Saturday, December 31, 2005

Adios 2005 Welcome 2006

2005 has been a good year, mainly because of Zara. Nothing has prepared me for this, but I started to realise the joy of motherhood I started understanding the capacity to love, to care for, to nurture another individual I saw the first smile, the first sit, the first crawl, the first swim, the first step, the first dance I heard the first laugh, the first word, the first singing, the first phrase I experienced her first kiss, her first hug, her first snuggle I nursed her first fever, her first fall 2005 I fell in love all over again, this time more passionate than any other times I'd experienced with a man. I became a mother and fell in love with my daughter 2005 was all about Zara, Zara and Zara, and I know the coming years would be the same too 2005 was a good year, with Zara, everything is good Thank you all for reading my blog, for sharing the joy and pain with me
Happy New Year to All Of You!
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Friday, December 30, 2005

Off Today

Since we had stremyx, most of my nights during the weekends are spent on blog surfing or blogging (if we didn't go out). Tonight, I wanted to post some of Zara's photo taken yesterday when I took her swimming with King's Wife's kids in my sis' appartment. After I logged on, Daddy came in, and asked sweetly (rarely does he speak to me in such a manner) if we should watch a movie together (DVD of course). I can't refuse those small bambi eyes can I? So I shall try to post the photos tomorrow, and watch a movie with him (maybe Cinderella Man). Just to be a good wife occasionally. If you wonder if anything steamy going to happen after that, well, just remember the photo in this post. Unless we play London Bridge Is Falling Down later. Oops, this is a blog for my daugther. I shouldn't get too detail with such things, so I shall stop before I say too much. (Just to make me feel guilty, he's blasting All By Myself on his amplifier now. Ok ok, I should go now)

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Favourite things - books

Both Daddy and I read a lot at home; in the house, we would rather read than to watch TV (we are one of the rare few who don't subscribe to Astro or satellite TVbecause we're quite stingy). When we do watch TV, it is mostly the news (for Daddy) and a movie (DVD) for me. We introduced books to Zara as soon as she could sit up supported, her concentration span initially was of course very short, not being able to even sit through 1 or 2 pages of picture books. As her understanding of the language and her awareness of her surrounding increased, she starts being able to look at the pages for a longer period, and slowly begins to show more enthusiasm. The first book she really love was Baby, Boo! (the book that actually taught her how to kiss at 8 month old). After Baby, Boo! she seems to show more interest in books, even my novels (she likes to take it and flip the pages to check out what I was reading, probably wonder why I'm so engrossed in books without a single picture). Every night, before she goes to bed, either Daddy or I will read her 2 books. Most of the time, we asked her to choose her books from her little library; sometimes when we're bored reading to her the same book over and over again, to provide her with more variety, we picked the books instead. Even when there's no one to read to her, she sometimes would still flip a book and read to herself in her own language. Here are a few of her book moments... . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Introducing Formula

I'm in the process of trying to wean Zara off breastfeeding. For her 1st year, the only milk she'd taken was just breast milk; except on the occasion when I was away for a week on business trip in May, and I didn't have enough stocked up for her consumption. To start off, I tried to introduce her to formula on days when my milk supply was low. I got Tuyam to supplement her with 1 or 2 oz of formula (Enfalac) after she'd taken the expressed breast milk. According to Tuyam, she had tossed the bottle away in anger when she tasted the milk to be different, refusing to take any, and survived on whatever I could provide (i.e. 3oz on some days per feed). Zara does have discerning taste. I'd tried the formula myself, and I find that it's absolutely yucky. Very strong iron taste, and so fake (chemical taste). I'm one who would like to know the taste of the food I put into Zara's mouth, so I'd also tasted my own breast milk. I have to say the taste of breastmilk is absolutely heavenly, it's creamy but with the right consistency and with a hint of sweetness. It's not something I can describe, you have to taste it yourself to know what I mean, but I know most would just turn their noses the other way even if it was something you produced (the husbands too would probably not want to taste their wives' milk). The other day, I got a pack of of Enfagrow A+ (Honey) sample, and I thought this would probably taste better than the Enfalac. So I got Tuyam to start giving Zara some on days where I could only express less than 4oz per feed. Zara took this better than the Enfalac, according to Tuyam, which is good. Today, while at home, Zara has been coming to me every 2 hours and asking for milk. "Huh Huh (her pronunciation for 'milk milk')! Huh Huh!" she had her head on my chest. One of my breasts was bitten by her 2 days back, and there's actually a cut, every time she nursed I had to bite my lips and endure the pain, as one of her teeth would just sink right into the wound, the feeling is exactly like rubbing salt to a wound. *ouch* I cringed every time she wanted to nurse. When she asked for her 4th feed at lunch time, I just told her, "Mummy no more milk milk, you want bottle?" just to test the water. She didn't shake her head, but instead started chanting "Bottle! Bottle!" I quickly got Tuyam to sterilise her bottle and made her 2oz of formula, and then went into hiding. After 5 minutes, Tuyam came to tell me she'd finished the milk. After lunch, she again came to me for milk (another cringe). I asked her if she wanted the bottle? Again, she didn't shake her head. This time, I made the formula instead, and tried feeding her, but she wouldn't take it from me. She just pushed the teat out every time I placed it in her mouth. After a few tries and she didn't suck on the bottle, I got Tuyam to feed her instead, and I sat next to them. She refused to take, and gave me that sheepish smile. I thought maybe I should again go into hiding. After Tuyam assured her a few times that I wasn't around and with her sticking out her head to scan the living room to confirm I wasn't around, she started sucking on the teat, and took another 2oz. When I reappeared after she'd finished, she again had this sheepish smile, as though feeling embarrassed that she'd taken formula milk. Maybe she was worried it would hurt my feelings. After this feed, the bottle trick won't work any more. Every time she wanted her feed and I said "you want bottle?" She just shook her head and started groping for my breasts. So I couldn't put off nursing her any longer, and just have to endure the pain *frown*, again, and again, and again(3 more feeds till she slept *ouch*). On a happier note, I'm glad she'd started accepting formula, which means I could slowly wean her off now. This is my first step. The 2nd step is to prepare myself emotionally. Breastfeeding is a bond I have with her, will I be able to cope when we no longer share this bond?

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Home This Week

Office is shut this week, so all of us have to take compulsory leave. I'm home with the little one, and luckily I have Tuyam, or else I won't be able to even go and clear my bowel with the little koala, Zara, clinging to me. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ She uttered her first phrase 2 nights ago. I was nursing my migraine and I heard her told Daddy, "Uh-Oh, book" while pointing to a pile of books on the floor (Even though it's not fully in English, it's still a milestone to capture) She uses Uh-Oh for things dropped, things missing, things lying on the floor. For the above phrase, her books were scattered on the floor after Daddy read to her, so she was probably complaining about the mess. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This morning, after Zara woke up this simple dialogue took place : Me : Zara, lets go downstairs already! Zara : Mum Mum *excitedly*! Me : Yes, go downstairs to mum mum! Zara : Wise (her pronunciation of rice)! Me : No, not rice. Morning we don't take rice. Zara : Wis (her pronunciation of fish)! Me : No, no fish in the morning. We have bread or biscuit ok? Zara : Bed (her pronunciation of bread)! Bed! Bed! When we got downstairs, she went to the kitchen and chanted Bed until I gave her a small slice of bread. (She loves fish, and rice compared to her porridge, and bread is her staple diet too). ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Before we got broadband, most nights, I will be in the room reading after Zara has gone to bed or interrupt Daddy's love making to his DIY amplifier to have some small talks. After we got broadband, most nights, I would be in the study reading blogs or blogging, and if Daddy wasn't downstairs making love to his amplifier, he would be coming into the study to make small talks, but I would be rolling my eyes and waiting for him to finish whatever he wanted to say so I can go back to whatever I was reading or doing again. So sad.

