My Ramblings

Lilypie Kids birthday Ticker

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Getting ready

I've been on home rest for 3 weeks now. Nothing to do.. bored to the bits. Actually.. .lots to do but physically unable to do much without panting or worrying about the big tummy in front of me.

My helper's been a gem. She's cleared the baby room for me. We've set up a new Graco pack and play - a gift from fellow moms and also a day bed for whoevers-taking-care-of-baby.  I want to station baby downstairs during confinement and after.   Baby M has another cot upstairs (Amber's previous) and that's only for night sleep.

Her bottles been sterilized, air dried and stacked up in Amber's Avent sterilizer. Still in good working condition, all I had to do was de-calcify with citric acid bought from Daiso.

Her clothes are washed and stacked up in the cupboard. I'll let the CL choose her clothes to wear.

We plan to start her on disposable diapers + cloth diaper (just in case she has very sensitive skin).

I've rolled out a big box of cotton balls to wipe Baby M's precious butts

I'll just use Johnson baby soap bar to bath her. Less intrusive than baby baths and this time, no more guiness stout or whatsoever.

We'll have our Eubos and Oilatum on standby .. just in case she has sensitive skin like Amber.

I hope my months of diligently taking probiotics will help in reducing her chances of atopic dermatitis.

Mmmmm... can't wait to smell Baby M..  can't wait.. can't wait !!!!

All set

The hospital bag's ready since before CNY and I've repacked it 2 days ago.
Hope I've not missed out anything ...

For myself, I've packed :
-toiletries survival kit  (creams, face wash, toothbrush)
-2 change of clothings
-mini towels
-disposable sanitaries and undies

For baby M, she has :

-3-4 change of clothing, mostly Amber's
-receiving blanket. .. same one that Amber used
-hats, mittens, booties and cloth for wrapping navel
-disposable diapers

For hubs, he has : 
- Starbucks tumbler.. to fill up his coffee and I'm sure both of us will be needing it much. RM2 saved with each purchase

If all goes well as planned, Amber might room in with us and I'll have to pack another bag for her - sleeping bag, change of clothing, pyjamas, snacks etc.

I'm pleased with the hospital I'll be checking into as there's ample food choices for hubs, me and Amber. I don't look forward to hospital menu and I can always send hubs down to pick up a donut or bread for me :D

Week 38

Baby is not here yet. Fully engaged but no signs of early delivery , not as we've expected.

Baby's development :

Head fully engaged, facing down/backwards - the best position for delivery
Estimated weight of 3.5 - 3.6kg
Head circumference didn't change, therefore weight gain went to fats on her body

Mummy has not put on any weight. Weight remains the same as 3-4 visits ago. Urine - normal. Blood pressure - Normal

Physical - Not very normal !!! Baby's weight pressing on my pubic nerves makes walking very difficult. I feel like a walking pendulum, ready to be swayed left or right and due to my clumsiness, home rest for me till D Day.

DJW agreed on inducing the baby since mommy already having a difficult time and baby will weigh even more if I wait till Wk 40.

The dates been set.. to induce at Wk39 + 1 day. Unless baby comes sooner, we'll meet baby M by end of this week.

We've chosen a name but in the meantime, Baby M, she is :D

Sunday, February 24, 2013


Every year without fail, we'll make a trip to my Aunt's (father's sister and mother's brother) house on the 4th day of Chinese New Year.

This aunt, we're particularly close to. She's my dad's sister and she's married to my mother's brother.... and so that makes us very relatively close.

She cooks the best henghua noodle with mushrooms, pork, oyster and fu chuk. She'll also dish out some curry chicken, hakka char yoke, braised mushroom and fried chicken. The ambience at her house is really tong tong chiang feel.. all our relatives gathering, eating and yakking away.

Aunt sent me an sms invitation to her house on Chor4 and I've replied... with our without sms, our Chor4 is booked at your house :D

We also get to meet some of our uncles and aunties (that we only meet once a year) at her house. The 'higher authorities' will have their own chit chat corners whilst we, middle aged and the younger ones have our own group.

Thank you Aunt for maintaining the Chor4 tradition and we will be there next year, the year after  and thereafter.....


Lap Chun is the start of spring and with reasonings, the year of Snake would when Spring begins and not on the first of Chinese New Year.

This year, lap chun begins on 4 Feb 2013, before the start of Lunar New Year. To welcome lap chun, we'll buy a new pot of plant/flower and also bank in some money to our bank account --- that's also to signify 'money flowing into bank account' all year round too.

We've had 'kat chai' for the past few years and I've planted them to the ground for better growth.

