A Chore for Everyday

A Chore for Everyday

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Raisin butter cake

Find Recipe
with some modifications

Raisin Butter Cake Recipe
Makes 3 mini loaves
Adapted from Food-4Tots

200 gr unsalted butter, at room temperature
16 tbsp plain flour/all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
14 tbsp castor sugar
4 eggs
½ tsp salt
4 tablespoons fresh milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/4 cup raisins + 1 tablespoon all purpose flour (mix together)

1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C
2. Lightly grease the pan with some butter.
3. Mix the flour and the baking powder together and sieve. Add in salt and mix well. Set aside.
4. Use an electronic beater to mix butter and sugar until well combined or pale yellow in color. (Note: Sugar has not dissolved yet).
5. Add in eggs. Beat well until creamy.
6. Scrape down the sides for even mixing.
7. Add in vanilla essence and mix well.
8. Fold in the flour into the mixture and mix well.
9. Finally, add in the milk and fold in the raisins. Mix well.
10. Pour the mixture into the greased baking pan. Shake it lightly to distribute cake mixture evenly.
11. Bake until golden brown and cooked, about 40 minutes. Use a cake tester to test if it’s cooked.
12. Remove it from the oven and let cool on the wire rack for another 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The father

Becoming a parent is not easy. I am having trouble grasping the fact that I am now a mother. I think it is not surprising that a man will also have a hard time wrapping his mind around fatherhood.

I am thankful that right from the start, husband has already at least one session a day with Sethia: taking a walk, feeding, burping, changing, playing and socialising. His expertise is in giving Sethia a bath. :) I am very certain, in this certain period everyday, the foundation of a priceless relationship is being laid: my son has gotten himself a father.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

If being inside does not permit me to read, write, or crochet, then ...

Take the day out, with diaper bag essentials, among others:
1. A good book to read
2. A notebook
3. Crocheting materials

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sethia's still moments

Sethia has been a strong and active boy. But from his first moments, he can be an enigmatic introvert at times too. When I am changing him, when I am holding him around the house, when he is lying on the blanket playing by himself, or in the middle of any activity at all, he can suddenly become immobile. He would be staring and gazing onto something so intently, contemplatively, and meditatively time seems to stand still I do not dare to disturb him. What's actually happening? What's he looking at? I don't know.

Several times a day, he becomes still and journeys into himself. As such moments, something bids me to be still, too.

First spontaneous smiles

Sethia, week 7: There's never been a day that I'm not plagued with a sense of inadequacy: do I love Sethia enough? I must put my fears to rest everyday, that Sethia has come to me not to frenetically demand love from me - only GOD alone can love him infinitely. As our existences cross, Sethia is here to live and learn, so am I. This is one of his testimonies that he is - don't you see he's learning to smile? :)

Sethia, uka 7: Ser du gutten smile? :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Week 7

Week 7.
Sleeping for 4-5 hours straight at night: 0830, 1230, 0430, 0830
Establishing bedtime routine: bath at 7pm

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

In your trust I am safe.
Day-out, alone with Mama: a milestone for Mama! :P

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Good bye, Size 50! Welcome, Size 56!

Friday, April 8, 2011

On sleeping infants

Dear parents, do you nurse/rock/stroke/pat, etc to calm your infants to sleep? Or do you train them to self-soothe? Please share your thoughts, efforts, and struggles, thank you so much.

Pupung Ratna Tunjungpuri: 
diawal kalahiran mereka, kami biasanya menyanyi sampe berbusa2 lagu yg sama setiap hari sampe kaya udah punya album rekaman. mereka tidur d crib nya.. pada dasarnya mereka kalo kenyang.. ya senang. =d klo lg rewel bgt paling dpeluk sambil duduk. klo masih nangis.. tunggu aja skitar 5menit..klo mereka ngantuk langsung deh ktiduran.. hehehe... klo skrg kseringan,klo udah cape maen.. mereka udah rewel pengen tidur d crib nya.. d simpen.. lgsg deh pules..

