Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Once the lights are off, usually around 9.30pm, it'll take her more than an hour to fall asleep. She'll be itchy here, there and wants me to scratch her ( I do admit, her eczema rashes flares up especially on hot days), climb to my bed, off, climb again and off again, switch on the sidelights, dim it. I quickly switch it off, hoping she'll fall asleep faster and she says :
I want to see your face.
No, you can hold my hand !
No, I want to see mama's face.
You know how it's like ? You nod off, she wakes you up and you nod off again, she wakes you up again ?
I raised my voice in anger :
GO TO BED, GO TO YOUR BED ! NO MORE TALKING ! CLOSE YOUR EYES, CLOSE YOUR MOUTH ! OTHERWISE MAMA PIAK ! PIAK !!!!!
Little fart, with her small round eyes looks at me and says :
next time you talk soflty ah... don't talk loud loud ok ?
Here, my little fart, very cheekily waits for me to take off my shoes and even before I can bend down to pick them up, she quickly slips her tiny two feet in it and 'klik-kloks' around.
Mama ... I wear your shoe.. klik klok, klik klok. I want to go to work.
Then, she makes me wear her Barney bag... too tight for my big body but she insist i put on and asks Papa to 'take picture! take picture!'
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Another good char siu discovery :
At Taman Yulik, Cheras, opposite the famous corner Hau Kee Restaurant, a coffeshop called Restoran Meng Shiang. Open everyday except Tuesday, from 8am till 2pm or char siu sold out, whichever first.
There lies this gem-of-a-char-siu stall. Also serves pork rib char siu (also another to-die-for but always sold out by the time I arrive at 1pm)
My charsiu wantan mee. For RM4, i get a whole, chunky, thick pieces of succulent sweet char siu and comes with 3 tiny morsels of wantan too.
I'll give a thumbs up for this place and thumbs down to Changkat Tong Shin famous char siu (expensive, always tak-cukup-makan and parking's a headache)
Monday, April 27, 2009
Here's my little dancing queen, dancing again at the stores. They were blasting Madonna's Hung Up and my little fart started shaking her bum bum...
Time goes by, so slowly.... time goes by, so slowly.... time goes by, so slowly
Everylittle thing that you say or do.... I'm hung up .. I'm hung up on you...
Sunday, April 26, 2009
The paying entrance fee is RM12 per adult and RM5 for child 5-12yrs old.
Would I pay to view the place ? No.
It's small, a few dinosaurs, giant insects and other monsters with 'sound effects' a slowly moving hands and legs, enough to scare Amber.. hahaha..
For RM12, I personally think it's not worth it.
the attractions at site
i wonder what does a 'giant shoe' gotta do with dinosaurs ?? I find this amusing.
At night, while putting her to bed, the little one, hiding under the pillow, told me softly :
Mama, I scared scared wor..
Scared what ?
The dinosaur ! the big big grasshopper ! (actually a praying mantis)
Can sing song wor..
What song ?
WHORRR.. WHHONNGG !
*lol* it was the dinosaurs sound. I told her :
No need to be scared. It is not the dinosaurs sound, it's from CD lah.. like playing nursery rhyme,
There's no more dinosaur in the world now, you cannot see dinosaur anymore, only plastic ones.
Now, go to sleep, mama sayang, ok ?
poor girl, she was so uneasy at the exhibition... now she goes to sleep thinking of dinosaurs and monsters.
I asked a Malay lady choosing the selar fish. She said can use selar fish for assam pedas. Can use dry chilli or chilli boh. Better to ask a Malay, the cooke the best assam pedas...
How am I going to piece together the cooking process of assam pedas ?
Then with the big trolley in hand, I went to the books section, hoping to search a cookbook with the assam pedas recipe. I thought I can steal a snapshot of the recipe with my camera but alamaks, Tesco does not sell books or magazines anymore.
Then I got lucky, I bumped into a client, she told me the basic ingredients and cooking process.
Then I met up with hubs and his associate, also a Malay lady, I took the opportunity to check her version.
So, ok, I am all set to brew up a fiery assam pedas.
Got home, searched for the best looking recipe on the internet and compared notes with what was told to me. Confirm ! Recipe's the same...
So here goes :
Here's what I did :
Selar fish - 800gm (abt 4 fat meaty fish)
Tomato - 2
Okra - 10
Long Beans - 4 long strings
1 fistful of assam jawa soaked in 2 bowls of warm water, strain and discard seeds
Dry chilli - 15, soaked in warm water till soft
Shallots - 5 bulbs
Garlic - 3 bulbs
Serai - 1 stalk
Belacan - abt 20 sen coin size
Gula Melaka - abt 20 sen coin size
Pound dry chilli, onions, garlic and serai (use only the white fragrant part, abt 2inch from roots)
Fry in 2 tablespoon of oil till fragrant and add in half a bunga kantan. Add belacan.
add assam water and gula melaka, simmer for 10 minutes.
add salt to tast
add fish, okras and long beans, simmer in low heat till fish is cooked.
