Confinement Lady – Liability to the home

January 24, 2007 at 11:21 am

I don’t like to bitch in my blog, but I can’t help it.

In the house, my reign is in the kitchen. The utencils we used, the kitchen cabinets are mainly my choices, and I’m most proud of it. Now when you have a Madam-Know-It-All or Madam-Absent-Minded at home, what happened?

First incident : Madam-Know-It-All
We heard grinding sound in the wet kitchen and I thought the CL must be preparing some soup. I took a peek. To my horror, she was actually sharpening our Zwilling Ja Henckels knife on our stone mortar.
“What are you doing??”
“Sharpening your knife, it’s blunt.”
“What?? Do you know this is an expensive knife and should only use the proper sharperner to sharpen it?”
“My other clients also use this brand of knife ma, and they just use the stone mortar to sharpen it.”
“That’s their problem!! Please, the next time when you want to do such things, ask us if it’s ok first!”
There goes my RMXXX knife.

Incident Two : Madam-Forgetful
After her bath, Zara came down and mentioned, “Mmmm, I smelled toast.” I sniffed the air and smelled something sweet, asking if Tuyam was making toast, but she said nope.
Got her to check the wet kitchen and she said the CL is double boiling something and the water has dried up.
Called for the CL (who was somewhere reading her papers) and she went to have a check.
“Aiya.. I thought still got lots of water, didn’t know dried up liao.”
After some scrub scrub, wash wash, the wok could not be saved. The CL was double boiling DOM ginger chicken soup for me, and the sweetish DOM has spilled out and got burnt, leaving a blackish crust on the wok.
There goes my well seasoned wok.

Incident Three : Madam-Know-It-All AND Madam-Absent-Minded
I was reading a book to Zara and preparing for bed, and suddenly the CL came up and said, “Aiya, I was pouring out your soup and the pot burnt me, so I quickly placed the pot on your kitchen top. Now there’s a mark there. I’ll go ask your husband to have a look.” and she went out to the study to get Daddy.
I thought it was a small matter but I heard a loud scream from Daddy.
Oh boy, must be bad, I quickly went down to have a look.
Sure thing, our two year old Ikea kitchen top has a big burnt mark on it just next to the sink. (Ouch!)
“Aiya, not serious lar. Can use paint to paint it, then you won’t see the mark any more. I forgot ma. All my clients have tiles kitchen top. Didn’t know yours is wood, can burn.”
I was so furious I just said, “Few days ago, the wok, now this!”
This is by far the worst damage, because you can’t just change the top, it’s too troublesome, we’ll have to live with this ugly mark for as long as we still have this kitchen cabinets!
Kitchen top

Scarred for Life!

Daddy told me to cool it just in case she may do some thing to Zaria. He mentioned he’ll settle with her this Sat, her last day! The worst thing we could do is not to give her ang pow, what else can we do?

And I haven’t even included the shower head that she broke on Day 3 she arrived in our house! Niah Mah! KNN! @#%!@#%

Updates – Birth, Baby, Zara, CL, Me

January 8, 2007 at 12:00 am

Our 2nd daugther was born on 28th Dec evening.

I opted for elective induction and admitted in the morning to be induced. Dr inserted a pill into the cervix to start things off and later put me on drips. I only got a little contraction, I could still read, listen to music, talk to Daddy gaily.

When the drip dosage was increased to 100%, my cervix was barely 2 cm opened, even though the contraction pain started to become unberable. I wanted to go without pain relief for as long as I can but after 1 1/2hr, I started using the (entonox) gas. Then the midwife suggested that I go with pain killer since I got very tense every time the contraction started which would affect the cervix dilation. After talking to Daddy, I opted for Pethidine, just like I did with Zara’s birth.

The minute Pethidine was injected, I started relaxing and the cervix started to dilate. We were disturbed by baby’s heart beat though. Every time when a contraction started, her heart beat went down, after the contraction, the heart beat recovered. Dr was called and he told us that it may be due to 1) baby was compressed in the birth canal or 2) baby’s umblical cord was around her neck. The latter could be life threatening. He told us we could either opt for emergency c-sect for safest bet, but looking from the way things are progressing, he told us to hang a little bit longer. We were worried, but trusted his judgement.