This year, I wanted a kumquat plant. Looks similiar but the fruits are elongated with very thick rind and hardly any flesh. Kumquats  makes wonderful jams  and candies and if it's sweet, it's very tangy to eat too.

Unfortunately, we hunted around our area and only one nursery had kumquat. This wasn't a very good year for kumquats and therefore not many nursery is selling it. There was only 2 pots left and we chose one that was acceptable looking.

I spruced it up a bit with ribbon curls and it looks very fancy in my patio :

Can't wait to root it to my garden, prune and snip away and wait for more edible fruits to bear.

Kumquat jam, kumquat soda.... so many things I wanna do with the kumquats !!!

CNY Decorations

I did not do much baking this year apart from a round of pineapple tarts and chocolate chips. Can't do much without my tummy jabbing the edge of the table and it's almost impossible to bend and take out a tray from the event.

I was homebound as per doctor's orders on the last wk preceeding CNY. Did some paper crafts with ideas from

Flower lanterns..  I love making these and I made a couple more for my sister and fathers. On nights I could not sleep ,, I was stapling away in the toilet !!!  -- - so as not to wake up hubs and Amber.

I kept 4 lanterns for our house and hung it down the stairway like this : 

We filled up our vases with some fake peonies and cherry blossoms :

and a few more ding ding dang dangs here and there... the house was filled with tong tong chiang mood. :D

Today's Chap Goh Mei , I think we'll let the decors hang around for a couple of weeks or until my confinements over before we pull it down.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Man Cooks

Am so proud of him. After 11 years of marriage, he finally got his hands dirty and cooked a storm.
We held our annual CNY gathering at home with the inlaws and he's agreed to cook, 2 items - roast pork and lap mei fan. 

I briefed him on the instructions and he came up with tadaaaa.......

Lap Mei Fan...a big big portion to be shared, mixed and tossed by all : 

We added chinese wine sausage, liver sausage and waxed duck. I forgot to buy 'lap yuk' but it still taste just as good.

He made a piece de resistance  SIEW YUK !!!

Not bad eh ???  Now, we have an official pork roaster at home. hahhahahhahaha.... Well done and clap clap clap.

He, who's afraid of knives and choppers and can never cut an onion up, even chopped up the roast pork to bite size pieces as I was resting upstairs

I'm very happy with his efforts and he's promised to whip up more delish dish for me.. Finally... I can 'tharn' a bit...

Mandarin Orange Marmalade

I got rid of our mandarin oranges before Chap Goh Mei... yayyy !!!!

I was afraid that I may pop anytime and hubs has been hinting he missed the jams I make very much. Once you have your own homemade jam, those store bought don't quite cut it. Full of sugar and jelly like and there's nothing like thick cut marmalade on a warm toast with a light spread of butter.

I followed the same Billy Law's recipe I did last year. Could not put the link in here as loading his page takes ages.  Actually I followed the method and the rest are just estimation. Cooking time depends on the thickness required and adjust sugar accordingly.

I made 6 jars in total and it's just enough to last us a year. I sterilize the bottles and they keep well. Sorry.. not enough to go round for friends this year. ;D

Confinement Stuff from Sister

Eldest sister went back to her mother in laws over the CNY and came back with some goodies. The goodies were meant for her but I've snitched them.. kekekekkeke... just timely for my confinement.

On the left is Foochow misua, the thin strand of wheat noodle. I'll be having lots of these for my breakfast and lunch as I'd very much prefer misua over rice. I saw a packet at her house when I visited during CNY ... bingo.. just the misua I wanted. Better than getting the Sun shun fuk misua which is made in China and expands very easily in soup.

On the right is homegrown ginger. Her MIL grew these rooted gems at home. It's a bit smaller than Bentong ginger but these packs a punch. Powdery textured and not lacking in spiciness, I'm sure I'll be munching lots of these with my misua soup.

She also gave me a bottle of Foochow 'angchiew'.  I'm well stocked up with rice wine. My MIL has given me 20 bottles of black bean rice wine and I've also ordered a dozen of glutinuos rice wine.

I don't mind having chicken rice wine everyday and I'll be cooking my own rice wine chicken after the CL leaves. I believe it's better to pantang for 40 days with proper food and diet.

Confinement Herbs 2

Just when I thought I was well covered on the herbs/medicine section, the CL reminded me on a few essentials I'd need immediately after delivery.

I've been in constant contact with her and updating her on my visits to obgyn. She's ready and waiting for my call and the latest we shall wait is till 1 March.

