motherhood, toddler, Uncategorized

The ending of my breastfeeding journey.

15 June 2020. 6 days before he turned 34 months, I randomly asked him during dinner if it’s ok I give him milk instead of nennen (breastmilk) before bed. He didn’t want to, until I mentioned that it’d be in a “special cup”. That worked its magic!

So, he took his milk in the cup as we did the usual bedtime routine, reading the bible, reading a story, moisturize, pray and hugs.

The next day, I offered him milk in a cup before his nap as well. We’d read a story as he finishes his milk before he climbs into his own bed to sleep.

But I didn’t want to cut off nennen immediately, so he still drinks when he wakes in the morning, and sometimes when he wakes from his nap.

I am amazed at the length of time I’ve breastfed him. Before I gave birth, my friends told me that the hardest part is not the delivery, it’s the breastfeeding, with stories of mastitis, infections, etc. I’m so thankful I had none of those.

Initially when N was newborn, I worried about his latching, his milk intake, and we did substitute with milk powder initially for the first month. We occasionally fed him from the bottle during night feeds or when I went out. But gradually, it made sense to feed him directly from the source, it was quicker and definitely less troublesome to wash, sterilise, warm up the milk in bottle etc… esp in the middle of the night.

it was so much quicker just picking the baby, feeding him, and popping him back to bed..

after some months (5?6?) we even stopped using bottles altogether. He started to sleep through the night, and it took a while to regulate my milk supply.

Since then, moving to Japan when he turned 7 months, I never had to use my pump or any of the bottles i brought over.

When he needed milk, i used nursing covers or we fed him in the car. Eventually he didn’t even drink when we were out.

Our breastfeeding journey is coming to an end. Somedays, he only takes bm in the mornings when we wake up. I just need to find an alternative for that, and i think it’d be the end.

i feel a little sad to say goodbye to our breastfeeding journey. I didn’t think we’d last so long! My little baby is growing up. i will miss cuddling and carrying him in my arms as he falls asleep while drinking milk (and having to gingerly transfer him to the bed, or end up carrying him as he naps) or when he looks at me and smiles, or rolls his cars along my chest as he suckles away.

family, japan, motherhood, parenting, toddler, Uncategorized

May 2020

In May, we bought a new pet/pets for Noel. A guppy, which gradually increased to 5 guppies, a proper tank, water plants and a suckerfish (that died and was replaced by a catfish).

We also spent many hours at the parks, having picnics still, since the weather was still balmy and lovely, as well as to the beaches (tho the condition of the beaches here in japan is less than desirable in terms of cleanliness!)

We also celebrated Mothers’ Day! Where i got a lovely handmade card, and the hubby got me a pack of… masks …LOL (not the covid 19 type…the sheet type)

And I’ve been trying out new things for lunch, because the little one’s appetite hasn’t been great and he doesn’t want to eat his meals properly. For example, getting him to make his own lunch such as sushi has increased his intake coz i guess working for your own meals make it yummier! I’ve also allowed him to peel the cucumbers so that he can learn some simple kitchen skills. 

family, food, japan, motherhood, parenting, toddler, Uncategorized

April 2020

With the whole Covid 19 thing happening, the hubby has been able to spend more time at home, and we have been avoiding places like malls and restaurants, opting instead to picnic in the park, as the parks in our area is considerably empty. 

So in April, 

  • Noel started morning bible studies with father. (no pictures because i’m usually snoozing in bed during this time. hah!) Because most church services have gone online, we’ve also tried watching service live, but after a few weeks, we realised it isn’t really working out coz its always lunch or dinner time when the service goes live, so we’ve tried watching service at a different time now. But Noel has been loving the worship sessions, and we took to learning a new hymn from Happy Hymnody in April (Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery), and Noel has been humming the tune and the first line of the hymn spontaneously!

