Pin It

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Jesus Storybook Bible; every story whispers His name.

In the wee hours of the night while breastfeeding, I’m always listening to the radio. Sometimes I catch the sermons on CHRI. But there was an extra special treat yesterday. There was an interview with a children’s author introducing her new book, “the Jesus Storybook Bible; every story whispers his name” by Sally Lloyd Jones. Wow! She writes every story in the Old Testament and reveals the hidden messianic prophetic message those words using words that every child can understand. She does not reveal Jesus’ name until it is actually given to Virgin Mary, but the way she finishes every story really keeps the kids hooked. They want keep listening to figure it out! For example the one about Abraham and Isaac finishes with words like “… and one day, another very special baby will be born as God’s most precious gift.” Or another story about the Tower of Babel, “… you see they were trying to build a ladder to heaven, but one day God himself will reach down from heaven to earth.” I can’t repeat her words the same way, but I was so touched that I stayed up to listen to the whole interview and I’m going to order a copy for my baby girl and one for a friend. Check it out on

Day Routine Summary

I was determined to make each day as productive and action packed as I ever could. After my mother returned to Calgary and I was on my own, I knew I had to take care of my baby on my own, to resume all the household tasks, to keep up with my hobbies and social life. I started with establishing Monday and Wednesday as the chore day (laundry and vacumming etc) and writing down all of the other activities completed. However only “working” on certain days and playing the rest of the week was not quite practical. Of course there was no set schedule cuz everyday was different. I gave myself time to explore and develop a flow or routine naturally.

This has worked well for me, to dedicate the “first task” of the day to the study of God’s word. I’ve already finished reading the book of John and Acts, and I will continue with the rest of the New Testament. I’ve been journaling and also reading the Daily Bread, Blessed Be Your Name, and Thirsty. It has truly been revealed to me, “See ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”

And obviously, feeding, playing, singing/ talking, changing and rocking Maggie are essential tasks, especially with the implementation of cloth diapers and IPT. She she naps and has been regularly sleeping by 8pm or so. Therefore I have a lot time to do my things!

Day Routine
* this task never changes

*Always Pray
*Begin with the Bible/ Breakfast
Chores (laundry, vacuum, clean etc)
Correspondence (cards, email, journal, blog etc)

Music study
Nap optional
or Photos/ Scrapbooking
Prep dinner

Music study
or Engineering discovery

Alternate Activies as required
or Appointments

Maggie’s Day Routine (in 3 to 4 hour cycles)
Maggie wakes
IPT over the sink. (Awh-Shhhhhhh Shhhhhh and ANnnnng boot boot)
Nurses (about 25 - 40 min)
Plays or Listens to music (about 30 min)
Signals to pee (IPT)
Ten minutes later or at her next signal, poo and pee (IPT)
Keeps playing or gets cranky/ tired
Sleeps (one to two hours)

At nighttime, there is no playtime obviously. IPT is done only when she wakes, cuz it doesn't make sense to stay up to pee/poo right? So far I’ve been using up fewer diapers cuz she’s learning to pee/ poo in the sink and not the diaper!

Accidents do happen but it's totally ok, cuz I end up washing fewer diapers. My record so far is using the same diaper for 10 hours cuz she never made it dirty (fart stains are dry and ok).

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Week 9 IPT

We decided to try something that was already natural for babies, called infant potty training. As you can see the common practise in North America, we are training the babies from birth that it's OK to pee and poo into a diaper, contrary to what the babies would rather do naturally... reference to the projecile poo incident! And then when they are toddlers, they are expected to unlearn this. The web references say it's about communication, timing and patience.

Since we've already been washing her bum in the sink and while squirming and crying, there was always poo squirting, it's almost like we've been doing IPT already without realizing it. It's happened a few times that she's peed in the sink too. Now it's just associating those actions with a noise like "Annnngggh...boot boot" and "Awwh Shhhhh Shhhhhh" as the first step, then later on when I can recognize her timings, these words will become commands to release the muscles.

I started officially last night. The usual practise is a diaper change before feeding, which is usually preceded by a nap/ sleep cycle. So at 9pm it was very natural for us to take off the diaper and just wait for a poo and a pee, so we made the signal noises so she could learn to associate the actions with the words. She even peed twice! Brian gave her a bath and then we had the last feeding before the official bedtime. Well she woke up again at 1030pm so we thought maybe she had to go again. The diaper was still clean! So we did the whole procedure all over again and even reused the same clean diaper and put her back to sleep.

I mean, it's not possible to do this everytime especially in the middle of the night or when we're at the mall but they say even if it's done only part-time the early training goes a long way! The idea is to change the diaper often so she will learn NOT to be comfortable in a wet diaper, and we're using cloth so it's all easy to clean and hang dry! I'm glad I heard about these techniques early enough because I'm still within the window of optimum learning at 0 to 6 months.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Yesterday and Today

How I felt Yesterday
I was officially bored for the first time ever!!!! It was the most productive day in terms of devotions, two loads of laundry, cooking dinner, making soup, and even scrapbooking three pages and writing a bunch of letters and cards, (and of course feeding the baby at her demand, is given), and then walking aimlessly at Walmart and Futureshop. I called my Dad too. But I was sooooo bored, like what should I do next?

I guess all of these "productive" tasks have finally now become routine... well now I know what I am missing in my life finally, it's my work, like I mean real Engineering work, engaging my mind, troubleshooting technical problems or learning/ applying some kind of new technology. Maybe tomorrow I should build something or put something together. argggh!
Cooincidently it is the day that I did not play piano. usually a Bach Invention or Prelude and Fugue is pretty engaging. And maybe finally incorporating some real excercise would really help :)

I do thank GOd and praise him for putting me in this situation obviously, but I am also thankful I will only have to be at home fulltime for a year (or less) :)

How I feel Today
I went to the extraordinarybabyshoppe again and I borrowed a Hotsling to try out. I used it all afternoon and she slept like a baby (for real)! It ends up feeling like a hammock for her, and the positioning is just like it was for her in the womb I suppose. I felt really close to her for the first time in that way, like it was for me when she was inside my belly. Like I wanted her close to me like that forever. Well I have to return the Hotsling tomorrow but I am going to buy one for sure.

