Mama Munchkins’ tales

I remember the concerns of family that Munchkin 1 was late to speak. I remember how I would say words to him, hoping and praying that he would repeat only for him to give me the cutest toothless smile. On the good days, I would wake up and say each child has his/ her own timing for their milestones. On the tougher days, I would remember all the questions of “Bado hajaongea?”,Does he have a heavy tongue?”, “Have you seen a speech therapist?” And to be honest, I actually thought of seeing a speech therapist. And I doubted myself and even wondered if it had anything to do with me being his mom.

Today the little man is 4 years old and is a major chatterbox. I sometimes find myself saying we should watch the cartoons in silence, or asking him to go play outside, I am human. The responsibility of being a mother, a parent at that, is one of the toughest ones. It has no unique manual for their personalities, their milestones, their way of communicating. Prayer and mom’s groups and sharing with friends and family is what gives a guideline.

My Munchkin 2 was born in April 2016. She was a unique beautiful girl who put her hand on her face, at an angle. This meant that she couldn’t pass through the birth canal without breaking it, her hand that is, or crushing her skull. When they checked if I had dilated while in labor, she actually had her hand to say hi to the nurse and Doctor Kigen. So yes, the caesarian section happened. For me, it was horrendous, especially because I compared it to the natural delivery of Munchkin 1. The first few nights, I cried daily. And Munchkin 2 cried a little louder. She had colic. So here I was barely able to pull myself up to breastfeed, and her cry would already wake up all my neighbors. I almost got to postpartum depression. I always remember heartily how Dad would come home to help me bathe her, and thankfully he didn’t mind. It actually became our ritual. And he helped me get out of the darkness.

Each clinic we went to, the pediatrician would ask if she cries that much as she looked for a better option to calm the colic. Finally Bonnisan offered a sort of relief, at least it was better than the two other options we had tried. Dad would be present for all the clinics, to the point the pediatrician thought he was the better option to calming Munchkin 2 down. With time the colic faded off and we now enjoyed more coos than cries. I enjoyed breast feeding as I always had until one warm October morning when things started changing. Dad got sick. At first I thought it was a short illness but it ended up being really serious. He was admitted in hospital for over a month. (That’s a story for another day, I am still not ready.) Life changed. In between the running to the hospital and home, thinking about him, munchkin 1 & 2, not eating or taking fluids well, the breast milk started reducing. I decided to go the formula way while still trying to substitute. Dad’s condition was getting worse. He had brain surgery. I would rarely see my children as I spent the day in hospital. In the evening, I would try to balance the energy between chatting with Munchkin 1 while trying to breastfeed Munchkin 2. The milk was so little. She would cry until I substitute. It took me a while but finally I accepted that it was torture to her as she wanted to suckle but there was nothing. I finally gave up breastfeeding. And for the first time, I will accept and share that I thought of myself as a failure. I wondered if she had gotten enough immunity, if I had been unfair to her and yet her brother had a longer time to enjoy it. It took a while to accept it. Its tough being a mummy.

I introduced packet milk to her as the cost of formula was too high in between all the other things we were experiencing. She loved it. She became less edgy and soon enough she slept longer hours. In fact in a week or two she mastered the art of sleeping through the night. As dad got better, I got more time to spend with my babies. Now she is one and a half years, I am grateful that she is doing well healthy, chatty and the sweetest ever.

Munchkin 2Her brother, whom I thought had an issue with speech is teaching her how to talk. I am so grateful for my nanny who hang in there with me and took up a greater responsibility to allow me to balance between hospital and babies. Today dad is well, he is almost back to his optimum. Thanks to the 2016 April mums who stood with me and encouraged me, we have a lovely bond because of our babies.  Thank you to my family and great friends.

Mums be encouraged that it always gets better. And babies grow, a day at a time. And God protects them and gives us grace for each new day. I just might get a third born to enjoy the breastfeeding experience once more.


Munchkin Tales

As munchkin gets closer to the 2 year old mark, I can already begin to see the signs of what they call terrible two. Initially he was interested in my phone and though he would sometimes get angry when I did not give it to him, a toy would easily distract him. Now he is more intelligent and knows exactly what he wants. Usually, I hear it from family or friends that he has grown a little bigger. I think it is because I see him every day and it seems like he is the same little munch. These days, his milestones are what tell me he is growing.

