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Choosing the sex of my baby

16 Aug

I believe whatever sex of  a child is a blessing. However, after having a girl as our first child, I’d like to have a boy to complete our little family.  I wasn’t really desperate to have a boy, either way I’d be happy, but I thought it would be nice to have a boy.

By accident, I came across a book, called ‘Choose the sex of your baby – the natural way’ by Hazel Chesterman-Phillips.  I bought it, read it and applied some of the advice from the book.

According to the book, female sperm (x) behaves differently with male sperm (y).  Female sperm (x) is an endurance swimmer.  They are slow but can survive longer in comparison to male sperms (y).  While male sperms (y) are fast swimmer, they don’t last long.  So, knowing this, I have to know my ovulation time in order to make the chance for either sperm to meet the egg i.e. to know when to have an intercourse. Why is that? Because to have a boy,  the egg should be waiting in the ovum.  In that way, there’s big chance that the first sperm to arrive to the egg would be a male sperm.  While, if you want to have a girl, you have to have intercourse before ovulation, at least 3 days before.  Apparently female sperm can last for 3 days.  Therefore, when the egg is released some female sperms would be waiting to fertilise the egg.

How would I know when I was ovulating? I recorded my basal body temperature every morning, straight after I woke up, before doing anything else.  I recorded bbt everyday for 3 months and plotted a chart as directed from the book.  According to the book, when one is ovulating, there would be a jump in bbt, as long as you’re not ill.  But if one is taking the bbt for a period of time, you’ll notice the pattern.  I can also feel some sensation below my stomach, a sort of a tightening on one side of my stomach.

To know your pattern enabled you to predict your ovulation time.  This is more useful if you want to have a girl.  It is because, to have a girl, you have to stop having intercourse at least from 3 days before your ovulation until 2 days past ovulation, but the book also recommend to abstain sex from 5 days before the ovulation.  For a boy, it’s a different matter, we have to use condom or abstain from sex from 5 days before ovulation and have intercourse during ovulation.

Another important advice is sperm count.  Heat especially contribute to sperm count.  High sperm count will help you to get a boy while low sperm count for a girl.  Sperms apparently are produced at a lower temperature than normal body temperature, therefore if you want to have a boy, you have to keep the scrotum cool, while to have a girl, you have to keep the scrotum slightly hot.  My hubby is an amateur cyclist, therefore he likes to wear tight underwear and also cycling pants.  I had to force him to wear boxer shorts and told him to have cool shower before going to bed.

There are also lots more about diet but we didn’t follow the diet advice.  the first 3 months, I was charting the bbt, we weren’t starting trying until the month 4.  It didn’t take us long, I was pregnant straight away on month 4 for a boy.  But, I don’t know whether the method is foolproof or it is down to random selection.

I would advice, if you do follow gender selection technique, you have to accept that there’s no guarantee that this method will 100% work.  I do recommend the book highly but don’t despair if you don’t get the baby girl/boy that you want, either way, a child is a blessing.

God lives in China

24 Jun

During breakfast, my daughter looked at the bottom of the cup, written ‘made in China’.

She then told her 4 year old brother, “everything nowadays is made in China.”

Hearing this, my son replied, ” yes, and God lives in China.”

I didn’t get it at first, because my son often talks nonsensical, but later on he said, “God created everything”.

Oh… I suddenly couldn’t stop laughing and got his analogy.  If  God creates everything and everything is made in China, so God must live in China.  Great to hear that he used his logic from what he heard and learn from school, and it was just too funny and so precious.

What happen if you ride a bicycle with your eyes closed?

20 May

As usual, we were on the way home from school with my DD1 (aged 7) and DS2 (aged 4) on the bikes.  We’re still in the alleyway next to the school, suddenly, banged! My son just hit the wall and scraped his left pinky and left ring finger, also his left knee.  He was crying inconsolably.   Every times, I heard him crying like this,  stopped my heart beating for a split second.  What now? He insisted on carry on riding, but after crossing the road to the next alleyway (yup, we had to go through 3 alleyways from school to home), he decided that it was too painful.  Luckily, I had his bike seat attached on my bike.  I carried his training bike on my bike and pushed along.

When we got home, during dinnertime, my son told my hubby that he was very brave.  I told my husband what had happened and he started to tell me what had actually happened.

