My Ramblings

Lilypie Kids birthday Ticker

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Yesterday Evening

First of all, I'd like to say a big thank you for all blogger friends had concerns over Amber's diet and allergy. We are going slow and trying to determine the cause of allergy and meantime she's off milk.
Like it or not, she has to take solid food (rice, meat, vege and soup).

I thought putting her off milk would increase her appetite. Not so, and maybe not yet. I checked with the childminder yesterday, she's still slow and reluctant to finish her dinner. I'll give it more time. On the upside, she's been a good girl when the childminder didn't her any pre afternoon nap milkie. She even told Boon Kor Kor : doctor say I cannot take milk, make me itchy ah.

We are vigilant to feed her more water and liquids instead. She doesn't like taking water and I made some cordial Froots Vit C drink for her to bring to school. I packed a Vitagen along with some cookies for her. She hates any cordial drinks but I made it sweeter this time. I don't mind a little sugary drink for school, I think she needs the energy. She finished the drink and likes it very much. Now I know why she hates Ribena and others, maybe it's because I didn't' make them sweet enough :(

Last night, we had some quiet time together. Hubs was away at work and both of us cuddled, read books, played etc, I was trying to get her mind off milk. We were watching Oprah Winfrey show. Interestingly, the episode was about Kirstie Alley's weight loss and gain. One of the issues, a lady, had lost weight successfully. Amber saw her in bikini and asked me : Mummy, she wear bikini, can see guitar string like Amber (our terminology for skinny minny girls with ribs showing), not nice hor ??

Ya. not nice, so skinny not nice (actually,she had the perfect body!!), can see and feel guitar string not nice (slap myself on the face). Must be like the aunty (Oprah and Kirstie) and Mama, then nice.

No lar, you not nice, a little bit fat.

Where ?

Neh !! poke poke my tummy and spare tyres ! A little bit fat here

**slap head** I know what I'm telling her is wrong but as a kid, she should not have the great idea of having a bikini body right ?

Then later part of the show, Oprah interview Michael Hebranko, the world's best dieter who lost more than 3000lbs in his lifetime. Read about his story here and here. Very sad life he has.

Amber stared at the tv in amazement and a man this size and then told me :

Mummy, I don't want to be fat like that uncle......

LOL !! She must be so traumatized by a person that size when I tell her she needs to eat more.

Anyway, when it's almost bedtime, I manage to get her to drink a whole tumbler of water and she had 2 anzac cookies and went to bed, forgetting all about her milk!

On a sidenote, I bought 2 tins of Scottish Highland Oat Milk from a stall near my office. I hope this can be a solution to her allergies and satisfy her milk cravings and I better pray hard she is not allergic to oats milk too !

Monday, March 29, 2010

Contradicting and Worries

Feeling lousy over the weekend. It all started from :

Friday, we left for hubs hometown. She slept in the car, not having her milkie. I've already planner for her not to take any milk, other words, starve her from 2pm - 8pm and then let her have a proper meal with us, and that night, we had noodles. First spoon, ok, chew and swallow. Second spoon, problem brewing, her temper flaring, asking for soup instead, this and that, anything but the noodles.

Then the drama of " i don't want to eat ", 'not nice', 'I pau-pau already' ensued. She cried, we yelled, more so being fuelled by frustration of watching her cousin sister gleefully walloping a bowl of noodle, she, a thriving and happy kid whereas ours, a miserably skinny and no-appetite kid.

More drama and started scratching her eyes till swollen. I saw a layer of white gelatinuos stuff on her lids, wrapping up her eyeballs. Trouble ! Quickly sent her to clinic opposite home for some meds before it closes. Doc took a look at her, sniffing, food in the mouth (yes, still !) and all and said her problem was not the eyes but irritation from her nose (ENT, all related, one itch, the rest flares up soon). Nothing much he can do, but suggested us to try nasal spray instead and he REFUSED to presribe any until we treat the eye first (talk about principals, I'm sure he takes his oath seriously). So, we were sent home with some eye drops and he suggested to see another doctor the following morning who may have more sophisticated eye drops for Amber as he saw beneath the white gelatinuos stuff, there's another pocket of yellow gelatinuos stuff. May not be good news he said. He also asked if Amber was always restless and can't sit still (I thought he had sixth sense pulak !) and according to him, kids with allergy, esp from the nose, will have continuos cough, lack of concentration and will itch all over. Heavens.. finally someone understood Amber's condition. I have so many people telling me how 'boh-tiam' my kid is. Heartbreaking i tell you, she is as she is and I can't be yelling at her to keep still, sit still and SHUDDUP !! right ? or not ?