Arswendy Zamzami:
sampe umur 3 atau 4 bulan.. ibunya perbanyak sabar.. hehe.. 4 bulan ke atas, karna udah bisa dibawa becanda.. baru bapak berperan.. piss!

Graciana Dewi Kurniawan:
Sof, benar-benar mesti always remind self kalau anak kita masing-masing itu unik ya.. Approach ke mereka bs so numerous..

Kangen sama Sarah Emil, Pung - apalagi Sarah yg diam-diam ketiduran di pangkuan. :'p Sethia saat capek & ngantuk nangis2 minta nenen baru bisa bobo.

Om Wendy, Grace nda mudeng, om. :'o Maksudnya gimana ya?

Arswendy Zamzami: 
sepertinya baby dr umur 1 bulan sampe 3 atau 4 bulan itu banyak tingkahnya... sesuka e wae (kita susah ngerti maunya apa..), makanya diperbanyak sabar untuk melakukan semua cara untuk menenangkannya.. stelah itu, lbh gedean, si baby sudah bisa diajak main.. makanya bapaknya jadi seneng.. hehe

Joan Nathalia:
Hi Grace, babies below 6 months cannot sooth themselves. They depend on you to sooth them. So just do whatever it takes, nurse them, hold them, hug them, kiss them. Slowly then teach them to settle down themselves as they grow. At least thats what i learnt :)

Sofia Tioanda:
Iya, benar Grace. Ada pengaruh temperamen juga kayaknya. Jia Yo yah!!! Semoga bisa ketemu cara yg paling baik utk Seth =) Keep me updated yah.

Graciana Dewi Kurniawan:
Amelie nurse juga dulu baru bobo, om Wendy? Atau? Sonya dulu bagaimana?

Joan melatih Ryan settle on himself saat umur 6 bulan? Bagaimana melatihnya? Atau by then they learn on their own?

Sof, baru saja experiment berbagai cara lg, at the end put him to my breast, nda sampe semenit sdh pulas utk ditempatkan di crib. :'p

Dita Utomo:
Grace, Joshua sampai sekarang belum bisa tidur sendiri. Baru bisa tidur kalau minum. Sejauh ini perubahannya bertahap. Dulu sama sekali tidak bisa, setiap kali terbangun maunya cari mamanya, mulai masuk 4 bulan, tiap malam Papanya yang comfort-in dia kalau terbangun dari tidur, baru pagi hari ketemu mamanya lagi buat minum. Masuk 6 bulan, malam hari dia bisa tidur 10 jam-an.

Sofia Tioanda:
Hahahahahaha Babies...they really know how to get what they want =D

Grace Tan: The two schools of thought are very divided, and both have their strengths...but I'm still patting Sophia to sleep every night. I don't rock, just sit and cradle her to pat, and now that she's bigger, just stand/sit beside her and pat. She can fall asleep on her own if in motion (like in her pram or car), but for the night sleep, it usually comes down to me as the 'motion giver'.

I guess, it really depends on whether both you and Adi can stand the crying. For those who persevere, there are great rewards, but if you can't, just try as much as possible to enjoy putting them to sleep every night...=) Sophia cried alot in her early weeks to sleep too, until she took to the pacifier at 7 wks...helped her get to sleep very quickly. It was an answer to prayer (she had rejected it continuously before that). I was so thankful! But then, the pacifier is another contentious issue...haha.

Veraday Poh:
Hey Grace, I never managed to get Noah to self-soothe. He was a jumpy fussy baby who needed to be carried or nursed to sleep. Even now, he likes to sleep next to me! I think with Naomi, I have a bit more of a chance. I feel that while the books tell you to train the baby to self soothe (and I'm sure it's better in the long run to so), I think the success of that really depends on the baby. I guess I'm just of the school of thought that as a new mom struggling with caring for a newborn, it's not wrong to just do whatever works. If baby can self-soothe, that's great, but if not, it's never too late to sort it out later. All the best with little Sethia! He is a cutie.

