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Archive for the ‘motherhood’ Category

Baby does not want to eat. How to address this challenge?

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If your baby can talk and tell you why he refuses to eat, then you will not be reading this post 🙂

Here are possible reasons:
teething.
do not need as much food as you are feeding him.
full / not hungry.
not yet ready for solids.

Some ideas to try:
+ Start with tiny portions.
+ Make new food look similar to a familiar favorite of baby.
+ Combine with his favorite food. For example, my first baby loves banana so much, so I added a tiny chunk of banana to every spoon of his puree.
+ Believe that your baby knows how much food he needs.
+ Reverse psychology. My first baby wants to eat when I place him on my lap during family time, I just give him mashed brown rice.
+ Never force feed your baby. Foce feeding can turn feeding time into fighting time.
+ Do not give your baby junk food, instead offer him healthy food and a hungry baby will eventually eat them.
+ Accept that babies are supposed to make a mess while eating – this is their learning process. If your baby is a messy eaters, he is showing signs of independence – a milestone for his learning, growth, self-reliance, self-esteem.
+ Relax. Let your baby go at his own pace.

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Written by blueroselady

October 30, 2013 at 6:47 am

Gratitude exercise: write a letter / post about a gadget / an appliance that benefits your life

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I am grateful for my blender.
Blender is a versatile small appliance that everyone who loves home made, healthy, and delicious food must have.

Herein, I write a post to describe how my blender has benefited and brought joy to our lives.

Dear blender

Thank you for being so efficient in providing my family with delicious and healthy food.

We have enjoyed so numerous healthy and delicious items.
Papaya milkshake
papaya banana milkshake
banana chocolate milkshake
strawberry banana milkshake
avocado chocolate milkshake
avocado coffee milkshake
honeydew milkshake
They taste so delicious, preservative-free, 100% natural, and healthy (I normally do not add additional sugar like commercially available juices).

Puree for baby (ideas for recipe here)

Next, I plan to try use blender to make soup (Oh! how I miss those hot / warm soup of 2007-2009).
The following recipes are designed on my mind (no testing done yet) as inspired by other recipes.

PUMPKIN SOUP
1. cook / the followings in a pan / pot / rice cooker / slow cooker:
# pumpkin
# meat / pork rib and/or dried scallop
# 1 clove garlic, minced
# 1 onion, chopped
# pepper to taste
# thyme, chopped / ginger / cinnamon / Rosemary
PS: I may also saute the garlic, onion, thyme / ginger with olive oil / sesame oil.
2. Then blend in small batches (e.g. 1 cup / time) / use hand blender.
3. To make the soup creamier, add milk.
4. Garnish with fresh parsley / coriander.

SWEET POTATO SOUP
Same as pumpkin soup, just replace the pumpkin with sweet potato

CREAMY BAYLEYS MUSHROOM SOUP
Use low heat to saute mushroom in little olive oil.
When the liquid is released from the mushroom, add Bayleys and cream / oat.
Transfer the mushroom into a pot of boiled meat / ribs.
Bring to boil. Add milk.
Add pepper to taste.

More ideas …
barley soup
pear soup
add carrot to sweeten to soup

Tips:
for your safety, use bottle brush to wash to prevent the blades from accidentally cutting any of your finger.

Written by blueroselady

October 10, 2013 at 4:01 pm

How to prevent and overcome constipation? 4 natural easy ways

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Constipation is bad because waste matter that is stuck in the colon for too long has been known to release bacteria and other harmful contaminants back into the bloodstream.
Constipation affects both adults and children.
Being a mother, I have been checking regularly that my baby passed motion daily.

Here, are tips to prevent and overcome constipation.

Drink (plenty of) water.
W for Water, as I recall telling my baby while bathing him.
To keep hydrated, it is important to not only drink plenty of water but also minimize and (if possible) avoid alcohol and caffeine-containing beverages like coffee, tea and soda.

Eat more fiber,
e.g. beans, whole grains, brown rice, nuts, oatmeals, crunchy vegetables.

How much fiber do we need daily?
men: 38 grams
women: 25 grams

Types of fiber:
(1) soluble fiber
(2) insoluble fiber

Soluble fiber is present in beans, peas, oatmeal, nuts, seeds, apples, pears, strawberries, and blueberries.

Insoluble fiber is present in whole grains, barley, couscous, brown rice, nuts, seeds, carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, celery, green beans, dark leafy vegetables, raisins, nuts, grapes, and tomatoes.