I did not play Bach today, but I did not feel bored at all today, maybe because I spent more time with her instead of rushing around being busy around the house! Everyday is a different day.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Week 7: Cloth Diapers

We switched to cloth diapers on Sunday! I bought 24 chinese infant prefolds and 4 whisper white bummis wraps from the
They’ve got a lot of neat stuff there besides cloth diapers – like the hotslings which come in a variety of fashionable colours and designs. tube tops to keep your tummy warm while breastfeeding that you can wear under regular shirts and a selection of fancy European wooden toys.

I wonder how many times a day babies really poo and pee. I’m going to guess countless times because there is no way to count every squirt and every pee. However, they do recommend that an baby should have 6 heavy wet diapers and 3 good loads of poo. They recommend changing a diaper before every feed for sure, and definitely as logically necessary in between. They do cry because of discomfort so… be nice but bear in mind there is no logical way to change a diaper everytime there is a squirt and I doubt it is necessary. So basic stats - we used about a pack of 40 diapers every four to five days. That would be $13.97 for a pack of Pampers from Walmart. The cloth diapers cost $30 for a pack of 12. I bought 24 diapers, plus 4 bummis wraps for $11.99 each. Knowing how easy it is now, I would’ve switched sooner.

I think using cloth diapers is an environmental solution cuz there is less waste thrown into the trash, and also the materal is made of all natural fibres so there is less irritation. People even say that potty training is easier with cloth diapers. I can see why, because they do get soaked and wet a lot faster.

I am changing her diaper more frequently because of that. There could be three explanations 1) cloth diapers don’t have that kind of technology that absorbs high volumes of liquid into the specialized synthetic materials. I remember that a really wet Pampers or Huggies feels like a hard squishy jello because the liquid has filled all the spaces in the absorbent core. 2) maybe she just pees more and that’s why. 3) I’m not wrapping the cloth diaper in the most efficient manner. Regardless, washing is pretty easy. I decided to only do laundry on Tuesday, (Thursday), and Saturday and it’s been working out!

Here are some steps
1) Fill wash bucket with HOT water
2) Grab a soiled cloth diaper and scrub away poo with brush under running COLD water
3) Toss the scrubbed cloth diaper into the hot water and soak until washing machine is available (not too long though)
4) Place cloth diapers into the washing machine for a rinse and spin cycle on SMALL and COLD/ COLD.
5) After rinse/spin cycle finishes, add detergent and run a regular wash cycle on SMALL and HOT/ COLD.6) Dry them completely in the dryer, or at halftime, hang them outside in the sun.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Week 3 - 5: My Mom Takes Good Care of ME!

I was really happy that my mom came to visit. She stayed with me for three weeks and we spent alot of quality time together. She cooked for me and did all the chores around the house. My main job was to just feed by baby, rest, recover and even play piano and do scrapbooking. My dad joined us for the last week too. It was really awesome watching him hold his very first grand daughter and paying so much attention and singing to her.

I did a quick search on google using the words - chinese ginger vinegar post partum
and I got quite a few hits.

I've taken an extract from this article below... but yah, I think it's partly the food but moreso the moral support from my mom and Brian's mom, cuz culturally that is the primary role of the mother of the new mother, to come to my house and take care of me and my household while I am busy taking care of my new infant.
In this way, I spent so much time with my mom, chatting, watching her cook and clean, and just seeing a super woman do all these things and have time to read, check email, go shopping.. and I realized, wow it is possible, I can do this too. So I guess I've been lucky and I never really got the blues. The baby never stressed me out, but I think it was more Brian. Not on purpose, but I think I myself was struggling with my new identity and how to balance the responsibilities and expectations of being a mother and a wife. I was probably just too sensitive or I gave myself too much pressure or read too deeply for hidden meanings... and I exploded at him and cried. I can only count three times when that happened and I've been fine since, so I'll just blame it on my hormones.
4. Foods Thought by Mothers to Promote Milk Secretion
There were four kinds of foods that mothers perceived as their first choices for improving the secretion of breast milk:
a. Concentrated soups made from pigs' legs or tail bones cooked with either beans or peanuts or from fish tails boiled with papaya or coconut. Forty-five per cent of the mothers in this survey said that these white, milky emulsions were effective for them .
b. Just after delivery, or at the beginning of breast-feeding (these mothers begin nursing shortly after delivery, thus providing their infants with the anti-infective protection of colostrum), a concentrated soup is made from pigs' legs boiled with ginger in vinegar without water. Sometimes hard-boiled eggs are added, or rice wine is used in place of vinegar. This soup can be preserved for a long time and thus may be eaten daily in different amounts after heating. All mothers claimed that they like to eat this soup, and 23 per cent of them suggested that, in their experience, it was quite effective in promoting milk secretion.
c. Salt-preserved marine fish, including small fish that are often eaten with the bones, are a very common food in this sub-tropical part of China. This food provides animal protein and many minerals and was reported to stimulate the mothers' appetite. Fourteen per cent of the mothers emphasized its effect.
d. Some mothers use traditional Chinese herbs such as the seeds of the wolf-berry (Lycium chiensis), the danggui (Ligusticum actilobum), shouwu (the tuber of fleece flowers), and weishan to make soup with fish, meat (pork), or poultry. These medicines are recognized as tonic drugs, because they are expensive and not all the mothers can afford to use them.