She's advised me to get the following :

- So Hup Yuen - 3 boxes (approx 30 pills - to consume 1 pills each day of confinement)
- Wu Kam Yuen  - 3 pills
- Sang Far Thong - 1 packet 

Wu Kam Yuen and Sang Far Thong is to cleanse postpartum lochia and So Hup Yuen is to get rid of wind in the body. It's supposed to make you fart excessive wind out ;)

I've got all 3 above from our morning market medicine hall.

That's a lot to consume eh ?  I don't think I can remember what to and when to consume but luckily CL is here to help. Let's pray she's someone easy going ....

Confinement Herbs

 I decided to DIY  my confinement herbs instead of buying the prepacks of 28 day packabe. Basically same stuff but they cost a whole lot more.

The CL told us about a chinese herbal wholesale at Pandan Mewah. Stuff are cheaper there and they'll tell you which one has sulphur and not.

We did our herbal shopping before CNY and I've kept it in hubs wine chiller at 15c. No more space in our fridge with all the CNY snacks, fruits and drinks.

I bought the following staples :

- red dates
- kei chee/wolfberries
- nam jou/black dates
- tong sum
- snow fungus - for desert
- dai fung ngai bathing herbs

I've already kept stock for :

- pat chan
- dong quai/angelica
- toong chung choe/cordyceps
- black beans

and.. I'm still not covered yet.

I will post all the shoppings up soon. A very handy checklist/shoplist for mums-to-be..
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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Stretch Marks

The Palmers stretch mark cream don't work for me. It's very waxy and hard to apply. The tummy feels 'waxed upon' and feels itchy too.

I went back to my good old trusty Skin Labs Vitamin E cream - 10,000iu , from Guardian Pharmacy.

So much easier to apply and feels lighter on the skin too. I can't assure myself of it's effectiveness though but we'll do what we can do. Stretch marks are partly genetic and also depends on the fetal growth rate. I hardly had any stretch marks with Amber even though she was a whopping 3.57kg but now, I can feel the skin cracking..literally... especially when I stand or lie down on my side. The marks are more defined on the left side of tummy because I tend to sleep on the left side more, as advised.

Well, I'll just do what I can.  A little bit of stretch marks is nothing to grouch over when baby arrives, healthy and pink !

Pou Pan

Do you believe in traditional supplements ?  When I was pregnant with Amber, I took lots of cordyceps, and double boiled chicken essence. I had a very bad bout of cough and it was the cordyceps/ginger concoction that cured my cough.  I also took birds nest (against my obgyn's advise) as a treat for myself.

Hubs for one, is against me taking birds nest and such for pregnancy. My first obgyn advised me against it as birds nest do contain a lot of bleaching chemicals and there's lots of faked/reconstituted birds nest in the market too.

One of our colleagues owns a birds nest house in Pahang and she's assured me her birds nest were preservative free. Moreover the recent scare in China caused the price to drop and I took half a kilo from her, at a very reasonable price.The birds nest was of consumption quality with very little 'feather stains'  and does not require much picking. There's a method to cook .. or not to overcook the birds nest to preserve the proteins.

I've been taking it diligently since 4 or 5 months pregnancy. If I follow the correct method of consumption, that is just 3 tablespoon everyday, half a kilo goes a long way. My friend taught me to presoak the birds nest for 15 minutes and then double boil for not more than 45 minutes. Easy peasy. Previously I double boiled for hours and that, apparently overcooks and damages the protein structure of birds nest. 

I also took some cordyceps - toong choong chou. MIL gave me a box and I double boiled only once. I shall save the balance for confinement..

Hubs packs my USANA vitamins 3x daily and reminds me to take them diligently.  I took the multivits, calcium and Omega oils. Occasionally, I'll take the Nutrimeal meal replacement when I don't have much appetite.

 I have gained no more than 10kg till todate. Most of the weight gain went to baby and in fact, I have lost some weight. I didn't have much appetite and morning sickness lasted until beyond 7 months.

With these nourishment, I hope baby will arrive healthy and nourished.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Week 37

 Baby is fully engaged and we're expecting her arrival anytime. With our hands and fingers crossed, she made it past the crucial first week of CNY  and DJW is back.

I was half worried having another dr deliver her...

Good girl baby...

Her growth has slowed down a bit. At Wk 37, her weight was 3.1kg whereas my total body weight has not increased. That means mommy has been losing weight.

I'm on home rest now as per doctors advise. Walking is a chore I feel like being dragged now by a heavy bowling ball. At home,  I am able to lie down whenever I have BH contractions and I get to spend more time with Amber too.

We're expecting her arrival anytime soon and I've been hearing horrors about second babies arriving too soon... too soon for epidurial. I'm all set for epi and I don't want that to happen.

The other option is to induce and that's a big decision to make as induction comes with it's own risks and pains.