Best served individually , easier to pick on the fish !!!
Saturday, April 25, 2009
I've had my luck with potted plants and many died-ed under my care. Now that we have a house of our own, I 'try' my luck again with plants. Recently, a few of my orchids have 'risen from the dead' and started flowering, at the same time ! Could it be due to the hot spell ? Or my house feng shui is better ? Or my fingers turning green ? I don't know leh... but I am enjoying it.
Water lettuce growing healthy. Nearly 'dieded' , fading yellow until I place in a pot of water lillies given my Collin's mom, all started flourishing and I can zillionz more of baby guppies inside.
This orchid was from my old condo, nearly 'died-ed' few times, I persevered, watered, talked to it, pleaded with the dear fella and now, 3 shoots of flowers sprouting at the same time (2 hidden from view, the shoots are very small).
This one, bought from Sg Buloh nursery last year while we were searching for water feature ideas. Never sprouted shoots since then. I thought it was a goner, now I see shoots again. Yippee..
My favourite. Adopted this from a neighbour, she bought this pot while it was floweing to place at her dining table, she passed to me when she left for Australia. Su Eng, you'd be happy to know your orchids are flowering again. I hope when you are back to KL next round, I have some flowering pots to place in your home.
Kaffir lime plant! I love the aroma, for bathing, cooking, mopping floors, anything. Reminds me of Westin Banyan Tree Hotel in Bangkok. Some hotels there has strong kaffir lime and sandalwood scent.
So, I gave her Snow, formula from Australia/New Zealand. Then came the big eczema flare up. I changed to hypoallergenic milk, very expensive and yet I didn't see much improvement. Isomil was next, her eczema improved slightly but I was told children on soy milk tend to lose baby fats faster and may not want to drink milk for long, because of the raw soy taste, they might just drop milk off their choice of drinks. Again I was worried and gave her Pediasure.
All these infant formulas costs a bomb. The prices seems to be going up and up and up!
While shopping one day, I came across these brands that I GREW UP DRINKING !! Mom used to buy the big 2/2.5kg tins :
There's milk powder available for 1+ and 3+. I prefer the original flavour. The moment Amber hits 3, I changed her 'formula' to 'milk powder' and it cost only a fraction (one third actually !!!) of the formulas. It has the necessary DHA,AHA, ARA,SA and many many more nutrients.
I hope I need not pay for expensive formulas anymore.
She's 3 now, I think cutting her expenses for diapers and formulas will save us some money for her kindie and music classes.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Last day of the working week.. full anticipation of weekend ahead with little one.. more time to cook.. plan menu... top up grocery, update blogs.. read blogs.. check on the plants....
As always, I will browse the offer section on Friday and Saturdays newspaper to check on Tesco, Carrefour and see which offers better than offer offers. I find the 'bandingan harga' amusing, like how they compare their prices with their 'competitor A' and 'competitor B' and how the fonts and logo for competitor A & B, leaves you without guess who they are, that is, if you are an regular grocer shopper.
In times like this, hubs and I are always on the bargain hunt, which supermarket offers better, we go. On offer does not mean the price is good, must check with 'competitor' first. We are not loyal to any shops. hahahaha...On top of that, there's also good bargains for fresh meat at the wet market too, I enjoy going to wet markets, the parade of colours, products and people. When you sit down for lor mai kai and teh si at the coffee shop, you'll bound to bump into interesting characters, uncles and aunties sitting next to you will yak about their lives, children, illness, cooking, politics and all.
Life is just so colourful. An aunty like me enjoys shopping for groceries and wet market *sigh*.
She just loves dancing, she really does, and to any kind of music. At shopping centers when there's loud music blasting, you can't stop her from shaking her bum-bum.. and she doesn't care when we shout :
Amber !!! Let's go.. we are leaving ! Amber ! YeYe MaMa waiting.. Amber faster !!
until we just walk away.... then from a distance, she'll come running.
Sometimes it's kinda embarassing when the shoppers stop to see her dancing in public.
I caught a video of her in the act the other day... my little girl will dance anywhere, at home, in the car, shopping center, on stage, just anywhere, as long as there's MUSIC and any kind of music will make her shake her bum bum...
Should I send her for dancing class ? Hubs said forget about ballet, she doesn't have the grace for it.. muahahahaha !