Christmas and Boxing Day

So what did we do on Christmas day and Boxing day? On Christmas day, we went to visit my sister in the hospital again. She was all ready to leave the hospital for home, was just waiting for BIL to come and pick her up.

After the hospital we went to MIL's place. Daddy helped to paint the grill there, and I tried to get Zara to nap on the thin and narrow piece of padded cloth MIL provided. When I told Zara to sleep, she just leaned back so suddenly, and the thin material didn't cushion her head, so she knocked her head and cried. It took me some time to pacify her. For the rest of her nap, I had to stay with her just to make sure she didn't turn (and move out of the narrow cloth) and knock her head on the floor. I also took a mental note that the next time if we need to let Zara nap in MIL's place, we have to bring our own little matress.

Because I had stayed up very late the last few nights to blog, when it was time for dinner, I had this massive migraine (it always comes when I don't have enough sleep). When we arrived at the restaurant, I had no appetite to eat, and after just a few mouth full of rice, I retched. I got MIL and SIL to feed Zara dinner, while I rested in the adjoining furniture shop (which was also part of the restaurant).

It was a very bad night for me, went to the toilet many times to throw up, and the throbbing headache was very unbearable. I had an early night, and reminded myself I should not blog or blog surf till too late.

On Boxing Day, I was feeling better, since I had 1ohours of sleep the night before. We visited my friend, Sandy, who'd given birth almost a month ago, together with another close friend YC and her son Bryan. I have to say new borns do grow very fast, the baby looks very different from the time we visited him in the hospital.

While we did some catching up, the kids had a great time in Sandy's place, playing with Sandy's eldest daugther's toys.

Here's a shot of them, Kei Kei (Sandy's niece), Yen Mae (Sandy's eldest daugther), Bryan and Zara.

In the evening, after a bit of rest at home, Daddy decided to bring Zara to the Shah Alam Lake Garden. Zara again had a good time running and walking about in the park. She was curious about almost everything she saw on the floor, the ice cream wrapper, the fallen leaves, the tall grass. I almost freaked out every time she bent down to touch something (I can't stand her getting dirty).

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Celebration - Photos

We celebrated Christmas Eve in a Chinese Restaurant, then went back to King's Wife's place to cut King's birthday cake; and for the kids, the happiest moment, opening the presents! Too bad my eldest sis is still in the hospital because she's just given birth, or there'll be a bigger crowd.

Cool kids in the family

Zara enjoying some of the adults' food

Zara in good spirit

Zara with the men in the family

Zara helping to distribute presents

Kids opening their presents (Zara with my help, of course)

Zara with her 2 favourite presents, a pair of shoes (from my youngest sis), and a play phone (from King's Wife).

The trees, ours (top left), King's wife's which was chocking with presents, and the empty tree.

Merry Christmas every one!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Another Addition to Our Family

This the seasons to have babies.. fa lalalala lalala la. Not me though, although I'm working on it. My eldest sister has just given birth to a baby girl this morning. She was supposed to go for a scheduled Cesarean on 28th December, because she still wanted to go for our family big Christmas dinner before her slim down 15kg within one month diet confinement. The little baby however, have her own plans. My sister had a bloody show (this is not swearing, but a pregnancy term) this morning, and so she admitted herself. The Dr confirmed that she was in labour and hence performed a c-sect on her. Baby was two and half weeks early. King's Wife and I together with the kids met up to do some very last minute shopping in 1 Utama. We started as early as 10:30am, and thought we'll go over to visit my sister after lunch. By the time we're done, it was 4pm, and our shopping filled up 1 supermarket trolley and Zara's stroller (Zara just had to walk). We even met with the famous blogger, Peter Tan before we left (and I went up to say 'Hi' to him, and he looks good in his short crew cut). By the time we arrived at the hospital, it was about 5:30pm. My sister seemed to be doing very well as she's still very energetic although she was confined to her bed. My little niece looks very much like my brother-in-law (actually they are not legally married, but then he's her lifetime partner, so I guess it's the same as in-laws?). She has very sharp features, pointed chin, big eyes, prominant double eye lids (actually our family trade mark too, but too bad Zara didn't inherit this from me, but has Daddy's eyes), and a perky nose. Zara was more gentle this time compared to the last time we visited my friend and her new born baby. I told her she's now a che-che (Chinese: big sister) so she has to 'sayang' (Malay: stroke gently and lovingly) the baby; not sure if she understood the che-che part, but she just lightly patted the baby's body. My sis' baby was very alert, the whole time we were there, she was glancing around with her eyes wide opened. She also sneaked her hand out from her tight swaddle, and started putting her fingers in her mouth to suck. She has lots of saliva too for a new born, on a few occasions, she was choking on her own saliva, and even left a wet patch on her basinet. Such a cutie she is! Here are 2 of her photos :

My sister is also trying to breast feed her baby although she's having some problem (she has inverted nipple which makes suckling very difficult for the baby). The nurses in the hospital are very helpful, and will be helping her nurse using a nipple shield. Hope the little baby will cooperate and suck!

The next few days, besides going for our Christmas Eve family dinner, we'll also probably spend a lot of time in the hospital visiting my sis and the little one.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Solution to a Running-around Toddler

Since Zara could walk very well now, and prefers to walk about on her own without her hand being held; and because I'm getting old I have no energy to run after her, and I don't normally bring my maid along to look after her while I do my shopping, I have to find a solution to make sure she's always within a perimeter I want her to be. This is my solution :

She takes it very well. Happy to reach her hand out for me to strap the wrist strap on her, and doesn't mind the confined area she could roam. However, people around her wasn't as optimistic.

Samantha, "She's like a dog" My reply, "No, she's not, it's just like holding on to her hand" Alicia, "My mummy (King's Wife) never used that on me" My reply, "Because last time you have Aunty Nora (their previous maid) chasing after you every time we go out" (And they happily helped me to hold on to the harness with Zara leading the way after this) And you get passerby throwing glances at the evil mother me, and they try to discreetly point to our directions and get their companion to look our way as well. The worst of the lot comes from, who else, but Daddy. Daddy: *anger tone* Why are you doing this to her? Me : Why not? Daddy : She's like a dog on leash Me : Who said so. This is to keep her within a safe distant even if she wanted to run about Daddy : *still in anger tone* You are using it only because you bought it Me : *roll eyes and speak slowly* I BOUGHT IT BECAUSE I WANTED TO USE IT. Daddy : She looks so stupid Me : *really, what is his problem?* She doesn't! I don't have the energy to run after her. If you have, I remove the strap, you go chase after her than. Daddy : Sure! I'll do that. Yeah right.. After few minutes playing catching with Zara, he started carrying her. I guess, that's easier than chasing after her right? I don't see what is really wrong with using a harness on Zara. It allows her to roam freely, but within a safe distant from me. It makes sure that even if I was engrossed with browsing at something in the shop, she won't run away and get lost. Is it really that cruel? I hope I won't just succumb to pressure and toss the harness away.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas Sing Song Project - White Christmas

