Thursday, September 29, 2005

Journey to Weaning Adam

Adam was down with Hand Foot And Mouth Disease (HFM) last Thursday. Sounds worse than it actually is. His paed assured us that HFM is not life threatening but can be very uncomfortable. True enough the rashes in Adam's mouth was so painful, he couldn't eat anything. Porridge hurt his mouth. Nursing hurt his mouth. Even swallowing saliva hurt. Poor little man was so hungry and uncomfortable. He woke up several times at night and cried in frustration because he couldn't nurse. On Saturday morning, he woke up being very grumpy. He didn't want warm milk which hurt his mouth. I gave him some cold milk to drink from a cup. He was so hungry, his hands were shaking when he held the cup. He finished off a small cup of milk very quickly. As soon as he finished, he did a little dance.

My son loves his food but he loved nursing more. As a newborn, Adam could not nurse because he was born with a tongue tie. Fortunately, with the aid of a nipple shield, he could nurse from 4 weeks old. He loved his boobies milk so much, he used to nurse from 7.30pm (his bedtime) until almost 10pm every single night. At his 3rd month check-up, he weighed 9kg! He continued to nurse A LOT until he started on solids at 5 months old. Even after that, he used to wake up several times at night to nurse. By 3rd month or so, he and I could breastfeed half asleep. As Adam grew, he figured out that nursing was one way of getting my attention. I have nursed him at all the weirdest places - stopped at the side of a petrol station, by the highway after paying toll, sitting on the floor of a vacant house at Reshmonu's wedding, at the food court on the 3rd floor of Mid-Valley Megamall, at the computer while typing out a quotation and Adam is standing in front of me nursing,... Name one place and I'd probably nursed him there. A friend of mine commented that everytime she sees me, I seem to be nursing Adam.

A strange thing happened with HFM. Adam could not nurse for a few days. Now that he is better, he has stopped nursing completely. He still places his face next to my boobs when he sleeps at night but hasn't made any attempt to nurse. This morning, I checked his palms and sole of his feet and in his mouth. The rashes are gone. When Adam heard that he asked if he can nan nan again. I offered but he declined... Aiya, my baby is growing up lah but so sudden one?

Several friends who nurse/nursed their children have asked me if I am ok since Adam weaned so suddenly. I expected to be more disappointed that he has weaned but I am not.... really. Adam is 27 months old now. How time flies. The tiny little baby with a voracious appetite has grown to be a handsome little boy with a voracious appetite. He eats so much now, what happens when he becomes a teenager?? AIYO!


There are so many photos and quite a task to upload them onto the blog. Here are some more favourites....

The proud big sister with her 1-day-old brother

Adam's godfather, Kurt

Laura's godparents, Ron and Coreen

Adam swimming with armfloats (Sep 2005)

Ready for snowplay (Minnesota, Mar 2005)

Little Shin Yee Roach

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

My favourite photos of Adam

Adam when he was a few days old
and Adam's first laugh at 3 weeks old

Adam attained sumo status from less than 3 months old...

The famous winking photo featured in a breastfeeding support group's brochure

Adam after his first haircut

Some of my favourite photos of Laura

These are some of my favourite photos of Laura.

Laura at 1 1/2 years old, already showing signs of being a little Missy

and at 3 years old in a fairy costume from Aunty Cynthia

a cheeky 4-year-old

a happy 4-year-old with her papa

Face painting fun with mama

Weddings and marriage

PT and I attended a wedding banquet last Saturday. It was a grand affair with 800 guests at the Grand Ballroom of the new KL Hilton attended by relatives and friends of the bride and groom, colleagues and also friends of the siblings. We were friends of the groom's sister. I have attended quite a few weddings and observe similarity in most Chinese banquet. Guests arrive, greet family of the happy couple, find our assigned seating, make small talk with people at the same table (if they're not relatives or friends), wait a long time for dinner to start, eat and then leave, not forgetting to thank the happy couple and their family on the way out. Whenever I attend a wedding, I can't help thinking that the couple should have a separate party to celebrate their union. The Chinese banquet is more of an event for the parents of the bride and groom. Any couple getting married who think the banquet will be their special day to be planned their way will most likely be disappointed.

