Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Mummies ... Happy Halloween!

Something simple for a Halloween Craft. Not that we are into it, but rather zooming into a craft which can keep him occupied while I was busy with the baby.

If you have a gingerbread man cookie cutter, you can use that to trace or make an indent and cut out the little man.

I used glue dots so that Xav can easily stick the googly eyes onto the foam men.


and starts wrapping them up with strips of white bandages or white washi tape. I allowed him to use two different mediums.


Here he is with his two not so scary mummies ! Happy Halloween !


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Thursday, October 24, 2013

My breast feeding journey

Breast feeding is not new to me. I set and hit my "KPI" for Xav five years ago and breastfed him to the age of 1. Yes, I managed to did it somehow though I belong to the category with not much milk supply to start with.


If you are a new mum and intend to breast feed your baby, you will be going through somehow a similar stage that most mummies who are into breast feeding went through;
- Waking up every three hourly in the nights for pumping duties
Latching baby in the middle of the night for comfort or dream feed because you are simply too tired to stay awake (you latch, baby drinks and both will eventaully fall asleep together with baby still latching onto your breast but mouth is not moving)
- All the washing and sterilizing the breast pump
- Buying milk bags to store and freeze excessive breast milk
Breast pads ( if you don't want your shirt to be soak with milk leaking due to the Let-down Reflex when baby is latching on to the other side
- The painful engorgement (thankfully, I got it once ONLY for both Xav and Vera). why would I say ONLY ? It is because that once and only engorgement is painful enough to send me crying and unable to sleep.
To relieve engorgement, my massage lady highly believes in not massaging on the painful breasts where the milk ducts are. But she taught me to rub on the back of my palm with the thumb from the other hand. The back of our palms actually represent our breasts. It works. I had an painful one and I rubbed through out the night and the next morning it got better. You will feel pain on the area u are rubbing on but once it relieved the engorgement, the pain will be gone.
- Breast feeding pillow to help support your tiring hands.

(You probably will be smiling as you read if you are having the same mindset as me back then). Being a first time mum with no experience and yet go strictly by the book that Xav die-die must be a total breastfed baby because everyone who is pro breastfeeding will tell you, breastmilk is the BEST !

During the first three days after I delivered Xav, I did not have a single drop of colostrum. My milk supply came in only after 3 weeks and before that it was real pathetic. How did I accumulate enough for Xav was combining all the milk which I diligently pumped out after I latched him on, to make up to the amount he drinks for the next day feed.

The only time I gave in reluctantly to give him formula milk was when he had to be admitted into the hospital for Jaundice. He needed to drink to flush it out. Be it how little, I remembered pumping out in the night and bringing down whatever I could provide for him and supplement with formula thereafter.

Back to Vera, I am still belonging to the low milk supply group. For her, her jaundice lasted for one full month. I watched my diet very closely as it could be due to breast milk jaundice or whichever factor that may have contributed to it. Although there isn't any list of food to really avoid for breast feeding mums, but it is still up to individual to avoid should there be concern of any food allergies. For my case, I am avoiding food that may cause baby to be gassy, seafood as well as dairy products as advised by the Paediatrician. You can read up more HERE.


Green papaya with fishbone soup, Lactagreek, drank pretty lots of water but my supply did not seem to increase. It took me a month to slowly build up my supply, which hit the max at 110ml. This amount was before the confinement lady left.

Amt from Week 1 to Week 6

The stash which I painstakingly built up. Normally I will not freeze for more than 3 months.

Some of the frozen treasures which I accumulated when CL was around.

The date, time and volume indicated served as a reminder to me which pack is "expiring" soon so that I will de-froze it and warm it up for Vera.

Indication of the volume in each pack, date and time

After CL left, I hardly have any time nor the luxury to pump and store the expressed breast milk (EBM). My supply was slowly dipping due to lack of rest. I even went to order lactation cookies from one of the fellow August 2013 mums, hoping that it will help to boost my milk supply.


This time round, I was not so persistent that Vera needs to be totally breastfeed. But rather she chose to be. Two weeks after the confinement lady left, she totally rejects drinking from the bottle and only wants the boobs ! She would rather starve and sleep, waited for my return so that she could latch on me.