This is just to advertise for one eat full nothing to do blogger who managed to get a few other bloggers to sing and record the song White Christmas (without having to meet them), and then arranged and remixed it to one single track. I was invited to join in the sing song project, but because I had no headset at home (after I'd moved house, lots of things still in boxes which we haven't found time to dig out yet), I couldn't record it (w/out the music). I think this fella did quite a wonderful job, please go and check the song out yourself. Btw, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. Our family will still be in KL though, so I'll still be blogging during this period.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

13 month old

Zara is 13 month old today. Just like the updates in previous months, this is just to sum up her development: - New weight and height unknown (but we'll be seeing the Paed next week, by then we should know how much taller and heavier she is). - This month, she sprouted another tooth, so she has 3 upper teeth, and 4 lower teeth now. Dexterity : - She walks independently and confidently; and her mode of transporting herself from one point to another is fully through walking now - She can stoop down and stand back up again - She dances according to tempo, by shaking her head, waving her arm, stamping her feet, and turning her body - She likes to use a pen to make dots and lines on her magna doodle, a white board or a piece of paper; when she is 'writing', she always exclaims Za-Ah, asthough she's writing her own name. - She's able to unscrew bottle tops (those which are not tightly screwed) Language : This month, she seems to have pick up quite a lot of words, besides knowing how to call or address the people she meets regularly, additional words she'd learnt this month : - an (ants) - mo-to-pike (motorbike) - no moh (no more) - poo bah (Pooh Bear) - beh beh (Bell, thanks to Christmas) - bird (extremely accurate pronunciation for this) - mow (Mole, since I have one just below my wind pipe) - poo-meh-eng (Boomerang, she can say this but not mummy, can you beat it??) - kang-eh-oo (Kangaroo) - sky - stah (Star) - bed (Bread) - ah buk (mabuk/drunk) Her understanding of English is very good I have to say. She can follow simple instruction now like "Bring the phone here, Daddy will call Mama (paternal grandma)". This month, I'd also started speaking to her in Mandarin just like someone has taught me. I say some thing in Mandarin first, follow by English. Not sure when she'll actually start to understand Mandarin though. Feeding / Food : She prefers lumpier food, able to chew on chicken, cucumber slices, and prefer rice with soup more than porridge. She no longer fancy baby cereals or bottled food. She's still on breastmilk, but I'm introducing 1 to 2oz of formula to her on days that I go to work. She has very discerning taste, not an easy toddler to please, food wise. Emotions : Although she still refuses to call me, but I think I'm still her favourite slave person based on the below : - Only I can tuck her in at night - Only I can calm her when she cries - She gives me the most hugs and kisses - She likes to sleep close to me in the night She's also a drama queen, very good in pretending to cry and pouting her lips. Knows who she can manja (Malay: get pampering from) (Daddy) and who she can bully (Kakak Tuyam). She knows mummy loves her but won't give in to her if she's being naughty, so she doesn't play her tricks on mummy.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Walking On Two Feet

After Zara took her first step 3 months ago, she has been trying to perfect the skill of walking. I was even very worried the first few weeks about her falling and hurting herself (especially face down), but seeing how fast she mastered the skill, my worry was quite unnecessary. From a slithering crawler, she merely crawled with her tummy lifted for a while, and then moved on to her two feet. At first, she got lots of help from furniture, and human bodies, and then she slowly ventured into longer distant without holding on to anything for support. In the living room, we see her charted distance increasing. From coffee table to sofa; then from the coffee table to the kitchen entrance (she supported herself holding on to the wall), and then she started walking all around without support, all these in the span of two and the half months. I used to count how long she could support herself in her wobbly two feet before falling; and I forgot when she started standing, without falling any more. Things we took for granted I can see her trying to master it with lots of effort and determination, like an adult learning how to ski. She fell, picked herself up, continued to walk on; fell again, pulled herself up, walked on. Our heart skipping a beat every time she fell, ever ready to rush to her and pull herself up, almost too tempted to support her all the time. It was a balance of helping ONLY when required; near her (to catch her if she fell) but never too close to hold her that has helped her moved on. She now walks with confidence, going every where on her two feet freely, able to maneuver shallow steps, and with her hand holding on for support, able to go up stairs too. She can squat down, kneel, pull herself back up with much dexterity. She used to hold our hands when we went out for walks, but during the weekend, she seemed to want to roam freely without our help. When we held her hand, she actually pried it off with her other hand and let herself loose. Now she's master the skill, she wants no one to help and support her, she wants to do it all by herself, walking like adults do.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Weekend with Daddy's boss - II

After having a good time with us the night before; G called us on Sunday during lunch time from Lake Gardens and asked if we would like to meet up. He was especially interested in going to the Malay village Daddy was raving about. We very quickly changed Zara, and drove to town, thinking of grabbing lunch on our way. It was actually Zara's nap time, so she fell asleep soon after we left. As I would like her to be fully charged up for the rest of the day, I told Daddy we should get something which we can eat in the car, either a sandwich or McD, so that we didn't have to interrupt Zara's sleep (having to carry her down to the restaurant and all). My plan was spoilt though by Daddy. When I went down to grab our take away from McD, Daddy started making calls in the car, and woke Zara up. He of course got a lecture from me, before I passed him his lunch. *roll eyes* After our quick lunch, we went to the Bird Park in Lake Garden since G said he was just in the Orchid Garden closed by. Zara had a glimpse of some of the birds (within the park) which were perched high up on branches from the car park. She got very excited and made the 'AK AK AK' sound (just like the crow) very loudly, even after we met G, and got into our car. The 'famous' Malay village we were bringing G was Ulu Langat. We like to bring our foreign friends there because it is only 30mins drive from the city, and you get to see streams, waterfall (if you are willing to hike a bit), fruit orchards and best of all village houses on stilt, and also live stock roaming the streets. . . . We drove along the stream, and stopped when G spotted a unique looking house. It was a private property across the stream, linked to the main road by a bridge. It is a simple brick house, standing on a very huge piece of land. There is a big grass field, with fruit trees at the far end, and a very tidy and pretty garden. We asked for permission to see the place. Zara was like a free soul, happy to be on her feet, and running in the field. Even when the local kids wanted to play with her, she didn't show much interest, and preferred to be on her own running. We just stood afar and watched her, and only picked her up when it was time to go. She was actually kicking a fuss, not wanting to follow us. Our next stop was at a durian stall. G being first time in South East Asia, mentioned about durian, and Daddy was eager to have him taste one. G was brave, he actually took 2 seeds. He said the taste was very unique, but he didn't really like it. I gave Zara a little of the flash too (her first time as well), just for her to taste; when she was offered a 2nd helping, she shook her head. I ended up having the rest of the durian, luckily it wasn't a big fruit, since I'm really quite indifferent to durians. Near by, there was a herd of goats grazing in the field, I took Zara near them, and told her they were Billy Goats just like the ones in her book. She got very excited, looked at them intently and started making the Maaa Maaa Maaa sound like the goats'. (Zara was making so much animal sounds that day, that at one point, G's wife called him on the mobile and I could hear him say, "No that's not a cat, that was a child") As for dinner, since G said he didn't mind having local dinner even if it's operated from a shed, we brought him to this famous steam fish shedrestaurant in Taman Segar. We ordered 2 steam fishes, steam egg, steam beancurd and a vege. Dinner was quick, since this was Zara's first taste of fully flavoured adult food (all her home cooked porridge has no added salt or seasoning), she ate very fast, and was very happy. Price of dinner, RM40. Cheap and good! (But later that night, we did feel that there was a wee bit too much MSG the restaurant has used.) After dinner, we sent G back to Mandarin Oriental, and then we visited the Kinokuniya book shop in KLCC since it was only 7:30pm. When we got home, it was about 9pm +, and Zara was getting very tired and fretful (only a short 30mins nap for the whole day). I wanted to just wipe and change her, but I found that she was pretty dirty from being out whole day. She got very angry when I showered her, and started screaming and shouting for a full 30mins, until she got so tired she drifted to sleep.