Priscilla Koh-Lee:
I hope I don't scare you, but I nursed all 3 boys to sleep almost every nite till they were past 3 years old (on other nights, it was rocking that saved the day)! It was the only way for me to get some peace and quiet (and sleep too). Like Grace Tan mentioned, there are different schools of thought and ultimately, it depends on your level of comfort. Hugs to you, Grace!

Ivonne Cynthia:
Grace. Kalo dulu Josie nurse to sleep. Kalo ditaroh bangun, aku diemin aja tinggal tidur, biasa bobok sendiri. Pas 3 bulan ke atas dia maunya bobok dulu sblm nursing/minum susu jd digendong2 sampe bobok. Skrg aku latih biar aku cuma perlu tidur di sblhnya sambil elus2 punggungnya samoe dia bobok. Kalo siang2 sama mbakku msh digendong2 sampe bobok. Soalnya kalo gak bobok gak mau minum susu..

Joan Nathalia:
Sktr 4 bln bs mulai establish bedtime routine, can be reading story, cuddle, dim e lights, kiss goodnite, sing, etc. Pas dia ngantuk, coba di tepok2 biar tidur.. Lama2 kurangin ditepok2 nya hopefully with e routine he knows its time to sleep. Thats e theory hehe.. Depends on e baby if it works ;)

Janet Chuah:
Hi, For me, I will check nfirst that the baby is not hungry. Then I will check to see if he is wet. Lastly, I check that he is not cold by touching the chest. If sll are negative , then I le him cry untl he falls asleep but not longer than 15 minutes. Sounds strict ah? but it works and they will always sleep by themselves after that.

Graciana Dewi Kurniawan:
Hi.. So sorry for keeping this thread hanging, there's no internet at home in the past week (Seth & I cocooning as twosome for a while :p).

In the past week Seth's been mostly on pacifier. For morning & midday nap he can doze off lying on the blanket/the swinging chair nearby our study table, later in the evening he needs some rocking. In the middle of the night he can doze off on his own at times after the feedings. He does not look for to be nursed any longer - I really did not know what happened, maybe he just decided to 'grow up' over the weekend. :)

On last Monday however, I did the 'cry-it-out' method, just once, not on purpose. It was just one of the times I did not know what to do & needed a relief, so I let him cry. Sethia cried for 2 hours, and still did not fall asleep at the end of it. Along the 2-hr ordeal, I did the 'come-every-15-min' method, because my heart was not strong enough to watch him cry that long. :p What I noticed was that every time I came by, he would quieten down and watched me with expectant eyes, as if waiting for me to pick him up - it was heart-wrenching to see. :'( He did not vomit, just drenched his whole body and bed with sweat.

I have been thinking about the two schools of thoughts, and was made convinced after some sharing with a brother in church last Lord's Day (Sunday), that Seth, as a newborn, must be cared for like how God cares for a newborn in Christ - with much comfort. :'p This made me opt out from the training for self-soothe method at his present tender age. I would wait and observe as he grows, just as he had grown over the weekend, and see if one day we need to train him in a stricter way.

Pauline Ng:
Dear Grace. I support what you've chosen for Seth at this stage in his life. I think one of the blessings being a parent is our own maturing and experience of God's love for us as individuals and as a family as we commit our decisions we have to make as stewards for the children He has bestowed on us.

Tisa 'Tisyonk' Titisari:
Baby Seth umur brp ya Grace? Baca2 di sana sini (salah satunya di http://www.babysleepsite.com/sleep-training/cry-it-out-age/ , bayi umur di bawah 4 bulan kurang cocok untuk metode ini. Aku dulu sempet pake metode ini & berhasil. Walopun emaknya ikutan mewek...kikikikik :P

Indah Sari:
Kl si R dulu ampe setaon lebih ga bs self soothe maunya nenen br bobo, abis udh weaning aku mulai latih pas bobo siang self soothe, kdg ampe lewat jam dia hrs bobo baru bobo tp aku biarin. Trs abis udh okay, malem br aku latih kdg dia nangis jg tp aku tahanin pura2 cuek ampe akhirnya bs bobo sdr. Anak laen2 tp kl mo ditrain butuh kesabaran ama hrs tega dikit kl anak nangis