So, following morning, her eye was much better, only a tinge of swolleness. We went to see the other doctor as recommended. Told him the whole epi of the eye and allergy and such. I also told doctor I've put Amber off cows milk for some time. She's solely on Isomil and Pediasure, mixed with a little Milo.

He explained to us a talk he attended recently on CMPA (cow's milk protein allergy) and apparently, Isomil does not solve CMPA. 60% who has CMPA will also be allergic to soy milk!!!! Big news to me. I did some searching this morning at babycenter and it's true.

So, how can we treat Amber ?

He advised to put her off milk in the meantime and if she doesn't want to eat adult food (rice, noodles, pasta, soup), starve her. Then he pointed the finger at me and hubs, we are the main culprit for Amber refusing to eat proper meals. We give her too many choices and substitutes. From that point onwards, we took a challenge to put her off milk and place her on healthy balanced normal meals. No food, no milk, go hungry till she decides she needs to eat after all.
She heard all of our conversation and not liking what the doctor said, she wanted to leave the room

I tell you, that was the hardest thing to do. My little Amber is a milk baby, there's nothing she relish more than a comforting bottle of milkie (proper Avent bottle with teats and all) !

Then came lunch, another drama, with hardly anything for breakfast, a small cup of milo and a few strands of noodle, lunch was just a spoon or two of rice and some soup.

She requested for milk.. Mummy.. can I have milk please ??? why cannot ? doctor say can drink one time ah...

Those cries from her really hurt. But, we were adamant..

Dinner came, a full course dinner to celebrate FIL's bday.. she took only 2 small bites of yam, 2 inch of cod fish cubes and hardly a longevity bun. Throughout dinner, we kept telling her.. eat ! eat ! no milk for you tonight ! eat more... *sigh*

She cried for milk again, in the car, on the way home. I fed her with water. As a mom, I am
worried she gets dehydrated. Oh.. apart from food, she does not like much of water too !

Following day, we shared a big pau for breakfast. She did not cry for milk as much as before but kept asking 'why not milk ? doctor say I can have one time everyday..please ?

Lunch was an egg, with soya sauce. She didn't want any fuchok-yeemai MIL cooked. She hardly had any hazelnut cheesecake.. so I gave her a bowl of watercress soup, forcing down on her angrily. I was angry coz she came up with all sorts of excuses not to eat and tells me she wants a bowl of soup. When soup came, she didn't want.. who wouldn't be angry ?

Dinner on Sunday, was another drama. She and cheh cheh sharead a pack of noodles and she had a smaller portion. She took less than half and refuse to swallow, whereas cheh cheh finished hers and asked for more.. After a while, we got fed up and fed her 100 + instead. At least there's electrolytes and liquids to get her going.. We left for KL at night, without any milk for her.

This morning, I made a cup of Milo for her with a small scoop of soy. Sakit hati la.. I want her to be full and energetic for school. I've instructed the childminder not to give her milk in the afternoon, to see if her appetite improves for dinner.

Sigh, the throes of motherhood. Although her allergy problem may seem small to others, I take it differently, I see how she has shrunk from a thriving bouncing cheerful baby to one skinny minny refuse-to-eat-anything kid, my heart breaks.

God, please help me find a solution to her feeding problems and allergy !

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Lion Dance Duo

These pics were taken during the Assam Laksa Day.. Amber found a friend to lion dance with her. While we played the drums, the lion dance duo danced around the house.

Amber wants to play 'tail', never the head.. My friend CY guides her with the tail.

Bless the kitchen

Bless the hall.

So, we have a very blessed home, thanks to the Lion Dance Duo... Amber and Lizzie. ..

