Friday, December 31, 2010

Ushering in 2011

How was your 2010 and what is the most unforgettable memories has 2010 brought to you?

My year has been a cocktail of many great things and I have a list of things to be thankful of....
  • For the health God has blessed me and my family with. Without this, nothing else matters and nothing else is possible.
  • For my parents' unconditional love.
  • I have completed a full year of being a full time mummy and wife and I am looking forward to many more years to come.
  • For a wonderful, thoughtful and understanding husband who always stand by me through my journey of motherhood, in all circumstances.
  • I am thankful that because I am a 'jobless' stay at home mom, I had the priceless opportunity to be with my family when they needed support as long as I needed to, although there wasn't much I could do, well, except just being there.

And to end 2010 with a happy note, we spend the new year eve afternoon with my best friend and her family in a trendy mall in the city. Our date came with a bonus, both of us did a small deed for another fellow shopper. Both of us, the mums, not yet ready to leave, was still at the table at the cafe while our hubbies took the kiddos for a nappy change. A family walked by our table twice, peeping and must have been wondering whether are we ready to go so they could take our table. We stood up and tell them that they could take ours as we are okay to leave. A small deed but it feels good. :)

Thank you my dear best friend, SW, for sharing the new year eve day with us and most of all, for being a wonderful friend to me. I look forward to sharing more great things in life with you :)

All good things comes to an end but the end of one is the beginning of another.

Goodbye 2010 and welcome 2011!

Wishing all of you and your loved ones a blessed new year ahead! May the new year brings you more great things, blessings, joy and most importantly, good health!

Thursday, December 30, 2010


picture sourced from google search

When I left home yesterday, I cried buckets. I literally felt a sharp pain in my heart and I know I left a big piece of my heart back at home.

Not sure if I am too old to cry every time I leave my parents but it is one of the things I can't stop.

I remember how I can't wait to leave home, when I was younger. I wanted freedom. I dreamed of being on my own. I wanted to be a grown up as soon as I can. But now, every thing is just the opposite. And if I am given just one wish by a genie in the bottle, I just want to be close to my loved ones, all of them, in 1 place and never to be separated.

I am in a recovery state of mind. Depending on just the modern telecommunication system to stay in touch and counting the moments to be reunited again, in another few weeks' time. Yes, another few weeks may not sound like a long time but it is to me and I have to keep reminding myself that goodbyes like this are not forever.

At the meantime, yours truly will be working hard to return to my old routine and to be back on my own again.

Thank you my DH for always being so supportive and always being there for me. I know I will be just fine because I have you to go through this with me.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rhythm of the Rain

Picture sourced from google search

The sound and the smell of rain here at home, somehow feels different. No rain anywhere else feels the same. It doesn't only give us more cooling weather but also brings back many warm memories of me being at home and young again.

Safe, belonged and loved. This is how being at home feels like and the rain only makes the feeling stronger. It may sound strange to some. But I can relate to rain, very closely and fondly. The town I grew up in has a famous nickname, Rain Town of the country and it very much live up to its name. Yes, it rains a lot over here. Even during drier seasons, we are blessed with occasional showers.

Today's rain will be the last raining episode of year 2010 that I will experience right here in the town I grew up in. Today also marks the last day of my 'holiday' here this year and I will be traveling back to my own home tomorrow. After being here, near to my dear parents for so many weeks, it is only natural to feel awkward that I will be on my own again till my next trip home. But I know I will survive because God also blessed me a wonderful husband who will stand by me, always.

Despite the heavy and sad feeling that I will be saying goodbye to my parents, my home and my holiday, my heart is overwhelmed with thankfulness that God gave me this very special place I call home and that I know I belong to.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

It's Christmas!

Here's wishing you and your loved ones a very joyful Christmas and a blessed new year ahead! May the most wonderful & beautiful gift, God's love, belongs to you and your family today and always.

My current favourite Christmas song and am delighted to share it with you.

Hope you enjoy this song as much as I do :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Half Blown Christmas Flu

Picture sourced from google search

The series of my half blown flu started last Friday with a mild sore throat which sent me to the doctor's clinic right away. I hate sore throats and I didn't want it to get more serious if I left it untreated. Call me coward but I have a dependent and I can't afford to get sick.