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Presents from her cousins and yee yee even before her birthday. The excitement starts way way before her birthday.
The kids could not resist the Toys R Us gym display area outside the store. My little girl will go for a few rides before we had to drag her feet to leave.
All the presents she got for this year's birthday. Mama and Papa did not buy you any gifts. We invested a small ang pow into your unit trust fund. You will know the value of it when you are older. Hope it'll help you buy your first car or first home.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
party packs for the kids
The cake is meant for celebration at the childminders tomorrow with the other kids, so I've prepared some 'party packs' of Milo bars, Meiji panda biscuits, jellys and candies. I've ran out of paper, I used the colorful pages of my old 'Female' magazines.. hahahaha..
Hubs and I were started 'nervous' on the little project but we had lotsa fun. It's not easy to cream a square cake and even harder to place the sprinkles at the sides
Here's snapshots of what we did for our little girl's big day :
creaming the cake
Hubs did the writing. His handwriting is way better than mine.
The finished cake.. Amber said : wahhh.. very nice hor . Our efforts paid off. :)
Little Miss Sibuk fooling with the icing nozzle and getting the hands at the cake
Amber's been getting her undies mixed up at the childminders recently so I dug up my sewing box and looked for leftover threads. The DMC six strand cotton embroidery floss, I have tons of them. Some new, some half used and some short leftovers. I did a good filing of them for easy searching.
Here are some of my leftover threads put to good use :
I intended to sew an 'a' and realised it looked horrible, so I switched to sew 'A' , which also looked horrible. I did not have the embroidery ring with me, and had to adjust the spacing manually. I resorted to sewing periwinkles, so much easier and half the time needed to sew an 'a'.
I have done 'big projects' and masterpieces many years ago, Most of it is in my brother and sisters house but I have kept 2 pieces. Here they are :
ABC bear done on 22 count Aida cloth
Took me almost 2 years to complete ( I was also doing other small pieces in between)
A fruit basket now hung up at my dry kitchen. This is easy, DMC pattern, stitched on 18 count Aida. Completed in a month.
Aida is the common cross stitch cloth. 18 count means 18 squares per inch. 22 count means 22 squares per inch. You figure out how small the holes are. The higher the count, the finer the piece.
I still have 5 uncompleted pieces, some very nice ones from Thomas Kinkade , the oil painter, others are pieces I bought from Pier 39, a marketplace at the Fisherman's Wharf at San Francisco during my travelling days, when I was employed.
I hope to finish the pieces 'one fine day' and when I'm done, I'll get a sewing machine to start quilting. I've been saving Amber's clothes to patch a quilt for her one day. The quilt will be filled with memories of her childhood, with pieces from here and there. Wouldn't that be memorable ?
I hide all the Mentos and lollipops MaMa & YeYe gives to Amber only for very special occasions.
(it's granparents duty to spoil the grandkids and I don't really mind them treating her candies once in a while).
When I came down, I saw this :
Monday, April 20, 2009
errr.. My birthday in April. April twenty second !
I just love to see her small puckered lips and small mouth say it out loud. Ehhhpprill, thwenty sah-kend ...
and so I kept asking her when's her birthday.. and so she delightfully tells me, all over and over again.. hehehe..
She's so looking forward to the big day. We do not have a big bash for her, just dinner with Ye Ye and MaMa who'll be in town to celebrate with her. Last week, they have booked her a cake from Secret Recipes and my little girl chose Batman !! *lol*
I was looking back at her baby pictures and miss those days so much. I was a 'very jittery' mom and always nervous. With god's blessing, she has been a wonderful baby and now a cheeky chatty toddler, always up for some fun and laughter.
Since I am home today, I pulled up some archived pictures with Picasa and toggled along with the functions. I did a compilation of my little girl at each of her birthday.
At birth - innocent little baby
1 year old. I miss those chubby cheeks ! I love the cake stains on her mouth
2 yrs old. More cheeky than innocent now. The Spidey was a birthday gift from hubs and me. She kissed Spidey. I remember once, she put on her diaper for Spidey... *lol*
Picasa 3 is great. I've resized the photo to only 10% of the original file size... and I save more memory when I create collage.. learned something new today.
Since I am home today, cannot go wrong right ? Gave her simple instructions.. fry beans, add red dates and boil half a pot for 3 hours. I have a fairly big pot and half a pot of water is just nice.. just let it simmer and reduced water. For 3 of us (me, hubs, maid), it's just enough.
I can smell the aroma of roasted black beans and I went to check. Yikes, how come 3/4 pot ? and that's exluding the ribs, which are still defrosting.
