That special bond between me and MiniMoo

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

When I found myself pregnant, it was the last thing I expected at that moment in my life. I was busy enjoying married life, being part of a DINK couple, and the spontaneity which we could afford to have without any worries whatsoever.

After my friends got over the initial shock of being told that I was 'with child' (it took some time for me to be able to say I was pregnant without flinching), they very naturally asked the next inevitable question. Would I prefer a pink, or a blue? I did the usual politically correct thing and told them that I would be extremely thankful if baby is healthy, given the all sorts of complications and risks present due to my advanced age - never mind the gender. At the back of my mind, I didn't dare say that I had hoped for a girl. Someone to have girly time with, conversations about how stinky boys are, and well... basically a direct extension of myself.

At 14 weeks, I heaved a huge sigh of relief when the OSCAR test results came back normal, as well as confirmed my initial suspicions that I was expecting a boy. The Mookid decided to not only co-operate fully during the scan (he was in the required position and stayed that way the entire time the measurements were taken) he also wanted to let us know that he will pee standing up in the future.

I was ecstatic that there was no further cause for worry, but at the same time, I worried myself silly. I bombarded the (long suffering) husband about feelings of inadequacies, telling him I have no maternal instincts to speak of, and none seem to be growing in tandem with my tummy! I do not care for the great outdoors, I'm allergic to sports, and I don't fancy trains, planes or automobiles. What would we have in common? Would he think me silly if I didn't know a cherry picker from a crane?


After he was born, I worried about going back to work. I didn't want him to be reliant on anyone else. I needed to be needed, no matter how tough the first few months were. I wanted to be there to witness first moments, and I wanted his hugs to be just for me. I spent sleepless nights (and not because he kept me awake - he has slept throughout the night since he turned two months old!) worrying about not being able to be a Mum in the true sense of the word. I feared feelings of jealousy and being unable to handle it if he should be closer to anyone else but me.

In the end, I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and went back to work amidst feelings of uncertainties. I missed him like mad, and there are days when it took all my willpower not to run home to be with him. I am fortunate that he is in good care, but always - always in those initial stages - I worried about not being wanted nor needed. By a little boy not even one.

But I did my best. I tried to do what I think is best as a Mum. All of my non-working time is spent with him, and for him. I try to make up for my absence by being present whenever I possibly can. I didn't need any further 'me' time, because I have enough of it during work. It helps that the husband feels the same way, so knowing that we're in it together dispels any feelings of neglect which the other may feel otherwise.

We go everywhere during weekends, and at that time, we got around using public transport, too. I make his meals from scratch not because I didn't want to feed him bottled stuff, but because I wanted to, and I felt that it wasn't that difficult to do. I feed him, I put him to sleep, and I carried him everywhere because he never took to being in a stroller. I got used to cleaning up mess, poops, pees, vomit and nursed him back to health when he fell ill. He smiles at me and hugs me close, held my hands tightly when he started walking, and still does, even now when he can run and jump. I accompany him at play in water parks, got my knees skinned building sandcastles, and scratched myself silly after coming in contact with cow grass.

Did I care? No, not I.

Neither does he care that I can't throw a ball to save my life. He doesn't need me to be able to outrun the rest of the pack. He doesn't mind that I am imperfect. We just have fun together, my little boy and I, and as he grows up, he just seems to get better at twirling me round his little finger. The first time he called me 'Mehmee', I felt that my heart would burst.

You know what I mentioned about having an extension of myself? Funnily enough, he is so much like me that it amazes me at times. He's particular about cleanliness, he doesn't like his clothes askew, and he's a sassy smartypants. Oh! For all the times which I have been sarcastic and full of sass, he gives me a taste of my own medicine. Double dose.


I know that eventually he would not allow me to kiss and hug him as much as I do, and neither will he display his affections as freely as he does now. Let me hold on to him for as long as possible before he breaks away when he reaches that certain age when it's just not 'cool' to be hanging out with Mummy.

I realise that the bond between my little boy and I grew simply because we spend a lot of time together just doing nothing and everything. The fact that he's so much like me also makes it easy for me to understand him and the things which make him happy, angry or sad. I hang out with him, pretend play, and generally just act silly around him. I don't care that I often made a fool of myself doing crazy things with him in public, for I didn't need anybody else to judge me. All that matters is that he knows that I will always, always be there with him whenever he needs me.

Me and my MiniMoo. We have a special bond, as many mothers and sons do.




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Strawberry Cream Cheese Cranberry Muffins

Monday, 21 October 2013

It all started with this.


I happened to chance upon it while doing my weekly grocery run, and I was intrigued. Strawberry cream cheese? They've actually gone and made cream cheese even better!

