2013 in Review

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

On the last day of 2013, it's time to reflect on how the year has passed.

2013 has been a lot for us.

I was pregnant during the year. The pregnancy journey wasn't very smooth during the first trimester and it got us so worried. However it was a great relief that everything turned out fine and I had a smooth delivery.

The biggest change for us is the addition of Small J to our family. It was so wonderful to be a Mom again. I have to get used to breastfeeding, handling of baby and the sleepless nights. He's 6 months old now and during this short period, we witnessed many of his firsts. First cries, first smile, first laughter, first flip, first babble, first try to sit, first swim, first solid food and many many more. 

Small J when he was 2 days old and how much he has changed over the past 6 months

Big J is also trying very hard to getting used to having a brother. Although he was a bit reluctant that there is someone else to share his attention and love, he slowly accepted his brother and learnt how to love him too. We also tried to spend as much time as possible with him so that he will not feel rejected.

Brothers bonding

Another big change for Big J is that he has started school. In the beginning, he couldn't get used to a schooling environment. I was getting complains almost everyday when I picked him up from school. But I'm glad that he is slowly changing his behaviour. On the positive side, he is really learning a lot from school. He can speaks better and loves to sing songs. On the negative side, he got sick within a few days after starting school and also contracted HFMD. I hope that he will be more healthy in the coming year.

That's our 2013 and we are looking forward to a wonderful 2014.

The 'Terrible Twos' Powers

Friday, 20 December 2013

Big J is currently in his Terrible Twos stage. His daily training has gotten him some super powers. Introducing some of the powers that Big J has...

1) Running
...and super fast.  He can run real fast. Just put him down and off he goes. I usually can't catch him if he didn't stop to look back at me. I always wonder why someone so small could run so fast. And did I mention that I hate to run after him? I can feel the fats on my body trembling away as I chase after him. Super hate this kind of feeling.

2) Dodging
It becomes almost impossible to hold on to him or to catch him. When trying to catch him, he would try all means to shun. Squat or bend down, wiggle like a snake, moving in zig zag, jumping and all sorts of stunts to escape.

3) Huge Lung Power
I mean he can just cry and shout super loud. And can goes on and on without the need to stop and breathe. Don't he ever feel tired?

4) Creating a Beautiful Mess
This is what happens on a daily basis. My house always get typhoonised thanks to Typhoon J.

I'm sure these powers will follow him as he goes on to his Terrible Threes. I do hope that these powers will get down-graded and let it be a Terrific Threes instead.

Product Review: Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Electric Breast Pump

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

The ‘Breast’ start in life for the little one is breast milk – liquid gold as it is sometimes referred to. I am glad that I am able to produce enough milk for both boys. However, the journey did not start out smooth sailing. My milk supply came in late and was very little. It didn't help when both boys prefer to be bottled-fed rather than being latched on. So, I have to depend on my ‘breast’ friend, the breast pump.

Having to pump up to 8 or 9 times per day, there are certain aspects of the pump which is of utmost importance to me. 

1) Ease of Washing and Assembling
The lesser parts the pump has, the faster I can finish washing. I do not have a helper and do not want to spend my precious time standing in front of the sink to wash those pumps. I also want to be able to quickly assemble the pump so that I can start pumping straight away. Imagine an angry baby screaming away for milk while I am still fumbling with the parts.

2) Efficiency in Expressing
If you have a crying baby wailing away for your attention, you would wish to quickly finish up with the pump session and attend to him. Therefore, the pump must be efficient in getting a letdown and to empty the breast as much as possible. This is important especially during the initial stage when I am trying to build up a supply. 

3) Size and Portability
As a working mom, I would prefer the pump to be small and light so that I do not have to lug a big stone to work every day. It would be a bonus if the pump is able to operate on batteries as it might be difficult to find a power source if I am on the move.

My current pump has served me well but my only complaint is its heavy weight.

When Mothercare gave me the chance to review the Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature Electric Breast Pump, I am glad to be able to try out another breast pump.

The Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Electric Breast Pump is a single electric pump. My favorite is the soft silicone cup which is specially designed to mimic a baby’s natural feeding action to provide ultimate comfort while expressing. 

For this review, I will be comparing the Tommee Tippee pump with my current Medela pump.

Pump Parts
First up, let’s look at the pump parts. The Tommee Tippee has 8 parts while the Medela has only 4 parts. Frankly speaking, when I first saw the Tommee Tippee, I had a headache – there are so many parts to wash and it is not easy to assemble the pump. As much as I love the soft silicone cup, it is so hard to fix it to the funnel as it is very tight. Lots of precious time wasted.

After fixing up the pump, it’s time to try it out to see how it performs. There are 4 settings to choose from – light, low, medium and high. It is recommended to start with the light mode to encourage milk letdown and changing to a higher setting according to what feels right for you. I choose the high mode and can’t feel anything. I checked the bottle to make sure that milk is really flowing, and there is really milk flowing through. I guess it is too comfortable that I did not feel any pain. Thumbs up for this. 

I used my Medela on the other breast to see which pump is more efficient in drawing more milk. Both are almost on the same par. 

Size and Portability
Lastly, let’s look at the size. Tommee Tippee is so much smaller and lighter than Medela. This makes it so much easier to carry the Tommee Tippee out on a trip. 

Despite its small size, the Tommee Tippee can’t stand on its own when it is empty. The head of the pump is heavier than the body and it keeps toppling over. Even placing it on its stand also doesn't help most of the time. 

The Tommee Tippee is able to run on batteries. No more rushing into a nursing room and realize that there is no power source available. You will also be able to move around in the house to multi-task on other chores. For Medela, I am stuck to my table as it must run on a power source.

The Tommee Tippee also comes with a Microwave Sterilizer Box. You can put the parts inside and throw the box into a microwave oven to sterilize the parts.

1) I would not recommend this pump for Mommies who need to pump frequently, due to the fact that it is a single pump and the amount of parts that need to be washed.

2) Good for mommies who latch on most of the time and might need a pump to empty the breast occasionally. 

3) Ability to run on batteries makes it good for shopping trips when you are not sure if there is power source available.

4) I love its soft silicone cup for its comfort during expressing. 

Disclaimer: The Js Arena is given a complimentary set of Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Electric Breast Pump for this review, courtesy of Mothercare Singapore. All opinions are 100% mine.

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