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  • we spent lots of time at parks and having picnics. We’ve upgraded our picnic gear to a bigger waterproof picnic mat, a small table, some picnic ware, and figured out that keeping the food in the thermopot is the best way of keeping the food warm! We’ve also have had picnics in our car boot. And visited the river in an attempt to catch fish..which we realised are pretty non existent. 
  • We managed to catch the sakuras too!
  • We attempted to start potty training, and its still training in process because we are taking the very cautious method as our whole place is carpeted and we really trying to minimize clean ups!
  • Noel has taken to scooting (thanks to the experience in perth!), cycling and balance biking
  • I have been experimenting on different recipes. and trying out cooking new stuff!
Uncategorized

February & March 2020

In February, I courageously traveled with the little one all the way to Perth. The hubby went with us to Tokyo where we spent a night before N & I flew to Perth, transiting in Sg (which was a mad rush btw… and we were probably the last people on board the plane!)

I’m so glad we went ahead on this trip, because there would be no way of knowing when we’d be able to next fly with this whole Covid19 situation.

We had an amazing time with the family, and Noel really loved the company. Everyday there would be people playing with him, and he grew so much and tried so many new things while he was there.

When the hubby arrived in March, we even took a short side trip on our own to a farmstay, which was so good! We shall try to make it a tradition to go on a farm stay or a short family trip whenever we go visit family in Perth!

We had a lot of issues with travelling back to Japan as seen in previous post, but I’m glad it all worked out in the end, because who knows where we would be stuck at and for how long with this whole situation.

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Our Amazing Race

Little did I know how “exciting” it was to get ourselves back to Japan from our visit with family in Perth.

It started out with a flight cancellation for our Sin-Tokyo leg… which i had to call to change to suit our domestic flight. and then it got cancelled again within 2 weeks. So more calls and more changes.

Then, the per-sin leg got changed. and it didn’t even match the sin-tokyo leg. So more calls. More changes.

Honestly, by this time I’ve kinda lost count how many times we’ve called SQ hotline, or how many changes we’ve made. The flights keep getting cancelled and changed and we were just trying to keep up by adjusting our domestic transfer flight.

When we finally thought all was settled, we went to the airport only to be told we can’t check in because we can’t transit. SIMI SIA?

with all the travel bans changing all the time, we really don’t know what’s the latest update, what’s the accurate info.

More calls to SQ..to High commission. to MFA. More flights being changed. Rescheduled. Calls to ANA to see if they’ve got any available flights… (10k for economy seats, btw)

We were resigned to either staying on in Perth or getting home quarantined in SG if we can’t find a way back to Japan.

But thankfully another option opened itself up, and here we are in the Sg transit lounge waiting to catch our flight home.

I don’t know if our persistence in finding a way back to Japan is the right decision..esp with the whole virus thing. I’m scared of what may happen. I’m scared of being in so many planes, being in the airport for so long. I’m scared we contract it. I’m scared that the place we choose to be in isn’t the best option for us.

But at least we’d be together.

family, japan, motherhood, parenting, singapore, toddler, Uncategorized

January 2020

Hello January.

This month’s most significant event was the visit of my uncle and my cousin. Noel loves his chek gong SO much, he’d follow him wherever he goes. He’d ask to say hello to them first thing in the morning, and when either one of them is out of sight, he’d keep asking where they are. Even now, weeks after they have left, he’s still talking about them, pointing out where they sat at the dining table calling it “chek gong’s seat”, “kimimiyiyi’s seat”, and EVERYDAY he’d ask me where they are.

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I love how he attaches himself to people, and remembers them so fondly. He really likes interacting with people, even though he’s pretty shy.

In other matters, N has been wanting to help out more and more often in the kitchen. He wants to help to wash, help to bake, help to cook, help to cut… “Noel help” is his favourite phrase..and yes…while it is so endearing and lovely that he is so helpful and learning independence… it can be REALLY STRESSFUL when i’m trying to cook a meal, and he pulls a stool over, and try to reach into the sink full of food scraps..or sharp or hot objects, and I gotta stop him, or watch him, or try to divert his attention else where..or create an activity he can do, such as washing grapes…or something safe like this. All the while, trying to make sure our meal is getting cooked (and not burnt!)