We did the final shopping for baby's room, getting  a new coconut husk mattress for the pack and play. The bedsheet will be looped over only upon baby's arrival.

Confinement herbs, wine and bath is ready and so is confinement lady. Prompted her on baby's arrival anytime soon and she's waiting.

I also bought a new Avent manual breast pump. The old one's mouldy and past it's age. Been toying around the breast pumps available in the market and couldn't decide between Avent or Spectra. .I finally decided on a Avent manual because I know it works for me. If needed, we can always get another Spectra electric pump later.

Be good baby.. be good to mummy... arrive safely and calmly :D
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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Gong Xi Gong Xi !

Gung Hei Fatt Choy !!! Happy Ular lar.... !!!!

We're back from a short break back to hubs hometown. This year's New Year break was the shortest stay we had at Tampin as Amber had to go to school and school ends 2 days before CNY.

We left on a rainy Friday. Traffic was extremely heavy but luckily not on the direction we were travelling. We detoured to Tangkak to get Amber checked on her egg allergy.

I have not been updating but recently, 2 months ago, her egg allergy shot up to Count 14. Retraced and plouged my memory and I couldn't find any egg pitstops in her diet. Moving forward, it's another bad news for us and Amber has to abstain from eggs and the 1 yr count continues. This is her third relapse.
Dr Wong did another check on her again and the count dropped to 4. and... the journey continues.. 

From Tangkak, we adjourned to the in laws..all in festive mood and can't wait to drop our bags and lay back , rest and relax. Stopped for coffee/cakes at Secret Recipe with MIL and chit chatted.

I'm lucky as I don't have to help out much during the New Year. Our Ah Soh helps to cook reunion dinner and this year we're 'late' back home (on the 29th pm of the last lunar month), the cookies and such was all prepared for guests (and us :D)

Following day was reunion dinner.The pic above was we had for dinner..... steamed chicken, roast pork, braised sea cucumber with pork trotters,  braised baby ngaku wrapped in lettuce leave, braised duck, mixed vege platter,  sweet & sour pork ribs, and the 'heaven pot' of *pepper-pigs maw-ginko-kampungchicken-abalone soup* -  a specialty pot of soup reserved for 'tai yat chee'.

Kids played with fireworks/firecrackers while I rested in the room. I couldn't muster enough energy to walk down the stairs and join in the fun. All I wanted to do was lie down and spend some time with my little ular-la.  Baby kicks and squirms when mummy is resting lying down and those are precious moments I shall treasure, only a couple of weeks more for me to enjoy the squirms and kicks.

Happy Ular-la to all !!!!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

D Day is near but not so near either

The last obgyn check up at Wk35 shows baby is 70% engaged. Cephalic position and all's well
Estimated weight 2.63kg but mummy only gained 1kg from previous month. No thanks to the sleepless nights and inability to swallow down a proper dinner.

I keep getting constant abdominal cramps and it always so tightly filled with fluid. The Braxton Hicks contractions are getting closer and tighter each time and ouch ! .. feels like a bowling ball waiting to drop !

Having said that, all's well with baby and that's what matters. Blood and sugar levels are normal too.
DJW, my obgyn, issued an admission letter, the near is imminent, she says and we're not taking any chances in view of the coming CNY holidays. She issued 2 letters for me, one for admission at the hospital and another for travelling, just in case labour comes a-calling when I'm away for CNY break.

At Wk35 1/2, the sleepless nights got worst, getting up and walking to the toilet was a big task to accomplish. The tummy has to swing and settle from one side to the other when I turn myself over to get out of bed and when I finally stand up,  the tummy tum drags me down. I shuffle to the toilet to pee. This was like 20 times at night!!  Depressing symptoms of last trimester !! My friend Jo suspected I could have UTI.
It was getting more and more uncomfortable, my legs could hardly walk, the numbing sensation got worst and I went to DJW again to get checked.

We did a urine FEME test and tested positive for UTI. Prescribed a sachet of Monurol, tasted like ENO and that was supposed to last me for 3 days. Within 3 days, most of the bacteria would be flushed out. In addition, I downed lots of barley and coconut water.

Scan at 35 1/2 weeks shows that baby is not ready. DJW doesn't see signs of early delivery before CNY but ordered me to rest more. No more shopping or prolonged walking in case water bag breaks. The numbness were due to pressings on nerves on my legs, nothing much we could do except rest more.
Measurement shows baby to be 3kg !!! A shock to me, within 4 days, her measurements went up from 2.63kg to 3kg whereas mummy has lost 0.5kg. This is going to be a big baby just like her cheh cheh.
We saw a glimpse of her face too. Chubby and pouty !

Few weeks more.......