Weekend with Daddy's boss - I

Daddy's English boss, G, was in town, and we decided to meet him up for dinner on Saturday. Zara who has been exposed to more English TV program (Wheels In The Bus, Bob The Builder) than American program, found G's accent interesting. While G and Daddy were conversing in the car, she too started chatting in her own sing song liked baby language. We did a quick dash into Low Yat Plaza before dinner to buy some iPod peripherals. G bought a trendy speaker set, car adapter for his wife's iPod; and we got some blank CDs. I'm quite amazed at the number of peripherals that are available for an iPod, and boy, I do feel lucky not to own one! G wanted to have Malay food for dinner, to play safe, we thought we'd better to go some proper restaurant for that rather than those road side tomyam warongs. We headed to Enak in Star Hill Gallery. Starter was one dozen of satay; and then we ordered 4 dishes : Prawn Sambal, Chicken cooked in a light sourish sweetish sauce, otak-otak (but this is using cod with some fern leaves as stuffing), and vegetable fritters to eat with plain rice. The food was very good, all in small portion, very refine tasting, not the type of food you get from the nasi campur (Malay: mix rice) shop. Zara was asleep when we arrived, half way through dinner, I woke her up to have her porridge. She was however more interested in the Christmas trees as well as the other restaurants outside of Enak (compared to the deco in the other restaurants, Enak is very plain). Daddy and I have to take turns running after her, luckily, G too has a young daughter, and he understood what we are going through. After playing for a while, Zara started sucking her thumb and leaned on me muttering, "Hgh Hgh" repeatedly (Hgh-Hgh is her way of saying milk milk). Now, where can I nurse her *slap head*? I asked the waitresses in the restaurant for direction to the nursing room, and they all looked stunt at me. There's actually none in the entire building! I took a mental note, I have to write to YTL and let them know about this, do they think that there's no posh nursing mothers (like me *ahem*) who will dine and shop here with their babies? So here I am stuck with a hungry baby, what shall I do? I went up to the more secluded floors, found one floor with all the shops closed, took one of the sofa (they have bloody sitting lounge with sofas on each floor but no NURSING ROOMS!) and nursed her. It was a very public spot , but no one stopped on that floor or passed us for the whole 30mins we were there. Zara got her fix, and she became better behaved. She was also willing to sit down and eat when fruits was served. The bill, a whopping RM300 (including 3 beer, 1 juice and 2 coffee)!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Understanding Zara

I think it takes a mum to understand her child. Daddy doesn't understand Zara most of the time; even when she's hugging his legs and saying "Hug Hug" he doesn't know that Zara was offering him a hug, and when I told him about it, he would go wide eye and exclaim, "oh, was she saying that?" Men.. They are soooo DUH! I could see Zara brightening up when we could understand what she was trying to 'communicate', and gets frustrated when she tried to tell us something, and we just couldn't figure out what she was saying (I get frustrated too, not just her). Here is a typical situation that happened during her bed time : Me : *laid Zara down next to me* Zara, come, drink milk milk Zara : *suckled for 5 seconds, let go of the breast, shook her head vigorously* Urrrgh! Me : You don't want already? So fast? Zara : *shook her head vigorously, swayed her arms around* Urrrrgh! Me : *scratched head* What do you want? Zara : *did the 'more' sign by pointing her index finger to her palm , shook her head vigorously, swayed her arms around* Urrrggh! Me : Oh! You want mummy to sing is it? Zara : *smiled and do the 'more' sign* Me : *started singing* Zara : *latched on and started suckling* (Shake the head vigorously and sway her arms around is her way of dancing; boy, she's creating some really hard 'sign' to understand) These are other 'conversations' that took place: Morning Before I went to work, I wanted to nurse her. Me : *carried her* Zara, come and have milk milk Zara : *suckled for 5 seconds, let go of the breast, pat her belly* Pao Pao! (Chinese: full) Me : How can you be pao pao so fast? Drink more! *pressed her head back to breast* Zara : *suckled for another 5 seconds, let go of the breast, pat her belly* Pao Pao! Me : *looked at her* Sure you are pao pao? Don't want any more? Zara : *shook head* Me : *put her back down on the floor* Ok then, what do you want to do now? Zara : *walked towards her biscuit container* Bis-KGH, Bis-KGH! (Biscuit) Me : *rolled eye* Evening I was feeding Zara papaya, she took a bite, then walked away to touch some other things; and then walked back to me when she'd swallowed the papaya in her mouth. Zara : *did her 'more' sign* Me : *fed her* Must chew chew huh? (Such a naggy mum I am) Zara : *walked away, almost tripped on something* Ah Buk! *smiled, steady herself, walked on* Me : *smiled* Yeah you mabuk (Malay: Drunk) already, walked like that.

Christmas Wish - Another Tag

The original tag was in Chinese, I'll just make it more 'general' and translate it to English (anyway, it's a simple tag, not much text to translate). To Tag : - State who tagged you; - List who you want your Santa Claus to be (the bearer of the gift); - State the gift you wish to get; - Then invite a few friends to join the tag, and inform them by dropping a comment in their blog. Simple? Santa Claus : Maria a.k.a. Twinsmum (what goes around comes around, this tag came from her. What more, I just found out we were school mates!) The present I would like my Santa Claus to give : 1) an amethyst and rose quartz necklace, just like the one I got or 2) an amethyst and rose quartz bracelet just like this (one bracelet is never enough) *ahem, 酱, Maria?* I would like the below friends to join the fun : - Seng Kor, no tag is complete without you - King's Wife, I know you still have lots of 'bags' to wish for - Helen, as I'd said, what goes around comes around - TwoLittleFellas, you are new in this game, who else can I 'bully' :P - l b, whoever is your Santa Clause will definitely be broke - Mother Superior, another holiday?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Latest addition to our family... of toys

Zara's toys collection is increasing. She has a variety of toys either inherited from King's Wife's kids or my kind friend (anybody who gives me things is kind). We seldom buy her toys, but when we do, we try to get her something which have educational value, and which also give her lots of play time (l.b. iPod Nano is definitely not one of them, not now anyway). Her recent interest is in masak-masak (Malay: cooking set); she likes to hold a spoon, dips it into a cup, and pretends to feed herself or whoever is near her. I just got her a basic set, as I'm eyeing for my niece, Samantha's collection. She's going to be 9, she should be done with masak-masak soon, or so I hope. My youngest sis went to Hong Kong Disneyland during the time Zara celebrated her birthday, so she didn't attend Zara's party. She brought something back for Zara though, however, we didn't collect it until 2 days ago. Besides a Disney hat, she got Zara a cuddly Love To Walk Winnie The Pooh but sadly nothing for me. The toy's purpose I believe was to encourage toddlers to walk. You turn the switch on, and Winnie The Pooh will start walking, while muttering, "Pooh Bear can walk." And then it'll go faster, and it'll say, "Faster Faster". If you dropped, it would say, "Oh O, Pooh Bear falls down". If you picked it up and held it, it would say, "Thank you. Pooh Bear loves you" It says other things too, under different conditions. I still haven't found out what other conditions make it talk or walk, and it didn't come with a manual, so I guess we'll just discover it along the way. Zara loves it, that's the most important thing. She giggled when the bear walked towards her. When the bear quickened its pace, she too started to stamp her feet excitedly. When it stopped talking, she picked it up and gave it a hug.