DS:  Mummy, I was really braved, wasn’t I

Me: Yes, you’re really brave.

DS: Yes, I was braved riding my bike closed eyes.

Me: What! Why did you close your eyes?

DS: Because Lana (his nursery friend) closed her eyes when riding bike.

Me: ????

Then, I told him that Lana wasn’t closing her eyes.  She has problem with her sight which I don’t know what.  She always look like she is closing her eyes but she’s actually trying so hard to see.  Blessed her!

I guess, I couldn’t be angry with my son.  He’s just experimenting how it is riding a bicycle with his eyes closed, which ended up hitting the wall.  Luckily it wasn’t closed to the main street which could be very dangerous.  Hmm… what next ??

Shrek Forever

4 Jul

I was asked to make a shrek cake by a friend whose boy loves Shrek.  It was a big challenge for me.  Mind you, I’m not a cake decorator and have never taken any cake decorating course.  My cake decorating skills and tools are bare minimum.  I love baking and learn cake decorating from you tube, books and copying people’s picture from internet. I believe if anybody can do it, so can I.  Although, my cake is still far from professional looking but it’s pretty good.

The cake itself was a special chocolate cake.  It was a special cake because it didn’t have any egg nor nuts.  It was made for my friend’s son whose allergic to nuts and eggs.   I was really pleased to learn that birthday boy was very happy.  He was soo happy that he’s able to eat his birthday cake.  His father told me that he often sad whenever he went to a birthday party because he was unable to eat the cake.  This time, he can eat the cake and also he ate Shrek’s head.

Children holiday activities

8 Apr

I always feel daunted entertaining children during holiday.   So far, it had actually been fun.  My children had been entertaining me.  They made me beautiful colourful biscuits and cake.  Then, we had a tea party.

My children were planning to make a show for me.  It is going to be peterpan and captain hook’s show.  For that show, they needed to make swords.  My DD made swords from cardboard and then painted them.  So, we had a painting swords session which follow to other painting.

It was actually a really fun holiday.   Thank you, my little angels :)

My Little Contribution To The Mother Earth

1 Apr

This is actually my repost from my writing that I submitted to cloth nappy tree and also posted in friendster’s blog.

Have you ever wondered how many disposable diapers (popok sekali pakai) that each child uses from birth to potty? It’s staggering 6000 disposables. In Canada and US alone 20,000,000,000 disposables discarded each year. Where do they go? They’re thrown into the landfill sites. Do you want to know what happen to them? As the landfill sites don’t provide condition for them to decompose, they become mummified and retain their original weight volume and form. Yep! They can’t degrade or decompose (as they’re more plastic than paper), and they will stay there for at least 500 years.

On top of that, human faeces can contain harmful pathogens (for example, babies who have been vaccinated for polio will excrete poliovirus) when faeces are discarded with disposable diapers there is potential for public exposure (via rodents, pets, flies or birds). We do like white diapers, don’t we! Do you know how they make these disposables so white? They’re made mostly from wood pulp which then undergoes whitening and softening process when it is exposed to chlorine-based bleaching agents. This process produces a harmful by-product called dioxin released into the environment which also remains in minute quantity in the wood pulps which are then transformed into disposables. Dioxin has been called the most toxic substance ever produced and has been associated with birth defects, miscarriage, cancer and genetic damage. No one knows exactly how much exposure to dioxin is required for disease to develop. It is toxic in very small amounts.

What is great about disposables is that they’re so absorbent. But, have you ever wondered why they are so absorbent. It’s because of another chemical in the disposables that is called sodium polyacrylate. This substance turns your baby’s urine into gel. Sodium polyacrylate can absorb 100 times its weight in liquid. This is why disposable diapers are so absorbent. The use of this chemical has been associated with severe diaper rash and bleeding perennial and scrotal tissue, because it pulls fluid so strongly that it excoriates human tissue. No neutral long term study of any kind has been done to assess the affect over time, of contact of this substance with vulnerable genital tissue.

I used to think that there’s no way I would use cloth diapers/nappies (popok kain). Are you mad? My life is hard enough with two kids and I don’t need extra load of work, cleaning the floor, wet mattress, etc plus extra washing clothing, bed sheet, blanket etc, etc. But, after 3 months of looking at, smelling piles of stinking disposables diapers in our bin, I started to get fed up and did more research. Hey!! The modern cloth diapers (popok kain) aren’t like the ones we used to know.  They’re cute, absorbent, easy to use, good for your baby’s health, and don’t forget you’re also helping the environment.