The Mookid loves strawberries, and I immediately grabbed a tub and checked out. Possible bake mixes were running through my head... and when I reached home (thankfully the kiddo fell asleep along the journey) I immediately browsed online for recipes.

Strawberry cream cheese muffins, I thought. I had all the ingredients in my pantry, went on gut's instincts and chose a recipe, and then realised I forgot to buy a key ingredient.

Strawberries.


So... anyway, I decided to improvise with what I think may work. I had some dried cranberries, and decided to use that instead of diced strawberries. What's the worst that can happen, right? It's bake or break!


When it came out of the oven, I had no words. Neither did the hubs because he had his mouth full, nor the Mookid when he polished 2 muffins off in rapid succession the next morning. I went to buy another two tubs of that wonderful strawberry cream cheese the very next day.

Go on, try it. This will be your most favouritest muffin recipe ever.


Strawberry Cream Cheese Cranberry Muffins

Adapted from I was born to cook

Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 25 minutes
Yields: 12 muffins

Ingredients
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 oz Philadelphia strawberry cream cheese, softened
  • 125 g butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons evaporated milk, mixed with 4 tablespoons of water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 cup cranberries (or any fresh or dried berries)
N.B.: You can use regular cream cheese for this recipe, and add in whatever strikes your fancy. Blueberries, chocolate chips, walnuts, dried apricots, blackberries, raspberries... the list is endless!

Directions

1. In a bowl, cream butter, strawberry cream cheese and sugar.


2. Once mixed, add in the eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Whisk all the dry ingredients, and fold into the strawberry cheese mix using the whisk or wooden spoon. It's best if you introduce the dry ingredients in 3 parts. Do not use a mixer, and do not overmix!



3. Fold in the cranberries, and spoon batter into muffin cups. Fill the muffin cups about 3/4 full.


4. Bake at 170 deg C in a preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, depending on your oven's heat. Do not over bake, or else the muffins will be dry and crumbly.


5. You will never buy a muffin from a store ever again.


N.B. So when I was looking up recipes, I found out that Philadelphia manufactures White Chocolate and Dark Chocolate cream cheese too!! I have searched most of the mid - high end supermarkets here to no avail, so if you do know where I can get a tub or two, let me know, please?
MummyMoo





Lifebuoy Secret Wash: Powered by HULK!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Caden thinks washing his hands is great fun. We've always emphasized the importance of washing his hands after showers, play, before and after meals, but when we first started instilling the habit in his daily routine, it was easier to make it a fun activity for him rather than telling him why it's necessary for him to always wash his hands.

We started with creating characters to introduce the concept of germs and how it can pose a threat to health, and then things became so much easier when Lifebuoy launched the Hulk of all hand washes

It proved such a hit in the household, that even Daddy washes his hands more frequently just to see the lather turn green! Needless to say, the Mookid looks forward to washing his hands just so he can feel like a little Hulk!

A few days ago, we received a package in the mail, and my little Hulk was thrilled to see himself in full comic glory. He stuck the poster to the wall, and proudly shows it off to anyone who's willing to indulge him. Perhaps to a kid, there's just something exciting about recognizing their images in comic form, especially when they take on the persona of their favourite character.



The 'Secret Wash' campaign is a new initiative by Lifebuoy to encourage hand washing. There are altogether 3 different moves to make what seems a chore - become a little more fun for everyone!

Bollywood Shaker




Hulk Power




Cricket Champ



Now YOU too can get a Limited Edition Lifebuoy Secret Wash poster featuring your child's image, along with a full sized Colour Changing hand wash!

Simply click the picture below, and submit a hand washing tip which encourages your child to wash their hands, along with a picture of him / her washing their hands. If yours is one of the best 100 entries chosen - they will get a personalised poster!

The 100 best tips submitted will be featured on Lifebuoy's Singapore Facebook page, in celebration of Global Handwashing Day 2013 in October.


As for my little Moohulk - he still can't get over his image up on the wall...


... and does the Hulk Power Smash every time he passes by the poster!


DISCLAIMER: This is a community awareness advertorial in support of Global Handwashing Day (GHD) 2013. Although I have been compensated for this post, all content remain 100% my own. Secret wash contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. Information is not collected by Facebook. In participating via Facebook, participants release and indemnify Facebook from all liability.

Growing up too fast

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Caden and I were proudly featured by Comfort Ultra in June's Motherhood magazine. The photo shoot took place in October last year, and as excited as I was to see us in print, I couldn't help feeling wistful at the same time.

Where did my baby go?