. . . . . . . . . So, here is the latest addition to her toy collection. Not sure how long she'll be interested in Mr Pooh though.

(Fannie, I believe this is something that Ethyl will definitely love, Zara is not a fan of Pooh, in fact this is her first encounter with this 'species')

(btw, the shots above are my attempt on the DSLR; I still have lots to learn, but I realise the shots are very much sharper)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Mummy's Fault

We spent the night at King's Wife's place, yet again, since Daddy was away. Zara and I took the guest's maid's room as usual, and both Tuyam and King's Wife's maid took the girls' room next to ours. After tucking Zara in at 9:30pm, and making sure she has pillows all around her to prevent her from accidentally falling, I went downstairs to the study to do some blog surfing. I told Tuyam that I needed to 'work', and asked her to 'listen out' for Zara's cry in the adjoining room when she went to bed. There I was happily blog surfing, without Daddy or King's Wife waiting for their turn. At about 11pm, I could hear some noises, a bit like wailing, penetrating the quiet night. The first thing I thought was 'ghost' (I'm always very scared to be downstairs alone when everybody is asleep, even in my own home). I could feel a chill down my spine. I stopped what I was doing, and tried to listen again. Shit! It was coming from upstairs, not ghost, but Zara crying! I quickly ran upstairs. The sound of her cry grew louder and louder as I ascended the stairs. When I entered the room, I found Zara standing on the floor in the dark room. She probably had already been crying for a while, because her voice was coarse. I quickly scooped her up, turned on the lights, almost in a panic, wondered if she'd fallen from the bed and hurt herself. "Zara, did you fall down?" Of course she didn't know how to reply. She continued crying! I checked her head, no bumps no red patches, don't think she knocked her head. "Zara, where pain pain?" I asked her. She pointed to her chest. Her way of signing to indicate some where is hurting. I went on to check her arms, her legs, but there's no sign that she's hurt. "Zara, scared scared or pain pain?" I asked further. She started patting her chest, an indication to say she's scared. "Mummy so sorry, mummy shouldn't have left you alone in the room." All these while of 'communicating' to me, she was still crying, and shouting on top of her lungs. I carried her out of the room, so that I have more space to walk about and calm her. Tuyam then stuck her head out from the girls' room, "Nangis ya?" (Malay: Crying, is it?) There was this very strong desire to lash at her, but because I have a wailing baby to calm, I just responded angrily, "You tak dengar ke?" (Malay: You didn't hear it?). "Tak, mari saya dukong" (Malay: No, come, let me carry her), she replied. I just stared at her and said, "You balik tidur la, dia mana mahu you sekarang?" (Malay: You go back to sleep, she won't want you now). She stuck her head back into the room, and closed the door. When Zara cried like this, it is very difficult to calm her. I patted her, rocked her, pacing up and down the corridor. She had her head leaning on my shoulder all the time, but she was still crying. I went back to the room and thought of lying her on the bed to nurse her, but the minute I lifted her away from my body, she wailed loudly. I kept calming her, "Mummy is here, don't worry, mummy won't leave you." However, she just won't let me separate her body from mine. I started singing her lullaby, "Hush Little Baby don't say a word, mummies going to buy you....." She started calming down, still crying, but more of a sob, head still on my shoulder. When I finished the song, I stopped and tried to lay her back on the bed again. She looked at me with teary eyes, and pointed her finger to her palm (her MORE sign). So I sang, again and again and again, every time I tried to stop, she would do the MORE sign. After singing like 10times, I slowly placed her back on the bed, she didn't protest now, but her hands clung to one of my arm, as though afraid I would leave her. So I laid next to her, arms around her, and patted her, kept telling her it's alright, her sobs slowly turned to sniffles, and then she fell asleep, still with hands firmly around my arm. I felt so very bad for the rest of the night, not knowing if she'd fallen or climbed down the bed on her own; not sure her cry was due to pain or fear, or probably both. What a bad mummy I'd been, placing her alone in the dark room and went blog surfing. I need to make sure my Baby Monitor is with me if I ever needed to leave her like that again.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Busy Executive

Daddy likes to pace around the house when he's on the phone, and guess who picked up his habit? We found daddy's non-functioning old mobile phone and gave it to Zara as a toy; here she was, behaving like she's having some very important conversation on the phone, walking around like a busy executive (although she can't quite work out where the mouth piece of the phone is yet).

Monday, December 12, 2005

Animals Sound and Addressing People

Zara came face to face with a crow yesterday, and the crow was making "Ak Ak Ak" sound throughout. I explained to her that the bird bird says "Ak Ak Ak"; just like cats say "Ao"; dogs say "Wof Wof". While we were in the car, I started asking her, what should does this animal and that animal make and she seemed to be able to do a few sounds. The cow, which is Moo The dog, which is Woof woof The cat, which is Aao (like the way she calls a cat) The monkey, which is Ooo-Ooo Eh-eh-Eh The elephant, which is ... I mean you get it, I don't even know how to spell the sound. To listen to her making these sounds, click here She has also started to be able to call different people by their titles: Ah Ku (my brother, the King) - as Ah Tu Ah Kim (King's Wife) - as Ah Tim Ah Kong (my dad) - as Ah Kng Ma-ma (my MIL) - as Ma-ma Ku-Che (my SIL) - as Kng (a pause, then) Teh Che-Che (my nieces) - as Teh Teh Daddy - as Pa Pa Kakak (which she already said long time ago) - as Tak Tak Me - as .... *silence* Yes, this little girl still refused to call me!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Roasting a Chic and blabbering

I love to cook and bake, but am doing less of it since Zara was born. When I was 8, 9months pregnant with Zara, for my 1 hr lunch break, since I was such a greedy pig I used to bake pies or sausage rolls at home (since I was getting very heavy and lugging the notebook to and fro the office was hurting my back, I was spending most of the later months working from home). I also used to bake new years cookies for both my mil and our home but didn't do it this year because I was busy with Zara. After Zara was born, I was spending less time in the kitchen. When I did, it usually was because I wanted to make something for Zara. When she started solids, I prepared her food on weekends like stewed fruits; steamed or, when I was adventurous, Mediterranean style vege; pureed them, and then froze them in ice cube trays and the following day just popped them out and store them in zip locks bags. It was only when she turned 9mths old that we introduced meat and hence porridge to her (before it was all pureed vege or fruits mixed with organic rice cereal). No more need to do bulk cooking for her on weekends. Her porridge is mainly done by Tuyam, our maid. When we moved to our new place this March, I wanted a good oven, because our old cheap one was not cooking cakes or cookies evenly. We bought one with full feature (not the Teka or Pacific self-cleaning-catalytic-oh-so-expensive type). The only piece of equipment in the house which I had full say on since this is my forte (the rest of the gadgets I left it to Daddy). I had probably just baked a cake, roasted some sweet potato and potato and that's about it for this whole year. MIL and SIL were coming over for dinner yesterday, and it was also our marketing day. So I thought maybe I can get a fresh chicken and roast it for dinner, and try out the rotisserie. The chic was a medium sized chic, I seasoned it the minute we got back from the market. I used light soya sauce, a bit of dark soya sauce, brown sugar, ginger juice, minced garlic, a pinch of cinnamon powder and salt. At 6pm, I got Daddy to bring Zara to the park because I had to cook. I stuffed the chicken with garlic cloves and ginger slices, and skewed it through the rotisserie rod. Once it's in the oven, I just set the timer, and left the kitchen to do some blog surfing (hubby of course didn't know it was that easy to roast a chicken). I went to the kitchen to check a few times, just to make sure things were ok. In the process, I got burnt by being careless while moving the tray and the rotisserie rod about. The chicken was ready in an hours time and turned out to be quite nice; evenly cooked, juicy in the inside, and best of all, all the fat has dripped to the tray. For the ultimate test, we gave some to Zara. Alas, she being a fish person, preferred the steamed garoupa to the chicken. I kept the left over breast for her though, we'll use it to make sandwich for her for lunch. I'll start to spend more time with the oven now that I know how the rotisserie work, and if Daddy didn't mind looking after Zara, I can bake cookies again for the coming new year.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Shopping Day again