Soon after that, I could feel the urge to push (that’s why I didn’t want to go for epidural since it will numb all such sensation). Midwife checked me and found that baby’s head was already crowning. Every thing started to happen, within minutes, Dr was back in the labour room, gave me an episiotomy, and the delivery began. This round, no help needed, baby just got pushed out with one push.

The minute I heard her cry, all pain was forgotten, although I still felt a bit high and dizzy from Pethidine, the rush of joy was overwhelming.

The little girl was 2.91Kg (Zara was 3.39Kg), and her height was 51.5cm (Zara was 50.5cm).

The room we spent 12hrs in awaiting for the birth of our 2nd daugther

I worried too much. When I was pregnant, I was constantly worried that I will not love baby as much as I do with Zara. I just found new capicity to love her. How can you not love your own flesh and blood?

Baby is good, she’s more patient than Zara and even when she’s hungry, she’ll cry a little and wait for me to feed her (Zara used to cry and turn black every time we were a bit too ‘slow’).

She sleeps a lot still, but when she’s awake, she likes to look around, checking us out. She was admitted back to the hospital for jaundice for 2 nights and now she’s back home coping well.

We still call her baby or mei-mei (Chinese : Small sister) since we haven’t decided on the name yet. 🙁

Zara is doing very well as a jie-jie (Chinese: Big sister). We gave her a set of nice markers as a present from baby and also bought her a baloon when she came visiting, telling her she’s now jie-jie to baby and mummy’s assistant. She’s very proud of her new titles.

The first few days, she cried when baby cried for milk. She didn’t want the Confinement Lady (CL) to handle mei-mei when mei-mei cried but insisted that “Mummy, sayang (Malay : pat) mei-mei. Don’t want aunty (CL) sayang.” She constantly wants to hug and stroke her mei-mei but unfortunately, she contracted chicken pox (probably from visiting mei-mei in the peadiatric ward) after mei-mei was discharged and we told her not to be too close to mei-mei for the time being.

Confinement Lady
What’s wrong with these people? They think so highly of themselves that they don’t wash dishes, do house work or help out with the older kids even when they are just siting around doing nothing.

I’m barely able to stand her, and Daddy is very tempted to get rid of her. She’s more like a cook instead of a CL. Since I’m 100% breastfeeding, and I like to be a bit hands on (like cleaning baby’s poo or topping and tailing baby) she doesn’t have much to do.

Baby sleeps with me in the night, and when I naps. I wake up to feed her while the CL sleeps away. She cooks for me 3 meals a day, washes baby’s clothes, bathes baby and that’s about all she does. She doesn’t help with Zara at all, nor anything else in the house. She sleeps when I sleeps (and sometimes before), and when Zara watches her VCDs/DVDs, she watches with Zara(but not to care for Zara, even small little things like giving Zara snacks or taking a drink for Zara from the fridge, CL will shout for Tuyam to do it).

The only good thing that came out of this is she knows what I should and should not eat and make sure whatever I take help with milk production. With Zara (without a CL), my milk came on day 5. With baby, my milk came on day 4 and supply is pretty good.

I’m doing fine but a bit tired. 2 kids vs 1 is very different.

When baby is feeding and Zara needs attention, I have to be tactful, or still give Zara the attention by talking to her or doing things with her with my free hand. I still try to spend as much time as I can with Zara so that she doesn’t feel I’m neglecting her.

When baby is alert, I try to talk to her and carry her around to show her the house or look at new things.

I only get to rest when both of them are sleeping. Luckily, I can breastfeed while lying down, so in the night when baby wakes up for her feed, I just latch her on and continue to sleep while she feeds.

I’m not sure what is wrong with blogger but have been trying to post more photos but not able to after the hospital shot.. *sigh* May not be able to update or read blogs as frequently for now until things are more settled.