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Assam Laksa Day

**another backdated post*
Assam laksa has been on my to-cook list for sometime. Hubs is not a fan and Amber obviously would not go near it.

3 weeks ago, I had some friends over for belated gong xi fa cai gathering, my friends from school and some friends from work.

I googled for assam laksa recipe and asked my good buddy EeLeen's mom, whose assam laksa we all crave for and can make a mad dash to her house for assam laksa lunch and back to office in an hour !! Well, she told me there's no exact recipe for assam laksa, just trial and error. Add blended chilli, onions, assam and boil. Taste and add ingredients accordingly. Sounds easy but aitelyu, the list of ingredients got my head cracking and had me running to Giant and back many times.

I used bunga kantan, daun kesum, serai, big onion, shallots, assam jawa, assam keping, fresh chilli, dried chilli, ikan bilis, kembung fish, pineapples, cucumber, mint leaves, prawn paste...

Whew, what a long list. I started cooking a day before and luckily I had a big Corningware pot to use. I remembered not to use stainless steel to boil assam laksa soup (the acidity will corrode the pot) and I thought of using my biggest non stick pot and then hubs said, non stick pots are also made of steel and so what was the difference ? I panicked with all the igredients staring at me and no pot to boil soup, DIE ! DIE ! DIE !

Luckily I thought of my Corningware. Never used it to cook before, I only use to contain my curries and fried rice. Well, my Corningware saved my assam laksa day.

Ok... I have 2 kg of fresh kembung fish, steamed and flaked. Messy job ! Took me some time to flake them clean and started attracting ants to the kitchen.. eeewww..

Then, making the stock.. it's almost all of the ingredients mentioned above and boiling for hours..
before straining the pulp away and adding more water (lack of space in one corningware pot) and boiling again with the deboned fish.

Here's my assam laksa brew :

Lai fun..

Garnishings.. all have to be sliced thin and kept fresh

Chopped bunga kantan


The pot of soup.. almost one whole day of preparation.

The result...

and my guests.. Assam laksa with beer.. how cool is that ???

So, anyone wants assam laksa ? Please bring along your flaked kembungs ok ??

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Leftover Dinners - Roast Lamb Pasta

I'm so good with leftovers. I tell you, not having a maid now, I have lots of dinner leftovers, party leftovers, no one to help me finish up my food. Last night, I found some 'decomposed prawns' in my chiller and baked beans, a week old. No joke.. Eewwww...

Ok, that aside, I must be on my toes to check what's on the fridge, I really don't like wasting food. Hubs commented the leftover dishes taste better than their initial state and I think I should document them here in my blog.

I've accumulated some roast lamb from a Christmas party last year. Ok.. before I go on, I cooked this dish in mid January, so as not to scare you..

The host had so much food left, he asked us to 'tarpau'. I was eyeing on the roast lamb as leftover satays are hard and tough and leftover salads are laden with bacteria.

I already had this dish in my mind when I happily packed those bits of roast lamb and I picked those charred ends.. more tasty and yummy :

Slice the meat and pan fry dry, in a non stick pan, till it's hot and aroma wifting in the kitchen..
(in other words, fry till 'heong')

I had some leftover thyme from my Christmas dinner, kept well, frozen..

Scoop the lamb aside, sautee garlic with olive oil, then add in thyme, add salt for taste

Then toss in spaghetti or pasta of your choice. Sprinkle chilli flakes for extra kick.

This is what you'll get :

Yumzz... cheap and easy Sunday lunch for the family !!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Of Tigers and Lies and The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Her imagination runs wild. She likes to 'tell stories' nowadays.

The past 2 weeks, I heard the most atrocious stories from her.

1. She told sis who was staying with us. Her kakak (ex maid from Cambodia) bring friends home. The friend, a guy, has a gun. The friend, pointed gun at Amber many times.

2. At the childminder, during meals, she is sometimes fed worms. "Aunty Choo put a lot of worms on my plate! A lot ! A lot !" (with hands showing expression of 'a lot'). I cannot finish but she still put worms on my plate

When confronted, she breaks out laughing.. Ahahahaha I tell you story la.. I want you to laugh !