I took off on Friday, and met up with King's Wife and her girls for another day of shopping (what else can you do in the afternoon with 2 kids and 1 toddler on tow?). Before we hit the mall, we went to the famous jeweler's place to collect some exquisite crystal bracelet I'd ordered. I love crystal (semi precious stone and diamonds!) jewelry because of the different healing properties the different crystals hold. and I love them simple and wearable all the time, something which I don't have to remove even when I'm in the shower. The famous jeweler was busy completing the last bit of stringing, leaving her twins to host us. Zara was one who never stand on occasion, she made herself feel right at home; she spotted the twins' bike, and immediately climbed on it; she saw any thing resembling a toy, and started taking and playing with it. Until one of the twin could not stand any more and went to complain to mummy. *See where her fingers were in the photo, she even wanted to control what was to show on TV* I got 3 different bracelets, one using garnet, another using peridot, and one more combining amethyst and rose quartz. For the latter design I got one for Zara as well. I also got a pair of earrings for my niece, Alicia since she's into jewelry now. King Wife's got herself a pair of earrings as well. They are all quite pretty and dainty, and reasonably priced. Zara loves her bracelet as well. When I put it on for her, I'll tell her, "See, pretty pretty". She would then walk to Daddy and point to the bracelet, and then to her kakak and do the same thing. After 'showing off' to whover is around, she would then remove it, very swiftly. Probably a bad idea to get jewelry for her. After jewelry shopping, we went to Mid Valley. I used to go to there everyday when we were still staying in Seputeh, but rarely now since we moved. I had forgotten how bad traffic can get there. It was a working day, but the traffic was hellish, and the car park was very full! It took me almost 1hr to get a parking spot! Such an anticlimax for a shopping spree. As usual, we just walked around and browsed at things, the only objective we have was that Samantha (King's Wife's youngest) wanted to buy a Christmas Present for Zara. This 8yr old niece of mine is such an angel, wanting to use her own pocket money to buy a gift for her cousin. I told her not to spend any money on Zara, but she insisted. She told me in advance she didn't have a lot of money, so I suggested she get Zara hair clips, since Zara had none. She chose a very beautiful pair in the end. This year, the Christmas deco in Mid Valley was very nice. The theme must be White Christmas, because every where and everything was in white. All so gorgeous! This shopping spree didn't cost us much, just got some baby biscuits and diaper for Zara, and then a pair of sandals with heels for myself (since there is a dress code in the office now, and my colleagues have been commenting on the flat comfy sandals I'd been wearing). Again, Zara was such a sport throughout, no complaints or fretting. Then again, she has her best pal, Samantha che-che with her. I have another 2 more days of leave to clear before Christmas, which means 2 more retail therapies to go to!

Friday, December 09, 2005

The Messy Eater - Photos say it all

As mentioned in my earlier post, while Zara eats, she needs to have some food on her own plate to self feed or play with. Here are some photos taken during the weekend where she attempted to self feed herself with some rice. I was so glad my eldest sis brought along her maid, Sandra, and she helped me with feeding and entertaining Zara (I normally don't bring along Tuyam, our maid, because I prefer Zara to be taken care by only Daddy and myself during weekends, I think Zara needs a break from Tuyam after spending 5days with her). Zara : Mmm, chomp, chomp! See the mess, luckily I don't have to mop the floor later

Zara : Hahaha, This is so much fun!

Zara : Oh o, looks like my plate is empty already!

Aunty Sandra : OK, wipe your hands now. Zara : beh-beh, power, putter-pie *suddenly took an interest in the bear, flower and butterfly motive on the plate* Zara : Hug Hug. Thank You Aunty Sandra for playing with me while my mummy pigged out.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Zara's First Album

How many of us are guilty with not helping with the photo development industry after getting our digital camera? Not having any hard copy photos to show and tell? My house has a few framed up photos of my nieces when they were young, but none of Zara's. I am so guilty. I used to develop photos very often when we were still using the good old camera which required films. After we changed our camera to a digital camera, since Nov 2003, not a single photo had been developed even when we'd taken tons of photos. All of them were burnt into CDs or just residing in my HDD. After seeing Mom2ashley blogged about Pixart, I decided I should get an album done for Zara. It took another 3months before I submitted the files to Pixart. Being kiamsiap (stingy) Wanting to stretch my dollar further, I selected the best photos from Zara's first year and compiled them into a photobook. You use the pixart software to select a theme, arrange your photos, put in your caption, and then ftp the file over to pixart once done. Payment is made via the web. There are 2 types of paper you can print on, one is photo print (pages are just like photos you developed in the shop), another is digital print (using 250g paper, which is like those very good quality magazine papers). I chose photo print, because I wanted the book to last as long as it could (photo print papers have been said to be able to last up till 50yrs without fading of colours). For a 17 pages photobook, it costs me RM135 including postage. You should see Daddy moaning, when he learnt of the price, not that he's paying (That's why I can't be a SAHM, he's always 'moaning' even when I'm spending my own money)! We got the photobook on Monday. All nicely bound up, very professionally done. It is a hard cover coffee table book kind of album. The cover One of the pages The only problem with the printing is the darkness of the photos. Some of them looked darker when printed than it was on screen. It was also my mistake for not brightening them up (available in their software) before submitting them for printing. Next time, I'll do better. Added at 7:15pm : The guy from Pixart dropped by just now to collect my photobook for reprinting of one page (and of course rebinding of the whole book, for free) since they accidentally cropped one of the photo. He showed me some very nice photobook samples for special occasion like a wedding, a full moon party, and photobooks printied on digital print (i.e. pages are like very thick magazine papers). They are very nice, I think they are nicer alternative to those wedding albums that we traditionally have, what more you can put your own caption, and not those default non-meaningful (or even incomprehensible, sometimes) captions that normally come with the bridal house albums. Aw.. Looks like I'm going to do more album for Zara, and maybe, just maybe, I will scan all my wedding photos and make a wedding album for myself.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Zara Talking

Last week, while waiting for her to fall asleep, I just got her to speak after me on the words that she already knew. Half way through, she started talking in her baby language, and giggled. To listen to the recording of the 'conversation', click here .

