3 months old baby update

fullsizeoutput_1638fullsizeoutput_1636IMG_7726IMG_7727you know how they say how time flies when you are having fun? well that is true. I cannot believe that our little rainbow baby Sophia is three months old already. I must agree the sleepless nights, body aches , fever, leaking boobs, picking dinner out from your bra because you’ve been eating standing up with child strapped to your chest. no that part of being a new mom all over again is not fun. but what has been fun has been the smiles they give you with their toothless mouth.

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their first giggles when you make a funny face, you realising that they can actually now see you from across the room and follow you with their eyes. them crying and as soon as you pick them up and they stop then you realise they were calling out for you, that your smell, your touch comfort them. that your voice soothes them that they are yours and you are theirs. it is truly a wonderful  feeling of love.

three months have come and gone, in these three month we have learned on each other for support, whenever I feel like it is getting too much and im having a bad day, I look at her, she smiles at me and everything is right with the world again.

she loves to talk, babble I know but I call it talk, we chat together, I let her take turns, when she stops, that is my cue to talk, and she loves it, because she smiles. I try to read to her even though it feels weird because how can she properly understand what im reading to her. at first she only kept her gaze on the book for five seconds, now, she focuses a little longer. im not sure if its the sound but I do know she loves the pictures. she looks at the pictures, boy does she look a lot.

she would look at the trees, cars and buildings on our way to the park. she would look at her hands, at everything and anything, I catch her looking at me when im not looking, she’s examining my face looking at every angle every wrinkle. when im smilling she smiles. she gets jumpy at sudden loud sounds. she tries to grasp for human contacts when she sleeps facing up, I put her bunny rabbit close to her but she still want that human touch.

she is being weened from swaddling now, especially as the weather is getting warmer at nights. she can’t hold objects for long but she tries when I attempt to give her a toy. when I help her and put in into her grasp, she can only hold it for few seconds before letting it go.

she loves to put things in her mouth, she sticks her tongue out to feel things, including my body and clothes. she drools a lot for someone who isn’t teething, she makes bubbles with her saliva and I can bet she actually enjoys playing with the bubbles.

she has lots of wind, it was bad initially and I changed my diet a little bit. avoided food that gave me gas especially diary. she still gets gas but it is less painful. if I let her, she will scratch her face with her nails which tends to grow very quickly.

she had cradle cap (flakes in the hair from dry scalp) and she had dry skin (eczema) after seeing her pediatrics I asked if it was ok to use the British brand of moisturiser I used with the older kids on her and the doctor cleared it. since using it, it has been better (will write more about it in another post), but for now her skin is much better.

she doesn’t sleep through the night but it is much easier than before, I get a good six hours at a time if I go early. she goes down by 7am, wakes up for a feed by 1am, 3am and 7am. so if I go to bed early, I sleep more.

she co-sleeps with us in the bed and I find that easier for breastfeeding her in the middle of the nights when im tired and worn out.

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I tell her I love her only a hundred times a day. its true. I really love and like her. she has such a sweet personality, calm, easy to love.

because she breastfeed, her diaper change is now less frequent as supposed to before when it was up to six times a day. she goes two days sometimes without doing a poo.img_7322

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An Evening in the Upper West Side

Today was the kids student lead conference at their school. I chose the 4;30 appointment which was the earliest they had, the reason was that by that time, the baby would have been sleeping and by the time we are finishing up, she would be ready for her next feed.

as soon as the kids got home from school, I gave then snacks and drink then they started working on their homework.

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I fed the baby, put her shoes on and put her in the baby carrier ( I have been using carriers more often this days because we do a lot of walking and not all places are accessible by prams) also she is calmer and sleeps longer when she’s close to me, this way she does not interrupt my meetings.

Then it was time to leave the house for school. we chatted, they skipped, hopped and we chatted a little more just as we made our way to the first meeting in my oldest class.