My daughter, the best story teller.. or lack of a better word, the Biggest Liar.

Many times, her stories are out of the world... brought back from the moon and stars !!!!!

Last night, I took time to explain to her after this incident at the toilet where I asked her to spray herself clean after her pee.

Boon Kor Kor don't wash for me after wearing diapers. He don't let me wash.

Why ? You have to wash yourself after your nap and if you wet your diapers. Otherwise you'll be itchy down there.

No, he don't let me wash wor.. he wants me to be itchy !

I don't believe her, not even 1%. This time, I gotta put a stop to my creative little Enid-Blyton-in-the-making... .and look at her in the eye :

Amber, tomorrow I will ask Boon Kor Kor ok ??

Then she breaks out laughing ...

Ahhahahahaha Amber tell story la..

I want to tell you a story.. then I thought of the Boy Who Cried Wolf.. then I thought.. ok.. she may not understand sheperd, sheeps and wolf.. so I concocted my localised story :

There was a little girl , she shout TIGER !!! TIGER !!!!
... then all the uncle and aunties came to her rescue, but no tiger.
... then she laughed.. ahahahaha.. I want to make all of you laugh .. I play only.. I tell story only
( I talk in the same slang n lingo as Amber)

ONE DAY... a real tiger came out from hiding...
... the little girl shout TIGER !!! TIGER !!!
... the uncles and aunties heard and said to themselves... Ahahaha... the little girl.. playing again. no need to help her.. she is just playing la..
... BUT ... the tiger bit the girl, bite off her hands, legs and head.. the head fell to the floor and the girl died... sooo sad (must dramatize a bit for better effect)

she looked at me innocently.. dumbfounded.

So, can you tell lie ? Or make stories which are not true ? Mama scared one day if a tiger come after you, nobody will believe you and help you. How ?

nooo... I scared, I don't want...

Can you tell lie ?


You can tell Mama story but you must say "I tell you a story first".. don't create story unnecessary ok ?

ooo... ok...
then ...
the tiger in the zoo.. got cage ah ?

noo.. i also don't want to go to zoo, I scared tiger bite.

**sigh** ... and that same night, she cried in her sleep, nightmare.. probably so traumatized with my story of the little girl who got bitten by the tiger ..

I wonder if all kids create make believe stories ? Mine's sound more like a lie than a story !

Unique Art ?

Hubs helped Amber with her art play the other day and did this :

Nice ? I asked hubs how he did those 'weird whatnots'. He put some paint on the artblock, then fold into half.. let the paint mix (few colors) and then used his fingers to draw some lines to create a pattern effect.

Amber was impressed and couldn't wait to show me.

I'm not good at art. Can't even draw an apple.. I'll leave art and such to hubs..

Accidents and Deaths

Been feeling a bit uneasy this couple of days. Must get it off my chest.

Sightings of accidents really bothers me, especially when I see the victim covered in white or black plastic. The scenes keeps flashing in my mind over and over again and I still do remember sighting an accident that happened 3 years ago, a motorcyclist and a lorry.

Last Saturday, we left home and was greeted by a very bad jam along MRR2. Very unusual, hubs said, must be an accident. True enough, just about 100 meters from our where we exit to MRR2. Very ugly scene. We saw a Proton Waja very badly damaged and a Proton Iswara bad smashed across the other side of the road, we guess it came from the same direction as us. Then I saw a body lying on the road, covered with white plastic sheets.

I said my amitabha prayers and we proceeded with our journey.. Hubs was not feeling well and we had to pick up my parents, go for dinner and then send sis to the airport. I was driving and it was a looong journey to the airport (using Garmin, will tell in another post). while I was behind the wheels.. Amber was seated back, chatting with BIL and I kept getting flashbacks of the accident scene.. thinking of the victims family and what nots. I reminded myself to drive really careful, to look front, side and back all the time. My family, parents and sis was in my car.

Then the next day, I read about the accident in the papers. The car was going along MRR2 from same direction as us, at very fast speed hit the curb, flung to the other side and hit an oncoming Waja (innocent fella). The driver, a young lady was flung out from the car and died on the spot. Her other passangers in the car suffered serious injuries.