Eunice Chee: 
For Joan, being first time mom, I wanted to train her in many things...So, I decided to instill discipline, independence etc to her...so learn to cry/self sooth to sleep. It did not work. We all got traumatised, dad, mom and her (swollen eyes, hoarse voice and even vomitted from prolong crying...). In the end, I decided to just breastfed her to sleep. I told myself my child was not the same as the ones I see in church where they can lay in cot and sleep in their own, or lay in pram and sleep on their own - the perfect baby! We tried putting her on pram and rocked her to sleep at home, tried the sarong springy thing, tried putting her in car....it all just did not work. Finally, I know, not for my children. Joan was breastfed till 3 yr old. One day, she told me she had enough mommy's milk. Let meimei (then in my womb) have it...

For Joy, I went straight to bfg her to sleep because there was Joan-toddler to look after then and I did not have that energy to train. Each time she fusses, I just breastfeed. I sarong-slinged her everywhere I go - cooking, housework etc...I even lay down sideways on my bed and fed her while she lay on the bed. In this way, I had rest while bfg her too. If tired, I fell asleep too with her. There were so much 'peace' then. Joy was breast till 4 yr old. She was so busy and forgot about drinking mommy's milk, one day, second day and that's it.

Now, both gals are rather independent and thoughtful girls... The lesson I learnt from here is, my childn just can't be compared with the others. Now, in school, they aren't that smart, bright, articulate...as the girl beside them, I am still searching and discovering them - what are their strengths and weaknesses. As they keep growing, it keeps changing. I just had to have the time to spend with them and get to know them everyday. Above all, ask God for wisdom - the day they were born, even till today.

Amy Lim:
I wish i was there to give you a hand. :)
No, seriously, I can understand what you're going through. This e-mail will be a long one, as there is no one way to take care of all our babies.
I have had six, some easy and some difficult. There are many reasons why a baby cries a lot, esp. if he cannot settle down to sleep.
I had Jonathan, who was an easy baby, but it could also be because i did not nurse him. I had a c-sect, and by the time the nurses brought him to me, he couldn't really latch on. I expressed for him for almost 6 months. The milk was always not enough, so we supplemented with formula. Since we could tell how much he drank, he was always satisfied. He slept well, and gave me plenty of rest. :)
Joel was not so easy. He could be nursed, but couldn't sleep well. He barely slept for 30 min to an hour. I
could not even cook a meal in peace. :) We thought he didn't have enough milk, so we gave him formula,
but he still couldn't settle. We thought he was collicky, but he always couldn't burp. He was always throwing
up his milk all the time, everywhere in the house. :) He finally settled, after about 6 months. Until now, he's
already 12, we haven't figured out what was wrong in the 1st 6 months. :)
Abigail was a very easy baby, she could drink and then fall back to sleep. Mind you, these 3 were given the
pacifier, and we rocked them in our arms to sleep. For Jonathan and Abigail, we could put them down
after they had fallen asleep in our arms, but Joel could never be put down. I ended up sleeping with him
in my arms. This lasted only for the 1st 6 months.
Anna was not so easy, also because i had the other 3 to take care of. We tried the 'let her cry till she sleeps'
method. It eventually paid off, but she began sucking her thumb. Sorry to say, she still does that, even though
she's almost 10.
We tried the same method with Ashlyn and Alyssa. It never worked with Ashlyn, although she never sucked
her thumb, it was very difficult to put her to sleep. Even now. She takes a long time to fall asleep. Alyssa 
ended up sucking her thumb, that's her one comfort, but she can soothe herself, and also easier.
All my children were brought up on different ways. So what i'm saying, no one can tell you which is the
right or wrong way. Every child if different. You'll have to try all the different methods before you'll know
which will work for Seth.
My suggestion: 
1) Check if supply of milk is enough. You can either express out at the next feed, bottle it, then you'll
know. Or, try giving some formula in a bottle after you've finished nursing. Don't worry about teat
confusion, children are adaptable, all my babies were brought up that way. All my children were on
the breast and bottle through their early months. You may want to do this, so that when you eventually
wean off, it will be a very smooth transition.
2) Make sure you burp Seth after the feed.
3) Try using the pacifier. This may involve rocking him to sleep. Sometimes, babies like to be kept warm.
Not only from clothes, but another body warmth. Now that you're in winter, this could also be the problem.
Joel seemed to enjoy sleeping on me, as he was born in winter too. :)
4) You can try the 'let him cry' method. Ashlyn was left to cry, but she never stopped. Eventually, i still had
to pick her up, nurse her, and settle her again. Still don't know what was the problem. :)
5) I used to have the problem of Abigail and Anna falling asleep whenever i nurse them. So, i switched the
feeding pattern. Although i did use a little of the 'feed-on-demand' method, i also went by the clock. I would
nurse them just as they wake up, then they could play a while, and about 1 hour later, put them to sleep. 
They could usually sleep for about an hour or 2. Then, when they wake up, the cycle repeats again. Sometimes, the cycle can be 3 or 4 hours, depending on your quality of milk. If you don't get enough rest, your milk quality drops too. If possible, after you've nursed, leave Seth to Adi for an hour or so, get a good sleep. Then try again.
There are many, many different ways of looking after our children. Many will tell you their success stories,
all in different ways. Remember, Seth was 'wonderfully and marvellously' made by the Lord, he is unique.
If you want to use the 'let him cry' method, you have to be really bear with the crying. Generally, they should 
not be left crying for more than half an hour, or that's as much as i can bear.
Pray for wisdom, and strength. I shed many, many tears when they were babies, and still do. This is God's
way of sanctifying us as parents. The Lord will grant you wisdom and grace to bring him up in the fear
and nurture of Him.
We will remember you in prayer. If you need to, we can skype, then i can talk to you too.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fun ideas with Sethia (2nd month):