In December, if we did not want him touching anything, it was simple. We would put it on the top part of the seat and forget all about it. Nowadays, he will climb up the seat and reach to the top for whatever you thought you were hiding.  Currently, the remote is our all time favorite. As long as he sees it, he wants it. It doesn’t matter whether its mummy or daddy who has it, he just wants it period. This weekend, I saw his new reaction to “No”. In two seconds, he had tossed himself to the ground yelling at the top of his lungs. I have seen tantrums before but this is the mother of them all. I stared for about a minute, not knowing what to do. Within that time frame, a couple of things crossed my mind. Do I go my mother’s way, slipper and tap his behind a bit? Or do I go according to the reading I have done that says tantrums sometimes are to seek attention, as he is at that stage where he wants to be understood, but still hasn’t got all the words right? Well I went with the latter, but I made it crystal clear that I was not giving him the remote. He cried for a while, but I explained the same thing and when he saw I wasn’t changing my mind, he decided to take it. At that very moment, I actually saw him testing me to see how I would react. Wow, these kids are so intelligent.

On a different note, munchkin is well adjusted to the new nanny, a month later. He has mastered saying hi on the phone, feeding well, playing with his toys and enjoying her company. She might do a few things differently in terms of house chores, but I have learnt how to live with it. As long as my munchkin is happy, I can sort out the rest.

As I wait for the next milestone, this is how big we have become:

Just a week left and I tick the 19th month off...

Just a week left and I tick the 19th month off…

Munchkin’s life progress

During the week, I sometimes have to sit outside in the evening Whatspping a friend, so that Munchkin can eat his food. Kids are amazing. The minute I walk through that door he forgets everything and remembers the all too cool, nyonyo. Many have said to me that he is too old and should have stopped and I think it too sometimes, but the comfort he has when he is enjoying his right temperature shake makes me push the timeline a bit further.

I remember waiting and being so anxious about him walking. It was quite a while since he started holding on to the seat or stool and there were prophesies that he would walk a week after, then it became two weeks then three and I just stopped thinking about it and gave him his space. Finally he started walking on his own, I was so excited and so was he. He would lift his hands up and walk with pride, seeing he does not need to hold to anything. Of course the excitement sometimes leads to running, underestimating a distance to the door and falling. The experience is scary but for sure lack of an expression on mummy’s face has him up and about in two seconds, not even dusting himself. So we walked while holding a finger or two when he got scared and soon his confidence was up and great.

Of late he has been screaming and wanting all of mummy’s attention. Leaving to go to work is a nightmare as I contemplate hiding then decide, to just say bye so that I do not allow separation anxiety to build up. I often end up feeling like going back to calm him down.  I am so excited and enjoy the love but sometimes I am also worried he doesn’t want to interact with anyone else especially relatives he hasn’t seen in a while. I question whether I am the one who has not exposed him, but then again I am probably just edgy being a first time mum.

So yesterday we went out for lunch with Tata, Nana, and some friends. The new environment had him refusing to walk at all and could only be carried by mum. With time, he warmed up and was playing quite a lot with Tata. However, any attempt to pick him up had him yelling.
Our kind waitress, Mary, saw the struggles and brought him his own menu to play with. That was quite exciting for him, until a few minutes later, when he got over it and was wondering what was the next cool thing to play with. Mum’s juice brought a scuffle, but I stood my ground and did not give him the cold drink, for about 20 minutes, then I figured warm water mixed with it would quench a little thirst. Luckily, munchkin loves food so we enjoyed the fries and a tiny bite of the ribs. After food, Mary brought him a coloring paper and some crayons.


He was more fascinated by the different colors of the crayons for sure. Soon he was removing them one by one, slipping them through the space between the seats to the floor. The lovely green balloon was the next captivation; the material rubbed against his face seemed interesting though short lived.  Yet again we were back to the menu. Books are noticeably of interest starting with grandma’s newspaper; his little Lion king story book and menus. I am glad to say he loves books, so I will definitely work at buying enough story books and hopefully he will get into the reading culture. Finally, when he was tired with everything, he stretched out and started to pull mama for his dose of nyonyo and five minutes later, he was fast asleep. Kids have such a interesting life, eat, sleep, play, fuss, explore and repeat.

My munchkin, I am so glad you grow and learn something new daily. I will enjoy each moment I can because I know the attention to Mum will not always be there so if you need to tag my trouser, hold my hand, refuse to picked by anyone else, scream and be dramatic when I am around, yell at the top of your lungs when I leave for work or step outside, I will enjoy before we move on to the next milestone and soon you will be all grown up refusing to be hugged and kissed by mummy. I will enjoy.