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I’ve been experimenting with more dishes and trying to cook new food that the whole family can eat as well. I’ve learnt that adding an egg and corn flour to meat before frying it makes it soft and yummier, and not tough for the kid. I’ve learnt that apple cider vinegar is used in making the sweet and sour pork sauce. I’ve learnt the beauty of coconut milk and how substituting it with milk just doesn’t cut it. And much as I love trying out new stuff in the kitchen, it has to be balanced with spending time with the kid. If I cook up a fancy meal, it means I have less time to sit down and play with him. If I do a simple rice cooker meal, I can have time to interact with him. So, its always about finding the balance. And also, I’m all bummed out from all the cooking this month!

In other news… this winter has been a really warm one. We haven’t had any continuous snow, we’ve had had 4 random days of snow that mostly melted by the end of the day. So, we can’t go sledding, or build a snow man or have snow play which is kinda sad, especially since we don’t have many winters left here. The hubby has been wanting to do snow boarding, and finally, the ski resort near our home has opened its ski slope right at the top, and he could have some days doing so. Honestly, i’m glad he has a new hobby and finding something outdoorsy to do (which is what he loves).. but i’m sometimes envious that he can do so, and feel really crabby about it.

Lots of travelling happening this year… and i’m feeling financially stressed about it. I am kinda regretting making decisions to travel without doing the calculations first, and I’m just going to have to try to make the best of out it, without feeling anxious about how much savings are being used up, or how much of it is left!

 

 

Faith, family, japan, motherhood, parenting, toddler, Uncategorized

December 2019

our 4th anniversary came and went.

Remembering the challenges we’ve gone through since we got married. The hubby being out of a job …more than once. Frequent travelling for ad hoc work purposes. China stint. Being pregnant, while still out of a job. Renovation of punggol house. Having Noel. Moving into new house. and then, moving to Japan. And then adapting to being alone in Japan.

God has been so good to us. We’ve had many memories to share in these short 4 years. We’ve also had our fair share of fights and arguments as we navigate being a married couple, being parents, being new to so many things.

But we have each other. We have our little family. And we always have God.

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Christmas came and went.

This year, in a totally random inspiration, I suggested packing goodie bags for my hubby’s colleagues.. because i really want to buy and give gifts, and I have no one else to do it for, except for hubby and son.

I wondered if we should include Noel in the process. He had been quite a handful lately, and I wasn’t sure if he could follow our instructions. Would he throw the stuff around, would he insist on opening and eating them? would he kick up a fuss? would he make the process stressful and unhappy?

But we decided to give it a shot. and guess what, he was SO excited by all the sweets and chocolates and biscuits and being able to help pack the goodies bags! He was squealing, and dancing and exclaiming everytime he places something in the bag. It was so heartening and amazing to watch.

As for distributing it, the hubby initially didn’t want to bring him to the office to do the distribution either, but in the end, he changed his mind, and together, they went around giving out the goodie bags on Christmas eve. Seeing the son willingly giving out the goodie bags and not screaming, crying or being scared of these strange adults was wonderful as Noel has always been stranger-wary. Hopefully, he finds great joy in giving, and the small actions will plant the seed of generosity in his heart.

As for our own family celebrations, we had a nasi lemak dinner and we spent christmas eve singing christmas carols as the tree was lit up. The little one had a blast dancing around, and we allowed him to open one of his presents – a toy guitar. We watched a vide of the Christmas story and papa read Luke 2 for our bible reading that night.

Because I had a dental appointment on Christmas day, we couldn’t open presents in the morning, so we did so after he woke up from his afternoon nap. He really enjoyed seeing what he has received and he loves them all! We’ve got presents from family in Australia and Singapore! So loved!