After some anti-inflammation pills for my throat, I was much better. But late afternoon yesterday, I started sneezing non-stop and I knew the flu bug finally hit me, after almost 2 years. Yes, I have not been sick for the last 2 years. To be exact, I was very blessed with good health since I was pregnant (minus the early pregnancy nausea) till I gave birth and all the way till well, yesterday.

If this flu is going to be full blown, it would better be now. I don't want to be sick for Christmas and miss the celebration. Plus, my wonderful Mommy is around to help out incase the medication make me too drowsy to entertain my little one.

Right now, I am blogging this thought while I wait for the medication to take effect. And after 1 hour, I am still not feeling drowsy. Wonder why.

Well... wishing me speedy recovery...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Friendship... Frozen & Broken

With every Christmas that passes by, I am reminded of a friendship turned sour and the loss of a really good friend, a brother in Christ.

It has been 5 years since we last spoke to each other, since Christmas 2005. The feeling is bitter as we see each other quite often but not seeing eye to eye. Whenever our eyes meet, we just look away. And till today, I still feel horrible that our friendship came to an end. I am still holding on to some thin hopes that one day, our friendship will be restored. I hope that one day I will have the courage to tell him we should just forget about the past and give our friendship a chance. Yes, forgiving is not forgetting. I (together with some other friends) have forgiven him long time ago but for him, I would like to believe that he has too but again, for some reasons, it feels impossible for us to return to how we used to be because he was somehow influenced by a certain person (someone important to him) not to. We have tried all ways to make the friendship work but all our effort fell on deaf ears and hit a blinded heart.

I miss our friendship. I miss our fellowship. And most of all, I regret the loss of a friend and not knowing when will we find our way back to the friendship we once had. I hope he feels the same way I do even though if we will never ever be friends again. I pray that God will open his eyes and heart to see the truth.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sweet Sorry

It thrills Isabelle when she turns her bottle upside down and see the leftover of the milk in it trickle out and wet whatever surface she is sitting on. Unfortunately the effect for the Mummy is just the opposite. She did it again this evening and stained the sofa in the living room. Since my 'NO' did no magic, I had to use the last resort. I lightly slap her hands and warned her very firmly. Then I asked her what is she supposed to say. She said her blurry 'Sherry' (Sorry) and then, she did something out of my expectation. She kissed me and gave me a very shy smile. I thought I must have been hallucinating. Repeated my question. She said it again, 'Sherry' and then kissed me again.

That, is sweeter than honey.

*Picture sourced from google search*

Saturday, December 11, 2010

My Little Precious' Best Friend

Before I forget, although we have other 2 baby chicks as I have shared here, I don't get to take a lot of pictures of them let alone pictures of Isabelle playing with them. Reason being is, they are way too cheeky, mischievous and too hard to handle. They run too fast and not as approachable as Mango. So this is how Mango gets all the attention and how Isabelle got her first best friend.

Isabelle's current daily routine consists of 1 hour playtime with her 'best friend' in the morning and about half hour or so in the evening. As I shared in my previous post, she takes walks with him, she run and he chases after her and she watches him wade in the water. He follows her wherever she go. She watches him feed on his food and would come running to me to tell me that he pooped. Sometimes they also play hide & seek. Can you believe that a 19 month old toddler play hide & seek with a 2 month old duckling? :) It is a very adorable sight to witness.

My little precious' face shines with so much joy and so much laughter whenever she plays with Mango and it melts my heart. She is so happy. I only wish I could take Mango home with me or that Mango will be forever this tiny so I could fit him into my small little cozy home. I am now wondering how is Isabelle going to adapt to life without a best friend aka pet when we return to our own home after Christmas. Is Mango going to miss her? I know that Isabelle will miss him very dearly.

Vain little duckling looking at his own the reflection

Vain little duckling looking startled when he saw the camera

Me & Mango

Twiggy @ Mango (new name for the duckling) & his best friend @ Isabelle taking a walk in the garden
on a beautiful Friday evening.

Wishing all of you a wonderful & lovely weekend with your loved ones!