Entering his fourth quarter, my munch

I promise, I blog every other day, I really do, it’s just that I save it in my head. (Smiles) I am so ashamed of how long it has been but I will jump right into it. My once little munch is now almost a senior. He is in the fourth quarter of the year, so exciting. As the journey continues, he is now a veteran who went through the blended food and quickly past it to simply mashed foods. I am now a bit more relaxed and actually allow him to have our food. He has had ugali and soup, which he loved, matoke and potatoes, chapo and chicken stew and of course we go back to his good old pumpkin. The most amazing thing is he has learnt how to chew without teeth. Food has never been a problem, well, until he started teething.

I always heard stories of babies’ reaction to teething but because Munchkin had not yet gotten there I did not think much of it. The day finally came and it was not pleasant. First was the swelling of the gum and for that I thought I was prepared with the teether. Little did I know that he did not like it at all and would not use it. Then came the diarrhea and mummy was filled with fear. I felt so sorry for him, hoping it was not painful, always remembering to ask the nanny to give him water frequently to keep him hydrated. One week has gone by and though it has reduced, I still worry. Now he finds comfort in my finger for his itchy gums as carrots get boring after a few minutes.

On a good note, he has started standing by grabbing the front part of the outfit, of whoever is holding or sitting next to him. He can actually take steps when you hold his hands. This has made him so active that he reaches out for any and everything and can now stretch his body further. With growth comes intelligence and memory. He remembers how to high five mummy, say hi to his Shosh, show Maitu his hand’s shadow among many other things. On top of that if he wants my phone, it’s not the remote or his toy or hong kong phooey, it’s my phone and otherwise, he yells at the top of his lungs. He can vocalize his opinion.

This journey is an amazing one as you see changes every day. It keeps me encouraged to work harder and smarter. Fills me with sadness when he cries as I leave the house, or when I come in and want to change first. Makes me laugh as he holds my top with such force to stand, scares me as he stretches his hand past the seat, not realizing there is a space in between that could get him to the ground so fast. It amazes me as I realize how kids are blessed and wonder how he has already knows there are shadows and become fascinated by them.

Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of motherhood, the energy and grace to go through it, to work and to persevere, to never give up even when times a hard, to always see his clothes and toys before mine, to learn and embrace the refreshed times he brings my way, to let go of any and everything and focus on my little munchkin, to get a nanny and take good care of them, to remain prayerful and focused and to have a little person to nurture, take care of and bring up.

The half year mark – Weaning

The amazing way in which you watch a young one grow to the level of learning how to eat with a spoon, could have you staring at Munchkin for 30 minutes and smiling at his actions. As I searched for the little tiny spoons that are specially curved to ensure they create interest to the little munchkins, that they don’t hurt them when they want to play with them and attract them with their brightly coloured designs, I was quite worried. I wondered if he would like the spoons, if he would know that it’s his new mode of feeding, if he would enjoy putting them in his mouth, just to get used to it. Having heard a great experience with tommee tippee, I decided to get the same brand. As l stared at the different packs of bowls and spoons, it hit me how fast six months had gone by. On one hand, it was exciting but on the other I could see how quickly he will get to teenage hood then soon turn eighteen.

First day of feeding was finally here and as I prepared his tiny bowl of porridge, I was so reluctant to change that I thought of pouring it out and just breastfeeding. However, I encouraged myself, got the bib on his neck and it was a go. At first, he stared at the spoon then the contents as I brought it closer to his mouth. He tasted it and made a funny face. Right there, I panicked and all sort of crazy thoughts of how I would be chasing him round the house with a mwiko, to get him to eat crossed through my mind. Just before I could continue with that train of thought, his cooing got me back to reality. He motioned forward, reaching out for the spoon. Happily, I scooped a little more porridge and this time as I gave it to him, he took it calmly and swallowed. Four spoons later, we were done as it was the first meal and he was required to have just a little, to observe how his body would react.

Thanks to God, my employer gave me two hours every morning to ensure I gave him his breakfast. As the week went by, I introduced cerelac and fruits on different days. He loved the fruits, a tiny pawpaw on one day and adding a tiny banana the next, and the excitement when he pooped is one of the special moments in my life, no constipation! The joys of motherhood.  The trend continued and I am so thankful and happy that so far nothing has reacted negatively. Munchkin has enjoyed pawpaw, banana, orange, avocado, cerelac, porridge, pumpkin and we are looking at introducing apple and peach puree this weekend. Both of us are surely excited and munchkin is so proud to be enjoying his favorite meal *drum rolls*CERELAC..

Munchkin meets the world

Munchkin meets the world

On of the challenges comes when he wakes up hungry and he is not patient enough to wait for the food to be passed through the sieve literally to make it edible and digestible for his little tummy. I have learnt to prepare it earlier and just leave it for warming when he wakes up. The excitement he has for food assures me that he is enjoying this new stage.

