Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Our Tween's First Period / Menstrual Cycle

2020 sure started off with a big bang!! Lil Pumpkin got her first period on Fri 3 Jan 2020.

To be honest, I was a bit apprehensive about writing on this topic, as it still is somewhat a taboo topic in our society even in these modern times. There's still a stigma around having your menstruation as it is perceived as unclean and embarrassing, and is not often talked about in public {especially Asian societies?} or even in private among family or friends.

However, it is a milestone for Lil Pumpkin to have her first period, and truth be told, it is a milestone for our whole family! Just like her first time crawling, her first time standing on her own, her first time walking, her first time eating solid food, her first time sleeping through the night... I am very proud and happy of my little girl for hitting this milestone. If I'm not afraid to write those down on my blog so that I don't forget the details, why should I about this?

Don't worry, I won't go into any gory details but just mainly what's been happening and how we've been feeling the past few days when Lil Pumpkin got her first period last week. 

Having our period is a natural process for a woman, and signifies her coming-of-age. There's really nothing to be embarrassed about, and indeed, that is something that I've been emphasizing to Lil Pumpkin too. There's no need for her to feel scared or ashamed about having her period. It is normal. 

Of course, I've been emphasizing that to her not just because it's how I feel about it, but also because I recognise that because she has it now when most of her friends haven't yet, and because she has contact with young boys who may not understand what it's like for a girl to have her period, Lil Pumpkin may get teased or made to feel uncomfortable. 

She needs to have that inner strength and knowledge to not be affected by the unnecessary teasing she might encounter due to her menstruation.

We have actually been preparing her for a while for her first period and puberty by talking to her about it, getting her to read The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Girls {might do a review of that later} and this year, I even prepared a "period kit" with a small pouch filled with sanitary pads, clean undies and a small plastic bag {to put her dirty undies in} for her to bring to school.

Usually girls get their first period when they are 10 - 12 years old. I got mine when I was about 12 if I remember correctly. I was expecting Lil Pumpkin's first period to come maybe at the end of this year, or even next... but not so soon as last Friday! Lil Pumpkin was surprised too.

Nevertheless, she's been experiencing puberty and a growth spurt the past year so we really shouldn't be that startled.

It started with some blotchy spots and discharge on her undies which she didn't think to tell us, then she felt like she had a stomachache so told the boy, who asked me to check on her.

Thankfully, I was home sick from work and was able to be there for her that day. Poor dear must have been kind of confused about what's happening! I checked her undies and saw the spots and discharge so deduced that she was having her first period.

When her flow started, it was pretty heavy and she had to change her pads even more often than I usually do. There were a few mishaps, but I taught her how to deal accordingly if it happened at home/ school etc. and she's learning fine. She was apologetic but I told her there's nothing to be sorry about. Just remember to pass us the dirty laundry to wash asap before it stains (๑•́ω•̀๑)

As of today, which is Day 6, she is still bleeding... but I think it should end today or tomorrow. I read that the first period often is very heavy and painful. Ovulation helps make a “normal” period. Unfortunately, many girls do not ovulate in the beginning, resulting in heavy bleeding.

Luckily for Lil Pumpkin, she does not have much period pains {like me}. She says that she has cramping, but it is not debilitating pain {although I did warn her that some girls experience that} and she still seems as active as before. No change in appetite or behaviour too. 

I'm glad that her first period came on a Friday at home, so that she had time to adapt and deal with the change over the weekend while I was home with her too. An important milestone like this really calls for patience, time and care from parents. 

The past few years we've been kind of "cruising" as parents. Lil Pumpkin is an easy-going child and relatively independent. We don't really need to worry about her daily life or make considerable efforts in taking care of her outside our usual family routine. We had everything down to a pat.

Suddenly since she got her period, it feels like she's a baby all over again whereby we have to teach her new skills on how to use new items, how to take care of her developing body, how to vocalise and deal with all these new emotions and thoughts that she might be having etc.

And yet suddenly since she got her period, it feels like the teenage years are nearer than we thought and as parents we are unlocking a whole new level! We are navigating new, murky waters and need to have new skills on how to support her new growing mind and body, hormones, need for privacy, possible defiance as she tries to define her own identity and... boys???!

Yikes. God give us the strength and wisdom to deal with this new season in our lives.

My darling daughter is no baby no more, but I know that she will always be my baby girl

P.S. I need to give a shout out to the boy who has been nothing but a supportive dad to Lil Pumpkin when she got her first period. He didn't shun the topic, make light of the situation or caused her to feel embarrassed. He helped to clean up her mess and mishaps, gave her tips on how to take care of herself and eat well, and was very reassuring, as he always is. Thank you, Poogeo.