I reminded myself to drive very carefully and look out, front, back and sides whenever I pass the accident scene.

Then, this morning,on the way to work, I read about a man who survived a car crash in Pahang only to climb out of the car and fall into a ravine below. Another very freak accident which left me puzzling on how fragile life can be. I was quiet about it and did not share with hubs.

Then in the office, hubs told me the man who fell into a ravine was our colleagues' brother and she's really devastated over the sudden loss of her brother and in such circumstances.

Life is fragile, appreciate it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Father !

This post is so backdated. Must get it up before the in laws birthday this weekend.

My father turned 76 last Saturday. It's always a family affair for us with dinner followed by cakes and birthday songs. I really can't wish for anything else than god granting him good health and happiness.

This is the cake sis and me baked for him. Nice ? or not so nice ? I'm a bit of a retard when it comes to decorating a cake. Not much improvements from the last cake I iced and decorated here. I couldn't even get the words to look nice and presentable. See how the Happy and B'day is so unaligned and retard looking? Sis came to the rescue, scattered the little red sugar hearts there to cover up the flaw. Now, I am seriously thinking of attending cake decorating class !

This year, we had dinner at Restoran Siu Siu at Sg Besi. Nice place. Big, spacious, good food and reasonably priced.

We always book for a table in this little pavilion surrounded by carps.. nice eh ?

Food here is above average for the price charged. If you do come here, I'd highly recommend the river prawns with 'toong fun' in claypot :

soaking in lotsa milk gravy but not very spicy.

very nice when you soak up the gravy with these lovely friend mantou.

Then we went over to sis' place to hang out and have our desert.

Father and Ah Yee, blowing the candles.. and Amber was most excited (as with anybody elses birthday that comes with a cake and lighted candle).

We sing song, blow candles again and again coz somebody important had to blow the candles, although it's not 'HER BIG DAY'...

A slice of the simple cake we baked, no layered icing, just basic chocolate icing over the cake.

Happy Birthday Father ! May you live well and healthy !

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Avilion Port Dickson - Pet Farm

This deserves a post of it's own. During our stay, Amber was feeding the pets everyday at 10am-11am. There's a small but very clean Pet Farm and Aviary, maintained by a lady by name of Saroja, who clearly loves her job. The cockerels and rabbits have names and they obey Saroja's instructions.

We were led to the Pet Farm by this peacock, who flew past the swimming pool, next to where we were having breakfast :

Hubs and Amber chased after the peacock and found him at the Pet Farm and then more cockerels and rabbits awaits them.

I think this one is 'Kajan'.. I really can't remember their names, all I could think of was 'lucky cockerels, else they'd end up in curry pots !'

I remember this one... April.. he's the darling grandfather of the Pet Farm. 10 years old this coming April, unbelievable !

Some tortoise..

And pea-hens perching on the ledge.. I learnt something new, female and not so attractive peacoks are called 'pea-hens'

Amber and her funny bunny..

Feeding the rabbits. They chew, chew and chew very fast.

Feeding April a banana

Amber was very brave, she fed the cockerels despite her palms in pain , being 'tiong' by the cockerels.

Ouch ! This is painful.

Kajan the cockerel standing proud on her shoulders.

Krok kok kok koooorrr !!!!

She makes a sandwich for Kajan and April. We had a little argument here as I told her not to spread the seeds on bread, the cockerels do not like bread at all, but she insist.. haih..

April, the proud cockerel of Avilion.

When the feeding session was over, April 'walked' back to his home, at the Aviary. See, I have pics to show :

Amber walks along with April.

Smart cockerel

April's home sweet home !

Friday, March 19, 2010

Avillion Port Dickson - Weekday Getaway

Last week, we were fortunate to getaway to Avillion PD for a free stay. My friend Jo bought the vouchers from previous Matta fare, the vouchers were expiring and she couldn't find time to go. I jumped at her offer immediately, there's a kind of relaxation that PD offers...away from it all and yet not too far away feeling that I like.