And happy shopping to those venturing out to fill up your shopping trolleys with all the lovely Christmas pressies :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

So Vain!

Nope, those sexy legs are unfortunately not mine

The little vainpot checking out her shoes (Grandma's actually) and painted toenails.

She is growing up, so very fast. I am already starting to miss her baby days. I remember she started to show her interest in all these girly stuff when she tried to mimic me applying skincare, makeup and wanted to hold my handbags. Girls will be girls and our little innocent babies will grow up, leave the nest and all we are left with would be beautiful memories such as this. I want to cherish each & every day with my little baby because every day is a blessing.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


No Christmas is complete without the prettily lited up Christmas trees (plus some pressies too, ahem)! And this year, our little Jingle Belle had her part to do too.

The little boss performing her duty & looking very focused.

The little boss checking out her work.

Little boss aka Jingle Belle was very satisfied with her job done and every time she walks into the hall where the tree stands tall, proud and pretty, she would point excitedly at it and exclaimed 'tee tee tee' (tree). I think she wants to tell us that she decorated the tree :)

Could It Be Potty Training Time Already?

Isabelle was bottomless, waiting for me as I tried to reach for the gadgets to change her. Then I heard her uttered her 'poo poo' signal, quite softly. She then started crying as if someone pinched her and while she cried, she said 'Deh-ty' (dirty) and pointed at the floor. She looked a little terrified at the same time and frantically lifted up her hands for me to carry her. And yes, she pooped on the floor.

I have been putting away the thoughts of potty training Isabelle. We have started to let her use potty few months back and then the process stopped. I can't remember when exactly, but I do remember she just suddenly refused to cooperate. We didn't want to force her if she doesn't want to and to make that into a nightmare for her. Perhaps she was just not ready.

*Picture sourced from google*

Lately, she showed signs of disliking wet napkins and cloth diapers. So, maybe it is time to reconsider the idea of potty training her. Maybe now is the time.

I have received comments that I should start early, or should have started since the day she was born, or I should not wait this long. I am not sure if I am behind any schedule but I believe that everyone has their timing for everything.

To me : Welcome to lots of homework and extra tonnes of patience and endurance!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

She Likes Me Not

*Picture from google. Text was added*

Isabelle was a little moody earlier today and she is rarely like this. Rejected her lunch and me too, unfortunately. She only wanted her Daddy and Granny. Anyone but me. I tried to convince myself that it must be due to tiredness because we have been out of home to run errands for the whole of the morning.

Many ideas ran through my mind. Maybe she is really bored with my face because she has seen too much of me... well since the day she was born. Or maybe I said NO to her more often than any other human beings she have ever encountered in her whole life. Thus, that made me the less likeable and least fun person to be with. Or maybe it would help her to like me more if she don't see me as much as she does now. Maybe it is time for me to return to work. Maybe I should send her to a daycare centre so we both will have some space for ourselves. Or maybe we should get stranded in an isolated island where there is only 2 of us and we will have no one but each other.

Although nothing will ever change the love I have for her or love her any less, but for now, I could not feel anything else but unworthy, wronged, rejected & unappreciated. It feels that all the sacrifice made, the long labour hours, the pain, the sleepless nights just means nothing. I do not ask for anything in return but her most sincere love. People say children are the most honest species on earth. With this, she has made her thoughts heard, loud and clear. She likes me not.

Maybe I have been nothing but a boring, uninteresting Mom a child could ask for.

Is it okay for Moms to want to be the most important person in their child's life? I sure want to be eventhough it does not sound right.
I am not sure if any Moms out there have felt the same way I felt today, anywhere along their journey of motherhood. But this feeling is certainly lousy.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

R.I.P. Twiggy

Twiggy (right), Tweety (left)

Goodbyes are never easy. And although Twiggy (one of the duckling a friend gave Isabelle posted here) was only less than 2 months old and spent his whole life with us, it wasn't any easier to say goodbye to him.

My heart skipped a beat when Mom told me that one of the duckling is gone. My brother put two of the ducklings in the small pail of water to swim just like we did twice a day. But the only thing he didn't do was to remove them from the water in time. And Twiggy could have drown himself and suffocated.
Twiggy left us last night, 30 Nov 2010 at 10.15pm.