With growing up and eating, comes more energy and thus more naughtiness. Munchkin is learning to roll over and pull all things towards him. This includes my plate of food as I am distracted for two seconds. In a span of two weeks, he has poured my tea twice, thank God it has never poured on him. I love that now he can have a conversation with me, and I can tell his mood, whether he is excited or angry and if he is cozing at Mama. He still does not sleep through the night, but I am more than okay with it. I would wake up even six times if I have to, just for my little (not too little anymore) munch..

Munchkin, what was Mummy’s life like before you?

Four Months Already

Celebrating four months is such an achievement. I know it seems like a short time, but having little munchkin in my life has made every day so memorable it feels like a year and I totally enjoy it. With this new level of his life, he now fits his fist into his mouth, has proper eye and hand coordination, he can easily pull something I am holding, tempted to pour my tea to discover what that is.

I remember when people used to ask me if he can see, and at some point I got scared. After referring to Dr. Google, I relaxed as it gets better with time as his brain develops. I remember when he just used to stare at me, I liked it coz I was the centre of his attention, but he has since discovered that he can see all other cool people and things. He now enjoys looking around and has even gotten to mastering people’s faces. This has led to feeling sweet for some of the people who try to hold him, and excitement when he can recognize his chosen few.

Good news for mummy is, he is not peeing on me as often, this must be because I am back to work and I don’t change him as often. What he now enjoys doing is while changing him, he kicks and sometimes reaches out for the water. This has led to a couple of spills but we have now known where to place it.

So they say that kids pick out some habits from their parents, wait for it…. Munchkin is now eating his tongue, direct translation, just like his mummy. I have no idea how. With that his gums have become so hard and he knows when to play with his food factory and when to pull it out.  OUCH!!!

He hogs almost three quarters of the bed, yes he still sleeps in my bed *hides*. With his little hands that seem so long when he stretches them out, I find them on my face. Surprisingly he can turn to an angle of 45 degrees so I have to keep checking him up on him. He now pulls the covers to eat when he wakes up , so I have to make sure he is covered up to where his hands will not pull them above his tiny face.

My most treasured moments are when he wakes up and cries, then he sees mean it turns to a smile, from ear to ear as he lifts his hands up with excitement. That warms my heart and chases all my problems far, far away. I am so jazzed to have a little me, he is my all. Meanwhile he has started to threaten to fall, actually fallen once, a scared mum that makes me, but that is for my next blog item.

Munchkin, what was Mummy’s life like before you?

The Spirit Spill

This morning as I walked out of the house, I could not help but smile as I left my little munchkin asleep. I looked at him, thought of kissing him but considered he would wake up. I really restrained myself. It’s so nice to see him laugh, stretch his tiny hands, wanting to be lifted to sit up and see the world from that angle.

Was just thinking about how far he has come and I am humbled. When he was a few days old, he had just finished taking a bath as I watched, (he was too tiny or rather I was too afraid to give him a bath then). His navel had not healed so a little surgical spirit was put on cotton wool and it was cleaned. Unfortunately, as the bottle was being lifted, the spirit slid and poured on him. I was so scared; I kept on praying he was alright as he was wiped real quickly. My heart sank. It was bad enough that it was at night, he had no clothes on and now spirit had poured all over him. At that point, I could not tell if it had gotten to his eyes, nose and mouth but I knew it had poured on him. I never thought of blame as it would have happened to anyone, even me. Instead I kept praying silently, that he was ok and that his sight would not be affected. I held back tears as he was calmed down and dressed, at least until when it was just Munchkin and I left in the room. As I held him close, he smelt of spirit everywhere, I could not tell the extent. Then I cried, while asking God to please not let him be affected in anyway. When I looked into his little eyes, more tears rolled down my face. He had jaundice and now spirit, Oh Dear… I prayed and cried out to God. I tried Dr. Google to check the effects of spirit and that made it far much worse. We decided to observe him until morning, if he had any reaction other than the norm, we would take him to hospital.

little eyes

In a few days, I forgot all about it and was probably dealing with him pooping on all his clothes, and yes I mean all. It was more like an outburst. Today, his eyes are fine. He can see me, coo and give me stories, differentiate voices and sleep a little longer at night. Mums, this journey is tough but the beauty of it is, things get better with time and God protects the little ones. For the world at large, sometimes we are in situations which bother us, depress us, and keep us feeling so low that even crying or yelling is not enough, but be encouraged, situations do not last forever. God does not give us situations we cannot handle.

So when I get home today, I will lift my little Munchkin, smother him with lots of kisses and enjoy whatever point we are at, forget all my troubles even if it’s for the moment. Celebrate the far we have come.

Munchkin, what was Mummy’s life like before you?