Many people would think that using cloth nappy is gross because you have to deal with poo. But, in my opinion, disposables are gross as you have this nappies with poo sitting in your bin for a week! With cloth, I use liners to line the nappies. You can choose paper, fleece or silk liners.  The biodegradable, unbleached paper liner can be thrown in the toilet and flushed after being pooed, so no poo sitting in your bin. The fleece and silk liners are washable. Once it has been pooed, it can be sprayed with water spray gun (like the one in modern indonesian toilet) to remove the poo, then they can be washed. How do you wash these cloth diapers? I don’t wash them but my washing machine does it for me;) Yep! You don’t need to do anything extra, no need to soak them, just dump the dirty cloth diapers in the tight closed lid nappy bucket and wash them in the washing machine on the washing day (2-3 days in between). Easy peasy!! But, how do we deal with stain? The sun is a natural bleaching agent! Try it for yourself if you don’t believe me.

To be honest, have you ever thought of being in your child shoes? How does it feel to sit on the disposable (plastic) diaper? (not forgetting that most children walk around and sit on the bulk gooey diaper after they peed on it). We, adults, like to wear nice cotton/silk underwear while our precious little prince/princess are wearing plastic nappies/diapers.

Seberapa pentingnya bermain?

1 Apr

Bermain itu ternyata penting sekali untuk anak2.  Di jaman sekarang ini dimana media dan aktivitas berstruktur (seperti les di luar sekolah) mengambil alih hampir semua waktu luang anak2.  Yang aku maksud dengan bermain disini adalah free play (permainan tanpa struktur atau aturan jadi bukan seperti games tapi bermain secara bebas).  Sudah banyak riset yang menyatakan kalo kekurangan bermain untuk anak2 bisa menghambat perkembangan sosial, emosional dan kognitif.  Kekurangan waktu bermain bisa menyebabkan generation of anxious, unhappy dan socially maladjusted adult.

Kehidupan anak2 kan sudah dipenuhi dengan permainan berstruktur, seperti komputer games, scrabbles, monopoli, sepak bola, dll.  Tetapi, perbedaan antara structure play diatas dengan free play adalah penggunaan imaginasi.  Permainan diatas memang edukasional dan juga mengajarkan anak untuk bekerja sama.  Tetapi structure play mempunyai ‘priory rule’ yaitu aturan2 yg sudah dibuat terlebih dahulu sedangkan free play, tidak mempunyai ‘priory rule’.  Maka dari itu free play membuat anak harus berpikir kreatif.

Anak2ku sedang bermain rumah2an. Beginilah kalo bermain, rumah jadi amburadul, tapi dengan begitu mereka bisa mengembangkan kreativitas mereka.

Kekreatifan inilah yang menjadi kunci karena menantang otak yang sedang berkembang untuk berpikir lebih keras daripada kalau hanya mengikuti aturan.  Free play juga membuat anak menggunakan imaginasi untuk mencoba aktifitas2 lain dan peran2 lain.

Sebagai orang tua, kita tentu menginginkan yang terbaik untuk anak2 kita.  Kita ingin anak kita pintar, rajin, sukses, dsb.   Kita berkorban financially, waktu luang untuk mengantarkan anak les pelajaran, les karate, les ballet, dsb.  Setiap hari jadwal kegiatan anak dipenuhi dengan kegiatan2 les di luar sekolah.  Mungkin les2 tsb memang berguna untuk membuat mereka pintar, tetapi apakah kepintaran tsb harus dibayar dengan kebahagiaan mereka.  Menurutku, “happy children learn better”.  Banyak sekali pelajaran yang kita dapatkan dari bermain dan berimaginasi, seperti melatih anak untuk memecahkan masalah dengan teman atau dirinya sendiri.