The meeting went well. you would think by now I would have gotten used to their teachers singing their praises and telling me how well they are doing, no I don’t get tired of hearing it because it is a continuous journey, children can regress or become nonchalant towards their academic development. moreover, this was specifically important to me because we moved them in the middle of school year, into a new country and then there was the new baby and daddy went on to work abroad, we left our home, friends and family behind in England. They have had so many changes that can typically affect a Childs performers, I was prepared to be told maybe they were struggling a little bit. I won’t have been upset or anything because to be honest these kids have gone through a lot in their young life, many things we’ve been through as a family in this last couple of years would have sent some people over the edge. our positive attitude to life shines through, we take each day as it comes and we celebrate little victories. we do have bad days but we hold on and look forward to the good days.

I gave then kisses and hugged them. I said well one and thanks for working hard and for being themselves. I would have taken them out to celebrate but we have plans this weekends and living in New York city is not cheap so we saved it up for the weekend fun.

on our way home, we skipped, hopped and chatted. we spent an extra five minutes in the streets of this beautiful city we are trying to make home just before going home. it was a lovely well spent five minute. took a little time to appreciate were we where. this has always been my dream and I thought it was impossible, but here we were as every fibre of my body felt grateful, the kids found a bike to play with.fullsizeoutput_1649fullsizeoutput_164bfullsizeoutput_164cIMG_7751fullsizeoutput_164ffullsizeoutput_164e

needless to say, they were all tired by the time we got home. while I was making dinner, they finished up their homework, played a little computer game, had dinner, had a shower and went to bed, before I could say hot chocolate, they were fast asleep, giving me time to have my shower and for the second time this week, have the chance to do my night time beauty routine.

How to calm a crying baby

Have you ever had a newborn baby who would just cry and cry and no matter what you do they just won’t calm down? If yes, then you are not alone.

It usually starts late in the day, around bedtime. They will begin to cry for no apparent reason. You may think, maybe it is colic so you give them anti-colic medicine(gripe water), it won’t work. Then you think again, maybe they need a calm relaxing bath, that too don’t work. Maybe they need feeding but they won’t even take the food from you because they are busy crying. You have tried everything in the book and they are still crying in fact, they are getting louder and more upset.

First of all do not worry. It is probably hard to do given the situation and you might have even looked at the baby and asked “what is wrong with you ” or “what do you want” you are not shaking the baby or shouting at them, you are just genuinely looking for answers! won’t it be lovely if they can respond and tell us what’s wrong?

Crying is natural for babies. That is how they communicate with you. They are telling you something. Maybe they are over stimulated.

We live in the city and our baby is used to noise and sounds but sometimes I have noticed that she gets very upset when the older siblings are getting excited playing their video games, there is a program on tv and couple with the noise outside. It all becomes too much for her.

Another reason I have noticed is when she hasn’t had a good long nap during the day. Contrary to popular misconceptions, babies need a good morning and afternoon naps. Sleeping during the day does not mean they won’t sleep at night, in fact it helps to calm them down for the night and like a learned behaviour, it teaches them how to sleep.

Bearing these reasons in mind I do they whole thing the books recommend. Give her a bath, massage her body while moisturising her, add drops of oil to her head and massage her head gently. Clean fresh clothes, fresh diaper and feed her. A trick I use on her while feeding her and I noticed she wants to pull out and cry is to stroke her hair gently.

It may not seem it but most often times babies cry in the evening because they are tired and wants to sleep. They are feeling restless. They have not learnt fully how to settle themselves, this is why it is good to have a good routine and start teaching them to self soothe but they are babies and are still learning. So while we are teaching and waiting for them to get the hang of things, we can help them.

Find out what your child wants and likes. It is usually a variety of things. I will share some of my daughters with you

She likes to be carried so her head rest against my chest. I think it is so she can listen to my heart beats. Similar to when they were in the tummy. It might seem like I’m “spoiling her” but I see it more as we both keeping an ear out for each other. Making sure we are alive and our heart is ticking.