Soluble fiber is associated with lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, regulating blood sugar, and a lower risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Insoluble fiber helps keep you regular, prevents constipation, and reduces the risk of diverticular disease.

Exercise
Prolonged lack of inactivity causes constipation, so let’s exercise together!
I prefer gentle exercise like walking or swimming. It has been ages since the last time I swim! The last time perhaps was at Girton College, Cambridge.
Bonus:
The posture of kneeling and resting your body on your hands (屁股功) can help to create the urge to pass motion.
My mother is a strong advocate of this exercise and has helped a relative to overcome her constipation by practicing such a posture.

Too busy to answer the natural call to visit the loo?
Ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement causes constipation, so do not delay bowel movements.

To summarize, to prevent and overcome constipation:
1. drink water
2. eat fiber
3. exercise
4. Do not delay bowel movements

Written by blueroselady

October 7, 2013 at 3:37 pm

How to use the real estate concept of Joint Tenancy & Tenancy-in-Common to explain your love to your children?

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Recently, I use the concepts of Joint Tenancy and Tenancy-in-Common to help Annie makes peace with her childhood.

About Annie:
She was the eldest in the family.
In her childhood,
she sometimes happily shared her (relatively little) toys with her younger siblings.

Sometimes her younger sister would forcefully took it away from her
and their parents always seemed siding her sister’s.

In her teenage years,
regardless of Annie’s good academic results,
Her father told Annie that he had money to send her to a university,

but he generously supported the tertiary education (including post-graduate) of her younger sister and brother.

After many challenging years,
Annie eventually managed to complete her tertiary education well (without her father paying for her college fee),

secured a well paying job,
and get married.

She has been understanding that the economic situation of the family was different before and then.
However, she subconsciously harbors an anger to her father,

and she only realized it through an incident where her father forced her to surrender her hat to her sister.
Looking back,
she laughed at it,
it was like a little girls fighting for a toy.
Annie was gracious enough to buy extra hat for her sister,

but she was hurt by her father’s action.

Annie has always worked hard to be successful in all her endeavors of life.
From her stellar academic performance to her high commitment for her career,
she is a role model for her sister and brother.

However, her life is not easy.
Looking for an outsider’s perspective,
her life seems the toughest one among her siblings,
because she had and has to fight alone much earlier than her siblings.

Being raised in a traditional Eastern family,

Annie has been instilled with the concept of filial piety since early days of her life.
Her rules include:
"It is wrong for children to be angry to their father."
"Being angry to your parents is unfilial."

While her rules create a filial child for her parents, but it is not healthy to her.

What Annie can do now include:

Acknowledge her feeling of angry.
Anger helps us to assert our rights.
It is OK to be angry as long as one does neither suppress nor express it*.

It is OK to be angry for a short period of time. After all, our time on earth is too short to be wasted on things that we can do nothing about (e.g. those happened in the past).

Expressing anger only creates a vicious cycle.

Nobody likes angry man / woman.
In short,
suppressing anger hurts yourself.
expressing anger hurts others.

Forgive
her parents (and her siblings).
According the Florence Scovel Shinn, the law forgiveness can overcome the law of cause & effect.

Perhaps (in her speculation), in her past life, Annie had been unfair to her own children.
Her father was also perhaps a victim of his mother.
Louise Hay said, "We are all victims of victims".
Forgiveness allows you to release you from the past unhappiness.

Do not let your unhappy past determines your presence.

Affirm herself positively.
In a children book by Louise Hay and Kristina Tracy, af-fir-ma-tion is defined as words that you think or say, and believe to be true.

Examples of good affirmations:
Those who hurt you in the past can no longer hurt you now.
I am a worthy individual because of who I am, not because of what I am capable of achieving and earning.
I do not need the approval of others (including Dad’s approval) for me to feel worthy.

I seek no approval of other people.

How is about setting boundaries?
Annie shared with me that she feels better with less interactions with her father.
As long as she knows that her father is healthy,
she is contented.

Honestly, I am still trying to figure out if this is the a good strategy for her.
After all,
no single approach works for everyone.

From Annie’s life story,
I learn the importance of explaining our undivided share of love to each of our children.

According to Lucy Beresford in her book Happy Relationships at Home, Work & Play,
your 1st child may feel ‘dethroned’ with the arrival of his younger sibling.

It is important to let your first child understand that

your Love is infinite.
Your love to each of your children is whole of what you are capable of loving.
This is like Joint Tenancy,
in which 2 or more owners are seen as ONE entity.