Yang terbaik buat anak kita menurut pandangan kita belum tentu yang terbaik buat anak kita sendiri.  Let children be children, there will be times  to be grown up :)

Dirangkum dari Scientific American: MIND vol. 20 no.1

World book day dressing up

31 Mar

On the world book day, my daughter had to dress up as a character from a book that she brought to school during the day.  She loves Dr Seuss’ book, so I decided to make the hat from one of Dr Seuss’ book, Cat in the hat.  She had a white furry body warmer but she didn’t seem to like wearing it, so here’s the look without the body warmer:

Perawatan Popok Kain (Clodi / cloth diaper)

31 Mar

Clodi seperti prefold menurutku paling mudah dirawat sedangkan clodi yg menggunakan fleece  dan microfibre seperti pocket diaper dan AIO, perawatannya mesti hati2.  Beberapa hal yang harus dipikirkan dalam perawatan popok kain/clodi ini:

1.  Pencucian

Sebaiknya pencucian clodi disesuaikan dengan instruksi dari pembuatnya.  Biasanya PUL (bahan diaper cover yang membuatnya anti tembus air) tidak baik sering dicuci dalam air terlalu panas, dan lapisan anti tembusnya dan karetnya bisa cepat rusak.  Karena di rumah saya harus mengerjakan semua sendiri, maka semua penyucian clodi saya tugaskan ke mesin cuci.  Saya biasanya selang seling antara setting 40derajat dengan 60derajat.  60 derajat utk membunuh kuman dan 40 derajat utk menghemat energi.  Rutinitas penyucian tergantung masing2 individual, kalau saya, clodi dibilas di mesin cuci dgn air dingin menggunakan wool cycle dengan sedikit lavender oil dan 1sdt bicarbonate soda.  Lalu either 40 derajat atau 60 derajat setting dgn prewash, saya taruh 3/4 detergent di prewash drawer dan 1/4 di main wash drawer dan sedikit cuka di bagian softener.  Cuka? sedikit aja berguna karena air di daerah saya mengandung banyak mineral deposit (limescale).

2.  Pemilihan deterjen

Sepertinya pusing juga yah, udah beli clodi mahal2 tapi perawatan salah akhirnya menyebabkan bau atau rusak.  Itu biasanya yang membuat pengguna clodi putus asa.  Sebagai guideline dalam pemilihan deterjen, yaitu pilih deterjen yang NO BLEACH, NO softener, JANGAN yang soap base (krn mengandung oil), kalau bisa hindari optical brightener krn bisa membuat iritasi di kulit tapi kalo pembilasan bagus dan tidak meninggalkan residue, optical brightener mungkin gak apa2.  Jadi  deterjen yang bagaimana cocok untuk clodi, biasanya deterjen yg ash base, ditulis di ingredient list-nya:  ZEOLITE (ini berarti bukan soap base).  Kalau anak anda sangat sensitive, biasanya ada detergent yang tidak mengandung enzyme, kalo di inggris biasa disebut dengan non-bio yang diperuntukan untuk mereka yg berkulit sensitif.

Seberapa banyak detergen yang dipakai untuk mencuci clodi? 1/2 dari yg direcommend di box deterjen utk sekali cuci

3.  Perawatan mesin cuci

Di daerah tempatku tinggal airnya mengandung mineral deposit yang disebut limescale. Jadi sekali2 mesin cuciku  mesti dibersihkan dari endapan mineral.  Caranya: gampang kok, mesin cuci kosong, jalankan dengan setting yg paling panas (90derajat), taruh 1sdm cuka.  Kalo tidak dibersihkan, berarti pembilasan clodi tidak optimal seperti membilas dengan air kotoran, jadi sama juga bohong.  Sebaiknya maintenance wash dilakukan tiap 1-2 bulan sekali.

4.  Pemilihan Penyimpanan clodi kotor (diaper pail)

Biasanya ada 2 macam cara penyimpanan clodi kotor (diaper pail), wet and dry diaper pail.  Wet diaper pail, clodi kotor direndam di ember, kalau disimpan lebih dari 1 hari, air mesti sering diganti krn bisa bau pesing dan berjamur.  Kalau menggunakan diaper pail basah, air jangan dicampur detergent terlalu lama, karena detergent bisa merusak PUL (bagian yg anti tembus air).  Sedangkan  cara diaper pail kering adalah cara menyimpan clodi kotor TANPA air.  Saya sendiri menggunakan cara diaper pail kering tapi saya memisahkan antara clodi yg kena pup dan yg hanya dipipisin.  Clodi yg kena pup, biasanya saya langsung bilas dgn air dingin supaya tidak membekas di clodi.  (note: Jangan bilas dengan air panas, krn air panas men-set noda dan malah membuat clodi berbekas).