Rest in peace Twiggy, my little duckling. It has been a month filled with fun and sweet memories you have given us and specially Isabelle. Thank you and we will take very good care of your little sibling, Tweety and we are going to miss you very dearly.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Food Discipline

*Picture from google*

No one is perfect and that includes myself and my little Isabelle. But I am thankful her discipline in many aspects are so far, satisfactory although not flawless. I am specially thankful for her discipline towards food. She is not choosy and overly particular. Of course she have her preferences. Well, who doesn't?

Since day 1 we started her on solids, her daily diet consists of a fair amount of vegetables. And till today, she is still obediently taking in all her greens with no struggle at all. Apart from that, she will never say NO to bananas and apples. One of her favourite is steamed apples and omelette.

We rarely offer her unhealthy snacks, namely icecream, chocolates etc. She doesn't crave for it nor does she begs for it. But once a blue moon, we will let her taste a bite or two and that's it.

A bonus to that... Isabelle also learn to clean up any crumbs for her tray or table. And occasionally we catches her wiping her trays and table too. Never too young to learn & start :)

As parents, it is not easy to feel contented specially when it comes to our children's achievements. But in this case, I am a contented Mummy because my child could have been one of the grumpy fussy little eaters , but she is not. And I have no reason to complain or to ask for more :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Child In Me

Many things I encounter daily reminds of my sweet & fun childhood days. Namely, cartoons :)

Was searching for some clips on youtube to show Isabelle this morning and suddenly I remembered this one particular classic Mickey Mouse cartoon. I remembered that I would watch it over and over again and still find it thrilling. And even today while watching it, I feel like a child again.

So, here it is. Mickey's Trailer.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Health, Home & Heaven

When the doctor told us the details of what Dad is experiencing; the mild stroke due to aging and Meniere's, it hit me hard. It hurts me knowing that the days left for us to spend together and for me to repay him my love are numbered. It felt that the last 30 over years, I have wasted each and every day of it and not doing enough in order not to regret.
Gradual memory loss and also possibly deafness being one of the cause of Meniere's. All these made me fearful, worried and completely helpless and loss.
I know this news impacts Dad himself hardest including Mom compared to all of us. I could feel that Dad is dissapointed about his health condition. Personally, I am still trying to digest the truth that Dad is in this stage at only 62 and I almost disbelief it. But we all have to learn to accept that we are made to aged and our life on earth is just a temporary assignment. This reminds me of what a friend whose father returned home to Lord recently, told me. When our parents pass the age of 50, we have to prepare ourselves emotionally that their health will somehow deteriorate and will one day leave us. But as a Christian, we know that the end of life on earth is not the end of everything but a beginning of eternal life in God's kingdom. And what is for sure that we will meet our loved ones again one day in heaven.
Despite all these, we are very thankful for many reasons; we found out early and there is space for Dad to recover and get medical attention to prolong his life healthily. I am thankful that I can be home for as long as I want to be with him and Mom because I am a sahm without having to apply for long leave and possible to face a very non-understanding employer . I am thankful that Isabelle has a role to play, to be Dad's sunshine to cheer him up and to keep him occupied. And I am thankful that we are not hopeless because we have God taking care of everything and our faith in Him is what matters.
'I am here on earth for just a little while' ~ Psalm 119:19
'The Lord has made everything for His purposes' ~ Proverbs 16:4

Friday, November 19, 2010

Dad's Date With The Docs

Dad is finally convinced to go for his check up. This time, it is with the gastroenterologist and neurologist. He will have to stay overnight at the hospital.
Am hopeful for a clean bill of health after his check up.
It has been quite a hectic day. Drove down to Ipoh this morning. Came home to pack our overnight bag to stay in a relative's place so that we can be near Papa. I will be driving down to Ipoh 2nd time for the day today. It is tiring but this is nothing compared to all the sacrifices my dear Papa has done for me and raising me to be who I am today.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New Toys

One of my parents close family friend gave Isabelle a pair of cute ducklings and baby chicks. The last time I ever seen or touch one was countless years ago. They remind me of my fun and unforgettably warm childhood. Lots of fond memories came back to mind just by looking at them. So I think it thrills me more than it does to Isabelle. Of course, she got all excited when they came on board.