Short Takes & Blog Break

November 7, 2006 at 10:48 am

I have 9 more weeks to go before I pop. Put on 9Kg so far. Baby is doing fine, kicking and moving a lot, especially when she hears her jie-jie’s (Chinese : big sister) voice.

Zara is reaching Terrible Two and becoming a bit of a handful, very demanding, very whiney (very tiring for mummy).

The arrangement with MIL coming to stay with us and babysitting Zara didn’t work out. By day 2, she totally refused ‘Mama’ (Chinese : Paternal grandma), and worst thing was, she started crying from morning till night, unless she’s at my side. Can you imagine how tiring it was for me, especially if I needed to work as well? I took a day off on Thurs and Daddy helped out by working from home on Fri, that made me survived the week.

When we asked Zara why she didn’t like Mama, she told Daddy, “Mama no fun”. I think Mama is over protective, not allowing Zara to do lots of things in fear of Zara falling or hurting herself, and then there’s also this communication problem. Mama speaks Chinese, Zara speaks English. but she learnt fast, by Day 3, she started saying “Bu Yao” (Mandarin : Don’t want) every time Mama came near her.

Now we’re back to my sis’ place. Zara has accepted one of the Kakaks to play with her (although she still refuses to let the Kakak change her diaper, bath or feed her), so it’s easier on me, and she’s also very happy to have my nephews play with her when they come home from school.

My maid will be coming back next Wednesday. Thank goodness.

This morning, when she woke up, Daddy told her, “You be good girl ok? Kakak jaga (Malay: look after) you and you let mummy work.” Her replied, “I don’t want mummy to work work anymore.” Ha. I told Zara, “Then you have to ask Daddy to work harder and make more money so mummy don’t have to work.”

By 11pm every night, after doing a bit of house work and packing Zara’s things for the following day (when Zara has gone to sleep), I can feel my shoulders and back aching. And that’s when I tried to catch up on some work which I couldn’t finish up during the day because of the interruptions from Zara. Work is piling up.. So I’ll be taking a blog break. See you all again when my maid is back.

Conversations / Keeping My Sanity

November 1, 2006 at 11:23 pm

Some of her conversation with us that tickled me.

Me : Do you want to watch Chinese jiejie show (referring to ??? musical VCD).
Zara : Want. Chinese jiejie got hair clips. Zara’s hair clip upstairs in the box (referring to the box I kept all her hair clips).
Me : Yeah. But Zara doesn’t like mummy put hair clip for Zara. You always want to take it out.
Zara : Because it’s painful. Mummy put hairclip is painful. Take out then must comb comb the hair.

Daddy : Tomorrow is Sunday where does Zara want to go?
Zara : ……
Daddy : Maybe we can go to Lake Gardens. Can go to the dinosaur playground, feed the monkeys. How about that?
Zara : Sounds like fun!

Zara : Don’t want kakak KC.
Me : Why?
Zara : Because kakak is so uh-gree (ugly).
Me : Oh, that’s not nice. If you have good manners you won’t say something like that.
Zara : *spent a few seconds thinking* Because kakak is not family. Mummy, Daddy and Zara is family.
Me : But you let kakak Tuyam jaga (Malay : Take care of) you.
Zara : Kakak Tuyam is oso (also) family. This one new kakak, not family.
Me : ….

I had a short nap while Daddy looked after her, and when I woke up, she came to me and stuck her face real near mine and asked, “Mummy, Are you feeling better now?”
..She’s really growing up…

~~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~~

Btw, it has been crazy for me over the last few days. Sis’ Filipino maid has to go back to Philippines because of family emergency, and sis needs her Indonesian maid back. So no one to baby sit Zara (although I could still send her to my sis’ place, Zara just refused to let the Indonesian maids care for her) and do the housework. Guess who we enrolled for help? MIL for baby-sitting Zara.

MIL has been staying with us since Sunday. Zara refused MIL as well, so she has been climbing up the stairs to the study to come to me when MIL is not looking. And I have to do the diaper changing, milk feeding, VCD/DVD playing. She won’t allow MIL to touch her, and MIL is too afraid to turn on the VCD/DVD player. Major disruption for me at work.