Surprisingly, her consistent latching this few weeks, somehow managed to send the signal to the brain that more supply is needed. I felt that my milk supply started to kick in more and breasts feel fuller when it's near to the next feeding time.

Normally, Vera will only wake once in the middle of the night for one milk feed. Last week, she slept from 11.30pm all the way to the next day 9.30 pm. I had no choice but to pump out. I broke my own record and set a new record of my own, pumping out 140 ml instead of the normal 80-110ml. It may seem to be not as much as those who have high supply. For me, I have broken my own record.


What we eat will be what is going into the breast milk. On too of having a healthy diet, I supplement myself with calcium pills as well as DHA.


Now I just need to have a tin of FM powder on standby just in case, she has a sudden change of mind to take bottle again. To the mums to be, new mummies and second/third/fourth time mummies who has low milk supply like me. Press on, don't be stress (Trying to remind myself as well), keep latching and trust the baby to be a better "pump". They can achieve the Let-Down Reflex in us which the breast pump can't (For my case). No matter how little or low your supply can be, you have done your best and do not be depressed !

Yes, it is a tiring journey. But it takes perseverance to keep it going. Daddies, who can't latch the babies, please do give support to the mummies ya ! I'm thankful that I have a supportive hubby all these while !

Here's my happy lil' Vera, currently on mummy's milk exclusively !



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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Quickfix - Wagyu Beef Steak

This is one of the "ration" I stocked up in my freezer. When you no longer have any help to help to cook or do marketing, yet you need to have nutritional quick fix meals, especially for me when I am now breastfeeding Vera. This Wagyu beef steak comes in handy ! It's filling enough and you can easily get it done within 4 mins. This reminded me of the wagyu beef I took in Hokkaido !

Grade 5 Wagyu Beef Steak
What I did was, I defrosted the steak in the noon to cook it in the evening. I marinated with some grinded black peppercorn and salt, pan fried for a short 4 mins if you do not want it to be too well done. It tasted soft and juicy ! Yumms !

Go to the bigger NTUC counters, you will be able to get the steaks there.



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Monday, October 21, 2013

Baked Portobello mushrooms with cheese

Happy Monday to all ! This is one of dear's favourite on my menu. He requested for it over the weekends and here is the fuss free and quick recipe to share with all !

Simply just get a pack of Portobello mushrooms, a pack of grated cheese mix (Mozzarella, Cheddar & Parmesan) and a little butter.


Method :

1. Clean the mushrooms with a wet kitchen paper towel. Do not wash them !
2. Remove the stem.
3. Add a little teaspoon of butter  and top the mushrooms with cheese as shown below.
4. Baked them in the oven till the cheese turn golden and you are ready !


This is one of my favourite dish too when we invite friends over to our place for dinners. No time to spare ? Try this !

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Mustela Bébé Range {Product Review + Giveaway}

Caring for the new-born's baby skin is a delicate matter. Is the product phthalate and parabens free ? Is it hypoallergenic ?  Is the product fragrance free ? Will baby break out in rashes after using ? I would not want any products with any fragrance for baby ... blah blah ... the list goes on and yes this is me ! These are what I look out for when choosing a skin care product for baby.

When Vera was six weeks old, I was using the standard procedure of cleaning her face with clean, clear tap water. But that did not help with the baby acne and milk rash on the little one's face. Baby's skin is supposed to be smooth isn't it ? And I realised the folds behind her ears started to discharge sticky fluid.

Look at her skin shown below and the problems at the folded areas. I was pretty helpless and upset about it.


Until I decided to bring her to see her PD, who recommended and prescribed me with Mustela STELATRIA® Purifying recovery cream. After consistent application for a week, I saw an improvement in her skin condition and felt that the purifying cream is not bad !

STELATRIA® Purifying recovery cream

The problem next  is not only her face. I started to observe that her skin was dry at both her arms and back, redness at the folds under her armpits as well as on her arm. Eventually, she had cradle cap too !! It was like the skin issues came in one after another !

I was elated when I got the invitation to attend Mustela Rebirth Launch, it was a good opportunity to get to know more about the products !

