there were so many things to play with. Since Emmet is starting to have a better imagination, he was so rambang mata looking at all the play area around him he was running around like a headless chicken!

His favourite play area was the train track with wooden tracks and little coaches that can be attached by magnets. He stole a couple of coaches and refuse to let go of them even when playing at other areas. San Hung and I had to trick him into giving them to us and we quickly hide them away.

There were three floors with areas like cars, supermarket, café, news studio, talk show studio, talent studio, puppet show, gym, library, aquarium, house building, huge doll house, cranes, musical instruments and art room.

You can lay bricks onto a wall, operate a crane to lift pretend heavy concrite, host your own talk show complete with hand clapping and laughing button while controlling the lights, pretend to be a newscaster, car racing, you can even drive a car with a computerized simulator, repair a car, build a car, pretend to a a policeman.

My favourite is the supermarket where kids can pretend to buy groceries with a trolley, or pretend to be the cashier. The diner was fun too, you can sit down and pretend to read the menu and make orders, prepare food and drinks at the fake water dispenser. How I wish I was a kid. How come they don’t have this kind of place in my kampung when I was small? All I played was the cheap paper doll with paper clothes bought from the pasar malam.

We’ll come again to Imaginosity soon!

Friday, 11 July 2008

Success after 2 years: Sleep

Much and much better. I remembered since Emmet was born we’ve had quite some trouble getting him to sleep. He was a very light sleeper.

He loved sleeping while your were holding him at the most uncomfortable position sampai yang paling melenguhkan. And he loved sleeping after breastfeeding while still latching on the nipple. Even the slightest move would wake him up. I remember even at 8 months, I still froze until he would wake up from his day nap, all I could do meanwhile were browsing the internet with one free hand and changing the channel on the tele.

That was when I was so rajin to download Desperate Housewives, Heroes and Prison Break. I could not eat or drink or go to the toilet. So everything else must be prepared to be place within reach before he falls asleep. I guess I need to do this so that Emmet could get all the sleep he can get since he woke up a lot at night. He couldn’t even be asleep for more than 2 hours straight.

Only sometimes was I able to unlatch him and quickly put him into the bedroom on the tummy and pat him to a deeper sleep. But at least by 2 month old I finally found out that he sleeps better on the tummy.

He slept quite well when he was about 3 months going to 4 months. He would be asleep by 10pm and only woke up once at night at about 4am for milk and woke up again at 8am. But since his eczema got worse the sleep got worse too until he was waking up almost every other hour at night.

I remembered I was so desperate at 1 year, so tired from night feeding I was ready to resort to some professional help. We tried once on sleep training from this book I got from the charity shop, it’s called ‘The Contented Little New Baby’ or something like that. Even though the book suggested the method can only be successful if there were no medical problems, I gave it a shot.

The book suggested that parents keep trying for about 3 days to 2 weeks to see the result. But being a first-time mom with a fisrt-born baby, I just didn’t have the heart to hear him cry for hours. Even when Rizal suggested we just turn off the baby monitor, I got so depressed I just gave it 2 days.

Anyway, deep down inside I knew it wouldn’t work since because of the eczema. Emmet was waking up at night because he just wanted to scratch and scratch and scratch. He scratch when he’s tired, sleepy, hungry, bored, not getting attention and so on.


He wakes up just about when I was finished making breakfast for Rizal at 8am. No more crying. He would go across from his cot then over my bed and go down on the floor, open the bedroom door and the living room door and come looking for me in the kitchen. But of course he wants milk immediately.

He would get tired and ready to nap at about 2pm after lunch. Sometimes he would nap at 12pm and have his lunch after he wakes up at 1pm. He usually have his milk until he doze off. Then I would put him on the sofa, still on his side beside me, pat him for a minute until he settles well. If he naps early he would nap again at about 5pm. But I seldom let him nap for the second time since I started minding Mika at weekdays. The nap pattern would be different when we are on the go though.

He would be ready for bed at night at about 10.30pm to 11pm. I would breastfeed him in the living room until he looks sleepy and I would ask him if wants to sleep in his cot in the bedroom. If he feels he’s ready he would get off my lap and pull my hand to stand up and guide me to the bedroom. He would climb up the bed and settles in his cot while I turn on the bed lamp and some light music (mozart/jazz/yusuf islam). I would pat him to sleep for about 5 to 10 minutes.

He would wake up again at about 5am for milk and every other hour thereafter. Oh yea I forgot to tell his milk routine. Or did I? If he wants milk he knows he’s supposed to kiss both my cheeks, forehead and lips, and salam and kiss my hand, and then baca doa (well…just the amin sapu muka thing). I would always need to remind him to do all that most of the time. But when I purposely ignore him at night and he got realy desperate, he would smother my face with his wet kisses until I surrender and offer my hand to be salamed and kissed and after amin doa have to bagi susu la.

After having his milk sometimes he would doze off beside me or he would climb back to his cot or if I woke up I would put him back into his cot. Much and much better when he was 6 to 10 months old and slept on my chest every night.

So I guess life is getting better….

Monday, 7 July 2008

At 2 years old…

Can only say Ka! Refering to Mika, mamamama and mimimi refering to mommy, bibibibi refering to babies, go! When finished changing nappy or when going out.

Likes to climb on the bed, on the lap, sofa, tables, chairs, any elevated surface.

Loves cars, or anything with wheels.

Gets angry when Mika is playing with something, he immediately wants it back. But when Mika cries, he’ll give the toy back to Mika.

Still breastfeeding

Eczema getting better

Makin mengamuk to even the slightest thing like when asked not to garu, or his toy got stuck in the basket,

Knows how to tidy up his toys after bath.

Can hold and drink from adults’ glass or mugswithout spilling.

Eats nasi campur like a grown up. But lauk can be no further than baked chicken/beef with garlic, onion, carrots, rosemary and olive oil.

Doesn’t like fruits but eats fruitupura fruit puree especially apple & apricot

Can drink fruit juices sometimes

Knows how to undo the latch of his sippy cup and back when he’s finished drinking

Knows to put some stuff back where he took it from.

Cries when I get hurt from his doings

Knows how to amin a doa, as in sapu muka with two hands.

His ritual before breastfeeding is kiss mommy on both cheeks, forehead and lips, salam mommy, then baca doa.