She looks at me, I look at her..
Maam,, half pot, add beans already 3/4 pot ..
My 3/4 pot soup simmering.
Alls not lost yet, I'm home, I can jaga api the whole afternoon and flavour my soup the way I like it.
Makes me think, must be my fault for not being specific enough to tell her to add beans, pork and water till half pot. Miss sotong put half pot water, add beans and pork, it'll be more than 3/4 pot. Common sense will tell, just the 3 of us, how to finish such a big pot of water .. errr soup ?
Tsk, tsk, must remind myself again to be very specific, esp on soups.. she just can't get it.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Papa, I want to wash the milk bottle.
She loves playing with water and this little helper is no help at the kitchen. Washing anything means : 1) getting herself all wet 2) getting the kitchen sink and surrounding area all wet and 3) waste water .. and lots too. I've admit I let her 'play water' when I need to get things done , like when I'm baking and want her out of the way.
Papa : Cannot ! Cannot play water
Mama say can wor ..
Hubs was very sure she did not ask me and very sure I will now allow.
Papa : ???? Are you sure Mama say can ?
Yes, Mama say can..
then hubs confronted her eye to eye. The little fart knew she had it this time.
Papa : Amber, you cannot bluff. Papa know you are bluffing. Mama, did Amber ask you ?
Me : NO... (although pity the fart but she needs to be taught a lesson)
Papa : Why did you bluff ? Naughty children bluff. Next time police will catch you if you bluff. Guanyin Ma will know if you bluff and not love you.
Papa : Next time cannot bluff. "piak" her buttocks
Hubs "piak" another buttock, at least 3-4 times
WAHHHHHHHHH!!! WAAHHHHHHH !! tears rolling down like 'waterfall'
Papa : What must you say ?
sorry .. next time I cannot bluff. I cannot be naughty girl.
I felt sorry for the girl,but discipline is discipline. Hubs heart ached after whacking her but he wants to nip to problem at it's bud, otherwise telling a lie, nomatter how small will become a habit.
We gave her the cold treatment, even Mama did not go to her rescue. However after 15 minutes, we sayang her back and make her repeat again that she is NOT to bluff.
We had dinner at Delicious, which is visible along Jalan Tun Razak with it's tall glass and spacious layout.
Hubs had sirloin steak, a perfect rare piece. The steak was well browned on the outside and still very rare and juicy on the insides.
Another tantalizing, lamb cutlets
I was feeling hungry so I had seafood linguini, I needed the pasta as fillers. Very good, portion looks small but very filling. The prawns and squids were done just nice and I can taste a tinge of pesto on the sauce.
I always look forward to makan session with the gym kakis. The group has sort of 'disbanded', we have our own commitments, some are travelling, some are young parents and cannot commit to the minimum 3 times weekly gym (yes, we were fanatics then). Maybe we should call ouselves makan kakis now.. hahahahahahaha....
A random conversation few nights ago while preparing her to bed (brush teeth, wipe face, put lotion, change pyjamas, etc, etc, etc).
I was muttering all our chinese names : hubs, mine, my sis, everyones. Obviously she doesn't know who is who, she looks at me and asks :
Mami.. what are you talking about ?
For a 3 yr old to utter a complete sentence as such, I am surprised.
Last night, hubs braved the unthinkable, he brought Amber to Mid Valley to have dinner with the inlaws all by himself. Did the grocery shopping, had dinner, changed her pyjamas, fed her milk and put her to car seat all set for home (hurray for hubs!)
Papa, Amber han-nyir or (han-nyir means yawn in hinghwa)
Hubs : Oi oi ok ?
No, I want to see Mama first. (my heart melted when hubs told me)
When she came home at 10pm, she's bright as a lark again. I try to put her to sleep.
Don't want. I want to draw happy family picture, love love, got heart wan, Papa, Mama, Amber, kakak ...
:) :) :) my heart melts again but I was darn too tired to pull out all the color pencils and books. I insist on shuttling her to bed.
Friday, April 17, 2009
I remember clearly, when hubs told me the news, I was driving to pick up Amber. I just froze and was lost for a moment, keep telling myself it's not real, it must have been a mistake. It was not a mistake but a clear big loss to those who know him.
He and hubs were long time friends, going way back, long before I met hubs. When hubs wanted to officially 'date' me, he arranged a dinner to introduce me to Jeremy and his wife. I remember the evening clearly, 4 of us digging into honey crabs at Restoran Istimewa along Jalan Cheras.
He is a very nice person and doctor. No matter how busy his schedule was, he'll always put on a smiling face and his pleasant disposition left a lasting impression on his patients as well.