She likes her hair to be stroked gently. Especially the back hair. Luckily enough she is blessed with hair so there is something to stroke, if like my older daughter she didn’t have hair as a baby, I think I would just stroke her head.

She likes to be rocked in an upward and downward motion as supposed to the common side to side rocking of infants.

She enjoys a variety of sleeping positions. Sleeping on her tummy is her favourite. Followed by sleeping on her side facing me (we co-sleep and I nurse her on demand)

Lastly although she isn’t on a dummy or a sucks her fingers, she loves to put her hands on her mouth using her tongue to play with her fingers. It is actually quite cute to watch her sticking out her little tongue to touch the hands. If she’s not feeling her fingers with her tongue, she loves her hands close to her chin when sleeping on her tummy or clasped together (organically) while on her side.

I would like to point out that professionals do not support sleeping with a baby in your bed or putting a baby to sleep in a way other than on their back. So please check with your doctor and I am not a child expert. I am just a mom sharing my personal experience on how I manage to calm my baby down when almost everything else fails.

The Egg House New York City

The egg house is an egg theme pop up sensory and picture perfect setting in down town manhattan NYC. The staffs are friendly and the atmosphere is very diverse, from young instagramers looking to take the perfect photos to families like us also trying to capture that precious moment your kids first experienced a pop up little museum in NYC. Like other pop-up shop, the egg house won’t be here very long.

As soon as the kids got there, they immediately got on with it. They wanted to go right ahead and have fun. but there was a system, as you enter, you have to move from one part of the room to the next taking photos and moving on quickly because there were others behind you waiting to take photos.

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“LAST ONE IN IS A ROTTEN EGG”fullsizeoutput_15e6fullsizeoutput_15e9IMG_7668IMG_7666

the kids went crazy for the ball pitIMG_7665fullsizeoutput_15e0

it is a really cool place. It was exciting, music playing and people can socialise.

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the spinning half egg shellIMG_7607IMG_7610fullsizeoutput_15f6fullsizeoutput_15f5

imaginary play

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be ready to be photobombed 🙂fullsizeoutput_15effullsizeoutput_15eefullsizeoutput_15edfullsizeoutput_15ebIMG_7631IMG_7634fullsizeoutput_161fimg_7636.jpgIMG_7632IMG_7637IMG_7638IMG_7639IMG_7641IMG_7642fullsizeoutput_1621IMG_7645fullsizeoutput_1625IMG_7657

and …..

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and then some more …..

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the little shop selling cookies and gifts.fullsizeoutput_162e

follow the sign to more fun!

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the egg venture did continue in the basement. it is called the garden. a sensory garden for imaginary play.

it was however very very darkIMG_7690fullsizeoutput_162cfullsizeoutput_1628fullsizeoutput_1627

finally on your way home, you are given a little gift in the form of a small ball, with different little surprises inside. fullsizeoutput_1626

in conclusion it is a really cool and fun place regardless of if you want the pictures for instagram or not. the whole family had fun, there is no changing facilities but the staffs are happy to direct you to the closest place with a rest room, I was glad the baby slept through it all and did not require changing nor did the older kids need the loo.

The Accidental Park Party Crasher

we’ve only been used to the America school system now for three months. there are still some things that we are trying to get used to. this week I got an email and a flyer from the school saying that they were having a dual language school picnic at the dinausar park in the upper west side of manhattan. we later got another email saying to bring food and snacks in contribution. the picnic was in celebration of cinco de mayo that had happened over the weekend.