Gimana sih caranya supaya diaper pail gak bau? Kalo diaper pail basah, mungkin bisa taruh setetes lavender oil, tapi sering mengganti air adalah cara terbaik untuk mencegah diaper pail menjadi bau.  Sedangkan untuk diaper pail kering, biasanya saya taruh, paper liner yg sudah saya tetesi lavender oil, taruh paling bawah sebelum clodi ditaruh, lalu setiap hari saya taburi bicarbonate soda.  Saya biasanya mencuci clodi 2x seminggu, jadi kadang bisa 3 hari clodi diam di diaper pail.

5.  Stripping

Waktu pertama membaca kata stripping kok kayaknya vulgar amat yah, walah… artinya ternyata beda bener ma yang aku pikirkan.  Stripping itu istilah di dunia per-clodi-an USA untuk menghilangkan residue yg tertinggal di clodi krn deterjen build up.  Tanda2 clodi butuh di-strip, adalah bau pesing, biasanya clodi hanya bau pesing kalo sudah lebih dari 1 hr di diaper pail dan itupun tidak terlalu bau.  Kalo baunya gak ketulungan, itu berarti ada detergent build up.  Biasanya clodi yang dilapisi dengan fleece, microfiber inserts  dan hemp sangat prone terjadi deterjen build up.  Gimana caranya men-strip clodi, ada beberapa cara, tapi cara yg memungkinkan buat Indonesia mungkin direbus.  Sebelum direbus, clodi mesti dicuci, bilas dahulu.  Kemudian baru di taruh di dalam panci yg diisi dengan air mendidih, gak usah terlalu lama, sampai air berubah menjadi keruh dan berbusa (biasanya sekitar 1-5menit), lalu diangkat, bilas TANPA deterjen, bisa pakai tangan atau di mesin cuci.  Cara lain untuk men-strip clodi adalah dengan menggunakan mesin pencuci piring (dishwasher), clodi yg sudah dicuci yg mau distrip bisa ditaruh di dishwasher, tentunya tanpa peralatan makan.   Stripping sebenarnya tidak dianjurkan terlalu sering, paling 6 bln sekali, soalnya stripping bisa merusak PUL dan karet.  Beberapa Clodi-ku pernah di-strip 2 kali, langsung karetnya melar, akhirnya malah tidak bisa dipakai lagi :(

Serba Serbi Prefold

30 Mar

Utk ibu2 yg mau menghemat, sebenarnya prefold merupakan popok kain yg sangat ekonomis.  Di samping murah, juga paling mudah dirawat, karena tidak takut karet/elastic-nya rusak (karena memang gak ada karetnya), jarang bermasalah dengan detergent build up (bahan2 seperti katun dan bambu tidak begitu bermasalah dengan detergent build up, tidak seperti microfibre, fleece atau hemp yg sering bermasalah).  Prefold juga mudah dibuat sendiri.  Karena bentuknya yg hanya persegi panjang yang ditumpuk tergantung keinginan yang lalu ditengahnya diberi lapisan lebih banyak.

Prefold ini memang membutuhkan peniti atau snappi dan juga diaper cover (eg. PUL wrap, wool pull on, dll).  Tetapi diaper covernya tidak perlu banyak, paling 4 – 5 sudah cukup.  Diaper cover bisa dipake ulang asal tidak kotor atau kena pup (sebaiknya diangin-anginkan dulu sebelum dipakai lagi) sedangkan pocket (eg. bumwear, fuzzibunz) sekali pake harus langsung dicuci walaupun tidak kena pup.   Saya biasanya nyuci diaper 2x seminggu, sehari saya alternate 3 cover. Covers sgt cepat keringnya dan tidak perlu dicuci dengan derajat tinggi, malah gampang dicuci pakai tangan.  Diaper covers juga bisa masuk mesin cuci dengan cucian lainnya (saya mencuci clodi terpisah dengan cucian rumah lainnya).

Cara pemakainnya juga sangat mudah. Mungkin dgn foto bisa membantu.


Ada beberapa cara juga utk melipat prefold, coba bisa lihat di sini

Kalo anda punya toddler yang waktu mengganti popok tidak lagi mau tiduran, ada cara pemakaian prefold dengan peniti dari belakang seperti anak saya di bawah ini.

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