Another 14days before my maid returns. Hope I’ll still be sane by then.

Psst, my future in-law, do you want to help baby sit Zara? I’ll give you discount on the dowry.


October 20, 2006 at 1:59 pm

Almost a week has passed since our maid has gone home.

We’re using my sis’ Indonesian maid, KC. Our initial plan was to have her take care of Zara and at the same time help out with household chores. However, Zara totally didn’t want KC to handle her. I think the reason is KC didn’t speak English, and Zara has no way of communicating with her (Tuyam is able to communicate with Zara with her limited broken English). She doesn’t even want KC to sit near her while she watched her TV shows.

She only wanted my sis’ Filipino maid, Elizabeth. Kept sticking to her and every time KC goes near her, she’ll be shouting, “Don’t want kakak. Aunty Aunty (calling for Elizabeth), come!”

There’s lots of interruptions for me while working at my sis’ place. Sometimes when Elizabeth needs to cook or clean the house, Zara will be coming to me, asking me to play with her; Or running to me for help when KC tries to give her some water or play with her.

Oh boy, tough for me.

Why is it always the wife who has to endure this while the husband continues with his usual routine when the domestic helper is not around? I’ll wait to see if Daddy is going to help out during the weekend, or he’s still going to enjoy his weekend like he usually does, in front of his newspapers, ‘making love’ to his amplifier, and working on his hobby.

World War Three will erupt if he thinks I’ll have to do all the work, while it’s status quo for him!

Weekend bad luck

August 14, 2006 at 1:20 pm

Just our luck.

Incident 1
On Saturday, while on our way back from the market, at a traffic light on a slope, Daddy stopped behind a small truck loaded with long wooden poles. The truck suddenly backed towards our car; Daddy pressed on the honk, but the truck driver was obviously dreaming, the truck just continued to slide down the slope towards our car, and suddenly BANG! One of the wooden pole just cut straight into our bonnet.

Daddy was furious, he immediately overtook the truck, blocked the truck with his car and got down, making sure the truck driver did the same and checked on the damage. Daddy was pointing at the driver, then his car, we couldn’t hear what he was saying, but it’s obvious he’s very angry, an emotion he doesn’t show much in the presence of Zara (he’s more patient with Zara than me). Zara pointed to Daddy and said, “Daddy so rude”, not seeing this side of him before.

When Daddy got back into the car, he said when they talked about who’s going pay for the repair, the truck driver just said he’s just a driver for the company truck, and won’t have money to pay Daddy.

Incident 2
On Sunday, I went to have dinner at my sis’ place and after dinner I brought my dad out for coffee.

As I was driving towards the coffee place, going on a straight road, a sudden BANG! and the whole car shook and skidded a bit sideways. We got knocked by a car exiting from a junction on the left!

I immediately stopped the car, my dad, the hero, stomped out and started approaching the other car. I parked the car properly, checked the damage, unstrapped Zara from the car seat, carried her and walked towards the other car. I could hear my Dad shouting at the young driver, “You just got your license and you are still on probation and you are driving like a madman?!!” He was giving the boy a lecture. The boy was apologising profusely. I told him I’ll get someone to evaluate the damage and then bill him. There’s a bad dent on the left back passenger side just after the door, all the way to the bumper.

We exchanged phone numbers, and after more apologies from him, we left. I told my dad why he was so angry, and scolded the boy so harshly. What if he was some road bully and beat him up? He’s way too gangho. My dad.

I was shaken by the accident, but then I counted my blessings. If I’d drove any slower, or if the driver drove any faster, he could have knocked right into the back passenger car door, where Zara was seated. I don’t want to imagine that. And I was driving Daddy’s car, and not my car, which has cheaper spare parts, more common colour, and he already has a dent from the day before, so if he needed to knock the dent back, he can get them done all together. Lucky in a way?