 

the weather was lovely and we had had a rough night thanks to colic in the baby so I thought the fresh air and the chance to see my older two kids again that afternoon would be nice. I horridly got up, got dressed, got the baby dressed, made a quick simple cheese sandwich and left the apartment for the park.

on getting there, there were lots of kids playing around, climblng the cute dinosaur statues in the middle of the park, some where on the swings, some running around the sprinklers where water sprays out from. some kids were sitting down eating, some queuing up (which I found out was a lingo some Americans were not familiar with, I asked another mom “is this the queue?” and she looked at me probably pondering what I was asking her, im getting used to that look by now, that look that says I hear you but I don’t understand what you mean’. so I went on to repeat myself, maybe it was the accent.  no, still not getting it. the next thing to do is to rearrange the verb or look for another verb to replace the one you used. so I asked for the third time, “is this the line” “oh yes!” she exclaimed smiling, the joy of finally understanding was too cute to miss. I smiled too and made little remark about the English English and the American English. we both laughed about it as I went. on to join the now long food ‘line’ (not queue).

I looked around hoping that my kids would see us and come give us a cuddle while they run back to play, as they typically would do. but no one came. then I looked around for any of their classmates that I have come to now recognise . still no one. then finally I looked around for their class teachers, no? ok now this is not funny were are they? I told the lady behind me to please hold my spot while I go and look for my kids. I was worried this time. I sent them to school, walked them inside so what is going on? I had little comfort from not seeing their classmates and teachers. maybe their class wanted to use the loo ( almost all. the parks in manhattan has toilet – big big points to the Americans there!) but no one was lining up around the toilet area.

I went on to ask a lady wearing the school badge. at least now I know this was definitely my kids school. I asked about other kids and she then went on to explain that this was for the dual language program. But I choose this school for its dual language programs. one of the schools that teaches in Spanish and English. my daughter comes home everyday speaking Spanish to me, so what do they mean by “this is for the dual language programs” I thought the whole school was a dual language program. she went on to explain. I will try to explain because it still somehow confuses me too. so public schools in American or should I say in New York city (thats were I’m experiencing), have the general typical classes and then sometimes have specials programs running in the same school. this programs are not after school clubs or breakfast clubs. its like having a school inside a school. a school for special kids with a form of learning difficulty, a school for gifted and talented kids and in this case a school for dual langue. I say school to understand it better but its the same school, same principal. different teachers, different curriculum maybe and different classes. but all in the same compound. this was new to me. the only time I experienced something like this was at university. post graduate and distance learning students for example all shared campus with us but were somehow different.

anyway just to be sure that my kids were definitely not here I called the school and was told they were in class. I was relieved. I’ve gone past feeling disappointed stage now because this and many more will happen. moving into a new city is bound to set you confused over things but the joy is that its all part of learning the new way of life there. its all part of the adventures and memories you will have with you. I still remember going for my first job interview in London.

I went back to tell the kind lady holding my spot on the line that I won’t be needing it as I got my wires crossed. she said not to worry that I should stay and have lunch and join them in the celebration. I love food and I love music so I wasn’t going to say no to free fun!

that was how I found myself celebrating cinco de mayo in the park with students, teachers and parents who were not in my kids class. I was glad to be there because there was so much fun!

A Day out In The City

Today started out like any other day, the kids woke up super early despite it being a weekend and wishing just like every day in the last five days, they had wanted to sleep in, wake up late. What happens to the not doing anything until it was 11am rules? Kids being kids, they decided to wake up early and start the day in a high spirit. I looked at them wanting to moan about it but decided to go with the flow. we turned the radio on, dancing and singing while tidying up.

then my phone buzzed reminding me of a play date we had arranged last week, I had forgotten all about it, talk about baby’s brain! I had not only forgotten, I haven’t confirmed it. quickly I rushed to text the family and they said yes they were still expecting us. quickly we raced to get ready and just as we were about to leave the apartment, the baby decided to do a number 2. after cleaning her up, she started crying so I stayed back to nurse her. eventually we left the apartment and headed up town.

