Tuesday, June 22, 2010 ;
The past 2 weeks or so were hectic. "tiring" would be an understatement.
My sis had some important things that cropped up and my mom was deployed to help her almost full time, staying overnight there too, and then there was the Chinese Bible lectureship last week which my mom had duties, and she needed to be there all 3 days. Besides that she was also host to one of the Taiwanese guests.
So with Dh away till July, and my most trusted help source unavailable, I have had to rely a lot on new and varied tactics to survive.
I am most grateful for the immediate support and help from the church. Dh and I have always made it a point to live near the church. In Utah, it proved really helpful. In Tianjin, the church met at our house. Here in Sg, we live just 5min away.
Because of that, there are many who live near me. Sab called me first to offer help. Asked me not to be shy to ask for help.
So I thought hard and I listed a few areas I would need help. For example I need help in getting to the church building since dd has cried till she vomitted when I drive.
So Lisa was deployed. She lived nearby, and was a grandma already. She usually goes with her hubby in their big European car to church. So I was grateful for her. She was supposed to come just to hold dd in the car while I drove to church. But she came over to my house earlier on Sun morning, to help carry Dd. Turned out very useful cos I was rushing to get the boys dressed and myself too. And I had to clear the breakfast table in a hurry.
Then she took care of the kids at the void deck while I scooted to the multi-storey carpark to get the car. And she entertained Dd all the way to the church. Phew, no crying, and for me, stress-free driving.
Phebe and Vicky volunteered themselves for this same duty too. So I got myself covered each time I needed to go to church, wonderful.
And then, once I reach the church building, I have more help. Many of them will carry dd for me, like when I need to go to the toilet, or just when they think I should have a break and get a snack or a drink. They will carry the car seat for me, the bag... like Lai Mui. She will without fail, carry everything for me from the car to the 2nd floor, and then once services end, she will pop up at the cradle roll to help get my stuff down to the car again.
The youth, have been so instrumental in taking care of my boys. They have been taking turns to sit between ds1 and ds2 during worship services cos I'd be in the cradle roll with dd. The boys sit outside themselves and ds1 has sermon sheets to fill in. People like Leon, ShihShih and Eunice have helped me take care of the boys.
Then there are countless other people who get the boys to the toilet, remind them to drink water, get them food, clean up for them, entertain them...
Even other families' helpers would help me. Very blessed indeed.
Then come my friends from outside the church.
My ex-colleagues and other friends managed to meet up with me over June. Most of them are still with MOE so they are usually more free in June. Knowing my circumstances (hard to travel far), they have all accomodated me and travelled all the way to Jurong to meet me, either at my place, or at Jurong Point, from breakfast/ lunch/ snacks, whatever.
I got to meet up with so many old friends this June, very very happy indeed. May blog about those later, cos no time to upload photos yet.
Today, my mom helped me (cooked dinner, carried dd while I showered, watched the boys etc), so I got this rare chance to blog.
dd was teething and so very cranky, clingy, so it was very difficult for me to sit down to check email or read the papers the past 2 weeks. I got a pile of unread papers now.
So today she was due for the polio/ diptheria/ tetanus/ Hib/ pertussis jab. She was measured and weighed first.
She's now 8.68kg, again beyond the 97th percentile. 63cm long, 50th percentile. Head circumference 43cm, can't remember which %tile but above 50th.
I was again asked what milk she takes. The nurse was very pleased with me when I told her I breastfed fully. She said my baby should be used as evidence that fully breastfed babies do very well. She said she counselled many moms who prefer to give formula milk, but they still expressed concern that bf kids don't thrive.
She said she breastfed all her 3 girls too, and the last 2 are twins! They are 19 mth old now and she bf them simultaneously. Wow... I think she is admirable. Bfg is already not easy, and she has to cope with 2...
I know it is possible cos I have read of many moms on the same parenting forum as me who bf kids in tandem, like older siblings and younger ones... But I just know it would be tougher than bfg one child. And I take my hat off to them.
Dd didn't cry much this time. Just a short wail when the needle went in. Her 2 big brothers being beside her helped I think? They were so interested and curious. Cos they totally can't recall their own vaccinations.
Have you noticed how babies like to look at children more than adults? Kids have higher pitched voices, and they're much more active, so babies are more interested in such creatures.