I was willing to give Mustela Bébé Range a try after getting to know that their products are free from :
- Phthalate
- Parabens
- Phenoxyethanol
- Alcohol
- Chlorphenesin
- Genetically modified plants extracts
- Alcohol
- EDTA
- SLS

and is made from an average of 92% ingredients of natural origins. With an intelligent active ingredient in it , Avocado Perseose, it helps to strengthen the skin and protects it's store of cells by acting as a protective shield and with perfect tolerance. Click HERE to read more on the proven safety and efficacy of Mustela products.

Below are the products, Mustela Singapore had allowed me to pre-select the products to suit the needs of Vera.

Mustela Bébé range

I started cleaning and maintaining her skin with the range of products. I started off with using PhysiObébé, no rinse cleansing fluid (Applicable for the face and diaper area). I totally fell in love with it because it leaves a delicate, refreshing scent after cleaning and no rinsing is required. Adding on, it is so gentle that it does not sting baby's eyes and Vera's perfectly fine with it ! No fuss whenever I clean her face with it.

Following, whenever, Vera pooped. I used the Cleansing milk to clean her up. The cleansing milk has a soft, creamy texture and it is so easy to clean off her diaper area without much fuss. After which, I cleaned again with clear water before I dry the diaper area and apply the Vitamin Barrier Cream.

I will not want to risk having diaper rash on Vera. I will apply diaper rash cream on the diaper area diligently after shower or every diaper change. I'm surprised at the texture of Mustela's Vitamin Barrier Cream.  I find the texture soft and light, it stays on the skin easily and it was delicately scented as well. The best part was, during the next diaper change. The diaper area remained dry and silky soft !!

From the top right : PhysiObébé , Cleansing Milk, Vitamin Barrier Cream

Zooming in on Vera's cradle cap issue. Seriously, I did not know that there is a shampoo for cradle cap until Josephine from Mustela Team shared with me during the launch.

Dermo- Cleansing & Foam Shampoo for New born

As far as possible, I  always love to have "live" testimonial to show.  Here's the "Before and After" using Mustela's Foam Shampoo for Newborn, which targets at cradle cap.

Look closely at the circled area, see if you could see the white flakes on the scalp.

 

One to two weeks later, I noticed her scalp has clear up ! No more flaky skin on her scalp.


For every shower, I pumped two dallops of the foam shampoo and gently massage her scalp in circular motion alongside with the foam shampoo and rinse off thereafter. It is simple to apply and it does not get into her eyes.


The after effect which I noticed was, I spotted "dandruff" in tiny spots amongst her hair. It seems like the shampoo has helped to eliminate the flakes, I merely just brushed her hair to remove it and soon her scalp is cleared ! The foam shampoo left a light scent on Vera's hair and her hair felt softer too. Should you have spot me smelling her head, you know what's the reason behind it !

After shower, I massaged Hydra Bébé® body lotion onto Vera's body. I love its non greasy texture, leaving her skin soft and moisturized. Gone are the dry patches.

 Hydra Bébé® body lotion

How she enjoyed each time I massaged the lotion onto her body. Through physical touch, it is a good way to bond with the baby through massage.
 

We see a vast improvement after using Mustela Bébé Range for two weeks ! This is the skin condition of Vera ! No more angry rashes and skin is smoothen and moisturized ! Thank you Mustela !


Mustela Singapore is generously giving away a "Full size Mustela Cleansing Milk PLUS a favourite Mustela product of your choice " for three selected winners from Xavvy-licious Blog readers !!

Simply enter through the Rafflecopter widget below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


and leave a comment in the blog post indicating :
- your email address
- your preferred choice of Mustela product.

Do note that closing date to enter the Giveaway is on 25th October 2013, 2359 hrs and is only opened residents residing in Singapore only.

Should you want to try any of Mustela Products after reading our review, do pop by Spring Maternity Showroom where their Pop-up counter will be until 20th October 2013 and get 20% off Mustela products !

Photo Source : Mustela Singapore


Disclaimer : I was given a set of Mustela Products for review by Mustela Singapore. No monetary compensation was involved and all opinions are of my own.