Since Isabelle is too young to handle such delicate creature, all we allow her to do was to pat them on the heads while we held them in our palms and watch us feed them.

They are oh so so so adorable. I wish they don't grow up too fast and lost their cuteness too soon :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Time For A Good Break

Doctor gave Papa greenlight to go home but with a condition. Rest, rest and more rest.
Resting and doing nothing is something difficult for an active man like my Dad. He is always up to something and somehow have something to do. Anything from his business to church matters, his fishes in the aquarium and some repair works at home. He is always a restless family man.
Today marks the 2nd day of his rest day at home after being discharged from hospital. I am so happy I finally had the chance to make something for him and Mom this morning, fresh blended carrot-green apple-pineapple juice! After the glass of goodness, we went out for breakfast and also to run some errands.
I am glad that Papa is recovering and also finally gave in to his condition and rest obediently at home. Isabelle is such a blessing because she plays a big role in keeping grandpa occupied at home, leaving him little space to feel bored.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

God, Please Spare My Dear Papa

Today was a every 'eventful' Sunday.

After Sunday school ended, we adjourned to sanctuary with intention to join DS and Mom. But the sight of both of them standing outside the entrance was unforgettable. DS with red teary eyes and Mom on the phone. My heart skipped a beat. Mom, still on the phone, turned to me and said "Papa fainted in the church" and anxiously returned to her phone conversation. I was left to figure out what happened and my imagination went crazy while I waited for Mom to finish with the conversation.

Many thoughts, feelings and images went through my head. I fear loosing my dear Papa, I will never see him again, that I will hate and not forgive myself for not loving him enough, for being angry at God for taking my Papa home so soon, for not doing enough for him and most of all, for not being there for him when he needed us most. Even when typing this down, I can't stop my tears, even though I know now that he is alright.

It may not sound serious to some but we know what that means. Dad has history of fainting when he feels nausea and throw up. Doctors has diagnosed that it is highly possible due to vertigo but can't be sure till he goes for a complete medical check up to eliminate other possible reasons. I could remember clearly that in my younger years, I have witnessed him fainting and the memories terrifies me that I might lose my Dad. What scares us was no doctors could tell why it happened. Vertigo was what I believe, the doctor's good guess.

Today's 'event' was a little different because all of us specially Mom was not with him when this happened. But we thank God that we have many good friends and family members were around when he felt something was wrong.

My brother and cousin took care of everything while we pack and got ready to leave town. After 3 hours ride in the car which used to feel not too far for us seemed endless today, we reached the hospital at 5pm and I am so so relieved to see that he is fine. It is good that the doctor kept him in the hospital for observation so that he HAS to be in bed and get all the rest he needed.

He was delighted to see us (specially Isabelle) and his face literally lit up despite still feeling low and lousy. Mom said that Isabelle is his medicine. :)

Picture sourced from google

Running his own business. Helping with my late Grandpa's estate stuff. Being overly active with church matters as the committee member and always going the extra mile to help others. At 62, we feel that he is working too hard and all the above is way too heavy for him. We have tried numerous ways to tell him that he should consider slowing down. He was stubborn and thinks that if we can afford to do it and doing it for God, why not. We think that this incident could be God's signal to him to take things easy and taking care of his own health IS taking care of God's temple and THAT is doing something important for God!

The doctor is going to examine him again tomorrow if it was really vertigo that caused him dizzy. If it is not, we will be sending him for a more thorough check up and we are truly hoping that it is not something serious.

If you read this, please pray for my dear Papa. Thank you thank you thank you. Would really appreciate your thoughtful prayer.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cooking ~ Marmite Ribs

The bottle of Marmite we bought for Isabelle have been left untouched for months. It is too good to let it just sit and wait for its expiry date. So today, I scooped out big spoons of it to make Marmite pork ribs. Marmite is just so so versatile!