Zara’s ?? (Mama – Paternal Grand mother)

July 12, 2006 at 1:10 pm

The days when I was away for my work trip, Daddy got MIL to come and stay in our house so that she can keep an eye on our maid while he’s at work.

MIL’s style of caring for a child vs mine is very different, especially in these 3 areas :
1) She didn’t believe in breastfeeding, and thought I breast fed Zara for too long, making Zara too attached to me. She was so glad I finally weaned her off from the breast, even after I told her many times the benefit of breast feeding, including the DHA I’m giving Zara, and the boost of immunity she’s getting from all the breast milk.
2) She thinks that a baby should be and can be toilet trained by the 1st few months of life. She’s appalled that Zara is still not toilet trained by 1 1/2yrs. She said all her kids were toilet trained within the first few months. I don’t believe a child can hold their bowel movement or bladder at such a tender age. It’s more of her being ‘trained’ to bring them to the potty at specific intervals.
3) She over protect the child. Even now, she still has her arms stretched out around Zara when Zara walks about, she’s getting ready to catch Zara if Zara fell.

I’m actually quite glad that I get to bring up Zara my way, which is through reading lots of books written by child care experts. Tuyam, my maid, is not married and has not cared for a child before, so I thought her my desired method, and she followed them.

So when MIL came over to the house to stay, both Zara and her were in for some surprises.

MIL was shocked we allowed Zara to play in her bath for so long.
MIL was always following Zara with arms outstretched, Zara found it very annoying.
MIL tried to stop Zara from sucking her thumb, and or course Zara was very upset.

When I wasn’t around, Daddy told me that Zara has been asking MIL to be away from her. When Zara is upstairs, she would tell her Mama, “Mama, go down stairs!”
When Zara is downstairs, she would tell her Mama, “Mama, go up stairs!”
And sometimes MIL close her arms around Zara (ready to catch her if she falls), Zara would point to a corner and tell her Mama, “Mama, go there!”

When I was around, I saw Zara pushing MIL away when MIL tried to help her climb a chair or on to the sofa (which Zara is already an expert doing it). I had to chip in and tell Zara, “Cannot be rude to Mama. Mama is just helping ok?” or “Cannot push Mama away, you know Mama is Daddy’s Mummy and she sayang (Malay: Love) you very much?”. Zara would then turn towards MIL and give her a hug, as though to apologise.

I know MIL loves Zara and cares for her. However, her method is not one that Zara is used to, so Zara is not accepting her. I’m glad and thankful she was wiling to help out when we needed her help. However, I’m also glad that she’s not Zara’s main care giver, as I think Zara would be a very different person under her care.


June 8, 2006 at 10:17 pm

Every thing looks nice but tastes yucky.
~ That’s how my appetite is nowadays. I’m always hungry, and always want to munch on something. However, everything that I put into my mouth, tastes awful, it gets worse later part of the day. Morning sickness? Mine is evening sickness.

Nice things smell awful.
~ I bought the Anaku body shampoo for Zara to use because I loved the baby scent. Now, I can’t stand it. If I had to bath Zara, I’ll change it to soap. If Tuyam used this to bath Zara, I can’t even stand the smell of it on Zara.

Work work and work
~ My boss changed me to another project team. It means more work, more morning and night conferences with the US folks, and the start of traveling. I’d turned down a trip to Houston and a chance to meet Simple American (excuse, “medical reasons”), but I believe there’ll be some traveling within Asia which is quite difficult to refuse.

I’m tired
~ My work day sometimes start at 7:30am (meeting), and I continue working till about 7pm. On the same day, sometimes I get a 9pm or a later call.
~ Zara would be crying when I have to leave her at 9pm. I have to pacify her and then pass the crying child to Tuyam (Daddy is pretty hopeless when Zara starts crying)
~ Zara will stay up until I lay next to her. Normally I’m too tired and just doze off with her.
~ At 6am, she’ll be waking me up to make her “bottle milk”, like a zombie, I do just that, see that she finishes her milk, and try to get both of us back to sleep, even though it’s just for another 1hr or 1.5hr.