But attention & time are definite.

The more children a family have,
the smaller (but ideally equal) share (of attention & time) that each of the children receive.
This is like Tenancy-in-Common,
in which for equal share of ownership,
the increase in the number of owners,

will reduce the percentage of share of each owner.

However, unequal share is also possible in the co-ownership by Tenancy-in-Common.
The same goes for family,
although parents try to be fair,
and say that they are doing their best to be fair,

human beings are biased.

That’s why parental’s favoritism ^ exists .
This sounds unfair!
However, living means learning to endure injustice (when you cannot fight it) and fight for justice that matters.

^ Parental’s favoritism may exists because of e.g. a father / a mother may favor a child (over another) because the child is more similar to him / her in look / characters / personalities (e.g. personality clash).

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Written by blueroselady

July 31, 2013 at 1:29 pm

How to deal with abusive spouse? 6 loving tips to survive

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A real life story:
I was surprised by what my friend X has done on the 4th Sunday of June 2013.
She reported her spouse to the police for making repetitive threats that he will kill her.
The couple appears loving to me.
They are kind, charming, polite, educated people.

X and her spouse are from a Christian family,
and I know many loving Christian families
who endure hardship and have long lasting marriages.
However,
as one of the priests (whom I had the fortune to listen to) mentioned,
the Church comprises saints and evils.
Instead of naively believing everyone is good (人心本善),
my view is that,
no matter a person believes in a religion or not,
a person can have the potential to be good or bad.
What matter is to discover the potential to be good, be good and do good.

X shared with me that her spouse has been abusive to her,
she does not know if she is supposed to continue tolerating his actions.

According to BabyCenter,
domestic violence doesn’t have to be physical: it can also be psychological, sexual or financial.

People often assume that women (girlfriends / wives) who are abused come from disadvantaged or deprived communities, but middle-class women (like X) are abused too.

X told me that although she was fearful for her husband’s job,
she has gathered all courage to face the consequences of reporting her husband’s threats.

According to her, her spouse:

# threatens to divorce X, knowing that X wants to hold the family together.
I asked X if he did so only when he was angry at X, but he also did that after they have reconciled,
hence giving X emotional stress.
(X seems to be the bedrock of the marriage.
It is not easy to be the bedrock of a family, a society, a nation.)

# threatens that he will kill X.

# makes X apologize for many times, even after X thinks that they have reconciled over a disagreement / dispute. X’s spouse would want X to kneel for even small matter, which X did to appease him.

# threatens to bully their child.

# seems to be 斤斤计较 / petty-minded / selfish.
X’s spouse was unhappy if X is using laptop or appears to X’s spouse taking care of their child less.
I believe that no matter how superwoman a mother is,
a mother deserves a break.

X mentioned that her spouse argued that if he did not see her taking care of their child,
then it would not be considered as taking care of their child.
Many times, X quietly does the house chores and child caring beyond what they agreed upon.
Then, I learned that
X and he grew up in different family backgrounds.
X was raised in high discipline and independent setting,
whereas he was pampered and spoiled by his mother,
who does not mind being scolded "stupid", "fat pig" by his son.
X does not accept this because to her,
she owes a life to parents.
Such a lack of respect attitude of X’s spouse is perhaps a factor of why X’s spouse is abusive.

Reflection: in my experience, I observe that people who are stingy tend to be 斤斤计较.
Although being stingy and frugal is different,
there is only a fine line between them.
It is important to be aware of the difference.
We strive to be frugal but not stingy.

# often blames X for consequences that are also due to his behavior / actions.

If I am his friend, I will likely to get another perspectives.
However, I am a friend of X,
so many of my sharing will be based on X’s standing point.

Here are loving tips for victims / survivors like X:
1. Love.
Love yourself.
If you do not love yourself,
it is hard to love your children.
Only when you love yourself,
you can genuinely love your children and spouse.
If you do not love yourself,
you cannot love your enemy.

In my opinion, X’s spouse suffers from low self-esteem.
He does not love himself enough,
so he unleashes his built-up anger, resentment, frustrations to his wife,
because he knows that his wife is always forgiving him.