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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Voyage of Dreams

After Xav's usual swim class ended, we headed down to "Voyage of Dreams" organised by Sarah. Due to our schedule, we could not make it for the registered events but made it to Dreams on Parade .

Voyager of Dreams
Borrow six books and you can enter into the Dreams on Parade.  A good initiative to encourage children to read and craft ! Ready to start dreaming ?



Before we entered, we saw some beautiful creations using egg carton on the display table!

Some of the creations made from recycled materials.
Xav was inspired to make his favourite characters, Angry Bird and has decided to create his favourite Starwars character, Han Solo. He created it all by himself. No help is rendered to him except for when he is looking around for the materials he wanted and couldn't found it.

Xav and his Han Solo
We met Susan and Sophie at the event too !

The creative and playful children !
And made a glittery butterfly out of pipe cleaners ! Seriously, I did not know that pipe cleaners can be so fun ! Be creative and playful, you be amazed by what you can come up with !



Though it was only for the short span of 45 mins but we had a whale of a time ! Looking forward to next year's Cardboard Dreams !


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Friday, October 11, 2013

Bunnies fun !

This morning's breakfast was somewhat similar, bread with cheese and apple wedges. But a little different from the usual as I made it look nicer instead of the boring presentation we normally eat. The amazing part of a nicely presented breakfast was, I do not need to hurry Xav to finish up his breakfast.

I was up feeding Vera at 6 am, I was thinking might as well since I'm not going to fall back to sleep again. I prepare this plate of bun-nies with apples wedges. It's not only food to him, he started to create a story as he ate !

The story of two bunnies by Xav :

The bunnies (bread) were on the ground with red soil (red apple wedges).
The snow (mini dots of bread) dropped onto the bunnies' heads and melted.

(As he finished eating all the mini "dots" on the plate), the snow melted and here comes Spring !

How imaginative of him for a start of a morning !


The  bunnies hopped onto the sailboat and sail away.
 

They got so tired and slept on their beds .. Zzz

I was pretty surprise by the short & simple story he created and yes, simple as it was but he enjoyed his breakfast.


Don't get me wrong, I am not stressing my five years old to the extent that he has to learn even when he eats. It's all purely from his own initiative alright.

I hope that I can warm up my engine soon and wake up earlier to prepare more of such breakfast if Vera can make it possible that is provided she sleeps after her morning feed!

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Babies photography by Orange Studios << Sponsored Session >>

Vera's got a second photoshoot session sponsored by Orange Studios. This time round, Orange Studios has a new beanbag and some textured covers just for the newborn and babies ! 


This time round, Vera was less cranky as compared to the first session. With the lightings, Ryan did not use any flashes which most babies do not like. Not to worry about baby feeling cold should they be doing naked shoots, the warmth from the light source is enough to maintain a warm surrounding.

Photographer Ryan @ Work

The challenging part during the mid of the session when Vera decided to get cranky. We tried to put her to nap so that it's easier for her to pose as well. The task is left to daddy to carry out and yes, by the end of it both father and daughter dozed off.

Before Vera falls asleep, daddy is half way there ... Zzz
 
Both knocked out !

Oh well, how sensitive and a light sleeper babies are ! The moment we placed her down onto the bean bag, she woke shortly. =P

These are the images we have selected from the photoshoot session.

So what makes a happy baby during a photoshoot session ?

* The trick was to plan a milk time as close as possible to the photoshoot session.



 

One of the rare pic of Vera, not crying, with her headband on !


I can't explained why but I love this expression of hers.



From Vera, I learnt that if once a baby is past two weeks old, they will be more alert and their limbs are stronger by then, to take newborn pictures will deem to be a little challenging. Should you have a newborn, take the opportunity when they are less than two weeks old for newborn photoshoot.

Once again, we thank Orange Studios for the lovely pictures of Vera !

To find out more about Orange Studios,
you can visit their website at : http://www.orangestudios.sg
or visit their Facebook Fan Page, Orange Studios

A'POSH BIZHUB
1, Yishun Industrial Street 1
#07-04,
Singapore 768160
Email : contact@orangestudios.sg
Mobile : 8606-6950

Disclaimer: Orange studios had offered us an exclusive photoshoot for Vera. No monetary compensation is involved and all opinions are of my own.




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