So You Think Milk is Good…

Just the other day when I was at the supermarket, I overheard a husband who was on the phone with his wife, trying to decide which brand of milk to pick up from the fridge. I can’t say for sure I know the exact right brand to buy, but a little research and “sharing” by the aunties working at the mart does tell me that HL is not the brand to look for if you want “fresh milk”. Well, because it’s not exactly “fresh milk” from the cow as they claimed HL uses part powdered milk in their concoction.

Well, the guy picked up two cartons of HL eventually.

Milk is almost like rice. The society can’t do without milk. Our little ones survive on milk and grow on milk. Not just human babies, but most other mammals too. So should we have a problem with milk? Or should I say, do we have a problem with our cows?

So What’s in your cow?

Unless you’re buying milk from pastured cows from a small organic farmer, modern cow’s milk production usually involves raising cows in feedlots and feeding them grains.

Cows, like humans, have a nine month gestation period and lactate only when they’ve recently given birth.

In the past, dairy farmers would allow cows a seasonal reproductive cycle, and birth was planned in sync with the new grass of spring. This way, the mother had lots of nutritious grazing and time to replenish nutrient stores. Grazing, by the way, is healthier for cows since grass is what the bovine digestive system is built for.

In contrast, industrial production involves giving cows grain along with various substances designed to enhance milk production. More grain means more rumen (stomach) acidity, more thirst, diluted milk and ruminal acidosis. Acidosis leads to ulcers, infectious bacteria, inflammation and growth of E. coli.

So, along with your milk nutrients, you might be getting a whole lot of other stuff in your milk that may not suit your body.

If not milk, what other stuff can we drink?

I will share with you some possible milk alternatives in the next post. Watch out for it!




The Amazing Bond Between Twins – Part I

It was really unexpected and by chance that I came across this sharing by Dr Jeff Mullan on Facebook. When I saw a picture of twin preemies, the natural instinct was to click on it and take a peek at what’s happening. When you are a mother of preemies, you can’t help wanting to know about other preemies and finding out how they are doing.

 And boy did this story touch my heart on a Monday morning!

I have taken the liberty to replicate and share Dr Jeff’s story on this blog, as a tribute to mummies of all multiple babies and preemies! It’s amazing how our little ones thrive in the circumstances they were borned to. As my dear friend, Evie, put it, each of them is a fighter right from the start!

Twin girls, Brielle and Kyrie, were born 12 weeks ahead of their due date. Needing intensive care, they were placed in separate incubators.

Kyrie began to gain weight and her health stabilized. But Brielle, born only 2 lbs, had trouble breathing, heart problems and other complications. She was not expected to live.

Their nurse did everything she could to make Brielle’s health better, but nothing she did was helping her. With nothing else to do, their nurse went against hospital policy and decided to place both babies in the same incubator.

She left the twin girls to sleep and when when she returned she found a sight she could not believe. She called all the nurses and doctors and this is what they saw (refer to the picture above).

As Brielle got closer to her sister, Kyrie put her small little arm around her, as if to hug and support her sister. From that moment on, Brielle’s breathing and heart rate stabilized and her health became normal.

From then on, they decided to keep both babies together, because when they were together they kept each other alive.

~ Adapted from Dr Jeff Mullan’s FB sharing

BE with your Children

A Dad, Mum and their two children sit at a table in a restaurant waiting for dinner to be served. Dad and Mum are busy scrolling through their smartphones. The kids have their heads bent, fngers busy tapping away on – a Playstation and an iPad.

This is a common sight today. But is this called family time?

One of the things I think most about being a parent is being unable to balance technology with …. “all things non tech”. You know what I mean … In the days of endless techy toys that range from the iPhones to the iPads to the Playstations and Nintendos, how can we ensure that our kids grow up without their noses being glued to these screens? And when even ministers, political parties and organisations depend heavily on social media as part of their marketing strategies, it seems like you will be labelled an alien if you neither tweet nor facebook.

Do we want our children to be “alienated” or risk probable technology addiction?

Who likes their children’s noses glued to screens and fingers in constant tapping mode?

Who can be the perfect role model for their children identify with and model after?

Who has the perfect solution to the best way to balance technology with “all things non-tech”?

Personally if my babies could do wonders and figure their ways around my gadgets, I find that that’s nothing much to be proud of. I would like to raise my twins with the least amount of technology influence, as much as possible. But I also fully understand the precious minutes of break parents get with the help of technology, wonderful or not. Though I may have a preference to deviate further from technology, I am still trying to figure the balance myself.