Forgiving is a virtue, but forgiving without loving yourself is not forgiving.
Loving yourself here does not mean being selfish.
Loving yourself means respecting yourself.
A mentor said,
although
(i) Matthew 5:43-48 writes
"Don’t resist violence! If you are slapped on one cheek, turn the other too."
(ii) "No, not seven times," answered Jesus, "but seventy times seven." Matthew 18: 21-22.
but if you cannot be (physically / emotionally) alive after being slapped (inclusive of being abused),
and you have the responsibility to be alive
for the sake of your aging parents and young children,
you are being selfish to them
for upholding what you believe in "false sense of forgiving".
Moreover,
although you aspire to be like your role models (e.g. Saints),
you are just a human being.

2. Pray.
Pray in the morning when you wake up and at night before your sleep.
Daily prayers really help.
Praying is a form of believing,
the law of belief works.

The family that prays together stays together
.
Praying together allows you to communicate with each other.

3. Seek family help.
X told me that she has been informing her spouse’ parents on the repetitive threats,
but they told X that he was joking.
Some jokes are not funny.
His family seems to tolerate his abusive behaviors to X.

On a side note,
X feels sorry for her parents in law,
because they are among the nicest to X.
They love to offer buying her food,
but perhaps very kind parents who do everything for their children,
may result in children who take things (including people) for granted.
X is wise enough not to blame her parents in law,
because we are all victims of victims.
X shared with me that her mother in law lost her father in her early childhood,
so she showered all his love to X’s spouse.

Indeed, according to BabyCenter,
it is not true that all men who are violent have grown up in violent homes.
Honestly, I want to have parents in-law like X’s parents-in law, but not a spouse like X’s spouse.

4. Seek spiritual / religious supports.
Personally,
I believe in God and a religion,
so it helps me in my daily life.
A friend who had a severe accident (she ended up wheelchair bound) also found serenity in religion.

Marriage is a major event in human life,
so when one’s marriage is shaken,
it is natural to feel insecure.
But,
human beings have the capacity to harness our inner security / inner peace.

In the case of X,
X told me that she had tried to seek religious helps.
She went to counseling at church,
but he refused to go.

Before their marriage,
X told me that they attended Marriage Preparation Course,
and things seemed OK at that time.
Both proceeds to the marriage at their own free will.

There are also other spiritual supports.
Louise Hay suggests us to repeat,
"All my relationships are harmonious."

X was a migrant from a developing country,
who struggled since her early life,
although she has evolved into an educated woman,
I sense that she still have some traces of feelings of unworthiness / a belief that she is unlovable,
that’s why she attracted her abusive spouse.

Fortunately, X is aware of it and is working hard to change herself.
She is indeed lovable.
She recalled her spouse asked why she wants to get married with him,
given her good qualities.

The good news is
when we change ourselves (change our habits / beliefs / behaviors),
the other person will change or
he will leave our lives.

5. Seek legal supports.
This is what X did by reporting her abusive husband to the police.

If there is an immediate threat to your life, call 999.
Otherwise, a police report can be lodged at any Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC).

In family violence cases, the Police is concerned with the following:
(i). The safety of the victim / any physical injuries?
(ii). With the consent of the victims, the Police will also refer them to the relevant Family Service Centres or Crisis Shelters for assistance.
(iii). If they wish to seek further legal protection, they will be advised to apply for a Personal Protection Order from the Family Court.
(iv). Where warranted, the Police will take action to prosecute the perpetrator.

6. Seek social supports.
A social worker told me,
after listening to many problems of people,
if you put your problem into a pile where others also put their problems,
and you have to take a problem,
you will definitely choose to take yours back and not others.

However, if your life is being threatened,
you must take actions to protect yourself and your children.

You can call / visit the Family Service Centre near your home if you need help or advice, or if you just need to talk to someone.

If you find my post useful to you, please donate to me. Thank you!
If you are a victim of domestic violence,
I pray for you to regain harmonious relationships.

Written by blueroselady

June 24, 2013 at 10:40 am

How to travel while breastfeeding?

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How to travel while breastfeeding, either with or without your baby?
How to fly breast milk?
Can I pump or breastfeed on a flight?
Note : The water on some airplanes may have coliform bacteria so please do not use it to clean your pumping equipment or bottles.
Tips :
1. Pre-sterilized your pumping equipment if you need to pump on a flight.
2. request bottled water (but may not be 100% safe as well).

For a 6-day (inclusive of the days of flying in and out) travel.