What's there to do at sleepytown PD ? I was amazed with the changes tho'.. If you take the highway and exit at Lukut, you'll be surprised to see how much the old cowboy town of Lukut has changed. Rows of shophouses, foodie place and banks lit the main street of Lukut. It was getting kinda late when we arrived so to play safe (and we were all very hungry), we went to Seaview PD Restaurant, a seafronting place where local PD folks held their wedding dinners. No pics this time, too hungry to remember our camera.

Food was so-so, butter crab was fantastic but the steamed grouper was tough and rubbery. I can almost bet my last ringgit they boiled the fish instead of steaming but haih, I didn't bother to make a complain. I don't want to spoil my trip by being in a negative mood before I check in to the beautiful Avilion.

So, we checked in late... and she help with her luggage,, ie her bolsters, her pillows, her pail of beach toys, her bag of floaties and swimsuits. It's 'HER' holiday right ? :)

We stayed at the Garden Chalet for the first time. We've been to the water chalet a couple of times before and I think I'll choose Garden Chalet again for it's price, bigger toilets and safety and I get to sleep in peace without sounds of waves hitting the shores.

Took some nice pics of the room before we messed it up :

4 poster bed.. and we insisted on a cot for Amber, so we can sleep in peace.. poor her.. the cot was too small for her but she liked the novelty of sleeping in a cot . .. :)

The day bed..

and the grand washroom...

someone warming up the room and flashing her royal butt !!!

and here she is.. 'talking on the phone' with the shower handles..

We woke up the next morning and I really liked the view from our chalet. Surrounded by coconut trees we had a beautiful view of the Acheh beach

Our garden chalet.

Dummy proof directions in a big resort.

The stay comes with breakfast and I shan't talk too much about the food but I must comment on their coffee..


Gaggia coffee machines for a fresh espresso brew.

So nice to have a cuppa fresh brew isn't it ? There's something about coffee that makes a difference in each hotel. Some serves stale instant coffee in a jug, some will serve fresly brewed with crema and all and this one.. self service, as much as you like and I LIKE IT !

Since there's nothing much to do at PD, we spent most of our time in the hotel, lazing around the decks, beach and pool

This was a front view of our chalet.. looks more like a double storey twin villa.

Amber couldn't wait to hit the water and sand. She's been talking about it all along our journey to PD and was disappointed when we arrived late at night, she couldn't play at the beach or pool.

And I, couldn't wait to change her to a 2 piece.. her first bikini, a Christmas gift from Annie.

My little 'sau mang kai' (skinny minny chicken) on a bikini :

We were at the beach close to noon. Crazy me but I thought a little sun would be good for her but poor her and hubs got a bad sunburn (blame it on me, I forgot and left the sunblocks in the room)

Then, later, we went to the pool .

She wanted to join the big kids to play water slides but she was too afraid to come down the slide, even tho' hubs was waiting for her below. The other kids were nice and friendly, encouraging her and telling her how to slide. Bless them :). Still, she kept saying 'I Scared !!' but yet, she didn't want to leave the place.

We were back at the beach again, during sunset when it was cooler.

Amber screamed in pain when I showered her. The sunburn was too painful and she cried a lot. We spent most of the evening hosing her down with cold water to ease the pain. When we were done, it was too late to check out Lukut for some nice makan place. We quickly went to the pharmacy to get some aloe vera gel to sooth her sunburn. The pharmacist recommended a very nice CKT (char kuey teow) place, at the left of the old PD market. Non halal and very long queue. No pics too, hubs was carrying Amber who fell asleep while I waited patiently for my order. We had CKT and ice cold beer for dinner in our rooms for dinner.. Fantastic !! Much better choice than ordering room service eh ?

We had to check out the following day and both of us were too lazy to get ourselves wet, so we just lazed around the hotel. Some bits and pieces of what we did here :

Most traditional way to massage our soles :

Pain ! Pain !

All along the chalets, you'll find urns of water for you to rinse your feet. Very convenient and clean way to get us to our rooms without sand on our feet.

The water chalets at low tide

3 of us with our fakey crocs !

We spotted thousands of little crabs.

yucky looking but a good experience for Amber

Avilion, an excellent short getaway... and we will be back :)