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I don't want to sleep alone

Zara is spending too many hours or nights sleeping in our bed with us. I really don't mind her sleeping with us, but our bed is a Queen size bed, and she's growing bigger, and tossing and turning more in the middle of the night. We have to squeeze ourselves to the sides of the bed so that she has more room in the middle. On a normal day, after I'd nursed her, I would lie on the bed with her until she's asleep. I would then carry her and placed her in her cot. If she woke up in the middle of the night, she would sit up, and start faking a cry. I have to then carry her to our bed, she normally will immediately fall back asleep when sandwiched between us, waking up only in the morning. This (wanting to come to our bed) can happen anytime from 1:30am to 5:30am. Yesterday, I tried to 'train' her to fall asleep in her cot. After nursing her, she's dopey and almost going to knock off; I put her into her cot. The minute she was laid down, she opened her eyes, her hand reached out for me. I said, "Zara big girl already, sleep on your own ok?". She sat up, tears welling up, and then the crying started. "Wah, Wah, Wah!". Very pitiful, her eyes following me. I told her, "mummy's bed is just next to you, you want mummy, mummy will come, but today you sleep on your own ok?" "Wah! Wah! Wah!" was her replied. Tears were flowing down, by now, she stood up and her arms reaching for me. I tried to be firm, and said, "Zara sleep on your own, mummy hold your hands, you lie down and sleep." She shook her head (NO NO NO). I laid her back down and held her hand. She sat up again, this time howling, and occasionally, not sure if it was acting, she made the vomiting sound, as though she's going to puke if I don't pick her up soon. Gosh, what am I to do now? The books said I should lay her down firmly, and tell her it would be ok, and be nearby so she can see me. But look at her, I can't do it. My mind working to look for an answer. Ok, Ok, I'll compromise. I carried her up. Immediately, she laid her head on my shoulder, the howling stopped, but she was still sobbing. I said, "mummy pat pat you, then you go back to sleep in the cot ok?". After the word has spoken, she raised her head, shook it, and started crying again. Ok ok, comfort her first. I started patting her again, and she calmed down. When I thought she was calmed, I put her back into the cot, and said, "Good girl, Zara, sleep on your own ok?". The howling started again. This repeated a few times. Daddy heard the commotion and came in to kay-poh(nosy) investigate. "What happened?" He asked. "Trying to train her to sleep on her own, but she's making a fuss." I replied. "Aiya, just let her sleep with us then." Zara saw Daddy to the rescue and started making the vomiting sound again, "URK! WAH WAH WAH! URK". Ok, I give up! I put her down on our bed. Miraculously, the tears stopped, but she still looked at me pathetically, it's like giving me the "aren't you going to sleep with me like you always do?" look. Ok, ok. I laid down next to her, and immediately, she wrapped her arms around mine, still sniffing, but drifting off to sleep. Zara 1, Mummy 0. Aigh. See, the small space I have to sleep on every night.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Childhood food Tag

So I got tagged by Ipoh mari (come from Ipoh) Helen. Since she said she'll buy me Ipoh White coffee when I visit Ipoh the next time, I have to oblige. Here are the 5 food that I absolutely loved during my childhood, and no longer eat or able to find them : 1) Bak-yu-pok (Chu Yao Cha, 猪油渣/炸, Fried lard) : Mum was such a fan of this, every time she went to the butcher, she would ask for a big piece of lard. When she reached home, she would cube the lard, then fry it in an un-greased wok. She would fry until all the oil from the lard was released, and the lard cubes turned crunchy. She kept the oil for cooking (later), and served the crunchy lard cubes as snacks! (We ate so healthily when we were young!) When we ate Hokkien Mee, we always asked to add more lard cubes, and all of us, including my mum would have a chop stick fight over the noodle to see who could grab the most lard cubes! I lived with my maternal grandma when I was 7 till 9years old. Every time after school when I climbed up the stairs to enter house (grandma lived on the 1st floor of a shop house), if I could smell the fragrance of lard frying, I would jump with joy. In grandma's house, nobody fought with me for the lard cubes, I have them all! I'd been a non-pork eater for almost 12years now, so, no more lard cubes for me, but this tradition is still practiced in King's Wife's house, King (my brother) would fight with his daughters over the lard cubes. 2) Grandma's Kon-low-mee (dry noodle, 干捞面) : Most of the time for lunch during my stay with grandma, she would cook cintan-noodles (金蛋面), stir in lard oil (but of course!), soya sauce and black soya sauce, and then sprinkle just a bit of Ajinomoto on top of it, and viola, my very delicious lunch. Forget about getting a balance diet of vege, protein and carbo, or even MSG-free food. Back then, life was simple! Maybe I don't take pork and MSG now, I could never make my home cooked kon-low-mee as delicious as my grandma's, even if I added lots of ingredients. 3) Pink Keropok (tapioca cracker) : On weekend, when my mum visited grandma and me, she would always dropped by at this sundry shop to buy a big pack of pink keropok. One big pack would contain 30 smaller packs, each pack held two pieces of those pink keropok (shaped something like pretzels). That to me, was the best treat. I think I could whack 5 packs in one sitting. Our whole family would sit in front of the TV and munch on this, the whole big pack gone in a day. I wonder where you can get the same ones these days. 4) Canteen Curry Mee : My grandma would give me 10 cents a day as pocket money. With the 10 cents, I would buy myself a small bowl of curry mee. They were just plain noodles with curry gravy, no condiments at all, but they were delicious. No curry mee ever tasted the same. 5) Kong-Bak (Stew pork Hokkien Style, 卤猪肉): My grandma made the best Kong-bak in the universe. Big chunks of semi fat pork stewed in rich soya sauce and thick soya sauce, together with hard boiled egg. It was just yummy! For dinner, we always had rice drenched in the sauce, chewing on the devine pieces of pork, almost licking the plate clean every time. If there's any left over the following day, it would taste even better than the first, and more fighting on who got the of morsel. When I moved back in with my mum, she made that as well, and hers was as good, but being the apprentice, the stew pork cooked by her still lacked the umph! Both my grandma and mum had passed on, and their recipe now lies with King's Wife. I can't comment if she did a mean stew pork like my grandma because I had never tasted it, only my brother, the King, can comment. Today, I changed the recipe a bit and replaced pork with chicken instead. It tastes good, but you can't get the creamy fatty sauce (made by the lard) with chicken. Now, I wonder, when Zara grows up, what would be her unforgettable child hood food, just maybe it's the delicious breast milk mummy produces. *grin* The 4 people who were tagged before me : 1. Beer Brat 2. Sngl Guy 3. Yvy 4. Helen I would like to tag : 1. The Diva - For someone who loves food, I just want to see what was unforgettable from your child hood. 2. Jesslyn - What was it like in Johor? I'm curious to know 3. Egghead - I don't believe you'd done this before? Kekeke. Either J or your contribution is fine! Do list down the 4 people tagged before you. And tag another 3 (or more) people.

My Friend's New Baby

On Sunday morning, we went to the hospital to visit my friend, Sandy, who'd just given birth to a baby boy. I'd forgotten how fragile and small a new born baby is until I have the little fella in my arms. The little fella was quite a busy body though, scanning his surrounding with only one eye, as the other had some discharge which has stuck the lids together. (I felt so bad, when I took this photo, the flash just went off and gave him a startle, sorry little fella) I was carrying him half the time we're there, while Daddy entertained Zara. Zara was very curious about the baby. When she was near the baby, she tried to poke her finger into the little baby's mouth when he yawned, and also tried to poke his eyes. After that, we have to make sure she's far away from the baby, just in case she hurt him without realising.

She also tried to imitate the baby's whimpering, and laughed at herself after that. For the ~2hrs we were there, she was very well behaved, playing with Daddy, looking at the baby from a far, walking about the room and checking out things, and of course eating (the bread my friend baked before she went into labour). When she became too chatty, and raised her voice, Daddy brought her out of the room for a walk.

I have been encouraging my friend to breast feed, and sharing with her all the benefits (my experiance with Zara). My friend who didn't breast feed her first baby because of lack of information, is trying to do it for this little boy now. She was telling me the Pediatrician told her that it's best to mix feed the baby for the first few days so that the baby won't get dehydrated, and then get jaundice. Although I think that's crap not true, I don't want to discourage her as well, and just said do what she thinks is best. It's better for the baby to consume even a little breast milk then totally none at all like her first child.