The banquet last Saturday felt more like a company annual dinner. There were two emcees who looked rather uncomfortable and formal who started the evening with "Good evening, Tan Sris, Puan Sris, Datoks, Datins, ladies and gentlemen..." Then there was announcement of the grand entrance of the bride and groom, followed by food presentation. A bit like an opening gambit to launch the dinner and dance. After two dishes, representatives from both sides got on stage to make a speech. Throughout dinner, a band played with a female singer singing jazzy songs. Then the couple went on stage to pour champagne onto a fountain made with champagne glasses. What is the champagne fountain about? There usually isn't enough champagne to fill up the glasses that make up the fountain. Then their family got up to join the couple to make a toast to their guests. Of course there was a slide show of photos taken at the studio. The bride in various dresses and hairstyles looking like a princess for the day. The groom looking sharp with his new suit. Most people I know have told me their studio photography sessions usually taking up to 10 hours. (More about wedding photography later) As PT said, with 800 people, it is very difficult to be personal.

What are the reasons most people have for getting married? For years, I've thought that couples get married because they love each other, enjoy being together and want to spend the rest of their lives together. A couple of friends have given me this reason "I am 30+, time to settle down, so why not" WHAT?? That reason rang a thousand alarm bells in my head! One friend who said that I have lost contact with, so I do not know if he and his wife are still married. Another one who gave a similar reason will be taking the plunge this December. Then there are female friends who are approaching (or getting past) 30, who are slowly deafened by their biological clock. By 30, women who still are single and unattached start to question why they have not gotten married. They start to wonder if there is something wrong with them. At each wedding banquet or family gathering that they attend, they dread hearing "So when is your turn?". I do think that most single person think that marriage is a destination. Find a life partner, hold a wedding to celebrate your union and then what? They do not realise that the wedding is the start of a whole different ballgame! Marriage can be hard work but when you're with the one you love and who loves you back, every hiccup will make the marriage stronger.

PT and I never had a wedding. We have been together for 13 years but we do not have an anniversary to remember or celebrate. We do not have a piece of paper to tell us that we're married. Without words, we have made a commitment to love and respect each other. We share each other's joy and sorrow. We have two beautiful children together whom we love to pieces. He has to put up with my quirky relatives and I have come to know and care for his side of the family. Doesn't that sound like a marriage? Sometimes I do think it would have been nice to have had some of our friends and relatives together to celebrate our union together. To have had another reason for a big party. To have some wedding stories to tell our children and grandchildren.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

A not-so-"NICE" bus company

Just a short while ago, I went online to find some information from a bus company about their schedule as well as fares. I went through the motion of filling in the field destination from and destination to only to get "No Online Fare and Schedule available for the specified route. Please contact our respective sales counter for the current trip and fare details". So, I tried calling the phone number listed on the website. First attempt, engaged. Second attempt, engaged. After about 4 attempts, I finally got through. The phone rang and rang and rang and rang and rang.... No one pick up the phone. This is on the website: "Phone reservations now available through 03-22721586 on weekdays from 8:30am to 5:30pm. Please note that there is an advance period of 2 days for phone reservations." So I tried again and the phone rang and rang and rang and rang.... By this time, I was getting quite fed-up. So I clicked on the link that says, "Contact us. Have you any feedback that may allow us to serve you better? Kindly complete this online form and send it to us at your earliest convenience! Your feedback is much appreciated." to provide some feedback. I filled in my name, email address and what I had to say which wasn't nice. The final insult was when I clicked on the "submit" button. The message I typed would not go through! Does anything work on this website? Is there anyone working in the office? Do the buses work???

My family and I have used this bus service before several times. The few times we have used the service, we have not been impressed. In fact, we have previously filed complaint against the company for poor maintenance of the buses. On one of the trips to Singapore (on their premium bus), the air cond broke down not long after we left the station. We were sitting in sweltering heat until we arrived in the JB check point before we were transferred to another bus. After the complaint they reimbursed us with free tickets. On another occasion, we waited for the bus at one of the terminals but the bus never turned up. We had to buy another ticket to catch another bus. We filed a complaint and got some more free tickets. Don't this company get it? It is not the free tickets we want. We want efficient service. When we purchased tickets for the bus service, we expect service. Even more so when we pay more for premium bus service!

I have made up my mind never to use this bus service again. I am surprised they are still in business!