Well, I came across a blog which offers some solutions to parents on how you can evade technlogy when spending time with your kids. To just BE PRESENT and BE THERE with them. Some may look simple, but it also takes tremendous effort on our part as parents to maintain our own discipline, less to say the kids’.

I have identified some suggestions and will try them out!

Which ones will you try?

fitlovelymummy Welcomes 2012!

In the next half hour, the first day of 2012 would be over. In the next half hour, the twins will cross over to the second day of the new year. In the next half hour, I would have reflected and drawn up new resolutions to be achieved in the new year.

Now that I have some time to sit down and reflect on the year that has just passed a mere 23 hours ago, I concluded that 2011 was indeed a rather ambitious year for me, trying to accomplish multiple tasks with limited capacity.

1. Taking 3 months of unpaid leave to care for the twins till they are 6 months old

This period allowed me to experience fully what a Stay-at-home-mummy goes through and appreciate that I have the chance to still experience life “outside of the kids” now.

2. Getting back my fitness and ideal weight before returning to work (school)

It was a goal that must be achieved and achieved with considerable efforts and commitment. Although there is significant success, I must say there is still room for improvement which I will continue to see through 2012.

3. Pursuing new knowledge in Health, Fitness and Nutrition

In the process of achieving my goals, I discovered a newfound interest in the aeas of fitness and particularly nutrition. Because changes made in these areas have resulted in significant improvements, I was intrigued to find out more and turn this into a self-directed pursue of knowledge.

4. Creating fitlovelymummy!

Though it’s time-consuming and tedious, this is an important platform that allows me to share with other mummies on all matters relating to twin pregnancies, raising twins and mummy fitness! It is my proudest project thus-far and I look forward to contributing more sharings in the coming year!

5. Pursuing new knowledge in wealth management

Acquisition of knowledge is endless and in the limited amount of spare time I have, I managed to squeeze in a 3 day workshop on value investing. I must say it was the most useful finance course I have been to. Although I learnt about balance sheets and statements during college and uni days, they never meant anything to me until now.

6. Preparing the twins for year 2 of their lives

Going through year one was one of the most challenging periods of my life. I always describe the journey to my friends as a “never-ending endurance race”. Seriously, completing a marathon is easy. Raising two babies at one go is the true endurance race of your life. Kudos to mummies with triplets!!

It has truly been a hectic but fulfilling year 2011 for myself.

Some of you may feel that there were things that could have been done better but I’d like you to understand that better may not necessarily be better at that point in time. So do not harp on the past, take a deep breath and step into the new year!

Happy 2012!



One Year of Double Trouble – Part 2

6. One is never always the angel, and the other is never always the rascal

Before Aasha reached 6 months old, she was the easy baby who goes along with anything, settles in the car seat when we go out for rides, drinks her milk enthusiastically, smiles and laughs at you at upon any prompting by us. Kiran was the challenging one to care for with his fiery tempers for the smallest event like bathing and changing nappies, pulls his hair when he’s agitated, resulting in pain and more anger (he still does this now), screams in the car seat from the minute you put him in till you fish him out of the car at the destination … the the list goes on.

Changes can be observed when they were about 9 months old. Kiran does not scream or erupt as much, unless he is cranky and sleepy. He is better on solids than Aasha. He takes his porridge and cereal like a feeding machine, whereas Aasha is more challenging during meal times. We don’t know where the “angel” went to. For unknown reasons, Aasha hates car rides now and wails her way through while Kiran just stays in his seat and enjoys the ride in a nonchalant manner.

Yep.. they are never the same. What’s more interesting is that their characteristics interchange and even cross paths along the way.

7. They want the same toys and model after each other

Just recently my mum and grandma discovered, to “their delight” that both of them have learned to fight for toys. At this age, will they understand the notion of sharing? Or the natural instinct of “the strongest survive” is predominant?

8. Gina Ford (and Alice Beer) doesn’t work

Though I was a wee bit late in reading up on baby guide books, I at least got myself in touch with Gina Ford, The Baby Sleep Site & Harvey Karp’s Happiest Baby On The Block within the first 3 months of delivery. Yep, this happens when one gets desperate with twins to handle. You look for all kinds of resources to salvage any tips that work. Unfortunately, their advise do not work on my twins and coming to terms with the fact that my twins do not function according to guide books and proven routines, helped keep my sanity in check!