It's good that even though I am the only adult, the boys can serve as entertainment for dd as well.
My other tactics employed to survive include:
1. laying dd on the boys' bed when I dash off to take a shower every single day. (you never realise how showering or a bath can be such a luxury until you have kids under the age of 3 who need constant supervision)
The boys will just continue talking and playing and she will keep looking at them.
I realised I now need just 5min to shower. 6min if I wash my hair carefully, with conditioner and stuff.
2. Renting an exersaucer and using it when I need to eat or do some housework like washing the dishes or clothes and I don't feel like slinging dd. She is too heavy now!
3. When the boys need their shower and teeth brushed (usually Dh takes care of supervising such tasks), I will get the boys to take turns. One will play with dd on the bed first, and I get the other showered, etc. On days when dd is extremely cranky and crying away, then I will sling her and bark out my commands in the bathroom.
I realised one day that dd was watching everything intently. I was a little taken aback because I wonder if she'll learn all the shouting and then become a bossy little tyrant, thinking she can shout and order her brothers around too??
4. playing "musical chairs". shifting dd around the house so she keeps having a new environment to look around, while I am busy with my work or taking care of the boys. I shift her from bed to bed, exersaucer to mat on floor and so on.
5. I have gotten the boys to be much more helpful and independent now.
They have to be and thankfully they are willing and happy to be.
They now peel their own apples and eat them. So I need not worry about their fruit intake. Bananas also feature highly in their diet now since it is so easy for them to help themselves.
They can help me cook pretty well now. Ds1 can peel carrots, potatoes, etc. He can wash dishes.
Both can sort and fold laundry. Both take out the trash for me every evening/ night after I am done doing the dishes and wiping the table.
They have even mopped the floor for me (using damp rag, not a mop). They have of course swept and vacuumed as well.
When I go grocery shopping, the boys can carry the bags for me. When we reach home, they can sort out the groceries pretty well too. Sometimes I find a box of biscuits in the fridge but that's alright. At least the frozen stuff goes in the freezer, the milk goes at the door shelf, and the cheese and butter go to the dairy box in the fridge.
Many other little things, I have to get them to do. Like replenish tissue paper, arrange shoes properly, charge the phone or laptop...
When we go out, they can push the stroller too.
Sometimes they get too independent.
I mentioned the boys getting lost before right?
This time ds1 got lost in Jurong Point.
I was walking with dd in a sling. ds2 was slightly ahead, with the stroller. ds1 was carrying my bag and a drink behind me. He stopped to look at an Animal Kaiser machine but didn't inform me.
I got too used to them being very obedient and good, so I walked on without turning back until I got to the lift and realised ds1 was not behind anymore. So ds2 and I walked backwards and tried to look for him but didn't see him anywhere. We walked around the area some more and still did not find him.
I started to get a little bothered. Usually he was very good at not getting lost...
So I already started quickening my steps and forming a search plan. Was telling ds2 to stay near the lift area while I walked one round, when I spied ds1 further away, near the Kopitiam, talking to 2 teenage girls. They looked very concerned, and hovered over him.
I walked quickly up to them and they said he was asking them for help to look for his mommy. They were about to lend him their cell phones already.
I thanked them. And later found out from ds1 that after he looked up from the Animal Kaiser machines, he realised he had lost us, he walked around the area, and then saw the 2 girls who looked kind, and told them he was lost. They asked him what clothes I wore, and wanted to help him look for me but he said he didn't know (boys!!). However, he said I was with a baby, an orange stroller and another boy who is 5 yrs old.
And then he told them he knew my phone no. and asked if he could call me using their phones.
Phew... I once again had another talk with both of them, what to do if they got lost.
To think, I was even thinking of training ds1 to walk over to JP to help buy food in the near future. I was already getting both of them to lead the way from our home all the way to different places within JP, like Long John Silver, or Crystal Jade or Kopitiam. They already know how to get there via the sheltered walkway and via a different shortcut.
The only thing is, I don't know when I can fully trust them to cross the road safely and if they can really fend off strangers if the need arises. I guess I need to wait at least another year?
For now, I just wish Dh would return to Sg as soon as possible. I am soooo tired...
rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow