My 2017 New Year’s Resolution

2016 was a wonderful year for me, a lot has happened that made me happy especially having pregnant and giving birth to baby Nao which been such a good highlight of the year 2016.

Now that 2017 has come, as usual I too have made my new year’s resolution just like many other bloggers or even just people in general. But learning from the past, this year I only have a few resolutions that are focusing on the year 2017 while others such as losing 30kg of my weight will be a life time goal.

1. Simply being healthy and fit | I always made loosing weight as my main yearly goals and yet that goals never seem to be accomplished. Whenever I tried to loose weight I always end up gaining more weight than I was before. So this year, I opt for making 2017 the healthiest year that I could ever made. With that said, I would like to have a routine morning walks with my husband and kids. Preferably every single morning. And I would also choose my meal more selectively and avoid the sugary stuff and keep my cholesterol level and uric acid level at normal level or at least the closest. Not only that, being healthy and fit is me trying to keep on an active lifestyle and less sitting on my working desk or at my comfy bed. Because if you know me, you know just how much I love my lazy days. But this year hopefully that will all be change.

2. Live within our means | Minimalism was never my game. Last year I tried to do the minimalism trend, but it was so hard that I ended up binge on kids clothing haul and eating out. So instead, this year I will make the best effort that I could possibly be to only buy stuff or spend money that is within our means. Because last year I was so confused with credit cards that I ended up used quite a fortune just to pay off our debt. This year, I want to make better financial decisions and start decluttering our home space.

3. Spend more quality time with my family | I am such a family person that for me being there for the family is everything. And I am serious about it. I am the kind of person who will be going home for lunch every single day just so I can breastfeed baby Nao in first hand (and that is the truth). But as much as I want to be multi tasking with my family, I realize that since having baby Nao around I don’t spend that much quality time with Rama nor with my hubby. Yes we see each other every single day, and we all sleep in the same room. But I miss the cuddly snuggly time with Rama and hubby. And boy do I miss having free kids date just with hubby on a weekly basis. So looking back, I don’t want to have to do it all like that again. This year, I will make a difference and start having a proper quality time with them. Maybe hubby and I could have a free kids day once or twice a month (for start), and I will make the best effort I can be to start listening and snuggle with Rama after school time/work time. I want to be there with him and am looking forward to have such fun memories with my two kiddos and hubby.

Let’s do our best and hope for the better yet to come in 2017!!

Mengajarkan Anak untuk Menghargai Uang

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 Sebagai seorang Ibu, banyak hal yang harus kita ajarkan pada anak. Salah satunya belajar mengenai uang. Sejak usia berapakah sebaiknya kita mulai mengajarkan hal ini? Menurut saya pribadi, anak sebaiknya diajarkan mengenai uang sejak usia dini.

There are a lot of things that we can do to teach them to appreciate the value of money. Salah satu yang kerap digunakan para orang tua adalah reward system. Dengan sistem ini anak belajar untuk menghargai uang yang diperolehnya dengan usahanya sendiri. Dulu saya agak pesimistis dengan sistem ini, karena pikir saya anak-anak tidak akan bertingkah beda meskipun cara mereka mendapatkan barang atau uang nya tidak sama. Namun ternyata saya salah…

Di usia Rama yang hampir enam tahun ini saya belajar bahwa ternyata anak kecil juga bisa diajarkan menghargai uang dan barang. Bukti yang paling nyata adalah ketika saya tidak lagi meng-iyakan keinginan Rama dan malah memintanya untuk menabung dari uang yang diperolehnya untuk membeli mainan yang dia inginkan.

Sebelumnya perlu diketahui bahwa Rama belum saya berlakukan sistem uang jajan. Dia hanya menerima uang dalam bentuk lumpsum saat hari lebaran, ulang tahun dan jika dia dikasih “upah” oleh kakek-neneknya. Upah disini bukan dari hasil kerja yang mengeksploit anak dibawah umur, bukaaan….tapi upah dari neneknya karena dia berhasil membantu membuat kue lebaran (meskipun lebih tepatnya berkreasi dengan cookie dough), atau upah memijat pundak kakeknya, atau pun upah karena berhasil menghapal surat-surat pendek.

Nah…hasil dari uang yang dia kumpulkan itu kami simpan di pouch bergambar Avenger miliknya. Setiap kali dia akan membeli mainan uangnya akan diambil dari pouch itu. And guess what?…He’s spending habit decreased almost drastically. Ternyata bener ya sistem cash envelope itu. When you see the money, it’ll be harder for you to spend and see it go. Rama sekarang gak lagi sembarangan tunjuk-tunjuk barang, minta beli ini-itu. Dia lebih hati-hati memilih barang dan memutuskan sendiri bagaimana dia akan menggunakan uangnya. Hihihihi kadang dia masih coba-coba nego sama saya sih, tapi demi menegakkan ilmu menghargai uang dengan baik, yah terpaksa di tega-tegain kalo dia minta nego berlebihan.

So, if you ask me what are the set of rules for teaching the kids on how to appreciate their stuff and/or money…here are the list:

  1. Bicarakan sejak awal dengan anak mengenai apa yang menjadi hak dan kewajibannya.
  2. Jangan ragu untuk mengatakan “tidak”.
  3. Hindari kunjungan terlalu sering ke toko mainan atau mall jika memang tidak ada keperluan penting.
  4. Ajarkan anak untuk merawat barang yang mereka miliki.
  5. Ajarkan anak untuk berhemat dengan tidak membolehkan mereka menggunakan uang mereka secara berlebihan.
  6. Dan yang terakhir…nikmati saat-saat bermain bersama dengan anak. Karena terkadang anak meminta banyak mainan hanya untuk menutupi rasa sepi yang mereka rasakan saat ditinggal kerja oleh orang tua. Now this is actually something I struggle my self. Especially during the busy season plus with the new baby. So hard to open my eyes during the night and to spare that quality time just with Rama.

But a mother gotta do what she gotta do. What about you? Have you teach your kiddos to appreciate their stuff and/or belongings?

New Mum and Baby Essentials

Maybe the title might confuse you a bit since I’m no longer a new mum, but I am a new mum to a new baby :p

Moving on, this time I would like to share with you what I think are essentials for being a new mum or just having a new baby in the house. A bit of disclaimer, I am not paid for advertising any of these items and this is just something I personally use and feel helped with. So let’s start!

  1. Breast pump – Again, I tell you breast pump is important especially if you decided to breastfeed you baby. I bought the unimom automatic breast pump and used it since Naomi’s birth and has not yet found any trouble. It even helped me boost the quantity of breast milk since it’s able to expressed in a thorough way.
  2. Diapers – I personally don’t use the washed diaper and instead used the disposable diaper instead. I know some might think it’s a waste, but for me and the family it’s something more convenient. And if you are like me, I suggest using Pampers Premium product since it’s softer than the usual. Yes it’s a bit pricey compare to the usual Pampers, but with my daughter I find her sleep more comfy than using other brand.
  3. Nursing apron – Having to breastfeed my daughter, I sometimes need nurse in a place with no nursing room. And I don’t bring with me a bottle of expressed milk since I don’t want to waste any stock at home, so I need to just do it whenever she’s feeling hungry. However, I am not the type to just open my shirt and nurse her in front of others. I don’t think that is appropriate. So I invest myself in a pricey apron which I got from Mothercare. I believe it is called Victoria Sling Nursing Cover. Why I choose this product you say? One, it’s huge. I could fit all of my chest area and the side as well so I don’t feel worry someone might take a glimpse. Second, the material is soft and warm yet cool as well. Very much comfortable for the baby and me.
  4. Baby sling – I use “Kain Batik” though. Because with my previous birth, we received quite a few of this “Kain Batik” and it’s better to use that since most of the time my nanny will be the one using it. I prefer to hold her directly without using any sling. Although I might re-consider this since she’s already 6kg in just 3 month.
  5. Baby pushchair/Stroller – Highly recommend this. Because whether you’re a working mum or a stay at home mum, this thing will be your best friend especially during the mall visit or just having some nice walk around the neighborhood. We bought the Silver Cross stroller from Mothercare as well, and so far we are liking it. It says that it could fit up to a 25kg child which is GOOD ’cause sometimes the big brother prefer to sit in the stroller while the baby is being hold.
  6. Bouncer with mobile toys – Naomi just love being on her bouncer while watching the TV. Yup, you read it right. She likes to watch TV. I know it’s not good, nor does it healthy, but she occasionally enjoys looking at the screen and I don’t know…she seems to really liking it *for now*.
  7. Onesie pajamas –  I especially LOVE the onesie from Mothercare. Because they are made already with a build it mittens that can be open if you prefer so. I put it on right before bedtime at night, because she sometimes like to scratch her face and I don’t want to risk her poking the eyes with those sharp nails. This is a very handy product if I may say.

That’s about it. My top 7 essentials product. What about you? Do you have your essentials that I might not yet mention above?

The Criteria for Looking an Elementary School | What I look for in a School

Now that October has come, the rush to find a perfect elementary school finally pushed me to the wall. If I recall, this happened once when Rama was just about two years old and I was searching for the best preschool (playgroup) in town and then suddenly decided to skip the whole bits and bops of school hunt drama and picked TKAI (“Taman Kreativitas Anak Indonesia”) as our first and only option.

It was then and until now the best decision we have ever taken. The school has since given Rama the opportunity and experience which none other school would have, well at least not many school here provides. He has now able to play with lots of friends, do lots of creativity projects, perform in the school marching band as the drummer, role playing or stage acting in the annual school play and once performed in a thousand viewers for the Morinaga event, not only that…he is also able to perform in the flying fox activity which I myself would never ever in a million years throw myself into one *don’t tell him*.

However, with his coming 6th birthday we would already have chosen his primary school (elementary school). And this is something harder to do than before. Because seeing that lots of school nowadays have high *too high if I may say* expectation for the kids, I don’t see myself willingly putting my baby boy to that kind of school. I don’t want him to be burden with the lectures, activities, and studies and forgetting the fact that he is just a kid. My ideal would be him going to school from 8 AM to 12 PM. But that’s not the reality.

The reality is, that school here starts from 7 AM to approximately 2 PM, maybe even more. And…not to mention the bulk of homework that they need to do afterwards.

So with that said, I need to compress the selection of primary school and consider these items before finally saying “yes” to the school registration.

  • Location – One of the most important thing to consider while choosing the right school. Because as we all probably know, Jakarta in the morning is not so friendly. Heavy traffic in almost everywhere, anywhere. I don’t fancy the idea having my kiddo wakes up very early in the morning, getting rushed and skip breakfast just to get to school on time. So for me, location is important. I’d prefer somewhere that could be reached in a maximum 30 mins drive from home.
  • Environment – What does the school ambiance look like? Do they have enough facilities, e.g. canteen, hygienic or at least acceptable toilet, do they maintain the school ground properly? What are the kids who studied there? Does the kids in that school are all or majority a bully? Those kind of things become my concern as well. Because like it or not, here in Indonesia even the private school can sometime neglect the proper maintenance and so the environment and ambiance of the school prop is not adequate.
  • School background and reputation – By reputation I don’t mean some five star quality of school. But I am seeking a school that can understand and communicate with the kids. Lately I notice that some school tends to pushed their pupils to be the best in their class. Feeding them with lots of homework and multitasking them when they are actually just started the primary school. Please…stop treating them like a senior officer in some random office. They are just pure and innocent kid who deserve to smile and chill at school. That is why, before selecting any school I tried my best to understand their background and reputation. This can be done through web forum searching, word of mouth from other mums, and or direct visit and observation.
  • Methodology of learning – How many teachers are there in the class room? How many kids are there in the class room? Does the teacher give the kids too many homework? Well I know that most of my questions here might not have the right answer that I want, but I can always hope. At least be gentle on the homework. I highly believe that homework is not a thing that should become a burden, instead it should be omit and just focus working on the stuff while at school.
  • Fees – Very very important to consider. Because me and hubby prefer private school to public school, the consequence is that we will have to pay higher tuition fee and monthly fee. Therefore, researching the requested fee for each school candidate is a must. Though we have kept some money for the tuition, it would feel ease to know how much exactly are you going to have to pay next year for entrance and the monthly fee asked.
  • Last but not least, what is more important of it all is to consider what my kiddo and I feel about the whole school. Because with all the criteria and consideration made above, if the child does not feel enjoy then everything will become a waste.

I hope what I share here could be useful and let’s start this school hunt with a positive attitude and do it best. I’m heading to bed now, until next week.

My 2 Month Postpartum Update | What You Might Face after a C-Section

Now that Naomi is 11 weeks old (around two and a half month), I think it’s time to talk about some updates. If you want to know a full update on her, you can check it on my Youtube channel which will be up this week. In this blog though, I wanted to share with you my postpartum update. Some might be the same as with my second pregnancy but some are different.

Body update

  1. Although both labor was performed by a c-section, however this time I have longer healing process, maybe it has something to do with the fact that I’m now 30 and my body shape is bigger compare to prior pregnancy. The pain feels the most during the first two weeks post operation, but now I only feel pain if the operation mark unintentionally scratch by fabric.
  2. During the first month, my feet got swollen which is something I’m not familiar with. Turns out this is normal. Because when we got pregnant our body retain more water than usual, and once the baby is delivered then all the water went to the bottom of the body which is unfortunately the feet. I don’t know why this wasn’t the case for me before, but this time my feet went humongous starting from the fifth day after labor to approximately a month after.
  3. I still feel exhausted because the lack of sleep and my sometime weird nursing position. And I don’t think the fact that I’ll be going back for work in less than two weeks would make it easier…not that I want to change all that. But other than that I feel wonderful.
  4. Lately, after two month postpartum, my joints are aching and sometimes (more often) my fingers are hard to open. Especially during the morning and if I remain doing nothing. I thought for sure that I have a rheumatoid syndrome, which freaks me out. So I browse the web and found postpartum arthralgia. It’s a common thing for women post pregnancy caused by hormone changes. From what I read, some women had it for just a couple of month, but majority have it around six to twelve months. Wish me luck this will soon fade out, because having this while working full time is not going to make it easy.

Mum’s update

Nothing quite change, but I did manage to regain my weight prior to having Naomi which means I’ve lost 10 kg in just two months. But the weight from previous pregnancy hasn’t gone at all. Before I was just terrified to loose the weight fearing I might not be able to get pregnant if I suddenly become skinny (as if I could get skinny…hahaha), but now that I have Naomi…I don’t think I have that same excuse anymore. So probably after she’s turning 4 months old I’ll start working out and change my diet plan.

Big brother update

Nobody told me that transitioning to two children is hard. Like real hard. I especially cannot cope (sometime) with the jealousy from the big brother. Really need to learn patience and time management. Believe me you don’t want to mess with the first kiddo.

Baby update

Mostly sleeping and feed. But Naomi starts to smile back whenever I play with her and she also shows interest to her baby gym mattress. Love love love when she calls me out today, she was looking for my attention with cooeing…awww that really made my day. The feeling of being wanted from a baby, is just priceless. I win big with both my child. Then I guess it’s just coping time now, and enjoy the last two weeks of my giving birth leave. I wish they give us six to a year worth of leave here in Indonesia just like in some countries. Or better yet, I wish I’m in the condition where I have the freedom to just grab the bait, take that big jump and pursue my dream as a stay at home working mum. Maybe in a few years…maybe…ameen!!

Being a Full Time Working Mum vs SAHM

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Oh my God how time flies. It feels like just yesterday that I took the maternity leave and now in less than a month I’ll be going back to work. I have never had an issue with being a full time working mum before, especially that I already have my first child and I’m still going to work up until Naomi’s birth. Yes I’ve experience separation anxiety with Rama, but that only happen for a while and not long after I was already caught up with work, and even doing overtime.

I love him very much, but never have I had this urge to switch off from being a full time working mum to a stay at home working mum. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m giving Naomi an exclusive breastfeed compared to Rama that has half and half with formula. The bonding now feels bigger, tougher, and it tickles my heart just to imagine the days that I will spent in the office without hugging or kissing or nursing her in my arm.

But to really jump off the building and take the step as a stay at home working mum (SAHWM) is something I’m not quite sure yet. Here’s why:

  • Being a SAHWM means I don’t have the comfort of a regular monthly paycheck, which also followed by no more company’s privilege on medical insurance, annual holiday fund, annual bonus, and retirement plan.
  • I’m afraid that if I choose to work from home, say open my own online business shop or selling food, there is a 50% chance (maybe more) that the business will fail. And with two children (a baby and a toddler) I just don’t know how we could afford their school fund without any job. It’s something I don’t want to risk.
  • Will I regret the choice one day and by the time I want to go back on an office work, I’m no longer qualified no suited since I’m already behind others curriculum.

However, there’s also some positive side on being a SAHWM:

  • I get to be with my kids and never miss even one of their development milestone.
  • I can focus on my blog and youtube channel for a hobby (and probably make it my full time job and earn a little bit of money from it)
  • We could lower the bills from having a personal nanny for each of our child and instead I could take care of them myself.

So I don’t know…both side are quite equal if you ask me. And as much as I wanted to be a SAHWM I just don’t know when I’ll be able to take that big step. Probably in the next five to ten years from now? I dunno. What I do know, is that I’ll cherish each and every little details that I can take from spending the time with both child and hope one day God will show me the way.

What do you say? Do you have a thing or two that might make me switch side and decide to be a SAHWM for real?

 

Co-Sleeping | Yay or Nay?

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Becoming a mother to 2 months old baby and having an exclusive breastfeeding equals frequent nursing day and night. For me, having my baby sleep next to me is way easier than having her to sleep by herself in the crib. I tried once with my older son when he was her age but he never wanted to sleep alone in the crib at night and only sleep by himself in the crib during the day time nap. And so with Naomi I just took the wagon and avoid the hassle of trying to put her to sleep in the crib.

There are actually different types of co-sleeping, such as: bed sharing (which is what I use currently), sidecar arrangements, different bed in the same room and child’s welcomed to parents room when needed which is letting the kids come to parents bedroom at night after overnight sleep in their own room (this might work for older child).

Having to be on the same bed with my baby helped with my nursing schedule and also makes her sleep more. A night time nursing is still needed during the early days of a baby because they still need to nurse every two hours and by having her sleep so close to me means that I could immediately nurse her before she is fully awake. That said, I don’t have to go all the way to the next room to pick her up with a chance that she is fully awake from crying, but instead I could immediately pick her up as soon as I hear noises and comfortably sits on my bed and nurse her while she is still half asleep. I did tried to nurse her in bed with a sleeping position (me in a sleeping position), she can do it but since afterward we both ended up sleeping directly without me burping her, I found that sometimes she got difficulty in breathing or throw up. Therefore, if any of you decided to co-sleep on the same bed with the baby, please remember to always sit while nursing and burp your baby before putting her back to sleep.

Sleeping on the same bed is also a way for me to bond and maintain relationship with my baby, especially in less than a month I will go back to my daily work with an 8 to 5 working schedule.

However, I must say that with such benefit comes some consideration such as:

  • There’s a possibility of difficulty to wean your baby, particularly for breastfeeding babies, because they are familiar with the smell of the milk hence they almost always wakes up repeatedly at night time for long nursing.
  • With a baby in the bed, parents will have less quality time alone together to catch up with their life and let’s not talk about our sex life. If that happens, make sure you make the effort to plan some time alone with your spouse because belief me, that spontaneous time will never come.
  • If you have your baby to sleep together, it might be harder to persuade her to move to her own room because she already built such dependent to us the parents. But most kid, happily move out once they are ready.

So before you decide to co-sleep with your baby, make sure you do these first:

  • Discuss with your partner, remember the consideration I mentioned above regarding your quality time together.
  • Check with the baby, if you found your baby get all fussy and reckless while sleeping on the same bed, probably that’s not the best situation for you to be. She might want to sleep on her own comfy crib.
  • Check for the safety of having a co-sleep on the same bed. I found this useful tips from babycenter.com

Now that you’ve read my post, what do you think? Are you going to co-sleep with your baby or not?