Sense of sight:
Flash light games: Turn off the lights, close the blinds, grab a flashlight, and lie back on the floor for a rockin' light show with your little one.
Introduce high-contrast patterns and bright colors. They captivate him because they're the easiest for him to see.
Hand-held toys: Nearsightedness makes him appreciate anything you can move into his line of sight. He won't be able to hold toys for a while, but he'll demonstrate his preferences by batting at the ones he likes.
Mobile: A mobile can add a new dimension to a baby's horizontal view of life. Look for ones with high-contrast colors and patterns. Many babies are particularly fond of mobiles that play music. Attach the mobile to the crib rail. Infants this age look to the right 80 percent of the time, so a toy hung overhead or on the left will be of limited value now.

Sense of hearing:
Add baby's name to songs sung: "Sethia, Sethia, Sethia, så godt å se deg.", "Sethia's my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy..."
Babble with him, introduce different consonants: Dadada, bababa, papapa, mamama!
Play back the sounds and vocalisations he makes
Make different sounds in different pitches

Sense of touch:
Tie or tape some ribbons, fabric, or other interesting streamers onto a wooden spoon and dangle them gently over and in front of your baby's face.
Take a floaty scarf and fling it into the air, letting it settle on your baby's head.
Introduce numerous fabric materials to baby; run the fabrics over his face, hands, and feet; lay the materials on a surface and put baby on top of it.

Coordination among the senses:
Tie a toy to an elastic string (like the kind used for cat toys) and bounce it up and down in front of your baby's face, saying "Boing! Boing!" every time it descends.
Rattle a toy above his face and move 180 deg from one side to the other, with baby watching all the way

Small motor development:
Provide small objects that are easy to manipulate, i.e. pinky, soft handkerchief, etc

Gross motor skills:
Flat on tummy

Social development:
Give names, introduce and talk to toys

5 weeks

Supporting myself, stronger and higher...