"Choosing the right laundry product is important to me, especially since my son is prone to rashes and other skin allergies. With Comfort Ultra Pure, his clothes are now softer to the touch and doesn't scratch nor irritate his sensitive skin. I haven't had any problems with rashes or reddened skin ever since!"
I remember back then, at 20 months old, he was curious about everything. He wanted to touch, feel, and discover all that was around him without any measure of fear or trepidation. He learned his lessons along the way, some very painful ones - and now he's a little more wary, he has developed a little fear about things which he deems as dangerous, and he is a lot more perceptive.

I only recently changed his calling name on this space as well. It felt a bit weird after awhile to refer to him as 'BabyMoo', because he is hardly a baby any more. He's either Caden or 'Mookid' now, is 110 cm, weighs 17 kg, and is sassy even with a limited vocabulary. 

Our children grow up quietly, quickly, with changes happening so subtly that we can almost miss it if we aren't looking. There were a lot of hits and misses the first few months. We were first time parents and didn't know what to do, we didn't know what was normal and what needed attention, we worried about things which would make seasoned parents laugh. I wondered if he would ever cut his first tooth... I thought there was something wrong when most babies his age were cleaning the floors on their tummies and he wasn't even remotely attempting to crawl.

Then, one day, he pulled himself up, and cruised round the house. Just like that.

From then on, there was no stopping him. He walked gingerly, being very very careful not to fall - and then he just started running. I can't even remember where or how he did it. Now when I'm all exhausted from running after him, I wonder why I even bothered to worry about why he wasn't walking when he turned one.


His first word, at a grand old age of 18 months, was Diddih. I rolled my eyes when he shouted in glee as he saw his father's car on the driveway. I remember that moment because I was prepared to send him to a speech therapist to get assessed, because he didn't even bother to try to imitate sounds. Now he sometimes gets sassy with me, albeit in a yet to be refined way - and all I can think of when he does that is when did he learn to string words to form the sentence?

I will never tire of gazing at him when he's asleep, and I hold his once-tiny hands in mine. I marvel at home much he's grown... from just taking up the length of a pillow - he's now using the same pillow and leaving his parents a mere 1/3 of the bed to share.

Being a working parent also means that I don't get to spend as much time with him as I want to, and often I get rather sad when I realise that he is gaining and asserting his independence day by day. He sits down, removes his shoes when he walks in the door. He pulls down his pants and struggles out of his top just before a bath. He locks doors, retrieves things from locked drawers, and picks out his own outfits prior to going out.

Like a movie which started off in slow motion, somewhere along the way, it gains momentum, and then I find that I have missed certain chapters. Unlike the movie, there isn't any rewind button...and I rue what has passed in the blink of an eye.

I take photos. Document antics on videos. I write about him. I form mental images which I keep locked away in the deep recesses of my mind. I try to hold on to time.

There are dividing and defining moments in their childhood. As much as I want to show him the world and prepare him for life, I am already missing the days when he is totally dependent on me. It's nice to be needed, and to feel like you are their entire universe.

Every month sees him meeting milestones. When I see him being able to finally do something which he has been trying to, along with the immeasurable pride, I swallow the lump in my throat. I look at pictures of him as a newborn and I'm amazed at the changes which makes him the little person that he is now. I want to hold on to this little one who spontaneously grabs hold of me to hug me tight or plant a slobbery kiss on my lips.


He's changing right before my eyes, and I am proud. I am proud of who he is now, and I'm a much better person for being able to contribute to his development. 

He still has the chubby cheeks, but he has lost much of his baby fat. He's strong, much stronger than I give him credit for. He calls me 'Mehmee' in his own special way, knowing exactly how to push the right buttons. He babbles on and on, stringing words together without the usage of punctuations - and he loves attention a little too much.

He tells me "Luv Mehmeeeee!" and I melt. Every. time.


October 2012

As I write this, Caden Uriah Moo is exactly 31 months old. He's a little boy now, and look how far he's come. He still has the same smile, he's more cheeky than ever, and his self confidence grows day by day. I'm so very proud to be his Mummy, to witness him growing up, and I'm thankful that he is mine.

June 2013

As much as he is growing before my very eyes, I am glad that certain things remain unchanged. I've always used Comfort Ultra Pure to wash his clothes, as I find that it makes his clothes soft, and is suitable for his delicate, sensitive skin. I've also come to associate the clean, pleasant smell of clothes freshly laundered with Comfort Ultra with him, because I've used it to wash his clothes and bedding ever since he was born! This is just one of the ways I choose to care for him. When he's comfortable and happy, that's all that matters to me.


***

Comfort Ultra Pure comes in either 800ml and 1.8L bottles, and is available at all major supermarkets. For more information and to receive a FREE sample, please visit http://www.facebook.com/ComfortZoneSG.




Disclaimer: This post was brought to you by Comfort Ultra Pure, in collaboration with MummyMoo. While I have been compensated for this post, all opinions expressed here are completely mine.
 

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