Any tips on handling a tween / teenage daughter?
Do you remember how your first period went?

Friday, December 27, 2019

Merry Christmas 2019! メリークリスマス!

Blessed Christmas, from our family to yours 💖 
May the Lord’s blessings and favour rest strongly over each and everyone of you! 

P.S. Kinda chuffed that I managed to get my Christmas greetings out on the blog earlier than last year hehehe...

Monday, December 16, 2019

P4 Parenting | Edusave Good Progress Award - Your First Academic Award!

This was the happy news that greeted us when we returned from our winter holiday in London earlier this month, which was amaaaaaazing by the way, but more on that later...

Our darling Lil Pumpkin has been awarded the Edusave Good Progress Award {GPA}! Apparently, the GPA is given to "students who are within the top 10% of their level and course in terms of academic performance, and have demonstrated good conduct."

That sentence was a bit confusing to us and it took a few readings to get its proper interpretation haha. At first the boy thought that it meant she was the top 10% in school for her level, but then I told him no it's for the top 10% of students who improved in her level {which may not mean that she's the top 10% overall for her level}.. then we read again and realised that it's not just for her cohort in school, but for the whole cohort in our constituency, which meant that she was maybe ranked among a few hundred students?!?! (o.O)"

In any case, we are very proud of Lil Pumpkin for receiving her first ever academic award!! Especially one that is as meaningful as this!

Lil Pumpkin's P4 end-of-semester exams did not start off well with her first major exam mistake made in her English composition paper, but she managed to pull herself together and continue to try even harder for the rest of her papers despite her disappointment and fears.

Through hard work and grit {and of course, some pushing from Mummy..}, she overcame that obstacle and managed to do pretty well in her overall exam results ( ᐛ )و

Which led to this award I guess! (*^▽^*)

Lil Pumpkin is very happy for getting it too and I hope that this will give her a big confidence boost, as well as motivation to want to strive even harder and improve even better. For herself. Not for Mummy, not for Daddy, not for anyone else but herself.

Congratulations Lil Pumpkin! 
Mummy and Daddy love you and are very proud of you! 

P.S. Award presentation ceremony will be held sometime next year where she will be given a GPA certificate and cash award. More pictures to come after we attend that!! hehe..

For more of  Lil Pumpkin's Primary School journey:

For tips on P1 preparation:

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

London is Calling!!! Winter Holidays 2019, Let's Go! ⛄❄️

This is me jumping for joy during my first solo work trip to London in 2014, in front of St Paul's Cathedral (^-^)v

Lil Pumpkin doesn't usually make requests on our holiday destinations. She is usually happy to go along with whatever we plan, although she does have a few favourites, of course.

This year, however, she specifically asked if we could go to London for our year-end trip. I guess it's because of some book or show she has been watching that got her interested to visit.

We are actually thinking of making a trip there next year with our extended family for a big family vacation but since Lil Pumpkin asked, and since the boy and I haven't been to London in years and actually do love it despite the long travel time, and especially since we are all still rather young, healthy and have the means to make the trip, we decided to go for it this year AND still plan to go again next winter for our big family vacation hehe..

Since this is going to be Lil Pumpkin's first ever trip to London and the UK, I want to make it as memorable as possible and have planned for us to see most of the iconic places and landmarks. We are even making a trip out of the city to see Windsor Palace, Stonehenge and Bath!

Yes, it's a DIY itinerary even though we aren't that familiar with the place as the boy and I don't like to go on tours much..  too restrictive and too much wasted time on buses, tourist factories or waiting for strangers haha.

Plus, we do like the mystery and wonder of exploring new places and getting lost...

Too bad Valyn isn't staying in London anymore, otherwise it would be a blast to meet up with her there again and checking out some of her fave hangouts..

I still remember some of the places I went to in the past though and some other friends have also chipped in with recommendations on where to go and especially, what to eat...

Oh goodness!! I can't wait to have a full English breakfast, authentic fish & chips, pies and mash etc. in London!!

And shop the street / flea markets! And visit the museums!!

Since it's just about 1 month to Christmas, the Christmas lights are already up and Christmas markets, especially the big Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, have just started!! Yay!!

It is probably too early for it to snow buuuuuut we can keep our fingers crossed, right?? After all, it DID snow early when we arrived in Korea last year

So so excited for our trip!! (○゚ε^○) As usual, I'll try to update via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you like, you can follow our winter holiday fun there!

Take care and see you when we are back xox