*This recipe works for chicken and also prawns

1. Pork ribs

1. Pepper
2. Good pinch of salt
3. 1 tbsp Shao Xing wine
4. 1 tsp of Marmite,
5. 1 tbsp of corn flour
6. 1/2 tsp of bicarbonate soda

1. 1 tsp minced garlic
2. 1 tsp sugar/honey
3. 1 tbsp marmite
4. 1/2 tsp soy sauce
5. 1/2 tsp tomato sauce *optional
6. Some water
7. Mixture of 1/2 tsp cornflour & water for thickening

1. Spring Onions

1. Heat up oil and fry marinated pork ribs till they turn golden. Set aside.
2. Leave about 1 tbsp of oil in the pan. Saute garlic.
3. Once garlic is soft, add in sugar and let it dissolve.
4. Add in the rest of the sauce & water. Simmer.
5. Add in cornflour mixture.
6. Pour in the fried ribs and to coat the ribs with sauce.
7. Dish up and garnish with spring onions.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Friends....Gift from God

Received this forwarded email from a friend this morning. Find it very meaningful and would be a lovely article to share and to keep. Enjoy!



When I was little,

I used to believe in the concept of one best friend,
And then I started to become a woman.
And then I found out that if you allow your heart to open up,
God would show you the best in many friends.


One friend is needed when you're going through things with your man.
Another friend is needed when you're going through things with your mom.
Another will sit beside you in the bleachers as you delight in your children and their activities.
Another when you want to shop, share, heal, hurt, joke, or just be.
One friend will say, 'Let's cry together,'
Another , 'Let's fight together,'
Another , 'Let's walk away together.'

One friend will meet your spiritual need,
Another your shoe fetish,
Another your love for movies,
Another will be with you in your season of confusion,
Another will be your clarifier,
Another the wind beneath your wings.

But whatever their assignment in your life,
On whatever the occasion,
On whatever the day,
Or wherever you need them to meet you with their gym shoes on and hair pulled back,
Or to hold you back from making a complete fool of yourself .
Those are your best friends.

It may all be wrapped up in one woman, But for many, it's wrapped up in several..

One from 7th grade,
One from high school,
Several from the college years,
A couple from old jobs,
On some days your mother,
On some days your neighbor,
On others, your sisters,
And on some days, your daughters.

So whether they've been a friend for 20 minutes or 20+ years,
Pass this on to the friends that God has placed in your life
To make a difference and because they have made your difference in your life.

Monday, November 8, 2010

How Deep Is Their Love

*picture sourced from google*

When they say you DO NOT know how deep and unconditional parents' love is until you become one yourself, it is so true and is surely not a myth. And it is even more true that you'd want to take care of every little thing for your child and to protect them in anyway you can.

I tell myself every single day, that I am very blessed to both my parents around to love me. And I always ask God to give them many more years so that I can repay their love as much as I can.

During the recent long weekend, they were in town. I feel so ashamed that at almost mid 30s and a mother, I still wake up in the morning with breakfast ready on the table for me almost everytime they came for a visit. I should be the one to do this for them although I know they are happy to pamper us in all sorts of ways. I have to admit I am not a morning person but I know this should not be a reason.

Apart from this, they have done and are still doing a lot for us till this day, which melts my heart and at the same time raise the guilt in me. If I were asked, what does love and parenthood look like, I would say, them. Every time I try to imagine God's love, their love comes to mind. And each time I ask myself what type of parents am I going to be and how deep am I going to love my child, I think of my parents' love for me.

My vow to myself is the next trip they are here, I will ensure that I will rise early and do my little tiny small part for my dear parents even though I know they do not ask for anything in return. This is how great their love is.

Thank you Pa and Ma, for your non-expiring love and for loving me so unconditionally, unselfishly & so selflessly. Your love has inspired me to be a wonderful parent to my child as how you have been to me. Thank you.

"Colossians 3:20-24 ESV Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord."

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Our Nailstory

Since the day she was born, I clip her nails only during her nap time. I am a very timid & lack of courage careful mother. I was afraid I would accidentally clip her skin and hurt her.

Confinement nanny giving Isabelle the long waited nailwork when she was about 2 weeks old

But today marks another milestone for me and Isabelle! I finally gathered my courage and did it when she was wide awake. I sat her down on my lap and told her gently “Mummy is going to clip your nails and you are going to help Mummy by siting still. And we will be alright”.