There is one more day to the end of 2019. Time really flew by really fast. Honestly, I can hardly recall what has transpired in this year. Life can be such a blur at times.

family, japan, motherhood

why?

If there’s anything I’ve learnt from my therapy sessions, it’s to ask myself why i am feeling a certain way. Why am i upset? Why did i cry? Why do i feel xxxx?

Yesterday i cried at the neurologist office. a few times … and a few times more on the way home.

It wasn’t that he gave me bad news about my condition.

Reflecting, I think it was a myriad of reasons

  1. the recounting of the pain I’ve been having and how much it affects my daily functioning
  2. the relief of having an English speaking doctor who understood me without the use of Google Translate, and is actually kind and patient to listen to me
  3. and that i understood him.
  4. to actually have someone understands my pain
  5. the frustration of having been to 2 doctors prior and having had to rely on hubby to bring me around with kid in tow
  6. the extreme feeling of loneliness
  7. not knowing when the pain would go away even with the meds
  8. feeling sorry for myself.
  9. that I can’t ever just REST and BE when in pain, (that I’m no longer just my own person….) when I have a son to take care of.

I think it was the need to have a kind word spoken to me, or just a hug … that isn’t from my hubby or son.

Living here is tough.. even for a introvert like me.

toddler

Curious Noel

The little one has recently taken to asking…

“what’s that?” “who’s that?”

for everything he is curious about.

the sounds he hears – a truck, an airplane, helicopter, people passing by outside our room, the rice cooker, etc….

the things he sees – an exit sign, a picture of something he is not familiar with, people he sees (customers in a restaurant, people resting in their seats)… etc.

It’s pretty hilarious and quite endearing. If it’s something straight forward like..”it’s a koala”, that’s easy. Sometimes i got to explain to him that ” those are people who are here to have their dinner”… or i’d tell him, ” i don’t know what that is… maybe its….”.

26 months and such a curious boy! But i love that he’s actually, in a way, taking responsibility for his own learning! He doesn’t know what xxx is, so he asks. And usually he remembers!

autumn, Faith, family, japan, parenting, toddler, Uncategorized

Autumn Weekends

On saturday, we visited a bunny park (Tsukiusagi no Sato) in Kaga. I’m so glad we discovered this place, because the entrance fee was free, the bunnies were free roaming (not trapped in some tiny, dirty cage like how we saw at a farm previously), gloves were provided for visitors to wear when feeding/patting the bunnies, and all we had to do was to pay for food from a vending machine to feed the bunnies.

As we were there early, there were more bunnies than visitors, so the hungry bunnies were very excited to crowd around us, with some more aggressive ones fighting the others to get to the food. We had to try to avoid the bigger fierce ones, because we didn’t want Noel to get injured in the process. Nonetheless, he was really excited and had lots of fun patting and feeding them, even though sometimes when the bunnies approach him, he would start to move backwards. But over time, he would even squat down to look at the bunnies and talk to them. So adorbs!

We also visited the biggest Komatsu dump truck at Komatsu city after he woke from his nap.  Even though we go to Komatsu almost every weekend, this is the first time we knew about this exhibition by the komatsu company. The little one was stunned by the huge dump truck. Too bad he’s too young to go up and enter the driver’s seat, but we had fun running around it, and he enjoyed the indoor play area.

The next day, we went to the park to kick a ball. But really, all the kid wanted to do was to run around, up and down the undulating slopes. In fact, he had so much fun that he started to roll around in the grass and even used his butt to shuffle down the slopes!!! After lunch, we went to a park in Nonoichu City and sat on the grass, watching other families play in the open field, while the little one savoured his lollipop (given by the restaurant at which we had lunch at) and ran around us.

Simple days like these, spending time with family, just chilling and relaxing outdoors with the beautiful autumn weather is what I love most about living here. So, despite the isolation I feel at times, the occasional feeling of frustration of the things that might-have-been, these are the moments I’m thankful for.