we took a taxi to 116th street and as the driver was going past the park I realised that it was unusually filled up, people were having parties, kids playing, music beaming from different angles. I asked the driver what was going on and he said it was cinco de mayo celebration. I have heard of this celebration were a lot of Americans dress up in colourful Mexican themed outfits, drink margaritas and eat tacos but I have not really thought much of what it actually meant. a quick google search told me it was a day celebrated because a small Mexican army defeated a large French army in the battle of Puebla. asked and answered. moving on swiftly because it is still all new to me. I am glad that at least that we are all somehow colourfully dressed. quickly I asked the taxi driver if he could be kind enough to play photographer and tale us a photo so we can remember our first somewhat cinco de mayo celebration in New York City. Maybe next year we will be able to do it proper,

Mummy Whats the Weather like Today?

Today my daughter asked me what the weather was going to be like, just as they were getting ready for school. it seems like a simple enough question, I’m pretty sure she had asked the same question yesterday especially now that we seemed to have skipped spring and jumped straight to summer in May.

it was such a beautiful spring day!

As she asked and I muscled the strength and concentration to check the weather app on my phone, I told her it would be hot and sunny so she needed to put on her warm weather clothes, water bottle  and apply sunscreen. Just then it dawned on me that She depends on me for almost everything, all three kids depends on me, my husband depend on me to keep the family running, help him with his doctors or dentist quarterly check up, my parents, grand-parents, cousins, friends, they all depend on me. Maybe it was the lack of sleep seeing that I’ve only had 3 hours of sleep, I panicked for a little bit. The realisation that I was the human Siri was honestly quite overwhelming. In the words of Peter Parker spider man, “with great power comes great responsibility” my case appeared to be somewhat the other way round, “with great responsibility comes the need of great power, or perhaps coffee, or sleep or a hug or three nannies” – Irene. I know I’m no Beyonce so the idea of three nannies was out of the windows.

What if I fail them, now I’m not too worried about the adults in this equation, it is rather the young ones, the most vulnerable ones that I worry about. Its not their fault. They literarily depend on me for their survival. I am the sole source of food and nutrient for my nursing baby. Now that my husband has traveled back to work, I am the older kid’s main source of physical parental support. I may not be their sole source of nutrient as I can easily take them to McDonalds for cheese burger and fries, but the guilt and worry keeps me up at night. I find myself questioning myself, asking, if I’m giving them the right nutrients. I mean forget the fact that they got food in their tummy at least, they are showered, taken to school every single day, taken away from arms way, no, society makes it looks like parents who take their kids to fast food are not so good.

I don’t need no society to be on my case, I am already on my case. I ask myself what if I don’t know the answers to their question? After all, not all the answers can be found in an app, and i’m pretty sure google does not know everything. And Siri, well that guy does get tired sometimes and he begins to get cranky, trust me I have seem him get “emotional” when my son spent over thirty minute asking him weird questions over and over agin.

Again, what if I don’t have the answers they want? God know I love them too much to want to fail them, to not be able to give them the answer they need. I may not be able to answer all their questions, one thing I will always want them to know is that I am here for them. I will listen to their questions no matter how tired I am or how ridiculous it sound. I will search heaven and earth for answers no matter how many few hours of sleep I have had. You see, because they depend on me, it has now become a duty. I owed it to them the minuet I choose  to bring them into this world and be their mother.

The truth is, they are not the only one who depend on me, I also depend on them. they gave my life a new meaning, showed me strength I never knew I had, I mean I can multi-task like a pro! I never knew I could survive on only two hours of sleep and still be able to function the next morning. I depend on my husband for emotional support he may probably think its more financial as he calls himself my ATM machine but I beg to differ. Also being my best friend, there are things I can only tell him and not get worried about being judged. I depend on my girlfriends for moral support and so on. I believe thats what relationships are all about, us depending on each other. Helping each other out. An unspoken code.

So in reply to her question, it is a beautiful weather outside today and later on in the day, me and the littlest one went out for picnic under the most beautiful tree we saw while the older kids were at school.