~ She cried when I have to attend my call at 9pm. Nobody was able to pacify her, she was wailing, “mummy, mummy“. So I had to carry her in the study, hooked on my headset, listened to the conversation at the other end of the line (and hoped they won’t call my name), and pacified the crying girl.
~ When she stopped crying, she started yakking away, about this wooden man figurine that I have in the study, here is part of what she said (She was repeating the same thing over and over for 30mins about the ‘boy’ being broken, because she bang it on the floor). I was really worried about her, chanting away like that.

(If you can’t see the player, the wav file can be found here)

Toilet Business

March 27, 2006 at 6:44 pm

MIL : Zara still wearing diaper during day time?
Me : Yes
MIL : Aiyo, let her wear her panties without diaper la. Tell her to let you know when she wants to pee or poo
Me : *smiled and shrugged*
She reminds me again and again that her kids were toilet trained from a very young age, and I waited too long to train Zara (MILs are always quick to point out your shortcomings).
Hmm, I listen to the expert, and I won’t push Zara as long as she’s not ready.

We tried several time to get Zara to sit on the potty, she played with it, stepped on it, walked around carrying it. She’ll freeze and say, “Poo Poo.” when she’s about to poo. If we asked her to sit on the potty, she would say “Don’t want. Skat skat”. I don’t know why.

Because the 2 of us are inseparable at home, she likes to follow me to the toilet and have seen me used the toilet bowl. I told her, “This is big people’s potty. Next time Zara become big jie-jie, Zara can use this potty.” She normally helps me flush after I’d finished using the toilet. “Fus (Flush).” She would observe closely to see whatever that’s being flushed away, “see-see (pee) no more!”

One day, while we were in the toilet, she pointed to the toilet bowl.
Zara : “Poo poo.”
Me : “Zara wants to use big people’s potty to poo poo?”
Zara : “wang”
I placed her on the toilet bowl, held on to her and started coaxing her with sound effect.
After a few moments of trying, she just said, “No more!” and wanted to get down.

My maid said she did that again last week.

I guess when she’s ready, she’ll do it, according to her schedule.

Solution to a Running-around Toddler

December 23, 2005 at 9:13 am

Since Zara could walk very well now, and prefers to walk about on her own without her hand being held; and because I’m getting old I have no energy to run after her, and I don’t normally bring my maid along to look after her while I do my shopping, I have to find a solution to make sure she’s always within a perimeter I want her to be.

This is my solution :

She takes it very well. Happy to reach her hand out for me to strap the wrist strap on her, and doesn’t mind the confined area she could roam. However, people around her wasn’t as optimistic.

Samantha, “She’s like a dog”
My reply, “No, she’s not, it’s just like holding on to her hand”
Alicia, “My mummy (King’s Wife) never used that on me”
My reply, “Because last time you have Aunty Nora (their previous maid) chasing after you every time we go out”
(And they happily helped me to hold on to the harness with Zara leading the way after this)

And you get passerby throwing glances at the evil mother me, and they try to discreetly point to our directions and get their companion to look our way as well.

The worst of the lot comes from, who else, but Daddy.
Daddy: *anger tone* Why are you doing this to her?
Me : Why not?
Daddy : She’s like a dog on leash
Me : Who said so. This is to keep her within a safe distant even if she wanted to run about
Daddy : *still in anger tone* You are using it only because you bought it
Me : *roll eyes and speak slowly* I BOUGHT IT BECAUSE I WANTED TO USE IT.
Daddy : She looks so stupid
Me : *really, what is his problem?* She doesn’t! I don’t have the energy to run after her. If you have, I remove the strap, you go chase after her than.
Daddy : Sure! I’ll do that.

Yeah right.. After few minutes playing catching with Zara, he started carrying her. I guess, that’s easier than chasing after her right?

I don’t see what is really wrong with using a harness on Zara. It allows her to roam freely, but within a safe distant from me. It makes sure that even if I was engrossed with browsing at something in the shop, she won’t run away and get lost.

Is it really that cruel? I hope I won’t just succumb to pressure and toss the harness away.

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