In less than 2 minutes, we were done and I am so happy not only because I fought my fear but also Isabelle is such a good and understanding little princess. And I am so proud of her.

Cooking ~ Soft Beancurd Cubes with Spicy Minced Pork

My version of Mah Poh Beancurd

I have a block of soft beancurd in the fridge and I did not want to do the usual steamed beancurd with toppings. So I decided to make this.

1. Minced pork (about 4 tsp) Marinate with salt, pepper and Shao Xing wine
2. Minced garlic
3. Sliced red chili *optional
4. Spring Onions *separate the whites and the greens
5. Cubed soft beancurd
6. Oil for sauteeing

1. 1 tsp oyster sauce
2. 1 tbsp black bean
3. 1 tbsp fermented bean paste (tau chiu)
4. A dash of sesame oil
5. A dash of sugar and pepper
6. Mixture of 1/4 tsp of cornflour and some water for thickening & glossiness

1. Saute the garlic and chili till fragrant
2. Add in black bean and fermented bean paste. Saute till fragrant
3. Add in white parts of the spring onion. Mix well
4. Add in minced pork and fry till the minced pork turns slightly golden
5. Add in sauce and water enough to simmer
6. Add in beancurd and gently stir to keep the delicate beancurd's in its cube shapes
7. Simmer for about 5 mins
8. Add in the cornflour mixture and let it cook for another 30 seconds
9. Dish up and garnish with green parts of the spring onion

DH said it is good enough to defeat a restaurant version and he loves the gravy, perfect to go with steamed rice! That is a big star for me!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

To Do & Shopping List for Parents-to-be

It is always so wonderful to know that someone we know is pregnant (or finally pregnant after years and years of trying). The news taste sweeter than honey. And of course, it reminds me of my experience. Unforgettable, amazing and beyond description.

Recently, a few friends found out that they will be expecting their child soon. And the first time moms (or dads) asked me all sorts of questions when we meet, on or offline. Some of it, never even crossed my mind when I was pregnant. But, I understand how overwhelming it could be for them and how little tiny issues would make them go searching hi & lo for answers. Not forgetting, lots of doubts and feeling lost at the same time. Been there, done that.

One of the common question was what to buy and what are the things they need to prepare for in advance. I have compiled the list below, for my own reference (who knows maybe God wants us to have another bundle of joy) and also for my dear friends' reference.

Here is my own preparation and shopping list:
*The items is subjected to individual's need and requirements.

What To Do When You Find/Suspect Yourself Pregnant:
1. Get pregnancy home test kit
2. If result is positive, get yourself checked by a ob-gyn.
3. If result is confirmed positive, celebrate!
4. If you will need help during the first month of the arrival of the baby, appoint a confinement lady/someone who can take care of you and the baby. In my case, we appointed a confinement lady right away when we found out the news.
5. Rest, Relax and Enjoy the pregnancy
6. For IT savvy mom, sign up and join a network or website know more or to keep track of your pregnancy. I used Baby Centre. This is a popular website for parenting related issues. Till today, I still receive updates for toddlers.

How To Prepare Yourself Emotionally & Physically
1. Many elderly will offer endless opinions and advices and usually believe they are right. Some makes sense while some don't. Just keep the sensible ones. To avoid offending the elderly, just listen, nod your head and smile. Makes everyone happy.
2. Appoint a good and reliable ob-gyn. It helps to have one who is always ready and patient to answer your questions. You will have lots of question marks floating in your mind. Don't let it bother you. Do more reading and ask your ob-gyn.
3. Some believe that pregnant mothers should just sit at home and do nothing. It is a myth. Moderate exercise does more good than harm (of course, with the doctor's green light).
4. Everything you do or eat, moderation is the key.
5. Do not worry about morning sickness, it will come to an end. If you are lucky, you might not have it at all. I had it and it lasted till the end of 1st semester. It gradually disappeared.