Really, if you want any guide at all, I’d prefer that you ask me and I will share with you the most realistic experiences. For the matter, I have a feeling that Caucasian babies are different from Asian babies. I attribute that to the reason why guides and gurus do not work.

9. Don’t plunge into a Twin Stroller!

If I recall right, my husband and I spent a few months just weighing the options and deciding if we should get a twin stroller vs two single strollers. Now that we’ve had the twins, the answer is really straightforward. NO Twin Strollers! What makes you so sure both of them will like to cruise in strollers? In my case, both do not like strollers! SO even my single Mclaren strollers are grossly under-utilised!

It’s never too late to get the Twin Stroller after you and the twins are sure that strollers are the way to go!

10. Twins promote Self Esteem

The last point is dedicated to the parents – yep us!! The ones who feed, clothe, slog, sweat, cry, ache and laugh ourselves silly for the babies. I don’t care if I sound obnoxious here, but raising twins definitely gives you more speaking rights amongst your peers with children. Difficult? Try looking after two at one go! Not enough sleep? Look who’s talking?! Raising twins inevitably gives you an edge over the rest who only have one baby to look after at a time. That also means you would have gathered loads of sound advice, time-saving tips and efficiency tips to share with your peers! Which mummy wouldn’t appreciate that?

As the twins grow older, we are beset with different challenges and interesting scenarios that many other parents do not usually experience. The difficult times are over but new challenges lie ahead, testing our patience and wit in handling the twins. These I will find time to share, for the benefit of many more mummies out there!

One Year of Double Trouble

The twins are One!!

Well, One year old by birth date, but not quite One yet by character age. They are technically still 2 months away from their little friends who were borned the same period. It’s quite unbelievable that we have reached the one year mark of time with the twins! Looking back to Day One of their tiny lives, in their little incubators, it’s a miracle they have reached this stage of development now.

Now that I’m a mother of two, I can reiterate that nothing is more important than good health for your kids. When I hear of friends or even acquaintances whose kids have the kind of issues that one really do not wish upon any child, I am thankful that my twins are at the very least, healthy and active.

So what’s the difference between raising singletons and multiple babies? ….. To mummies who are expecting or wish to have multiple babies, here goes:

1. You need at least two sets of changing stations – in different rooms.

So that when one is sleeping, you can still do the necessary changes to the other in times of high need! Trust me, life is always better when at least one of them is sleeping.

2. You only need one steriliser, one bath tub and one jumperoo.

Yep there are things which you definitely don’t need two sets at one location. Becasue if you do, you will realise you need to move into a bunglow.

3. The ratio of 1 adult: 1 baby does not work on multiple babies. 3:2 is manageable. 4:2 is comfortable.

I’m not sure why this happens, maybe it’s just my babies who need lotsa attention. But if we were to completely leave the two of them to just two caregivers, I believe the caregivers will either end up starved from the inability to find time to eat or cry from not being able to go to the loo.

4. Girls are faster than boys.

I think it’s a girls’ thing and not because Kiran is slow. I remember having studied that girls develop faster than boys (and mature earlier too).

5. No …. when one cries, it doesn’t mean the other will cry.

Everyone asks me this question when they meet the twins. I just tell them that’s a problem with identical twins (though I’m not too sure about the actual facts), not fraternal twins.

And the list goes on…. which I will gladly continue to point out in my next entry. Cos now I need to go stop one of them from crying before she wakes the other! Just another twin management challenge!


Which Parenting Style would you Adopt?

Not too far back, Amy Chua’s article on “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior” caused a big commotion to educators and mummies around the world and started off a string of debate on parenting styles and cultural influences.

These days, most parenting and baby guide books will tell you that your little ones start to learn and grasp knowledge right from when she is just a few months old! So they say education, training and discipline and cultivating the appropriate behaviors start from there and then!

I believe its true, that babies’ minds are empty sponges ready to absorb the greatest amount of knowledge juices right from the beginning! So role modelling starts now! However, I find that I have to constantly remind myself not to forget that these small little beings are still far from rational beings and not to set expectations upon them which they are not ready for. They may be absorbing knowledge but they may not be ready cognitively to behave or perform as you expect.

But once they are a little older and get into the swing of house rules and “mama’s rules”, I will prefer to adopt a parenting model that includes a mixture of demanding and encouraging styles. Having gone through a couple of years as an educator, I think this style will work best for both myself and the kids!

Mummies, the New York Times has dedicated an article on this topic and interviewed several distinguished individuals on their thoughts on parenting.

Can you can relate to any?