To bring:
# pre-sterilized breast milk plastic bags. I use Nanny & Medela brands. While traveling, I intend to pump 3x daily, though I pump 4x now, so I prepare 4 x 6 = 24 bags.
# a cloth to cover.
# a copy of birth cert (in the event that the security staff needs further verification).
# baby dishwashing liquid & a foam to wash the equipment.
# universal adaptor (mine also includes a USB port for charging mobile phone).
# power point & fully charged battery (tentatively buy at destination).
# Medela pump.

# a tube & a 1-to-2 homemade connector.
# breast shields, placed in stainless steel container for easy sterilization.
# Royce ice cooler & cooler bag.

# Plan A : If there is a baby who wants my breast milk, I would be very happy to donate to him / her.
Remember the melanin tainted powdered milk for baby? My breast milk is safe.

# Plan B : bring back the frozen breast milk for my baby.

Where are the nursing rooms?
Changi Airport
Terminal 1
# Near gate holdroom C24 at Departure Transit Lounge West, Level 2
# Near gate holdroom D36 at Departure Transit Lounge East, Level 2
# Near Kaboom retail outlet at Departure Transit Lounge West, Level 2
# Arrival Hall West, Public Area, Level 1

Terminal 2
# Near gate holdroom E1 at Departure Transit Lounge North, Level 2
# Departure Transit Lounge South, Level 2
# Near Check-in Row 7, Departure Check-in Hall Central, Public Area, Level 2

Terminal 3
# Arrival Hall Central, Level 1
# Near Check-in Row 6, Departure Check-in Hall Central, Level 2
# At both sides of Departure Immigration Central, Level 2
# Departure Check-in Hall North, Level 2
# Departure Transit Lounge North, Level 2
# Departure Transit Lounge North, Level 2
# Next to gate holdroom B1 – B4 at Departure Transit Lounge North, Level 2
# Inside gate holdroom B1 – B4 at Departure Transit Lounge North, Level 2
# Next to gate holdroom B9 at Transit North Pier, Level 2
# Departure Transit Lounge South, Level 2
# Departure Transit Lounge South, Level 2
# Next to gate holdroom A1 – A8 at Departure Transit Lounge South, Level 2
# Inside gate holdroom A1 – A8 at Departure Transit Lounge South, Level 2
# Inside bus gate A6 – A8 at Departure Transit Lounge South, Level 1
# Next to gate holdroom A21 at Departure Transit Lounge South Pier, Level 2
# Outside gate holdroom A16 – A20 at Departure Transit Lounge South, Level 2
# Inside gate holdroom A16 – A20 at Departure Transit Lounge South, Level 2

According to bumblebeemum.wordpress.com,
power point is Available inside nursing room.

China Nanjing Lukou International Airport
According to breastfeedinganywhere.wordpress.com:
apart from the baby-nursing necessities, the nursing room also provides books and toys for the needs of children of different ages. It is located at the Departures Domestic Concourse.

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Written by blueroselady

June 23, 2013 at 9:36 am

How to read story books to children? 13 fun loving tips

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Strickland Gililan (1869-1954) in the Reading Mother:
You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be –
I have a mother who read to me.

@~@ Read with love
When we read to our children,
we are sending them a message of love:
“I love you and give you one of the most valuable gifts I have —
my time and uncompromising attention.”

@~@ Easy way : tell a story out of a book.

@~@ Reserve a regular time and place for reading together.
For my children, I set aside a minimum of 10 minutes per day (no matter how busy I am) for reading together.
This way, you can make reading a habit.

@~@ Allow your little ones to sit on your laps, to snuggle up to you.

@~@ Read s-l-o-w-l-y.

@~@ Read with animation : e.g. use different voices for different character.

@~@ Point to the / parts of the illustrations / visuals. Follow the text with your finger as you read.

@~@ Ask (stimulating / inspiring) questions. Remember that there is no right / wrong answer.

@~@ Allow your child to re-tell the story, can use the illustrations as aids.

@~@ Recreate the story through activities such as drawing, drama, music or role playing.

@~@ Reward your children when they identify good values, emulate / copy good behaviors from the characters in the stories.

@~@ Use the illustrations / visuals in the books to trigger imagination in storytelling.

@~@ For Chinese comprehension, insert a space in between words in sentences, just like white space in English sentences.

@~@ Visit library / attend storytelling sessions.

@~@ It’s OK to repeat. Children love stories that they wills still love them even if we read to them for more than 10 times.

More:
# email “2013 Parent-Child Reading & Brain-based Reading Strategies”
# Reading for children

Good luck!

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Written by blueroselady

June 20, 2013 at 2:18 pm