Shopping List
For Mommy - Prenatal
1. Comfortable inner wears
2. Comfortable shoes
3. A decent haircut about a month before due date to last you through the first month
4. Clothes ~ No need to rush off and revamp your whole wardrobe immediately. I only bought total of not more than 10 maternity blouses, 5 dresses & 5 pair of pants. That lasted me throughout my whole pregnancy. Some of my very loving & generous friends gave me some of theirs and they were still in very very excellent condition and made me look pretty.
5. Breast pump (I opted for Spectra)
6. Prenatal care book (I read Your Pregnancy Week By Week by Dr Lesley Regan)

For Mom - Post natal
1. Nursing bra pads
2. Loose and comfortable sleep wear
3. I wore sarong for the first 2 weeks. Never thought I would but it was comfortable.
4. Some comfortable and nice looking clothes to wear when you have guests over.
5. Maternity pads
6. Post natal care book (I read Asian Parenting Today by Parent Craft Education Practioners Jennifer Hor, Ho Ai Ling & Jocelyn Oo). I like this book because I can relate to most of the contents and practise because it is written for Asian parents.
Shopping List
For Baby
1. Stroller
2. Baby car seat
3. Baby crib, blanket, mattress, bedsheet, pillows & pillow cases *my Mom made us the sheets and cases.
4. Baby Carrier *We end up not buying this because we did not even need it
5. Sling Carrier *I started using this much later after Isabelle came. I regretted not using this earlier as I posted here
6. Cloth napkins *If I know about cloth diaper earlier, I would have opted for it.
7. Nappy Liners *1 box is enough
8. Newborn sized disposable diapers *2 packets (maximum) will be sufficient. Drypers and Huggies should be good enough because newborns will wet and soil the diapers very very regularly and there is no need to get the expensive ones.
9. Babywipes *Tollyjoy & Pigeon is good because it is unscented and contains no alcohol.
10. Bepanthen cream *Both baby(for diaper area) and mommy(for cracked nipples from breastfeeding) can use this.
11. Baby bath *We used Mustella. But any good brand would do. Try to use non-fragrance version
12. Milk bottles *3 newborn bottles should be enough to just standby. If you are breastfeeding, you would not need too many bottles. Otherwise, you can always get extra.
13. Napkin fasteners
14. Napkin detergents *We used Nappikleen but we found a safer & organic product from Natural Origins.
15. Steriliser *Ours was from Avent. Or you can opt for the traditional method via boiling the bottles and other baby's utensils in boiling water. If so, get a big pot.
16. Tub to bath baby *Or if your sink is huge and with hot water connection, then you can use that.
17. Antislip mats for the tubs
18. Changing mat/pad
19. Towels

Newborn Clothes
1. Newborn short sleeved rompers - 4 pieces
2. Short sleeved shirts - 4 pieces
3. Long pants - 6 pieces
4. Long sleeved shirts - 6 pieces
5. Newborn Rompers (long) - 2 pieces
6. Mittens & Socks - 6 pieces
7. Hat - 1 piece
8. Handkerchiefs - 12 pieces
*Reasonable number of clothes for your newborn. They will outgrow the clothes very quickly.

Your Hospital Bag
For Mommy
1. 1 set of clothes to wear during discharge day to go home
2. 2 set of clothes to wear during your stay (if the hospital does not provide)
3. A few pieces of maternity pads (hospital usually provides, but just in case)
4. Toiletries & some cosmetics (for vain moms like me)
5. A pair of sandals to wear in your ward/room.
6. A book/magazine or any form of entertainment gadget

For Baby
1. 1 set of clothes to wear during discharge day to go home (hospital will provide everything that your baby needs during the stay)
2. Baby's hat
3. A pair of mitten and socks
4. Few piece of disposable diapers in case you need to change him/her on your way home
5. 1 milk bottle (for water or to make milk for him/her on your way home, just incase. If your baby is on formula, the hospital will let you bring back 2 cans or so of the formula your baby is on).
6. A small blanket

If your husband is accompanying you during the stay, don't forget to pack for him too.

Okay, that is all I can recall. Not sure if I miss out anything.

Wishing all the new parents, all the best and enjoy this beautiful journey. You will miss this moments, I reassure you. God bless you, your partner and your little one in the tummy.