After we left the hospital, while in the car, Daddy & I were chatting about how small and helpless new borns were, and it's hard to imagine 12months ago, our boisterous little girl was just like that, it's just amazing how much she'd grown. It would be nice to relive those days of caring for a new born, so, we'll have to work harder on the 'project'. I just hope it won't take us another 6 years to get there.

I hope my friend's journey to breast feeding will be a successfully one, and all the best with her new born baby! Added at 11:05am : Breastfeeding does cause jaundice, but this is mainly due to insufficient milk for the first few days, and it's not life threatening. Readings : -website 1 -website 2

Friday, December 02, 2005

Photo Moments

I love these few shots of Zara. Despite Daddy's Fear, I'll still post them. Zara was trying to fake a cry to get her way with something. Zara was giving her favourite che-che (big sister), Sam a hug. This was taken during her birthday, when she wasn't feeling very well, and she just wanted to 'manja' (get pampering from) her che-che. Zara playing with Daddy, part of her nightly routine. And the best of the lot, Zara giving me a kiss on the lips after lots of pleading from me.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Daddy's Fear

Daddy doesn't read my blog that frequently, if he did, he always have something to say, either I could improve on my English, or my English has been improved, or the photos are nice etc. etc. I always just rolled my eyes and pretended I didn't hear anything when he made comments. This time, he was looking at the birthday and the milestone post, and this conversation took place (based on my memory because it happened last week). D: *folded his arms, stood at the back of me, watching the the screen* Wah, you put so many photos on your blog? M: Yeah, nice hor? D: Nice, but there are photos of our house, our faces M: *roll eye* (what is his problem?) So? D: Zara is getting older already. You should stop posting photos of her in your blog. *saw my eyes rolling* I mean, you can still blog, but just don't put photos M: Part of making the blog interesting is the photos, and I love photo blogging. D: You don't know what kind of people out there who are reading your blogs. M: And? D: And these people may be weird, and may stalk Zara.. M: People who read my blogs are parents themselves la. Aiyo! *slapped my hand on my forehead* D: They may pretend to be parents. M: .... *my eyeballs are fully white by now* We have met some of them in the bloggers' meet ma D: Those you know are genuine (Twinsmum, Egghead, Sue, Loc Kee, 1+2mum confirmed genuine parents), but you don't know if there are any weird ones lurking out there. M: You have to take the fun out of everything huh? D: I'm just telling you, just be careful, especially now she's older. *walked off* M: *pointed middle finger at his back* I'm not sure if any of you feel threatened by posting your kids' photos on your blog, or even posting your own. Or if you chose to remain anonymous (photo wise), what was the reason. I never thought about it like Daddy did, but Daddy is always worry about too many unnecessary things. So if one day I stopped posting Zara's photos, it could only mean that my censorship board has started tightening his grip on my blog.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Jusco Member's Shopping Day

You get 15% off for toys, stationeries, clothing; and you get 5% off for baby items and in the supermarket. Very attractive. So I took a day off yesterday, and went shopping with King's Wife. We met up at Delicious at 1-U for lunch. I had a grilled vegetable sandwich, and offered some to Zara. The fussy eater has developed new skill to refuse food must be due to too many force feedings from mummy. She let me put the food in her mouth, but she just casually trusted her tongue to push the food out. Clever indeed! So, she didn't like the sandwich. From her knapsack, I took out a hard boil egg, to the gasps of my nieces ("You have an egg in your bag!?"). I thought maybe she'll have the egg for lunch instead. I offered it to her, she took it, but just like earlier, she pushed the egg out with her tongue. OK, didn't like the egg as well. Luckily I have another back up, I took out a banana (My nieces: "A banana?? What else do you have in the bag??") for the just-in-case situation, because Zara never refused bananas. True enough, with the banana, she happily took and swallowed it. After she finished her banana lunch, and my nieces were done with theirs, King Wife's and I got them to bring her to the big cushion right in front of the restaurant to play while we slowly enjoyed the rest of the lunch as well as our drink. Once we're done over stuffed ourselves with lunch, the shopping spree began. We thought we had ample time, so we took our time glancing at some of the shops in the new wing, and had afternoon tea before we went to Jusco, by then it was already 4:30pm. We regretted not coming to Jusco earlier, because there was so much to buy. We spent almost 3hours shopping for Christmas presents, since there's 15% off for all toys (within the family, Christmas presents are only meant of the kids). Zara has been very good, most of the time she just followed Sam around, playing with some of the toys, or happy just being able to explore, touching this and that. I bought a bicycle for Zara, toy house for Sam (she chose it herself), model figurines for my 2 nephews, and Alicia (King's wife older child) chose herself some earrings and necklace. I stocked up on lots of baby wipes and bottle cleaner as well. When I saw the bill at the cashier, my jaw just dropped, close to RM800RM600 even after all the discount! Christmas is a very expensive season! With supermarket items having 5% of discount, guess it's only wise to stock up on things. I bought more rubbish. At the end of the 8hr shopping spree, my whole car was stuffed with shopping bags (just enough room for Zara's car seat), a very big hole in my wallet, and a very tired Zara. She's good though, not much fretting, and just went along with us. Jusco is sure smart to have such a deal going during this time of the year, and I'm (along with King's Wife) always such a sucker for sales.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Christmas Tree

We went to One Utama to shop for some masak-masak(cooking set toy) for Zara on Saturday. On our way to ToysRus, we went past this shop with 2 huge Christmas trees. I thought it was a good time to introduce Christmas to Zara, so I walked her to one of the trees, and pointed to her, "Zara, look, Christmas tree". She looked at it, scanned the tree from bottom to top, and then frowned and went hiding behind my back. Daddy squatted down and tried to bring her near the tree again, but Zara was just clinging on to my clothes, hiding her face behind me (peeking occasionally though). "Zara scared scared?" I asked her, she patted her chest (indicating she's afraid). I tried to tell her that there's nothing to be afraid of, and pointed to her all the familiar ornaments like stars, bears, balls etc to her. However, she just refused to go near the tree, and kept patting her chest. We thought maybe the tree is too big, and she got frightened by the size, and didn't pursue. After ToysRus, we went to Jusco to look for a tree for our house. We were glad to find a 4ft tree with ornaments going for RM49.90. Since we're such al-cheapos We thought it was a good buy, and quickly grabbed one. On Sunday, Daddy set the tree up, and placed it in the living room, next to the TV. Every time when Zara wanted to get near the TV console (to reach for her own VCDs), she avoided the path nearer to the tree. Sometimes, she would throw glances at the tree and pat her chest. I wonder why she's afraid of the tree! Not so afraid that she would cry, but enough to make her want to avoid it. However, this really suits us, we don't have to worry about her pulling the ornaments or the tree down! *grin*

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Typical Night Time Routine



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And the latest addition, brushing her teeth with toothpaste at the sink..


I used to brush her without toothpaste in the earlier months, but I thought I should start her with toothpaste since she has 6 teeth now, and is eating lumpier and more fibrous food. She seems to enjoy it a lot. She is swallowing the water used to rinse her mouth even when I'd asked her to spit it out; I think it's because she likes the bubble gum taste of the Oral B kid's tooth paste.

Am I too early in brushing her teeth with toothpaste, especially since she's eating the toothpaste instead of spitting out? When did you start your kid on tihs routine?