He attended our wedding reception and gave hubs and me a big hug. He was very happy to see hubs finally married and settling down.
From a friend, I became his patient. He was with us in our conception journey, always giving me the most pratical advise. Those that I remember clearly was :- do not eat so much, control your weight. high sugar level will affect fertility
- do not take any raw food or salads, the risk of contamination is high
- no bak kut teh or dong quai
- no cooling chinese herbal tea
- take normal, healthy, diet of properly cooked food
I had a miscarriage once and he did not know how to break the news to me. He felt so bad and looked so blank and just said : don't put too much hope, give it another 5 days. I knew then it was bad news.
When I was finally pregnant again with Amber, he was very happy for us and said : Come, come and see me..
I had a craving for McDonald's ice cream while I was pregnant. He said : It's okay to take one or two but not everyday, imagine accumulating 100 ice cream cones and converting them to fat, can you imagine the amount of fat accumulated ? *blush*
He was a gentle doctor during my delivery. Amber was induced and he tried all methods of induction from the most natural before progressing to pitocin drips when all didn't work. He advocates everything to be as natural as possible, from conception to pregnancy and delivery. What I'm trying to say is his patient's interest will always be priority above anything else.
He also took our first family photo after Amber's delivery.
When Amber had a bad fall and lost a tooth, he knew hubs and i was very down over the incident, he texted a consolation message : Ha! ha ! Parents more painful than kid.. children rarely scar, so don't worry. I kept the sms till today, a reminder of a friend I will no longer receive sms from.
Dr Jeremy enjoys wine and we had many memorable wine tasting sessions together. There has been odd occasions of being his friend/patient. During dinners or events at his home, he don't treat me like officially like a patient nor a close friend. He'll just be very casual to ask : Do you want wine ? Oh you can't have wine, let me make you a tea instead ...
Dr Jeremy with Amber at her full moon party.
He was a wonderful father. I think patients will know the affectionate tone in which he talks to his kids when they call. He holds his daughter's hands when they walk, clearly showing a very close and affectionate relationship between them
When he left, his family lost a mentor, guardian and man of the house, his staff lost an irreplacable considerate boss, his friends lost a concerned confidante. He left a huge void in our lives. His funeral was the longest procession I've seen. Many and all were in tears bidding him a final goodbye.
It's been a year and we all remember him fondly. He has taught us to live simply and be happy always, you never know what comes tomorrow.
Although Amber was too young to remember him and only met him once just before he passed away, we tell her she was delivered by Dr Jeremy, so any mention of him now, Amber will say : Uncle Jemery pass away liao.. kuo beh teow liao (cannot see him already)..
Somehow she cannot get his name right. It's always JE-ME-RY instead of Jeremy. *sigh*
May he rest in peace and god bless his soul. He will always be remembered and missed by many lives he touched and thousands of lives he brought to the world.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Amber's best friend is hubs. Hubs spoils her rotten and loves her till no end but of course, he's also the disciplinarian. He'll press the pedal down and Amber only listens to her.
Hubs like to dance with Amber (but not me, I'm too fat to rumba with .. hahahaha). I manage to catch a father daughter moment, hubs dancing her, swaying her with Latin music by Gypsy King while waiting for dinner to be served.
When Amber sees this video in future, she'll understand how much hubs loves her.
I went durian hunting and not wanting to pay excessively for the D24, Mao San, Bamboo, Ang Hae.. or whatever.. you know those fancy name durians which cost just as fancy. For cake's sake, I settled with durian kampung from Jusco Mid Valley. Got it quite cheap. On offer for RM10 for 3pks and the guy offered me RM15 for pks. That's a lot of durians to make a cake from.
All excited, here goes :
Easy peasy as long as you get the basic buttercake recipe correct.
Recipe - DURIAN BUTTERCAKE
250gm self raising flour
220gm caster sugar
30ml evaporated milk (if durian is dry, add 10ml more)
pulp of 5-6 seeds of durian, mashed up with evaporated milk
cream butter & sugar till white and fluffy, add in eggs one at a time, continue whisking
add in durian pulp, cream till pulp is all 'broken up' and not in lumps
add in flour, slowly and mixing at lowest speed
Once mixed, pour into lined cake tin and bake at 180C for 45 minutes.
Place cake tin in middle rack of oven, this ensures even distribution of heat when baking. If cake browns on top but still not cooked when test with cake tester, bake for another 5 minutes with only lower heating element.
One pk of durian (or more if you prefer pungent durian flavour)
Beat in the durian pulp with batter, before folding in flour
Fine textured durian cake
Result : A success.. enough to impress the inlaws.. hahahaha..
Try it, any durian lover will love it.